The Great Houses of the Prosperitas Sector

The Primus Houses

The Primus Houses represent the four most renowned families in the Prosperitas Sector, each of these bloodlines can trace their routes back to the origins of the Prosperitas Crusade and represent individuals who served alongside Warmaster Jacinta Durovera herself. While they may not all be the most powerful families in the Sector, they do represent immense wealth and influence each with considerable sector territories populated by worlds whose Planetary Governors that either report to them or are members of their extended family lines.

House Durovera – Primus House and Rogue Trader House

House Durovera owes its status to its founder Lady Captain and, later, Warmaster, Jacinta Durovera, who re-founded the Prosperitas Sector in early M41 and who led the Prosperitas Crusade until her disappearance in 101.M41. Because of this blood tie, the Heirs of Durovera claim the hereditary rulership of the post of Sector Governor, and the largest amount of territory of any House. Uniquely of any Primus House, it is also in possession of the Warrant of Trade granted to Jacinta Durovera which gives any scion nominated upon it’s Warrant to act as Rogue Traders to exploit the frontiers of the Prosperitas Sector. It’s hereditary homeworld is the Sector Capitol Duroverum where numerous Cadet-Branches and Vassal Houses fill the Court of the Sector Governor.

The Houses history is not been a favourable one, the continuance of the Prosperitas Crusade has often rendered the post of Sector Governor an all but ceremonial title, and House Durovera’s glories have significantly faded in recent years, by 586.M41, it had spent years of squandering its wealth on preserving the image of being one of the great noble Houses with rising debt, dissatisfied vassal Houses and increasingly encroaching rivals diminishing it’s power. It had grown decadent and bloated with its own importance as a House and had long squandered it’s right as a Rogue Trader dynasty opening exploration and exploitation of the frontier to House Majid and House di Firro.

In 569.M41 a succession crisis plunged unprepared and generally considered ‘worthless’ scion Armelius Durovera into the position of Sector Governor after his eldest Sister, Hermione Durovera, took much of the Houses fleet and decided to not only invoke her rights under the Warrant to act as a Rogue Trader, but take the ailing families warrant from its place on Duroverum before setting off into the frontier to make her fortune. However in 586.M41 Sector Governor Durovera survived an apparent assassination attempt which seems to have been a life-changing event. He began to claw back power, bringing the Vassal Houses into line, and starting to clear up the family’s standing taking also the dormant post of Warmaster reinforcing his Houses power, and beginning a ‘peace doctrine’ to reinforce the sectors borders and stabilise the worlds under Imperial dominion within it.

Armelius’ popular rule lasted until 593.M41 when, after an apparent terrorist attack on Crusade High Command he became seemingly reclusive and rumours began to circulate of his death. This was seemingly confirmed later that year when his sister, Hermione Durovera, returned to Duroverum after many years in the wilderness seizing power and claiming her right to lead the House despite her abdication of its years prior. A much less peaceful being then her brother Hermione has turned the rebuilt assets of her House into an aggressive force treating her rivals for power with contempt and readying her House for a more iron-firm grip on a sector she feels has forgotten who it’s true masters are.

House Vilas-Lobo – Primus House

Known also as the House of Jackals, House Vilas-Lobo draws it’s heritage back to the Houses of Europa within the Sol System, it was the Azar Vilas-Lobo along with his brother Draz, who supplied Jacinta Durovera with the support of their vast House Guard and numerous Abhuman Helots that served as the core of the early Crusade forces of the Prosperitas Sector, and a hereditary right to establish a branch of their family within the Sector and numerous land-claims were the price of her agreement with their Houses main branch. The House grew rich off its claim of several inhospitable and poisonous worlds that would have been otherwise worthless were it not for their mineral wealth. To mine them, the House turned to talented Medicae and Genetors of the Adeptus Mechanicus to adapt the bodies of thousands of abhuman workers to survive in the atmospheres of these worlds. Through this, they became intimately familiar with the arcane arts of genetics. Able to survive on inhospitable worlds is a trademark of the Houses attitudes and perseverance.

