A Beginner’s Guide to Drucraft #18:  The Great Houses 

An overview of the current Great Houses of the UK.


House Barrett-Lennard is the only House in the UK to own title to an S+ Well, which is located in their family estate in Colchester, Essex.  It is the second-most powerful Light Well in the entire world, and the amount of wealth it represents is so enormous that it’s difficult to measure.

For House Barrett-Lennard, their fantastic wealth has proved more of a curse than a blessing.  Over the course of the 20th century, bitter rivalries sprung up within the family, eventually leading to a massive succession crisis.  The fighting dragged on for decades and could easily be the subject of an entire article in itself, involving as it did everything from financial manoeuvring, marriage alliances, and court cases to kidnapping, blackmail, and assassination attempts.  As of the 2020s the conflict has bogged down into a stalemate, with the two principal heir-claimants of the family both unable to oust the other.  In the meantime the House’s day-to-day affairs are run by a board of trustees, who have so far been able to keep the House just about functional despite the ongoing civil war amongst its owners.  House colours are red, black, and gold.


House Cawley is both the newest Great House (they are currently the only Great House to have achieved that status this century) and also the youngest (dating their founding to some time in the 1920s).  Their roots are in Northern Ireland, around Belfast, and the majority of their Wells are still from there.  House Cawley have a somewhat turbulent history, due to having been caught up in the Troubles;  the political violence during this period frequently spilled over into the drucraft sphere, resulting in the House receiving more than their fair share of experience with raids.  House Cawley, however, seemed to thrive in this environment, to the extent that they were able to purchase one of the UK’s four S-class Matter Wells in 2003.

The symbol of House Cawley is a red lion rampant on a background of white, and their House colours are red and white.


A moderately old House hailing from Shropshire and Wales.  House Chetwynd claims that their family Light S Well is the oldest S-class Well in the UK;  while this is disputed, it is certainly very, very old.  Renowned for their skill with Light essentia and for the beauty of their estates;  Chetwynd sigls are sold only to a very exclusive clientele, and command a premium price.  House colours are blue and gold.

De Haughton

House De Haughton is notable for being the only House in the UK to control not one, but two S-class Wells.  Like House Chetwynd their specialty is Light essentia, but they’re somewhat less exclusive and their sigls are featured prominently in the Exchange.  They sell very well to the tourist market, and the House is, unsurprisingly, enormously wealthy as a result;  they’re commonly believed to be the second- or third-richest House in the UK.  So far they’ve managed to avoid the devastating succession wars that crippled House Barrett-Lennard, though if rumours are to believed their internal politics can be somewhat rough-and-tumble;  one prospective De Haughton heir died under mysterious circumstances and another was ejected from the family with no official explanation.

A very old House, De Haughton’s ancestral holdings are in Lancashire.  Its symbol of a red rose has remained unchanged since the fifteenth century.


House Hawker claims to be the oldest of all of the Great Houses, though for most of its history it was an obscure family of little note.  It rose abruptly in power and influence in the 20th century, attaining Great House status with its acquisition of one of the UK’s only two S-class Motion Wells.  For most of its time as a Great House, House Hawker has been primarily a military supplier;  nowadays it continues to do most of its business with the UK armed forces and other NATO militaries.  It does not sell its sigls openly on the Exchange.

Ancestral holdings are in Somerset, though many of the family emigrated to (and subsequently returned from) Australia.  House colours are silver with red trim.


House Meath takes their name from County Meath in the Republic of Ireland, though the family emigrated and settled in the London area in the early 1800s.  They hold a Light S Well but are more famous for their wealth, which is mostly derived from financial holdings, and they are commonly viewed as an investment banking family that just happens to manage a drucraft business on the side.  Known to lend out money to struggling drucraft families, to the point that some Houses make reference to the ‘Bank of Meath’.  Said loans often seem to be made on very generous terms, leading to various rumours about why the Meaths appear so casual about repayment.  Primary House colour is turquoise.


Full name is Prideaux-Reisinger, though Reisinger is the more commonly used version.  An ancient House originating from Cornwall whose history has been complicated by various marriages to French and German Houses over the centuries;  the full family tree of the House is exceedingly complex and they have relatives all over Europe.  House symbol and colours (black chevron on a white shield) are based on the Cornish location of Prideaux, but members of the House nowadays reside almost entirely around the capital and possess no significant holdings in their county of origin.  They hold a Light S Well in central London.


