The Great House of Orpheus
Named after the legendary poet and adventurer, House Orpheus takes the legends of song and travel more seriously than most other houses. The current Anax of the house, Akademos, is known for his adventurous youth and worldliness, and the house employs many Skalds, one of whom is Dag Amundsen, a notable Skald who has performed even at the functions of the Inner City. Orpheus also takes a more liberal view on homogeneity, as many of their members come from other provinces in the Empire; a most unusual practice for a Great House. This gives their house a worldly feel and look, as cultures and customs mesh from all across the continent, and House Orpheus is largely considered one of the more eccentric, but compassionate houses.
Militarily, House Orpheus lies right in the middle of the power dynamic. They have many guards that work the Commercial district (to help move and protect the large amount of merchandise House Orpheus ships), but the strength of House Orpheus lies in their rangers and woodsmen. Orpheus has some of the best trackers in all of Mecone, and prefers a faster, fleet-footed soldier to a stalwart defender. Few know more about the woods and beasts surrounding Mecone, and Orpheus has contributed to a significant section of the cartography of the surrounding area. When scouts are needed, or when timeliness is crucial, House Orpheus is at the top of the list.
House Orpheus’ woodsmen are of significant renown. The House is one of the few to have a Master of Beasts; a Ymiron who sports an unusual affinity for beasts almost to the point of animalism. These individuals are rare and highly coveted, as they are able to seemingly command the beasts of the world and have a greater understanding of their ways and uses. House Orpheus is also known for their cooks, who travel out into the wilderness to get unusual herbs and plants, and also purchase rares meats and spices. Elaborate pelts and furs are common among the members of House Orpheus, giving them a singularly bestial look, even among the Ymiron, who love their furs.
House Orpheus is one of the main suppliers in the region of meats and pelts, as few houses hunt more than Orpheus. Hunting is taught to all the children of the house and cultivated as a great and ritualistic practice. As such, the House has no need to purchase standard meats or furs, thereby saving them a significant among of gold. The Orpheus insignia is branded on cases of furs and can be seen all across the continent, so prolific are their hunters. But while Orpheus is a great supplier and gatherer, mercantilism is not something that is stressed. Merchants in the house are few and far between, and as such Orpheus has affiliated itself with the Great House of Andromeda, one of the premier shipping and merchant houses. During the warmer months, goods from Orpheus are shipped on Andromeda galleys up and down the coast, and during the winter months, carriages and carts carrying goods traverse the dangerous and treacherous passes to the other provinces.
House Orpheus also is one of the few Houses to have a printing press, one of the greatest technological inventions of the era. This has made the house somewhat controversial, as such technology is feared by many. Still, many of the Great Houses use Orpheus’ printing press to produce their house’s code of honor, the genealogy of lords, quartermaster reports, and other basic publications. In addition, many of the gears, cogs, and cannons come from Orpheus’ metalworker, the rumor-shrouded monk, Brother Eldjarn.