Arms: A white tower crowned with flames on smoke grey.
Motto: We Light the Way
The Hightower of Oldtown is the central point from which the rest of the city grew, and serves as both a beacon to incoming ships and as the ancestral seat to House Hightower. The family is as old and proud as the building they live in, dating all the way back to the time of the First Men. The Hightowers were kings in their own right, but they eventually chose to bend the knee to the Kings of The Reach rather than battle for supremacy. This is not unusual for the house, as they generally prefer to deal in trade goods instead of cold steel, and pledging fealty to the lords of The Reach has not prevented them from continuing their commerce.
In addition to being instrumental in making Oldtown a center of trade, the Hightowers were also responsible for making the city known for its learning and religious tolerance, for it was due to their initiative that The Citadel was established and the Starry Sept and numerous smaller temples to other faiths were allowed to flourish. Since they are known for eschewing combat, it is little surprise the Hightowers are themselves enamored of both learning and The Faith, though there have been some family members who have dabbled in the knightly arts.
While the size of their dominion has shrunk with the passage of time, the history of Westeros is littered with the names of Hightowers who have left their indelible mark in both good and bad ways. Ser Otto Hightower was once Hand to a Targaryen king, while he was a learned man, he is remembered as one of the worst Hands the realm has ever known. More recently, Ser Gerold Hightower, known as the White Bull, served as the Lord Commander of The Kingsguard for Aerys II, the Mad King. He, along with two of his Sworn Brothers, were sent to the Tower of Joy to defend Lyanna Stark, who had been ensconced there by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. All three White Swords were slain when Eddard Stark and his companions came to reclaim her.
Lord Leyton is the nephew of the White Bull and the current Lord of the High Tower. His other official titles are Voice of Oldtown, Lord of the Port, Defender of the Citadel, and Beacon of the South. In the city proper, he is more commonly known as the Old Man of Oldtown. He has been married four times, the latest to Lady Rhea, formerly of House Florent. He has not descended from his tower in almost a decade and is rarely seen by anyone outside his own family.
Leyton’s heir is Ser Baelor, who has wealth and good looks to accompany his good-natured reputation. Some years ago, he was considered a possible match for Elia Martell, but his bowels betrayed him with a noticeable gastric release. Afterwards, Prince Doran, who was accompanying his sister, took to calling him Baelor Breakwind, and the chemistry between the two was shattered. He is now known as Baelor Brightsmile and his happily married to Rhonda of House Rowan.
With some exceptions, most of Lord Leyton’s eleven children have married and are in the process of starting families of their own. Of these, his daughter Alerie has made the most powerful match, as she is now a member of House Tyrell, and her son Willas stands as the heir to Highgarden and The Reach. Leyton’s daughter Denyse is married to Ser Desmond Redwyne of The Arbor, Leyla is married to Ser Jon Cupps, and his son Ser Gunthor married Jeyne Fossoway of the green-apple branch. His other children, Malora “The Mad Maid”, Ser Garth “Greysteel”, and Ser Humfrey are the only children not to be married.
The wealth of the house has occasionally worked against them. When Lynesse Hightower, Leyton’s eighth child, married Ser Jorah Mormont, the Lord of Bear Island in the North, she expected to maintain the lifestyle to which she had grown accustomed, though her new house was humbly appointed at best. Her husband tried to accommodate her, but he eventually had to resort to selling poachers into slavery in order to pay for her expenses. When he was discovered, he was exiled to Lys. Lynesse followed her husband but was even unhappier in Lys than she had been on Bear Island, and she eventually left Ser Jorah in order to become a concubine for Tregar Ormollen, one of the city’s merchant princes.