Motes in the Serpent's Eye
House Noros (Black)
Home System: Kalain
The throneworld of the Domain of Noros is the hot, humid planet Morngond. Perpetually shrouded in thick cloud cover, Morngond’s single major landmass is dominated by dense jungle and marsh. House Noros has historically been loosely allied with House Mazorgrim, but this alliance is always circumstantial and temporary. Both houses are political opponents of House Osorus. The blue dragon lords are both powerful and all too willing to restrict the activities of the other houses.
These differences have created a long-standing division within the Kingdom of Asamet. On one side are House Mazorgrim and House Noros, whose lords favor maximum autonomy and sovereignty for the individual houses and domains. On the other side are House Osorus and House Esmer, whose lords support a centralized, semi-feudal dictatorship with the power to guide and restrict the policies of the individual houses. House Altara often finds itself in the middle, shifting allegiances between these two blocs as best suits its interests.
While their allies in House Mazorgrim wield brute military strength and political power, House Noros is dedicated to intrigue, intelligence, and covert warfare. In many respects, it is the counterpart of House Aranath of Qesemet, but House Noros’s activities have a meaner, sinister edge. The Adamantine Order is the house’s legendary but secretive intelligence apparatus. Formed during the great war, it is notorious for its reputed acts of assassination, abduction, sabotage, and destabilization against rival houses and political groups. The ranks of the Adamantine Order are filled with the lesser nobility of House Noros, including a great number of half-dragons. It is believe that the Adamantine Order coordinates closely with, and perhaps even trains, the drow officers of the ISPD.
Grand Duchess Ivaldor, the Black Mother, is the cunning and ruthless matriarch of House Noros. Her massive, almost bloated body is testament to her appetites, and the priceless gems and jewels she adorns herself with are testament to her greed and vanity. Ivaldor claims to have spawned more than a thousand offspring in her long life and never more than one clutch to the same mate. The Black Mother dwells in an ancient stone fortress sunk in the muck of a marshy river basin deep in the jungle. She occasionally visits the courts of the other throneworlds of Asamet in humanoid form, but otherwise rarely leaves her lair.
The only truly developed region of Morngond is the narrow corridor clustered around the Long Road. The superhighway runs along a flat coastal plain, and a huge, state-of-the-art spaceport adjoins it. House Noros’s principle economic activities center on the transport and transfer of cargo and information. Despite its torrid climate and dangerous jungles, Morngond is one of the leading distribution hubs in the Empire. Most of the largest shipping companies are backed by House Noros, and it is widely known – though unproven – that the black dragons sponsor several different smuggling and piracy operations within the domains of Qesemet. Rumors have circulated for centuries that the black dragons are the secret masters of the Black Hole Syndicate.