Blood and Jazz
House Horwill was founded by the common-born halfling Alastair Horwill, who prior to the founding was merely a governor of Huntingshire Colony in Northern Lusitola in the service of House Alaine. However in 3820, during the War of South Lusitolan Independence, Alastair Horwill secretly corresponded with the many lords of the rival houses of the Alaines, telling them that the only way to win the war and bring South Lusitola back into the fold without completely giving up their power over the people would be to overthrow the royal House of Nalderick and transform Aglondale into an imperialistic guild- and noble-run republic, preferably one modelled upon the old Tuscardine Republic of Cassily. As evidence, Alastair cited the local unrest in Aglondale and North Lusitola caused by the war debt, and the involvement of Dvirhim under Andrei III on the side of the rebels.
Alaine’s rivals were initially unmoved by Alastair’s words, but neither did they reveal his treason; in 3823, however, when an army of peasant maidens and widows of Dalia marched on the royal keep in the Women’s Siege of Bellonham Palace, they began to take Alastair more seriously. To win back the approval of their unruly subjects, the nobles entered the Palace of Bellonham through its secret tunnel before the Naldericks could escape and did as Alastair had originally suggested—theatrically executing King Ernace Nalderick XIX and his entire extended family by blowing from a gun, a means of capital punishment that became so widespread during the Aglon Revolution and House Horwill’s subsequent Reign of Horrors that it has been symbolically associated with both ever since. The image was even proudly incorporated into House Horwill’s sigil upon Alastair’s swift promotion to nobility and rise to de facto ruler of the new “republic”:
Despite Alastair’s best efforts, however, he was unable to secure the renewed loyalty of South Lusitola, and the war continued. Royalist troops stationed overseas under the command of General Thayal McNolton defected to the rebels rather than serve their king’s murderer, and when the legendary sorcerer demilich Samuel the Barren joined the war on the side of the rebels even House Horwill agreed that they would be better off cutting their losses in order to keep North Lusitola.
House Horwill’s power in Aglondale’s Parliament of Lords waned with this failure until the conclusion of the Dark War, at which point they were dispatched to Qri Rakshas to deal with Aglondale’s new territorial holdings. Though Qri Rakshas was initially considered a dangerous and largely useless country to which House Horwill had been consigned as a humiliation, the Horwills quickly and effectively stomped out all but the vestiges of rebellion that had sprung up in the wake of the regime change, and have been consolidating Aglon power ever since.