Ptolus has ten noble families, all of whom enjoy special status by ancestral right. Although the Empire does not officially recognize their titles, Ptolus is far enough removed from the heart of the Empire that local traditions and beliefs still grant the noble houses hereditary seats on the city’s ruling council. Plus, most of them are quite wealthy, and with affluence comes influence. The noble houses were once the seats of real power in the area, serving a dynasty of kings that ruled the entire region of Palastan before the Empire
took over. (That’s where the King’s River gains its name.) The noble houses are as follows:
A mercantile house, Abanar is very wealthy but not well regarded. Dered Abanar is the very old head of the house. There is much controversy now among his many children as to who will take control when the elder Abanar is gone.
Often called “House Dragon,” the members of this house dress in dragonscale armor, use dragon regalia, and are said to even truck with dragonkind. House Dallimothan, led by Kirstol Dallimothan, remains a powerful and wealthy force in the city.
Scholars and gentlefolk, House Erthuo normally avoids confrontation and rarely gets involved in squabbles between other houses. A family of elves and half-elves belong to this house, headed by Peliope Erthuo, a half-elf.
A wealthy house, Kath is known for its talented, glamorous, and attractive family. Devina Kath is the head of the house, which patronizes the arts.
Famous for its military leadership and martial prowess, House Khatru is made up of arrogant boors and self-righteous warriors. Dorant Khatru is the current master of the house.
This old, charitable, and altruistic house has recently fallen on hard times. Fransin Nagel is mistress of this rather minor house. She and her family are the enemies of House Sadar.
Foes of House Khatru, the Rau have a reputation as rogues, pirates, and scalawags. The house has a fair number of spellcasters as well. The head of the house is Verrana Rau.
Known for its long line of mages, this house—which some call the House of Shadows— is quite powerful. Its leader, Lord Renn Sadar, has a strong association with the Inverted Pyramid arcanists’ guild and shadow magic. They are enemies of House Nagel.
Known for its skill with machines, House Shever made a great deal of gold long ago, but until recently was fading in influence. Now with strong ties to the Shuul organization of technophiles, the house is on the rise again. Thollos Shever is the head of the house.
An evil house, and very ancient, House Vladaam seems to have lost much of its power and influence in recent times. Iristul Vladaam is the current master of the house, although he has not actually been seen in the city for years. Most people whisper that demonic blood runs through the family’s veins.