Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Stormborn," House Gorav, pt. 3, 410 words

Every starborn of Gorav is raised with the sure knowledge that there is more grace and glory in the smallest act of creation than in the greatest acts of destruction, encouraging them all to seek acclaim through the pure exercise of their Art. This does not mean they’re all productive – by no means! – but it does mean they tend to keep out of harm’s way, discouraged from entering the military or even their own House’s armed forces. As a result, Gorav has a slight edge on most any other House but Jerit on the number of starborn in its ranks. While many of them are fools and spend far too much idle time (from the House’s perspective) on their personal interests, every so often one comes up with something in their dabbling that’s useful to the House and the Empire.

By the grace of their Art, House Gorav trades in expertise. It runs many of the most productive mines and quarries in the Empire, most under the auspices of the Empire – a percentage of the output kept free for Gorav’s own purposes in exchange for hefty taxes on any profits, and every speck of carmot uncovered. Gorav uses what it keeps for its private construction efforts, many commissioned by the Emperor. Other Houses also employ the Gorav for their own needs, building fortifications and maintaining the provincial roads. As well, the artisans of House Gorav produce many of the finest goods in the Empire, from the deadliest arms and armor down to the most exquisite bone china, all for noble and Imperial customers. House factors provide a similar service in producing goods meant for the common market, but do not hold as tight a monopoly over that as the House itself does on higher-quality goods.

The Sign of Gorav is the Salamander, a great lizard wreathed in flames. Salamanders have long been considered both auspicious and dangerous. Legend tells that they are responsible for giving fire to man, but they are also rapacious and all-consuming. To this day, many forest fires and other similar disasters are blamed on salamanders, to the point that those guilty of arson will claim a salamander did the deed if questioned. By the same token, the fire that they gave to man is also a metaphorical one: the spark of inspiration, the fire of industry. It is this which House Gorav claims for itself, promising the very future itself in their Art.

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