In 231.M41 in a little-known incident a genophage, believed to be tailored to the Houses biology ripped through the House, in an assassination attempt against the entire House. The few scions that survived, did so by turning to the same genetic practices they’d performed on abhumans for generations to adapt and survive. This brought about significant changes within the mentality of the House, it became the accepted practice that only the fittest survive (leading some to murmur that the survivors were behind the genophage) to this end, House Scions are expected to be able to prove their value to the House, the line of succession is not determined by the Houses leadership but by the strength of the candidates. It is an expectation placed on all scions that they will attempt to kill their superiors when they believe they are too weak to lead the House any more, assassination is the accepted method of advancement, and the house suffers no weakness.

Because of this drive for strength, few of the House are born through natural means, as most are born from artificial wombs, and heavily tailored to ensure they fill a place and a purpose within the House. But it does not stop here, all Nobles attempt to set cultural trends and remain fashionable, as appearance is everything in an Imperium that is obsessed with pageantry and celebration. House Vilas-Lobo takes that to its furthest logical extreme. This House is known for not only setting fashion trends, but also pushing the envelope of what is acceptable within polite society. To House Vilas-Lobo, the body is just another accessory to be changed and modified at a whim, and their Scions discard faces like others discard finery. The discomfort this causes the Imperium frequently attracts unwanted attention, but the House has endured several investigations from multiple Imperial institutions, and, each time, was found to be completely clear of taint. The House thrives on causing a good scandal: after all, being scandalous means being noticed; being noticed means being talked about and being talked about means one’s fame grows and spreads throughout the Sector.

The current ‘Dominatus’ of the House Śikārī (Si-ka-ri) Vilas-Lobo, is known for surviving multiple attempts on his life after seizing power from his predecessor in a Blood Duel in 588.M41 – since then he has turned the House into an aggressive force most notably seizing control of House Majid’s trade routes in 593.M41 and initiating a short but brutal trade war cut short by betrayal of Majid from within it’s own ranks. Since that date the House has expanded its power, controlling territory across Subsector Tertius from it’s House Capitol of Bachian IV.

House Palamyr – Primus House

House Palamyr traces its noble routes to the Hy Brasil Administrative region of the Sud Merican landmass a on Terra, it takes great pride in tracing its routes to Aline de Palamyr the Arch-Militant of Jacinta Durovera a veteran of the Hy Brasil ‘Dracos’ the unique Terran Imperial Guard produced from that region. It’s claims and position as a House granted in Jacinta’s Last Will and Testament. However, most confusingly, perhaps due to the document being incomplete at the time, rulership of its home world, Merewald and dominion over the cluster of star systems around it, was granted to both Aline and her fellow servant of the Rogue Trader, and significant rival Romeyn Caerlyn something that has given the two houses cause for a long history of strife between them. No one is truly aware of the cause of strife between the two, but if everyone can remember, both Houses have been at each other’s throats — just as much as Scions of both Houses have made it the principle of youthful rebellion to take lovers or elope with members from the other House, in defiance of House conventions.

House Palamyr claims fully half the surrounding systems of Merewald, and begrudgingly shares Governance of its homeworld with House Caerlyn, controlling most of the Northern Hemisphere Territories of the planet. Known for its erudite courtiers and appreciation of noble affairs, the House is often called upon as a broker of peace in conflicts between the Houses of the Sector, and Palamyrs are always favoured as advisors and consultants by the Imperial State in the Prosperitas Sector. Giving it a wide awareness of what is going on throughout the sector.

Staunch believers in tradition, the Palamyrs have held to the standards expected of the Nobility for hundreds of years, much like their counterparts in House Caerlyn they are committed to preserving traditional things, which has proven somewhat disruptive in recent years. Youthful rebellion of the Heirs to both Houses Yasbella Palamyr and Peyton Caerlyn, lead to rebellion and elopement, forcing both Houses into a unique situation where they were simultaneously forced to accept the marriage, while denying either the right to join the other House for the sake of balance. A situation that might have been quietly resolved if it were not for the subsequent actions of Ysabella who, discovering a connection of her father to a heretical cult based around the worship of numerous strange pit-like structures on Merewald, subsequently orchestrated the purge of numerous members of the House to prevent Inquisitorial censure. Placing her as the Head of her House, and the Baroness Palamyr.

