“I undertook this research of my own volition. My findings concerning the true history of House Raspute—and in particular the Prince, Vladimir Raspute—documented below, are intended to settle debate on the character in subject, about which generations of rumor abound. This is a work of intellectual curiosity, in no way coerced or compelled by my service to Lionhart, or Our Ascendant Balance. Any accusations of bias, particularly those that include direct quotations of Balance from logged minutes from council meetings, will be reported to the Mayories of Espionage & Justice with prejudice.”
AiXVii Lionhart- Delarkius, Master Archivist
We’ll begin with the obvious. This is TRUE, unequivocally. Rumors suggesting that House Raspute never existed, was added into historical accounts after the fact, or were in some way “removed from reality” as a function of interplanar foolery, are just that: foolery. House Raspute existed as normal, corporeal beings who produced heirs, commanded champions, and had material effect on worldly conflicts as early as The Second Ascendancy.
This is FALSE, and patently ridiculous. Those readers who may require further evidence may speak the name aloud to themselves in the dark, with my assurances. I have unearthed myriad accounts suggesting that the etymological origin of the name “Raspute” is a confluence of the words “Ràz”, meaning “spirit”, and “pût”, meaning “breath” or “breathe”. Allusions to these specific root words are consistent across all of the different sources wherein their etymology is referenced. Though I must concede that nowhere have I found the actual language that these words, “Ràz” and “pût”, purportedly originated.
Considering the sheer breadth and variety of claims surrounding Vladimir Raspute’s supposed death and undeath, I will first answer the overarching question, and give clarification on more specific, well-known claims below. Broadly: this is FALSE. Prince Vladimir Raspute was not immortal. An accomplished alchemist, trickster, and wielder of astral magics, yes. But he is, at the time of this writing—reckoning A iX-Vii Lionhart—long dead. No worldly being, with the sole exception of Our Ascendant Balance, is immortal.
This is not quite TRUE, though neither is it FALSE. Shortly before the dawn of The Second Ascendancy, before he was a Prince of anything, Vladimir Raspute served as an adviser to a Lord of The First. The night he vacated that position, a young peasant woman—who may or may not have been been his sister, Astra—stabbed him. Supposedly, she stabbed him directly in the heart, though that obviously cannot be.
This is TRUE. On the evening he retired his advisory position—the same evening in which he was supposedly stabbed in the heart—he attended a council meeting of his Lord and cabinet of advisers. There they conspired to poison him. We have records of the council meeting, including his attendance, as well as documentation of his poisoning, justified therein as lawful execution, endorsed by the Lord and co-signed by the attending cabinet. While it is possible that these documents were drawn and signed in advance of the actual poisoning, we have a conflicting document to consider: a search warrant, timestamped after that apparent execution, including signatures of those same advisers, who were inexplicably desperate to find Vladimir hours after executing him.
“I have a list here containing dozens of Vladimir’s alleged deaths, at least half of which also take place on this same evening. While we may not know the order of them, I note that no single account remarks at the existence of any others. For instance, in the account of his stabbing, he exhibits no sign of having been poisoned. And quite confoundingly, when he is poisoned, there is no mention of a stab wound. Rather than bore you with the conspicuous absence of many other mortal wounds he ought have in these accounts, we skip forward.”
AiXVii Lionhart- Delarkius, Master Archivist
This is TRUE. The morning following the events of Vladimir Raspute’s various attempted assassinations, impromptu funerary service was held on his behalf. According to our records, he attended the service in disguise, revealing himself with a flourish in the middle of a eulogy. This time we can be certain that his sister, Astra, was present delivering that eulogy, owing to her signature on the record of his arrest. Attached to that record—much to our continued befuddlement—is a corresponding death warrant, detailing multiple execution methods, each signed, “successfully performed” by the Lord’s justice. However, we must conclude these to be either incorrect or incomplete, as evidenced by Vladimir’s re-emergence in documentation mere days later.
This is FALSE. Though I do not wholly blame the rumor mongers. House Raspute—and Prince Vladimir in particular—paints an unclear historical picture. Vladimir seems to have served as adviser to other noble Houses generations before serving his own on the shores of The Second Ascendancy. Some sources imply his participation in events as recent as the Third. Of course, the simplest explanation for his appearance across ages is a strong family identity, familial resemblance. Only a dullard would mark this as evidence of a being “un-stuck” in time. It is the opinion of this Master Archivist, however, that while we cannot completely explain the uncanny similarities, the apparent shared knowledge and memory of the different Rasputes between the Second & Third Ascendancies, we can reason this: that anyone capable of seeing the future would surely have acted differently in the end than Prince Vladimir did. The nature of astral magic is necessarily confounding. Nevertheless, we have records enough to make sense of most of it. The past is knowable; the future, as Vladimir learned so catastrophically, is not.
Once nomadic barbarians, House Kahnn channel their wild, destructive impulses into fires of industry. They rage across battlefields, turning forest into catapult, and volcano into forge.
As the native inhabitants of Ascendancy, this convocation of peaceful tribes watched in silence as their lands were despoiled. Now they fight back with root, fang, and claw.
Where other Houses enforce laws, House Roberts’ airships soar above them. Be they fortune-favored explorers, or illusion summoning scoundrels, depends on the sailor telling the tale.