What’s mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises, no matter the mood.Gurney Halleck
Session 0.3 – Enemy House Creation
In this third part for our session 0, I’ll be defining the enemy of House Maestoso for my first Collaborative Game of of Dune: Adventures in the Imperium with the Space Cowboy. That enemy is House Obsidian.
House Obsidian and its characters will mainly be run by the Space Cowboy.
You can read the other posts related to Session 0 by clicking the appropriate link below:
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.1 – Introduction
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.2 – House Creation
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.3 – Enemy House Creation
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.4 – Character Creation Overview
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.5 – Planned Character Creation
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.6 – Character Creation In Play
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.7 – Enemy Character Creation
- Dune RPG Collab Game 1 – Session 0.8 – Additional House Creation
Advice to the reader
In order to interpret the structure of my gaming session posts effectively, it is strongly suggested that you peruse A Readers Guide to Play Sessions on The Old Bard, if you haven’t already.
To better grasp what I mean when I bring up Fate questions, you might find it useful to keep the Mythic Fate Chart accessible, potentially in a new window or tab in your browser.
I’ve already detailed House Creation in Session 0.2, so we’ll move quickly to define the enemy house.
House Obsidian is another House Minor. Their primary domain will be Kanly Expertise.
The next step forward from espionage is assassination. To avoid chaos, the Great Houses agreed on a set of rules for assassination to prevent a slaughter. These ‘forms of kanly’ are designed to limit both assassinations and the inevitable responses and are ruthlessly enforced by all the Houses. As such, they are also a lucrative area of business.
Dune: Adventures in the Imperium – Chapater 3 – Domains – Page 89.
- Machinery: Assassination weapons and traps (hunterseekers,
mines, bombs, etc.)
- Produce: Poisons (not just to kill but to stun or weaken and to be near-undetectable)
- Expertise: Assassin masters, operation planners, and trainers
- Workers: Assassins, thugs, infiltration specialists
- Understanding: Means of assassination, infiltration techniques, deadly combat strikes
This is one of the reasons that House Obsidian loathes House Maestoso as they feel House Maestoso is growing as a competitor in their space.
House Obsidian’s secondary domain is Espionage Machinery.
Intelligence operations and secrets are the meat and drink of most Houses. As such, there are several who are renowned for supplying the mechanisms of the spy trade. A few even infiltrate other organizations to learn their secrets, not for themselves but so they can sell them to others.
Dune: Adventures in the Imperium – Chapter 3 – Domains – Page 88.
- Machinery: Surveillance devices, sensors, jamming technology
- Produce: Information and secrets from other Houses, probably by a particular specialty (such as military secrets or blackmail information)
- Expertise: Spymasters and agent handlers
- Workers: Agents, spies, infiltrators
- Understanding: Particular forms of espionage and counterintelligence techniques
I fed the following basic description of House Obsidian into ChatGPT:
House Obsidian is a ruthless house. Their primary domain is Kanly Expertise, and their secondary domain is Espionage Machinery. They loathe House Maestoso as they feel House Maestoso is growing as a competitor in their space. The Houses have been enemies for thousands of years. Something one or more of their ancestors did caused a rift that has only widened as the centuries have passed. It is possible no one remembers what the cause was, although both Houses have their own version of the truth.
Give me a different wording for the above description of House Obsidian
There were a couple of things it produced that I asked it to either eliminate or change and this is the result:
House Obsidian, an unforgiving and merciless powerhouse, resides on a separate moon orbiting the planet Aurelia. They are masters of Kanly, the ancient art of vendetta and blood feud, and have honed their skills in Espionage Machinery. They harbor a deep-seated animosity towards House Maestoso, viewing them as a formidable competitor encroaching upon their established domain. The origins of their enmity trace back through countless generations, to a long-forgotten transgression committed by their ancestors. Over time, the details of the original offense have become obscured, leaving both Houses with their own distorted narratives, each claiming to possess the truth. The resentment and bitter rivalry between House Obsidian and House Maestoso have only intensified over the centuries, fueling a perpetual struggle for dominance in the Imperium. Despite their physical separation on different moons of Aurelia, their conflict echoes across the stars, impacting the delicate balance of power within the Imperium.
The polluted moon of Aurumos, once a pristine celestial body, now bears the burden of eons of industrial waste and neglect. House Obsidian has turned this once-glistening moon into a toxic wasteland through relentless industrial activities and disregard for the environment. Aurumos is shrouded in a perpetual haze of smog, its skies permanently obscured by a sickly pallor.
Rivers once flowing with crystalline waters are now poisoned, their once-teeming aquatic life reduced to a mere memory. The landscape, scarred and desolate, is marred by towering smokestacks and rusted machinery, testament to House Obsidian’s insatiable thirst for power and control.
The inhabitants of Aurumos endure the harsh consequences of their ancestors’ relentless pursuit of industry and expansion. The polluted air inflicts respiratory ailments upon the population, and the barren terrain offers little respite from the scars of industrialization. The moon’s ecosystem, once vibrant and diverse, now teeters on the edge of extinction.
