"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."

-- Ursula K. LeGuin

 

House Lionnes has survived the ages of the Atlantean Empires through manipulation, rumor-mongering and calculated neutrality.  By ensuring they remain on all sides of political, military and social conflicts House Lionnes has endured.  Their persistent detachment has granted them access to information that others lack; for many in power turn to those they can rely on to remain impartial.  It is this information that provides them vast influence over others, be they humans or Atlanteans. 
 
The modern House Lionnes is a creation of its founder, Lady Vanessa of House Lionnes, who fled the First Atlantean Empire in 6390 BC with a handful of loyal subjects, friends and family.  Beautiful, intelligent and strong-willed, Vanessa used her wits and charm to maneuver her way into a position of power within the ruling class of the First Atlantean Empire.  She quickly showed a talent for the political games of the Imperial Court and the Senate, fostering relationships with many influential people and never siding with one group over another.  Her penchant for neutrality was not to last.  Vanessa fell in love with a general of the Atlantean Legions and their relationship soon risked her rise through the political ranks.  Where once she could be relied upon for her non-partisan position she was now thought of as a military loyalist.  Almost overnight the influence and power she had worked so hard to achieve had disappeared.  Among courtesans and politicians her relationship was now a public affair and those that would seek to gain her power used her lover as a means to strip Vanessa of the influence she held and take it as their own.  Weary of such hardships, Vanessa left Atlantis, seeking peace and solitude away from the machinations of the Imperial Court and the Senate; with her traveled others that were equally as discontented with the Empire.  It is unknown what became of her lover or even his identity; some claim he traveled with her while others believe he was murdered to ruin Vanessa’s position within the Empire.  Whatever the truth, from that day forward, Vanessa taught her followers to forever remain cold and distant, to disconnect them selves from anything that others could use against them and to never choose a side.
 
Vanessa and her companions found themselves on the shores of what is now southern France.  Here they found a fertile and bountiful land, ideal for settlement and the outcasts quickly set about creating a home for themselves in this new country.  They soon learned that many of the human tribes of the region were a harsh, violent people who looked upon the Atlanteans with fear and hatred.  The exiles suffered in the early years, subjected to constant attacks and hostility from the natives.  A long-term solution was found by pitting the human tribes against one another, fostering hostilities between warring tribes and steering attention away from themselves.
 
Peace reigned for centuries and House Lionnes seemed to have achieved the solitude they sought when they first fled Atlantis.  During the Atlantean Dark Ages, House Lionnes intermingled with many of the human tribes, gaining many of their traits and thinning their Atlantean blood.  The human cultures of the region coupled with the dispassionate personalities of many of early House Lionnes left those among the House to view strength and aggression as symbols of authority.  Despite this attitude the House did little to involve itself in the internal squabbles of the scattered tribes throughout the region and as Gaul became a land of barbarians, House Lionnes insured that they held influence over these savage people.
 
By the time members of House Scavario reached the wilds of southern Gaul in 193 AD House Lionnes was a tattered remnant of its former self.  The noble and disciplined Atlanteans that ventured into the ‘Dark North’ were unprepared for the barbarity they encountered in their long-lost cousins.  The representatives of House Scavario came with the intention of fostering peace and reestablishing old ties with others that had escaped the fall of Atlantis and it was their passive demeanor that House Lionnes took as a sign of weakness.  Being quick to exploit the weaknesses of others, the House Scavario representatives were captured and killed but not before they were tortured for information regarding other Atlantean Houses that had survived the fall.
 
The survivors of the initial encounter with the early House Lionnes returned to Emperor Ramius and reported the discovery of these lost Atlanteans and the grisly results of their first meeting.  Hoping to unite the disparaged Houses, Emperor Ramius assigned a member of his own House to another expedition and sent them back into Gaul in 210 AD.  Vanessa herself met with the representatives but their intentions were misconstrued as an attempt to return House Lionnes to an Atlantean Empire as corrupt and convoluted as the one before it.  Again, the ambassadors were tortured and killed and again the survivors of the attack returned to Emperor Ramius to report their failure.
 
