Criminal Outfits

Not everyone makes their coin through legal means. Would one expect any less?

Blood Red Tide

Over the last few years, the area surrounding the city-state of Sheinar has been increasingly dangerous for travelers. A small army of bandits, known as the Blood Red Tide, has been attacking travelers in the region, robbing and even taking them captive, most of whom are never heard from again. The Tide has mounted small raids on nearby towns and villages. Little else is known of this band of cutthroats. Neither Blacksong rangers nor Cọnmaeiri border watchers have managed to capture a member of the Blood Red Tide alive. Some believe they are supported by the empire in order to sow the seeds of a future invasion, but imperial diplomats vehemently deny these claims. Others suggest that they are members of a depraved religious cult worshiping one of the older dark gods.

The Black Watchers

The Black Watchers is a criminal organization with its fingers in every aspect of illicit activity throughout Darejh. This semi secret society is led by Croi Malic from the City State of Braedan. It is believed that Malic runs a parallel kingdom beneath the city, a sanctuary for thieves, smugglers, and murderers. The core of the Black Watchers is composed of confederate smugglers and assassins. These men and women are efficient and ruthless, selling their services without regard to ideology.

The Black Watchers' grip is strongest in the confederacy, where it functions as a thieves' guild. From the pettiest pickpocket to the most sophisticated confidence artist, no crime occurs within the borders of the confederacy without the Black Watchers' approval. Although its strength wanes beyond these borders, Croi Malic has made sure that its presence is felt even as far away as Dobe. Autonomous Black Watch cells exist in every major city, governing local criminals and paying an annual tithe to the Black Watchers in Braedan.

The Pirates of the Tranquil Sea

There are nearly a dozen bands of pirates that scour the waters of the Tranquil Sea in search of trade cogs and passenger galleys to loot; however, their threat to trade makes them seem a unified force. Attempts to find their bases of operation, often in hidden coves, have been in vain.

The mainstay of pirates is the caravel, valued for its speed and ability to maneuver in contrary winds. Most of these vessels are old, but some pirates have managed to obtain newer vessels in their exploits. With their speed, the caravels are formidable opponents for the Sheinari cogs and carrack, both of which are cumbersome ships designed for resisting boarding parties rather than speed.

The Cailon Raiders

The most infamous and largest band of pirates are the Cailon Raiders, the scourge of the east coast of the peninsula. The band was found by Raold Cailon during the end of the Peninsula Wars. Since then, the leadership of the group has passed down through his children. Currently led by Stefaen Cailon, the Cailon Raiders are feared for their brutality and unwillingness to leave survivors.
The caravals of the Cailon Raiders are painted black with blood red sails. Although they lack uniforms, the men and women of the pirate band all wear red and black striped sashes.

The Tapestry of Shadow Weavers

The Tapestry of Shadow Weavers is a secret society of spell casters with a hatred for the Truth Hunters. Although they distribute anti imperial literature, direct assaults are directed only at the Tapestry of Truth. The Shadow Weavers frequently interfere with the inquisitions of the Tapestry by hiding and protecting those labeled as heretics. A number of escapes from the Tapestry stronghold in northern Iesadhe have been credited to Shadow Weavers. Neither the Soul Wardens nor the Imperial military attempts to intercede as the underground war has yet to erupt into open warfare. A few in the Tapestry of Truth claim the Soul Wardens are in a damned alliance with the Shadow Weavers and their enchanted armor and swords are provided by them.

Harkening back to the High Lords of Dobrai, the Shadow Weavers are led by the Open Circle from the city of Dobe. Although the Tapestry of Truth is aware of their presence in Dobe, the Truth hunters have been unable to find the highly secret Open Circle.

History

The Shadow Weavers were founded during the Years of the Black Hunt (507-518) in response to the brutal persecutions against spell casters. Under the guise of seeking heretics, the Tapestry of Truth began a campaign of violence against spell casters. Even those who had registered with the Tapestry were not spared as over zealous Truth Hunters saw heresy in the most minor of cantrips. Spell casters were imprisoned, tortured, and executed with relish.

Under the leadership of the Open Circle, the secret council of wizards and sorcerers that was formed to lead the Shadow Weavers, hundreds of cells sprung up over a ten year period throughout Iesadhe. With access to martial weaves forbidden to the Tapestry of Truth, the Shadow Weavers brought an abrupt and violent end to the persecutions. Although the Soul Wardens were brought in against the Shadow Weavers by the Tapestry of Truth, they did little against the renegade spell weavers. The Tapestry of Truth has not forgiven the Soul Wardens for their lack of effort in the task.

After the persecutions ended, the Shadow Weavers remained to prevent future occurrences of such atrocity. They also spread their power into Sheinar, where they are a less clandestine organization.

Wyrmbane Cultists

A fringe group that is hunted with zeal by Dhomestic agents, the Wyrmbane cultists believe that true spiritual power lies in the Wyrmbane tree. They claim that the First Avatar ripped the soul of the tree out when he took the Soulshard. Practicing blood and sex rituals in the dark of night, they pray in secret copses of Wyrmbane.

As the Wyrmbane tree also has spiritual meaning to Dhomists, the blasphemy is doubly horrifying to them.

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