by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.5
Imarel is a world moved by those ambitious enough to gamble on change or have the power to maintain a certain status quo through either financial or military might. This listing is not by any means an exhaustive list of those organizations, but rather a list of the most important, most affluent and most dangerous across Imarel. Many of these organizations are a part of a government or may not answer to any government at all. The single unifying force of all these organizations is their ability, both past and present, to shape the world’s history.
Codex of Imarel Organizations
The Blackgate Vanguard is a multi-national military organization that does not answer to one political body or entity, but governs itself with the interests of all of Imarel at its core, rather than one particular government’s agenda. This organization was formed under the suggestion of Lord Kithanis uth Braegon during the highly secret Conclave of Magi, to address the growing threat of Queen Arisyeema, but would have other tasks should there be a need. Envisioned as a first response body that could address the many threats to Imarel, while various political bodies process a response, the Vanguard has become an influential power all ready in its infancy, because of the unilateral support it enjoys from most of the nations of Imarel.
The Blackgate, which is a massive multi-dimensional, temporal bridge constructed by the ancient Asyndi, is the primary weapon and namesake of the Vanguard. With it, the Vanguard and mobilize large amounts of troops and equipment nearly instantaneously, anywhere on Imarel, Ishaela or other planes of Existence. Because of the nature of the Blackgate, the Vanguard has taken great pains to secure and understand its use, as to avoid a repeat of the Demonic Incursion of 972 AC, roughly 350 years ago that destroyed the outpost that the Windsong Republic originally built around the Blackgate in order to study it. The Vanguard’s outpost also servers as a trading hub for the southern quarter of the continent of Zoda. The uniform of the Vanguard is easily recognizable by its dark crimson coat, or cloak, white shirt and blue trousers. Non-conscripted members of the Vanguard often wear a white armband depicting the Blackgate portal in crimson, on a field of white and blue.
Children of the Bright Empire
The Bright Empire is a reference to the D`Mirian Empire, which held sway over most of the known world for several thousand years. The very name D`Mir means Shining City in the Asyndi language. These ‘children’ of the Bright Empire are mostly Shar`Vaire and Humans they’ve brainwashed into their service, that pay homage to the Demon Lord, Ysil who played a significant hand in the Cataclysm of D`Mir. It was Ysil’s Abyssal Plane of A`Kuurn that D`Mir was partially phased within, thanks to the powerful conflicting magics of opposing Shar`Vaire factions fighting for control of the city. The Children of The Bright Empire are a cult on every level and see nothing more than the end of all things and the rise of their powerful, hateful patron.
Because of their Traditionalist Shar`Vaire values, the Children of the Bright Empire are quietly backed by a few noble Shar`Vaire houses, in the silent hope that their success will result in a return to Shar`Vaire prominence. They have no uniform or bit of jewelry to identify them, but rather a brand of a four-armed, wolf-headed fiend holding four torches is burned onto the left shoulder blade on all those who serve. They are thought to be based in Las Entranras, but rumors persist of cultists appearing as far north as Zoda and as far south as Irys.
Enforcers of Anthalas
Based out of Anthalas, the Enforcers were formed by Mourne Dur`lane right after the Cataclysm of D`Mir. These individuals were mostly mercenaries that were well paid and strictly run to bring the remains of the Shar`Vaire Empire under heel before the multitude of factions tore what was left of the Shar`Vaire people apart. Guided by the will of the Spirit of Vengeance, Mourne often had precognition into the future of certain events and was able to accurately translate those visions to out maneuver and out-think his enemies.
Over the centuries, the Enforcers have evolved from a pack of mercenaries to an efficient killing machine that serves as an elite guard to the Sovereign of Anthalas. Under the command of Mourne’s son, Darechon Dur`lane, they retain their reputation for being extraordinarily effective and lethal in the most difficult or dangerous situations. They do not surrender and they do not take prisoners; death is the only way for this fierce organization. The Enforcers can be identified by an insignia with two cobras upon it, entwined down the blade of a broadsword. As part of the unification of the Kingdom of Farwind and the Sovereignty of Anthalas in 1342 AC, the Enforcers were ‘officially’ disbanded, though rumors persist that they may well still exist as a covert organization.
In Tashran it is said that the government has a blade to the neck of the Hazjid and the Hazjid holds a blade to the balls of the government. While perhaps something of a crass metaphor no truer words have ever been spoken. The Hazjid is a multi-generational organization that dates back to the city’s beginnings. Hazjid is actually a family that established the first guild of thieves and assassins that eventually stemmed out into extortion, whore houses, gambling and a slew of other sordid business enterprises that maintain their shadowed control over Tashran.
The Hazjid of today consists of the head of the family, who is pure blood and his descendants. These immediate family members are in charge of political and financial affairs and rarely get their own hands bloodied in family business. Then, there are those who have been welcomed into the family, either by marriage or by initiation. These are the assassins, thugs and ground people who run things for the Hazjid on the streets of Tashran. Finally, there are the Daji, or those businesses and families loyal to the Hazjid that offer safe houses or refuse to speak to authorities when crimes are investigated. Outwardly there is no real way to identify a Hazjid though there seems to be some means that they can identify each other, though none have come forward and offered explanation. Even those who have ‘left the family’ as it were are tight-lipped about such secrets.
