Great Houses of Ardania Organization in The Sagas | World Anvil

Great Houses of Ardania

Power comes in many forms; weapons, money, and words are some of the most common of them. But our power comes from the blood that runs in our veins, and it is how we rule over our lands and the people that live on them. To ensure that we remain in power, we must remain the people of that always, or they will take advantage of us for those who don’t want to achieve greatness, such as our family has done. - Noblemen to son


The houses that rule over Ardania are often of the upper nobility being the monarchy, Vemers, and Banors that have the most power.   The Crown: The monarchy is, of course, the power of the great houses, and all other houses must obey them. However, this doesn’t mean they are untouchable; remaining on top takes wit and cunning.   Vemere/Vemerese: Some of the most powerful houses in the kingdom holding large swaths of land. These are often matched by the political influence and resources that they have at their disposal.   Banor/Banoress: The defenders of the kingdom's borders from all threats beyond them. They have control over large militaries to protect their lands from any threats.


We are all pawns in this land that we call home; it does not matter if you are a mudblood or a pureblood, for we are nothing more than tools to the natural powers that rule over these lands as they seek to enrich themselves. Ensure that their houses keep themselves from ruin no matter who gets caught in their schemes. - Unkown
  The Great House is considered one of the most powerful families ruling the Kingdom of Ardania. They ensure their power is kept safe and secure so future generations can prosper under their work. This is no easy feat, as power tends to be hard to keep a hold on. Once it gets away, getting back is always more challenging, as others will easily take it if it gets too far.  

Being a Member

  Well, it seems that you were born into power, but it is something that can quickly be taken if one doesn't keep their wits about them. Sure, it is all nice and good to live a life where you don't have to deal with problems such as poverty and starvation. It doesn't mean you are the only one who wants what you have. Other houses seek the same thing: to keep their power no matter the cost or even try to take it from you if they see a chance. Life will never be easy as you try to get around the politics and challenges that often come with your family name. That also goes for the lands your family controls that hold your vassals and subjects that must be reminded of who is in power, or they might try to replace you. It is never easy to have power, but if appropriately harnessed, it can get you to places that seem impossible for those born without it. Whether through strength, money, or guile, those who know how to play the game of great powers shall prosper and secure their future. However, those who fail to do so will often be strangled by the strings used to manipulate their surroundings.  

What People Think of You

  Being part of the great houses that rule over Ardania means that you are both respected and feared by the status that they hold. They represent the ruling powers that maintain the Kingdom of Ardania and its subjects that rule over them. But that does not mean it is all fine meals and fancy parties, for they will often have a giant target on their back. The rivalry between great houses is expected, and they all have their fair share of enemies with which to contend. Even lower-ranking houses will try to steal the position of a great house if they spot any sign of weakness from them. Their subjects are another matter as well; despite being raised to obey the rule of the house that rules over them, they will not hesitate to turn on them if their rule causes them to suffer. But it does not mean that they are alone in their struggles; those who have been sworn to fealty under you will stand by your side and most of your subjects as long as they are treated well along with the alliances with other houses that will ensure that you and your family are kept safe from utter destruction. As long as a great house knows the political landscape of the kingdom and uses the resources they have at its disposal, then there are no problems for them.

Public Agenda

To Rule over their lands in Ardania however they see fit and to maintain their power by any means, even if those means lead others to suffer.


