The Alner Family
|The House of Alner
|Mid 18th Century by Alixandre d'Alner
|Damien Alner, 4th Viscount Alner
The Alner Family, known as the tenants of the once-extravagant Alner Mansion, stand among Malton's elite, being largely responsible for Roachtown's redevelopment after the Great Fire of 1912, as well as its fall into disrepair.
While the exact origins of the Alner family are uncertain, its first known member was Alixandre d'Alner.
Alixandre d'Alner, a man of the bourgeoisie believed to have originally come from the city of Caen in France, arrived in Malton in the mid-18th Century. Bringing with him what little money he had, he settled in Ridleybank, where he managed a factory on behalf of a local business magnate, the Duke of Pegrum, a self-made businessman turned noble. Alixandre married a young woman named Serena Schever, the daughter of a moderately wealthy doctor who lived in Pegrum. Combining their wealth, the two were able to live a comfortable life in the Schever House (the current site of Schever Towers, built by their descendants). At the time of his death in 1803, Alixandre, by then a widower, had two children, a son named Cyril and a daughter named Rosane.
Born in 1789, Cyril Alner, much like his father, was a hard working member of the middle class, serving once more under the Dukes of Pegrum. While he would accomplish little in his life beyond maintaining the family wealth, he would be integral in ensuring his son's marriage to Fausta Hewlett, the daughter of his sister Rosane and of Andrew Hewlett, a wealthy man who owned a large amount of land in Pegrum, second only to the Duke in prestige and influence within the area. He died in 1821 of unknown causes, though rumors circulated that he was murdered by his own son in his attempts to consolidate his wealth.
Cyril Alner II
Born in 1804, Cyril Alner II, due to his marriage, was able to establish himself as a prominent citizen in Pegrum even prior to his father's death, largely due to his marriage to Fausta Hewlett, his first cousin and the daughter of a wealthy landowner in the area. Once both the Hewlett fortune and the comparatively smaller Alner inheritance were his, he purchased more land, opening up Pegrum's first factory. Prior to this, the suburb was comprised mostly of the Duke of Pegrum's estate and a few other residences. This factory was one of the few structures in Pegrum to survive the Great Fire of 1912. Despite his financial success, Cyril struggled to produce an heir to his fortune, only fathering a single son before his own death in 1858.
Cyril Alner III
Born in 1838, Cyril Alner III was in many ways a blessing for his father, who was desperate to produce an heir to ensure his own legacy. Cyril, however, turned out to be quite a lazy person, spoiled rotten by his upbringing. As an adult, he was abusive to his workers, and spent vast quantities of money on luxury goods for himself. Over time, he became known as "the Fat Tyrant" for his cruelty and the effects his self-indulgence had on his figure. However, in a twist of irony, once his first son, Cyril Alner IV, was of age, he accused his father of having gone mad and went to the courts requesting that he be given control of the family's assets and receive guardianship of his siblings. The courts agreed and went one step further by outright locking Cyril III into one of the asylums he himself had built (the site of which is presently occupied by Furber Auto Repair). Cyril would meet his final end in the asylum, where, in a further twist of irony, he was found to have accidentally been left to starve to death in 1889.
The Birth of Roachtown
Cyril Alner IV
Cyril Alner IV, born in 1862, became the holder of the Alner fortune at the young age of 19. While he did little of significance with it, he largely undid the damage his father had done to both the financial assets of the family and its image. Cyril largely concentrated on making money with his existing assets, rather than expanding much beyond the limits of Pegrum. In 1912, while savoring some wine with the Duke of Pegrum in his manor (the site of which is presently occupied by Pegrum Square Fire Station, Stiles Row, Gore Lane and a wasteland), Cyril was caught in the Great Fire of 1912 (though the Duke managed to escape alive, to his own regret), bringing an end to his life. His son Frederick was born 3 months after his death, though due to the stipulations in his will, the family fortune went to his younger brother, Peter.