Aurumos serves as a grim reminder of the price paid for House Obsidian’s ruthless ambition. The polluted moon, a stark contrast to the grandeur of Aurelia, stands as a symbol of their ongoing struggle against House Maestoso. It fuels their disdain for their rivals, blaming them for their perceived encroachment and fueling their determination to dominate and assert their control within the Imperium.
So Aurumos is the name of the enemy moon.
I used Midjourney to come up with a visual for Aurumos.
Once again, I used Midjourney to come up with a visual for House Obsidian’s coat of arms and banner.
For House Traits I ask ChatGPT to reword some text for me to produce the following:
House Obsidian excels in the art of Kanly, making them formidable in matters of vendetta and retribution. Their primary domain grants them the trait of ‘Assassin,’ representing their mastery in the clandestine arts of elimination and subterfuge. However, it is House Obsidian’s expertise in espionage machinery that fuels their jealousy towards House Maestoso. They resent the accomplishments and capabilities that House Maestoso has achieved through its exceptional spy training programs. This envy drives House Obsidian to seek ways to surpass and outmaneuver their rivals, eager to reclaim the perceived dominance they believe is rightfully theirs.
And finally for Roles, I use ChatGPT like I did in Session 0.2, to come up with names and 1-2 traits for each role and listed below is the output it gave me. Once agian, it was way eponymous with the names, but whatever.
Ruler: Lord Mordecai Obsidian
Traits: Calculating and ruthless, Lord Mordecai is a formidable leader who wields power with an iron fist. His strategic mind and unwavering determination make him a force to be reckoned with in the pursuit of House Obsidian’s dominance.
Consort: Lady Seraphina Shadowstrike
Traits: Alluring and deceptive, Lady Seraphina possesses a captivating presence and an uncanny ability to manipulate others. Her mastery of seduction and intrigue serves as a valuable asset in furthering House Obsidian’s agendas.
Advisor: Archibald Nightshade
Traits: Shrewd and conniving, Archibald Nightshade is a cunning strategist with an insatiable thirst for power. His expertise in Kanly and espionage machinery fuels his relentless pursuit of dominance for House Obsidian.
Chief Physician: Dr. Aurelia Voidweaver
Traits: Mysterious and resourceful, Dr. Aurelia possesses extensive knowledge of both medicine and poison. Her ability to heal or harm, depending on House Obsidian’s needs, makes her a valuable asset in their schemes.
Councilor: Lord Dominik Viperheart
Traits: Persuasive and ambitious, Lord Dominik is a master manipulator of political landscapes. He excels at exploiting rivalries and forging alliances that serve House Obsidian’s interests.
Envoy: Lady Morrigan Shadowflame
Traits: Deceptive and charismatic, Lady Morrigan is a skilled infiltrator and persuasive envoy. Her ability to extract secrets and manipulate others aids House Obsidian in gaining an upper hand.
Heir: Lady Lilith Obsidian
Traits: Ruthless and ambitious, Lady Lilith is being groomed to inherit House Obsidian’s mantle. Her unwavering loyalty and insatiable thirst for power drive her determination to secure the future of the house.
Marshal: General Damian Darkthorn
Traits: Disciplined and fierce, General Damian is a master tactician who commands House Obsidian’s military forces. His unwavering loyalty and strategic brilliance make him a formidable force on the battlefield.
Scholar: Professor Severin Ironweaver
Traits: Knowledgeable and enigmatic, Professor Severin possesses expertise in Kanly and the intricate workings of espionage machinery. His meticulous research and technological advancements propel House Obsidian’s dominance.
Spymaster: Lady Morana Nightshade
Traits: Cunning and elusive, Lady Morana is the mastermind behind House Obsidian’s intricate web of spies and informants. Her ability to gather intelligence and manipulate information ensures House Obsidian stays one step ahead of their rivals.
Swordmaster: Master Valerian Shadowblade
Traits: Ferocious and relentless, Master Valerian is a master of the blade. His skills in combat and unwavering loyalty to House Obsidian make him a feared adversary on the battlefield.
Treasurer: Lord Lucius Bloodthorn
Traits: Calculating and resourceful, Lord Lucius oversees House Obsidian’s finances and resources with meticulous precision. His cunning financial strategies and manipulative tactics secure the wealth necessary for House Obsidian’s ambitions.
Warmaster: Lady Selene Obsidianbane
Traits: Tenacious and formidable, Lady Selene leads House Obsidian’s military forces with an iron will. Her unwavering dedication and strategic brilliance make her a fearsome warmaster, driving House Obsidian’s campaigns to conquer their rivals.
We already know their enemy is House Maestoso. As to why they hate House Maestoso, we cover that in the previous post. So I think we’re done with the enemy house.
Taking this information we’ve generated here, we’ll once again jot this down on a House Sheet, and print off a couple of pages with the house/home world description and a page detailing the NPCs for the roles we have defined.
In the next post, we’ll start to design our characters.
Till next time!