The Great Houses of Domani derive their power and prestige in a variety of means, bound together only in fealty to the Crown of Corrin and the Seat of the Domani. Of the twelve Great Houses recognized as royal by the Line of Corrin the Houses trace their lineage to the kin of Thorvald First Father, two Houses are of foreign birth, bound by compacts ancient and arcane, and near legendary in their origin, and the remaining Houses are the native peoples of Terene conquered by the advancing forces of Corrin.
Thorvson – Tracing their line directly to Thorvald First Father the House of Thorvson, founder of the Eisenhar and the grandfather of Corrin I. The Thorvson claim no lands as their own, instead they administer the lands of Calorst and the Vale of Law. The Thorvson are very active in the military matters of the Domani and are most often encountered as Legates when not in their home lands.
Rosehelm of Thornvald – Of the surviving Eisenhar, the Rosehelm took the lessons of the Doom of Haardval to heart. They have wed the stoicism of their legendary past with the Faith of Ertu, and are renowned and infamous for their religious fervor, their military might, and the many who have Fallen. Most infamous is the mythical Guttot Rosehelm, dark scion of their House, Betrayer of his Hands and the Forsaken Lord of Xaxmoth. The Rosehelm rarely serve the Empire directly in military service, instead maintaining their own levies in the fortified regions of Haardstadt, Thiekal and Courhash, the latter being a port shared by the al’Phoenix. The Rosehelm maintain a strong naval tradition, though unlike their cousins the Rheinvoss prefer the sleek dragonboats of their forefathers. The Dead’s Honor, the Duke’s flagship is the one war galleon in their armada. Their naval partners the al’Phoenix maintain a flotilla of more modern heavy vessels and the two combined are a significant deterrent to any naval invasion.
Rheinvoss of Chevarest – The Rhienvoss have embraced the union of the Domani and the Eisenhar fully. Education and leisure are valued pursuits among both the House and their vassals, and to their credit they do not deny their people the same aspirations. Chevarest is the first Duchy to follow Calorst’s lead and provide for the education of the masses and the establishment of formal education centers for those able to afford the tuition. Chevarest is blessed with several excellent ports, good access to river and overland travel and numerous natural resources, such as shipbuilding materials and iron. As a result Chevarest has become the principal naval and merchant power of the Domani Empire, with established trade agreements with numerous foreign powers. The Rheinvoss themselves do little to administer the Duchy themselves, having appointed numerous minsters to handle the responsiblitis of their House.
Cearsain of Carador – The Cearsain are the native Kings of Carador deriving their power from the Ancient Dimuviel and the Druid-Priests that serve the Goddess. When the Domani had conquered their neighbors the Cearsain held the Domani at the Pass of Hroth, and dwindled the invaders numbers fighting in the Marsh of Chorrush. Corrin II offered Sackhove Cearsain peace, in return for loyalty, coming himself and in stealth before the pagan king. Cearsain married Corrins second daughter Martienne and became the prinicipal cadet House of the south. The Cearsain and their people retain much of their ancient relgion, much to the ire of the Temple. Shrines to Dimuviel and spirits of the Earth remain well tended and sought by both Caradain and Domani alike in those lands. The Bards of Wyth come from these lands, the college where they learn the acient arts from Druids and revered lore masters lies hidden in the Drythwin Mountains, the first test of admission finding the sacred site.
House of Macay – Once kings, the Macay now rule the lands of Breac, the barrier islands off the western coast of Domani. They are not known for their shipbuilding, but are renowned for their tenacity in battle. The Macay are the last House to join their banner to Corrin, and did so after long years of war ended only when a greater threat was defeated by their combined forces. Lord Macay still bears the title King in his petance, King of Breac, Lord of the Westmarches, Duke of Graystone and Protector of the Criestwold. The people of Breac tend towards ruddy skin, hair ranging from dark to red, withe eyes ranging from gray to green.
This House has not yet been formed as of this time.
Gwyneth – House Gwyneth, Lord Gwyneth and the land are one and the same. The house and their vassals retain many of the same traditions as the Cearsain, who while not orginally related by blood have become strong allies, and many marriages between the two are arranged. The progenitor of House Gwyneth was the Sorceress Gwynn Wyth, some say the daughter of gods, feared and loved by her people. She sought out the burgeoning empire, aiding the warrior king with counsel and prophesy. Her children, mortal and loyal to the crown, were given rank and title, things she despised. The people of Gwyneth produce some of the finest textile goods, woven goods, and leathers of the empire. They are similar in stature to the domani, and similarly colored, but culturally very different. The Gwyneth still speak their native language Cwyl amongst themselves, but they do speak the Domani tongue among outsiders.