The Quorum and The Nobility
The two score of enduring noble families that remain of a once-great aristocracy are a fractious, petty, and cruel lot. Pathetic echoes of their illustrious forebears, they spend their lives in studied (and often faked) finery and indolence, indulging in decadent pleasures and spiteful courtly intrigues. Jaded and capricious, they scorn the ‘ungrateful upstarts’ of the Calixis Sector’s distant elites—whilst each is secretly in hock to one of them or some other off-world interest. Some noble houses seek to prop up their withered fortunes by making secret deals with smugglers and criminals, and as a result, are locked in dependent relationships with the Undertow despite holding its members in hateful contempt. Others choose to live the lie that nothing has changed within the mildewed opulence and crumbling walls of their ancestral manses. The worst of their number have succumbed to malaise, spite, and madness; trapped in their decayed halls, they slip into spirals of malice that lead ultimately to ruin.