The Houses of Chaos

The main distinction between the Major and Minor is purely related to whether they are descended directly from King Swayvill and his first wife, Alberta. The Major Houses maintain a degree of independence and autonomy, and their Grand Duchies are effectively countries within the Courts as a whole. All Grand Dukes of Chaos are expected to make an appearance at Swayvill’s Dragon Court once a year, however, to renew their loving vows of fealty and present themselves or their heirs to Court.

The Houses usually specialise in different skills and areas, and intermarriage (and less legitimate liaisons) between them is very common.

The Major Houses

With respect to the Throne of Chaos, the Cornelian line follows a patrilineal succession, with male children having precedence over female ones. The Major Houses, in order of precedence, are:

The Minor Houses

The Minor Houses originate from the earliest days of Thelbane and the Courts, and comprise those families which are not originally descended from the Great and Glorious King Swayvill, but rather from the Greater Demons, and who gained their titles and holdings through service to the Crown. There is intermarriage between the Major and Minor Houses, and occasionally, a Minor House can be promoted through marriage into the Royal line.

Heads of Minor Houses are styled Duke or Duchess. Legitimate children of Dukes and Duchesses are styled Marquis or Marquesa.

Significant Minor Houses include (but are not limited to):


  • Head of House: Duchess Dybele, former wife of Oberon of Amber.
  • Her divorce from Oberon was relatively amicable, as these things go, although she resented not being allowed to discuss the Courts with her daughter, Florimel.
  • The House is known for its arcane abilities, as well as politics and diplomacy.
  • Relations between Balthazar and Amber are good.


  • Head of House: Duchess Cymnea, former wife of Oberon of Amber and one of the oldest Heads of House in Chaos.
  • House specialisms are diplomacy, military, shapeshifting and Thelbane jurisprudence.
  • Caradoc has a hatred of House Karm, because Faiella of Karm was the reason for Oberon divorcing Cymnea.
  • It’s relations towards Amber are difficult, for the same reason, although the fact that Prince Benedict is in favour with King Random is slowly smoothing things over.


  • Ruled by Duchess Mirelle, daughter of the former Duchess, Paulette, and Oberon of Amber.
  • Celestine has no precedence for sons over daughters, following a straight birth-based succession within the House.
  • When Paulette married Oberon, she stood down as Duchess in favour of her brother, Cadraig, who escorted her to Amber for her wedding.
  • Her younger sister, Lysette, went on to marry Duke Deakin of Vassail.
  • After Paulette died, Oberon contacted his brother-in-law and sent Mirelle to her Chaos relatives. Random remained in Amber.
  • After Cadraig contracted Chaos cancer (which would unltimately lead to his death), he nominated his neice as his Heir, given that Paulette was above him in the House succession, and therefore had precedence over his own children.
  • Celestine are known for Trump Artisty and matters arcane, and are often also healers.
  • As Mirelle is King Random’s sister, House Celestine has good relations with Amber.


  • Head of House: Duke Ragul, who inherited from his father, Josef, after the latter’s death at Patternfall.
  • House specialisms are towards the military, in which it is second only to House Hendrake.
  • Dukat was the last Minor House to surrender to Amber, and only did so after Duke Josef died in one of the final actions of the War.


  • Ruled by Duke Michael
  • After the divorce of King Oberon and Queen Cymnea, in favour of Faiella of Karm, the children of the now-disavowed union of Oberon and Cymnea decided to take exception. The majority of the House of Karm were hunted down and killed by Cymnea’s sons Osric, Finndo and Benedict, leaving just a small rump of survivors.
  • The children of Oberon and Faiella – Eric (deceased), Corwin and Deirdre (deceased) – are/were technically  members of House Karm.
  • At this time, it is a client House to Sawall.
  • It has a hatred of House Caradoc and Prince Benedict.
  • Relations with Amber are uncertain, given that it has both friends and enemies among the Amber family.


  • Head of House: Duke Caron.
  • House specialisms are military, politics and the arcane, and Thelbane jurisprudence.
  • Not particularly positive towards Amber.


  • Duke Jun-Tor.
  • House specialisms are diplomacy, finance and commerce.
  • Relatively pragmatic towards Amber, although it doesn’t go out of its way to invite the descendents of Oberon for tea.


  • Duchess Lysette, twin sister of Paulette Celestine, and widow of the former Head of House, Duke Deakin.
  • House specialisms are diplomacy, the arcane and Trump.
  • Knows it’s politic to deal with Amber, but Lysette never forgave Oberon for Paulette’s death.

Other, less significant Minor Houses include

  • Barastow: Duchess Mione
    • Shapeshifting specialists.
  • Waltheon: Duke Favreau
  • Henley: Duke Ankit
  • Geib: Duchess Madeleine

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