Not one to take disappointment lightly, Emperor Ramius commissioned a third and final expedition into southern Gaul in 211 AD, this time backed by two dozen centurions to ensure the safety of the representatives.  The barbarians of House Lionnes set upon the emissaries as soon as they set foot in their lands but were quickly defeated by the Centurions who then returned to Rome, certain that there was no hope for peace with these northern savages.  To the surprise of the Emperor, an envoy bearing a formal treaty of peace arrived weeks later, bearing the official seal of House Lionnes.  Finally showing strength, the southern cousins of House Lionnes had proven themselves worthy of peace.
 
Only two decades later the Council of Prefects was formed by Emperor Ramius and Lady Vanessa was appointed as the Prefect of Gaul.  A time of prosperity began as House Lionnes and the other Houses of the Second Atlantean Empire began expanding their borders.  House Lionnes returned to the business of playing politics and proved that the centuries had not deteriorated their skills in manipulation and rumor-mongering.  Quickly the House became known for their impartiality and their uncanny ability to learn the secrets of the movers and shakers of this new Empire.  By the beginning of the ninth century, House Lionnes had a stranglehold on information about the Atlantean Houses and, indeed, all things Atlantean.  It is this information that brings with it power and House Lionnes controlled vast amounts of wealth, territory and political clout within the Second Atlantean Empire. 
 
In 1337 AD, Edward III of England declared himself the king of France; beginning the Hundred Years War.  During this time, House Lionnes took advantage of the conflict to begin discreetly taking control of large amounts of territory belonging to House Ramius.  These seizures do not go unnoticed and hidden hostilities soon began between the two Houses.  Careful not to bring open conflict to the Empire, both houses used their human Servitors to wage this shadow war.  By the end of the conflict, both sides had suffered significant losses of resources and territory with no a clear victor.  As the war ended, a lasting enmity began between House Lionnes and House Ramius.
 
House Lionnes maintained significant holdings and influence throughout the Second Atlantean Empire that reached its height in 1588 AD when Lady Andrea DeLyones was elevated to the position of Empress by the Antiquarians Guild.  It is well known that the manipulation, political maneuvering, allying and blackmailing of key political figures within the Second Atlantean Empire led to this appointment, but few within the leaders of the Second Atlantean Empire found this to be a surprise.  Everyone had something to lose or gain by the appointment of a Lionnes as ruler of the Empire and it was for that reason that Andrea became Empress.  Empress Andrea’s rule will last for hundreds of years, during which House Lionnes continued to prosper.
 
House Lionnes continued to expand its holdings over the next few centuries, first in Western Europe with the invasion of Lorraine in 1734 AD and then again in 1776 with the declaration of independence by the American colonies of Britain.  Members of House Lionnes departed for the newly-formed United States; some to escape the constant struggles in Europe and others to extend the House’s resources and influence into this new land.  House Lionnes, through their French subjects sent aid to the American colonies in the hopes of aiding their brothers and sisters that fled Europe.  This aid proved vital to the revolution as well as the Atlanteans in the new world.  Decades later, House Lionnes provided similar support for their Canadian cousins in the French-speaking regions of Canada following the Canada Act.
 
In 1785 AD, Lady Camila DelaRosa of House Lionnes formed the Court of Roses; a society within the Second Atlantean Empire whose goal was to return honor and chivalry to the Atlantean Imperial Court.  The Court of Roses was supported by Empress Andrea DeLyones who was one of the founding members of the society.  Though many would join this group after its founding, much of the Imperial court viewed those within the Court of Roses and idealists and dreamers.  The Court of Roses remains a significant society within imperial Atlantean culture and maintains their idyllic sense of honor.
 
