These High Houses are different than those found near universities.
The Chronicles of Spellborn is rolling toward release towards the end of the month (November 27th is the current launch date). As we all know, you don't want to have a house warming party with no house, so the developer Frogster is ready to show off the new High Houses that have been implemented. According to Frogster:
Designed as fully three-dimensional objects, they will assume important functions for the five major factions in the fantasy online-roleplaying game. Although all five High Houses belong to the Enclave of Five Sacrifices they differ in their history, their main orientation and political conviction. Players can join one of them after reaching fame level 10 and will then experience The Chronicles of Spellborn from a slightly diverging perspective integrated in individual quest lines.
For much more information and a new web page just for the five High Houses (Maul, Rune, Shroud, Silver, Torque) click on over to The Chronicles of Spellborn High Houses.