Within a week of their Exaltation, Mnemon herself gives to every member of her House a beautifully engraved white jade tile; small enough to fit comfortably in the palm, and in minute Old Realm calligraphy it reads, “Power through knowledge, mastery through rigor, and conquest through diligence.” That philosophy captures the essence of House Mnemon perfectly.
A large number of House Mnemon’s scions are known as accomplished martial artists, and more members of this House enter the Immaculate Order than any other. At the same time, a strong flow of sorcerous talent has resulted in many in this House taking up the study of sorcery and the lost secrets of the First Age.
Any discipline that requires arduous, rigorous, systematic study is a welcome challenge for members of House Mnemon. They thrive on complex systems, be it First Age wonders, complex poetic forms, geomantic architecture, combat strategies or sorcery.
Education is one thing House Mnemon supports very strongly. The House even sends its un-Exalted members to study at the top schools in Tuchara, insisting that all members of House Mnemon are to have only the best education available to them.
Mnemon is proud of the fact that no other House has as many Exaltations as her own. She takes pride in the purity of her blood and views each Exaltation in her family as a personal gift to her from the Dragons.
MASTER OF THE HOUSE
House founder, extraordinary sorceress, and front runner in the race for the Scarlet Throne, Mnemon is the eldest child of the Scarlet Empress who is still active in Realm politics. Of all the contenders for the Scarlet Throne, she is probably the most capable of taking her mother’s place.
Only the arrayed might of the other Houses prevents her from simply taking the throne, although she believes she could easily take on the combined might of at least two other Great Houses with enough advance notice.
The only reason Mnemon has not yet taken this kind of action is that, in the end, she believes the Realm will fall into such chaotic disarray that political infighting will be forgotten. Once things get bad enough, she reasons, the other Houses will beg her to take the Scarlet Throne.
”Master of the House” fails to capture Mnemon’s full role within her family and the Dynasty. Driven by her desire for the Scarlet Throne, she’s possibly the political power player in the Realm, and she utterly dominates the Great House that bears her name. She knows the names, talents, loves, crimes, and secrets of all of her descendants. She also knows by rote who has risen to what position in which ministry. She uses this information to get the most out of her family’s achievement and to drive them to greater achievement.
Those who do not obey her or who fail to reflect well on her have been known to suffer tragic accidents.
Mnemon is most definitely not a song of one note, however.
She alternates the means by which she gets things done, lest she become too predictable. Sometimes, she’s subtle as a thin layer of dust. Other times, she’s direct as an avalanche.
Mnemon is secretly pleased with the timing of her mother’s disappearance, since she believes the Empress had chosen her sister V’neef as successor to the throne, due to the unequaled purity of V’neef’s blood. Mnemon has shared this knowledge with no one, however. Although Mnemon respects V’neef as a woman, she would kill her sister before letting her assume the throne.
Mnemon has mastered many, though by no means all, of her mother’s skills with sorcery, and it’s evident. Though she’s very nearly 400 years old, she doesn’t even look like she’s reached 30 yet. She sustains her unnatural life span by drawing on the strength of the earth itself—one of many tricks Mnemon plucked from the Empress’s vaults of lore. Mnemon has an astonishing array of demons and elementals serving her, though no one but Mnemon knows just how many or which ones. Those who can see non-materialized beings tell of a murky cloud of presences around Mnemon so thick that the sorceress herself is almost impossible to see through it.
Perhaps surprisingly, there remain some sorcerous options Mnemon has, thus far, refused to exercise in her pursuit of the Scarlet Throne. Mnemon knows what happened to her mother, and she has no wish to follow quite so far in the Empress’s footsteps.
THE MNEMON CARAS HOUSEHOLD
Far removed from his grandmother’s political games, Mnemon Caras is a true believer in the Immaculate Order. Fully a third of the children who Exalt into the Mnemon Caras household attend the Cloister of Wisdom and become Immaculate monks. Mnemon Caras pushes the edge of safety in the degree to which he rejects his grandmother’s control. Given a chance, Caras would love to lead his family in rebellion against his grandmother, whom he considers unstable. In the meantime, however, he watches his words, and his step, very carefully.
Most of the major households of House Mnemon are aspected toward Earth. A small few are Air-aspected. The stigma that sometimes results from such a mixture of aspects is moot in this case, as the House of Mnemon boasts the best Exaltation rate on the Blessed Isle. Mnemon herself would take umbrage at anyone who cast aspersions on the purity of her blood.
