Great Houses

From Bravo Fleet
Klingon Faction

This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

The Great Houses are a score or more of the most powerful families who are part of the feudalistic leadership of the Klingon Empire. The twenty-four most powerful sit on the High Council. Between them they oversee the territory of the Empire, advise the Chancellor, and each Great House is responsible for a department of the government. Most have vassal houses sworn to them, who may oversee any responsibility from a traditional role performed by their family to ruling systems or even sectors in their name.


The Great Houses influence the rulership of the Empire in a hierarchy where the personal is the political

They are traditionally led by the eldest male of the ruling family, though there are many exceptions where powerful and influential women or younger men have succeeded older patriarchs. In cases of unclear succession, the High Council can arrange special dispensation for such figures to ascend, or they may, by popular support or force of personality, earn the acceptance of their House with no outside intervention.

The immediate relatives of the head of the House, related by consanguinity or affinity - offspring, siblings, spouses - are usually a part of the inner circle of leadership. Their personal proximity to power brings more opportunities but also more responsibilities, with such Klingons usually prepared from birth to assume these duties. Despite the romanticisation of Klingon courtship, the selection of spouses is thus often a political choice as much as a personal one, ensuring anyone brought into a Great House through marriage not only provides a political connection to another House but is personally capable and ready to be involved in leadership. Traditionally, the Mistress of the House - the wife of the head of the House - tests and assesses any prospective spouses to ensure they are fit to join, though again, who performs such roles is less cast-iron in the 25th century.

More distant relatives, such as cousins, uncles and aunts, second cousins, and so forth, usually fill the ranks of trusted lieutenants and are given administrative or military duties. These individuals may have increasingly distant connections to the ruling family but form the backbone of the House’s administration. They are often scattered, geographically and bureaucratically, across the House’s holdings and responsibilities, but are bound by their honour to be trustworthy and loyal however distant they may be from the centre of power. The more capable are often found in positions of great authority in the House, where they have proven their worth through talent but are still part of the family itself.

Such distant relatives have often gone on to form Houses of their own, cadet branches that, in time, become one of the many vassal Houses in service to a Great House. These vassal Houses live within the territories of their liege, with similar legal, administrative, and military responsibilities to enact on a smaller scale.

There are, however, many others who have no or very limited blood relation to the ruling family who make up a ‘Great House.’ Various administrators, ship commanders, and officers of the law are often drawn from the general population living in the House’s territory and enforce its power and authority.

Great Houses are usually of noble descent, and most collect tales, art, and records illustrating their lineage and the heroism of their ancestors stretching as far back as history - or myth - will sustain. Klingon life is, however, often brutal and violent, and many Great Houses have become extinct over the millennia of the Empire’s existence. They have also been stripped of their authority and dominion by the High Council if they have been found unable or unwilling to meet their responsibilities to Qo’noS’s satisfaction, though this is exceedingly rare and usually only occurs as a result of great weakness and failure. This is similar but different to the discommendation of an individual and their family, where the deeply dishonourable are legally stripped of status. If any such fate befalls a Great House, another house will be elevated to assume their responsibilities and seat on the High Council. More often than not, this is a vassal house that has not similarly fallen or been discredited. These newer Great Houses inevitably face political and social challenges, often viewed as upstarts, and usually do their best to quickly establish their legitimacy, their nobility, and their honour.

Operations and Politics

While Great Houses administer regions, providing political leadership and overseeing matters of law and economics, their most significant responsibilities are military. The routine military operations of a region - garrison defense, patrols and, for they are Klingon, minor territorial expansions - are conducted by the fleets built, crewed, and commanded by the Great Houses. These fleets are constructed and operated in accordance with standards established by the Klingon Defense Force, which has the authority to call the ships of the Great Houses into service in times of mass mobilisation. Outside of a condition of total war, the like of which the Empire has not seen since the Dominion War, most Klingon warships encountered are operated by and on behalf of a Great House, following its orders and enforcing its authority - and political will.

Toral's ascension to the chancellorship has caused old grievances between houses to spark back to life, sometimes with open conflict

While Great Houses ostensibly answer to the authority of Qo’noS and the Chancellor, the Empire is in a particularly fractious period. Chancellor Toral, son of Duras, is a polarising figure, and Houses are split between those eager for his vision of a new age of aggressive expansionism and those who think him reckless and dangerous. This is only the latest development in two decades of increasing weakness from the Empire’s central leadership. Great Houses at present enjoy significant freedom to pursue their own political interests, regardless of the Empire’s formal policy. They enforce their own laws, expand their borders, and often fight among themselves. Some are falling in line with Toral’s promised invasion of Romulan space, with border Houses already launching offences, unafraid to clash with Romulan defences or even Starfleet if they have come to the protection of the Republic. Others work more directly against Toral, especially those who maintain what they see as war-forged bonds with the Federation. The most notable of these last, foremost in its bond with the Federation and opposition to Toral, is the House of Koloth.

