Pure Bloods of the Rat Trap
The Origins of Paradise
When society began to crumble there was no shortage of affluent people along the sun bleached sands and within the steel spires of what what once known as Florida. When the waters began to rise, and the undead took over the densely populated cities, people fled inland as the beaches and zed chased them. Over time with their position of admiration in society and their greater resources, settlements developed around those that would generations later become Pure Bloods.
It was textbook evolution for those of the Pure Blood strain. With their resources consolidated before the fall, these people had clean water when others were thirsty. They had stores of food when others were hungry. They had those that would kill for them when others had no hope for survival. However there was little to bind these proto-Pure Bloods together beyond survival. That was until their King arrived.
Little is known about the origins of the Rat King beyond rumor, legend, and stories passed down to children as bedtime stories. The only people that might know something of the truth are the Dukes and Duchesses of the Rat Trap, and they surely aren’t talking. Some stories tell of a hulking beast of a man that pulled together the Pure Blood Houses by force, demanding their cooperation and viciously seizing the spires of stone and steel that he claims as his Kingdom. Others tell tales of a charismatic man, one so much so that no one to refuse him, or wanted to. A spirited leader that bound them together and led them to victory in taking their islands and cities back from the undead hordes. Regardless of his origin, what is widely known is that under the King’s leadership, the many Pure Bloods of what was once Florida came to consolidate their power in what would become the Rat Trap of the Paradise Isles. Each House came to claim their own island, with those Houses of lesser power and unable to claim their own serving those above them like bannermen. Steadily the Rat Trap slowly came together and evolved just as the Pure Bloods within evolved into their own Strain.
As the Church of the Telling Visions began to find followers in the post-apocalyptic isles, the inundation of information about the fantastical royalty of the past began to take hold in its residents. Houses claimed their favorite stories and began to mold their House in its image and the Signal did nothing but provide. Magic seemed to be the driving force of these stories and the tales from the Signal, so the Pure Bloods began to glorify it. Psions became revered if not worshipped within the Houses and Pure Bloods without such power were seen as lesser in the eyes of the Houses leadership. However, with the glorification of Psions and their “magic” so came the dangers of the attention that such power brought.
Much like any organized and unified community, they responded to the threats that Psionics attracted while trying not to compromise their ways of life. The Rat King demanded the assorted militia to develop into something much closer to an army, which further consolidated the power of the Rat Trap, and thus his own power as the Rat King. With organized training, the resources of the Pure Bloods to supply their soldiers, and the assorted skills of their people, the army was strong, and was able to fight off most of the hordes that were attracted by their power.
With such stability and dominance over the Paradise Isles the Rat Trap attracted trade routes and residents from across Merica and beyond. Each House began to develop not only on their own culture and trade, but also developed the Trap as a whole. Other Strains filled out each Duchy becoming their priests, soldiers, workers, and even slaves. Trade of all kinds became prevalent in the Paradise Isles between the many Houses as well as beyond as each House used their land to drive their resources.
Faith in the Rat Trap
The most accepted and followed Faith within the Pure Bloods of the Rat Trap is the Church of the Telling Visions. While some of the other Faiths do exist and thrive within the Trap, none are so worshiped and glorified as the Telling Visions. Driven by the magical tales of the past that inundate every aspect of life in the Rat Trap, worshiping the Signal is simply part of life for most citizens of the Rat Trap. So fervent about their Faith are the members of the Rat Trap that the catacombs of the stone and steel spires of the Rat Trap are home to even the leadership of the Broadcast Standards and Practices.
It is this Faith, and the numerous sources of information left behind by Humanity before the Fall, coupled with the many images and sounds the Signal provides, that drives the culture of the Rat Trap. Each House fashions their own culture after what the Signal provides for the chosen stories and fairy tales of the past. Because of the tales of magic in the word of the Signal, Psions find themselves seen in high regard within the Rat Trap. However with such prevalence placed on the Signal, priests of the Telling Visions find themselves in similar regard.
The Houses of the Rat Trap
Each House within the Rat Trap is ruled by a Duke and Duchess to whom their citizens are sworn in fealty. Each Duke and Duchess is sworn in service to the Rat King himself who rules over the Rat Trap as a whole. The Pure Bloods of the Houses require some sort of service or commitment from its citizens, though Pure Bloods of any of the family lines of the House are always automatically given citizenship. Most citizens satisfy this service through their dedication to the Houses prosperity and through the payment of taxes. Their service to the House may come through a tithing of their crops, service as a guard or sentry, or through a contribution of their crafted wares and crafting skills to the Houses needs. Those that do not or are unable to do so quickly find themselves no longer given the protections of citizenship and often find themselves forced into indentured servitude that may one day result in citizenship if not forced directly into slavery.
