Travium, House of Power
“It is true that we are single-minded in our ambition; to take the first step into a realm beyond definitions, beyond consciousness. House Travium shall be the ones to open the doorway; all other concerns are irrelevant.”
Balavan Cek – the Lord of Lines, Primus of House Travium
“Their power is matched only by their recklessness. They knock upon the door to the unknown with no regard as to what shall answer.”
Krellen Maaht – the Indomitable Rampart, Primus of House Durant
House Travium is neither the eldest, richest, nor most influential House, but it is likely the most powerful.
Of all the known roots of the World Tree recognised thus far by Mellorian understanding, Ghyr, the Root of Power, lies closest in aspect to the pure Vaettim magic of the Tree. This means that those capable of wielding Ghyr have access to a power greater than other houses. It is not a power of subtlety or delicacy. It is a raw force of magic – a hammer blow opposed to the scalpel that the other roots represent.
In each generation, among those that are able to perceive and channel the powers of the World Tree, a few will be born that can access the root known as Ghyr. House Travium does not scour the land for these rare individuals; they do not need to. Wizards of Travium, those who can manipulate Ghyr, can easily be scryed by any Wizard. Each awakening to Ghyr is felt keenly by all Wizards of Travium and so they become aware of a new apprentice immediately.
Often, the apprentices are left to find their way to High House Travium on their own for the Masters of Travium respect those that possess an independent strength of will. In exceptionally rare circumstances involving beings of immense power – such as that of the Wizard known as Amara- a single Master of Travium may deign to attend them.
It is rumoured among the spymasters of the other Houses that recently a girl-child was attended by no fewer than eight of the Masters of Travium. If this is the case, the child is no doubt a prodigy of unmatched skill and near limitless power. Some whisper that one has been born that may command the Vaettim, something that no human has done since the days of Kahlim, the first Mage. If this is true, then it is a portent of great danger for the World.
Wizards of House Travium are able to manipulate energy and matter with little effort. They channel energies that can create and obliterate, that can teleport or levitate, and are supremely gifted with generating and storing energy from the Root of Power. It is no secret that Ghyr is a dangerous root, even for those of great skill, and to wield it is to accept that danger. It is not uncommon for Travium Wizards to be undone by the vast power they wield, yet this hazard seems to only spur them on to more elaborate and intense displays.
House Travium is not interested in leveraging its great power against Mellorian society. The political machinations of the City-states and the other Great Houses perplex and confound them greatly. Though there is a necessity to ‘play the game’, it is only done to the minimum of what is required by House Travium.
All efforts, all research, and all thought is geared towards their single goal: to transcend beyond the confines of the World, to quest beyond what is and to find what lies beyond. The first Primus of House Travium, Antiphos the Diviner, experienced a number of visions that gave rise to a prophecy that has shaped the destiny of the House. It foretold a time of great strife and destruction, an age of woe caused by the summoning of the Wyrm of Darkness to Mellorian.
In order for mortals to survive this cataclysm, House Travium would need to guide them to a safe place beyond the boundaries of the World. Of this realm, Antiphos knew little. In his mind, it was symbolised by a huge door of light, welcoming and inviting but also supremely alien. Primus Antiphos died of convulsions before more could be learned but the duty he foresaw had already become entrenched in the fabric of House Travium.
For five generations, the Wizards of Travium have laboured to discover the doorway and a means to open it and thereby save the peoples of the World. Over time the certainty has developed that the aggregation of magical power is the secret to both. House Travium believes that when enough power is amassed, they will be able to bring the door to them rather than continue to search in vain.
The structure of House Travium is geared towards this quest for ever greater power. The Primus is always the strongest of the Wizards in the House and as soon as a rival can demonstrate greater power, then the incumbent must step aside. Those who are not the strongest have a single, clear duty: to assist and improve those that are. This creates a focal point in the House into and from which everything flows. It is a structure that is inefficient for the day to day running of a vast continent-spanning organisation such as a Great House, and this is one of the major reasons Travium cannot and will not engage in politics and intrigue. But for amassing power, a single point, a single key, is necessary for opening the door to beyond. It is said that soon the role of Primus shall be given to Amara, albeit once concerns over her focus are dispelled.
The prophecies of Antiphos are not commonly known outside the House for fear that their rivals might try to corrupt the great work of Travium. It is common knowledge, however, that they quest to discover a doorway to another realm and eschew the trappings of the power they accumulate. This odd form of aesthetics, combined with their lack of desire to engage in the clandestine world of Mellorian politics, disarms the other Houses from openly interfering in their work.
House Travium is widely regarded as an awkward neighbour, powerful but without the focus or clarity possessed by the other Great Houses. If the truth became known then the situation would alter dramatically. Those that have taken the path of Prophecy are considered dangerous indeed, for all other concerns become subjugated to the quest. The status quo means nothing to House Travium – they would watch the land burn if it assisted their ambition. Such breathtaking detachment would engender mistrust from the other Houses, for an ally that has the power to act but will not do so is a poor ally indeed.
Conversely, if their rivals in House Acedia or House Qing understood that reprisals from House Travium would be unlikely for the transgressions that they plan then it would surely lead to an escalation in their dark designs. It is therefore better that Mellorian continues to see them as it would, rather than as they are. House Travium is content to remain focused on the task at hand, ignoring all other considerations whilst waiting for the day when they deem that the doorway can finally be opened. Only time will tell which Master shall be the key that can unlock it…