Lands: A house's lands can significantly influence its power and that of its surrounding neighbors. Good soil for farming or rich mineral deposits can increase its wealth. The number of people in its lands who can harness its resources also determines its power. Houses also have holdings such as castles and forts in their lands that protect them from attacks from rival houses and foreign threats.   Wealth: Money can buy anyone anything if they have enough. Some great houses have power and money in their treasuries to pay for their needs. They often use these to gain, improve their lands, or increase their power amongst the other houses. A house's income generally comes from taxes on its lands, but trade is also done to gain a significant income depending on the merchants' demands for materials and resources.   Military : War is no stranger to the houses of the kingdom, but the great houses often have stronger militaries than lower houses. They frequently use them to protect their interests and enforce laws on those under their rule. The skill and training of their forces vary, and they can often call the forces of other houses to aid them when the need suits them.   Influence: Politics are intertwined between the great houses that rule over their lands. Having diplomatic ties with neighbors and government officials is often vital to keeping their houses afloat, as having friends in high places can help them at a future date. This can also be said with their vessels and those of the lower classes, allowing them to use their power to its fullest capabilities. Their influence can be felt from other regions, and spies and support can be found in another house's land if they are influential enough.   Territory: The great houses often hold the largest territories in the kingdom and everything in them, allowing them access to resources and manpower that they can use when needed. However, they will also inherit the problems of these territories and often have to face them to prove that they can rule over their lands.   Knowledge: Some houses will use the knowledge passed down from their ancestors as tools to ensure that they have an advantage over others. This knowledge dramatically varies depending on how much of it is known to them and what it signifies. Some know better farming methods, while others know the secrets of creating better buildings and armor. However, this knowledge can also be of other houses and the methods of gaining the secrets they have to use against them at a future date.


Rise of Rulers

by Jester%
  After the founding of the Kingdom of Ardania and the creation of House Kasval, the new kingdom reorganized its nobility with that of the former kingdoms of Arda and Dania or what remained of them as many houses fell on both sides after an attempted assassin of the founders of the House Kasval and the subsequent war that resulted in it. But once the conflict finally ended, those loyal to the new monarch began to take control of the defeated house's lands and power on their own, resulting in a power vacuum that would result in many years of political maneuvering and some small-scale conflicts. But in the end, those who did well would become powers in their regions of the kingdom, which resulted in the rise of several great houses that would rule over the kingdom for decades and even millennia if they could hold power. It was through these great houses that peace and stability in the kingdom would be maintained politically and militarily, depending on the roles they had in it. Many would remain unchallenged as their power was often too great to go against unless it was done secretly or by another great house.  
by Jester%
  Each of the great houses has its heritage and the benefits that come with them. None of them are the same and offer something different to the table to ensure that the kingdom prospers under them. Some chose to rule out of necessity, while others sought to raise their status to a more significant position of power than ever thought possible. But all would prove they could gain their positions as the most influential houses to be forged within the new kingdom. Each one used their skill to gain the advantage over the lands that they controlled and used them to ensure that no threats would ever oppose them and undermine their rule. The methods of these houses are often very different, with some using military might to maintain their lands. In contrast, others use the resources at their disposal to maintain their power. But their best assets are that of the houses that serve under them and acknowledge their right to rule; the same goes for the commoners that live on their lands and serve them. Each generation being told to serve their rulers has been engraved into their psyche as if they could not live without them and loyalties forged in their homelands. Many are willing to give their lives in their service or just out of fear of what would happen to them if they do not. This allowed for stability to be created as power divided, and the kingdom's territories never became unstable and remained productive for as long as possible.  

The Game

  Despite their power in the kingdom, these great houses were often affected by the political state of the kingdom. They compete against one another to ensure dominace over one another and maintain higher status amongst them. However, in the golden days of the kingdom, these feuds would often be held in the shadows and behind closed doors to avoid war and unnecessary bloodshed. Preferring to negotiate with one another and then see each other bleed. These political actions resulted in them deciding who had more power over the other and had access to more lucrative ventures in resources and trade. But for the most part, most people would not even realize it was happening as all who were part of it would smile and complement one another as if they were on friendly terms. This would become the foundation of politics in the kingdom, which would be called "the game," as they try to outsmart one another. Other lower-ranking houses would also play this to seize more power. Of course, they would never reach such heights as their rulers would, and their schemes would be insignificant compared to them. But they may have the chance to rise above their stations when a great house declined at some point or another.  
by Jester%
  Every time a great house goes into decline or is destroyed, many would-be successors will try to seize control of the power they can reach with their grasp. This can often leave their title empty until someone gains hold of it. This can be done in several ways, with the simplest being bestowed by the current ruling monarch onto a house, often for doing an excellent service for the kingdom in times of war or bringing prosperity to the land. A sure way to inherit the title of a great house was to inherit from the last leader of a previous great house through a will, but it is often rare. The title of becoming a great house takes time and years to earn. But then there are the more violent directions that can come with it, as lesser houses will wage open war over the old territory in controlled warfare if the new lord is not chosen by the monarchy any time soon. Then there is the other course of challenging a great house if its rule is not met at a certain standard, known as the Claiming of Rulership or the Claim by most. This leads to the house challenging its ruler through warfare or, if lucky, through a duel to decide the rise or fall of a great house. As long as these conflicts are controlled, the monarchy has no real problem with them as they will rarely affect them. Leading to changes in the balance of power between the nobility whenever a new house rises to become a great house.  

