House Vernius

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House Vernius
House Major
Symbol Double Helix
Ruling Title Earl
Colours Purple and Copper
Homeworld Ix

History of House Vernius

House Vernius only appears in the prequels, and is one of the great houses of the Imperium, the feudal interstellar empire that forms the backdrop to the Dune novels. This house is the ruling power on the planet Ix. The main industry on Ix is machines that continuously test the bounds of the precepts set down by the Butlerian Jihad. The rival of House Vernius is House Richese, which also specializes in machinery, but doesn't create controversial machinery. The strongest ally of House Vernius is House Atreides. Their friendship began when the Earl Dominic Vernius and Duke Paulus Atreides fought together in the Ecazi rebellion.

Several decades after the Ecazi rebellion Emperor Elrood IX was coaxed by Tleilaxu Master Researcher Hidar Fen Adjidica to fund research on artificial spice, and House Vernius' homeworld of Ix seemed the perfect location owing to the presence of science pavilions and the substantial income from Guild Heighliner production.

The Tleilaxu were able to create an uprising in the suboid working class; this quickly overwhelmed the complacent Vernius forces. House Vernius went renegade, and the two heirs to the Vernius fief escaped due to a small rescue contingent created by Duke Paulus. Prince Rhombur Vernius sent limited aid to the resistance on Ix, but the presence of the Emperor's Sardaukar made any assistance difficult to render. After both the Earl and his Lady were killed in separate Sardaukar attacks, Earl Rhombur began to show more of an interest in aiding his people. His sister Kailea Vernius became the concubine of Duke Leto Atreides and bore the Duke an heir, Victor. Due to the Duke's strong belief in securing political marriages, the Duke was unable to wed Kailea, and secure her son's place as an heir. An assassination attempt on the Duke devised by Kailea inadvertently killed Victor, and severely injured both Duke Leto and Rhombur Vernius. Though Rhombur survived his body was rendered an almost lifeless lump.

Doctor Wellington Yueh was hired by Duke Leto to give Rhombur Vernius cybernetic body part replacements. After recovering, he was able to draft a plan for re-taking his lost homeworld, relying upon the Atreides army and the downtrodden Ixians. The Tleilaxu quickly failed in their defense and lost all of their research on the artificial spice. The Ixian ambassador was able to preserve a sperm sample from Rhombur's dead Half-Brother and secure an heir for the recovered House Vernius.

An interesting thing to know is that according to Dune: House Atreides certain Monet and Gauguin paintings will, in 22 000 years, end up as Vernius belongings, in the Grand Palais at Ix.

Continuity issues

In Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson's Prelude to Dune series, House Vernius is an ally of House Atreides, yet in the Dune Novel by Frank Herbert, no mention is given to House Vernius, only to the Ixians, who do not come to the aid of House Atreides.