Ruling Houses

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More morally just than the other houses, the House of Avallach is the most benevolent of the houses governing the city. The tenets of the house teach the value of purity in action, body and mind, thus it’s members abhor Inebriates and whores and will not partake of any addictive or narcotic substance. Such perceived corruption is detested to such an extent that narcotics and prostitution is entirely outlawed and even alcohol is tightly regulated so only the weakest most watered down drinks may be served. Over time this has served to force the growth of an extensive black market for such commodities, and as they are so readily available in other less chaste districts the criminal underworld of the city has little difficulty in supplying the demand.

The Custodians of Avallach style themselves as templar knights, their district is the most affluent in the city as crime and unrest is quelled most harshly as it is seen as a corruption of the stability of the city. Maintaining a very strict rule of law, House Avallach’s method of governing is closest to a dictatorship. Though it is beneficial for the law abiding citizens of the district the punishments for even minor crimes are extremely harsh, thus very few Warbands or other unscrupulous outfits operate within the Avallach district as the risks of being caught far outweigh any benefit gained from being based there.


The house of Morrigan is a Dark and Gothic affair ruled by an inner circle of “nobles” known as the Cult of Mourning, at their head sits Nephthys the Phantom Queen, ruler for over a century who yet appears to be no more than a young woman. Although officially meant to be ruled by a “king and queen” Nephthys poisoned her husband but kept his body alive using her extensive knowledge of rift-necromancy. Thus, technically there is still a king and queen though only she is in any condition to rule. Her command of necromancy has also enabled her to extend her own life so that she has ruled for over a century but still does not appear older than if she was in her late twenties.

Second among the Cult of Mourning are Nephthys’ twin sisters Amaranth and Aveira. Younger than the queen by several years they appear girls of nineteen or twenty, acting as their sister’s eyes and ears about court they answer to none but the queen, and hold great sway over nobles of the court. Nothing is denied to them and they pass through life indulging their every whim and fancy. Over time this has made them dangerous to those that cross them as rarely angered their wrath is terrible to behold, and their command of necromancy is surpassed only by Nephthys herself.

Once a year the Cult of Mourning holds an event known only as The Masquerade, a cross between festival and ceremony. It is at this time that Nephthys has her custodians round up any criminals and trouble makers in the district and has them brought to a hall deep within Necropolis, here the Inner Circle celebrate their ruler’s necromantic powers and Nephthys uses her powers to bestow extended life upon her favoured subjects and renew her own life for the coming year. Those taken in are never seen again, but the ranks of zombified servants that haunt the halls of Necropolis always seem to swell in number after the ceremony each year.

The art of Grogaldr is the ability to manipulate and control Rift Energy to necromantic ends it is essentially a more specialised discipline of that used by other Rift Mages than few others dare to pursue. A master of the art can turn his or her power to many ends, some of the most common being draining a being of life to sustain another’s, reanimating dead tissue to act as an automaton to the summoner’s will, removing a being’s consciousness from its body or capturing it at the moment of death to contain it so it may be communicated with, and the halting of decay and atrophy of dead flesh.

In addition to the usual army of servants and attendants found in any of the ruling houses, the halls of Necropolis are home to the terrifying Barghest. These are huge black canines who’s bodies ripple with muscle and who’s jaws are large enough to grasp a man around the torso, their eyes burn red with an inner fire and the claws on their feet strike sparks from stone. The horror of these beasts is made all the more terrible by their apparent intelligence, far from being mindless beasts they watch from the shadows with an almost human perception waiting calmly until called upon by their mistresses or until they sense intruders within the chambers on Necropolis.


The House of mystics, magi and conjurers, House Asatru is steeped in arcane knowledge and mystic energies. Ensconced within their palaces and towers upon the island of Kishef the masters of Asatru study their arts and look down over the district that they govern.

Vast libraries and sanctums dominate the lower levels, within the bedrock of Kishef experimental magical engines and chambers of meditation are , Spiralling towers soar into skies seeming to defy the laws of physics. Tiny delicate bridges span the gaps between the top most levels of the towers, the crowning glory of many of the spires and steeples is an open topped casting platform or glass sphere of enchantment. From these, the highest points in the city, the Magi can look out towards the rift and draw its power to them, manipulating and changing it to further refine their art.

Although all adepts of rift craft, the alumnus of Kishef are divided in the disciplines they each pursue. The most commonly acknowledged discipline is the use of rift energy as a destructive force, used in combat and to fight the enemies of the House it is a fearsome sight to behold as conjurers call forth great storms of lightning or throw balls of fire through the air to incinerate their foes. Another path many mystics walk is the use of rift energy as a healing power, used correctly it can mend broken bones, prevent organ failure and keep a patient alive through grievous wounds so that they might heal and live. The down side to this however is that if the same patient is healed many times in this way the corrupting effects of rift energy may begin to manifest, so it is only as a last resort that this method of healing will be turned to. Another discipline that has widespread use is the manipulation of rift energy to affect the weather, masters of this art are most commonly found travelling the world, using their powers to aid fishing seasons or to ensure a good harvest for poor, isolated communities. These magi are the most commonly seen outside of Kishef and are ambassadors for the rest of the reclusive magi of Asatru.

