Great House List
Holding: Throneworld: Illitch
Constellation history Neo1 may only be generated for the constellation containing Illitch
‘Francia, Grand Duchess of the Hawkens 2998-present day
Throneworld: Illitch, home of the famed Illitch shipyards.
Parents: Grand Duke Altus Hawken, Duchess Consort Lydia Hawken
Ancestry: Great-niece of Grand Duchess (formerly Junior Technical Officer) Octavia Hawken, who claimed her throne from Gaius III Calabar in 2912 with the assistance of the Emperor Magnus VI Skye, who (unrelatedly) owed the Calabars a lot of money.
Noteworthy Achievements: Francia’s impeccably even-handed approach to the sale of her shipyards’ products have induced several quite-profitable planetary conflicts to develop into extremely-profitable interstellar wars, thereby vastly improving her House’s capacity to produce yet more lucrative, definitely-legal military innovations. Alongside this philanthropic work, she has also made sure to do due honour to her superiors, in particular the Marshal Prime – the dignity of whose office would be sorely wounded were it not for Francia’s selfless and unfailingly generous aid.
Biography: Francia was born at the Hawken palace outside Lorem City, Illitch, whilst her young parents were in stellar orbit, inspecting progress on their latest cruiser. This rather set the tone for her childhood as a whole…’
– The Complete Imperial Who’s Whom, entry on Grand Duchess Francia Hawken, page archived 31/2/3014
‘At 22:16, 15/8/2499, an attempt was made on the life of His Grace by Grand Captain Howard Horlock, head of the informal Court faction of the same name, using a handheld pistol-type weapon. Due to the prompt and fearless response of Security Officer Pablo Yamaguchi, the assassin was inhibited with lethal force before he could complete his mission. We believe Horlock to have acted alone, due to his making the attempt personally on his own behalf, and the weapon’s being originated from his family armoury and bearing his symbology. Our inquiries into his associates in aforesaid Horlock Court faction proceed apace and we will endeavour to provide His Grace with further information as soon as it becomes available to the Security Corps. Inquiries are also being made urgently into how Horlock was able to bring aforesaid pistol-type weapon into the presence of His Grace undetected.’
– Imperial Security Corps post-incident report concerning failed assassination attempt on the Emperor Magnus I Pierce, 16/8/2499, Red Archives
‘The Horlocks of the present day, however, have risen far from their ignominious origins. Loyal allies of the Emperor, they have a centuries-long record of ruling their domains with authority and unquestionable justice. The competence and stability of their administration make them vital players in Imperial politics, almost always for the common good.’
– ‘Political History\Great Houses of the Empire\House Horlock’, Continuing History of the Empire, edition of 3024
‘Sorry Oss, bad news – we have to cancel all our plans. The guest of honour has a friend on our side somewhere. Looks like we won’t be able to hold that party after all. But I suppose that’s our family motto by now – “We’ll do what’s right – later”.’
– Intercepted letter from Priebus Horlock to Austina Horlock, 31/4/3024, Red Archives. ‘The guest of honour’ almost certainly refers to the Emperor Ensino [PLAYER_DYNASTY].
Constellation History Spar1 may only appear in a constellation in which House Waldegrave administers or Holds a planet
Must generate planet Walden outside the Empire and not under House Waldegrave’s control, but as close to Waldegrave Holdings or administered territories as possible
‘One of the numerous Houses tracing their station to their role in Pierce’s Revolution, the Waldegrave clan’s carefully-maintained martial traditions evoke ancient Earth’s Spartans as much as any modern dynasty’s drill program. Nurtured in the harsh worlds of the Outer Rim, their austerely vigorous way of life was always ill-suited to governance, and as a result – to their great shame – Maarten Waldegrave lost the family’s throneworld to a popular revolt in what they refer to as the Catastrophe of 2744. Since that day, the family have repeatedly sought Imperial permission to retake the world, without success – and no child of theirs has been named Maarten.’
– RevenantWiki, entry on House Waldegrave, retrieved 4/4/3049
‘You know, Javitch, I wish every godforsaken day, that our fucking ancestors could have figured out how to get rich instead of more creative ways of knocking other people’s heads’ off. ‘Course, it’s way more fun to knock people’s heads’ off. And all the crowns in the galaxy won’t buy you a new head… well, maybe from those Kiraly-Finn loonies.’
-Interview notes from a Waldegrave core sergeant with author Javitch Helstein, The Spartic Paradox, 3029
House Iogarajah-Bas (Traditionalist)
Only appears in conjunction with Iogarajah-Alte. They should both be on the same side of Neo-Sirius.
