House Merling: Has no province except that of the first district of the Imperial City, and loosely governs the Undercity. Merlings are masters of commerce, and have been known to trade with less savory groups of individuals, including trade with the Underdark. Lady Verlaine’s lack of discrimination has strengthened the city’s position as the trading hub of the continent. Her inability to contribute much to the threat of Atropus is attributed to the Black House’s recent crime wave that is crippling the city’s economy.
House Riven: Governs the Second District, and the lands encompassing the Rivenwood. They supply most of the Empire’s lumber, and exports frequently to Alacia and Ermindal via the Upper Orin. Has been at odds with Varen Imris for years, since his lumber must go through Varen’s docks in the city of Bonderaal. Olthor believes that House Imris charges too much for shipping, and has “lost” shipments for arguing this point. He also believes that Varen is friends with the Calgar Logging Union in Alacia, and thwarts his business to line his own pockets.
House Vokar: Governs the Third District, and the lands between the Galgan Valley and the Imperial City. A family familiar with conflict, the Vokars have played host the many battles on their lands over the centuries. Next to the Tolaskas, Vokarian citizens and nobles have contributed the most blood and gold to the garrison at Argovand, the city-fortress at the Adamant Wall. Their support in the countering of Atropus is unhindered and full.
House Imris: Merchant kings, and masters of trade, Varen Imris has exemplified the tradition of his family for the last 25 years. His personal fleet of 80 riverboats hauls commodities to and from Saboria along the Upper Orin. He has many friends and connections throughout the Empire, Ermindal, and Alacia. The ongoing conflict with House Riven has been a thorn in his side for most of his reign. Olthor Riven is and has always been a bully in his opinion, and his brash demands breach the bounds of professionalism. He likes to make the lumberjack lord squirm by making his product harder and harder to get across the border. Not that Riven is really suffering; wagonloads of his wood travel the roads across the Empire and into Ermindal. Varen will help with the Atropus Crisis if Olthor gets off his high horse.
House Belaros: Rules Galgan Valley, and are the Bankers of the Empire. They have no real exports to speak of, but Belaros has always been a neutral House, catering to the needs of other Houses when seeking financial guidance. Galgan Valley, and the city of Four-Falls is also a popular vacation spot for nobles of the Empire and even other kingdoms who grow weary of politics, longing for a peaceful reprieve away from civilization. Lord Belator has suffered the most from the Atropus Crisis so far, and fully supports every attempt to eliminate it.
House Shandara: Are the great traders and seafarers of the Empire. They supply most of the imports and exports that move through Saboria, and the Imperial Navy. From his island city of Aquindell, Viggos Shandara commands a vast fleet of ships running voyages from the Harper Sea to lands as distant as Lotherin and Bytoria. The docks of Shandara is famous for being a bazaar of the exotic and fantastical. Viggos’ support in the Atropus Crisis is severely diminished due to a war against House Tolaska that flared up a year ago, due to the death of his son by the hand of Vladimir Tolaska, the military governor, and his continued refusal to grant him a proper burial or the return of the Shandara Family sword, Horizon’s Edge. In response to Viggos’ preoccupation with the war, Pirates have begun prowling the Harper en masse, crippling trade. Viggos will relent if Vlad returns his son’s body and his blade, and admits his fault.
House Tolaska: Sabor Nerelon may have founded the Empire, but it was a Tolaska that fought next to her, bloody sword in hand. The oldest ruling house, Tolaska is also the richest. Their capitol, Kaldonis, is built into the towering Mountains of Silence, and supply the majority of Saboria’s gold and silver. House Tolaska supplies most of the funds and military might necessary to upkeep the fortress city of Argovand, and the current ruler Vladimir is the Lord Commander of the Imperial Army. Cold, cunning, and ruthless, Vlad’s grasp of tactics and ingenuity on the battlefield has earned him a reputation that spans the continent; many scholars are now comparing him to the greatest military strategists in Ramistar’s history, including Kaldon Tolaska, and Sabor Nerelon herself. Vlad’s current war with Viggos Shandara is naught but a game to him; boredom was overtaking him, and he needed something to stimulate his brain. The foolish lordling gave him just opportunity he needed when threatening him with that fancy rapier, bragging that Shandarans should be second to the Empress. Vlad will relent when Viggos admits that his son was a fool, and Tolaskans are the true power of the Empire.
House Nerelon: For a thousand years, house Nerelon has ruled the Empire of Saboria. The first of the bloodline, Sabor Nerelon, was a slave to the Tieflings of Bael Turath. She lead an uprising that became all out war. With her brother-in-arms Kaldon Tolaska (scholars speculate that he was actually a Tiefling), the rebels overthrew their masters, fleeing before the other Turathi houses could intervene. Their exodus was made that much easier as the Dragonborn Empire of Arkhosia launched their first assault on Bael Turath soon after. Travelling for weeks through untamed wilderness, dragging a horde of half-starved freedmen with them, Sabor and Kaldon finally came upon the yawning chasm, and massive floating earthmote on which the Imperial City now lies. As Arkhosia and Turath fell, Saboria grew; slowly at first, then at leaps and bounds, as expeditions to the Leyric ruins at the bottom of the abyss yielded magic and technology unlike anything ever seen since those mythic days at Leyria’s height of power millennia past. Saboria is now the most powerful kingdom on Aralgost, and possibly all of Ramistar. The power of the Imperial family however, has waned of late. The Empress Paline Nerelon VIII is nothing more than a figurehead, whist the true power lies in house Tolaska, who has its hands in the Empire’s gold and military.
Paline loves her people, and will whatever she can to help stop Atropus.