Peter Alner, 1st Viscount of Alner
Peter Alner, 1st Viscount of Alner, often referred to as Lord Peter Alner, was arguably the most prominent of all the Alners. Born in 1867, he inherited the family fortune when his older brother died tragically in the Great Fire of 1912. After the fire was at last put out, he met with the now-homeless and destitute Duke of Pegrum. Out of both his guilt over his survival and his friend Cyril Alner IV's death in the fire, as well as his wish to at least partially restore his own family's wealth, the Duke agreed to sell all his lands in Pegrum (though not his title) to Peter Alner at a relatively fair price. Using what was left of his wealth after the purchase, Peter utterly transformed Pegrum into a highly industrialized region. He made further purchases in other suburbs, using the profits to increase his fortune and further re-develop Pegrum. Building Alner Mansion in 1920 on the lands once occupied by the Hewlett Estate, Peter, showing his more crude side, filled his new home with countless exotic, pornographic treasures.
Meanwhile, his efforts in restoring the suburb were noticed by the Maltonian government, who offered to rename the suburb to "Alnerville" in his honor in 1922. He, however, refused, and instead asked that the suburb's name be changed to "Roachtown", after his mother's surname, Roach, which he sought to honor just as much as his own. Peter, in the last 6 years of his life, became known officially as Viscount Alner (though he was more widely known as Lord Peter Alner) when he was awarded a Viscountcy by the King for his family's consistent dedication to the suburb that Peter himself rebuilt. He would die in 1928, childless. His titles and remaining fortune, which had dwindled due to the money being put into rebuilding his suburb, alongside Alner Mansion, were passed to Arthur Woodford II (rather than his cousin of a senior line of the family, Frederick Alner), a nephew of Peter's, on condition that he change his name to Arthur Roachwood, in honor of his grandmother (Lord Peter's mother). Lord Peter is rumored to have reappeared in the form of a specter in recent years, though these claims remain unverified.
Arthur Roachwood, 2nd Viscount Alner
Arthur Roachwood, 2nd Viscount Alner (born Arthur Woodford II) was born in the year 1907 to Mary Alner (daughter of Cyril Alner III) and Arthur Woodford (a wealthy restaurant owner). Orphaned at a young age when his parents died in the Great Fire of 1912, he grew up under the care of Theresa Fey, the wife of his uncle Cyril Alner IV, though Lord Peter Alner, his other uncle, also played a large role in his upbringing. He was known to his family and friends as a kind, if slightly sheepish, boy. However, as he got older, while remaining a mellow person, he became addicted to gambling, landing him in chronic debt by the year 1928, when he, due to his uncle’s fondness for him, inherited the remains of the Alner Fortune, the Viscountcy and Alner Mansion. However, due to his extreme debts, he was forced to sell Alner Mansion to the bank in order to pay his debts. By 1949, he had landed himself again in deep debt, squandered all of the family fortune and become completely destitute. That same year he was found dead on Failand Street, presumably killed by a ruthless creditor. His title went to Frederick Alner, his cousin.
Frederick Alner, 3rd Viscount Alner
Frederick Alner, 3rd Viscount Alner, born in 1912 to Cyril Alner IV and Theresa Fey, was, after Lord Peter Alner, arguably the most famous and important member of the Alner family. Despite standing as the heir presumptive to the family's title (its fortune already destroyed by Arthur Roachwood), Frederick always expected Roachwood to have children, so he turned his attention to building a new fortune for his branch of the family and perhaps even earning a replacement title for them. In the 1930s, like many, he struggled to make ends meet, and in the early 1940s, he fought in Europe, which further prevented him from accomplishing much. However, after the war, with things far more prosperous, he managed to open a small store in Roachtown. In 1949, he ended up inheriting the family title, becoming the 3rd Viscount Alner. Using his title to enhance his prestige, and with his keen business spirit, he, on credit, invested into the local clubs and hotels, using the money he thus earned to pay back his loans and to further enhance his business' spending power. By 1957, he had expanded his business to numerous outlets across Malton and restored much of the family fortune, buying back Alner Mansion and doing what would turn out to be the final renovations on it. His actions also helped to bring about Roachtown's last prosperous age, leading to the modernization of much of its infrastructure. However, his life ended in tragery in 1971, when, at the age of 59, he was murdered on the steps of St. Paul's Church.
The Six Sons of Frederick Alner
Allen Alner, born in 1946, the oldest of the six sons, enlisted in the military and rose to the rank of a Major-General in the Royal Marines.
