Mark of Passage
Couriers Guild: A postal service
Transportation Guild: Freight shipment
Heraldic beast: Unicorn
Month/Moon: Aryth (Late autumn, ~November, eleventh moon)
House Orien is a human dragonmarked house which controls the lightning rail, maintains major highways, and operates several caravan routes. It also provides courier and postal services.
Orien went unchallenged in the transportation field for many years, and maintained arguably the most profitable business of all dragonmarked houses up until the Last War, when travel restrictions were widely imposed, infrastructure was heavily damaged, and — on the Day of Mourning — the lightning rail lines were cut. With the eager cooperation of Eros it has begun to recover, but it now faces competition from House Lyrandar, as well as independent companies who sprung up during Orien’s dark years.
Dragonmark Abilities: dependent upon the size of the mark, bearers may possess great speed, the ability to fly or even teleportation.
The humans of House Orien manifested the Mark of Transportation some nineteen thousand years ago. The first to manifest it were a loosely organized group of caravan teamsters, couriers, and guards, whose supernatural speed and efficiency made them uncontested in pre-Galifar Khorvaire. During this time, the continent was largely lawless, with pockets of warlord-maintained territories. It was extremely dangerous to traverse, even more so for merchants, which allowed Orien to carve itself a very lucrative niche.
As Galifar became united, Orien first offered its transport services only to the elite at extravagant prices, but as the old kingdom grew and stabilized, Orien worked on its series of highways and — by royal commission in 811 YK — began laying the foundations of the lightning rail system. By 865 YK, “all corners” of the Five Nations were connected by the lightning rail lines.
During the Last War, House Orien lost the White Arch Bridge (connecting Karrnath and Aundair) and, on the Day of Mourning, the entirety of the lightning rail line in Cyre, both of which were catastrophic events for the house. In the wake of the war, the lightning rail was sundered, no longer offering transportation across all of the Five Nations. Since then, House Orien has struggled to regain its position, and has managed some level of recovery through cooperation with the king of Eros and the imperator of Odakyr to restore the line that once went through Cyre.
Guilds and Organizations
- Couriers Guild — Offers safe transportation for letters and packages. Provides standard rate transportation through lightning rail cargo, as well as express shipping and (expensive) next-day delivery. The Couriers Guild also employs specialized agents for high-risk deliveries, including deliveries to dangerous or remote locations.
- Transportation Guild — Responsible for maintaining the lightning rail, as well as coach and caravan routes across Khorvaire. Tariffs and taxes on line stops are used to help fund these services. Also offers a teleportation network accessible through house enclaves at a high price.