The Heroes of Heaven's Height
House Nellens is the second-youngest of the Great Houses and has the distinction/shame of being the only House founded by a mortal. Around A5 570, the Scarlet Empress took as a consort an ordinary mortal man, a patrician named Nellens. Although that sort of thing is not uncommon in younger Exalts, it was considered extremely strange for someone as old and wise as the Empress. It certainly didn’t sit well with the Immaculate Order, or the other Dynasts, most notably Mnemon, who refused to speak to her mother for a three years.
House Nellens is mostly mortals, with an exaltation rate about a third that of the other Great Houses. As such their approach to politics is rather different; mortals can’t simply be shuffled off into side positions until they die, and House Nellens has always been rather quick to have Lost Eggs marry into their line, a tactic now being adopted by House Tepet.
Nellens has the lucrative satrapy of the Varangian Confederation, as well as the powerful if not especially wealthy satrapy of the Linowan Nation. They have also been given the port-city of Cherak and some other minor holdings in the East, as well as significant positions in the Wood Fleet. It was a common tactic of the Empress to spoil her younger Houses with favor, to both alienate them from their peers, and to give them the strength to resist being crushed by them.