While reimagining the history behind the World of HOOD, we created several new characters, but also kept many real people (though often changed). Robert of Gloucester really was the loyal cousin of Empress Matilda (link), and though he could have been changed to a woman or replaced by a different ally, we decided to let him be more or less himself. Despite the oppressive patriarchy of the real world, he was an unwavering ally of a woman’s claim to the throne, and we wanted to honour that even in our story world. 

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Robert was given the title of Earl of Gloucester after King Henry lost his son William in the White Ship Disaster in 1120 and began to panic over his legacy. He failed to prevent Stephen of Blois’ usurpation of Maud’s claim to the throne in 1135, instead remaining in England as her channel of contact to her allies. On her behalf and at her instruction, he engaged the services of Alice Eymor, a Baethla from Coventry, to travel around England on a mission to recruit Hycathae and ultimately Hycathi too. This mission would be hugely important in widening the Hycathic base of support in England beyond isolated networks and pockets of resistance.

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