House Amblerash

A mid-sized House whose potent power in the Courts comes in the most part from its long and intimate association with the Cult of the Serpent, the official state religion of Chaos. Amblerash has provided hundreds of high-ranking clergymen over its thousand-year recorded history, among them over a dozen High Priests of the Serpent--including the current head of the House, Lord Bances.

Bances

"...the card showed a small man, dark-haired and pale-eyed, with an ageless quality to him, wearing red robes; he was entirely hairless except for the thin dark peaks of his eyebrows, and his face bore no emotion. He stood on the edge of the Pit in the Cathedral of the Serpent, and on the left edge of the portrait I could see part of the great stained-glass window that shows the Serpent Hung Upon the Tree of Matter...

Bances is the head of House Amblerash and the current High Priest of the Serpent. He is a distant relative of King Swayvill; more importantly, he is probably Swayvill's closest ally and friend in the Courts, and ensures the support of the Cult of the Serpent for the king's rule. In return, the Cult has been granted wide-ranging powers under Swayvill's rule, and allowed to suppress competing or threatening religious ideas, both those arising from within its own religious philosophers (those heretics, for example, who preach the union of Order and Chaos) and from without (the various cults of Amberite worship, which are believed to still exist, though driven deep underground).

Bances served briefly as Regent when Swayvill "died" two decades ago, but seemed as surprised as anyone else when Swayvill turned up quite alive at his own funeral. Despite this, a large majority of those in the know believe that Bances was in on the deception all along.