The Great Houses of the Scarlet Dynasty, in addition to being the elite (and semi-divine) nobility of the Realm as well as extended families as prone to internal squabbling as any other, are also vast economic enterprises, controlling (in the name of the Empress, of course) vast estates and resources both on the Blessed Isle itself and in the Empire’s far-flung satrapies abroad. Each House has, over the centuries, developed its own areas of specializations or in some cases, acquired actual trade monopolies enforced by Imperial decree.
Houses Cathak, Sesus and Tepet have long been known as the warrior houses; in addition to their lands on the Isle and satrapies abroad, they support more Legions abroad than any of the others. Though Tepet’s fortunes (and numbers) have recently undergone a drastic reduction, the House is doing its best to rebuild its strength (through liberal adoption of non-Dynast Dragon-blooded “orphans” and vigorous pursuit of marriage contracts with other Houses). House Ledaal makes its fortunes through the control of several valuable port cities, such as Arjuf, and its satrapies abroad, mostly to the west. House Mnemon controls some of the wealthiest satrapies, and boasts many architects and builders in its ranks. House Peleps controls the Imperial navy; its war galleys are feared throughout the Western and Inland Seas (and its smugglers can carry almost anything—for a price). House Nellens is a very mercantile House, though most of its trade partnerships are with the patrician families of the Isle—it also holds a very useful monopoly on the production of the distinctive purple dye used in robes for the Imperial bureaucracy. House V’neef has long been known as the Imperial cupbearers—they produce the finest wines in the Realm—but they also control the Realm’s merchant fleet, in part to balance out the naval power of House Peleps. House Ragara is commonly known as the “Imperial Bank”—they have jade surpluses enough to lend to other Houses and foreign princes, but woe to those who cannot make their payments… And House Cynis has for generations held one of the most profitable monopolies in the Realm; the authority to import slaves into the Blessed Isle (though only Dragon-blooded are legally permitted to own or lease slaves), for use as low-cost laborers at farms, construction, and mining operations, or as trained servants for Dynast households—and brothels.
jltraut on Chapter 8: Heartbroken Cl… Maracae Grizzley on Chapter 8: Heartbroken Cl… jltraut on Chapter 8: Heartbroken Cl… Maracae Grizzley on Chapter 8: Heartbroken Cl… Jim on Episode 1: The Shadow Roa…