|Symbol||A circle of daggers with a sword at the bottom and a coin in the center|
|Title of leader||High Master|
|Other strongholds||Alent, Etheril (until 1017 AE), Steelfall (until 1017 AE)|
|Member races||Humans, Elves, Dwarves|
|Allies||Grand Alliance, Magicracy of Alent|
|Enemies||Crimson Coalition, Eastern Horde, Northern Horde, Thistle Grove|
|Patron deity||Laverna (formerly)|
The Union Workers consists of a loose, underground network of thieves and cutthroats which currently directs its various cells from the main headquarters located in Hidefall in Libaterra. They oppose demons and the Crimson Coalition in particular and have recently begun collaborating with the Grand Alliance and the Magicracy of Alent.
The Union Workers started out as a union of small guilds, bandit groups and city gangs which eventually became more and more integrated until the complete loss of their cell in Yamato after the Cataclysm made them pull ranks and finally organize into one body in Libaterra with their power base being in and around the hidden city of Hidefall deep within the Ranger's Despair mountain range west of Alent. What began as a thieves' guild of sorts turned into more of a knightly order which still followed the Code of Thieves to an extent.
They're a powerful underground group that over an untraceable number of years has grown bigger, although the thieves are spread out, and some of them died in the Battle of Yamato during the Great War. They are closely associated with former Yamatian factions, where they provide supplies behind the scenes, usually finding fair merchants and manipulating them to any factions they particularly like.
One of the Union's prominent and more extremist cells, Thistle Grove, separated from the main Union body in the spring of 1017 AE after the rise of the Grand Alliance and the Crimson Coalition, which the Grove saw as a threat. Since then the Union and Thistle Grove have been at odds.
The Union took multiple severe hits in late summer 1017 AE, and they're currently led solely from Hidefall as their other two bases in Steelfall and Etheril were eradicated by the Northern Horde and invaded by the Crimson Coalition respectively and their Alentian cell was compromised in the brief but brutal Alent Gang War with the Order of the Black Rose. The Union has decided to work with the Grand Alliance and the Magicracy of Alent against the demons and the Coalition for the time being.
Armor and EmblemsEdit
Each branch of the Union has its own symbol, but their flags are all based on a circle of daggers with a sword at the bottom, and coin in the center. Usually the branch's unique symbol follows that to the right, and some of the largest cells have their own symbol which smaller cells around them adopt. This third symbol goes below the first two, and is usually a coded letter or some sort of reference to their own history.
Different cells of the Union have different uniform armors, some have light plate and chain mail for the more bandit/fighting-dedicated cells and branches, to light leathers with minimal enchantment for the magic-inclined and anywhere in between. All have the appropriate flagging symbols on the right paulder or a pad on the right shoulder for that exact purpose.
A relatively democratic council, called the Assembly, leads the Union from Hidefall and consists of High Masters who all use the name John or Jane Doe depending on their gender.
None of the Assembly members retain their names. All the women are Jane Doe, all the men are John Doe. They are only distinctive by their title and function. Only the closest, most trusted people to an Assembly member have a chance at knowing their old name. This is partly tradition, partly function.
Functionally, it decreases the risk of a significant leak because the bodyguards of the Assembly also don't have names (or titles, they're completely non-existent personally, and usually at least partly indoctrinated).
Traditionally, it's seen as a way to make sure that the Assembly members are dedicated and safe. They have to permanently give up their names; even if they retire, they don't get them back. Any Assembly member or bodyguard that breaks this is dealt with in a not-so-nice way.
She's the best healer and doctor in the Union, and she's a talented white mage as well, although she hasn't fought for years. The unnaturally beautiful woman speaks with enough experience that it makes Master Thieves unquestionably obey her.
She commands all the forces the Union has in Alent and its territories, acting in place of other Assembly members when needed, as she is one of the most trusted people on the Assembly. Tends to do much more ground work than usual of her position. She also commands the Union's healers, and some of their White Magic battlemagi, and she's also responsible for managing and overseeing the training and/or influence of the healing arts in the Union.