This cabal of elusive Moon Elvish elementalists are not directly affiliated with the Windsong Republic or the city of Windsong where they are based, but do act as protectors to the city in times of trouble and act in the interests of Windsong more times than not. Primarily, their goal as an organization is to preserve what remains of the Moon Elvish culture and to ensure the tradition of their heritage is not forgotten as their numbers slowly dwindle. Primarily, they are historians, artisans and scholars look fondly upon throughout the Republic and abroad, but can and have act with a great deal of force upon an enemy should the cause be dire.
The Illumina Valos will take only Moon Elves and rarely, a Half-Moon Elf or Asyn-Shei of considerable talent and character. They normally do not dabble in politics, but have the capacity to be very influential in government matters if they choose to do so. By and large, they are responsible for the amazing buildings that Windsong enjoys that look as though they are shaped from the stone of the world itself, rather than built with mortar and brick or wood and stone. They maintain a heritage library in the city called Illumina es Shei or Knowledge of the Elves. Members of the Illumina Valos are identified by their silver robes, with white runes sewn into them.
Justicars of Farwind
There are few things more dangerous than a rogue mage, hence the need for an organization specifically tailored to hunt, capture and kill magi. To that end, Farwind commands the Farwind Justicars; an elite group of Mage-Hunters that have had a great deal of success over the centuries. Originally created by the sorcerer-kings of Farwind’s past, the command over the Justicars was passed onto the newly formed council by King Kithanis Kalyn`Vare uth Braegon II, when he converted the kingdom into a democracy. None but the Farwind Council may call them to service and none but the council can call them off from an objective. They will cross into other nations, even ones potentially hostile to their intentions to achieve their objective.
Identified by the flowing white robes with silver runes and generous cowls, the Justicars are never known by name, even to each other. Always cloaked, faces always hidden, some Justicars even go as far as to wear a silver mask to further hide their identities. This allows a Justicar to have a relatively normal life, free of threats and manipulation, until such time that they are needed. Only one council member knows all their identities and and such knowledge is never passed on, till retirement. They are both skilled magic-users (many of which specialize in Abjuration) and are highly proficient with a Xaare blade; specialized training allows them to combine sword-fighting with Asyndi Mana-channeling techniques with deadly effect against those they are set upon.
Not all organizations mean well for the nations they operate within. Such could be said of the Kiris Miran, which was very recently responsible for a temporary state of anarchy in the Kingdom of Vyss, during the War of Shadows (formally known as the Shalzaarian Border War). Primarily a guild of Shadow Elf necromancers, shadowmancers and anti-paladins, the Kiris Miran sought to create a state of chaos within the kingdom, during the war to aid their secret allies, the Xannti Dragons. With the aid of Queen Aryiseema, who is a high ranking member of the Kiris Miran (albeit, secretly so until her involvement was revealed), a series of events was set into motion with the death of King Nevrezh II. This series of events put the sympathy-empowered queen in charge and allowed her much more freedom in making decisions that otherwise might have been questioned.
Ultimately, the Kiris Miran would have returned her to power, claiming that they had found her and rescued her from the dragons, thereby validating their existence as an organization and cementing their shadowed control of the illustrious Twilight Court. With Queen Aryiseema as their figurehead, the Kiris Miran had many plans for directing the fate of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, with their plans thwarted the Kiris Miran has been driven underground where the dark hand of their plots remains free, albeit lessened in strength. While fundamentally disempowered by the conclusion of the War of Shadows, the Kiris Miran still holds a great deal of influence in cities all over the Kingdom of Vyss and can still sway events in small, less significant ways. The Kiris Miran are identified by the crimson robes they wear (or in the case of their anti-paladins, their crimson armor) with black runes marked upon them.
The Shadow Hunters were originally an outlaw band that originated in Sundown to combat the vampires that controlled the city. Specializing in hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla-style warfare, the Shadow Hunters did a great deal to put a dent in Ko’s plans for the city. Started by the Lord Paladin, Samuel Brookholte, the Shadow Hunters had sponsorship from the Church of the Flamebringer, but lacked the necessary firepower to overthrow the regime completely. With the arrival of Dhamizad T`anas into their ranks and later his friends and comrades that would later base themselves out of the Whispering Raven tavern, the Shadow Hunters eventually got the backing they needed to overthrow the vampire regime with a full-scale civil war.
With the vampires ousted from control, the role the Shadow Hunters play in Sundown has evolved from outlaw protector, to lawful guardians of the city. Acting as the law enforcement for Sundown, the Shadow Hunters have an all ready established rapport with the citizens and are largely respected by them. Because of this, it becomes increasingly hard for illegal operations to take place openly in the city, though there are still shadowy havens within the Old City that allow such behavior to fester. Shadow Hunters are identified by the five pointed badge they wear, with a leaping wolf etched upon it.
This organization does not have much reach outside the city of Vale but within Vale itself they are extremely dangerous to anybody who threatens Moon Elvish interests. Thought to have once been members of the Illumina Valos, they do not wear any manner of garment to identify themselves openly, but have a single rune tattooed onto the left wrist that identifies them. Where the Illumina Valos favors peaceful co-existence, the Shei Toru is more militant and will often be behind the sabotage of foreign vessels at her harbors or for the death of a traveler of another race.
These Elvish purists are treated with disdain by the Vale city government, though an alarming number of Moon Elves in the city treat them with a begrudging sympathy rather than outright hostility. This makes the Shei Toru extremely difficult to manage for the city government who finds sympathizers within their own city guard. To leave the Shei Toru is an act of shame and will result in being at best, ostracized from one’s fellows, at worst the target of abuse and death threats.