FACTION: BLACK ROSE & THORN
The Black Rose
Bandits abound in the lawless spaces of Faelon,but perhaps none more infamous than those in the employ of the enigmatic and dangerous woman known as The Black Rose of the Arlian. The Black Rose’s band of thieves travels throughout southern Falkaar and Haradel one step ahead of local authorities. The Black Rose is typically her own patron as she needs no encouragement to seek fortune. If she is working for a patron, it is often a crime lord or a royal who does not want their name disclosed. Often the Black Rose works through multiple agents and neither she nor her ultimate employer knows they are in a working relationship.
The Black Rose has developed her own network to research potential schemes and endeavours in Falkaar and Haradel. She has set up her own circle of fences and merchants who can process her gains and convert these goods into the coin of the country. Rumor has it that she has acquired enough wealth in the two countries to retire many times over. Those with more knowledge and experience realise she is building her own criminal organisation stretching across the two countries. The Black Rose rotates trusted agents out of her traveling band and into more permanent positions in certain locations to build their own groups reporting to her.
The Black Thorn
The Black Thorn is the first expansion of what the Black Rose of the Arlian considers her Dark Syndicate. The Black Thorn is a group of bandits as deadly as that of the Black Rose but operating in southern Haradel and northern Thormenal. Erolis selected her right hand man, Okuvan, to lead this group and extend her villainous network further across Faelon. Okuvan built his band understanding the different nature of his operating area and the forces he might face. The power of Illusion is available to cloak his thieves and confuse his opponents. He filled the role of second in command with a fellow Thormenalan skilled in the profession of bodyguard, deadly with a greatsword. The new bandit leader is lucky to have a reliable veteran mercenary among his men, able to provide hard earned military knowledge to their missions. Finally, to fill out his crew, he invited two travellers from the north, an unlikely pair of friends who can cross swords and brawl with the best of any city’s taverns.
The Dark Syndicate
Officials in the Kingdoms of Falkaar and Haradel who are hunting Erolis and her colleagues refer to the combined groups as the Dark Syndicate. This ominous and formal nomenclature brings forth many a chuckle around the campfires of the Rose and Thorn. Still, the authorities are not wrong to treat them as one entity. Members of both bands move back and forth across borders and in and out of missions and capers with an ease that aggravates even the most hardened road warden or sheriff. About the only given in the make up of the bands is that Adelika the Enchantress is never far from the Rose’s side. Also, when circumstances require that one or the other band lay low, members shift to expand operations in the other band’s area in order to keep profits steady. This leads to some famous, or infamous, events in the lore of the two Kingdoms. One of the more commonly heard stories in the inns and taverns of western Isarshael is the Great Caravan Robbery of 1006, although so much is now legend who can be sure of what truly happened? None of the bandits correct the storytellers, as the versions making the rounds only feed their reputation as criminals of renown. Nothing frustrates those hunting the Dark Syndicate so much as the complete lack of information on their hideouts. Somehow, in some way, they always get away. To be sure there are occasions where wardens nab an underling or two. But the major members of the Dark Syndicate always appear to vanish into thin air. The location of the Black Rose’s ultimate lair could make some enterprising person rich beyond their dreams, should they be lucky enough to uncover it and luckier still to survive the experience.