Much like the tales the Signal brings them of the royalty from before the Fall, the Houses make use of arranged marriages to seal the alliances and deals between Houses and family lines. From this came much of the naming conventions within each House. While a child’s first name is chosen at their parents discretion, their “middle” name is often an homage to some aspect of Rat Trap society or some aspect of the Signal’s teachings. Their third name is their family line and their last name, of course, is their House. While a Pure Blood that is married to another House changes their last name as a member of that house, their family line lives on through their third name.
The Major Houses
Fashioned after the information garnered from the Signal, each of the Major Houses is built in the image of most fantastical and magical of stories from before the Fall.
Often considered the “High House” within the Rat Trap, the Pure Bloods of House Charming are those closest to the Rat King and often serve him directly. The best and brightest of their soldiers are often reserved for his personal guard. Of all the major Houses, Charming ironically often has the least to offer the Rat Trap in the form of resources. They act as the politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, and with their proximity to the Rat King himself, finds themselves most often in the lap of luxury. This fact, coupled with their high percentage of psions among their royalty, leads to a significant amount of jealousy among the other Pure Bloods of the Rat Trap.
The crafting that Charming does partake in usually involves their Master Craftsmen adding silver and beautiful stones to armor and clothing as well as crafting the finest of clothing itself.
Given their station within the Rat Trap, House Charming has very few citizens hailing from Strains that cannot present an image and behavior in public that can live up their standards. They are also one of the few Houses whose citizens are made up of more Pure Bloods than other strains, outside of the royalty. Retrogrades, Semper Morts, Full Dead, and other Strains that have physical deformities are rarely found within the House. Bay Walkers and Accensorites of the Telling Visions are the most often found Strains outside of Pure Bloods. Slavery within Charming is an interesting thing, as even slaves live within the luxurious homes of the Pure Bloods as their servants.
As is common, most Pure Bloods and citizens of House Charming are members of the Church of the Telling Visions. Other faiths find themselves more than obscure irregularities.
Playing House Charming
Pure Bloods - You’ve seen the inner workings of the Rat Trap, you lived a life of relative luxury despite the apocalyptic landscape around you. Because of this you know you’re better than the rest, even other Pure Bloods, however you try to stay humble about it, you have an image to uphold after all. Likely Professions include those of social and political superiority, and of course Psionist.
Other Strains - You’ve lived under the protection or in the employ of some of the most important Pure Bloods in the Rat Trap. As long as the work you do maintains the high level of quality they expect, you’re golden. You’re an elite soldier, that fights with honor like the tales the Signal brings, you’re a highly trained crafter that puts the utmost detail into their work, you’re a silver tongued diplomat that trained under the best Pure Bloods.
House Colors - Charming colors are influenced heavily by luxury, jewels, and things that shine and glisten. These include Light Blue, Gold, Silver, White, and Pink.
House Figment - This minor house is made up of some of the best master crafters in the Rat Trap, as well as many of the premiere scientists and doctors. When the Rat King desires some device or automaton, it is Figment that crafts it. Their subservience to House Charming and the Rat Trap is what prevents their rise in power.
House Darling - Formed from two Houses that had similar origins from the tales of the Signal, a brutal feud ended their chances of becoming Major Houses. The Rat King instead forced them to join and put them within fealty of the Charmings.
House Frollo - Often seen as a group of wretches to most of the other Houses, these Pure Bloods are almost entirely members of the Cult of the Fallow Hope and prized by the Rat King for their ability to get things done efficiently and subtlety. To displease the Rat King is to find oneself at the end of a Frollo blade.
Of all the Houses, Triton comes the closest to the prestige of House Charming with their complete dominance of the seas. The vast majority of the trade routes and transportation between the many islands of the Paradise Isles includes the involvement of House Triton. Nearly every Pure Blood from the House that has survived enough to rise in power has experience on the seas, learning to sail, survive the dangers of the water, and captaining a ship. The Pure Bloods of Triton and their citizens are a hearty bunch, forged by the sun and sea, and because of it are often some of the most prideful.
Triton’s resources center around their dominance of sea-based trade routes through which they control and oversee much of the transportation within the Rat Trap. To control piracy and raiders on their waters, they also have a powerful “navy” to bring safety to the seas. Fishing is obviously a major resource for the house as well as the crafting and engineering of water based vehicles. Triton has little land resources as they maintain a network of smaller islands rather than a single larger one.
