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House Icons were mighty constructs of power located on the plane of Nishnatoba. They were composed of residual magics and forces released there during the War of Humanity. In the fifth century AF, the Pentad crafted the icons, each associated with a Great House, to tap into the latent power of the war ravaged plane, bestowing benefits upon their members. While the House icons were tied to the land upon which they rested on Nishnatoba, they each cast a shadow of themselves upon the Prime Material Plane. These 'icon shadows' allowed planar travel between the two planes of existence.

The icons themselves, being constructs of energy, degraded slowly in strength due to the entropic resonance left behind by the war. The icons' ability to channel their benefits across the void between dimensions to its recipient House was tied to its strength. Benefits bestowed by an icon could become erratic as the icon weakened, even fading if it became dormant. This required constant upkeep by the Houses. Upkeep required Iconic Shards placed in contact with the icon's true form until they were absorbed. If an icon degraded to half power it entered a point of stasis and ceased bestowing benefit.

Attacking a House's icon became an accepted means of making war between Houses. Icon degradation could be increased through the employment of Icon Alchemists, even unto collapse. Born from the power of the icons themselves, icon alchemists were denizens able to chip away at enemy House icons when commanded, and they were commanded so often. Though the icons were virtually invulnerable during the twenty four phases through which they shifted over the course of a month, they were completely defenseless during one of them. Knowledge of a House icon's phase of vulnerability was thus a closely guarded secret, and one coveted by every other House in the inevitable Icon Wars which plagued the two and a half centuries of their existence.

The few House icons which survived (or had been reraised) the years of Icon Wars eventually came under a different sort of attack in the late seventh century AF. Lorielan's summoning of the Ventos Allegros with a shard of the Sceptre of Divinity on the plane of Nishnatoba in 671 AF shook the free-standing icons to their cores. The ritual violently disrupted them until each ultimately collapsed, ushering an end to the Age of Icons.