Houses, Sects and Guilds
This is a brief guide to the main factions in the Known Worlds.
Prideful yet honorable, the Hawkwoods have seen one of their own take the Emperor’s throne. While Alexius Hawkwood has since distanced himself from his family to appear more impartial, the Hawkwoods take such political setbacks with stoicism — the same fierce perseverance with which they beat back the barbarian raiders to their worlds. A Hawkwood does not give up. House Hawkwood is more beloved by its vassals than any other house, for they treat them fairly and with justice.
- Medieval England and Germany, "Noble" nobles from fiction: House Atreides from Dune, House Stark from A Game of Thrones, etc.
Slimy, cunning and extremely successful, the Decados have risen to power through treachery and an uncanny understanding of their rivals — helped in no small part, no doubt, by their vast, invisible intelligence network. While the other families accuse them of a number of crimes, the Decados are here to stay and thus must be dealt with on their own terms. Decados vassals despise their lords but are kept in line through fear or the promise of power for those who make good quislings.
- Borgia-era Renaissance Italy and Tzarist and Communist Russia, the KGB, Decadent nobles from fiction: House Harkonnen from Dune, etc.
The Hazat: Hot-blooded and intense, the martial Hazat know how to field an army but are also no strangers to intrigue. When they can calm the vicious infighting from family to family, they can present a formidable front against rivals from other houses. Left with less land after the wars than they began with, they now pursue a campaign against a barbarian world, seeking new lands outside of the Empire. Hazat vassals are loyal, for they know that sacrifices for their lords are often rewarded
- Renaissance and Enlightenment-era Spain, Zorro, El Cid, Simon Bolivar, 19th-century South American republics, the Napoleonic Empire
House Li Halan
House Li Halan: This pious and disciplined family was once the worst behaved of all nobles. Their immoral exploits are legendary, as is the tale of their overnight conversion to the Church. They now pursue the scriptures as fanatically as they once chased pleasure. While other nobles may snicker at the faithful lords, they more often fear the Li Halan, for this family has proved implacable on both the battlefield and at court. Their vassals are fiercely loyal, for they know their place as vassals in the Pancreator’s plan
- Japanese, Korean and Chinese medieval kingdoms, Samurai, High Medieval Catholic France
House al-Malik: The exotic and inscrutable al-Malik are often accused of being mere merchants, for their ties to the League are well known. But they have proven their noble legerdemain many times, through the acquisition of land and a unique understanding of human nature and politics. It is very hard to pull one over on an al-Malik, but it is likewise hard for them to resist the lure of a good adventure or challenge. Vassals of this family are well-treated and return the respect with solid service.
- Ottoman or Persian nobility, merchant princes, "Foreign" nobles from fiction: House Martell from A Game of Thrones, etc.