Unsurprisingly Salt-Wise have a substantial presence as citizens within the Rat Trap, and often serve on the ships that transverse the Rat Traps waters. However as long as you have the skills to work on the sea, most other Strains aren’t shunned by the house. Citizens are required to have some experience on the seas whether it be fishing, the ability to sail, or something to contribute on the open waters. Triton boasts less slaves than most Houses as they prefer the route of indentured servitude on their ships that will eventually lead to citizenry, an honor between sailors on the high seas.
While the Telling Visions is still the most common faith found within the House, however life on the high seas, often for days and weeks at a time, away from the priests back home leave some freedom to stray from the path. Because of this the Light of Hedon and the Church of Darwin often find a presence within Triton. It’s also not unheard of for a ship’s crew to fall into the philosophy of the Nuclear Family.
Playing House Triton
Pure Bloods - You’ve lived by or on the sea most of your life and if you haven’t learned to fish or sail yourself then you know how to direct people to do so for you. You’re destined to rule the seas and ships are often christened in your name. For better or worse, you’re a prideful creature and not afraid to show your superiority.
Other Strains - You’ve almost certainly served on one of Triton’s ships or in the dock yards for some time in your life. Whether a seasoned fisherman or sailor, a swashbuckling soldier bent on putting down piracy, or a charismatic first mate with a silver tongue of diplomacy, you serve the House with much the same pride the Pure Bloods exude.
House Colors - Triton colors are influences heavily by shades that remind them of the ocean. These include Red, Purple, Green, and Blue.
House Sparrow - A House slowing dying due to its reputation, Sparrow has its roots in the dark depths of the seas. Their operations often border dangerously on piracy if they aren’t dealing with pirates on the downlow. House Triton values their service however, as they can often be the iron fist under its velvet glove, accomplishing less than savior deeds behind the curtain without fault falling on Triton.
House Hook - House Hook arose from those of House Triton that wished to see a balance to the power of the Rat King and of the influence of House Charming. From this endeavor birthed House Hook, the judiciary structure of the Rat Trap. When official and formal justice must be wrought within the House it falls upon those of House Hook to oversee the judgement and punishment.
The House of the Rose doesn’t have much to offer the Rat Trap besides themselves...and their money. House Rose is known most famously for its women, and any Prince within the Rat Trap lucky enough to find themselves engaged with a Rose woman earns much repute. These so called “Rose wives” are amongst the most beautiful women in the Rat Trap and are obviously highly sought after. They often also fetch quite the dowry as well. With that and their substantial coffers from excellent business practice, House Rose is amongst the most wealthy in the Rat Trap. As such they import most of their goods and resources rather than producing their own.
Other than their money the House has little of their own resources, importing most of their goods from other houses. However the Fat Rats they are able to garner for the dowries of their daughters is great indeed. Investments made throughout the Trap also reap great resources that serves the House well.
Most other strains are welcome within House Rose, provided they’re pleasant to look at and willingly subservient to the Pure Bloods of the House. Those that are even close to unpleasant in appearance are shunned by the House, Retrogrades, Full Dead, Semper Morts, most Remnants, and any other disfigured or scarred member is simply not allowed citizenship. The Pure Bloods of the House are rather snotty and prideful and their scorn is harsh as the Paradise Isles sun.
Beyond the general Telling Visionist majority, the Light of Hedon finds more faithful within this house than many other of the Major Houses. Pride, Greed, and general vanity are rampant within the House and this leads many Rose down the path of excess.
Playing House Rose
Pure Bloods - Other of Pure Bloods are jealous of your alluring appearance, and while this gives the men a jealous edge it makes the women powerful in their own right. Any House in the Trap would desire a Rose wife and you know the power that gives you. You grew up with money and you intend to stay that way.
Other Strains - You live a life of relative servitude to the Pure Bloods of your House. They live in the lap of luxury and much of that was due to your assistance. You were likely a Rover facilitating the transport of goods into the House or a Hedon facilitating the Houses good times. A handful of Solestros find themselves quite at place in the House as well. Servants, cooks, former or current slaves are all likely within House Rose.
House Colors - Rose colors are influenced heavily by shades that remind them of flowers. These include Pink, Blue, White, Silver, and Gold.
Industrious and productive, House White provides much of the engineering feats that keep the Rat Traps exotic contraptions running and provides House Figment with the tools of their trade. “White” tools are often considered the best tools within the Rat Trap and the most wondrous and exotic engineering feats of the Rat Trap came from members of House White. Dedicated to their trade, members of the House are constantly trying to out due their predecessors with their next “masterpiece.” It’s not surprise that the home of their Royalty is a marvel of engineering, rivaled only by the Rat King’s castle...also constructed by House White engineers.
