Here you can see the groups available to you. You will be able to give your preference on what group you would like to participate in when you receive the casting questionnaire.
The Royal House Hamlet
Rulers of Denmark since a hundred years, the House of Hamlet are born to watch the end-times unfold before their jealous, teary eyes. Their fault is jealousy, pride, depression, faith in God and a penchant for over caution. They have a raging beast barely under control inside them. Hamlets uphold a strict facade of tradition and nobility, but under the surface uncontrollable passions boil. Losing face drives a Hamlet to madness. Losing love drives her to murder. More Hamlets die of their own hand than any other reason. As they go down in a storm of fratricide, mania and incest, the Hamlets seem oblivious to their own fate.
The Hamlets are loyally supported by the Polonius family. This often causes problems with the Voltemands. Will Claudius stay true to his brothers vows or change Royal allegiance for the first time in a century of rule?
Motto: Quod caput regat corpus (The Head Rules the Body)
A militant version of Hamlet’s fate, set after Hamlet has killed his father. Bassani, the young prince of the militant Belars has killed his uncle, the lord-commander, after discovering that this villain killed his own brother - Bassanis father. Now Bassani is turning into his own uncle and dragging the whole unit of Hussars with him into the very same brutal atrocities of war he swore to stop by killing his uncle. He has a relationship with his mother. The group is a nightmare reflection of a possible future for Hamlet.
House Belar sees House Strato as imposters and have declared a proxy war against them over their holdings on the Indian Subcontinent. There, they hire militias and send their own nobles to train them, all to ruin the economy of the Strato upstarts.
Motto: Timete qui metit (Fear the Reaper)
The ancient inbred family that ruled Denmark before the Hamlets’ dreams of power still. The family is paralyzed by the struggle between Arkon and Jared Cornelius over the affections of their sister Katrine. Their race-horses Stormbringer and Mournblade are about to face off in a decisive duel. Will the Duke-to-be make a deal with the devil to overcome his addiction and weakness, or will he fall before the boisterous macho power of Arkon? The brothers think the battle is theirs, but Katrine is more in tune with the forces at play than any of them suspect. Incest is illegal and considered a terrible sin, but among the Cornelians it is as common as sleeping with the servants is in another House. No judge or priest would dare to challenge the decaying house openly, but behind closed doors good christians plot to bring the heathens down.
The Cornelians are sworn enemies to the Duchy of Marcella, since House Cornelius once held their lands back when the Corneliuses ruled Denmark.
Motto: Et sanguis animarum (Blood and Souls)
Unswervingly loyal to the Hamlets. Honor is everything. Family comes before self. Sacrifice is glory. The Polonius family are too honest and upright for their own good. This spells their doom as the story continues. Polonius cannot see treason and so falls for a deceiver in their midst as his chief advisor betrays him and puts him in Hamlets sights. The Polonius family are famous for their excellence in fencing, poetry, dance and fine arts. They have a standing House army that can almost compare to the might of the Voltemands and the two rival Houses have met in open battle on distant battlefields in frigid Lapland. A Polonius may not be the most powerful person in the room, but certainly thinks of herself as the most moral and refined.
House Polonius is the sworn enemy of House Voltemand and their members loyal allies of House Hamlet.
Motto: Ferrum temperavit (Tempered steel)
One of the oldest noble families in Denmark. The crown has been theirs before and it will be theirs again. The Voltemands are known for excess and brutality, using divine rule as an excuse for treating their serfs like chattel. The Marquis is known to be both debauched and clever, constantly plotting to regain the Voltemand position as the preeminent House of Denmark. This puts the family always at odds with House Polonius, who now rank highest in the King’s favour. The Voltemands have considerable holdings in Denmark proper, as well as Sweden. It is in the latter area in particular that the foreign subjects are particularly hard pressed. Only the threat of disproportionate punishment keeps the areas from boiling over into rebellion. Rumours of experimentation on using sterilization to control the masses abound.
House Voltemand is the sworn enemy of House Polonius and their members aspire to replace their foes as the House closest to the throne.
Motto: Nescit Occasum (It knows no decline).
A rather young noble family among the Danish ones but one with a future outside the kingdom of Denmark. House Strato are established all across near-Asia with it’s primary holdings in India. There, the nobles of House Strato spend their youth and their wealth. They are known for their trade in exotic goods but also reputedly a profitable opium trade. They have held no aspirations to the throne of Denmark as far as anyone has been aware of, instead they have been content with growing richer and fatter, outside anyone’s view.
However, this did not pass House Belar by, and the militaristic house hired militias and local rebel groups in western India to destroy, burn and pillage the Strato holdings which caused a prolonged proxy war on the Indian subcontinent. Strato responded in kind, through agents and assassinations in the Danish homeland.
Sworn enemies to House Belar.