This man is the voice of the Union as a whole, the representative of the decisions the Assembly makes and the only explanation given from the massive orginization. He is on the Union's Council of Lies and Valours, a highly secretive committee in the Assembly which commands the Union's secret special thieves, bodyguards of the Assembly and representatives of the Union's will and virtues.
The current holder of the title is John Doe (Speaker).
On the ground to take care of the workings, there are Master Thieves who are a step below the Assembly, and they have a ranking system in the style of a military. They take care of leadership in various cells so that the Assembly can remain uncompromised.
The most important position in the entirety of city level guild operations is the representative of the city to the main power bases of the leaders, which were formerly based in Steelfall, Etheril, and the remnants of those governments along with the entirety of the Alent headquarters acting in a leadership role. Lately the Union has been taking its more prominent members to the hidden city of Hidefall.
Knights of Lies and SinsEdit
The Knights of Lies and Sins are a warrior/elite caste of the Union's forces that are usually raised into the order. During their service within said order, the Knights will be referred to as John or Jane, although they tend to choose aliases from this and last names of their own accord, a privilege accorded to them as honor to their fearsome skill and ruthless dedication. Most Knights are given names from ancient Union history, and trained under the previous holder of their name, upholding the sacred place of naming and language in Union history.
Each Knight is capable of at least some magic-or at the very least understands a good deal of practical applied theory. They are also individually educated in history and other intellectual fields at the basic introduction level and provided education in their areas of interest. Most of them can perform in some way, and all are trained master liars and actors.
The Knights used to be trained in Steelfall until the Northern Horde burned the town to the ground shortly after the Battle of Vanna. Since then the Knights have continued training in Hidefall at least for the time being.
The Knights are held to a high standard of combat ability, and are usually trained through unfair and impossible combat trials even before being given to a named Knight for the bulk of their training. Psychologically comfortable and hardened to death, any Knight will be fully capable of killing very skillfully.
Trained in a wide variety of weapons, all Knights will be able to handle a knife or dagger with precision, and most of them can handle a sword. Past that, they're trained to be able to fight with anything, and kill with their bare hands if need be. Knights generally prefer to use weapons, and have an affinity for competing to see who can be the most inventive in their missions.
Since most Knights are raised among others of the Order, their assigned 'Patron' or the person with the name to pass down to the up-and-coming Knight will generally be the main influence for any specific education they receive.
All Knights are taught to read and write, most can speak three languages fluently and naturally by the time they are named with the name of their Patron. Knights are required to study and be educated, and to advance in rank past a certain point they are required to show that they have continued to learn, and know more languages.
Master Knights, the leaders within the order, are required to know six languages fluently, and be able to write in at least four of those languages. On top of that, they need to pass difficult and harsh tests of both physically martial-related prowess, and mental ability and/or study related resourcefulness.
Placement in CommunityEdit
As follows from their name, the Knights are generally killers of the highest count, and they tend to be guarded and secretive. As such, those that do know of them tend to be wary. The Knights, ironically, tend to avoid direct lies when they can and use clever wordplay and selective speech to hide their secrets. Those familiar with the order, however, will recognize that a Knight will retain some personal sense of morality-and they tend to do fair work where they can. In Union society, they occupy the realms of rumor and legend.
Internally, the Knights follow the Code of Thieves, and every Knight will respect another Knight regardless of personal opinion for each other. Believing equity to be the ultimate value, a Knight will believe in making those that are pointlessly cruel and vicious destitute and miserable, using the resources taken from these individuals to reward those that impress them.
Above all, the Knights take the Union idea of freedom as their Creed, despite their position as operatives to the Assembly. Knights under a given Assembly member will tend to form both close ties to the other Knights assigned to that person, and their commanding Assembly member themselves.
