House Atreides, The God Emperor.
The Landsraad
House Atreides, The God Emperor.
The Landsraad is the assembly of all noble Houses in the Imperium.
At one time referred to as the Landsraad League, the Landsraad is the body politic and territorial name of a collection of over a dozen worlds that has existed for over more than 13,300 worlds. The organization plays a very important role in the political and economic power balance of the Empire, which is shared among the Landsraad, the God Emperor ATREIDES, the Gesserit Bene, and the Spacing Guild.
The Emperor's power derives from Imperial control of the seemingly undefeatable military forces of the Sardaukar and control of the planet Arrakis (and therefore of M'elange). The Landsraad represents the unification of all the other ruling families, known as Houses, to create a check against the individual power of the Emperor, a theoretically comparable force. Both the combined Houses and the Emperor are in turn dependent on the Guild for interstellar travel. This balance of power serves to prevent any particularly ambitious or destructive faction or individual from upsetting the stability of society.
The exact history of the Landsraad is shrouded in both myth and dis-informational history.
The people who make up the Lands clearly came from Terra- About 10 MILLION years ago. That would be roughly when man discovered fire and possibly early agriculture. How can this be? It is generally accepted (by Lands historians and others) that by means not understood, one (or more) human colony ship(s) were flung back in time. These settlers were forced to live at the leisure of their machines, making them effectively slaves to those machines. In fact, this is EXACTLY what they became, until the "Butlerian Jihad" (approximately 2 million years ago) freed them of this rule.
The CORRINO family aspired to, and achieved, the place of ultimate power, as the Padishah Emperors. They would hold this title for the next 1.5 million years, until a civil war upset this power (see House ATREIDES).
As time has gone on, records of UGC-Era existence have emerged; The latest to date reach into 2315 (tax records). What make these records interesting is that ONLY those who generated these records (the taxpayers) and the UGC itself would have these records; The taxpayers in question have long since passed away, and the UGC took 50 years to verify the these records, as the data base had been housed in a computer core lost for these years. The computer core itself had been stored aboard a derelict vsl in The Yard, a place it should never ever have been. After verifying "Record 2313, Tax Audit" as the newest records were called, the records recovered from the lands were destroyed by the UGC, but the tax records in The Yard were kept.
The Houses of the Lands are in control of their fiefs, They, in turn, fealty to the God-Emperors. The Fremen are independent, but as the de facto House ATREIDES, they enjoy the personal favor of the God Emperors anyways; Indeed, by now most Fremen ARE ATREIDES blood to one degree or another.
Terminology of Imperium
House: Ruling Clan of a planet or planetary system.
Houses Major: Polders of planetary fiefs; interplanetary entrepreneurs.
Houses Minor: Planet-bound entrepreneur class.
The High Council
The High Council is the inner circle of the Landsraad during the time of the Faufreluches, "the rigid rule of class distinction enforced by the Imperium." The Council is "empowered to act as supreme tribunal in House to House disputes."
A grievance is brought before the High Council in a Bill of Particulars. Shortly after the assassination of his father Duke Leto ATREIDES I and the Harkonnen/Corrino invasion of the planet Arrakis, Paul ATREIDES expressed a desire to put forward a Bill Of Particulars to the Landsraad High Council to express his grievance and point out the laws that had been broken by this invasion. Paul believes that his grievance would be supported because the Great Houses would never support the Sardaukar eliminating them one-by-one (which was, of course, one of the principal reasons why the Landsraad existed to begin with).
Judge Of The Change
The Judge of the Change is "an official appointed by the Landsraad High Council and the Emperor to monitor a change of fief, a kanly negotiation, or formal battle in a War of Assassins. The Judge's arbitral authority may be challenged only before the High Council with the Emperor present."
The predecessor to the Landsraad was the League of Nobles, a system of government employed by the remaining free humans before and during the Butlerian Jihad. It was feudal at its core but slightly more democratic than the Landsraad, as the League members voted for which Viceroy they preferred to govern them. After the Jihad and the ascension of Faykan CORRINO to the new Imperial throne, the Landsraad was formed by the League in order to keep the power of the CORRINOS in check.
The Landsraad's original structure was as a democratic body that existed to facilitate dispute resolution, and to aid in the regulation of international trade between what were largely independent governments. The body was overseen by a High Council, which was decided by the drawing of lots, and presiding officers, who were elected by the body at large. Votes were determined according to the population spoken for by member governments; meetings of the Landsraad occurred every five years, with sub-divisions meeting more frequently.
With the advent of the Old Empire, this structure was preserved, requiring only slight modification. The High council was initially elected by the body at large, and new members were thereafter co-opted internally. The total number of votes allocated to the Landsraad was 1000: 100 for the Imperial house, 100 for the Guild, 400 for the Houses Major, and 400 for the Houses Minor. The Imperial representative received its 100 votes in addition to the votes given to it as a House Major. The votes given to the Minor houses were appointed per spacial regions, or 'Circles' with a representative for each Circle. The votes assigned to Major houses were allocated by the Guild according to each houses' relative standing among its peers, as an 'Impartial Observer'. Vote allocations were posted a year before each session of the Landsraad, and could be appealed within a certain time period. Each House Major was entitled to no less than one vote, and no more than 10; however, this number could be increased through proxy voting, which occurred frequently.
