Pride Goes Before
A Brief History
Tepet was the favored consort of the Empress in the second century of her rule. He was a powerful Air Aspect, devoted to the ideals of the Immaculate Dragon Mela, though this was more philosophical than spiritual.
Tepet had five children with Her Redness, an impressive number. However, she held off in naming them a great House. Many political observers of the time thought she might play the siblings off against each other, giving two or even three of them their own House, and letting the rest fight it out for the favor of the founders.
This was not to be. Having several Houses already, the real issue the Empress had was with her military. Houses Sesus and Cathak provided her with many troops for her armies, and the flow of Outcaste Dragon-Blood from the Threshold was yet strong. The House and the Outcastes produced one kind of Legion, and it wasn’t always working.
These Legions were like the Shogunate Legions in many ways. They were fearless in battle. They crushed all opposition on the battlefield. They were hardy soldiers. But they were just that. Soldiers. They were not scholars, and knew little of gods, Demons, and Fae. They were rarely sorcerers, and showed little capacity for it.
More dangerously, they didn’t function well against guerrilla tactics, and they struggled to actually assimilate the Threshold nations. They could crush them, of course, but constant large-scale occupation was required.
The Empress needed troops who could think, who could win wars, and then win the peace. She needed warrior-scholars, not grunts. This she didn’t have. When she posed her problem to Tepet, he begged his love to allow him to solve her problem. She agreed, granting him a House charter.
And thus, House Tepet was born.
While the abilities of an Air Aspect do not immediately seem to lend themselves to warfare, Tepet proved up to the task.
Where traditional legion tactics dictated that deploying crushing numbers of infantry assured victory, Tepet legions used small numbers of mobile troops. They harried and harassed their enemy, killing their scouts and advance elements, then melting into the shadows.
Tepet legions also made common use of sorcery, and employed it quite effectively in the field. Rather than relying on large, bulky artillery platforms, a few sorcerers could be moved into position, bombard the enemy, and then disappear. Only after days or even weeks of these attacks would the hammer fall.
Finally, the Tepet legions were educated. They spoke the languages of the Threshold. They knew the foundations of other cultures. They were able to forge good working relationships with Threshold rulers and militaries.