Hic Sunt Dracones
Terra Antiqua: Noble Houses
House Levent: former rulers of the rich harbor of Levantine, after the construction of Lumiere and the lost of their economic power, they managed to become the Chamberlain Lords of the Empire, keeping their power in their firm hand and struggling for the control of the new great harbor of Terra Antiqua, the city of Bilar (the city of Carcosa in the far east is already under their control). Blazon: an armored mermaid, argent on azure, livery: white braided with blue. Motto: "My Ocean, My Rules" (previously "My River, My Rules").
House D'Argonath: they claim to have given the largest number of Emperors and Empresses to Terra Antiqua. Blazon: a tower in flames, sable and or on purpure, livery: purple braided in golden and black. Motto: "You cringe in my Shadow".
House DeGriss: they own grain fields and vineyards in Oscagne, fighting a gallant but ancient feud with House Ormond and Leffler. Anyway they prefer the luxurious court of Lumiere to their country. Blazon: a rampant collared dog (or wolf), gules and argent on sable, livery: black and white braided in red. Motto: "Tame the Fear"
House Soter: one of the oldest family of the Empire, they claim fiefs in the southern regions but they live close to the Emperor in Lumiere, as a member of House Soter has always the privilege to be the body guard to the Emperor himself. Blazon: an peryton with a shield in its talons, or on sable, livery: black braided with gold. Motto: "After Hope, We Stand".
House Crimsen: they gave their domains (in Grimmland and Falconia) to the Church and are since then allowed to display the full Alchemical Cross on their Blazon, on argent, livery: gold and silver with church insignia. Motto: "No Glory in this World" (previously "We are the Glory of the World")
House Melcene: one of the oldest family of the South, they keep the pagan tradition of female lineage. Blazon: a bull-dancer , or and argent on gules, livery: red braided with gold and silver. Motto "The Land makes the rules".
House Margantha: as House Melcene they are matrilineal and follow customs more ancient than the Empire. Blazon: a labyrinth crowned with laurel and lilies , vert on argent, livery white and green. Motto "the Poison is the Cure"
House Dominil: Blazon: an eye with three arrows, gules on argent, livery: white braided with red. Motto: "You can't see my strike".
House Ormond: they claim many explorers in their lineage and the cities of Bersabea and Sebastipole - in the far east – are under their control. Blazon: five bees, or on azure, livery blue and gold. Motto: "We always return".
House Sarrasine: arch-enemy of House Levent this small, decadent family rules on the island of Arcais. As punishments for their crimes they are not allowed to land on Terra Antiqua, therefore most of them sailed to the Terra Incognita, where their Blazon became known and feared: a severed gorgon head, sable and purpure on argent, livery black braided in purple and silver. Motto: "Every Head can fall"
House Vanadis: they come from the Fiefs of the North. Blazon: as they claim to descend from the Faery Queen, they can display Her colours: a sickle, gold, entwined with thorns, sable, on vert, livery green braided with black and gold. Motto: "We Harvest the Sky".
House Wyrmhart: originally rulers of the North, due to the scheming of the court they were assigned new fiefs in the deep Southern regions, where they are experiencing bad time with the locals, still loyal to family Melcene and Dominil. Blazon a hydra, or and sable on sanguine, livery sanguine and black braided with gold. Motto: "Beheaded but not Defeated".
House Leffler: a small decadent family from Oscagne, famous for their parties and masquerades. Blazon: a passant lion crowned with flowers, vert on or, livery gold braided with green. Motto: "Gallant and Ferocious".
Minor Houses: House Plagueis (is an Orc House ennobled by House Sarrasine, blazon: an iron mask, argent on sanguine), House Aranai (is an Orc House ennobled by House Ormond, blazon: a tree with half foliage, parted par pale, argent on vert), House Smaragdine (is a Noble House from Pismire blazon: two fronting Seahorses, vert on sable), House Aquaviva (blazon: a damsel wrapped by a snake, or and vert on azure), House Jarowitz (a Noble House from the East, blazon: a passant basilisk, purpure on or) House Striborg (a Noble House from the East, blazon: a cup with three bats, gules and or on azure)
Barbatus: is a common second name of many Noble men. In the past, Nobles used to emasculate the second, third born child to avoid the splitting of a fief among too many nephews. The right to have an offspring was granted to the firstborn only. Those Nobles who kept their sex intact used to grow a beard to show their capability to have children of their own. Therefore the nickname.
Vincta: is a common second name among many Noble women. In the past the elder sister could rule in place of her little male brother only if she accepted to wear a chastity belt (until her brother was in age to rule and have his own offspring). Many famous ladies of the past managed anyway to keep the power in their hands (by controlling or killing their brothers), and even if they were supposed to keep themselves virgin forever, many had their own offspring (legends flourished around those miraculous births).