Exalted! - Flight of the Dragons
The youngest of the Great Houses Tainena has only been recognized since 606 though Tainena is in her early seventies. In her youth this daughter of the Empress was an odd sort of adventurer. She went into the threshold not to kill, explore new places, have love affairs, or generally slum it around. She went out to meet new people and find new products and markets to start business around. Shrewd and extremely skilled at economics Tainena had a huge fortune by the time she was forty and the influence in the threshold, and the ability to affect the policy of several states through economic pressure, brought her a sizeable influence within the Empire. She was originally shopped to the Ragara as a potential sop to that House but was able to maintain her position and family as independent. She emulated her sister Mnemon by not marrying and choosing her mates based upon breeding and usefulness. Since 606 she has been solidying her new House by marrying several of her children and grandchildren into the independent households absorbed into her ranks. Her House also has a number of Imperial Monopolies including Coffee, Tin, and Copper mining rights. Her House also controls most of the newly taken Satrapies and has been given permission to maintain a private army totaling nearly three legions: mostly staffed by graduates of Psiap’s Stair adopted into the House.
With the House as a whole less than three decades old Tainena has no major lines that stand independent as a whole. There are a number of minor lines that are not actually related into the House as of yet, merely absorbed. The current push is to get someone from the main part of the House married into each of these and then get them all having kids.
Tainena makes its fortune from exploiting the threshold. It is heavily invested in foreign business and coupled with several monopolies and a large number of Satrapies excels at sucking wealth out of the tributaries and sending it to the Isle. A powerful colonial force the House owns more tributaries than any other with Tepet coming in a distant second. AS a result of the Imperial Favor and its current economic state Tainena has taken the policy of leaving her satrapies more room for economic growth knowing the extra income in the long run will be important when her mother is no longer protecting her House. With the ability and right to keep several private legions of House troops, several of the other Houses have begun inquiring about renting them. Though she has not yet agreed Tainena is considering the profit potential of using her troops as a private colonial army for hire in the threshold.
AS the young upstarts the Tainena are not viewed very well across the Dynasty as a whole. The House has few allies as of yet as there are few marriages binding it to other Houses. Thus far the Tepets have been the closest to the Tainena as they have similar goals and complementing resources. The Nellens have also looked favorably on the House trading their business acumen for access to better breeding stock to bolster their numbers. Useful in the short term Lady Tainena wishes to distance herself from the Nellens as soon as their usefulness has past.
The three Earth Houses, Ragara, Mareda, and Mnemon, top the list of Tainena’s enemies. All three are rigid, old, and staunchly traditional. They oppose her House’s rapid expansion in the threshold just as much as they resent have new competition within the Dynasty. Other opponents within the Dynasty are a result of the effects of Imperial Favor and Tainena is certain those can be smoothed over in the years to come as the House comes into its own.
Lady Tainena has set three short to medium term goals for her House, seeing them as necessary to ensure the long term viability of her line. These are:
Unify the House with its attendant independent households. Many Households from the former Nalis lines along with independents and defectors from other Houses were grafted onto her own line in order to staff a Great House. At the moment common purpose is bringing all of these together but Tainena knows without blood ties they will fragment just as quickly as they joined her. She has taken policies to marry several of her lineage into the Households she wants to keep and is making plans for those she will let wither and die.
Gain alliances within the Dynasty. At present not much of the Dynasty favors the House. They are new and this is not unexpected. The Earth Houses have shown they will not be favorable to her but many others, including other traditionalists, have a less intractable position. Tainena is being extremely selective about where she marries those of her blood and is still deciding which Houses to court above others. At the present her line shares excellent breeding and the choice is between limiting her political power while keeping the bloodlines pure or allowing them to thin to some degree in return for more alliances.
Solidify her Threshold position. As the major threshold power Tainena knows that her long term power will come with the ability to influence events overseas that affect the tribute and cash flow into the Houses. At present she cannot exert too much pull within the deliberative because she does not yet have the ability to hurt the other Houses overseas, but she is working on that. By being able to control the satrapies and affect them she will be able to curry favor on the Isle. As such she hast taken policies to grow her own satrapies while using her control of several monopolies to ensure that her House has inroads to every corner of Creation. She is courting the Guild for economic terms and has sent many of her House out abroad with instructions to found businesses and gain connections with the tribute states.