Because of the pairing’s commitments to the tradition of rivalry and the pressure of their Houses to maintain tradition, neither spouse would accept the idea of merging their Houses: and so, a new round of conflicts has begun, in the earnest. More like high stakes games, as each spouse attempts to collapse the other’s family through non-violent means, to force the other to live permanently under the banner of a single House. Given that the strange stalemate appears to amuse the two very enamoured Nobles, there is no sign of it changing anytime soon — much to the consternation of the vassal families of both Houses who remain unnerved by the unusual situation, and uncertain as to what to do to solve it.

House Caerlyn – Primus House

Much of what can be said about House Caerlyn is already said in the entry for House Palamyr above, it has some unique quirks to it, but it is very much intertwined with the history of it’s rivals so it doesn’t bear repeating the same information twice.

House Caerlyn traces it’s roots back to the Nord Merican region on Terra, its founder Romeyn Caerlyn served as Envoy to Warmaster Jacinta Durovera, and much like his rival Aline de Palamyr, was granted status for him and his descendants in the last will and testament of his Mistress. As noted above, the family has stuck to tradition much like it’s counterparts and has continued something of a farcical ancient rivalry with House Palamyr for hundreds of years since it’s foundation.

Much like House Palamyr it claims fully half the surrounding systems of Merewald, and begrudgingly shares Governance of its homeworld with its rivals, controlling most of the Southern Hemisphere Territories of the planet. Known for its prowess in blood sports and hunting, the Houses Scions have often been eager volunteers for Officer positions within the Merewaldian Regiments of the Imperial Guard where they have often proven themselves more than just hereditary officers with a sense of entitlement and have a storied history of famed commanders of the Prosperitas Crusade.

Unlike House Palamyr, the House has experienced no major upheavals in the past few years, it is believed by most that the unusual situation with Peyton Caerlyn, Heir to the House, inheriting the Barony of the House could have simply been avoided by removing him from the line of succession, but the House is nothing if not stubborn in its commitment to tradition and has, as such, created the situation it finds itself in today. Peyton is as gruff and stubborn as any traditional Caerlyn noble with the history and demeanour of an Officer of the Imperial Guard.

 


The Rogue Trader Houses

Owing their noble status to the Warrants of Trade they possess, Rogue Trader Houses are granted free licence as explorers to exploit the frontiers of Imperial Space, and the wild space beyond, growing rich off the wealth from trading beyond Imperial boundaries and founding new worlds. The Prosperitas Sector being one of those frontiers of the advance of the Imperium is a powerful draw for Rogue Traders and indeed it was the Rogue Trader Jacinta Durovera who re-founded the sector after its thousands of years of isolation, and whose heirs have controlled it ever since. However House Durovera has not cautiously guarded their claim, and rival Rogue Trader Dynasties from House Majid and House di Firro have largely taken the lead on trailblazing Imperial expansions beyond the original Imperial foothold carved by House Durovera. Until recently all the Rogue Trader Dynasties were that in name only, resting on the laurels of the profits from the Trade Empires they have carved out in the Sector, all but a few Scions invoking their rights to explore the dangerous wild-space of the Nemean Gulf and the Rimward Marches

House Di Firro – Rogue Trader House

The Di Firro family are an ancient and prosperous Rogue Trader Household, tracing their roots back to the first human settlement in the Prosperitas Sector. The current head of the Household is Lady-Captain Octavia di Firro. She holds the House’s Warrant of Trade, an ancient and obscenely well-guarded document reportedly signed by Malcador the Hero himself. The Di Firros hold the monopoly on the prestigious Sol-Prosperitas Passage, which they notoriously won from the weakened House Durovera over a bet.

According to legend, the founding di Firro Captain, Antonia, was an adventurer and explorer during the Great Crusade, leading the charge of one of the God-Emperor’s Expeditionary Fleets. After a series of highly successful offensive actions in the Segmentum Obscura in early M31, Antonia supposedly sent Expedition Fleet 611’s post-operational report back to Terra. The document was simultaneously so accurate in its victorious and heroic content, and so offensively worded, that Antonia and all her progeny were made fabulously wealthy, granted a Warrant of Trade, and ordered to “never to darken the Segmentum Solar again”.