Mnemon controls some of the richest and most accessible tributaries that claim allegiance to the Realm, including Paragon and many of the northern coastal states. So far, House Mnemon has been able to keep the tribute flowing relatively freely by deploying its private legions (and, in some instances, demons) to quash signs of rebellion before a full uprising could take place. Since Tepet’s disaster, however, Mnemon has been more cautious about deploying her legions beyond the shores of the Blessed Isle. As a result, her tributaries have become bolder about paying late or not at all. The satraps have little love for House Mnemon. Though it has decreased the legion protection significantly, House Mnemon hasn’t reduced the amount of its expected tribute at all. And Mnemon has a very high opinion of just how much her protection is worth.
Though House Mnemon has its share of sorcerers, monks, and bureaucrats, it also has a substantial share of merchants, and standard mercantilism has prevented the House from losing too much money in the upheavals that have shaken the Realm.
Thanks to the House’s devotion to Pasiap, there is also a large number of architects in House Mnemon. While few Houses have the funds to build the way they once did, there’s always someone who needs a manse repaired or a temple designed and built. Plus, with the Time of Tumult raging across Creation, there’s no shortage of fortifications that need to be raised.
GOALS AND ALLIANCES
Mnemon’s arrogance is notorious. Rumor claims she has even demonstrated a tendency to look down on the Empress herself.
She has not gone to any trouble to try to hide the fact that she does not see her sibling’s children as her equals in any way. That arrogance is coming back to haunt her now, though, when she needs their support. What allows her to behave this way, however, is that Mnemon’s arrogance—unlike that of most Dynasts—is well earned. Her House is among the most powerful on the Blessed Isle, and no Dynastic House can afford to alienate her.
Not only does Mnemon’s House produce many children, it also boasts more Exaltations every year than any other House. Every single one of the other Houses wants the benefit of that kind of purity of blood. Needless to say, the children of House Mnemon have no trouble finding suitors. Every Dynastic House has married into House Mnemon somewhere along the way, producing hundreds of inroads into the other Houses for Mnemon—and thousands of potential informants, should any other House plot against her in earnest.
Mnemon’s most solid ally is House Sesus, which takes particular pride in its connections to House Mnemon. Its support of Mnemon’s bid for the throne, however, has thus far been underwhelming, leaving Mnemon questioning the value of all the connections she has fostered to that House.
Mnemon needs all the allies she can get, however, because she will not be satisfied with anything less than the Scarlet Throne. The thought of bowing down to any of her lesser relatives is completely galling and violates everything Mnemon cherishes about the Immaculate Philosophy. While she tries to maintain her composure over the matter, Mnemon is privately furious that the matter of her succession has not yet been settled.
ILLUSTRIOUS DYNASTS OF THE HOUSE
MNEMON HARASA, PARAGON OF THE EARTH DRAGON
Though she initially had no interest in the Immaculate Order, Mnemon Harasa was steadily drawn to it through the constant stream of reverent references by Mnemon herself. Harasa found the Order’s chants soothing and its cycles and devotions the perfect source of solace and framework for her life. She initially attended the Heptagram, but found it not to her liking, as it didn’t provide sufficient structure to keep her focused. Upon dropping out of the Heptagram, Harasa immediately went into the Cloister of Wisdom, where she proved to fit in perfectly. Harasa progressed through the Coils of the Immaculate Order rapidly, even proving herself a relentless and powerful leader of the Wyld Hunt. Between her own competence and a nudge from Mnemon, Mnemon Harasa was named the Paragon of Pasiap, a role she has held for years now in the Palace Sublime. To escape Mnemon's pressure to sway the Order to support the founder’s bid for the Scarlet Throne, Harasa left the Palace Sublime to tour the Immaculate Order’s monasteries in the Threshold. In so doing, she has seen firsthand just how weak the Realm’s presence in the Threshold has grown.
Before she was able to make it back to the Realm to spread the word of what she had seen (and throw her wholehearted support behind Mnemon), however, Mnemon Harasa was taken prisoner and most of her retinue of powerful Immaculate monks killed. The Immaculate Order has no idea who abducted Harasa, but they do know that no mortal has the power to take the Paragon of Pasiap against her will.
The entire Immaculate Order, and Mnemon herself, wants Harasa back. Some Dynasts are hoping that Harasa’s disappearance will be a wakeup call to those who feel it’s okay to let the Wyld Hunt grow weak even as the Anathema grow strong. Others are quietly pleased to see another Mnemon ally taken out of play.