Magic users are segregated into five ranks: Minor, Average, Notable, Significant, and Prime. The difference between Minor and Prime is enormous. For example, a pyrokinetic is considered Average if he can melt a cubic foot of ice under a minute. In the same amount of time, Adam Pierce, a Prime, can conjure a fire that will melt a cubic foot of stainless steel.
Magic is everything in the world of Hidden Legacy. It brings power, wealth, and security and most families try to maximize it. Because magical talents are passed on through the bloodline, marriages between Primes and Significants are often the matter of ancestry and genetics rather than love.
A family with a powerful magic is considered a House when it produces at least two Primes within three generations. For example, if your grandmother was a Prime and you are a Prime, your family could apply for the registration in the House Ranks. The head of a House, male or female, wields complete authority over his or her family members. Houses are small economic empires: they control territories within cities, they hire private muscle, and engage in cut-throat business tactics. Houses frequently feud with each other and mutual attacks between rival Houses are not uncommon. Most of the time the civilian law enforcement stays of of the inter-House conflicts as long as ordinary citizens are not endangered in any way. Houses also have their own ruling body, an Assembly, and although Assembly has no official status within United States government, when it speaks, its voice is heard by all branches of government.
To be expelled from your House is one of the worst punishments a member of a House can endure. It means to lose not only the contact with your loved ones, but to surrender your financial security and to lose all of the business connections. Without the protection of a House, such a person becomes easy prey to the House’s enemies.