List of Great Houses

The following is an incomplete list of the Great Houses of the Empire, past and present. Some change their official names to match that of their current ruler, while others, especially those for whom a name carries particular honour, do not.

Current Great Houses

These are some, but not all, of the more notable Great Houses.

House of Duras

The House of Duras is the House of the current Chancellor, Toral, son of Duras. He has not changed the name of his House, in honour of his father and other ancestral heroes and leaders. After centuries of high status, they fell to dishonour in the mid-24th century when various acts of collaboration with the Romulans to weaken the Empire were uncovered. Toral was only a boy then, but grew to become a powerful warrior, defeating key enemies of the Empire in recent years such that Chancellor Martok was forced to restore his family’s honour. He won the support of the High Council to be recognised as the next Chancellor upon Martok’s disappearance, and has promised to restore the Empire to martial greatness, setting its eyes upon the Romulan territories as ripe for conquest.

The House of Duras is small, with only a handful of members, most of whom are close supporters of Toral. They are usually only encountered outside the Empire when enacting the official business of the Chancellor.

Notable members:

  • Toral, son of Duras, Head of the House of Duras. Am ambitious and capable warrior who has fought his way to lead the Empire, and relies on projections of strength and populist appeals to Klingon warrior culture to maintain his support.
  • Ja’rod, son of Lursa. Toral’s cousin. A bird-of-prey captain doggedly loyal to Toral, who often acts as a loyal lieutenant in the field pushing Toral’s agenda of Imperial aggression.

House of Martok

The House of Martok is the House of the former Chancellor. Despite this, the House is seen by many as something of an upstart, particularly since Martok’s disappearance, due to his humble origins. The new head of the house, Drex, son of Martok, has kept the name of his father, which some see as a sign of personal weakness. The House of Martok is nominally loyal to Toral, with the new Chancellor keeping Drex close to ensure as smooth a succession as possible. Many individual members of the House of Martok do not trust Toral and believe he will destroy the Empire that Chancellor Martok fought for decades to build. They do not act overtly against Toral, but many individuals may take an opportunity to act in Martok’s name and undermine Toral or aid Martok’s old allies, the Federation.

Notable members:

  • Drex, son of Martok, Head of the House of Martok. He has struggled to establish a reputation in his own right as a warrior or leader. He usually remains on Qo’noS and has yet to make any move or give any order that would threaten Toral’s position.

House of Koloth

One of the most ancient and honourable of lineages, they are led by Koloth, son of Koloth - the Dahar Master who died fulfilling a blood oath in 2370. His son has long strived to follow in his footsteps, and won great acclaim as a warrior and commander in the Dominion War. The House were close supporters of Chancellor Martok and is one of the most openly opposed to the rule of Toral. Koloth has openly said he does not believe the House of Mo’Kai were responsible for Martok’s disappearance, loudly rejected Toral’s ascension as Chancellor, and has labelled Toral’s plan to invade Romulan space as foolhardy. If Toral is allowed to enact his vision, Koloth claims the Empire will fall into war with the Federation and Romulan powers, inviting conflict it cannot win, and all to obscure the lies and machinations of a dishonourable Chancellor. Koloth’s opponents, obviously, accuse him of cowardice.

Koloth is too personally popular, his family too well-respected, and his House too powerful - it commands the largest independent fleet in the Empire - for Toral to bring him to heel by force. For now, it seems Toral is trying to silence Koloth by succeeding in his intention to conquer Romulan space, which would win him support enough to overcome any detractors. Convinced of Toral’s duplicity, Koloth himself has withdrawn from Qo’noS, and oversees his House’s affairs from their homeworld of Atrok. Many warriors who likewise oppose Toral have made their way to join him.

The House of Koloth has opened its hand to the Federation, pledging itself to continued friendship with its old allies. Throughout conflicts with the Sovereignty of Kahless and the machinations of the House of Mo’Kai, the House of Koloth have not only cooperated in facing these enemies by contributing forces, but also sharing resources and intelligence. Today, Starfleet operations in or near Klingon space are much more secure if they arrange assistance from the House.