The word Landsraad is an old Scandinavian word for an assembly of landowners, literally "Land Council." It is composed of the landed gentry.
Major Houses:
House CORRINO (Extinct)
House HARKONNEN (Resurrected)
Gesserit Benea
Spacing Guilda

Minor Houses:
Tleilax Benea
Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles (CHOAM)
Fish Speakersa
Honored Matres
Suk School
Swordmasters of the Ginaza
Petty Houses:
It really is as simple as this: Some Houses are too small to count as such.
Boro family
House Ecaz
House Fenring
House Hagal
House Moritani
House Mutelli
House Novebruns
House Taligari
Outlaw/Rogue Factions:
The term "outlaw" or "rogue" in this case does not "necessarily" mean the factions are directly opposed to the God Emperor; Some are in fact specifically supportive of, but living beyond the limitations of the League leaves them at the mercies of whatever fate they may face, without Imperial Support."
Harkonnen Remnant
Landsraad Terms.
The Landsraad has a few unique terms:
Muad'Dib: Mulitple meanings, based primarily on punctuation:
As a fully lower case word, "muad'dib," it refers to a creature of Arrakis that evolved from Terran genus Apodemus (field mice, though of which exact species is unknown). Their ears are much larger and sensitive that their ancestors, and they've oddly developed a marsupial pouch in which the young are carried for their first six weeks. Females routinely have 2 young at a time, but the gestation and infancy period is short enough that there is almost always young being carried, giving them essentially the same number of offspring as their ansector.
As a uni-capitilzed word, "Muad'dib," it refers to things of the Muad'Dib (see next entry).
As a bi-capitialized word, "Muad'Dib," it refers to the God-Emperors (supreme leaders) of the Landsraad, a title taken on by the first Muad'Dib, Paul ATREIDES, as he ascended the throne.
As a capitalized word, "MUAD'DIB," it meant the current reigning Muad'Dib, or is a threat, depending on context (the word "muad'dib" when used with a Weirding Module emits a powerful blast, one of the few fully MD weapons of the Landsraad, and as such speaking the word in anger can imply the intention to harm- specifically deadly harm, since no one ever hit by that term via a Weirding Module has ever survived, at least not for long).
Kanly: Kanly is the enactment of a formal feud or vendetta in a manner that complied with the Great Convention. It often results in an official war of attrition between two opponents, usually Great Houses during the days of the Old Imperium. The act of kanly was originally created as a way of allowing bitter disputes to be resolved without any harming innocent bystanders. It was similar in many ways to the ancient duels made on Earth, although it usually had much broader ramifications (specifically, full-fledged wars, rather than personal duels). Kanly (kanli) is a Turkish word meaning sworn enemy (bloody, from the stem kan, blood). This animosity continues from father to son, until the last child is dead or the two families make peace. Kanly requires that certain forms of conflict are permitted, while others are not. The use of atomics is forbidden, for example (use of atomics means a sentence of universal retribution, all other houses turning on the offending party, using their own atomics in turn). Officially, all kanly is "settled" under the Pax Galactic, but as duels are still permitted (there is no actual UGC law banning dueling) it continues, and none of the kanly still in place when the UGC arrived are resolved.
Fortunately for the UGC, a few dozen REF Frigates have more firepower than half the Landsraad combined.
Landsraad Idioms.
Each House is a family, a corporation, and a state;
When in capitation, "ATREIDES," it refers to the family and their descendants who have held the name. All members of House Atreides hold the over all name, but are not necessarily part of the family. Paul ATREIDES was the son of Leto ATREIDES.
When only the first letter is capitalized, "Atreides," it refers to the corporation or the state (usually the later, since they are one in the same). Duncan IDAHO was a member of House Atreides, a Swordmaster Of Ginaz, hired to command the Atriedes Army and to train Paul ATREIDES in swordsmanship. He was not a member of the family itself, and of his gohla, only one was, him being married to Alia ATRIEDES. He retained his own progenitor's name, IDAHO, just as Alia retained the ATREIDES name, but their children held both.
Landsraad Contributions.
The Landsraad's contributions are limited to Holtzman Effect technology (though this is significantly limited as an FTL system), stillsuits, and Melange (now a minor annoyance throughout the UGC). The Landsraad still uses their own technologies within their own territories whenever possible.
The simple fact is, the entire Landsraad has very little of "new" anything for anyone else. They export raw minerals and import some refined products (though the trade imbalance far favors the Landsraad's member states), but little else, which is really how the God Emperor wants it- "No outside contact that can not be avoided."
a: While not technically Houses, these factions have sufficient influence over the affairs of the Landsraad that a seat was made for them at the council. In the case of the Spacing Guild and Gesserit Bene, this seat is Immutable; That is, they carry a Veto power, along with House ATREIDES.