The House arrived in the sector sometime around 150.M41 and made much of it’s wealth in the push into Subsector Secundus by the Crusade forces building a considerable number of trading outposts along the borders of the RImward Marches. The House prides itself on a swashbuckling, daring reputation in the image of its Founder. Younger sons and daughters are encouraged to attach themselves to whatever risky endeavours are currently afoot in the Sector, and are often found serving with Battlefleet Prosperitas, as senior officers in Guard regiments, or as bravos-for-hire on the outer reaches of the Tenebris subsector.

In recent years, the House has accumulated considerable trade power and a foothold in Subsector Secundus, under the current Head of the House the rather feared, Octavia di Firro, It is said that the Lady Captain di Firro is as hard as a flint, having lost all her immediate progeny in a series of tragedies over the recent few years. Rumour has it that, in judgement of the ‘inability’ of any of her extended family to assume the role of heir, the Lady-Captain has officially adopted her favoured son, Lucius di Firro’s, husband Charon as her nominated heir, as is her command much to the distress of the bloodline scions of the House.

 

House Majid – Rogue Trader House

House Majid, came from nothing, it is not known exactly when they gained their Warrant of Trade. But when they arrived in the Prosperitas Sector, it was with one frigate and little to their name but the clothes on their back, it’s current flagship the Torchbearer was originally found drifting in the Nemean Gulf. Born from nothing over the last three hundred years or so since their arrival in the sector the they have made it a symbol of the houses endurance to transform nothing into prosperity and wealth.

For years the House has always openly presented itself as a reputable Noble House, pious and humble, Its ships and Scions often found accompanying Crusade forces, acting as scouts while asking for little in return. The current Head of the House, Lady-Captain Khadija Majid, built an empire of it’s good reputation. House Majid vessels operated for many years as the long-reaching arm of the Crusade. It was rare for a House Majid vessel to not be accompanied by a Missionary of the Imperial Faith, given that the House projects a reputation of faithful dutiful servants. As ever there were rumours of hidden caches of plundered treasures of xenos origin, but nothing ever proven.

The Houses fortunes seemed to be soaring until 593.M41, despite a spat with House Di Firro, in the waning months of 593, House Vilas Lobo launched a sudden coordinated attack on the trade holdings of the House, and as the Majid’s regrouped at their vassal-world of Midsummer for a counter attack, betrayal from within the House by a scion crippled the entire House fleet all but destroying the House in the process.

The current ruler of the House Lady-Captain Amira Majid, is however nothing if not a resourceful woman, despite the horrendous costs to herself she has survived the near-extermination of her House and isn’t so young and feckless like some scions of the House to not remember the hard times, it seems likely enough that through savage determination the House will continue, even if it returns to its roots, but with it largely gone as a power the system of balance between the Houses has been thrown off.

 


The Great Chartist Houses

Three Houses control a the most powerful Charters of Service in the Prosperitas Sector, they are far younger than the Primus Houses and Rogue Trader families, many of the Imperial Nobility view Chartist nobles as the ‘noveau riche’, but it cannot be denied that these massive chartist powers are not wealthy, and, in their own way, powerful.

House Monforte – Chartist House

The only House other than House Durovera to count a Warmaster as one of their renowned relatives, House Monforte are more widely known for their monopoly over interplanetary transport of live human cargo. Theirs is a fleet of grand liners and transports that ply the warp routes of the Prosperitas Sector. They are also infamous for the extortionate prices their Captains charge for transit tickets, and for cutting corners to pack their vessels as tightly as possible. It is said it is a good thing that their monopoly does not extend to Crusade transports, because the Imperium would have been bankrupted by the ticket costs — not that the House hasn’t tried to extend their monopoly to include the Crusade. Because their Charter gives them exclusive rights, there is little Imperial Citizens can do to avoid paying tickets, and the House’s Advocates are incredibly diligent in pursuing the Captain of any ship that tries to charge to carry human passengers. As if that wasn’t enough, the House has even been known to impose when transport is given freely, such as transporting refugees.

The House’s Charter does not extend simply to passenger transport, however. It is also contracted to provide the Imperium with slave and penal transportation. A far cry from the glittering ornate vessels of its transport fleet, House Monforte’s Slave Galleys are ugly things, bristling with defences, and actively avoided by all other ships. The bulging holds of these slave ships are often targets for pirates and rumoured to carry Imperial citizens conned into signing away their rights to become indentured labourers in exchange for ‘free’ transportation aboard. Trading and transporting slaves has been an industry that Monforte has grown fat and wealthy from.

