For the Glory of the Empire!
Moresian Great Houses
During the early days of the Moresian Empire, the Emperor had little to no power structure in place beyond the walls of Milasylla and was forced to rely on communiques from the various governing factions. Disputes between Imperial regions could take years to adjudicate, simply because of the physical and cultural differences between areas. In the Vosian Year 150 (-1171 YK), the reigning Emperor Aurus I declared that various members of the imperial court were to be put in charge of redistributing tax money back into the empire, encouraging growth in various parts of Moresian society. Some were granted control over the money going into agriculture, some into craftsman’s guilds, some into encouraging the formation of local colleges, etc. The result was more than Aurus had expected, with the Empire flourishing nearly overnight. In 158 VY (-1163 YK), Aurus made the “advisory” position permanent, creating the various Great Houses of the Empire and the core of the Imperial bureaucracy. While the Great Houses never had the authority to control everything or everyone in their field, the influences they held were notable. The Great Houses often have land set aside in various regions, but traditionally consider themselves separate from any regional control, reporting only to the Emperor. Since the fall of the Empire, the Great Houses are technically supposed to report to the Regency of Targrath, but few do. Instead, they are answerable to no one; in return, they receive no more Imperial taxes to fund their efforts. They are forced to rely upon guild dues and related fund sources to preserve their position.
House Angelstrand Minister of the Faith- Imperial patron and emissary to the Church of Millona. Based out of Milasylla, the capital city of Targreth and the former capital city of Moresia. In many ways, Angelstrand and the Church of the Light share much of the same bureaucracy; until the fall of the empire, Angelstrand effectively provided the major source of income to the Church, which made them in near complete control of the Chruch’s budget. After the fall of the empire, Angelstrand has manipulated most of the remaining kingdoms to continue to support it. House Angelstrand originally founded the Lightbringers as a united army of the faith soon after the fall of the empire, but it’s original purpose (intimidating the various nations into supporting it) has fallen by the wayside, as attacks from the forsaken north have occupied much of the Lightbringers attention over the past 200 years or so.
House Brotia Minister of Fishing and Whaling- Controls much of the fishing and some of the shipping industries. Formerly a close ally of House Dulsaer, the latter house has begun to view its contracts with House Brotia as “needless dead-weight”. Based out of Kithlana, House Brotia is currently struggling to maintain its usefulness without Imperial taxes to support it. Much of House Brotia’s current efforts involve providing the fishing industry with cheap transportation for exporting goods, and keeping fishing boats protected from the ravages of war or pirates.
House Calabra Imperial Herald- Diplomats extraordinaire. Owns and controls most of the “embassies”. Originally established as a means to keep the disparate lands of the empire in communication with each other, as well as maintaining contact with the various nations of the Alliance. Calabra embassies are entirely self-contained areas of neutrality, enforced by Calabra guards. Furthermore, Calabra diplomats are often hired by hostile groups as neutral middlemen and negotiators. House Calabra, operating from it’s various colleges and embassies in Anathelas, is one of the few Great Houses doing well after the collapse of the empire, as the need for neutral diplomats and embassies has, in fact, grown since the fall of the Coruscating Throne.
House Dulsaer Minister of Shipping- Controls a good portion of the shipping industry. Since -1147 YK, House Dulsaer has claimed a large island on the border of the Onyx Sea and the Corvian Passage as it’s base of operations. Heavily forested, the island was once one of a very few Metzapal trading posts established throughout history. The trading post fell under attack by Izizian pirates, who promptly looted what remained and left the post itself in fair condition when House Dulsaer arrived. Rumor has it that a special kind of tree has been found deep in the forests, whose wood has helped recent generations of Dulsaer vessels outperform nearly all of it’s counterparts. Recently, tension has been forming between House Dulsaer and Narati, one of the few nations able to match or exceed House Dulsaer in keels at sea.
House Durants Minister of Arms- Sponsors many fighter’s guilds, trains Imperial soldiers. Based out of the Anathelian capital of Athela, House Durants has been a firm supporter of the Anathelian claim to the Moresian throne. Their continued support of Anathelas shows in their assistance with training and equipping the Anathelian Legions in the old Moresian style, and their financial support of the throne itself. Many of the exiled Moresian houses residing in Anathelas retain House Durants-trained guards.
House Khalid Minister of Construction- Sponsors guilds of masons, carpenters, and shipwrights. At one point, while the Moresian Empire was at it’s height, House Khalid was probably the most influential of the Great Houses. With the decline of the empire and rise of the various constituent kingdoms, the fortunes of House Khalid have all but disappeared. Few of the local nobility want their means of construction controlled by a third party. Sadly, funds aren’t always available for the rebuilding of various cities in the wake of war, and here is where House Khalid finds its current niche, providing the funds and expertise to assist in rebuilding cities and economies in the wake of devastation, natural or otherwise, in exchange for a say in the local government.
House Kwalu Minster of Academia- Sponsors boarding schools, academies, and other institutions that teach the Trivium, Quadrivium, Philosophy, and Arcana. Based out of the ancient city of Mantella, in Labrylla, House Kwalu markets its services as the “backbone” of the Ryllynese noble’s education. Indeed, many noble houses send their heirs to attend Kwalu Academies. House Kwalu has done much to emphasize its neutrality, especially in the years since the fall of the Empire, and so presents little threat compared to the other Great Houses.
House Lamstrand Minister of Artisanship- Supporter of production and local distribution. Sponsors many craftsman’s and artisan’s guilds.
House Morieth Minister of Agriculture- Sponsors many large plantations and granaries.
House Nalambar Minister of Auxiliaries- Sponsors many mercenary companies and Adventurer’s guilds. Based out of Cabryn, near the Anathelas border, House Nalambar’s relationship with the former Moresian nations has changed over the years. While Nalambar-supported guilds remain strong in nations such as Cabryn and Labrylla, others have turned to building larger militaries to retain control. Anathelas especially has an adversarial relationship with House Nalambar, due to the influence of House Durants.
House Nathos Minister of Trade- Controls or supports many merchant’s guilds and thieves’ guilds.
House Talaudrym Minister of the Art- Sponsors many mage’s and alchemist’s guilds
Minister of Mines and Minerals- Owns or controls much of the mining industry.
Araunadan Great Houses
House Ar’Atani Archmagister of Abjuration
House Ar’Bedai Archmagister of Necromancy
House Ar’Iman Archmagister of Enchantment
House Ar’Loman Archmagister of Divination and Magister of the Regency
House Ar’Yasa Archmagister of Illusion
House Ar’Zal Archmagister of Conjuration
House De’Lalt Archmagister of Transmutation
House Talion Archmagister of Evocation
House Vagras Steward of Araun’s Servants and Protectors