In 1836 AD, the conflict between House Draconis and their renegade cousins led by Lord Radu Dracul was resolved as Empress Andrea DeLyones officially recognized the Dracul family as a full-fledged House of the Empire.  This act enraged those among House Draconis who accused the Empress of receiving bribes, namely the secrets of sorcery, which House Draconis jealously guarded.  Whether there was any truth behind these accusations, the act would haunt the Empress for many years and ultimately cost her the throne.
 
For a decade following House Dracul’s creation, House Draconis did everything in their power to politically assassinate the Empress.  This political pressure was coupled with a growing detachment by the Empress that was thought rather uncharacteristic of the usually charming, outgoing woman.  As Lady Andrea withdrew into her own mysterious thoughts, the continued pressure sought to ruin the Empress and House Lionnes.  It was at that point that Lord Priam of House Thalus stepped in to propose a solution.  Priam fostered peace between House Draconis and House Lionnes and promised a neutral outcome to the political conflict between the two Houses.  Already withdrawn, Empress Andrea DeLyones stepped down in 1850 AD, abdicating the throne and backing Priam as the new Emperor when the Antiquarians Guild voted to choose the next emperor.  With the support of House Draconis and House Lionnes, Priam became the Emperor; thus ended House Lionnes rule of the Second Atlantean Empire.
 
On the heels of the abdication of Lady Andrea, the hostilities between House Ramius and House Lionnes once again flared in the Americas, this time with the advent of the American Civil War.  House Lionnes began providing aid for their holdings in the southern states, allying themselves with the Confederacy against the northern forces of House Ramius and House Thalus.  Throughout the conflict the American Atlanteans worked to ensure victory for those they controlled.  In the end, House Lionnes was forced to recognize the authority of their rivals in the north after the Confederates surrender to the Union at Appomattox in 1864.
 
Tempers cooled for House Lionnes and its rivals in the years leading up to World War II.  House Lionnes slowly withdrew from the spotlight, content to once again manipulate those around them and listen closely to the secrets of others from the shadows.  One of the more prominent members of House Lionnes, Lord Xavier Fallcourt, soon found himself in league with the renegade Clan MacKlintoc of Scotland who had been fighting for their independence and for control of Ireland.  Unbeknownst to all, Lord Fallcourt began supplying military information to Clan MacKlintoc and 1939 AD his treachery was discovered.  Many among House Lionnes’s rivals accused the other families of the House of knowing of this betrayal, but only Lord Fallcourt’s deceit could be proven.  House Lionnes sided with House Ramius and the rest of the Empire when declaring the Fallcourt family renegades and waging war against them and their Clan MacKlintoc allies in the British Isles.  After the dust settled and the conflict was resolved, House Lionnes remained unscathed despite the betrayal of one of their most respected families.  Some still suspect House Lionnes of misdeeds during this dark time.
 
Following World War II, House Lionnes has once again taken up their role as manipulators, schemers and the keepers of secrets.  They continue to operate through subtle, covert means, influencing those around them with adept skill that only millennia of experience could teach them.  They continue to remain quietly unaligned in most of the major conflicts that now face the Second Atlantean Empire.  They remain in the shadows, listening in on the conversations of their allies and enemies alike.  The information they accumulate and the secrets they possess are both their weapons and their currency and they use them with the careful precision of a surgeon.  House Lionnes continues to operate much as they have since they fled Lost Atlantis, over eight thousand years ago.

 

Creating New Families

For Actors that wish to create their own Families within House Lionnes, these are the default Advantages and Disadvantages that the Personas must take:
 
Advantages

The House Lionnes is one of the most influential Houses in the Imperium, because of this all members of House Lionnes gain the following Advantages: 1 Rank of Sway: Human and 1 Rank of Spy Network: Atlantean.

