Exalted! - Flight of the Dragons
Ever the strong and honor bound traditionalists the Cathaks are feeling pulled in two directions. Expanding the Realm is an objective Cainan supports whole heartedly, however it allows Cathak’s rivals to grow while the House itself has struggled to keep up. With so much of it’s funding tied up in its military it cannot expand as fast as the mercantile Houses and it is not adapting like Sesus and Tepet are. The rise of House Tepet has rankled many of the Dynasts within the House and watching their primary rivals and enemies do so well makes them seethe with slow burning hatred and anger. Meanwhile Cathak troops diligently push back the horrors of the threshold and leave fertile ground for the Empress to found new satrapies on; even if those Satrapies are not necessarily Cathak in ownership.
The constant military operations have drained the House of some of its best and brightest and a generational gap between the House leaders and its younger members is starting to grow. With comparatively few exalts between the ages of 40 and 100 (a great many Cathaks died in the past six decades) the House has begun turning more to it’s youth to help push it forward giving them more responsibility but also more rewards and leeway.
The Garel historians have done a great deal of work in the recent past: Anathema, rebellion, conquest and a war nearly every year has kept the Household quite busy. They have made a swift trade selling books on the Realm’s expansion and several dramatized historical works have become immensely popular fodder for the Patricians and Citizens of the Empire.
Cacek, the inventor of Gateway, has continued to lead the Realm’s social gateway circles: he hosts the largest tournaments and his descendants are among the best players. While it does not always overtly help the House, the Cacek are Cathak’s route into the elite high class of the Realm.
House Cathak lives off its Satrapies and Prefectures. While it has the commercial interests that every House does Cathak sees itself as the military elite of the Realm. Tepet’s rise may have dented the self image, but it has survived and as such few Cathaks turn to politics or mercantile work. Those that do are usually veterans of the Legions who were not going to pass muster as generals. With a weaker than average economic base Cathak squeezes every obol it can out of its tribute states and offsets the huge foreign opinion problem by both being highly professional and by utilizing it’s military as a sometimes workforce. Cathak legions leave roads and infrastructure behind them as a point of pride and pragmatism. With its economic base firmly rooted in taxes and tribute Cathak has supported the Expansion but it’s Satrapies remain stunted in growth compared to those of Houses like Cynis, Peleps, and Tepet. As traditionalists they oppose the reforms being proposed to expand the Realm’s economy; it won’t help them.
Though the House as a rule distrusts sorcery Cathak is close to Ledaal. Both Houses are traditionalist and have large holdings on the Isle. As such, both Houses are being left behind in the colonial rush and this gives them much common ground to oppose the expansion of their rivals. Several marriages have occurred as of late; Cathak gets access to Arjuf and Ledaal’s occult skills and Ledaal gets access to Cathak troops. The House is also close to Mareda, another traditionalist stronghold with major roots on the Isle. Cathak serves as the lynchpin of a Ldeaal, Mareda, Cathak political bloc within the deliberative and together the three Houses have been blocking initiatives that would help Peleps, Ragara, and Tainena.
Cathak, perhaps behind Iselsi and on par with Mnemon, is one of the great supporters of the Order. Cainan is a pious man and his influence has lead to a generally pious attitude amongst his House. The Order looks favorably on the House as a whole and several times has brought it’s influence to bear in support of the House. Though it is never overt, the Order’s favor can be a powerful thing.
Rivals and Enemies:
House Cathak has both enemies and rivals aplenty. As one of the oldest, largest, and strongest Houses they have long been viewed as the ones to beat within the game of the Dynasty. As such, the Cathaks consider a fair number of Houses to be their natural enemies.
Houses Sesus has, of the Houses that survive, been Cathak’s longest and most bitter enemy. Long rivals in military matters Sesus eclipsed Cathak in matters of economics and political influence some time ago. While Sesus has been branching out, Cathak has concentrated on military excellence and parlaying that into political power. While successful, there is no love lost and if Cathak can take Sesus down a peg, it will.
Tepet’s rise has caused several elder Cathaks to go into apopletic rages. For the first time in four hundred years Cathak is not on top of the Realm’s military power structure. Since 610 Tepet has been unapologetically the leader of the Realm in terms of military sway and they have held this despite branching out into mercantile ventures. At present there is a growing resentment, especially in the youngest generation of Exalts, and plans to take more overt action against the Tepets.
The ever present goal of leal service to the Empress and Creation is still Cainans’ primary goal. However, as his House continues to loose ground to it’s rivals there has been some near panic as to the direction the House needs to take. With no major economic or political lines the House can draw less respect on the Isle and its military ventures have been second rated by those of Tepet.
Most of Cainan’s goals currently revolve around strengthening the core aspects of the House to raise the bar for military excellence so high that no others can reach it. He has also been solidifying ties with the Order to maintain the power it’s influence gives. A sign of the times, Cainan has recently given in and compromised on House diversification. Several promising candidates are being shifted into politics and mercantile efforts with the promise that if successful they will be allowed to set up their own Households. The move has yet to garner results, but signals a shift in the traditional Cathak thinking.
House Members of Note:
Cathak Garel Pelama: Pelama was a successful Windlord and Dragonlord before resigning her commission in the Legions and taking up politics within the Imperial Service. At present she heads a department within the Foreign office that she uses to help shift tribute rates to help her House. Wed to one of the Empress’ sons, Berdemol, all six of her Children have Exalted at the apex of Dragon Blooded Breeding. Current rumor is she is going to drag off her own major Household within the next two decades as several of her children have attended the Spiral Academy rather than Bells and favorable marriages to Mnemon and Cynis have resulted in a number of Exalted grand children.
Cathak Mnelarow: One of House Cathak’s very few sorcerers, Mnelarow takes a strictly Immaculate viewpoint to Sorcery. A rather dour and pious young man he specializes in Manse construction and Artifact repair and has begun to make a name for himself in and out of the House as pious and professional. Currently un-attached he is being shopped for a favorable marriage on terms that would keep him working to make sure Cathak’s occult projects don’t completely stall.