Xian's notes on Arcade Politics
note: this is very preliminary and unfinished
The Great Houses
There's a mechanic. We're in it now.
The Third Treaty of Houses was slightly less than a Cycle of Cycles ago.
House of Benevolent Oversight
Zhu Cai-Wen thinks the Hon'eth family is one of the families that joined together to form the House of Benevolent Oversight.
- Would restoring the name require replacing the House of Benevolent Oversight? How about if Magpie were being replaced, would that require regime change?
Hubris of Kings would cause significant political trouble for the current head of the House, and possibly lead to the downfall of either him or the entire House.
This king was the one who sent that monk into the World Above and then there was a vial of Crane's blood.
Autumn Rose stayed with one of the scions of the house when she was in the Harbor of Fortunate Arrival.
The master of the House of the Laughing Shadow instructed Kasumi to prevent the House of Benevolent Oversight from purchasing the Thousand Li Horse. When Kasumi went to re-steal the wine that Transparent Purity was fencing for the corrupt Dragon Army pirate, she vaguely framed Benevolent Oversight for the re-theft.
House of Gainful Protection
Was at one point trying to foment open warfare between Enticing Vintage and Resplendent Decoration.
Yang Tsi-Ya, Shen-Ji's long-lost sister, works for them. Autumn Rose hired her as a bodyguard during a trip to the Harbor, asking for her by name, despite staying at a Benevolent Oversight manor.
The cook has been working with this House to help restore House Sung in the Forest.
- I need to do something about the head of this House, he's a bozo.
- Konghua sounds like a bozo, too.
For the big Thousand Li Horse auction, each House was required to provide at least one thing of high quality. Gainful Protection offered up a suit of Great Armor.
House of Beneficent Travel
A Tso of this House was looking for Yanyu to provide matchmaking services.
- Did we ever find out what this was about? Did Yanyu take care of this?
When the Obsidian Warlord was generating an excuse for blockading the Shrouded Isle, the story was that a longshoremen's strike and riots in the Port of Propitious Voyage were actually instigated by the Shrouded Isle. People from the House of Beneficent Travel and the House of Judicious Increase were singled out as being especially prominent among the dupes.
For the big Thousand Li Horse auction, each House was required to provide at least one thing of high quality. Beneficent Travel offered up a ship.
House of Judicious Increase
Ayuki works for the bankers.
In Travelling_with_the_Butterfly_Prince:_Part_II, we encountered a merchant from Judicious Increase travelling to the City of Spires, with Yang Tsi-Ya (Shen-Ji's sister) as his bodyguard. He was attacked by a squad from the Sonyu clan (the ruling clan of the Savanna). He was very cagey about where he was going, and even wouldn't give his name, although Cai Wen deduced that he was a very important person within Judicious Increase.
- What the heck was going on here? Was it just an attempt by the Savanna to foment war between the Arcade and the Forest? What was the secret thing Judicious Increase was doing?
- The six prisoners were sent to Teng Keep. Did we ever find out what happened to them?
Lady Chow (aka "Pai Gow Chow"), an avid panda collector, obtained Lijuan's endorsement, which was worth points in the Great House mechanic. She was also especially interested in information about the Merit Trade Company.
For the big Thousand Li Horse auction, each House was required to provide at least one thing of high quality. Judicious Increase auctioned some incredible jewelry.
House of Enticing Vintage
Liet's house. Originally hostile to Resplendent Decoration, but allied as of Zen Sinker Tour. We found in Zen Sinker Tour that Prince Ti Jun had been assisting Enticing Vintage (specifically Lord Miyato, in the Port of Auspicious Voyage) with unspecified inter-House politics. Miyato considered the cursed silk to be a countermove retaliating for whatever it was the Prince had assisted them with. Ezokin was behind the cursed silk, and he was in disguise under the name Kinoze in both Enticing Vintage and Resplendent Decoration (strange to use the same name for what were effectively two separate identities as a cloth merchant and a wine merchant).
A caravan from the House of Enticing Vintage hired Wei Han as a guard for a trip from the Port of Propitious Voyage to the Harbor of Fortunate Arrival. Wei Han's presence allowed them to enter the city without being searched by the Dragon Army occupation force.
Liet's uncle is head of the House, and her father is the heir.
Liet and Myo were kidnapped for real by some bandits who got the idea from someone named Konghua from the House of Gainful Protection.
Curiously, when the Arbiter wished to meet Yoshi in A Note for You, he chose to meet at an Enticing Vintage establishment (the Saddlehouse winehouse on Mill Street, if you're curious).
In Thousand Li Horse, some poorly-disguised Dragon Army Navy guys were committing acts of piracy against Enticing Vintage and Resplendent Decoration, and fencing the stolen wine and cloth. For the big auction, Enticing Vintage sold a lot of wine, including a bottle of Golden Palace rice wine.
House of Resplendent Decoration
Myo's House. As of Alike in Dignity hostile to the House of Enticing Vintage (Liet's House), but by Zen Sinker Tour they were allied. In Zen Sinker Tour, Ezokin was in disguise as an elderly cloth merchant in the House of Resplendent Decoration, and was selling cursed silk. The curse seemed to affect ships of both Resplendent Decoration and those of Enticing Vintage.