Motto: Fortis et libre (Strong and free)
Duchy of Marcella
A tiny independent duchy on the southern borders of Denmark, squeezed in between the German city-states and Hamlet’s Kingdom. The Duchy has been forced to fight for its freedom for as long as it has existed but always persevered. The most important traits of the Duchy is a noble protective duty and an inbred sense of superiority over all the other Houses of Denmark, since theirs is an independent land. The ruling couple are overzealously guarding their children from the rot of Elsinore and have only reluctantly come to the Court of Claudius to ensure that he, too, like Old Hamlet always did, will swear to protect Marcella against the revolutionary armies that threaten it.
Sworn enemies to House Cornelius, the family that once ruled over both Denmark and Marcella before the Hamlets took over.
Motto: Fide nemeni (Trust no one)
The Danish court’s reputation for debauchery and carousing has ever drawn criticism from more straight-laced nations. With the new King, this custom is no less popular. Still, Denmark stands stronger than most. England has a special relationship with King Claudius that they indubitably wish to make the most of. Poland still stands strong, although it is known they are now fighting Prince Fortinbras. Meanwhile, France and Italy are in turmoil. Can Denmark afford to turn their back on the world? In the gilded cage of Claudius, that world is represented by the Ambassadors.
The rich and privileged families of Denmark have had a tradition of sending their daughters and sons to the Stormguard, the royal guard, in order to compete with the ancient Houses. In the Stormguard, they receive wealth and status that only true noble birth can otherwise compete with. The Stormguard officers are all dashing and charming in their confidence and martial prowess and there are few members of the Court of Claudius that have not looked at them with ill-hidden desire. To marry or even just to have a Stormguard as a lover is something that is coveted, even among the most powerful of all. The fact that they often have the ear of the Royals is just another reason to pursue them.
The church waver in their support of the hypocrite King Claudius. Heavy taxation and church-bells melted down to construct mortar-casings make the Bishops full of pious anger, but they fear the righteous wrath of the people and the godless communists far more than sins of court. Bound by their oath to the Pope in Rome, they are righteous in their faith and understanding of the world. But is faith enough in these end times? And, when faith wavers, corruption takes hold. To make things worse, some within the Archdiocese are seeing sin as a more and more attractive alternative.
The Civil Court
While the country is burning, prancing courtesans, actors, artists and many other guests are trying to win the patronage from the noble and powerful to be able to withstand the coming storm. There are those who work for one House or another who have come to lend them their aid, others are only nominally under someone’s protection and need to prove themselves. All of them share one thing - they are desperate and they are working for one of the powerful groups of the Court. The feuds and intrigues of the Houses drag others with them and the Civil Court soon find themselves in the same murderous madness as the noble born. Some of them will pay a high prize in the leaden coin of debasement.
The function of a companion is multifaceted and demands intense training that begins in early childhood. The goal is always the same: When a companion leaves their host he or she will be happy and full of joy. Companions live their whole life at the court and never leaves the castle. They see themselves as truly free since all decisions are made for them and they only have to think about their work which they see as a sacred duty. But it seems everything sacred and pure is sullied in Claudius court.
Claudius ascent to the throne has given the hated Danish intelligence agency new privileges. Even the nobles of the court now dread feeling Directorate velvet gloves around their necks. They will stop at nothing to root out the communists within the Castle - anyone who might be aiding the wave of revolutionaries that are threatening the security of Denmark, be it in speech, action or just in thought, are viable targets.
These are the official entertainers of the court. The master of ceremonies and his retinue makes sure any party or social gathering follows the written and unwritten rules of the court. They answer only to the King.
In the twenties seances and spiritism were all the rage, and occultism is still a popular pastime. While King Claudius has forbidden augury on pain of death, there are still those who are allowed to practice other forms of occultism. The nobility in Europe are mixed in their views on magick: some hold to an entirely rational world-view, some are true believers, and most view it as a fascinating pastime or source of entertainment. Two celebrity occultists are present at court. One is the head of The Thelemic Order of Horus, a right-hand splinter group from Aleister Prospero’s movement. The other is the self-professed Messiah promised by the theosophical movement of Madame Blavatsky.
A very dangerous job is working for the press at Castle Elsinore. Censorship is very strict in denmark and you balance a knife’s edge every time you publish a story. In these turbulent times it is even more dangerous.
The Prince’s Men
Under the Royal protection of the troubled Prince Hamlet, free thinkers and radicals gather. Will they open the doors to change before they fall victim to their own vices or the velvet gloves of The Directorate?
Hemlock-mongers, extortionists, con-artists, carousers, snitches and other leeches gather at the dying court. The profits could be grand as nobles sell their holdings in desperation, but the risks of running afoul of the Directorate are greater. In some ways, these Profiteers are both the worst and the best of the Court - they offer hope to those who want to see their family survive as refugees but they also bring the flesh trade into the Castle and make sure that more and more victims are presented for the pleasure of the powerful and depraved. The Directorate does not approve of anything that passes unseen and swift justice awaits the careless swindler.