Each Amber campaign throws around a few names and facts about the Courts of Chaos. Here are mine. Signet is the heraldic of the House. Lord's Party is where the House typically lines up politically in the House of Lords, except for "Outlaw", which are the exiled Houses that are not referred to in polite society. Rank is the 'understood' social/power rank, 13 is equal to zero influence, another way of saying off the scale. Exemplar is the field of excellence traditionally associated with the House.
 
This chart is indebted to the inspiration and hard work of Meera and Jvstin. The errors and additions are all mine.
 

Houses Of The Courts Of Chaos

Bloodline Exemplar Rank Lord's Party House Signet
Amblerash Serpent 1 War Reversed "S"
Sawall Psyche 1 Conservative Burning Eye
Nemirab Exploration 2 Conservative 8 Arrows, Outlying
Helgram Sorcery 2 War Burning Pentagram
Jesby Psyche 2 War 3 Arms
Minobee Exploration 2 Invention Sphere of Quarters
Matrisse Diplomacy 3 Considered 6 Spears, Upthrust
Hendrake War 3 Conservative Blood Drake
Rathrenk Empire 3 Expansion Net of Shadows
Ptath Empire 3 Conservative Door of PtathWays
Chanicut Shaping 4 Conservative 7 Hydra
Aricline War 4 Expansion Batwinged Tower
Vangrast Trump 5 Invention Hand, Up Forked
Baccaran Diplomacy 5 Considered Hand, Down Open
Draynell Empire 6 Expansion 3 Swords
Elvina Empire 6 Expansion 7 Stars
Bodann War 7 Conservative Horned Helm
Wererathe Exploration 7 Expansion Fanged Maw
Sesphere War 7 Conservative Braced Globe
Murkweir War 8 Conservative Winter Tree
Zoefel Invention 9 Invention Burning Lightning
Rascal None 11 Invention Reversed "R"
Mafiere Empire 11 Invention Hand, Skeletal
BlackAdder Crime 13 Outlaw Black Serpent
Lessima Shaping 13 Outlaw Circle

   
A word about Politics and the House of Lords.
 
The Conservative Party is for the status quo and preservation of Courts power. The Expansion Party follows a policy of strength through growth of influence. The War Party is strongest in tradition and patriotism. Action against enemies is their hallmark, they have a reputation for being anti-Amber. The Considered Party is interested in each issue being approached on its own merits, without dogma attached (except for the dogma of no dogma.) The Invention Party is known for bringing new ideas and other unpleasantries to the debated issues.
 
These descriptions are roughly in order of power and influence. The Conservatives are nearly twice as strong in number of Houses as the nearest other group. Since PatternFall, the Invention Party has gained strength, but is still considered the least likely to carry an issue to fruition. They do succeed in making policy more complicated.
 
General notes:
 
The highest and lowest ranked Houses are the least populated.
The fourth and fifth rank Houses average 10,000 chaosians each.
Cadet Families of the Houses of Chaos are not considered Lord Houses. They are dependant on the Heir House for influence. They are typically ten to twenty percent the size of a major House and there are seldom more than three of them per Heir House.
Examples are:
Hartner, Theocre, Rathrenk Younger, Klee, Thotorr, and many others.
 
Trivia:
 
House Hendrake has over 13,000 chaosians. It has two Cadet branches, bringing its total population to 16,637. No other House has close to this number. In a tradition longer than memory, Hendrake suffered the highest casualties in the PatternFall War.
 
The most recently founded House is Rascal. It has under a 100 members and was founded since Patternfall.
 
The PatternFall War widowed approximately 75% of married couples, killed 82% more men than women, emptied only one House, and dropped two Houses out of First Social Rank.
 
The ratio of servants to chaosians in the typical House is three to one. There are over three million people in the Courts of Chaos.
 
And no visit to the Courts of Chaos is complete without walking the Boulevard to its final architectural marvel-- The Cathedral of the Serpent.
For a complete overview of my own Courts of Chaos, go to A Brief on the Courts of Chaos.  
Prose by Arref Mak
 



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