Disadvantages For Lilans; Life Force Restriction: Germanic or Gaelic

Notable Figures within House Lionnes

  • Vaneesa - Founder of House Lionnes, Antiquarian
  • Conrad DuMont DeLyones - High Magistrate, Antiquarian
  • Princess Danika Kyle D'Aquitaine - High Matriarch, Antiquarian
  • Alcuin of York - Prefect of France & Germany, Antiquarian, Lord of the Court of Roses
  • Lady Catherine D'Aquitaine - Antiquarian, First Citizen of Paris, Lady of the Court of Roses
  • Lady Andrea DeLyones - Former Empress of the Empirium, Antiquarian, Lady of the Court of Roses
  • Lucian Fitzhugh - Antiquarian, Lord of the Court of Roses
  • Juan Martinez DelaRosa - Antiquarian
  • Camila DelaRosa - Antiquarian, High Lady of the Court of Roses
  • Charles DelaRosa - Praetorian, Tribune of Andorra, Spain
  • Jacqueline Fallcourt - Centurian, Tribune of Bayonne, France
  • Reynard Fallcourt
  • Victoria Chambers D'Aquitaine - First Citizen of Boston, Antiquarian
  • Riktor Derrinhoff - Praetorian, Tribune of Berlin
  • Alexandre Mooring DeLyones - Antiquarian
  • Dominique LeRouge Fitzhugh - Anitquarian
  • Chandler Ravenscroft - Lord of the Court of Roses
  • Elizabeth Ravenscroft - Lady of the Court of Roses
  • Countess Catherine DeLyones - Lady of the Court of Roses
  • Kristina Sabian DeLyones - Antiquarian

 

Seat of Power: Paris, France

 

 

The Families of House Lionnes

 

Ashmore Family

Advantages: 1 Rank of Wealth, Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of Persuasion Skill

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent

 

The Ashmore Family is one of the younger families that make up House Lionnes. This family line was founded by Cedric Ashmore of England during the time of the American Rebellion against the English throne. Being a wealthy land owner in the Americas; Cedric and his family sided with the American rebels, because to side with the British would be to lose of everything if the war went against the crown. After the American Colonies became the United States, the Ashmore Family became heavily involved in the politics of humanity, manipulating all sides to insure that the Ashmore Family was always on the winning side no matter who won.
 
Because of this families knack for manipulating those around them, at times the Ashmores are compared more to the families of House Draconis than their non-partisan kin among House Lionnes. To date, the Ashmore Family seems to be exclusive to the United States, and it has branch families across the country.  When dealing with other Houses, the Ashmore tend to go for a strategy of divide and conquer.

 

D’Aquitaine Family

Advantages: 1 Rank of Wealth, Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of House Prestige, 1 Rank of Investigation

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent

 

The D'Aquitaine Family is one of the oldest families within House Lionnes.  This family has members and branches scattered throughout Europe and North America. The current Princess of House Lionnes hails from this family.  Throughout the millennia the family has spread its influence and control all over the world and this influence insures that members of the family have access to resources and information anywhere.  The D’Aquitaine family currently holds the most control over House Lionnes and works to bring the House back into a position of significant power and clout. 

 

DelaRosa Family

Advantages: 1 Rank of Wealth, Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of House Prestige

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Hispanic descent

 

The DelaRosa Family hails from the area of Spain that was known as Navarre. Its most prominent member is Lady Camila DelaRosa, the High Lady of the Court of Roses.  The DelaRosa family views itself as something of a renaissance family, maintaining ties to the glorious days of honor and chivalry.  Most members of the family have joined the Court of Roses and Lady Camila’s charm and influence has turned a small group of idealists into a significant society.  There are many within the Imperium, however, that view the Court of Roses, as well as the DelaRosa’s as nothing more than anachronistic dreamers.
 
The DelaRosa family has significant influence in House Lionnes.  Members of the family carry themselves with an air of importance and this is not undeserved.  The family has vast holdings throughout Spain and South America and members of the family often travel to ensure these holdings are maintained.

