One of the prominent families of the Queendom of Falena, the Godwin family were one of the most powerful political families in the Falenan Senate. As the nationalistic voice in Falenan politics, the Godwin family advocated several policies, including expanding Falena into surrounding nations, such as Armes via use of the Sun Rune, and pushed for a more culturally homogenous Falena. As well as maintaining power in their home city of Stormfist, the Godwin faction also enjoyed great popularity throughout Hershville and Doraat and the western islet of Lelcar up until around SY 450, during the Falenan Civil War, though they were not considered popular throughout much of the rest of Falena. The Godwin faction disbanded in the same year, following the deaths of both Gizel Godwin and Marscal Godwin.
As the major nationalistic political faction of Falena, the Godwin faction pushed several initiatives into the Falenan Senate. Believing that Falena should expand into other nations, the Godwins pushed for Falena to expand their borders, by use of the Sun Rune, if necessary. The Godwins advocated far greater use of the Sun Rune than any other group in Falena. In addition, the Godwins were often concerned about the cultural homogeny of Falena, believing that Falena needed to be united under one common culture. As such, the House of Godwin advocated political actions against Raftfleet, Beaver Lodge and Dwarf Camp, going so far as to send forces to attack those villages after the Godwin faction seized the crown during the Falenan Civil War with the intent of ethnic genocide. The Godwin's xenophobia shaped many of their policies; in Stormfist, murder of demi-humans was extremely common, as it was an unwritten rule that the deaths would not be looked into. They were also excluded from the Sacred Games. The Godwins also advocated harsh penalties against Lordlake, building Hatred Fortress (which deprived the town of water) and advocating strong measures against them in the Senate in an effort to cover up a failed scheme to take over the crown.
Overthrow of the Aethebald Family
Despite their long history as Falenan aristocrats, the Godwin faction has only seized control of their home city fairly recently, ousting the House of Aethelbald in SY 350 from Stormfist, which the Godwins took as their home territory, much to the irritation of Aethelbald family descendants, who never forgot the status they once enjoyed. The Godwins' coup at Stormfist gave them the second most important city in Falena in their grasp - thanks to the Sacred Games, Stormfist, and the Godwin's, role in Falenan politics was assured. The Godwin's grew into one of the dominant political factions in the senate, enjoying access to the Royal Family and often being able to marry into the royal family, due to their vast wealth allowing them to buy the best gladiators to compete for them in the Sacred Games.
Role During the Succession Conflict
One of the most bloody events in Falenan history would come to pass partially under the Godwin's watch. In the late 420's, Queen Olhazeta's youngest daughter, Falzrahm, began to plot with Salum Barows in an effort to seize the throne against the crown princess, Shahrewar. Shahrewar was supported by the Godwin clan, naturally enough given that her husband was Mardas Godwin. Olhazeta, a weakening monarch, was unable to muster the strength or resolve to deal with the pent up hostilities between the two houses. Salum and Falzrahm, taking advantage of the weakened monarch, pushed Olhazeta into allowing Falzrahm's daughter, Arshtat to have her sacred games before those of her older cousin, Haswar, who according to royal practice should have been the first married. The marriage between Arshtat and Ferid Egan deprived Haswar from her rightful place on the throne.
However, violence did not erupt until the death of Olhazeta. During her mourning period, each of the two princess's factions grew extremely violent, each side ordering Nether Gate assassins to murder their opponents. Many of the aristocratic families of Falena lost relatives during this time and the Godwins were no exception, losing both Mardas Godwin and Marscal's wife, Rosalind to Nether Gate assassins, as well as their princess, Shahrewar, who was murdered by Falzrahm after Shahrewar abdicated her right the throne.
Despite backing Shahrewar, the Godwins suffered little loss of influence, however, thanks to Falzrahm limiting faction influence in the senate.
Role During the Falenan Civil War
Following this, Marscal Godwin, a close cousin of Madras, began to make plans to overthrow Falena's royal family as Falzrahm's daughter, Arshtat, came to the throne two years after the succession conflict. Marscal secretly reformed Nether Gate, whom had been dismissed by the Royal Family several years prior, including Michafute, the assassin who had killed his wife. He also recruited Lucretia Merces as his strategist. However, this move would come to backfire when in SY 447, Lucretia warned Arshtat that Marscal was planning on stealing the Sun Rune and adviced her to bear the Sun Rune. His plan foiled, Marscal suffered a small setback, but never gave up, scheming on overthrowing the throne despite the prior attempt's failure.
As his son matured, however, Marscal allowed his much more risky-strategy oriented son Gizel Godwin to design the plans for their coup, instead taking on developing more of the overview of the Godwin's policies. Using a plot involving Childerich, a former Nether Gate member, the Godwins managed to win the Sacred Games for Princess Lymsleia, Arshtat's daughter, giving them needed access to the palace to overthrow the Falenan government in a coup. Though aware of this plan, the Royals were unable to repel the Godwin troops, and the Godwins began to use Lymsleia as a puppet for their own government.
Rule of the Godwins
Using the engagement between Lymsleia and Gizel as a means of installing their authority, the Godwins took control of the Sun Palace, and spread their rule throughout Falena. Though they had attempted to wipe out most of the royal family, Prince Freyjadour and Sialeeds managed to escape, heading into Barows territory. The Barows family, the Godwins largest political rival, gained some support with the prince at their steed, but many of Falena's towns proved wary of supporting the Barows family. After it was discovered that they had stolen the Dawn Rune several years prior, even those who had supported them quickly separated themselves from the family, including the royals. This benefited the Godwins exponentially, who would later overtake Rainwall, the Barows home city, with little effort.
However, Freyjadour struck out on his own, forming his own faction and establishing a base at Ceras Lake Castle. Freyjadour quickly gained support due to his position as Prince, as well as the Godwin's unpopular policies such as the burning of the Western Islet of Lelcar and the attempted genocide of the Beavers and Dwarves. Despite a troop disadvantage, the Prince's support gradually eroded the Godwins, due to poor military tactics and an unpopular campaign. In order to continue fighting, the Godwin faction was forced to betray one of the core tenants of their belief, and form an alliance with New Armes, pressing in the Loyalist rebels in a pincer attack.
The Godwins managed to take over around 3/4ths of Falena at the height of their power, leaving only the area surrounding Ceras Lake Castle under Freyjadour's control. However, thanks to some clever army tactics utilized by the Loyalists, the Godwins soon found themselves on the defensive.
Fall of the Godwins
Following their failed attempt to take over Ceras Lake Castle, the Godwins lost several territories to the Loyalist forces, losing Lelcar, Doraat, Lordlake and Sable to a push by the Loyalist forces. The Godwin army, already demoralized, were further discouraged by these losses. The Loyalist Army took advantage of the Godwin's low morale, pushing into Stormfist. After successfully capturing the Godwin's familial stronghold, the Loyalists launched a campaign to regain Sol-Falena. The Godwin's attempted defense failed, and the Loyalist forces successfully captured the capital. The Godwins attempted to use the Sun Rune against the Loyalist army, but failed due to the combined use of the Dawn and Twilight Runes by Prince Freyjadour and Sialeeds, respectively. Gizel Godwin challenged Freyjadour Falenas to a duel as the Loyalists began to storm the Sun Palace. However, Freyjadour proved the victor, and Gizel was mortally wounded during the battle. Marscal Godwin fled to the Ashtwal Mountains with the Sun Rune; however, a Loyalist party lead by Freyjadour Falenas managed to defeat Marscal and safely return the rune.
With the Godwins deceased, the Godwin factions support quickly crumbled, the House of Godwin ceasing to exist as a political party at the end of the war.