Rhombur Vernius was the son of Dominic Vernius, brother of Kailea Vernius, best friend of Duke Leto Atreides I, husband to the Bene Gesserit, Tessia, and heir to House Vernius after the death of his father. He was the adopted father of Bronso Vernius of Ix.
He ranked 87th in line to the Golden Lion Throne.
The planet was overthrown by the Imperial Sardaukar and Bene Tleilax. The attack contrived by Hasimir Fenring and Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV to take over Ix, in order to research and hopefully produce a synthetic for of the spice, known as Amal. Rhombur, along with his sister Kailea and Leto (not yet Duke) narrowly escaped the attack.
Years later, Rhombur was maimed almost beyond repair in the assasination attempt on the life of Duke Leto by Kailea Vernius. Through the efforts of the Suk Doctor Wellington Yueh, Rhombur was saved from death through extensive use of cybernetics.
As a result of his brush with death, and at the urging of Tessia, Rhombur overcame his complacency regarding the occupation of his home planet and contrived a plan along with Leto and Duncan Idaho to retake Ix from the Bene Tleilax. Along with support from House Atreides and C'tair Pilru on Ix, Rhombur was able to retake the planet.
Parentage of Bronso (Vernius) of Ix
It had been discovered that Rhombur's mother, the Lady Shando Vernius had conceived an illegitimate child with the Emperor Elrood Corrino IX, when she was the Emperor's concubine. The child, now grown, was named Tyros Reffa, had been found out by Shaddam Corrino IV as his half-brother; as well as half-brother to Rhombur. To prevent any claims on the Imperial throne, Shaddam had Reffa falsely imprisoned. The Ixian ambassador Cammur Pilru visited Tyros and stole away with a DNA sample. The DNA sample was used to conceive a child, Bronso, with Tessia; so that House Vernius would have a legal heir. The secret of Bronso's true parentage remained a secret for years.
War of Assassins of 10,187 AG
As House Vernius came to Caladan to attend the upcoming nuptials of Leto and who would have been his first wife, Ilesa Ecaz; Rhombur, Tessia, and Bronso, attended the wedding in Cala City. Sadly, Hundro Moritani decided to seek his revenge against House Ecaz on that day, and both Ilesa and her father's Swordmaster bodyguard perished. Rhombur, nor anyone in his family, were hurt on that day.
During the night in Castle Caladan, Bronso's good friend Paul Atreides and himself were readied to be attacked by disguised House Harkonnen/House Moritani assassins during the middle of the night as they slept. Paul and Bronso awoke as the assassins approached Paul's bedroom, and the duo surprised and attacked the assassins first, and disbaled the attempted murderers before they struck. The assassins committed suicide before they could be questioned. Bronso returned home to Ix with his Rhombur and Tessia a few short days later, as Paul and Duncan Idaho fled to Caladan's sparsely populated Eastern Continent.
Tessia Struck & Tyros' Story
When Bronso was 13-years of age, Paul and Jessica visited House Vernius in Vernii City on Ix. Simultaneously, in secret, Tessia was put into a mental coma by the Bene Gesserit psychic energy guilt-caster Stokia, for her disobedience to the Sisterhood. Rhombur was unable to help his poor wife, and Dr Yueh could do nothing to help her, and began to waste away. The Sisterhood demanded that Tessia be taken with them to Wallach IX, where they would nurse her and take care of her. In grief, Rhombur let them take his wife away.
Vernius then told Bronso of his true male parentage by way of Tyros Reffa. Over-reacting, Bronso ran away from Vernii City, and Paul, under an oath to Duke Leto "to protect Bronso", accompanied him.
Searching for Bronso & Death of Rhombur
The duo first stowed away aboard a Guild Heighliner, and were let off on Chusuk. Paul and Bronso were quickly picked up by a Jongleur theatrical production company, and began to learn the basic way that the Jongleurs put people under mass hypnosis as they performed. At the same time, Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck scoured and followed eveery lead they had on the wayward duo, missing them by days.
- "'Is Paul safe?'"
- ―Rhombur Vernius[src]
Soon afterwards, Bronso and Paul traveled with the performers to Balut, where the duo was discovered by their parents shortly thereafter, a tip from a Wayku who had given information to Idaho and Halleck. A day later, Paul was able to figure out an assasination attempt that was to occur in that planet's Theater of Shards, a glass performance hall that contained millions of pieces of mirrored surfaces. Paul saved the life of the planetary Governor, but sadly Rhombur was killed as he sacrificed his life to save the life of Bronso. Just before Rhombur died, he whispered his last words to his son, "Is Paul safe?"
This caused Bronso to be bitter, and to cast House Atreides out of his life.
Behind the Scenes
Despite Rhombur supposedly being best friends with Leto I and the closeness of the Great Houses Atreides and Vernius, there is no mention whatsoever of either Rhombur or House Vernius, either being in control of Ix or otherwise, in any of Frank Herbert's original novels.