Beneath Aetherian Skies
"Darkness there and nothing more."
When Padavona became a republic, many noble houses opted to be disbanded altogether — nobility as the realm knew it was becoming a thing of the past, and countless titles and deeds were forcibly turned over to the glorious Republic. This new mode of governance claimed it was taking power away from the few elite and instead distributing it to the people.
The Ravensteins are one noble house who refused to become just another footnote in Tieresia's history. They gathered a few other ally houses of theirs and launched a grand conspiracy to "stay in power without being in power": By taking control of guilds and businesses, they were able to maintain some social standing without rebelling against the Republic.
Throughout the course of the Eight Year War, House Ravenstein has gone from war profiteering to more peaceful pursuits — their trade network has turned its attention towards recovering and bartering relics. Whether these are legacies from the past or new wonders of magic and technology, the Ravenstein's growing consortium of guilds and merchants is dedicated to documenting them all.
They have recently decided to begin expanding beyond Tieresia, sending diplomats out to recover relics on other continents and bring home some business contacts.
Those who have done business with House Ravenstein truly fear one thing about them: As an organization dedicated to unearthing relics, they have a habit of sending out warforged enforcers when dirty work needs to be done.
This is tricky. They're pretty much your archetypal evil megacorp re-imagined as a merchant guild alliance (a.k.a. "just to medieval-flavor the idea"), but they also use warforged enforcers a.k.a. robot soldier-mercs a.k.a. it's Totally Not Armored Core.
The house words are, of course, quoting Edgar Allan Poe.
Peg source: Malifaux