Alars was the seventh child of King Dios. He had a lot of trouble with his older brothers, and developed a knack for finding ways to turn them against each other so they would leave him alone.
As he grew into manhood, he turned to sorcery, developing powerful magics which intertwined with the powers of the Logrus, then set forth into Shadow to experiment with them. After many adventures, he returned to the Courts, and created Alarsways, and became one of King Dios' chief diplomats.
His descendents prospered for many centuries, gradually coming into alliance with House Darios and House Helgram in opposition to the policies of King Ishmael, which they tended to see as too secular. (And not favorable enough to themselves.)
Unfortunately, in recent times, the House has suffered catastrophe upon catastrophe. One of the old enemies of the House, Anthy, fell into its hands, only to be rescued by a force of destruction, Princess Jacqueline of Amber. This set in train the events which lead first to the devastation of Alarsways by Hiko which slew much of the House, then to Lord Alars quest for revenge, which eventually lead to his death at the hands of Morgan.
This left House Alars a shattered wreck, its future in the hands of a sixteen year old girl and her mother, a shadow dweller which many in the house considered to be mostly good for making babies.
To their surprise, Lady Kodachi has instead managed to tend the garden of Alars and begin the difficult task of nurturing it back to health.
Lady Talia, the eldest surviving child of House Alars, is only sixteen years old. Never expected to inherit the throne, she is well trained in womanly arts, but not the arts of rulership. Indeed, she has yet to learn to restrain her own will for the good of the house, leading many to worry for the future; she is known to have had a fling with the notorious Stagger Lee and to despise the potential husbands her mother has sought for her.
For the moment, however, it is the hands of Lady Kodachi, wife of the now fallen Lord Malar of Alars which steer the ship of state. Most of the house had little regard for her (although they didn't dislike her either) before this crisis, as she seemed simply a plant-obssessed shadow dweller Lord Malar had found in Shadow, though she was certainly good at pumping out children.
She has surprised them all with a talent for politics, successfully reforging weakened ties with House Helgram, and winning the support of the Bride of the Dragon for House Alars. She's also successfully guided the house to abandon its old anti-Amber policies and gained royal favor for the first time in centuries. House Alars now possesses a Unicorn Spikard, a Patternblade, and has finally gotten its Logrusfoil back as well. She and her brother covered themselves with glory in the war in the eyes of their house as well. And finally, she seems to have become rather intimate with Lord Loewen in the wake of the summer rites; many expect she will marry him once Talia becomes old enough to rule in her own right, which will likely lead to even stronger ties with Helgram. Where once a coup seemed likely, her power over the house is now complete.
House Alars has long been noted for its skills of intrigue and their ability to winkle out people's secrets, as well as some skill at sorcery. Though such intrigues backfired rather hideously on the late Lord Malars...
Alarsways is a collection of giant cogs, dozens of miles across, which interlink at various angles to form a giant clockwork. Each has its own gravity, while if you get very high off them, there's no gravity at all. Each is inhabited on both sides; the cogs range from thick forests to deserts to mountains to large cities.
Alarsways Palace sits at the center of the largest cog, and is an eight pointed star in shape, with wings radiating from a central dome. It is surrounded by gardens, with a large lake in one corner of the cog for boating and fishing.
Noted braggart and teller of tall tales, Lord Atleby has gained new respect for his role in the battle of the Day of the Dead. He also seems to have gained a girlfriend, Yuki of Frostspire. Many people aren't sure which is more surprising.
He is believed to now be writing a book.
Armed with a Patternblade and a Logrusfoil, Lord Kunou is himself immune to the worst effects of either, being Lipunese in origin. Stiff, pompous, formal, he is also brave and honest and tries to be just. He is the strongest warrior the house has left (which speaks both good of him and ill of the status of the house).
Younger sister to Talia, Suu is a sweet little child with a knack for gadgeteering and a love of food and turtles. She is known to be a good friend of the Bride of the Dragon.
Many of House Alars old allies deserted it like rats fleeing a sinking ship. However, it has renewed its alliance with House Helgram, and as its fortunes revive, it's expected that many of those old allies may return.