White’s island is home to the deepest, most profitable mine in the Rat Trap. It’s depths dig deep into what used to be the “floral aquifer” and contains copious amounts of silver that fuels many of the productions Rat Trap wide. Skilled expert engineers extract the ore from the island’s mines and help produce much of the materials for the structures of the building within the Trap. This gives them the necessary resources to trade for the food and resources they are unable to produce themselves on their rocky home.
The citizens of House White are industrious and skilled people, ready and willing to work their tools for the good and profit of their house and the Trap. Most skilled engineers within the Paradise Isles likely came from, if not learned their trade from the experts of House White. Many Iron Slaves populate the citizenry of House White, but only having earned their freedom through years of indentured servitude to the House and its endeavors. Beyond the Irons, most citizens are skilled crafters, engineers, or resource gatherers to fuel the engine of the Houses production.
Citizens of House White are generally devout followers of the Church of the Telling Visions, with few substantial exceptions. The tales and legends of the Signal in regards to the Houses history are profound and impactful to most members of the House that they don’t often stray.
Playing House White
Pure Bloods - You act as the creative influence and direction of the Houses endeavors. You dabble in the design aspect of engineering but rarely do such hands on work yourself. You master the trade ties necessary to garner resources and gather knowledge of the mines to produce the most resources. Often you are a spirited leader and can rally troops and workers alike to the peak of performance.
Other Strains - You’re a hard, enduring worker that serves the house with emotions ranging from contempt to pride as you fuel the Houses production. Either a hired worker or an indentured Iron Slave, you’ve learned the skills of mining, engineering, or crafting and put it to expert work on behalf of your House. One day you’ll earn your freedom or huge pay-out and be set for life...or at least one of them.
House Colors - Yellow, Blue, Red, White, and Gold.
House La Belle
One of the more militaristic Houses of the Rat Trap, it is the forces of House La Belle, along with House Fa, that holds back the forces of Zed that the Psions of the Kingdom attracts. From a young age Pure Bloods and citizens of the House La Belle are trained in the ways of the House, of combat, and the tales of the Signal from the Priests of the House. While lesser in number than some other Major Houses, they often make up for quantity with quality.
La Belle is fairly self sufficient without the need for imports from other areas of the Trap, and with less citizens they often don’t need it. They boast many of their own farms, fishmongers, and crafters to support their endeavors. Weapons and armors crafted by House La Belle are often considered a standard to strive towards and are exported around the Isles.
Any and all strains can find themselves members of House La Belle if they present the skills necessary to prove themselves. The Duke of House La Belle, known simply as “The Beast”, is rumored to be disfigured himself and finds compassion for those that are not fair of skin. Given the skills required to find a place in the house, and the compassion presented by the Pure Bloods, citizens of La Belle are frequently fiercely loyal.
Those of the House cling strongly to the tales of the Signal that bred this House’s culture. Like most of the Rat Trap, Telling Visionists make up the majority of the House and it’s most devoted members often find themselves within the ranks of the Practices and Standards. Given the Houses desire for skill and excellence, some citizens stray from the teachings of the Signal and seek personal evolution with the Church of Darwin while the Houses militaristic tendencies lead some to the Cult of Fallow Hopes.
Playing House La Belle
Pure Bloods - You’re either a fierce warrior or aggressive, intimidating politician. Even other Pure Bloods give you a wide berth in whatever you do, if not outright fear you. You know what those before you have dealt with and the struggles that your Duke has endured and because of this you accept those that other Pure Bloods would shun based on their looks or upbringing.
Other Strains - You’ve heard the tales of the Signals from a very early age and despite everything wrong with life in the wasteland, at least these Pure Bloods understand you, and for that you are loyal and grateful. You’re a devout Priest of the TVs, a trained warrior or guard, or a well trained crafter or farmer. Even with the tools of your trade, you know how to defend you and yours.
House Colors - Yellow, Gold, White, Brown, Silver.
Occupying the southernmost island of the Paradise Isles, the Pure Bloods of House Ali, act as a buffer to the terrors of the deep depths beyond the bounds of the Rat Trap. The islands at the southernmost reaches of the Trap are hot, sandy, and often miserable, but the residents have adapted well to survival here. Faith in the Signal drives them forward and loyalty to the Rat Trap binds them to defend its borders. Culturally they find them disassociated with many of the other Houses because of the distance by sea between them to they’re often considered the most exotic of the Rat Trap’s Pure Bloods.
The desert like islands occupied by the House leaves little room for farming and the waters are often too dangerous to fish with any consistency. These resources are often imported from other Houses, however what Ali has to offer comes highly desired. Many old world artifacts, gems, and scrap can be dug up from the sands of the islands here, and with their exotic style jewelry, scarves, and clothing from House Ali comes highly valued.