As one can imagine this makes them intensely unpopular amongst Imperial Citizens who see the House as money-grabbing parasites. Futhermore, the poor reputation Warmaster Monforte brought them by scoring few victories and more than a few humiliating military ventures, only adds to the low prestige of the family. Still, they are canny political manipulators, and they offset their reputation amongst common civilians by a system of marriages and alliances with other Noble Houses in desperate need of the financial support of the Monfortes. For this reason, they are in high standing amongst the nobility, and have a reputation for appeasing the Faith and other Imperial Institutions with considerable donations and impeccable delivery of their tax forms.

House Ruttyer – Chartist House

Sometimes called the ‘Rat House’, House Ruttyer came from nothing over the past hundred years, to being one of the most potent Houses in the Sector, rapidly growing and acquiring power. The current head of the family Gaedren Ruttyer, built his empire on the back of other people’s garbage, and is a self-made man, of considerable power and social standing with a wide-reaching hand across the sector.

All its this wealth is built on the fact that the House has at once one of the most valuable Charters in the Prosperitas Sector, but also the one that brings it the lowest standing, in the opinion of the other Noble Houses. The House has had an exclusive charter for the trade and transport of specifically fissionable materials and waste — making it both considerably wealthy and incredibly essential to running the Hive and Imperial Worlds. In addition to this, the House controls many of the Waste Management Guilds on the Worlds of the Prosperitas Sector meaning it can, and has threatened to, in the past, paralyse the waste recycling and disposal facilities across the Sector — a not meaningless threat, given how much waste the average Imperial world produces in a day.

The House is strongly suspected of running several illegal or semi-legal operations under the cover of its haulage business. However, it has always publicly disavowed any of its Chartist Captains accused of or even caught involved in such operations. Investigations into the activities of the House are almost-always ongoing and almost-always never resolved This is never helped by many Planetary Governors being unwilling to threaten their relationship with the House by aiding Arbites investigations of its assets, otherwise being left with their cities drowning in overflowing waste.

Lord Ruttyer has a reputation for being a demanding and ruthless kingpin of a vast Empire built on the discarded ‘wealth’ of others, and is ill-liked by the rest of the nobility who view him as an upstart, though few would ever say it to his face, few have survived slighting the Lord of the Rat House.

House Globex – Chartist House

House Globex is an ancient organisation, in some form or another it has existed for longer than the Imperial foothold in the Prosperitas Sector has existed, born from a league of Guilds on Caudica Secundus and given Charter and legitimacy by the gift of House Durovera. Globex holds charters for almost every area of Imperial industry, they are a House that makes everything and are one of the few in the entire Imperium that has been given dominion over industrial production of a range of technological items licenced by the Adeptus Mechanicus. House Globex provides a huge amount of products across the Prosperitas Sector, and is highly respected by many Imperial Citizens who consider it a fair and reasonable employer.

Nobody entirely knows exactly just what exactly House Globex has a Charter to produce. Certainly, quite a lot of common Household appliances and Globex-brand Luxury Rations can be found around the sector. Many believe the House has other exclusive rights that it keeps hidden from prying eyes as it employs considerably more workers across it’s numerous than it would ever need for items that are easily produced by automated production lines. The Houses representative or ‘Reps’ (as it prefers to call them) tend not to answer such questions directly; the House thrives on the air of secrecy around what products it produces, and, so, most queries are met with quiet unending smiles.

Globex has grown so wealthy that in 433.M41 they purchased control of Asteroid 24334-1. Known to its inhabitants as Cyprus Creek, from House Durovera. The isolated satellite colony is renowned for its high quality workers accommodation, low pollution levels and relative safety due to the presence of defence platforms and the House Fleet. Even with the loss of it’s original home on Caudica Secundus it has weathered this devastating loss to its ‘family’ (as it prefers to refer to its employees) without any slow down . The House is controlled by it’s enigmatic ‘Chairman’ Rufus Scorpius Globex and lives and dies by its motto:

Look around you, Globex.
Look inside you, Globex
Globex
We make Everything.