The Twilight of the Known Worlds
House Decados is a Machiavellian and devious house, and that’s exactly the way they like it. Although no-one would ever trust a Decados, none can deny their value. Slimy, cunning and extremely successful, the Decados have risen to power through treachery and an uncanny understanding of their rivals – helped in no small part, no doubt, by their vast, invisible intelligence network.
While the other families accuse them of a number of crimes, the Decados are here to stay and thus must be dealt with on their own terms. They were the last House to be invited to join in the alliance of Ten (now known as the Royal Houses, and reduced in number to only five), and their intelligence operatives provided crucial information to the capture of Byzantium Secundus from the Rogue Houses.
However House Decados has significantly profited from this as it seems that most of their major enemies were wiped out in this. House Decados was one of Alexius I greatest opposition, thus their surrender to Alexius has been met with scepticism. Some suspect it might be part of some elusive nefarious plot.
Possessing the Jakovian Agency, one of the most accomplished spy networks in history, House Decados trades primarily in information. They now hold their might over many minor houses and use deception and cunning to keep the other houses at odds with each other. Decados vassals despise their lords but are kept in line through fear or promise of power for those who make good quislings.
House Decados is, in current estimation, either the weakest or the second to weakest Royal House. Its ruthless tactics have made it many enemies over the years, but the house persists.
House Decados has seen the crown change hands a number of times. Originally, the Tchaikof line held the throne. Over time, the throne has passed into the hands of the Maleviks, the Romanovs, the Vladislavs, the Ivanoviches, the Aleksandrovs, the Sfillis, and six other extinct dynasties. The Romanov dynasty, always strong, was deposed during the brief reign of Halvor the Theocrat, and since then the position passed to the Maleviks, who were deposed in 4882 and replaced by the Aleksandrovs. The Aleksandrov reign lasted until the middle of the Emperor Wars, when a series of defeats led the Vladislav line to take over most Aleksandrov holdings. Current politics are chaotic as normal, but the Vladislavs hold the throne. The Romanovs and Vladislavs are on guard against threats from the Malevik and Ivanovich families, each of which wishes to reclaim its lost glory and continually looks for new allies, and the Slava and Sharn families, which are trying to work their way inside from without. Prominent allies of the Crown include the Bogakovs and Czernys, military powerhouses bound by oath to the Vladislavs, the Gurovs, Sfillis, and Innokentis, who maintain good foreign relations for the house, and the Valushnya and Krusczek lines, which are involved in propaganda and intelligence within the house.
The Decados mindset creates a constant struggle between emergent families trying to claw their way to the top and established families trying to keep them in line. These struggles can often distract house members to no end and waste house resources on vendettas and constant mutual surveillance, but they really do cease when the crown or the agency wishes it so. More than any other house, the Decados put aside their differences and cooperate against foreigners. Decados are willing to betray anything and anybody except for the house itself. To the extent that this phenomenon is recognized, it is considered uncanny.
The strengths of House Decados are not immediately apparent, but are no less real for it. Outsiders would consider* the chief strength of the house to be its incredible intelligence network*, which allows it to use its power most efficiently and bargain from a position of great strength. This is all true, but it is only possible to the extent it exists because of another strength of the house– the uncanny allegiance it can command and the centralization of that allegiance. The weaknesses of House Decados are its poverty of resources, its non-martial orientation, and the lack of trust it inspires in potential allies. The house is fairly isolated, enjoying good if frosty relations with House Hazat, strained toleration by the Church and the Merchant League, and fairly poor relations with everyone else. Indeed, astute students of Known Worlds politics predict its imminent fall from prominence. Of course, they have been predicting this imminent fall for centuries now.
Return to Main Page