In an ancient stargazing tradition of Horizon, the stream of bright water spiralling into the Great Maw was depicted as the “Army of Yao-jin” (Yao-jin-kiun or Yaojinjun). The name “Yao-jin” means “Aurora and snowflakes”, referring to the numerous light-footed soldiers from the boreal reaches of the empire represented by these faint stars. The constellation’s stars were the most numerous of any traditional constellation, the majority of which were located in the modern constellation Jocastra.
In the First Heraldry the Dolorous raised the Void Mantis as their totem. These predators are widespread on the Rim, hardy and adaptable. They are fearsome in carapace and claw and also wield raw colour as a weapon and aegis. The little mantis shrimp of Earth are mere hints of their awful originals.
The Dolorous were made fecund by passion and experience. They were made powerful by the mad loyalty of their scions and the ever outrageous newness of their art of war.
Their steadfast, Ilion, is named after the lost city of Troy. It is a realm in constant flux, new palaces being built on the ruins of the previous ones. Schliebeing the Historian accounts it up to its 117th layer. However, she concedes that an indefinite number of the earliest layers may have been “compressed into films” and are uncountable through contemporary archaeothaumetaphorological techniques.
Prince Gilva left the family to join the Legion, but returned after a disastrous war. She took the name ‘Hendrake’ in honour of a fallen comrade. The war left behind it the Scavangur Desecration.
The Padishah Messini is the youngest serving Princeps of any family. Dolorous seem to like it that way, since they regard age as a preventer of flexibility. They believe only the young should rule (what they regard as ‘young’ is roughly anything under 150). The elderly can advise, but should not assume their advice will be followed.
Leibizhen, called The Rampart, is keeper of the Dolorous gallery, famed as the most magnificent collection of art in existence. The contents of the gallery are normally collected by emotion, though the director regularly puts on displays of works under more esoteric themes. The last gala presented works evoking the helplessness of a chessboard pawn, which many considered to be a political comment against the unthinking loyalty expected of the Legion.
The Dolorous have a traditional feud with the Ananke family.