The Great Houses are extended families of Dragon-Blooded and their un-exalted mortal kin that make up the principal political and social powers within the Realm. Collectively they are known as the Scarlet Dynasty, as they largely derive from the offspring of the Scarlet Empress. The Houses arose from the power-bases of the elder children of the Empress in the fourth and fifth centuries (predominantly Ragara, Cynis, Mnemon, Ledaal and Sesus). Houses have risen and fallen in power over time, with some - like House Manosque - eradicated.
The eleven current Great Houses are: