The Fortunous Dynasty's Exploits
House vel Halth
House vel Halth holds the contract with the Fortunous Dynasty. Formerly of Holy Terra herself, they forsook the safety of the mother world four millenia ago. The patriarch of the family dictated that it wasn’t appropriate for Navigators to remain so planet-bound. He sold the Terran holdings and greatly expanded the fleet, taking to the stars forevermore.
The majority of vel Halth troops come from families that have served the house for millenia. Some lines go back to the very first days of the house.
These families are managed much like the Navigators themselves. They are selected for stamina, ferociousness and loyalty. All are voidsmen and -women, who scorn surfacers. It is a point of pride amongst the families to have unbroken lines of ancestors who never dirtied their boots on a world.
As a nomadic house, the vel Halths have a wide selection of warp-capable vessels. The pride is the Phalanas, an Emperor-class battleship. Named for the founder who dictated the departure from Earth, it is opulent as only a Navigator’s ship could be.
The man assigned to follow up Haddon’s trail and extend the vel Halth network is named Intik vel Halth. A rather poorly-liked man, he comes from the Caddus line and is a firm believer in the alleged prophecy.
The administration at Port Wander is not an appropriate place for a full Navigator. But it’s clear that Intik can barely navigate. He had served aboard several chartist ships before his Expanse assignment. Each of those were on stable warp routes and he still had difficulty holding to speed.
In an attempt to shuffle him out of the way was also a way for the Cadduses to show they were not obstructionist. He’s built a capable network on Port Wander and began to gather a great deal of information through legitimate lines.
The facility is still under decoration. It’s showing Intik’s lack of decorative taste and inability to delegate to proper staff. But he’s proven very skillful in counter-espinogue. A group of Benetek-hired contractors attempted to infiltrate the building process. He sniffed them out easily and sent them “home” with extensive mental modifications.
His needle-sharp teeth and purely hairless flesh, along with his narrow nose, give him a shark-like appearance. This has not helped any attempts to improve the vel Halth appearance in the Expanse.
Vel Halth lines
Navigator Houses maintain a strict grip on their breeding. Every Navigator is screened, indexed and studied. The house High Patriarch and Matriarch memorize sheaves of information before making any breeding decision.
Despite this, vel Halth Navigators often feel a loyalty to their own genetic lines. This is foolish to an outsider, with how blended the lines are. But to a vel Halth they serve as political, emotional and intellectual divides.
Raneez Line- Noted physiologically for green eyes, black hair and large hands. As Navigators, their third eyes are fully formed at birth, but an overlayment of skin must be removed. Mutations are almost all drastic- sharks teeth (with the attendant shedding), cat’s eyes, gills and benign but dramatic sarcomas. The current Matriarch and Patriarch of the line are opposed to the Koronous Expanse efforts. This is in part because the members of their line are already committed to important but boring routes or too young for the Navigator’s chair. The loss of so many ships to Warp problems in the area is also concerning.
Alvesh Line- Physiologically noted for their small noses, close-set eyes and broad teeth. Their third eye must be excised from behind a solid skull and a new orbit built. They are not especially strong navigators, but capable enough. They line would probably have been bred out by now- they are simply weaker than the other lines. But Alvesh females are notoriously fertile and almost invariably produce female children. Mutations tend to be large birthmarks, loss of facial features and lengthening of their forms. Currently they are neutral with the efforts in the Expanse.
Tallinin line- Physiologically noted for leonine noses, even teeth and elliptical eyes. Their voices tend to remain higher pitched, even as they age. Their third eyes are almost always complete on birth. Very skilled Navigators, their ability to scent incoming danger is almost profane. Their influence is on the rise, thanks to multiple major contract renewals and requests. The fact that one of the new contracts was taken from the Beneteks only sweetens the victory. They oppose the Expanse project, viewing it as a futile attempt to aggravate the Beneteks. If the Beneteks are to be hurt, it’s in the Ixianad and Calixis Sectors.
Savina line- Known for their jet-black skin, early baldness and sinus problems, Savinas have deepset eyes. This includes their Navigator eye, which commonly needs corrective surgery. Their mutations tend to bleach their skin unevenly, leaving them with an unhealthy variegated appearance. They also rapidly lose bone mass and height, until they are little larger than children. The line just hit a string of ill-luck, losing one ship to a sudden squall and two vessels becalmed. This led them to advocating loosening ties with the Mechanicus. The Patriarch blames them for the loss of the Filtered Silver. They claim the machine spirits were not properly supplicated. They freely allow their Navigators assignment in the Expanse, but are otherwise quiet on the matter.
Dellip line- Many of these Navigators were lost to Benetek predations in the departure from Holy Terra. It’s held that the “Mad Navigator” was a scion of this prescient line. The fact he had the distinctive high cheekbones and slightly uneven nose only proves his Dellip lineage, the Matriarch has claimed. The line is known for their considerable foresight, both as a navigator power and from pure thought. Dellips tend to think for extended periods. Many only speak to the crews of the ships they pilot in the Warp. All other times they are cloistered in the Sanctum. Mutations tend to be lung issues. They support the Expanse project. They do so largely for vengence on the Beneteks. At the same time, many of their Navigators are locked into the trailing contracts that the vel Halths are abandoning.
Ghil line- Technically bred out, the “Ghil chin” is still seen in every generation. Removed for progressive warp cataracts that refused to recede despite nearly a millenia of effort. The last true Ghil died two centuries ago of simultaneous failure of his three hearts.
Caddus line- Physically the Caddus are known for their pale skin with obvious veins, brown hair and mismatched violet and brown eyes. They are know for generally phelmatic personalities. Their eyes open normally at birth, although the eyelids must occassionally be detached surgically. Their mutations tend towards variations of pale and hairless skin, eyes as dark as void, and inhuman visage.
They are opposed to the Expanse project, since one of their Navigators claimed that she had a vision showing that the House needed to head spin- and coreward. The rest of the House doubts this lone prophecy from a known liar. This is not to say vel Halths mistrust visions. Instead they know that the Warp can speak the truth. But it takes skill and care to seive that out and the Caddus Prophecy is far too specific to be officialy trusted.
That hasn’t stopped the Caddus Prophecy from gaining popularity in its own line and the Inniv line.
Inninv line- One of the head wayfarer lines, the Innivs are short with thin bodies and short, broad fingers. It’s not uncommon to see early birth surgeries include turning webbed hands into something useful. Mutations tend to force these Navigators towards an almost aquatic type. Their fingers become permanently webbed, they grow gills and their legs are known to fuse together. Their mouths also can stretch disturbingly wide. They are deeply split over the Expanse project. Some hold to the Caddus Prophecy, although others aggressively reject it.