Based in Lincolnshire and holders of a Light S Well.  Notable in the past for a long and bitter rivalry with House De Haughton;  the two Houses raided one another for decades, and at times the fighting escalated enough to require Board intervention.  This is now mostly ancient history, however, and the Houses have been (more or less) at peace for a full generation.  Insofar as the two Houses still compete, it’s on the pages of the Exchange catalogue, where they both try to displace the other as the dominant provider of Light sigls sold to private purchasers.  House De Haughton tends to outsell Winterton due to their larger reserve of Wells, but the market is big enough that both can exist comfortably.

Although their House Well and family estate is in Lincolnshire, Winterton is unusually widely spread for a House, and branches of the family can be found scattered around the UK and the world.  Principal House colour is green, with red, gold, and white trim.

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10 Responses to A Beginner’s Guide to Drucraft #18:  The Great Houses 

  1. Bill says:

    Thank you for another illuminating article!

    I can see that the majority of UK S-Class wells owned by families are Light wells 6, perhaps 7 (with a single Motion & Matter) although I’m not sure that De Haughton’s wells are both Light?

    Mind you, it could be that the well-types owned by the big UK corporations show a totally different distribution?

    Interesting but way beyond Stephen’s sphere of interest at the moment!

    • Benedict says:

      The majority of the UK’s S-class Wells are Light. Though yes, the distribution for the corporate-owned ones is less Light-skewed.

      • Bill says:

        Thank you very much! In never ceases to amaze me the amount of detail that you have at your finger-tips for worldbuilding.
        Looking forward to seeing how the array of memorable characters from Book 1, survive and evolve in Book2 (and 3)!

  2. Kevin says:

    Great article I love how the Great Houses are all over and each has a unique history, especially how they started in one place and end up in another.

    And out of curiosity is the most powerful Light Well in the World owned by the monarchy/UK government? I assume the other S+ and S wells are owned by corporations but given that the regular and magical worlds are interconnected maybe governments have them as well?

    Maybe that is what LLV holdings is private/public company the UK government uses for Drucraft… unless LLV is Lindons the company Stephen sells wells too?

    • Benedict says:

      The most powerful Light Well is owned by the UK Crown and administered by the Board. The UK government own a total of three Wells of class S and above. The remainder are owned by Houses or corporations.

      Other countries have differing splits in public vs private ownership of Wells, though the UK’s ratio isn’t particularly unusual.

      • Kevin says:

        That makes sense, governments would want the most potent of wells. I am guessing that the UK government has the strongest Light, Motion, and Matter Wells since that seems to have the most for lack of a better word industrial applications, and it seems that there are no S class Life, Dimension or Primal Well that they have and they have to go elsewhere to get them.

        And it just occurred to me that S+ Wells seem to be extremely rare would it be safe to say that about 3 exists in the UK and perhaps 50-100 exists in the whole world? I can’t wait to see how Steven reacts to it hopefully we will see it in Book 2 or 3.

        • Benedict says:

          The UK has three S+ Wells, yes. S+ Wells are extraordinarily rare – most countries have none at all, and those that do have no more than a handful. They’re rare enough that it’s hard to put any kind of value on them or on the sigls that they can make.

          • Kevin says:

            Wow got it right thanks again I was trying to guess what percentage of wells were S class and above, didn’t know the S+ would be super rare! Considering how powerful they are I can’t imagine the UK government letting a corporation have them considering how Barret Leonard ended up.

            And I just noticed that Scotland isn’t listed here, is it like the rest of Ireland presumably and they have their own Houses/traditions? Not looking for an in depth primer just remembered Landis in Edinburgh and wondered if he had an alternate version running around in IOM 🙂

          • Benedict says:

            Re: Kevin: Scotland/Ireland/N. Ireland/Wales are actually quite small compared to the rest of the UK, so you don’t generally see them heavily represented in anything that covers the UK or British Isles as a whole.

  3. Henry says:

    God, every new lore drop makes me want to read the second book so badly.

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