Constellation history Trad1 can only appear for a province containing Holdings (or, if there are none to be had, worlds administered by) the Iogarajahs-Bas.
‘House Iogarajah’s greatest crisis came in 2807 with the ‘High’ branch’s wholesale conversion to Asceticism. Seeing their cousins as abandoning their familial responsibilities, the Low branch’s influential freemartin second child and admiral Vladi Seraf Iogarajah took it upon themself, with the tacit backing of the Low patriarch Matall, to reclaim the High branch’s worlds for the greater honour of the Family. It took the intervention of the Imperial fleet to prevent a devastating civil war, the Admiral standing down only at the very brink of open insurrection. The subsequent departure from Imperial space of the High branch was, in the words of His Grace Eliezer II, “the least worst outcome possible in this difficult time”.’
– ‘Political History\Great Houses of the Empire\House Iogarajah’, Continuing History of the Empire, edition of 3048
‘“V.S.”, as they insisted on being known, was not prime admiral material. Their addiction to industrial-grade inorganic stimulants made life on the bridge of the Orca a constant struggle to retain the Admiral’s attention without inspiring their legendary rage. Eyewitnesses reported that the day the stand down order was given, the Admiral was unusually subdued: Matall had finally tracked down and cut off their supplier in the Fleet.’
– The Complete Imperial Who’s Whom, page archived 5/4/2898
House Van Rigel
‘House Van Rigel are unusual among the great Houses of the Empire in that their line was ‘founded’ in a single, identifiable event. Karl van Rouse was a prominent general under Pierce, commanding the Third Fleet against the Xyl. In recognition of his brave and brilliant service, the newly-crowned Emperor Magnus I granted van Rouse substantial holdings in perpetuity. Recognising his chance to establish a bulwark against any future threat to Mankind, van Rouse set about building the traditions of a dynasty dedicated to the protection of Mankind – beginning with his name. In the hope of inspiring his descendents to live up to their angelic namesakes, he took the name ‘Van Rigel’, and created the title of ‘High Star’ for the head of his House. True to his word, he earned his reputation as humanity’s One Shining Star, an honorific applied to the best of his successors. It is a testament to the institutions he built that so many of them have earned it.’
– ‘Political History\Great Houses of the Empire\House Van Rigel’, Continuing History of the Empire, edition of 2991
‘Closest among the disciples of Father Sun’s chosen servant was General Zoltan Kiraly-Finn. Magnus conferred with him on almost every matter of note over the course of the Celestial Revolution, and for his wise counsel and fearless leadership, he would be anointed a Saint soon after his death in 2526.’
– ‘Personae of the Celestial Revolution’, Ecclesiastical History
‘But the opposite has happened: in the four years since her death, Nevsky’s sinister ideas have, if anything, found a wider audience. And they have friends in high places.
Loudest of the Techniks in high society is Tera Kiraly-Finn, direct descendant of St Zoltan. She has very publicly indicated her sympathies for certain of the ‘movement’s’ ideas, even going so far as to sport stick-on cranial stimulators at the Exclaim! Ball earlier this year. But investigation by this newspaper’s reporters suggests that she is not only disgracing her family’s name – she is doing so cynically and for profit. Inside sources have revealed that the Kiraly-Finn family own majority shares in over 45% of the Technik cyber-dens licenced across the entire Empire. By tacitly promoting this heresy, Kiraly-Finn is deliberately undermining the very fabric of our Empire for the crassest of reasons – a deeply irresponsible, even seditious, move.’
– Melchio Ignacci, ‘Lucida Nevsky’s Dangerous Legacy’ in The Solarian, 8/4/2875
Holding: Ilioaia asteroid belt
‘In the aftermath of the Second Xyl War, a young miner named Bengamin Ilioaia set out, as many other space wildcatters did, to look for new sources of materials to rebuild the shattered Terran Alliance. While most of his peers were not very successful, Bengamin discovered a comet that was incredibly rich in rare minerals. He made 3 trips to the comet, telling nobody but his wife and two brothers about his find. On the third trip, he found his older brother, Ivan, waiting for him with a smile and a kinetic cannon, obliterating his small mining craft. Upon telling their younger brother, Mihai, about what he did, Mihai became furious and killed Ivan on the spot. With most of the bloodline now dead in a single tragic day, Mihai took Bengamin’s wife in marriage and set out to build the Ilioaia line once more. Years of surveying led the House to discover multiple sources of materials, eventually cementing their legacy as the most powerful mining house in the Celestial Empire.’
