House Mortis

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Note: House Mortis should not be confused with the Line of Mortis, although the two are somewhat associated.


The history of House Mortis, like that of all the Houses, begins in the early days of the reign of Kaiser Mors VI. He had determined early on that the functioning of the Duchy system, which had administered Shireroth for time out of mind, no longer served the interests of the country. Whether the Duchies themselves had changed, and become complacent in their dominance, or whether the people themselves were tiring of finding new ways of advancement in an ancient system, or indeed whether the country's woes were the fault of factors completely unrelated, few now agree. But the Kaiser made clear that he intended that the days of the Duchies as they were would be numbered. Instead, people would become grouped together in great Houses, which would be not so tied to land and would be more changeable and flexible.

So it was that in 3877 he asked the people of Shireroth to put aside thoughts of their Duchies of residents, and to talk among each other and associate themselves into Houses. In the negotiations that ensued, the proto-Houses began to take shape. When the Kaiser mused about his own House of allegiance, he noted the name of House Mortis, but dismissed it as unlikely to succeed. But the Straylightian Shyriath Bukolos maintained his interest in the idea, though he was torn between it and Malliki Tosha's House of Tosha, which was gathering others from his Duchy of residence and seemed pleasingly weird. At last, however, given the choice between Mortis and Tosha-Straylight, he declared for Mortis in late 3878, and House Mortis was no longer merely an idea.

By 3881 both Mortis and Tosha-Straylight, along with the other Houses (Kalir, Kildare, and Annexis), had been defined in terms of their membership and initial status, and all was in readiness for their ascension. Therefore the Kaiser, who had already begun the initial stages of the Reclaimation, issued Imperial Decree 445, which dissolved and dismantled the old subdivisions, and established the first Houses; among them, as planned, were Tosha-Straylight, and Mortis. Tosha-Straylight, at its beginning, had the population necessary to become a Major House. Mortis, with only two citizens, became a Minor House; but alone of the Houses, it consisted only of commoners, for the Kaiser was unwilling to grant a title to himself, though as head of the House he could have become a Baron.

The period that followed saw the rise of House Kalir as the most active and preeminent of the Houses, but the other Houses saw little good fortune. The two autonomous Minor Houses, Mortis and Annexis, spoke of increasing their stature through an alliance, but no agreements came of it; by 3890 both had settled into a quiet existence. House Kildare experienced little activity and was reduced to a Minor House in 3907, though afterwards life began to return to it. House Tosha-Straylight remained a Major House, but unable to compete with Kalir, with Harvey Steffke departing for Mortis in 3919 and Herr Strauss inactive.

In 3916, the head of House Mortis entered into negotiations with Kalir to join them as a Minor House; had this been successful, Kalir might have become unassailable in its political power. But by 3920, after discussions between the heads of Mortis and Tosha-Straylight, the negotiations turned instead to a confederation of Houses against Kalir's influence: a composite House, combining Mortis, Tosha-Straylight, Annexis, and Kildare, with a rotating Dukedom. Although the head of House Kildare ruled out participation, the remaining three hammered out the foundations of House Yardis, and by 3924 all three parties had signed the Contract of Confederation linking them together. The reappearance of Jadie Kelb and her entry into Mortis in 3921 also proved a boon for the new alliance.

Nonetheless, going into the 3930s the new House was experiencing concerns about its identity and the cumbersome nature of its overall government. Mortis and Tosha-Straylight, having already become close in their pursuit of greatness, began to discuss a complete merger; this became effective in 3941, with the larger House retaining the name of Mortis. Subsequent talks with Annexis agreed that neither the maintenance of House Yardis nor the merger of Annexis into Mortis was desirable, and House Yardis was dissolved by 3945.

The timing proved momentous for the fortunes of the new Major House. The dominance of House Kalir had waned somewhat since its height; the mid-3930s saw the emigration of two of its members. By 3944, at the time of Mors VI's tragic and explosive death, Kalir, though still strong, had five members, and Mortis had six. With no appointed heir, the rules of succession gave first choice of Kaiser to the House with the most members, and so it was that a daughter of Mortis ascended the throne in 3945 as Kaiseress Anandja II.


Note: Titles in bold


Erik Mortis, Duke in Monty Crisco and of House Mortis, Head of House Mortis
-founding member and head of original House Mortis, 3881 ASC
Malliki Tosha of the Nation of Lakhesis, Jarl, Steward of House Mortis
-founding member and head of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC
Shyriath Bukolos of Sunderspray, Jarl
-founding member of original House Mortis, 3881 ASC
Jadie Kelb of Kralizec
-joined original House Mortis, 3921 ASC
Harvey Steffke, Jarl
-founding member of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC; joined original House Mortis, 3919 ASC


Sancho/Herr Strauss
-founding member of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC; status unknown
-founding member of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC; departed to form House Tessier-Ashpool, 3952 ASC



Core County: Modan-Lach, held by House Mortis
-granted to House Mortis by order of Kaiseress Anandja II, 3951 ASC
Kralizec, held by Jadie Kelb
-granted to House Mortis by consent of the Landsraad, 3944 ASC
Monty Crisco, held by Erik Mortis
-holder a founding member of original House Mortis, 3881 ASC
Nation of Lakhesis, held by Malliki Tosha
-holder a founding member of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC
Sunderspray, held by Shyriath Bukolos
-holder a founding member of original House Mortis, 3881 ASC


Amarr, held by Malliki Tosha
-holder a founding member of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC; reclaimed by Kaiseress Anandja II in 3950 ASC
Discontinuity, held by Icebreaker
-holder a founding member of House Tosha-Straylight, 3881 ASC; reclaimed by Kaiseress Anandja II in 3950 ASC