The dragonmarked houses are powerful economic entities. The foundational strength of each house is the dynasty for which the house is named, but each house also operates guilds which incorporate thousands of non-members benefiting from a house licence.
The power of each dynasty ultimately derives from their dragonmarks – magical symbols which appear on the bodies of heirs of the house. Not every blood member of the family will develop a dragonmark, but all of them carry its potential, and unmarked members often have children who will develop a mark. Even unmarked heirs of the house can achieve considerable influence within guilds or the structures of the house itself.
When a non-member of a house is licensed by one of the house’s guilds, they are granted the right to display the house’s heraldic symbol in a different colour. These signs are generally a guarantee of quality.
- House Cannith, a human family, bears the Mark of Making. Cannith operates the Tinkerers Guild, focused on the creation and repair of mundane items, and the Fabricators Guild, which trains magewrights and artificers in the creation of magical items both commonplace and rare. Their symbol is a gorgon.
- House Deneith, a human family, bears the Mark of Sentinel. Deneith operates the Blademarks Guild, which provides mercenaries, and the Protectors Guild, which supplies bodyguards. Deneith also operates the Sentinel Marshals, a peacekeeping force permitted by international agreement to pursue criminals across national borders. Their symbol is a chimera.
- House Ghallanda, a halfling family, bears the Mark of Hospitality. Ghallanda operates the Hostetlers Guild, which guarantees the quality of inns and restaurants across Khorvaire, and the Dragontail Guild, a rapidly-dwindling organisation aimed at supplying armies in the field with food and shelter. Their symbol is a blink dog.
- House Jorasco, a halfling family, bears the Mark of Healing. Jorasco operates the Healers Guild, which provides mundane care as well as the magical services of Jorasco’s dragonmarked heirs, and the Medics Guild, which is transitioning from a military support focus to supplying medical care to any organisation which travels into remote parts of the world. Their symbol is a gryphon.
- House Kundarak, a dwarf family, bears the Mark of Warding. Kundarak operates the Banking Guild, which finances business and government operations across Khorvaire, and the Warding Guild, which licenses locksmiths as well as providing magical warding and security services. Their symbol is a manticore.
- House Lyrandar, a half-elf family, bears the Mark of Storm. Lyrandar operates the Windwrights Guild, which handles both seafaring ships and the famous airships of the house as well as dockside crew, and the Raincallers Guild, which turns the power of their mark to influencing the weather. Their symbol is the kraken.
- House Medani, a half-elf family, bears the Mark of Detection. Medani operates the Warning Guild, which licenses independent bodyguards, inquisitives, and sentries, as well as spycatchers. Their symbol is the basilisk.
- House Orien, a human family, bears the Mark of Passage. Orien operates the Couriers Guild, specialising in small deliveries and rare teleportation services, and the Transportation Guild, which operates the famous lightning rail as well as all forms of cargo and passenger transport. Their symbol is the unicorn.
- House Phiarlan, an elf family, bears the Mark of Shadow. Phiarlan operates the Entertainers and Artisans Guild, which runs many theatres, music halls, circuses, and other entertainment businesses across the continent. Their symbol is the hydra.
- House Sivis, a gnome family, bears the Mark of Scribing. Sivis operates the Notaries Guild, which certifies all kinds of official documents and licenses scribes and translators, and the Speakers Guild, which operates Sivis’s network of speaking stones as well as licensing barristers, mediators, and interpreters. Their symbol is the cockatrice.
- House Tharashk, a half-orc and human family, bears the Mark of Finding. The only house to span two races, Tharashk operates the Finders Guild, specialising in dragonshard prospecting, inquisitives, and bounty hunters, and the Liondrake’s Roar, a very new organisation which has managed to negotiate contracts to provide mercenaries from the monstrous nation of Droaam. Their symbol is the dragonne.
- House Thuranni, an elf family, bears the Mark of Shadow. Nearly thirty years ago, Thuranni separated from House Phiarlan in a bloody internal conflict called the Shadow Schism. Thuranni operates the Shadow Network, a rival to the entertainment services of House Phiarlan. Their symbol is the displacer beast.
- House Vadalis, a human family, bears the Mark of Handling. Vadalis operates the Handlers Guild, which breeds, sells, cares for, and trains animals both exotic and mundane, and is famous for its magebred variations of all kinds of beasts. Their symbol is the hippogryph.