Because of the particular challenges of living under the umbrella of House Ali, Rovers and adaptable Remnants make up much of the citizens in the House though nearly any strain can find a home there if they so choose. Ali boasts many temporary citizens that pay for seasonal rights to scour the sands for big dig and scrounge. Priests of other Houses often journey here as well on spiritual pilgrimages in hopes of finding old world religious artifacts.
Surprisingly, with the number of Priests of the Telling Visions that journey here for spiritual reasons, Faith finds less of a fanatical hold within the House. Most of their members pander to the Church of the Telling Visions, but being so far from the core of the faith in the Rat Trap and having to constantly deal with their unique challenges may lend to their more blase approach in the church at large. Interest or faith outside of the Signal visions that their ancestors created their House from is minimal. Finding old world artifacts in the sands is also more of a business to them than spiritually enlightening. Additionally, the unique mutants of zed of the area attracts the attention of the Fallow Hope as well wishing to purify the scourge. Life in the sandy Isle breeds a healthy amount of the Light of Hedon as well.
Playing House Ali
Pure Bloods - It’s hot but you’ve adapted yourself and your House after the visions of the Signal and adapted. You don’t produce much yourself on our dusty island but the other Pure Bloods envy your wares and are willing to pay top dollar for them. Business is your trade and trade is your business, and you’re very good at it. You take advantage of the envy of the other Houses for your wares to profit.
Other Strains - Mostly Rovers and Remnants, whatever Strain finds themselves a citizen of Ali knows how to survive in the wastes long enough to scrounge up something profitable. Many citizens are scavengers and jones, and because of their inherent skill Retrogrades often make a name for themselves in the House. Farmers, fishmongers, and other such professions can’t find a foothold in the House.
House Colors - Light Blue, Gold, Black, Light Purple
Considered one of the other militaristic Houses of the Rat Trap, Fa’s forces help defend the borders of the Rat Trap from raiders and Zed attracted by the royalties Psionic powers. Bred on honor and loyalty, House Fa’s citizens are the most loyal and dedicated of the Rat Trap’s citizens. The ways of war are bred into the members of this House early on, making them a force to be reckoned with.
The most valuable resource of House Fa is its soldiers. They do most of their own farming, fishing, and crafting but none of it is exceptionally notable outside of the House. Their soldiers on the other hand are often hired out as mercenaries, guards, and extra muscle by the other Houses, if not the Rat King himself.
Whether a farmer, a cook, a tinker, or a fishmonger the members of House Fa also know how to fight. Farmers are also soldiers, cooks are also guards, fishmongers know how to use the water to plan assassinations. Many of the Genjian Strain hail from House Fa, making up a sizable portion of those not of the Pure Bloods. Paladin Accensorites of the Telling Visions also find their code of ethics in line with the Houses ways.
Almost to the man the Telling Visions dominates the Faith within House Fa. A unique look on the Faith for sure, given the cultural aspects of the Signal upon which the House is based, but they are very devout indeed.
Playing House Fa
Pure Bloods - You are a pillar of honor, dignity, and respect. You defend your House and the Rat Trap with fierce loyalty. Disrespect and treachery will earn your ire quicker than a burster’s leap. You are quick with a blade or a shooter and are a fearless leader to your people.
Other Strains - You’ve grown up under the influence of the Pure Bloods and truly respect them. Honor and respect have been a part of your life and you carry on the traditions that the Signal teaches you in whatever you do.
House Colors - Pink, Purple, Gold, Green, Red.
Making up many of the more forested islands of the Paradise Isles, Powhtan embraces the wilderness that still exists within the Rat Trap. Following a more primitive view that the Signal provided the Rat Trap, these Pure Bloods have built empires amongst the swamps and forests of the Trap alongside many of their Natural one citizens.
As might be expected many of the resources that help Powhtan thrive are those of a natural nature. Their farms produce some of the freshest produce and herbs, and their animal handlers produce some of the best meats in the Trap. Pure Bloods around the Trap trade freely for their produce and meats for special occasions.
Non Pure Bloods within House Powhtan are almost entirely made up of Natural Ones, though a few other Strains that want to escape life outside the wilderness make their way into the House.
While it is the Signal that drives the culture and tradition of the House that led them to the wilderness in the first place, the near worship of the natural life and the presence of so many Natural Ones leads many to follow the Tribes of the Seasons. Though even so, the teachings of the Signal still make their way into their beliefs.
Playing House Powhtan
Pure Bloods - Your existence stems from the lands that you have built with your own hands. You are not too proud to be a Farmer yourself, and often run large operations alongside Natural Ones. Despite your humble life, other Pure Bloods still desire after what you provide.
