The Great Families can trace their heritage back to the oldest ruling families of the United Vaustian Monarchy.
The reign of Emperor Na'Tier, the last emperor of the United Vaustian Monarchy was marked with political dissention, peasant revolts and later, full scale rebellion. Many of the ruling houses fought to maintain the monarchy. However a group of seventeen families felt that the United Vaustian Monarchy was doomed. Together they formed a conspiracy to aid the rebellion. They began by sympathizing with the rebel cause, providing weapons and other forms of support. Eventually they became leaders inside the rebellion, leading the final charges that toppled the United Vaustian Monarchy.
After the rebellion, and the establishment of the democratic Vaustian Republic, the Great Families used their position and influence to ensure election to positions of authority within the new government. Today, they continue to vie for power using many of the same political tactics they have used for hundreds of year.