Keepers of Order

    The monarchy may be the true power of the kingdom. Still, that power can only reach so far, and Ardania is a vast territory containing different groups and lands a monarch cannot maintain. This is why the great houses existed to divide these extensive lands under their rule and to keep the kingdom intact and united. This allows them to have better control over their subjects and the lower houses that control their lands, which make up a great house's territory. It also ensures that order is brought to them to ensure that lower houses are not constantly fighting each other and to keep the commoners in check so they do not revolt in troubled times. Through these houses, the kingdom is strong and protected due to its borders being a part of dangerous regions in the west. Allowing it to survive time and time again without the fear of utter destruction and invasion as long as it did its part to keep its lands under control through whatever methods it thought possible. Creating a delicate balance of power would secure the kingdom's peace and prosperity for centuries to come during that time. It was considered a golden age that would turn once war-torn land into a place of learning and advancement under their rule. They also ensured that they prospered, most of all in the end, with their administration bearing fruit that they would use to benefit themselves and their subjects. However, that time would eventually pass, and the sense of order and peace would follow for centuries.  
by Jester%
  Since its founding, the great houses have protected the kingdom from foreign invasions. Ardania was an isolated land for so long and surrounded by threats from all sides, so they wanted to ensure they were well prepared for anything. Over the centuries that followed, Ardania faced many foes who tried to occupy their lands or just raid and pillage to their heart content. But their borders would be protected thanks to centuries of defense building and preparation to ensure their preservation and survival. May it be a savage horde of barbarians or a foreign nation trying to spread its dominace, they were often pushed back before they could get too far inland. Thanks to the Banors of the kingdom's borderlands, who ensured this, along with their designated divisions of the Border Guard, who held the line and ensured that the kingdom's lands did not come under attack. The Vemeres and the crown would also aid them with funding needed to maintain themselves, along with sending their forces when any enemy force was far too great for even the defenders of the borderlands to face alone. But in the end, the kingdom would be safe with the help of great houses that knew they would all be affected if their lands fell to foreign influences.  

Decline and Degradation

  As the kingdom's golden age ended and so did its fair and just rulers not long after, the great house also began to lose its way. However, occasionally, these houses would do what was suitable for their people now and then. However, it became less so in later centuries as power struggles erupted between them. Wars between lower houses became more common, with the houses that ruled under them having difficulty controlling them. Often due to them being caught in the political machinations of the game that they had been playing with one another for centuries to maintain their power. Along with the temptations of their power as they benefitted themselves alone. Corruption became increasingly rampant as time progressed, with very few people in the nobility being able to avoid such issues that it was even found in the monarchy. Those who stood against such things had few allies who would dare challenge the problems plaguing the kingdom, including those of the great houses. Creating a dark age that would plague the land for a very long time as rebellions broke out over a length of time and a civil war broke out over the succession of the throne known as the War of the Three Crowns, which saw the kingdom almost destroyed by it.  
by Jester%
  This did not improve that kingdom despite reforms and changes to laws in the government, as it became greatly tweaked, especially with several kings who took the throne, which just made things worse instead of making them better. No one bothered to stop them as they were often in on it with these kings as they abused their power to the fullest by thinking of the consequences of their actions. At the time, even some of the houses considered that House Kasval's time on the throne was over and that a new house should rule over the kingdom. However, not many of the great houses were willing to take a chance as, despite their current state, the royal house was still a force to be reckoned with and would be difficult to overthrow without proper support. So, most decided to endure these rulers, hoping they would meet an early death and that a better one would take their place. There were also fears that the kingdom would collapse if another civil war broke out over the throne, and they did not wish to see it so. This lack of consideration over the damages caused by the corruption of the crown would inevitably lead the kingdom to destruction either way, with the house unable to stop it now despite all its power.  