 

DeLyones Family

Advantages: 1 Rank of Wealth, Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of House Prestige

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent, Rival: D’Aquitaine Family

 

The DeLyones Family is the oldest know family line in House Lionnes. The family tends to be at the forefront of politics within the House and within the Second Atlantean Empire as a whole. One of its more notorious members is Lady Kristina Sabian DeLyones, in appearance only about 16 years of age; but this young appearing woman is a Lilan well over 400 years old. She and her Lilan body guard Victor seem to slither through the House and its Families causing fear and dissension wherever they go. Most families within the house are willing to follow her wishes rather than face misfortune in their future.
 
The DeLyones family still holds significant influence over the House and within the Empire.  Though Lady Andrea DeLyons is no longer Empress, the power she wielded and the alliances she formed during her reign remain to this day.  While the more benevolent members of the family, such as Lady Andrea, closely maintain these relationships others, such as Lady Kristina, prefer to use them to their own ends.  These two differing attitudes have created no end of family squabbles, but so far, they have remained civil.

 

DelaCroix Family

Advantages: Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of Wealth, 1 Rank of Subterfuge Skill

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent

 

The Delacroix Family comes from Orleans France originally, but came to the Americas during the Patriotic War. The Lord of this family is a Lilan by the name of Gabriel Delacroix. The family had a great impact on the outcome of the American Revolution through its aide to the American Rebels and later during the American Civil War when it helped the Confederacy with monetary aide that helped prop up the failing Confederate economy.  After centuries of operating during times of war, the members of the Delacroix family became skilled at avoiding capture or injury, hiding among the thick North American forests or the dark streets of its cities.  Today the Delacroix family works as the agents of House Lionnes in the Americas, keeping tabs on the activities of those within the United States and Canada.  They maintain significant holdings in both these countries and their influence extends across nearly all of North America.
 
Members of House Delacroix are suspicious and shadowy individuals, always careful and cautious.  They thrive in times of conflict, moving to and fro ensuring their interests and those of House Lionnes are met. 

 

Fallcourt Family

Advantages: Spy Network: Atlantean Society, Servitor, 1 Rank of Investigation Skill

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent

 

The remnants of the renegade Fallcourt family struggle for acceptance among those their relatives betrayed in 1939.  It is only through the grace of Lady Jacqueline Fallcourt, sister to Xavier Fallcourt, that the loyalist members of the family weren’t eradicated decades ago.  When Xavier Fallcourt and those loyal to his cause allied with the MacKlintock family Jacqueline saw the inevitable outcome.  Not wanting to give up her position of authority within House Lionnes, Jacqueline alerted other prominent House Lionnes families of Xavier’s betrayal.  Though it was too late to prevent Xavier and his companions from their decision, Jacqueline’s actions saved the rest of her family from the reprisals of the other Imperial Houses.  During the conflict, Jacqueline and others from the loyalist Fallcourts used their knowledge and influence over the renegades to aid in their downfall.  Lady Jacqueline and her cousin Reynard were left in charge of the family and relocated the remaining loyalists to the United States in order to flee continued persecution in Europe and give the family a fresh start.  
 
Since the resolution of the conflict, the members of the Fallcourt family that remained loyal to House Lionnes and the Empire have had a difficult time earning back the trust of their people.  Lady Jacqueline’s actions earned her the position of Tribune, but little trust came with the title.  It is the ties the family still maintain with their renegade relatives that keep them at arm’s length from the other families. 

 

Fitzhugh Family

Advantages: Spy Network: Atlantean Society , +1 to Intellect, 1 Rank of Wealth, 1 Rank of House Prestige

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Gaelic descent

 

The Fitzhugh Family is of Irish decent.  The family can trace its origins from the beginning of the Second Atlantean Empire. The Patriarch of the family line is the famed Atlantean historian and scholar, Lord Lucian the Chronicler (Lord Lucian Fitzhugh). The Family is known for its academic pursuits and for its loyalty to House Lionnes over blind loyalty to the Second Atlantean Empire.  The Fitzhugh family holds a large number of scholars and historians among its ranks.  Members of House Lionnes rely on these intellectuals for information regarding the past as well as ancient secrets.  The family itself uses the other families of the House to gather and record information about the Empire.
 