Other Strains - You are a Natural One or another Strain with an affinity for nature. You’re a skilled Farmer, able to grow some of the best crops and handle the best animals in the Rat Trap. The Pure Bloods of the House get their hands dirty right alongside you and have earned your respect.
House Colors - Powhtan colors are influences by natural colors found in the forests and swamps of the Isles. These include Dark Browns, Light Browns, Black, Turquoise, and Green.
House Nedakh - This House is filled mostly with the native Natural Ones of the islands that the Rat Trap claimed as its own and the Pure Bloods that long ago claimed the tropical habitats as their own. Preferring the natural habitat of the islands to the seas themselves, this House serves various other Houses by maintaining the land resources of the islands within their territory and tithing a significant amount to them.
Proud, fierce, and dignified, House DunBraugh boasts some of the most superior hunters within the entire Rat Trap. The pagentry and drama of their royalty is rivaled by perhaps only House Charming and the Rat King himself. While they don’t boast the ground forces of La Belle or Fa, no force in the Rat Trap would wish to be without DunBraugh’s hunters and warriors in battle. Their skills in tracking and reconn as well as their precision in combat is rarely matched. Their best hunters travel the wastes in search of the next big prize to slay and hang on their wall.
The House of fire finds themselves well off by being very self sufficient. While they don’t excel at any export to the rest of the Trap, they excel at farming their own crops, brewing their own hooch, crafting their own weapons and armor, and pulling their own fish from the seas. Their bows are often sought after by those that wish the best of the best.
Citizenry is rather selective within the House and often tends towards those capable of being more dignified. Irons and Lascarians don’t find themselves often able to be full members, nor do Semper, Retrogrades, or Full Dead find themselves favored. Natural Ones are often favored for their particular skills, as are Baywalkers and Accensorites. Anyone that finds themselves lucky enough to have red hair that the House favors might find an easy pass into citizenship.
The Telling Visionist faith provides much to the culture of the House, though it allows for fairly casual worship. That said, the members of House DunBraugh are quite devout in their faith and will defend it fiercely, as with most things. Their way of life allows for some of its members to find their faith in the Tribes of the Seasons, and though not TV, the faiths respect each other and work well together.
Playing House DunBraugh
Pure Bloods - You are a proud, dignified leader of those in your House. You’ve hunted the wastes with your people since a very young age and being at your people’s side is nothing new to you. Tradition is of utmost importance to you and you the value you place in family is profound.
Other Strains - You live as one of the cogs in the wheel of the Houses survival. Farmers, tinkers, fishmongers, doctors, etc are all necessary in the Houses self-sufficiency. Most members of the House are of course seasoned Hunters.
House Colors - Green, Red, Gold, Brown.
It is unsure of the true origins of House Naveen as to whether they were transplanted here and given an island to themselves by the Rat King, or whether they came here of their own accord in the early years of the Trap. Some say they were simply one of the first House to intermingle with Pure Bloods outside of the Trap, hence the ties to the Bourbon Saints. Regardless, through their own mettle or through ties to the Saints, they have risen to the status of a Major House of the Trap, with scriptures of the Signal to support their claim. However it happened, these Pure Bloods generally know how to have a good time like no other.
Mostly self reliant, the House participates regularly in import/export with the other Houses to supplement their needs as well as profit on what they have enough of. They do have a standing trade tie to the Bourbon Saints however and are often able to import special items not found elsewhere in the Trap.
Citizens of House Naveen enjoy having a good time. While every Strain has their idea of what a “good time” is, many of those things don’t fit the bill for what the House has in mind. Cannibalism, drinking blood, and other unsunry actions are viewed as much of a good time. As such many Strains don’t fit in with the House and they wouldn’t want to be there of their own accord. If someone enjoys fine hooch, good music, the occasional drugged brew, and a party that never ends they might find themselves amongst the Naveen.
Given the question of their origin, many believe that Naveen merely plays lip service to the Signal. In reality, most of the House finds faith in the Telling Visions like any other House. However, it’s not uncommon to find citizens turn away from emulating the tales of the good time the Signal brings them and focusing more on the present with the Light of Hedon.
Playing House Naveen
Pure Bloods - You’re a charismatic host, a hook-up that knows how to get what’s needed to have a good time, you’re an entertainer that’s ready to do what’s necessary for everyone to have good time. The party never ends and it’s your job to keep it that way.
Other Strains - You toil away doing what’s necessary to keep the House running. Sailing for transport, fishing up food, growing crops, herding animals, and all other tasks are necessary. However, you do so gladly since you know your turn at the party is just a days work away.
House Colors - Light Green, Dark Green, Gold, Yellow, Light Blue.