The Fall

  In the most recent decades, the kingdom has gone through a rough patch, to say the least, regarding the great houses and their positions of power. Many have failed to keep the lower houses under them under control and have begun waging wars on other houses under their lords to gain more power. Worse, the commoners finally had enough of the nobility, causing most of their misery to rise against them. However, they would lead by one man who stood against the tyranny of the nobles and that of the great houses themselves; his name would be Roderick Wesler, and the conflict would forever be known as Roderick's Rebellion. It would be a conflict like no other as the entire kingdom would be thrown into chaos, with the great house being unable to stop it from spreading as half of the country was up in arms against them, calling for the deaths of the nobility. Despite the rebellion only lasting over two years, the damage inflicted during the conflict lasted almost a decade as the kingdom tried to rebuild. The great houses were also weakened, their power and influence were damaged, and they had difficulties dealing with the rebels. Forcing many of them to reorganize and rebuild what remained of their holdings over their territories, except for the Banors who remained unscathed from the conflict as their importance of protecting the borders was of utmost importance and even the rebels knew so, remaining neutral throughout the conflict. Which led to tensions between them and the Vemeres for many years despite their unique circumstances. But with time, the houses rebuilt and installed their power once within the masses, as they had once done before. This would not last long, as another war was brewing beyond their borders.  
by Jester%
  The declaration of war by the Vatian Empire was quite a shock to everyone, even to the great houses as the kingdom and empire were often on good terms. But the wounds from the rebellion had yet to heal fully, and the falcon began to circle its wounded, preying, waiting for the proper moment to strike. Despite the kingdom repairing much of the damage inflicted during the rebellion, the great houses were not as powerful as they used to be. They rallied their armies as best they could to face the Imperial Legions of the empire in battle. However, they sorely underestimated the might of the empire legion as they were all well-trained and equipped. Many of the kingdom's forces were mostly made up of conscripts, with only a certain number of them being professional soldiers fighting for them. The fighting was fierce, and the kingdom suffered dearly in the opening days of the war, but the houses rallied with one another and created countermeasures to fight their superior foe on their terms. For four years, the kingdom fought on and made the empire dearly for every inch of ground taken from them in battle, showing all that even in their weakened state, they were still a force to be reckoned with. However, their determination would not be enough as the great houses fell to the endless number of troops the empire had sent into their lands one by one. In the end, these houses that once ruled over the kingdom would fall and their lands in ruin as the banner of the empire now flys over their homeland; their legacy is nothing more than a distant memory as their conquerers dine off the spoils of all they have achieved as they will never rise again.


The power of the great houses was shattered with the invasion of the Vatian Empire and the War of the Raptors that followed with many houses being destroyed in the conflict, leading those that survived to submit to imperial rule and hold a semblance of what lands and titles they had left. Those who didn't would be destroyed and their names never to rise again from their ruination.

Born To Rule

-857 BCA - 1528 CA

Government, Leadership
Alternative Names
The Nine Houses of Ardania
Ruling Organization
Parent Organization
Related Species
Related Ethnicities

The Great Houses


House Kasval

House Kasval cover
  Rank: Royalty   Status: Extinct   Renown: Founders of the Kingdom of Ardania and rulers of it for thousands of years. Their ability to maintain their power through military and political power allowed them to preserve their rulership over the kingdom, with no one ever being able to dispose of them. Their rule brought forth a golden age and advancement to the king and later the decline that would lead to its destruction. The entire royal family would be killed during the final days of the War of the Raptors when the Imperial Legions stormed the royal city of Asron.  

