The DeVayne Incorporation is an unusual sector house that was originally a large and powerful religious order. The Sepulchral Brotherhood was a movement of the Imperial Creed that trained laymen in religious matters. Specifically, it sent out emissaries to the most downtrodden masses, to preach to them how they were blessed to have the opportunity to give their lives in service to their Emperor and how they should be grateful for the decades of backbreaking labor that made up their future.
The Brotherhood grew in popularity and was originally a valued part of the Adeptus Ministorum, but a distance grew between the Ministorum and the Brotherhood’s army of lay preachers who had become the only religious authority in many areas. Several centuries ago, following a declaration by the Synod Calixis, the Ministorum withdrew its adepts and demanded that the Brotherhood cease preaching. The Brotherhood abandoned its religious functions in the wake of the “Sepulchral Schism” but it did not disappear.
Instead, it took advantage of the hold it had over the laborers of many worlds and its lay preachers became instead members of the newly founded DeVayne Incorporation. The DeVayne Incorporation bases its wealth and influence on the labor of those same hordes of menial workers (referred to by the Incorporation as “thralls”). It owns the rights to millions of lives in places such as the lower forges of Gunmetal City. The Incorporation is the single biggest purchaser of serf rights from the crown of Sepheris Secundus outside the local barons and on dozens of other worlds, the labor of DeVayne’s thralls allows the Incorporation to amass wealth and influence.
If another Great House needs raw materials, they often come from mines, fields or refineries managed by DeVayne thralls. The Incorporation is famous for the small army of clerks it employs to keep the records of its thralls. It is said that every single thrall is named in DeVayne’s records and that the Incorporation has contracts with mercenaries and bounty hunters whose job is to bring back runaway thralls. DeVayne’s household troops, veterans of serf uprisings on Sepheris Secundus, are famously brutal when they lend their strength to putting down rebellions and protests in which thralls are involved.
Though the Sepulchral Brotherhood has been officially dead for centuries, the DeVayne Incorporation’s members have a strong air of religiosity about them. It recruits new members from among the children of its thralls, a practice unique among the Great Houses and one which elicits great suspicion amongst noble families who do not understand how base peasants can rise to become members of a Great House. The Incorporation’s members consider the thralls to have no value except in financial terms, which mystifies observers considering most of them were once thralls themselves.
Cynics insist that the Incorporation must still have some religious purpose at its heart to command such devotion from the same people whose lives it made a misery. Certainly DeVayne’s organisation, with its members divided into “orders” each responsible for an area of house business, resembles that of a religious body, and its members can be evangelical about the Incorporation’s mission to help the people of the Imperium fulfil their duties to the Emperor and their fellow man. These impassioned outbursts are excellent for convincing thralls that they are working for the good of the Imperium but are less welcome among sector nobility.
The low-born nature of the Incorporation’s members means that they are treated like pariahs by most noble houses, but none can deny that the DeVayne Incorporation is one of the driving forces behind the economy of the Calixis Sector. The Adeptus Ministorum harbors a deep mistrust of the DeVayne Incorporation and many of its adepts believe that the Sepulchral Brotherhood is alive and thriving among the Incorporation’s leadership, intent on spreading some form of religious corruption. This may be why the Incoporation has no members of the Adepta Sororitas serving their families, unlike other noble houses. The Incorporation’s colors are dove grey and its symbol is an open hand.