Lakes of Blood and Ash
House Tafuna Niku of Hard Flesh
The leadership of House Tafuna Niku keeps largely to the city proper. There they pour over maps, confer with the cities animating intelligences, and discuss reports coming in on the cities rivals throughout the Dreaming Sea. When such banal tasks are done, they retire to their labs and experiment upon the members of their Gamma caste. Testing new regimens of hormones and psychoactive drugs, always seeking to perfect their stain of loyal and tireless “Myrmidons”. These Myrmidons are rented to other Houses under complex contracts that protect both parties. Tried and tested regimens are even offered to those higher up in their caste structure and sometimes enacted at great expense upon the elite of other Houses. Still, even a House such as Tafuna Niku have their doubters.
A House viewed as staid, prideful, and honor-bound to their word. They are trusted with the ultimate safety of the entirety of Volivat. Many Houses do not feel secure with Myrmidons in the streets, guarding the docks, and watching over the gates of their own estates. Yet, most see that they are a force spread thin, as only so many births are granted each iteration, to each House. The army is a fixed size and there is much loss to their gamma caste as they seek perfection. Many other Houses are fortunate in that they experiment on an unlimited number of test subjects, plants or animals, but the Tafuna Niku must rely first and foremost on their own lower castes. Even if they rose up entire to take the city, they would be outnumbered, they are mighty in the role of garrison but insufficient for conquest. Rumors and fearful whispers of the House are nonetheless a common pastime of deltas and gammas, and the snickering of the elite at their ignorance a common pastime for the Alphas.
If anything, House Tafuna Niku chaffs at the collar of the city, serving their apparent lessers. They harbor jealousy for the Houses of Trees and Beasts, at their freedom from the other houses afforded by holdings across a scant few miles of ocean. Frustration and outbursts of anger are common amongst the leadership as well, for they are held close to the capital and cannot easily test their precious Myrmidons against the great armies and legions of the world. Imagine having an army with the endurance to march a thousand miles and the strength to ford swift rivers, wasted on sitting the walls. Yet, the vats of the city and the need to keep them safe for the next generation, these are the firm chains that hold them from the promise of greater growth and glory.
To free these fetters, solutions are sought. A man can watch far more wall as sentry when he is accompanied by a genetically enhanced hound. More and more House Tafuna Niku seeks to make use of House Kemono’s masterworks to free their own. The spend a great bulk of their wealth on House Kenko’s fluids, seeking to extend the lives and health of their legions, a fruitless and temporary endeavor. In time, they hope to muster half a legion that they might take out and beyond the confines of Volivat. Within the House, this goal is called the Grand Experiment. There are countless strands and facets of destiny that yet exist in the world, tools and material that could be mated to their own. Among the Yennin, Tafuna has the greatest desire to acquire organic material from the world and improve the ‘human’ condition. Lung capacity is best found in the high mountains, best circulatory heat regulations systems in the people of the migratory planes, wyld mutants with completely foreign capabilities and countless other minor destinies of the blood.
The Great Experiment is a promise that has been worked towards for many iterations. Only now has the foundation been laid and the House of Hard Flesh prepares the final steps to push outwards and acquire the resources they need to gain greater enlightenment and mastery of their own forms. The current scion struggles with this promise. Tafuna Niku the 28th of his name, he feels the time is not right, so he fights against a promise iterations in the making. Their enemies grow in number and some in capability, while their numbers are set. The gains they have made through longevity, they only maintain the status quo for now. In light of this, the Great Experiment is all the more important. Yet, they must divest their honor to accomplish it. Through cats paws and fences, the House has begun to purchase slave flesh from House Nigai Niku, a bitter rival. More than any, Tafuna Niku is forced to betray himself and operate under the most distasteful circumstances. More than any, his rage is iconic of a House known for its short tempers. Some in the House whisper that to accomplish the Great Experiment, the defense of the city should be thrust into the hands of their rivals in House Nigai Niku. They have grown so close in the shadows already, their honor so dirtied. The city deserves only slaves to hold it…the scion has heard these rumors and mulls them over as well, abacus clinched in hand.