The Great Houses
The static, aristocratic bloodlines which have - traditionally - been seen as responsible for the structure of the Spiral Politic, the Houses can be considered the central power of the War Era universe. In fact the word “bloodline” might be misleading, as it suggests something genetic and the Houses seem to have no real genetic status at all: as the society responsible for engineering history, they perceive themselves as being parts of the historical process much more than being a people. Voyeuristic, disinterested academicians for most of their existence, the War has not only forced the Houses to embrace the “vulgar” (i.e. physical) nature of the continuum but also inspired them to commit various acts of nervous, hurried genocide. As a result, it's fair to say that history is no longer a safe place in which to live. — The Book of the War
There are currently six major Houses in the upper hierarchy and the six can easily be split into two factions. Three are purely political, their members seldom leaving the sanctuary of the Homeworld, but the other three now call themselves parts of the House Military. The six are, at present:
House Dvora: one of the first Houses to have publicly suggested military intervention in the outside universe - shocking, in the Pre-War era -Dvora is pragmatic rather than militaristic, its members remaining stony-faced, impassive and yet decidedly acute in the face of the new era.
House Tracolix: a Newblood House of little significance before the War, whose younger members have fought their way to the top by sheer ambition, many feel that its recklessness will cause it to fall flat on its face before long. Currently allied with the minor House Lolita.
House Lineacrux: the House which appears least involved in Homeworld politics, chiefly because it favours the subtle, the devious, the covert and the occasional whisper in the appropriate ear. Even so, unquestionably dedicated to the Homeworld's interests… as it sees them.
House Arpexia: Military House, whose specialists have produced more deep-time strategies and weapons systems than any other bloodline, it's nonetheless felt by some that Arpexia's rarefied, scientific approach is divorcing it from the “truth” of Homeworld society.
House Xianthellipse: Military House, specialising in bio-diversity and thought to be the only House actively cross-breeding soldiers with the biomass of the lesser species, Xianthellipse's researches into the applications of sex and gender might be considered tasteless if it weren't for the House's impressive War record.
House Mirraflex: Military House, the polar opposite of Xianthellipse in that it doesn't even consider lesser species to be worth thinking about, Mirraflex is ruthless, often genocidal, and although savagely pro-active considers itself the true inheritor of the Homeworld’s Pre-War Protocols. On the other hand, critics would argue that the bloodline's amoral tactics prove exactly how far the Houses have sunk.