Below are the various factions that operate in the world. During character creation, players were allowed to have affiliation with any of their choosing.
Thieve’s Guild- “Den of Ghosts”
The legendary guild has operated in tandem with society for hundreds of years, partnering with governments, religious sects, or acting on their own accord. It is rumored that not only have they stolen key elements that have prevented wars from ever happening, but they are also capable of planting damning evidence that has landed high ranking officials in prison. While they have mastered the arts of subtlety, most relish in the renown that the guild has earned. Some less in favor of the guild will refer to them as the “DOGs,” a play on the acronym.
The guild acts on two fronts; deep within the woods of Enervus, there is an enclave hidden away among thick patches of trees and jutting cliff faces overgrown with fauna. The guild has gone so far as to setup makeshift houses and rooms laden with snares, traps, and locks to test their members. It is here that Initiates will hone their skills as well as receive their promotion through the ranks.
The second front of those who have passed initiation is a community of thieves that operate in the open- in the city streets and taverns across the land. They speak and write in Thieve’s Cant, conducting business in the open unbeknownst to those that pass them by.
Thieves will greet each other with a simple phrase- which must be met with the appropriate response so as to confirm affiliation.
Assassin’s Guild- “Heaven’s Shade”
Typically operating in the same shadows as the Thieve’s Guild, but with even darker implications. They have been suspected of being behind several key deaths in history, but they have never claimed responsibility. Nonetheless, clients rich and poor have come to the guild in secret to resolve disputes.
While most operators perform their deeds covertly, there are many that master the art of killing to then use their skills on the battlefield. While armies will battle tooth and nail, these masters of their creed will carve a way through the melee to take out a specific target- a general, a cleric, or a Mark that has a price on their head.
The guild has gone through great lengths to keep their headquarters concealed from the rest of Orin, though its presence looms above the shops that it most likely resides over. There is a general notion that on Orin’s main thoroughfare that there is a speakeasy tucked away behind Yori’s Bookstore where Assassin’s will receive their missions. It is further believed that there is a network of halls that pass throughout the marketplace that go to the main guild headquarters, but this has never been confirmed.
Their training is done in common areas with seemingly elementary tactics; they must secretly place a red wooden shank the breadth of a palm either in a drink, on a plate of food, or tucked into a target’s collar to simulate a more lethal variation as to what could have happened. If the apprentice isn’t noticed, they pass their initiation. The more clever the execution, the higher the marks.
Assassins rarely ever will acknowledge each others presence and typically do not share their adventures with others, even within the walls of the speakeasy.
The Legion Elite
The Legion largely employs guards, foot soldiers, and patrolmen to regulate the day to day business of Enervus. There are a vast number of roles that require a more refined skill set, and for those that pass through the academy with the highest marks, they will likely be promoted as officers, war captains, various political roles, or operate in the gray space that the law doesn’t govern.
As there are a variety of roles, there could be a multitude of places that a Legionnaire would train or report to. Each Legion city has its own barracks that would host the training and meeting space of those trained in martial combat. Those with more of an arcane influence would attend the university in Orin, but would certainly stand out from the other students as they would be donning the Legion uniform during the entirety of their education. Regardless, the High Court of the Legion governs every action throughout Enervus- their will and bidding is passed on to the local cities’ courts to execute.
There are others that are gifted in their own skillset that are adopted into the Legion ranks without a formal background. These individuals are regarded as an asset by their superiors, and depending on their company, will likely be looked at as a liability that doesn’t share the brotherhood/sisterhood of enduring boot camp with the rest of the initiates.
And then there are those who are privately commissioned to work in tandem with the Hub- as adventurers, ambassadors, businessfolk, and so on to ensure the preservation of the Legion’s interests.
The Astral Chamber- Cleric/Druidic Guild
There are typically multiple churches for various deities within each Legion city- as the Legion expanded, they found it easier to “control” the religious undertones by lumping seemingly contradictory faiths into a common space within their walls. What the disciples of these faiths discovered under their forced proximity was that their gods exist on a balanced plane. To prevent a tip in the balance on this plane, it was imperative that they coexist peacefully.