Known on sight for their glamorous and often over the top hair styles, House Rider boasts some of the Traps most skilled brewers. Some might think this skill is spent on the finest of hooch, and while such brews are not uncommon, a still in the hands of the brewers of House Rider produces some of the best medicines and reliefs in the Paradise Isles.
While a bottle of fine, aged Rider hooch fetches a pretty Rat, their healing salves, brews, and medicines are what the Trap values most from the Trap. Rider engages extensively in trade to acquire the best herbs from around the Trap to produce the medicines and brews they create and the profit they receive for exporting them more than covers the Houses treasury.
Royalty in the House is partial to physical beauty, especially of ones hair, so Strains that cannot looks physically beautiful by their standards are generally not welcome within the House. To keep status quo within the Trap, the House often headhunts for the best brewers in the Isles to join the House.
As is usual, the Telling Visionists make up the majority of the Faith in the House. However, their focus on medicine and science leads many members of the House down the path of Darwinism, if not smaller cults based on science. Rumor has it that the origins of the Cult of Graviton have ties to the doctors and distillers of House Rider.
Playing House Rider
Pure Blood - You are a master Distiller, known for your medicines and brews that are shipped throughout the Trap. You’re an doctoral genius that puts the brews of the House to the best result possible. You’re a charismatic publican that keeps the House’s name clean and the brews flowing throughout the Paradise Isles.
Other Strains - You benefit from being in the healthiest and cleanest of the Houses, an effect resulting from the skill at medicine the House boasts. You’re a true medical professional, and your skill is appreciated wherever you find yourself. You distill both fine hooch and expert medicines. You’re a teacher of the medical ways and and calm heart and soft voice to ease the mind.
House Colors - Light Purple, Dark Purple, Gold, Pink.
The Minor Houses
The following Houses are independent of any of the Major Houses and do not owe them any particular fealty. However, they are either looked down upon by the Majority of Major Houses within the Rat Trap, do not have the clout to be considered a Major House, or simply don’t have enough to offer the Rat Trap as a whole to earn the blessing of the Rat King. In some cases, the dealings behind the curtain have lead to the House not joining the ranks of the others, but they tend to prefer the lack of attention.
House De Vil
Even a society such as the Rat Trap has its dark underbelly. House De Vil is that dark underbelly of the Rat Trap. Deeply seeded into the Black Market and with many connections to the “Guild” those of House De Vil keep the gears of the Trap running behind the curtain. Whether through getting drugs to those who wish them, or trafficking poisons and other unsundries to those that need them in each House, House De Vil ensures their coffers remain full through the price of discretion. It’s no surprise no one in the Rat Trap would consider De Vil to be a “Major” House, at least in public.
Anything and everything. De Vil has secret brewers keeping their warehouses full of poisons, brews, and drugs aplenty. Their tinkers produce hard to find weapons and armors, as well as gizmos and traps that would garner too much suspicion if produced in public. If someone wants it, and is willing to pay for it, De Vil has it.
Nearly anyone is welcome within the House, however an extensive vetting process must be completed before being given full citizenry. Often this process takes more than a generation, with one that wishes to join being a slave or servant to the House so that their child can join the House. De Vil is always eager to convert other Pure Bloods of the Rat Trap to their House as well, as it only increases their influence and knowledge of the other Houses dark secrets.
Though taking a few queues from the words of the Signal that led to their predecessors founding the House the strongest Faith in the House is the Fat Rat. Really any Faith is valid within the House, so long as ultimate loyalty is to the House and the business of the House is the priority. If you’re making profit, keeping quiet, and ensuring the success of the House, Lord De Vil could care less who or what you worship.
Playing House De Vil
Pure Blood - You have a silvered tongue and deal well in the shadows. You work best in private with extensive discretion because of the unsundry goods that you deal in, be they drugs, poisons, weapons, or secrets. It’s all about the Rats in the end and your morals and ethics go by the wayside to improve your own wealth and the wealth of the House.
Other Strains - You are the oil that makes the machine of the House run. You’re a Salt-Wise assassin of the Guild that works off your debt through the House. You’re a Sawbones that performs shady medical procedures on those that need it or brew poisons and drugs for the House’s dealings. You run a gang of thugs that take care of business. Anyone within or bound for the Black Market or Guild has a place in De Vil.
House Colors - De Vil often shun the Pure Bloods prevalence for wearing bright flashy colors and often choose not to, bearing the burden of the consequence gladly. The colors they prefer to display instead are simply Black, White, Red, and Gold.
