The Maison DuBois crest features the noble North American grizzly bear, a formidable hunter and master of survival. Much like the DuBois house founder, Étienne Brûlé (Ā-tē-en/brū-LAY), grizzlies control wide territories and are often found in coastal systems. The royal blue symbolizes this element of water, as Brûlé was a trapper and explorer along the Great Lakes region, and traveled the intercoastal waterways throughout eastern and midwestern North America. In addition, the grizzly symbolizes Brûlé himself, who worked closely with the Huron Bear Tribe before they allegedly tortured and devoured him on suspicion of betrayal. Escaping by canoe down the Susquehanna River and to the Chesapeake Bay (where he met up with another house founder), Brûlé let this story of his death stand, so that he could continue to operate more covertly. Members of Maison DuBois, like their founder, have a tendency to never back down and what appears to be an honorable fight can turn into escalated retaliation that backfires.
The stars symbolize navigation, of knowing one’s place in the universe and having a sense of purpose or direction. The compass evokes this as well, although it also points to a powerful magical artifact that belonged to Brûlé, who charmed (or hexed, depending on your point of view) an ordinary compass to detect the heartbeats of any living creature.
The oak branches refer to the steadfastness and strength that members of Maison DuBois value. The grand oak trees start from a single seed and grow to provide shade and protection in the forest. Members of Maison DuBois, who are often drawn to the Path of the Marshall, see themselves as providing this sort of shelter from harm through their commitment to maintaining law and order in the provinces. The crossed axes refer to mastery over the elements, a pruning and taming of the wilderness to forge a new world and to provide personal gain in the form of commerce and use of natural resources. They also refer to the cutting down of tyranny, treachery, and lawbreaking; members of Maison DuBois identify with slicing through injustice and attacking evildoing wherever it may be found. They themselves may have a certain disregard for the rules, but this is obviously a matter of interpretation.
Students sorted into Maison DuBois have a strong inner compass and want to ensure that the magical world is safe, ordered, and ethical. They have a fervent belief in justice and are not afraid to step into a conflict to set things right. Their convictions are unassailable and they value strength and loyalty above all.
The original house motto was “Persevere and Excel,” two qualities Brûlé valued and cultivated in his students through rigorous physical training, including wilderness quests and survival tests. After the Magma Wars of 1825-1830, the house motto shifted to its present-day one, Semper Aequus, or “Always Just.” The most highly trained and sought-after Marshals now come from New World Magischola, and nearly all from house DuBois. While Brûlé once outran the government’s edicts, today members of Maison DuBois, and the Magimundi Marshals, seek to uphold them.
Ever the adventurer, Brûlé decided to make his way to the New World, and he quickly gained a reputation for fearlessness and a skill in navigation. Brûlé was an expert canoeist, snowshoer, trapper, and survivalist. He possessed great charisma and was able to forge pacts and working relationships with many Native American tribes, often through a marriage à la façon du pays, including with the Iroquois Confederacy and the Algonquians. Brûlé devised magical enchantments to bewitch his compass so that it could divine heartbeats and blood properties, an attribute that would help him create a lucrative trade in beaver pelts and become extremely prosperous. When the French authorities attempted to regulate the fur trade by requiring permits, Brûlé began the order of the coureurs des bois, a group of unregulated, independent traders (most of whom were Wizards) who explored the Great Lakes area and circumvented the Voyageur system of official traders sanctioned by Montréal authorities and royal decree.
When the European authorities began mistreating the indigenous tribes by breaking treaties, unfair trading practices, and acts of war, Brûlé began an underground group of vigilantes who assisted in “helping” European regulators and soldiers in finding their way into the path of an angry bear or wolfpack, to the edge of a slippery precipice, or other unfortunate demises.
Brûlé disappeared in 1633 after spreading the rumor that he was killed and eaten by the Hurons, but this was far from true. Brûlé continued his underground pursuit of rampant profiteers and encroaching regulators by pitting the various colonial powers against each other, forging false alliances, and playing a covert role as a triple agent in the Beaver Wars.
Using his magical compass, Brûlé learned of the existence of a North American underground magical community of European origins that had learned and integrated indigenous magic to create a powerful new tradition. He traveled through Lake Erie, down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, then crossed the Allegheny Mountains into Virginia until he found the James River. Using his magic compass, Brûlé found Virginia Dare and her flying island. Marshal students who revere Brûlé make a strong effort to learn Algonquin spells, since they were Brûlé’s preferred incantations to teach during his classes while he was NWM’s first Chancellor.
A. Popinjay (1915-1971) rose from an orphan of Mundane Heritage to survive and excel in the challenging and cutthroat environment of Great Plains by making strategic allies and being willing to demonstrate strength of will, of mind, of wand, or of brawl at any moment. At Primaschola they became interested in becoming a Marshal, to belong to a group of individuals that harbored a great amount of prestige and power. People respected their authority and they were some of the most valued members of Magimundi society. At New World Magischola their every decision and move was strategic: connections with the right faculty, and with fellow students of Unsoiled Heritage. They were house president of Maison DuBois and upon graduation entered into law enforcement in Destiny Province. During the peak of their career as a Marshal, they were the chief investigator for a case involving a series of murders. After a series of dead ends they had a breakthrough and were able to solve the case, but the evidence pointed to one of the most respected and wealthiest families in the province. Asked by superiors to drop the case they refused, and became obsessed with bringing the murderers to justice. Popinjay was ambushed in their home in the middle of the night, and unceremoniously executed by the masked magi who appeared. The Unsoiled Heritage family they had investigated was implicated, of course, but no one dared investigate. Popinjay returned as a ghost and was haunting the Destiny Bureau of Conduct and Consequences. By special arrangement from Arch Justice Forsythe, Popinjay was ritually rebound to New World Magischola as the Maison DuBois House Ghost, where they still talk of conspiracies and treachery.
As a result of their betrayal and murder, Popinjay doesn’t trust anyone, especially Unsoiled Heritage students from Destiny. They often accuse innocent students for breaking rules, usually very loudly and dramatically, pointing and chasing after students they believe have committed some form of wrongdoing (which is often the case). However, their accusations are so frequent that people don’t generally believe any of them. Popinjay loves to recite rules, policies, and edicts, especially to their Maison DuBois members. Rules are meant to be followed strictly with no room for interpretation. Someone might get killed! In addition, they are a great storyteller and seem to create the most outrageous tales. They appear to dislike most faculty and students, but they can be found giving words of encouragement to students who are bullied or outcast. They were taught that people who have power will abuse it so it's better to always be ready to fight.