The Lost Age
Great Houses of the Aldician Empire
The so called “Great Houses” of Aldicia are nothing more than families that had the good fortune to be in a position of power when the empire originally formed. They are all made up of the most ruthless and cutthroat of nobles and politicians of any realm and those in direct line of power are probably only there because they are more devious than just about any devil from the infernal planes. When the empire was first forming, there was 4 wealthy families who all wanted to take part in the forming of the empire and if possible control it as well. After a series of mass poisonings and other assassinations of various members of the families, the Wizards Sanctuary, who also saw the benefits of a unified empire decided to step in. The wizards themselves did not wish to be bothered with the day to day problems of ruling so they were more then happy to let one of the families rule and so they created “The Trial.” Whenever an emperor dies the council of wizards sets a series of tasks which require intelligence, cunning, and physical prowess which those eligible members of the families must take part in in order to become emperor. Failure to complete “The Trial” typically resulted in death or serious maiming, but whomever survived “The Trial” was from then on the new Emperor.