The members of Asatru are the most inward looking of the Houses, barely fulfilling their duties as governors in favour of pursuing their arcane studies and furthering their power and control of rift energy. This state of affairs has progressed to such a degree that the magi are virtually hermits on their island, only appearing for official business that must be attended to in person, and even then a lackey will be sent unless one of the magi is specifically required.

The Guild of the Travelling Coin/The Guild of Acquired Riches/The Guild of the Medium of Exchange/The Guild of the Clientele of Commerce/The Guild of Brokers, Retailers, Shippers and Senders/The Guild of a Thousand Purses – Commonly Referred to as The Guild

Head Honcho Knab the Well Endowed

The largest economic and commercial power on the Continent, The Guild is the only one of the governing houses that has not grown up from a Warband, it instead being a conglomeration of commercial investments and enterprises overseen by a cadre of humans and goblins. The goblins however are the secret partners of The Guild as the majority of the human populace are very closed minded to interaction with other races and see the goblins as inferior to themselves. To this end the Guild has a split power base, one within the City with a solely human front and another mobile one that traverses the wilderness and is where Knab resides with his court of advisors, attendants and underlings.

The entire operation is overseen by Head Honcho Knab the Well Endowed, and although he is a commercial and money making genius he suffers from the worst case of “Oh! Shiny!” syndrome ever recorded and thus hoards away any bauble or shiny gem that catches his eye. However, this has not prevented him from building a commercial empire and amassing untold amounts of wealth. His hapless title is, unfortunately, self inflicted, for he gave it to himself under the misguided belief that it meant to have great wealth. The title stuck, and even though many of his followers snicker behind his back none dare to point out the phrase’s real meaning.
The public face of The Guild is centred around the Agora, the Guild’s floating island above the city, here great vaults hold the amassed wealth of The Guild and many of the smaller merchant organisations of the city come to purchase their stock to sell on to the populace of the city as The Guild only buys and sells within it’s own district within the city walls.

The real seat of power resides in The Bazaar, the huge mobile market that traverses the lands outside of the city trading goods with the communities isolated from the Great Metropolis. At the end of every cycle of trade The Bazaar returns close to the city where the wealth that has been amassed can be transferred to the vaults of Agora where the Guild stores away it’s vast quantities of wealth.

Although The Bazaar follows a set route as it traverses the continent the time it takes to circle this route can vary vastly due to demand for commodities, the weather, war, conflict and of course the whims of the Head Honcho himself. Although under normal circumstances this would encourage customers to seek other retailers, many of the isolated communities the Bazaar visits are so dependent on the goods they bring that it has the opposite effect and each time the Bazaar visits such settlements the inhabitants by larger quantities than they need to safeguard against a delay in the next cycle. Whether this inconsistency is entirely a fluke or a piece of economic genius engineered by the Head Honcho no one truly knows, regardless the Guild has profited mightily from it.

Since the head of the Guild is a goblin they are more open to and employ more non-humans than the other Houses and Warbands. For example Trolls are used to assist with the movement of heavy goods (or large sums of cash) and Centaurs are frequently employed to act as guards to smaller fast moving trade caravans. This openness has also assisted the Guild in furthering its economic advancement as they have been able to nurture far more beneficial and stable pacts and treaties with non-human races where others who have tried have at the least been turned away, or at worst, never heard from again.


Head of the House: Theodorus Mundanus (Ted the Mundane)

The house of inventors, House Eschenbach has long been at the forefront of technological development within the city with a long standing tradition of inventors, mad scientists and alchemists stretching back centuries. It is thanks to the House’s ingenuity that the city enjoys the level of technological enlightenment that it does today.

Over the centuries the inventors of Eschenbach have been responsible for almost all the technological innovations of the city, from the Skyships used to move commodities and as warships, to the crafting of the first rift weapons and crystals. One of their greatest yet most improbable creations is the Malleable Conveyer of Perpendicular Commutation. This most ludicrous of inventions is a flexible lift shaft spanning the distance between Eschenbach’s island estate and the factories in the district below that allows the inventions of the engineers to be moved from the workshops high on the island down to the forges and factories in the city proper so that they may be produced en mass.

Dominating the skyline of the Eschenbach district is the Arena, here gladiatorial tournaments are hosted where inventors pit their inventions against one another controlling them from boxes around the rim (robot wars style bitches!). Organised roughly by estimations of deadliness and the inventor’s wildly exaggerated claims, no living participant may enter the arena as it is not intended as a blood sport, rather a testing ground for the many mechanical inventions of the crazed engineers. Whether they be man-sized automatons or towering golems and colossi the competition is always a fierce fight as the most successful contenders may be approved for general use earning the engineer who created the monstrosity fame, renown and not a small amount of gold.

Due to the nature of their genius many of the scientist’s inventions are, while quite brilliant, also entirely useless to the general populace or fatally flawed in some way which the scientist has managed to overlook in his obsession to make his creation work. A prime example of this is when, two centuries ago, the mad engineer Albertus Magnus contrived a silent Skyship to use in subterfuge and stealth missions. He proposed that instead of the engines usually used to grant a Skyship motion he would instead harness a flock of harpies to the ship’s hull so that they may pull it through the sky without the noise and light created by traditional engines. However, Albertus forgot to consider that harpies are vicious and aggressive creatures and that apart from having to catch and harness them in the first place, they would be far more likely to land on the ship and attack the crew than to pull the ship in any direction, regardless of where the pilot wished to go.

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