House Saxon

Rank: Vemer   Status: Extinct   Renown: A house known for its militaristic traditions and its skill in archery, with legends stating that their ancestors could use lightning as arrows to strike their enemies. They rose to power after overthrowing House Justen when their rule was brought into question over seven hundred years ago. Their skilled archers allowed them to win many battles and even kill the head of House Justin as he was impaled with hundreds of arrows. They would become an essential house in many wars that the kingdom was a part of, such as the War of the Three Crowns and Roderick's Rebellion. They would be killed off during the War of the Raptors as they refused to submit to imperial rule.  

House Gelderbal

Rank: Banor   Status: Extinct   Renown: House Gelderbal would take the place of House Firestone after its fall and would become crucial in ending the Stone Horde War. They would be famous for their contributions in creating the many fortifications that would be used by the Mountain Guard with their crowing achievement being Blood Stone Gate that halted the migration of any future Mountain Kin from migrating into Ardaina's mountain range. They would also be known for their skills in navigating The Spine, knowing like it was the back of their hand. Like many Banors who refused to submit to the empire, they would be wiped out.  

House Kelner

Rank: Banor   Status: Extinct   Renown: Known for their sense of duty and skill in warfare, House Kelner has been at the forefront in defending the kingdom’s borders of the Great Forest from anything that would dare to cross into its lands. They were generous as they were stubborn in ruling their land and its people. When they took the place of House Greenberg, they would often be in front of any threat that came at them and would defeat them with the might of a wild boar. No foe would ever be able to get past their lands and would have fled with their tails between their legs. However, that ferocity would destroy them in battle with the empire during the War of the Raptors.  

House Rondelof

Rank: Vemere   Status: Living   Renown: House Rondelf is by far one of the most infamous houses that ever existed in the kingdom. This is due to their aggressive nature and how they rule over their lands, which is often considered brutal. They rule through fear and intimidation to get results done, as their lands were once one of the more chaotic regions of the kingdom to keep under control. So they began to change their policies to their founder, Karston, a brute in every manner, and reorganize their forces to become a deadly fighting force. They became an aggressive bull that attacked anyone in their sight who would dare oppose their rule. They would be one of few Vemeres that would surrender to the empire and pledge their loyalties to them when the War of the Raptors ended.  

House Seacrest

Rank: Banor   Status: Extinct   Renown: It was said that the founder of their house, Gunther, became a victim of a shipwreck and was stranded out at sea with his life almost taken by a shark. Only for dolphins to save his life would he honor his protectors by putting them on his banner. From this, House Seacrest became protectors also when House Ketemer fell and would defend the seas from all threats that dared show themselves. Often facing any foe, they are a man or monster, the same courage a dolphin would also show against a vicious shark, along with creating a series of outposts and warning stations to alert all in the Sea Guard to them and act. That courage would also see them fall when the empire invaded the coast in the War of the Raptors and would sacrifice themselves by destroying many ships of the Imperial fleet.  

House Mores

Rank: Vemere   Status: Extinct   Renown: Law and order defined everything that was House Mores. Their family came to power because of merit and their ability to maintain a strong rule over their land and subjects. They came about during the kingdom's founding from a long line of judges, administrators, and lawkeepers that they often deemed incorruptible. They were given a house to ensure justice prevailed, whereas others fell to corruption. They chose the scale on their banner because it judges all who face them and live by a set of laws in their lands known as the Rodock Charter, named after their founder. These sets of laws made their lands some of the most well-maintained and uncorrupted lands due to these laws that ensured that no one was above them. These laws inspired the Charter of Lords centuries later. However, their laws would not protect them from the forces of the empire at the end of the War of the Raptors.  

House Marston

Rank: Vemere   Status: Living   Renown: House Marston is a house that is famous for its skilled soldiers and its way around political circles across the kingdom. Its rise to power came with the fall of House Justen, and it accumulated all of its knowledge to raise its power to new levels. The Marstons have always been known to excel at everything, believing everything in life should be treated as a game. It was said that their founder, Auburn, was a masterful tactician and crafty in politics to raise it to a noble house. Since then, they have followed his teachings and gained much power. It is said that their power rivaled the crown in recent decades, which genuinely showed their power. They were among the few Vemeres to submit to imperial rule after the War of the Raptors.  

