Not as wealthy as the Alasters but perhaps more influential because of their legendary status are the three families descended from military heroes of yesteryear: Melanton, Karel, and Leigh. The Melantons in particular enjoy a reputation as scrupulously honest, loyal and tough, though all three families are thought of more highly than Dortin’s rich in general. All three of these families can be considered ‘old money’, surviving more on their reputations and the fortunes accumulated during the Imperial period than their current cash flow, though each family collects rents from neighborhoods adjoining their keep. Each family also operates one of the functioning docks on Dortin’s waterfront. The military families enjoy a symbiotic but occasionally strained relationship with Alaster Compound. The Melanton, Karel and Leigh families are unique in Dortin in that they are interventionists, not isolationists. In fact, some branches of these families have maintained traditional contacts (including exchanges) with the southernmost branches of the Tuvoth Eastrons on the northeast shore of the lake. Family forces occasionally make forays into foreign lands in defense of the city’s interests, for which they often require Alaster cash. The Alasters, in turn, are generally willing to acquiesce in these rare adventures as long as the other families can prove a commercial interest or otherwise turn a profit on the venture. Alaster forces are also glad to have the extra manpower and fighting skill of the other families in the event of a large-scale campaign down The Stone Road.
The Melanton manor is Soldiers’ Palace, a rambling compound built by Webster Melanton, an eccentric ancestor with a populist streak, who preferred a civilian neighborhood over a keep, so he could live alongside his soldiers. Webster was the commander of Dortin’s military forces during the wars of the fifth century, second in command to the Barons of that time and a contemporary of Oberon Leigh. His exploits founded the family name and those of his descendants kept it current in the centuries that followed. Webster’s followers were originally pikemen, and the family’s bar is known as The Pikeman’s Pints. Later generations of Melantons have always been tough, loyal, reliable and pragmatic.