The Von Shrakenberg family are a clan of Prussian Aristocrats who both own a major chemical processing company (Paderborn Chemicals) and who have provided several generations of military officers to various militaries starting with the German Reich and continuing through to the Earth Federation.
Traditionally, the eldest son of each generation inherits sole control over the family business empire, while other children recieve very small inheritances and are heavily pressured to enter the military. For the last two centuries, that has mainly meant service in Earth Fleet. This tradition has ensured that the family business remains intact, not split up among many shareholders even within the same family, and that most of the kids of each generation end up dead or too busy to have offspring of their own, further reducing the potential for messy family squabbles over money. Furthermore, it ensured plenty of friendly high-level contacts with the political and military establishments, which could be invaluable assets to a company in an era of great state control over industry.
The current head of the family, Johannes Von Shrakenberg V, is chairman and CEO of the family chemical business, and also a minor member of the nobility, as Viscount Von Shrakenberg of New Bayern, an industrial city on Avalon. Technically, this makes him a very junior member of House Dane, although he has no blood relation to Vin Dane himself. The core family declared its loyalty to the Holy Terran Empire during the Ascension War, in order to protect the family's business interests on Avalon, New Paris, and Minos. A few junior members, such as Gretchen Von Shrakenberg, who were actively serving with Earth Fleet, instead stayed loyal to the Rump Federation of Joseph Smythe. When the war was over, the survivors who chose the wrong side were left disinherited and imprisoned for treason. or forced to go underground as wanted criminals. The remaining loyal members of the family, despite their grant of nobility, are not in great favor at court or among the Imperial Diet, and are thus forced to be even more ostentatiously loyal than most, for they know any further whiff of rumor of disloyalty may lead to the entire family's downfall.
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