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Peter Krausche

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The Traveler Universe

Culture: The Great Houses

The Great Houses were first recognized during the onset of the era termed the Millennial Peace. These were the houses with the greatest influence, and their votes carried the most weight during Selanian conferences.

The Great Houses displayed many similarities to monarchies when compared to Yazorian forms of government. The first houses to be recognized as Great Houses by the Selanian Conference were Tolares, Vetena, Bevelas, and Revan of the eastern provinces, and Divestelan, Cemasena, Novesta, and Marusen of the west. These remained the oldest and most powerful of the Great Houses until the time of the Technocrats. Houses could only obtain the status of a Great House by recognition in the Selanian Conference and had to be recommended by at least one existing Great House.

The official address of the head of state of a house was Your Excellency. The official title of the male head of a house and his sons was Lord and the address My Lord or Your Lordship. For the female heads and their daughters, the title was Lady and the official address My Lady or Your Ladyship. Direct relations of the Lords and Ladies were addressed as Madam and Sir, although such addresses were often also used by children toward their parents in more formal families. The sons and daughters of a Lord and Lady were referred to as princes and princesses.

During the first decades of the Millennial Peace, the Ladies of the Great Houses took particular pride in distinguishing themselves by a variety of hairstyles. These hairstyles soon became official attributes of the females of the Great Houses and have held even into the present stellar age. A Lady’s affiliation to a certain Great House can therefore often be determined by her hairstyle.

Every house has its own colors. Before and during the Selanian Civil War, the guards and armies of the eastern and western provinces donned uniforms in the colors of the most powerful Great Houses in order to save costs. The Houses were Tolares in the east (dark forest green, burgundy, and gold) and Divestelan in the west (dark brown, black, and gold).

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