The Houses of Hermes are the twelve divisions within the Order of Hermes, each (except for Ex Miscellanea,) descended in some way from one of the twelve Founders. The traditions of the individual Houses vary; each is administered by a Primus selected by the House by varying methods. Some houses can be joined by interested Magi, while others are open only to those trained in the appropriate lineage, and still others are Mystery Cults that can be joined by initiation into the secret teachings of that House.
The Houses of HermesEdit
House Bjornaer is made up of beast Magi, descended from their founder Birna. Their signature ability is the Heartbeast an animal inherent to the Magus' true nature, whose form the Magus can take. They are a Germanic tradition, rather than a Roman one, and are thus sometimes subject to suspicion from other houses. The Domus Magna of Bjornaer is Crintera, in the Rhine Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults.
House Bonisagus is the most prestigious House in the Order, tracing its descent from Bonisagus himself. The House is largely concerned with research and expanding the frontiers of magic, but Trianoma, the co-founder of the House, established her own lineage of politically active Magi within it. These magi sometimes call themselves "followers of Trianoma" rather than "followers of Bonisagus". The Domus Magna of Bonisagus is Durenmar, in the Rhine Tribunal, site of the Founding of the Order. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: True Lineages.
House Criamon is secretive and mystical, concerned with finding the ultimate nature of reality, something its members call the Enigma. They are known in the Order for marking their faces and bodies with arcane tattoos, and are typically apolitical. Their Domus Magna is The Cave of Twisting Shadows, in the Greater Alps Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults.
House Ex Miscellanea is the youngest House, founded by the Tytalus Maga Pralix as a rival to the Order of Hermes but incorporated into the Order in 817. It is diverse and eclectic, with many members who are only nominal practitioners of Hermetic magic. Members of the House are often considered hedge wizards, if not outright charlatans, by members of other Houses. Its Domus Magna is Cad Gadu in the Stonehenge Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Societates.
House Flambeau is direct, organized and aggressive, often participating in wars with other wizards, as well as taking sides in mundane conflicts. Its members typically specialize in magics of fire or destruction. The Domus Magna of Flambeau is Castra Solis, in the Provençal Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Societates.
House Guernicus is most associated with the Quaesitoris: the police, judges, and sometimes executioners of the Order of Hermes. There are always a number of Quaesitores from each of the other Houses and House Guernicus does not force its members to be quaesitoris, though most are. It is this house that is most concerned with the quaesitorial functions. The Domus Magna of the House is Magvillus in the Roman Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: True Lineages.
House Jerbiton is more concerned with the mundane world than most other magi, and thus often act as intermediaries between the Order and the Church or the nobility. Many of its members are of noble birth, or are artisans on one sort of another. Its Domus Magna is Valnastium, in the Greater Alps Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Societates.
House Mercere originally specialized in transformative magics, but the Founder of the House lost his Gift and established it as a provider of various services to the order, with many ungifted members, the best-known of which is the delivery of messages and parcels within the Order. A small lineage of Gifted Magi does survive within the Mercere, largely descended from the Founder himself. It's Domus Magna is at Harco in the Roman Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: True Lineages.
House Merinita was founded as a House specializing in nature magic, but was rebuilt as a Mystery Cult of Faerie Magi. Its members are often aloof and as unconcerned with the affairs of the Order as they are with the mundane world. Its Domus Magna is Irencillia, in the Rhine Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults.
House Tremere is rigidly hierarchial and disciplined, and its members are known for their patience, strategy and meticulous planning. They have tried to dominate the Order at least once, and are regarded as clannish and untrustworthy by the other Houses. Their Domus Magna is Coeris in the Transylvanian Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: True Lineages.
House Tytalus concerns itself with conflict of every sort, believing that only through strife can true growth occur. Its members constantly seek newer and more difficult challenges. In a period when some of the house took his philosophy too far resulted in the loss of many of their number to diabolism in the 10th century, an affair which still blackens the House's reputation. The Domus Magna of Tytalus is Fudarus in the Normandy Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Societates.
House Verditius is a society of artificers, the finest in the Order, although they are less capable with Formulaic Magic than other Magi. Its members are an essential component of the magical economy of the Order of Hermes. Their Domus Magna is Verdi, in the Roman Tribunal. Details can be found in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults.
The Outcast HouseEdit
Renounced for diabolism and human sacrifice by the Quaesitores, the members of House Diedne were ruthlessly hunted down and destroyed in the Schism War, principally by members of Flambeau and Tremere, but with others as well, and while several Houses (including Bonisagus) strove for neutrality, none sided with the Diedne. The House was destroyed, but its leaders were never found, and may have escaped capture and execution. They, and their lineage, are still subject to a sentence of death by the Order.