Temple of the Mind
The Psionic Houses
Tempered by flame.
-House Adon motto
Symbol: Green flame against a silver background.
Characteristics: Members of House Adon have a predilection for metacreativity, the ability to fashion objects from nothing other than their own desire to create. They are the renowned builders and crafters of the Talaire. The typical Adonan is tall and broad shouldered, with brown or sandy hair and green eyes.
Elders of House Adon believe that their house once possessed a singular artifact, called the Making Stone, that enabled its wielder to fashion entire worlds if he were talented enough. In the background of all their other plans, the elders seek this legendary item.
Many houses distrust House Cogitare, but none more than House Adon. Past betrayals still burn between the two houses (though the specifics are forgotten), and they often clash. Members of House Adon are most willing to work and ally with House Novar.
The path is not lost.
-House Celare motto.
Symbol: An arching bridge across a blue field.
Characteristics: Due to their inborn talent of psychoportation, members of House Celare are known for their ability to find their way to any location, regardless of weather or distance. The typical Celaran stands about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with dark complexion, dark hair, and startlingly blue eyes.
Elders of House Celare believe that the Talaire homeworld was not destroyed, but merely hidden away in secret by the Enemy. No other house shares this belief, but that doesn’t stop Celarans from traveling and searching for clues in far places. At one time or another, most Celarans take up the quest to find their hidden homeworld. So far they have not found any evidence to substantiate their belief, but they have discovered many secret and wondrous things in their travels.
House Celare has a long-standing feud with House Novar. Celarans believe that the elders of House Novar spy on them while they travel and, even worse, know the truth about their stolen homeworld but refuse to come forward with this knowledge for some reason. Accidental meetings between Celarans and Novarans often end with bloodshed. On the other hand, members of House Celare feel most friendly to members of House Incendar, with whom they have allied from time to time.
The sun sees all.
-House Cogitare motto.
Symbol: A rising sun over a dark blue sea.
Characteristics: Members of House Cogitare are masters of the discipline of telepathy. While Novarans look into the past for their answers, Cogitarans look into the very minds and souls of living creatures, gaining insight and giving commands. They also follow a traditional mandate that they use their power only for “the greater good.” Typical Cogitarans stand just shy of 6 feet tall, with fair hair and gray eyes.
The elders of House Cogitare consider themselves the most noble of all the surviving Hidden Houses. This is due to the belief that prior to the Enemy’s coming, House Cogitare was at the ascension of its cycle and therefore ruled the lost Talaire homeworld, including the other houses. After all, their talents are most suited to uncovering deceit and ensuring that proper behavior is enacted by the otherwise unlawful. To this end, some enterprising members of House Cogitare even now seek to increase their power base by surreptitiously gaining influence among great leaders of the world, just in case it becomes necessary to “step in.”
Many of the other houses suspect that, over the centuries, power over the minds of others has corrupted a house once known for legendary judges, peacemakers, and diplomats who would never think of using their coercive abilities for selfish gain. Indeed, while most Cogitarans still abide by the stricture, others believe it merely a quaint relic of history. Of all the houses, House Adon knows beyond a doubt that at least some (if not all) Cogitarans have abandoned the stricture. Thus, members of Adon and Cogitare are usually at each others’ throats—mentally speaking.
Will is power.
-House Icendar motto.
Symbol: The palm of a open red hand on a white background.
Characteristics: Members of House Incendar are masters of the discipline of psychokinesis, the power of commanding energy in all its various forms. They are known for their mastery of the physical world through mental manipulation, though some prefer to work with other manifestations of energy. The typical Incendaran stands about 6 feet tall, with a fair complexion, blond hair, and pale blue eyes.
The elders of House Incendar are psychic researchers of the first order. Their hidden lodges are places of psionic study and experimentation into mentally generated or modified manifestations of energy. Incendaran researchers believe that just as one mind can tap its own psionic energy and a group of cooperating psionic characters can tap a greater reservoir, tapping the collective unconscious of all psionic creatures everywhere would make a vast and inexhaustible supply of psionic energy available. Other houses are somewhat suspicious of this belief, and both House Novar and House Adon have warned Incendarans against pursuing this research, fearing mental cataclysm through some misstep. The elders take these warnings into account, but research continues.
House Incendar is unique in its belief that some fragment of its family fleeing the original homeworld washed up in a completely separate realm, far from any of the Six Hidden Houses. Members seek this fragment of Incendar, but so far none of its searches (physical and psychic) have yielded anything.
House Incendar distrusts Novar and Adon for what it considers unwanted meddling in Incendar policies. No clashes have broken out openly, but tensions continue to rise. Incendar has good relations with the other houses, especially with House Celare, with whom they’ve allied from time to time.
Our sight is dear.
-House Novar motto
Symbol: A blue eye on a black starry background.
Characteristics: Members of House Novar have a knack for clairsentience, the ability to see and sense beyond the talents of the mindblind. They are the renowned seers of the Talaire. The typical Novaran has raven-black hair, pale skin, and deep, sapphire blue eyes.
Elders of House Novar seek to look back into the distant past to discover what cataclysm forced their ancestors into their current state and who (or what) is ultimately responsible. Discovering the identity of the Enemy is the one pledge each new Paragon of House Novar makes. Unfortunately, none has yet made good on it.
House Novar has a long-standing feud with House Celare. Celarans are distrusted, and accidental meetings between the two houses often end in bloodshed. On the other hand, those of House Novar feel most friendly to members of House Adon, with whom they have allied from time to time.
Purity and strength.
Symbol: A grey wolfs head on a purple background.
Characteristics: Members of House Vaymin honed their talent for psychometabolism in the high mountains of their lost homeworld. They are known for their control of body and mind and for their fellowship with wild creatures. The typical Vaymin stands about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with sinewy muscles that are hard and defined, dark brown hair, and dark brown (nearly black) eyes.
Elders of House Vaymin believe that theirs is the house fated to produce the Ultimate Scion—he or she whose power of mind and body is perfectly balanced and who can defeat the unknown Enemy that destroyed their homeworld. With that in mind, competitive games are part of Vaymin life.
Proving yourself in combat is important, and weighty decisions can be based on the result of a conflict.
The elders of House Vaymin keep copies of a tome called the Talairic Codex. Those who study the Codex learn several tenets, collectively known as chains of war. As students master one chain, they open themselves to learn the next chain in the series. This process has preserved knowledge of the war mind prestige class (EPH 155) in the world and secretly disseminated it beyond its Talairan roots.
House Vaymin tries to keep ties with the other houses as clear of trouble as possible. Its members believe that only crossbreeding with members of each house will let them produce the Ultimate Scion. As such, they sometimes serve as intermediaries between houses, and can be counted on to be impartial.