“My masters regret that your harvest has failed governor and unrest stirs your little world. Perhaps you should seek assistance from the free captains as you did three years ago when you turned down our last generous offer, and with it the protection of our friendship... no? Well, unfortunately things have grown harsher in the sub-sector of late and our price now is regrettably somewhat higher...”
— Adept-Assayer Alisha Zhou, Emissary of the Machenko Dynasty
The Machenko Dynasty, an extended family organized along strictly hereditary lines in the manner of the old houses, is the most mysterious of the Great Houses. Seventy-five years ago the dynasty’s patriarch, Lord Scelestes Machenko, was accused of witchcraft, heresy and impiety, and burned at the stake. The dynasty fell with him, its estates invaded by rival families and its wealth confiscated by the Administratum. The dynasty spent the following decades rebuilding itself, and its members have kept its record scrupulously clean since the Machenkan Purge.
Although a dark shadow hangs over the dynasty because of its past, no one has ever been able to find evidence of impiety during the dynasty’s return to power. The source of the dynasty’s wealth, with which it funded its return to Great House status and currently plays the great games of noble politics, is a complete mystery and the source of the darkest of rumors. Certainly the dynasty owns a great deal, from hive spire estates to tracts of land, but it does not seem to control any agri-worlds or factoria with which to make the money it so clearly has. When questioned about the source of the dynasty’s capital, Machenkan nobles reply (with impeccable politeness) that they keep their own counsel about such matters.
The members of the Machenko Dynasty have turned etiquette into an art form and house scholars compile great volumes of etiquette, which Machenkan nobles carry around with them by means of a lectern-servitor. So complex are the dynasty’s ritualized greetings and forms of address that nobles from rival houses often claim they are some kind of secret code. In any case, the Machenkan nobles dismiss the great mysteries of their house with charm and politeness, and without exception make for gracious guests and accommodating hosts. As dark as the rumors about them may be, few nobles turn down an invitation from the dynasty. The Machenko Dynasty’s symbol is a ringed planet and its house colors are a deep blue.
The dynasty has long-standing links with Belasco Deathworks. They also have a bloodline of navigators that exclusively serve them in the form of House Xan’Tai. Eight centuries ago, the Dynasty had an invested interest in the Periphery that failed to produce any significant profit; one of the remnants of this failed enterprise is the colony upon Misery IX, which was recently visited by the Tyrant Star. The Machenko Dynasty does not make use of the Adepta Sororitas, unlike other noble families and houses like House Krin.
The Machenko Dynasty is known to supply fissile elements to the mining world of Cindar, which provide fuel. They were suspected of intentionally delaying shipments in order to drive prices high in order to charge any price they desired. The Detectives of the Adeptus Arbites had planned an investigation, but it was foiled by the mysterious Two-and-Mirror organization. Details of what happened are still unknown, such was the counter-agency's success, but the Dynasty departed the next day.