Imperatry Great Houses

The Imperatry Great Houses are one of the more unusual institutions within Haedrasia. The Imperators of Haedrasia are drawn from a select few bloodlines directly descended from Haederas himself, with the temple selecting a new candidate from amongst any potential successor, and presenting him for approval before the Divhi-Imperator's trone. Haederas slays those he does not believe worthy, surviving candidates are crowned there and then. However with the exception of the reigning Imperator, the Imperatry Temple confines the entirety of these families (known as 'the blood') to the province of Royal Haedrasia on pain of death, and denies them the right to involve themselves in any temple affairs. This precludes them from anything to do with the rule of the empire until the moment one is summoned to take the World Crown.

However this leaves a lot of very powerful, wealthy, influential men and women to grow very bored. And so long ago the great houses were formed. The great houses are vast mercantile consortiums that dominate the bulk of Haedrasia's trade and industry. While they are controlled by scions of the blood, other full members without the impediment of life-long confinement enter into the upper echelons by marriage, special dispensation, or bearing a full member's child. This keeps the ranks of the great house proper growing, and provides ranking members who can move about freely.

From the founding three, there are now seven major great houses, and each has different interests in different commodities and different regions, and each has their own alliances, enmities, and history with one another. Between them they form a tangled web of intrigues, counter intrigues, plots, betrayals and alliances that serve both to fill the house's coffers to unimaginable levels of wealth, and to amuse its confined leaders. Each of these seven houses identifies by a colour, making it very simple for their allies, and their goods to be clearly identified by both other houses, and the citizens of the empire. The menacing lictors are charged with ensuring that the great houses not overstep their confinement and interfere in the temple's prerogative to rule, but while they put many of the full members to trial for such infractions, even they dare not touch a member of the blood without utter surety.

Royal Haedrasia

Royal Haedrasia is likely the most opulent prison in all of the world. Given over to the lictors to rule, its borders are held by lictor-commanded legions, and each and every member of the blood must present themselves every month to the Lictor-General of Karmina or be declared outlaw. However within these limitations, and strict instruction to dis-involve themselves from anything that the temple claims as its business, there is little limitation. Thanks to the incomparably vast wealth of the upper classes here, and the volume and variety of goods crossing the border, the cost of living in Royal Haedrasia is exorbitant. But any that can afford to pack up their families and come here in the hope of winning membership and a share of the profits) in a great house.

Recent Anxieties

In YED 232 the Lausian uprising was put down by Haedrian XVIII, and the Imperator imprisoned his entire family in a precaution that persists to this day. But in YED 1896 Tarasus Ulinias Phanos of the Red House left his captivity at the head of an army, and attempted the overthrow of Haedrian XC. The battle was never joined, as Philip of Borast assassinated the so-called Mad Imperator, and Tarasus became Haedrian XCI as the popular choice of the King of Souls' assembly. Haedrian XCI still rules Haedrasia, but everyone remembers just how close the great houses came to overthrowing an Imperator. And, perhaps more importantly, the empire knows that they went unpunished. Now that Haedrian XCI is becoming unpopular, is another uprising possible? And what will happen when the Imperator dies and the assembly selects a new candidate to stand before the eternal trone? Will the great houses abide by the assembly's choice of candidate? The ruling classes of Haedrasia are beset by questions.

The Houses

Blue House: One of the three first-founding houses, the Blue House has seen a resurgence in the empire's more peaceful years, making its business by expanding beyond the empire's borders, where the Imperator's laws do not so harshly judge them.
Green House: A part of the second founding - a term denoting any house founded during the thousand years since the first - the Green House's reputation is for underhandedness, betrayal, and treachery in their dealings. Their detractors jest that in the same way the priests of Haederas are forbidden to lie, the agents of the Green are forbidden to speak a word that is entirely true.
Grey House: Also of the first founding, Grey House is known for manipulation. Their business is information, and even the vaunted eyes and ears of the lictors cannot keep track of all of the Grey's intrigues.
Orange House: Orange House is easily the largest of the great houses in the modern era, though with breadth and membership does not necessarily come the greatest share of influence and wealth.
Purple House: The Purple House is better known as the cursed house. At least it is when an agent of the Purple is not in earshot.
Red House: The iron kings of Allornus, and the direct kin of the Imperator, Red House has enjoyed unparalleled influence in recent years, though the intransigence has garnered them more enemies than allies.
Yellow House: The third of the three first-founding houses, Yellow House grew from the outcast scions of Laus into the most proud, admired and respected of all of the houses. However their allegiance to Haedrian XC has once again tarnished the Yellow's reputation with the shadow of treachery.

Imperatry Great Houses
Blue House, Green House, Grey House, Orange House, Purple House, Red House, Yellow House