James Alner, born in 1947, was a twin and the second oldest of the six. He became a Priest at St Dionysius's Church but after his father's death he moved to St Paul's.
Peter Alner, born in 1947, was James' twin and third oldest of the six. He ultimately would become an an author, writing several bestselling books including The Eagle and the Snake, a political satire in fictional form about a battle between a fascist eagle and a conservative snake.
Stephen Alner, born in 1948, the third youngest of the six sons, was an artist. He painted several famous paintings including the Coup de la Société.
Stuart Alner, born in 1949, the second youngest of the six sons, became an architect. He designed and created many towers in Malton, though his most infamous project, Nichols Mall, was his best known.
Damien Alner, 4th Viscount Alner, born in 1950, the youngest of the six sons, was always a sickly boy. Small and weak, he never accomplished much. But for some reason Frederick Alner always loved Damien the most; this made the other brothers jealous. People who knew Damien were always afraid of him because they sensed something evil in him, something hidden beneath his seemingly weak exterior.
The Fall of the Family
When Frederick died in 1971 he left everything to Damien, making him the 4th Viscount Alner. This put the final and greatest strain on his already shaky relationship with his brothers. While Damien, in his short time, managed the family fortune with unparalleled skill, in 1984, he sold the majority of the family possessions and invested almost all of the family fortune into a new company called NecroTech; he even sold some of his land to NecroTech so that they could open facilities in Roachtown. His reasons for doing so remain uncertain, though it is widely believed that he, out of his sense of his own mortality, sought to prolong his life, as well as to deprive his brothers of the fortune if he were to die.
Horrified, his brothers, seeking not only to recover the family fortune for themselves, but also to take revenge on Damien for being their father's favorite, at last gathered together and plotted to murder Damien. One night they all secretly entered Alner Mansion, which was in increasingly poor shape, and searched for Damien. Upon finding him, they sought to overwhelm him, but despite his history of sickness and his thin appearance, Damien had somehow become extremely strong, holding them off for quite some time, even managing to wound James. Eventually, his brothers overcame him, holding him to the ground while they stabbed him. After taking over 50 wounds, Damien, in his final breaths, declared that his "gamble had payed off" and that he would be "back in 20 years to bring vengeance upon the world". Despite his threats, however, Damien succumbed to his wounds moments later, dying in the early months of 1985.
After the murder, which was not solved until a few years later, the brothers quarreled and bickered over who would inherit what remained of the family fortune, as well as the Viscountcy. Caught up in numerous legal battles, what was left of the Alner Family's empire crumbled. Soon each brother began to go through, beyond their family disputes, one problem after the other. Allen was dishonorably discharged from the Royal Marines for abusive behavior, James was caught stealing from the Church to fund his legal battles, Peter was sued for plagiarizing numerous other works, Stephen's latest painting was panned by critics for its low quality and lack of optionality, destroying his reputation as an artist, and Stuart was blamed for the Nichols Mall incident.
In the final, killing blow to the family, all five of the remaining brothers were tied to Damien's murder. With their fraternal relationships destroyed, Stephen Alner agreed to a plea bargain with the court, revealing key evidence which ensured his brothers' convictions and fingering Peter as the mastermind behind the plot. Stephen received 15 years in prison per his agreement with the courts, while all of the other brothers received life sentences with a possibility of parole after 25 years (except for Peter, who was given life without parole). Ultimately, by the time of the outbreak, all of the brothers had died in prison of various causes, and the Alner family was seemingly condemned to be lost to history.
In 2005, Malton would be hit by a horrifying catastrophe known as the Malton Incident. By then, Roachtown, as a result of a lack of funding from the Alners (or any other businesspeople for that matter), on which it had come to rely in times of need, had become one of the worst suburbs in the city. Situated next to the Zombie Heartland of Ridleybank, Roachtown was also consumed with zombie hordes. However, its past prosperity had not been rendered impossible, for, just as he had predicted, Damien Alner had returned.
Whilst the exact details of his body's preservation and resurrection are uncertain, it is believed that he had struck a deal with NecroTech during his lifetime and that both they and the Malton Incident played a direct role in his resurrection.
His intentions are presently uncertain, but many believe that they are likely not good.