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vegas August 23rd, 2019 10:32 PM

Arlea Committee & 9 Great Houses
I believe this is a question without an answer in canon, but perhaps one of you grognards will prove me wrong with some serious Traveller trivia knowledge. And in lieu of canon fact, I'm curious to hear your speculation. Meantime, I'm working up my own conjecture. Enough preamble…

In T4:M0 we learn of…

"…the Arlea Committee, comprising the heads of the original nine great houses which signed the Charter of Arlea (including the head of the Zhunastu house, Emperor Cleon). The Arlea Committee is the real power in the Imperium. Any decisions they make are “suggested” to members of the Moot to raise in session. All decisions made by the Committee are passed."

Question: we know House Zhunastu is one of the "nine great houses", but which are the other eight that make up the Arlea Committee?

GypsyComet August 24th, 2019 06:31 AM

Reading between the lines in M:0 Campaign, I suspect the second Dynasty arose from one of these families, so the Lentuli could be on the list.

Similarly, the entry on p54 for Tukera Lines makes a case that they are also on the list.

The biographies on p.77 through 79 probably eliminate the Repzinski and Aurion families from the Nine.

We don't have many other family names.

vegas August 25th, 2019 10:39 AM

I agree House Lentuli and House Tukera are extremely likely. I would also add House Ling.

So that is 4 houses, 1 confirmed and 3 highly likely. Need 5 more.

mike wightman August 25th, 2019 01:01 PM

Makhidkarun, Naasirka. Shiishuginsa, Alkhalikoi

GypsyComet August 25th, 2019 02:22 PM


Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 605843)
Makhidkarun, Naasirka. Shiishuginsa, Alkhalikoi

The only evidence we have of the Alkhalikoi is that the first of their name came from behind the Claw 600 years later.

Makhidkarun is a Vilani megacorp that originated in the earliest days of space travel. Their given territory during the First Imperium did not include what would become Core, so a scion of that name around Sylea seems unlikely at best.

Naasirka is also an original Vilani bureau, so also unlikely.

Shiishuginsa is the most likely of these, as they are an old Vilani family which has held the Sector Duke position for Vland for a very long time, and are notably rare among the old Vilani families for spending time on Capital. As such they are possible, but still not ideal. They are modern supporters of the Alkhalikoi line, but that doesn't rule out their having been around much earlier.

mike wightman August 25th, 2019 02:30 PM

The vast majority of Sylea were of Vilani descent.

The names I have suggested are a lot more likely than Ling.

The only two we know for definite are Zhunastu and Lentuli, and even that second one could be argued against.

Remember that much of M:0 was written by third party authors who didn't quite understand the setting - why would anyone pull strings to manipulate the Moot when the Moot only has one purpose, it is not part of the government apparatus - the Imperium is a totalitarian dictatorship.

vegas August 25th, 2019 08:39 PM

Far be it for me to defend the authors of T4 (though I am a big fan of Greg Porter), I disagree with you, Mike, about the appropriateness of the Arlea Committee to the setting. I think it functions as the politburo of the old USSR or in the current PRC where you still have a totalitarian dictator but there remains other powerful interests that 1) must be placated, and 2) from whom future leadership can emerge.

Military dictatorships may not need a politburo (at least at first), but the Third Imperium was not a result of a military coup, it was a diplomatic/political coup that subverted the former Sylean Senate. How do you get the most powerful economic/political families of the prior regime to willingly (bloodlessly) choose an Emperor? You give them a piece of the governing action to protect their interests.

As far as Houses, it seems we are quickly getting into conjecture but we do know for sure that 2 of your 4 names are out and in my view no better than 1 for 4, Mike. Neither a House of Makhidkarun nor Naairka (which would be House Igsiirdi) were part of the Imperium at its founding. They came later when Vland joined, so they can't be part of the original nine signatories to the Charter of Sylea. We are told that explicitly in TD18 and it is implicit in M0.

That same fact may argue against House Shiishuginsa, the founders of Zirunkariish, but I'm with you and don't think it does. Zirunkariish is a megacorp in M0 and it is the ONLY financial megacorp on the list. It is hard to have a growing, high-tech, trade-based society without finance. Zirunkariish finances Vland, but does so AFTER contact with Sylea, which to me is a clue that they come from Sylea. So I am with you and number House Shiishuginsa with the original 9.

As for House Alkhalikoi, I'd say there is explicit evidence in CT they are not part of the original Arela Committee. Arbellatra is the last Emperor of the Flag and according to CT, it is the marriage of her son Zhakirov that "cemented an alliance between the Alkhalikoi dynasty and the business interests of the Imperial Core…" The whole early history of dynasty is of an outsider that takes over, not an insider rising to power.

I don't know what your argument against House Ling would be, Mike. Ling Standard Products is a M0 megacorp. Obviously they have a Solomani name, but the Ling must have emigrated long ago to have achieved such a status. LSP is explicitly indicated as one of 4 megacorps in Sylea along with GSbAG, Turkera, and Zirunkariish. (In any event, they certainly can't have been based in the Solomani Rim as that area is not reincorporated into the Third Imperium until beginning in the 5th century of the Imperium.)

So I think we are up to 5 because we can add House Shiishuginsa of Zirunkariish.

Need 4 more.

BRJN August 25th, 2019 11:02 PM

Admiral Arbellatra Alkhalikoi, first of her line, came to Capital bearing a battlefleet and a victorious peace treaty with the Zhodani. That was the original basis of her power and her claim to the throne. No canonical references (that I am aware of) to family or historical connections that would make her more-credible royalty.

Drat, it would have made the history more elegant if she had.

GypsyComet August 26th, 2019 04:22 AM


Originally Posted by BRJN (Post 605860)
No canonical references (that I am aware of) to family or historical connections that would make her more-credible royalty.

I think the Alkhalikoi line was tied to Rhylanor prior to Arbellatra, and is still a part of Rhylanor's Ducal bloodline, though no longer THE name there.

Mike is correct that the Syleans were genetically and culturally dominated by Vland prior to the Long Night (GT: Humaniti). My understanding is that a Sylean reclamation occurred during the Long Night, however. As such it is not a stretch to assume that some of the so-called Great Houses of the Charter might have Bilandin names. Just not the company names of the Vilani Shangarim/Bureaux.

As the Charter appears to have similar historical significance as the US Declaration of Independence (in that it *isn't* the Constitution analog of the Third Imperium), I think the Arlea Committee is less likely to have remained a political force beyond the lifespans of the signatories. The Great Families were installed at the top of the Noble pecking order and retain political power that way, but the Committee strikes me as a short-term entity. That said, Imperial nobility was IIRC more prone to use anagathics at the time, so some of the Committee might have been around for quite a while.

To eliminate another known family name, there is no evidence I'm aware of to suggest that Norris' ancestors (the Caranda family) would have been a Great Family. I think we can rule out the Plankwells as well.

tjoneslo August 26th, 2019 08:03 AM

What may provide an interesting source of potential names is to go through the barrack emperor's list. It may be possible that one or more of them were (at one time) the Great House from the founding of the Imperium, fell on hard times as the Imperium expanded, then attempted to claim their birthright.

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