The Great Houses (individual members of which were known as Time Lords) were aristocratic bloodlines of the Spiral Politic. They created history at the anchoring of the thread, and then were largely culturally static until the War against their enemy.
The protocols of the Homeworld were effectively the laws of nature as they were written into the basic structure of the Universe during the anchoring of the thread — otherwise known as the creation of history.
870 years before the outbreak of the War, the Imperator became the President of the Great Houses and allied himself with a number of less species. The Imperator was denounced and he attacked hundreds of cultures throughout the Spiral Politic with his allies. This attack on the Spiral Politic forced the Ruling Houses to capture the Imperator, put him on trial, and execute him.
396 years before the outbreak of the War, House Paradox broke free of the Great Houses. Four years later, the Great Houses attacked Dronid and imprisoned the leader of House Paradox, Grandfather Paradox.
151 years before the War, Grandfather Paradox broke out of his imprisonment and transformed House Paradox into Faction Paradox.
Nine Homeworlds project
As part of Lady Armourer Mantissa and House Lineacrux's "Nine Homeworlds" (or "Nine Gallifreys") project, eight normal planets were given the same special relationship to history as the original Homeworld, and cryptoformed into cloneworlds. The official goal of the project was to create boltholes where House society could be resumed if the Homeworld was destroyed, and they were supposedly only run by caretaker Houses. However, House Lineacrux had a reputation for deviousness, contacting the other Homeworlds was banned, and the other Homeworlds were supposedly also meant to function as decoys — even though it was seemingly obvious where the real Homeworld was. This implied that the supposedly-original Homeworld had been replaced, and every other Homeworld had its own War King or War Queen who believed they were one the original. Consequently, the secondary Homeworlds could would each have been producing tertiary Homeworlds, and by extrapolation this could lead to a universe where every planet eventually became a Homeworld. (PROSE: Nine Homeworlds, Lady Armourer Mantissa)
The War King
In the remaining decades before the War, the War King returned to the Homeworld and spoke of the enemy that the Great Houses would face in battle. He was widely ignored as the Great Houses saw it as an impossibility. The Houses eventually gave in to the evidence provided and made the War King the head of House society.
Due to Faction Paradox selling House technology to the lesser species, the Houses attacked the Faction and forced them off their homeworld. At the same time, the Houses became aware that the enemy had established their presence on Dronid, and sent spies to test their defences. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
The War began on Dronid and the planet was devastated by both sides. Shortly after the Homeworld was attacked by the enemy, but the attack was repelled.
The Homeworld was run by a set of six ruling Houses (also called Chapterhouses, or just Chapters), with which smaller Houses were often affiliated. It was not always the same six.
- Patrex (TV: The Deadly Assassin)
- Cerulean (PROSE: Lungbarrow)
- Scendeles (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
War-era Ruling Houses
- House Dvora
- House Tracolix
- House Lineacrux
- House Arpexia (Military)
- House Xianthellipse (Military)
- House Mirraflex (Military) (PROSE: The Book of the War)
There were smaller Houses, often affiliated with or seeded by the ruling six.
- House Paradox (later Faction Paradox)
- House Lolita
- House Ixion
- House Catherion (PROSE: The Book of the War)
- House Lungbarrow (PROSE: Lungbarrow)