– RevenantWiki, entry on House Ilioaia, page retrieved 16/4/3029
“When they say blood is thicker than water, they never saw the blood running down the side of our family’s crest. It is our burden, some would say our tragedy, but I say it is our triumph that so much good has sown from the soil of such anger. Let our position in the Empire remain strong, and let us remember that while we stand firmly today among our fellow Houses, what shockwaves can occur from one heinous and narcissistic act.”
– Speech from House Leader Slokoisti Ilioaia to his Council, 29/2/2994
Constellation history Merc2 can only appear in a province where the Milaks have an administered territory or Holding.
Holding: Throneworld: Juthrbog
‘House Milak is a minor House whose throneworld is Juthrbog. The present Head of House is Sir Krasivi Milak, b. 2868.’
– Entirety of ‘Political History\Great Houses of the Empire\Other Houses\House Milak’, Continuing History, edition of 2914
‘That can’t be right. Ask them to check it again.’
– Prospector-General Finant Anatol, on receipt of the first reports from the Northern Territory Mineralogical Survey, Juthrbog, 32/4/2915
‘EMP: Krasivi! My friend! So good to see you. How is your lovely husband?
KMK: [inaudible] the operation. We expect him to be much more, uh, docile. [laughs] And how is His Grace?
EMP: Fantastic, Krasivi, just fantastic. I’ve been renovating the old lodge at Lake Geneva, I must show you it sometime. Gorgeous place. Gorgeous. You must come by. Are you a hunting man?
KMK: I [inaudible]
EMP: You must be. Come, have you tried this? [clicks, sound of pouring drink]
KMK: I’m sure, uh, what-
EMP: It’s Calviador, grown on my personal estate outside New Berlin. Fantastic stuff. Very rare, you know, very rare. Speaking of rare things, actually, the Empire, as you may know, is presently terribly short of certain rare minerals…’
– Transcript of conversation between Emperor Eliezer III Housseini and Sir Krasivi Milak on 33/1/2916, in the Autumn Room, Vindoland Palace, New Terra. From the Red Archives.
‘This House can trace its ancestry back to two key players in the Populist Revolt of 2602: Tristane Halcyon and Asha Musharraf. They see their dynastic duty to be to keep a check on the Emperor’s excesses, in the spirit of their forebears. As such, they view Primacy as the birthright of their House. Halcyon and Musharraf met in their youth at the court of the aging Magnus II. The second-in-line and the heir respectively to backwater planets, they were brought from their remote homeworlds in one of Magnus II’s diligent efforts to maintain the links of friendship and fealty between the Throne and its governors. Both intelligent and idealistic youths, they saw in their close contemporary – the young Magnus III – the arrogance and cruelty that would mark his reign, and found it repellent. Musharraf, long fascinated by the democratic ideals of centuries gone by, formulated the ideological basis of what would become the Populist movement; the charismatic Halcyon was her messenger, pouring her elixir in the ears of key players around the future Emperor even before he came into his inheritance. The two were inseparable; come the revolution, they both took seats on the Prime Council, and their subsequent marriage was an event grand beyond the wildest hopes of their families. Since that triumphant union, the pair’s descendants have almost continuously held seats on the Celestial Council – though with varying success.’ – RevenantWiki, entry on House Halcyon-Musharraf (uncensored version), page retrieved 21/2/3044
Holding: Olympia (venue for the Great Game)
‘The Game is not to be taken too seriously.
The Game is to be taken very seriously indeed.
The Game begins when all players have entered the pitch. Players of name may enter by any tier. Players without name may enter by the second or third tiers. Players without property may enter only by the third tier.
The Game ends when the last board is destroyed, or when to continue would be fatal to one or more of the first- or third-tier players.
The boards are to be arranged by the Host. A single Host player may enter by the first tier, but no other players may be fielded by the Host.
The boards are to be as specified in Appendix A, sections 1, 4, and 5.’ – Lucrezia Barwon, Rules of The Game, 4th edition
‘In the brightest and most fragrant corner of the Summit Lounge is to be found the Princex Aletheiu Barwon, heir to the throne of Olympia, quing of the festivities that surround the Game, and – it is whispered – privy to every supposedly clandestine conversation and secret tryst that happens anywhere in Jeux over the course of those exciting summer weeks. Accompanied at all times by a retinue of stunning servants, each individually dressed by them alone, Aletheiu is happy to act as patron to the most dazzling fashion houses on Olympia – which is why the very best of them congregate in Jeux! Good luck getting near them, though – Aletheiu values their privacy, and the security at the Summit Lounge is the very best.
Turning toward the shaded end of the bar, we encounter Duchess Mikhail of New Kent…’ – Camara Xu, ‘Olympia’s Capital Prepares for the Game’, in The Solarian, 15/1/2983