Members of the Fitzhugh family place a high degree of admiration on intellect and education.  Family members are nearly always well educated in any number of prestigious institutions of learning.  The Fitizhughs sometimes take a detached look at the world, preferring to record events rather than take part in them.

 

Locke Family

Advantages: Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of Wealth, Honor Bound

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Gaelic descent

 

The Locke Family comes from Scotland; in the days before there was all out war between the Second Atlantean Empire and the Renegade House of Clan MacKlintoc.  The family had close ties to the Highlanders, both political and familial; but the Highlanders’ attack on the Imperium has literally rendered these bonds of friendship apart in a way that this family now sees the Highlanders as only one thing…the Enemy.  Because of the animosity between their former allies, the Locke family adamantly supported the war against Clan MacKlintoc and the renegade Fallcourts.  During the war, many members of the Locke family fought personally against the renegades and, to this day, there are many among the family that has trained as warriors. 
 
The Locke family has a deep sense of honor and loyalty to House Lionnes, one that cannot be broken.  They are often stubborn and quick to act, preferring action to careful thought.  The events of the past century have scattered the family across the world, though most of the Locke’s relocated to Europe during the war.

 

Ravenscroft Family

Advantages: Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of Wealth, 2 Ranks of Investigation Skill

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent

 

The Ravenscroft Family comes from Germany. The family is fanatically loyal to the Second Atlantean Empire, and its members can regularly be found as active participants within the Scarlet Brotherhood.  Where other families within House Lionnes would side with the House in matters that had potentially disastrous effects on the House and its Families, the Ravenscroft Family always sides with the Imperium and in most cases, the Scarlet Brotherhood.
 
Those members of House Lionnes from the Ravenscroft family are known as the rumor-mongers and investigators of the House.  It is said that there is nothing they don’t know or can’t discover.  Throughout the millennia the Ravenscroft family has accumulated vast amounts of information for House Lionnes and the Imperium.  Members of the family act as spies, scouts, couriers and others that broker secrets throughout the Empire.  The reputation the Ravenscroft family holds is a well deserved one and it seems there is no end to their ability to discover the truth.
 
Members of the Ravenscroft family have an avid curiosity of the unknown.  They seek out the truth behind rumors and secrets at all times and often this curiosity gets them in trouble.  During these times they can usually get out of any difficult situations by trading information for safety but occasionally they must turn to members of the House such as the Stromwin family to help get them out of trouble.

 

Stromwin Family

Advantages: Spy Network: Atlantean Society, 1 Rank of Wealth, 2 Ranks of Persuasion Skill

Disadvantages: Life Force Restriction (if Lilan): Only those of Germanic descent

 

Hailing from Germany, the Stromwin family is the youngest of all House Lionnes’s families and is currently trying to make a name for itself among the Empire.  With many politicians among its ranks, members of the Stromwin family are renowned throughout the Empire as masters of persuasion and manipulation.  Though many among House Lionnes bear these traits, none have them mastered like those from the Stromwin family.  Despite this reputation, the Stromwins have not reached significant levels of power among the Empire.  The family’s views on equality within the Imperium and the Antiquarians Guild have to date denied this family any form of representation within the Antiquarians Guild.  Its political views have earned it many enemies within the Imperium and the scorn of the rest of House Lionnes.
 
Members of the Stromwin family are well known for their persuasive ways.  They make expert negotiators, diplomats, politicians and salespeople.  They use these skills of persuasion to further their own ends in all ways, but are careful to avoid unwanted attention.