Not all disciples are aware of this principle and practice their faith in a certain level of naivety, regarding other faiths as lesser or inferior. For those who understand the balance, they stave away into the forests north of Orin where they commune with the gods. There, the disciples learn elevated skills that tap into the spiritual nature that surrounds everything. The inner circle has access to an ancient chamber deep inside a cavern that can grant powerful visions and instill unparalleled wisdom.
Over time, the Chamber found their voice on the battlefield. By training holy warriors like Paladins, they could influence the tides in an effort to preserve their religious freedoms. The open-minded demeanor of the chamber has embraced even those of a more worldly walk, including the nature-bound tacticians of the druidic arts.
The Chamber encourages a positive attitude towards balance among its patrons, however, there are some that come to the communal simply to harness more power for their own ambitions.
The Mage Guild- “The Spectral Hand”
Those with a natural affinity for the arcane arts were once shunned from society; when the Legion took hold, there was fear that they would destroy the arcane university for fear of the mage’s power. Once the Legion saw that the mages were willing to coexist peacefully, they embraced the arts as a means of amplifying their military strength and political gain.
While the Hand has by-and-large assisted the Legion in its endeavors, there is certainly an air of enlightenment- and often, entitlement- when walking through the Universities found in every Legion city. The longer a mage of any kind attends the school, the more they understand that they harness more power than the Legion could ever imagine. However, the Legion grants them sanctuary and rarely asks for favors, so they co-exist symbiotically.
The University in Orin was once an old warehouse that has been refined and repurposed into an impressive safe haven for those learning to master the arts. Initiates train in classroom settings, learning practical magics and deepening their understanding of the material plane. As they progress, they are often assigned to assist certain Legion ranks, but rarely ever on a permanent basis.
Those who excel in their studies gain access to extra-dimensional training quarters deep within the walls of the universities.
The Bounty Hunters
The fringe of law and order that remains untouched by the Legion consists of a darker world plagued with crime, drugs, and murder. Relatively kept in-check through the main thoroughfares of the city, the criminal empire exists en masse throughout the slums and often finds shelter in abandoned forts in the wilderness.
Where the law fails to regulate, they offer gold- or favors- to those who are brave enough to track down hardened criminals. Most bounty hunters operate independently or in small teams, splitting the modest payout amongst themselves. Often, these mercenaries are sueded by the very criminals they are dispatched to hunt down and end up living a double-life.
For those who have a successful career, they must develop their own means of survival as they too will become hunted by the Plague. Spouses, children, friends and family aren’t safe from the vengeance that is held for these vigilantes.
There is a posting of wanted criminals held within the main Courts, but there will certainly be “Wanted” posters hanging in predominant locations. Most Hunters with any longevity know better than to ever show their face in the court- they will conduct their business secretly in taverns or other common spaces.
There is rumor that an elite group of bounty hunters exist- but with their elusive nature, there existence has yet to be confirmed.
A general term for the conglomerate of bandits, thieves, and mafioso’s that have no over-arching allegiance. They thrive in the slums, operate in all parts of Enervus, and have no specific code or creed. Even once die-hard Legionaries have turned to a life of crime after falling from grace- and they often find greater fortune operating in the shadows.
Not all of those that are lumped into the term “The Plague” necessarily have dark or evil motives. Often, there are common folk left with nowhere to turn to that are geographically locked into a less than desirable situation; they must make do with what this life has given them. Sometimes it’s as simple as they rent out part of their abode as a safe-house to harbor wanted criminals, or offer up cellar space for smuggled goods.
There are rumors that there are indeed crime-bosses that oversee major portions of the Plague.
The Avenger of Blood
While many guilds share characteristics of this profession, this isn’t a “guild”, per se. The Legion has an archaic law that allows the next of kin to avenge their family member’s death if the death was premeditated. If Legionnaires or bounty hunters fail to track down the target, one can receive a bond from the Court granting them permission to kill the wrongdoer. They can commission the Assassin’s guild- or, they assume the title of “Avenger”. While the details are gray, the Law allows a certain amount of flexibility in how they track down their target.
The catch is that some cities have been appointed as “Safe Havens”- areas that forbid “lawful murder.” Orin, as it were, is one of those Safe Havens.
Once the family member has been avenged, the bond must be returned and sealed- and the Avenger no longer has their status.