The Ruling Houses of Emposia
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The Ruling Houses of Emposia by Ivo Williams
The Ruling Houses of Emposia Emposian politics is, in a word, complicated. The political system is based around the different Houses, or families, which control most of the power in the Emposian Kingdom. There are now four major houses which have most of the power. However several minor Houses also exist, and their influence should not be ignored.
The Major Houses House of Baerin The House of Baerin is the House currently in control of the Emposian throne, the House who have had it the longest, and last but not least, the House which originally founded Empo Sar. The Baerlings have a lot of support among the population, but is quickly losing allies among the other Houses as the current king is heir-less and rumoured to be growing weaker every year. Traditionally the Houses of Baerin and the House of Simmuns was the main contesters for the throne, but after the annexation of Kraan, and later Maliera the two traditional rivals have found support in each other against the new major Houses of Tokura and Brod. House of Simmun The House of Simmun was originally a branch of the House of Baerin, but after a long struggle the House of Simmun was recognized by the Baerlings as a separate House. The division was not entirely amicable though, and both Houses claimed to be true heirs to the throne. When Kraan was annexed and the House of Tokura became a faction of power the rivalry between the Simmuns and Baerlings cooled down for a bit, but as the Tokurans were not believed to be a real threat the rivalry heated up again.
After the later annexation of Maliera, and the new threat of a weak alliance between the Tokurans and Brods, the Simmuns and Baerlings have become what can be described as allies themselves. The Simmuns still contest for the throne, but will not go for it openly without the support of the Baerlings. House of Tokura Historically the House of Tokura ruled the Kraanan Kingdom, but after its annexation they have mostly acted as governors of Kraan. The Tokurans also controlled the Emposian throne for several generations, before losing it again to the Baerlings. The dream of independence has mostly been forgotten by most of the Tokurans, who rather aspire for the throne of Emposia and to move it to Kraan. After the annexation of Maliera the Tokurans have found a friend in the Brods. House of Brod The House of Brod was until recently the ruling house of Malieran Empire. Despite losing the throne, they kept a lot of their previous power and loyalty within the lands of old Maliera. Most of the Brods still remember being the rulers of Maliera, and there are always those who talk about separation from Emposia. Tight Emposian controls in Sivaris even led many of House Brod to move to Empo Sar, where they might have better influence. Since their entrance into Emposian domestic politics they have found a friend in the Kraanan Tokurans.
The Minor Houses House of von Prospel The House of von Prospel was originally a family of merchants who because of their immense success and wealth convinced King Hathus I to recognize them as a noble House in 633, only two years before his death. Their noble status is thus constantly debated among the other nobles. The focus of the von Prospels has always been, and still is, wealth and fortune. Thus they have few aspirations to contest for political power, but rather to keep, and expand their trading privileges. Some rumours have it that they are connected with criminal elements in the Empo Sar harbour district, but these have always been firmly denied by the House of von Prospel. House of Osric The House of Osric claim to be able to trace their house back to the creation of mankind to the remnants of one of the original Twelve Houses. The house officially rules Hecate, though in truth their reach of power doesn't truly extend much further. The House of Osric previously had many positions of power within the Kingdom of Kraan. However, after the annexation they were stripped of all powers and titles in Kraan. Because of the recession in Hecate as of late, several Osric families have recently moved eastwards to Empo Sar and its surroundings, hoping to gain influence in the Emposian capital instead.