Specializing in deprivation and decadence, those of House Heart are often looked down upon by the other Pure Bloods within the Trap for taking things a little...too far. If someone gets their hands on drugs within the Rat Trap, chances are good the herbs that went into them and the brewer that made them was part of House Heart. Their parties are often debaucherous affairs, filled with hookah smoke and soft lounges, where the members of House Heart let others relax and let the world fade away. The thugs and assassins that help ensure this is possible are the last people you’d want to find in a dark alley.
Heart’s “legal” contributions are few but generally revolve around rare and unique herbs that are hard to find elsewhere in the Trap. It’s their shady dealings that keep the House afloat. Business is consistent with House De Vil as their relationship is very much one of producer/dealer. It is because of lack of overall resources and lack of publicly produced resources that keeps House Heart from becoming a Major House.
Members of the House can come from almost any walk of life as it’s the skills the person possesses that means more to the House. Citizens that can farm are of course highly valued, as are any profession with skills in brewing to make the supplies of the House.
Another aspect of the House that keeps them from “Major” status is their lack of Faith in the Telling Visions. While much of the culture of the House came from TV origins, the behavior of the House often leads its members down the path of the Light of Hedon.
Playing House Heart
Pure Bloods - You are the leader of a den of iniquity and while you may not be the one farming the supplies or brewing the wares, you’re a silver tongued dealer that keeps their customers happy, drinks full, and the smoke thick. You’re used to doing less than savory deeds and you work well in the shadows.
Other Strains - You often work for little more than the drugs you help create. You spend your days farming herbs for medicines and drugs and either move to the still or see your harvest transferred to the Distillers for more advanced creations. You spend the days resting as you spend the nights entertaining the guests at the Pure Bloods parties.
House Colors - Much to the chagrin of House White, House Heart has a secret formula to produce the brightest, most brilliant white fabric seen in the Rat Trap. As such, their whites often cause enough attention to show their true Pure Blood colors. Their House colors include White, Blue, Gold, and Red.
“House” Absolem - Though they like to call themselves a House, a House within what is already a Minor House is a rather bold declaration. Absolem is rather more a line within the House that is trying to strike out on their own. Time will tell the result of this family’s efforts.
While it is common for the royalty within a Rat Trap House to be Psions, it is no more common than within House Arendelle. Psionics in this House are worshipped on the level of the Signal itself, and most references to “magic” within the Signal’s legends is believed to be Psionic in nature. Those around the Rat Trap often consider those of House Arendelle to be the “scions” of Psionics. Because of the attention this garners from the Gravemind and its undead hordes, many members of House Arendelle are supreme psionic warriors specialized in destroying undead threats.
Amongst the reasons the House has not become a Major House along with its peers is that most resources from the House are quickly consumed in their constant struggle with the undead. This also, unfortunately, keeps the population of the House fairly low. However, they have occupied the areas of the Rat Trap that frequently render psionic crystals and are able to trade these quite readily to the other Psionic royalty of the Major Houses for what they need.
Most citizens of the House are either Psions of any Strain, or those that wish to be and think that proximity will lead to them becoming Psionic. These “wannabes” are often indentured servants, if not slaves, until such a time as they ever become Psions. At that point they are considered full citizens of the House. Psionics are what matters, they don’t discriminate based on strain.
While most members of the House maintain strong faith in the Signal, their view is often considered extremist by those others of the Telling Visions. Focusing on the references to “magic” and the supernatural within the other legends and tales of the Signal around the Rat Trap, they believe what is described is the origin of Psionics from before the Fall. Darwinism finds a small foothold within the House mostly amongst the non-Pure Bloods that arrived from outside the House that feel their Psionics are the next evolution of their Strain.
Playing House Arendelle
Pure Bloods - You are a beacon of your faith in the tales of the Telling Visions and of Psionics and consider yourself an avatar of “magic” within the Rat Trap’s glory. You will defend the rights of Psionics against any who would bring hate upon you and help other Psions when you can.
Other Strains - You are either a Psion born and raised within the House or came to the House to escape prejudice and hate from others that are jealous of your power. You are welcomed and respected within the House and you are glad to fight for the House against the undead and any who would bring their hate upon you or Psions.
House Colors - Light Blue, Silver, White, Dark Green, Purple.
House Pride - The Fallen House
Early on in the history of the Rat Trap one House tried to rise to the top. Known now only as “House Pride”, this House sought to be the leadership of what would become the Paradise Isles before the Rat King could seize his own power. What happened next is shrouded in the same mystery as the Rat King himself. Was there some violent battle and war waged between the Rat King’s supporters and House Pride? Did the Rat King arise later and depose Pride from leadership? Did the Rat King actually come from House Pride and put his brethren down to take control himself? Not even the scriptures of the Signal seem to know. Speaking of the House is seen as a crime in many places within the Rat Trap and the King himself isn’t talking.