Myo and Liet were kidnapped for real by some bandits who got the idea from someone named Konghua from the House of Gainful Protection.
In Thousand Li Horse, some poorly-disguised Dragon Army Navy guys were committing acts of piracy against Enticing Vintage and Resplendent Decoration, and fencing the stolen wine and cloth. for the big auction, Resplendent Decoration had a big problem because their bolt of enchanted silk was actually cursed. With a dazzling display of something, Xiao Fa uncursed the silk and saved the day.
House of Quiet Concordance
They're pretty quiet. Also concordant. They like feng shui, and may be trying to conquer the kingdom using urchins (street urchins, not sea urchins) (I hope).
Shan Tsu (Silver Dragons) sought Master Tranh's assistance in sneaking into the Hidden City. Tranh was reluctant because Shan Tsu seemed to be insisting on both secrecy and urgency, and sensibly enough Tranh is suspicious when someone demands both secrecy and urgency.
For the big Thousand Li Horse auction, each House was required to provide at least one thing of high quality. Quiet Concordance auctioned a crystal ball.
The Less Great Houses
House of Transparent Purity
Their heir is Tsu Yi-ju, who is still a child, although he doesn't act like it (he runs errands in the business district, he has a crush on Tsi-Ya, he can stab people). He has a little sister. In A Busy Day, there is a plot by Ornamental Vessels to kidnap him. After one foiled attempt, Yang Tsi-Ya is hired as his bodyguard.
For the big Thousand Li Horse auction, each House was required to provide at least one thing of high quality. Transparent Purity was planning to auction a case of fine wine that they were fencing on behalf of a corrupt Dragon Army officer who had stolen it from Enticing Vintage.
Kasumi partially liberated the wine, somehow inconvenienced the House of Benevolent Oversight in the process, and there was something about some Transparent Purity guys getting killed by a horse. I don't really understand this bit very well.
House of the Lotus
Dutiful Hsung is the butler.
For the big Thousand Li Horse auction, each House was required to provide at least one thing of high quality. House of the Lotus sold a one-year comp pass.
Cai Wen's patron (technically shouldn't it be matron?). Not sure if they're officially in the House game.
House of Ornamental Vessels
In A Busy Day, Snow Leopard informs Shuyan that the House of Ornamental Vessels has hired the Black Spot for the kidnapping of the heir to the House of Transparent Purity. They intend to hold Yi-ju as a hostage to obtain Transparent Purity's proxy for the vote concerning their entry into the House mechanic.
Eventually the Messengers of the Black Spot kidnap his little sister instead, and she is swapped for a fake proxy (that says "you've been punked by the House of the Laughing Shadow"). No one votes in favor of Ornamental Vessels, so for the moment they are not officially a House.
By the time of Thousand Li Horse they seem to have acquired some official status, as they participate in the auction by contributing some nifty bowls.
House of Continuous Sustenance
In A Busy Day, there is a riddle contest to choose a wife for Lei Tan Pai, the heir to Continuous Sustenance. The three candidates are his girlfriend Shuxue, who is poor but smart, a lady of the House of Resplendent Decoration, and Tsinsi, a ninja from the House of the Laughing Shadow. Eventually (after some confounding) the head of the House arranges to allow his son to decide whom to marry, and he unsurprisingly chooses his girlfriend. Between his father's business acumen and his fiancée's prodigious brain, the future of the House is secured, unless they get smushed by Gainful Protection.
Got smushed by Gainful Protection.
No longer officially a House, but showed up on Merit's list of people in town relevant to a plot involving the House mechanic.
House of Piquant Sapidity
Spices, maybe? They may have fallen into disfavor as a result of some slapstick pratfalls about a generation ago.
Well, they're super-scholarly. Also maybe not officially a House house.
House of the South Wind
Horse traders. Not a metaphor. Literally horse traders, who breed and raise and buy and sell horses.
In Thousand Li Horse, the horse traders who were auctioning the horse (that eventually was sold for more than any horse has sold for since the time of the Emperors). Despite providing the most valuable horse anyone has seen in centuries, they seem to have vanished from the House mechanic.
Messengers of the Black Spot
Ninja clan in the Harbor of Fortunate Arrival. Autumn Rose paid them 40 li to get a message to Li Merit. They were also the couriers for the ransom notes when Myo and Liet were kidnapped for real. Also, Ornamental Vessels hired them to kidnap the Transparent Purity heir.
House of the Laughing Shadow
House of the Night Blade
Cai Wen's favorite ninjas. We should take them more seriously, but we end up treating them like comic relief. OK, maybe we shouldn't take them seriously. Their master is named Darkblade, and he tried to stab Cai Wen with a teacup.
Cup of Five Virtues
A very fashionable teahouse. Crammed full of blessings. Equity stakes are held by various people.
Merit Trading Company
Possibly about to become the hub of the House of Exuberant Interference.
Monkey King Opera Company
An opera company, led by Han Hsu, who made his name playing the Monkey King.
Various Tongs and Pork Buns and Ninjas
The League of the Hidden Hand is active in the northern Arcade, and the Circle of Spite is active in the south.