Notable members:

  • Koloth, son of Koloth, Head of the House of Koloth.
House of Lorkoth

Formerly known as the House of Makok, the House of Lorkoth rose out of the ashes of the House of Makok following the assassination of Chancellor Azetbur in 2311, who inherited the chancellorship from her father, Chancellor Gorkon, in 2293. The influence of the house faded considerably after 2311, and by the early 25th century, they had become vassals of the powerful House of Koloth. Experienced and well-respected in interstellar politics, many of the House have acted as diplomats for the Empire over the centuries.

They have been one of the Federation’s more stalwart allies in recent years, part of the backbone of KDF task forces reinforcing Starfleet at both Archanis and Deneb when the Federation has been under attack. Captains of the House of Lorkoth are among the first to offer aid to endangered Starfleet ships - and, if in trouble themselves, see no dishonour in requesting assistance from a valued ally.

Notable members:

  • Kaltorok, Head of the House of Lorkoth
    • His son, Brigadier Asal
  • Captain Hor’keth, son of Tela’bur
    • His husband, Captain Tor’bel


  • House of D’Chok: A House on the rimward Federation border, close to Gorn territory, the House of D’Chok has taken advantage of the Empire’s chaos to renew ancient hostilities with its long-time rival and neighbour, the House of Noggra. Conflict between the two has been known to spill over the Federation border, with the House of D’Chok particularly prepared to bloody Starfleet noses if they try to intercede.
  • House of Grilka: Formerly known as the House of Kozak and briefly as the House of Quark, the House of Grilka maintains a moderate level of influence. It is one of the more diplomatic Great Houses, with strong ties to other cultures and governments. They have not directly opposed Toral, but nor have they rushed to support him.
  • House of Konjah: A militarily powerful Great House that has pledged its loyalty to Toral. It has been unafraid to launch raiding parties into Romulan territory and confront Starfleet forces.
  • House of Korath: Another great ally of Toral, the House of Korath commands much of the Empire’s industry, particularly its shipbuilding.
  • House of Noggra: A Great House with territory near the rimward Federation border, it is distant from Qo’noS and has little interest in Romulan expansion. With most of the Empire’s focus on the coreward regions, the House of Noggra has been attacked by its longtime rivals and neighbours, the House of D’Chok, in a conflict that has been known to spill over the Federation border. The House of Noggra is more careful than the House of D’Chok in limiting its fighting to other Klingons.

Former Great Houses

  • House of Kor: One of the most prestigious houses in Klingon history, the line came to an end with the death of the Dahar Master Kor in battle in 2375.
  • House of Mo'Kai: For ten years, the House of Mo’Kai was a thorn in Martok’s side, undermining his leadership, destabilising the Empire, and striking against the Federation through clandestine operations. Formally, Lady L’kor is believed responsible for the death or disappearance of Martok, charged with such by Toral and defeated by him in trial by combat. This defeat saw the discommendation of the House of Mo’Kai, with all its assets claimed by the House of Duras. Its members are now in the wind, hunted or driven out, though many are experts in the arts of spycraft and sworn enemies of Toral.
  • House of D’Ghor: Dishonoured in the 2370s, the members of this Great House ran to the fringes of the Empire and became the brutal group known as the Hunters of D’Ghor. They were shattered in conflict with the Federation in 2399, and what remained was hunted and extinguished by Toral in 2401, one of the great victories that cemented the restoration of his family’s honour.

In Play

  • Great Houses are relatively autonomous Klingon factions, and have become only more so since Toral became Chancellor. They rule their own regions, operate their own fleets, and have their own political stances and agendas.
  • Starfleet’s interactions with the Empire are hugely coloured by which House they are dealing with. The Houses of Konjah and Korath are loyal to Chancellor Toral, eager to invade Romulan territory and clash with Starfleet if necessary. The House of Koloth remain loyal allies of the Federation. Others may care more about their own business than the power struggles on Qo’noS.
  • You may depict any of these Klingon Houses in your writing. They have many vassals, officers, ships, and representatives who can make trouble for or help your ships on their missions and adventures. Drawing on these Houses in your stories can help enrich and deepen the fleet canon politics.
  • There are numerous Great Houses (and lesser Houses); the list above is not exhaustive. More can be created as member canon. Remember that the House of Koloth is foremost in opposing Toral and helping the Federation; any other pro-Federation or anti-Toral families should be following their lead.