House Aeymond

Rank: Vemere   Status: Extinct   Renown: It said that House Aeymond's rise to glory came with that of the hunt of a white stag. However, their founder, Richard, refused to kill such a magnificent beast, and it was said that the stag, in gratitude for its life being spared, would lead him to a rich, fertile land like no other. The house had the wealthiest lands on which to farm and raise livestock. Through these lands, they would become wealthy and save the kingdom many times from famine, as their lands never seemed to suffer from drought, and things continued to grow anyway. This would not save them, as the empire would burn their lands with them in the War of the Raptors.  

Former Great Houses


House Greenberg

Rank: Banor   Status: Extinct   Renown: The Greenburgs existed long before the rise of the kingdom and were said to have lived along the Great Forest longer than anyone could remember. They knew the land better than anyone else. They were pivotal in the creation of the Forest Guard, with one of its heads, Randolph, being instrumental in the creation of the Rangers later on. Often considered great hunters and scouts who braved the danger outside of the forests. However, they clung to the old ways and refused to accept the faith of the Exalted like many others. This would eventually cause their neighbors and those of the faith to turn on them and be treated as heathens to false gods, and all would be burned at the stake for it.  

House Justen

Rank: Vemer   Status: Extinct   Renown: House Justen was said to have been a house of learning and understanding, as many of them would be scholars and philosophers. Their banner would be that of Eterous, the starry sky's red star representing the never-ending pursuit of knowledge. They would use their knowledge to contribute to many advancements and advance the kingdom for centuries. They would also aid in accumulating knowledge in both science and magic for any mind willing to learn. Their wisdom would often bring reason to others when none could be found. However, their family would die out from infertility from its last heir, and it was said with their death came the decline of the kingdom.  

House Durand

  Rank: Herrshall   Status: Living   Renown: House Durand has always been known for its martial skill and soldiers; however, they became too obsessed with them, especially when the Norrian Jorgen Fine Hair married into the family are seducing it, heiress, after the Warlock Wars. Causing the house to begin taking up Norrian traditions and its famous Iron Blood Warriors. However, this caused their vessels and subjects to dislike being ruled by foreigners and rebelled against them. Despite their fierceness, in battle, they were deposed by House Marston and were spared as their warriors were considered to be vaulted to dispose of, and they would be reduced to Herrshalls. They were among many houses that pledged their loyalty to the empire after the War of the Raptors.  

House Firestone

Rank: Banor   Status: Extinct   Renown: Originally descendants of blacksmiths since ancient times, House Firestone would rise to power when falling star land near their home near Ironmound and from it would create a powerful suit of armor known as Fire Brand that could not be pierced nor dented no matter how hard a weapon struck. Along with several weapons, they would use them for their family, forever known as Star Forged Steel. Their skills in the art of smithing would become famous, and they gain the title of Banor after saving Ironmound from a barbarian horde. They would do so for centuries as they equipped their forces with the best weapons and armor imaginable. Their house would perish after its heirs were killed defending their lands during the Stone Horde War.  

House Ketemer

Rank: Banor   Status: Extinct   Renown: House Ketemer was famous for its mastery over sailing and well-designed ships that they would give to the Sea Guard. During their rule, they could hold off the vicious Hyperion raiders of the Hyperion Kingdom for centuries. However, they would meet a gruesome end when a savage storm hit their hold of KeyStone, causing the cliffside to collapse from under it and sending the entire family to a watery grave with no survivors.


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Feb 27, 2022 20:00

This is great! I enjoyed reading it, even though the article is a bit imposing at first sight. Maybe it could be split into the sub articles? Or maybe having some of the text collapsible (I personally like using spoilers BBcode for that).   I will definitely save this to my reading list, I doubt that I managed to absorb everything this fast haha.

Mar 5, 2022 23:43

I think this really cool and inspirational as I'm working on families/house like groups too! I love the crests.