The Knights, because of how intensively each is trained, are relatively low in number to the other branches of Union forces. However, they do have the authority to command their own divisions of thieves if they decide to, however they must build and train their own troops. Knights overwhelmingly in the past and present Ages have preferred small extremely well-built and tightly knit teams that they'll call 'Crews' over anything of large number.
The average number of Knights altogether tends to hover around five hundred, and many of those are tied up in the installations training future members of their Order. Active fielded Knights tends to be around two-hundred. While they're officially assigned to one Assembly member, their superiors tend to collaborate on projects that need Knight attention because of the low number, and not all Assembly members will even have Knights at any one time.
The number of Knights is very slowly rising over the generations, as more and more decide to retire without dying, and train new Legacies of Knights on top of continuing their own. A new Legacy is created when a Squire is shared between two or more Patrons and given education and training from them all, combining and creating new additions to the array of skills that are in the Legacies.
- Primmer Argyle
- Rachel Ricardin
- Raul Emmenson
- Rex Farkland
- Taylor Clemmons
The Knight standard armor is a lightly enchanted grey longcoat with maroon leathers and robes underneath. The long coat is usually passed down when a Patron initiates his Apprentice to full Knighthood, and they carry emblems and patterns that are usually very intricate. These are usually stitched in either a very bright white, or silver that is sewn into the coat. The coats are enchanted to be about as hard as studded leather, though they don't block the physical force of an attack, merely any blade that might be hampered by the leather.
Other than the armor, most Knights equip themselves with what they like, and it's common for their Assembly superiors to gift them equipment. All of them carry a Knight's Dagger, a blade that they use to definitively identify each other.
The Union has been slowly spreading throughout Libaterra, operating in various underground cells. Each of the Union's cells in each city names itself, after which they create a city-wide emergency council of one master thief per twenty thieves in the entire city spread equally over the cells. The odd ones out either gain other positions in the local management or possibly take the slack with them somewhere else to start another cell if the most important outside position is taken or they're deemed unsuitable for it.
The cells recruit people from all walks of life, including assassins, thieves, wizards and bards, and in exchange for the recruits' loyalty they'll protect and take care of them in return. Many ground-level thieves don't actually know about most of the Union unless they were born into it, and the thieves that were born into the Union usually don't speak about it to other thieves unless they're asked specific questions.
Relation to the CodeEdit
The entire Union doesn't follow the Code of Thieves or even the will of Laverna, the Goddess of Thieves; individual cells can do so by choice or not, but they do have to keep it internally consistent from cell to cell. Most of them tend to at least pay honor to the Code, and if they're brought up on it, they'll actually pay attention whilst all other forms of law would simply be met with laughter and knives to the face. The ones who take the Code most seriously are the Knights of Lies and Sins.
When the Union became larger and more complicated throughout the Third Age and integrated more populations, it became more and more culture varied. Union 'marriages' first occured under the rogue Cardian cleric Sarrow Jack, who, as a drunkard and brawler later in life, started saying that to prove the marriage was honest, the couple had to fight a Union soldier hand-to-hand while their hands were tied together. After his death, his diaries revealed that he did this mostly for personal amusement.
As the Union's existence continued throughout the ages, so did this tradition of marriage. Influenced later into a stadium support by a former then-reformed member of the Clergy of Mardük saw money in the venture, and a certain sense of individualist virtue. His name was lost to the ages when he drank himself to death during one of the events.
The Union sells and barters with the Nightstalkers in Maar Sul. They also observe the actions of the Matheson Crime Family from the shadows. In Alent they have a massive intelligence library of reports. Currently, they are revealing themselves to the Grand Alliance and the Magicracy of Alent in a very limited way and aid in the defense of Alent with experienced combatants, supplies, and their cavernously deep pockets, when they're not busy eradicating the inner networks of the Crimson Coalition.
They've been at odds with the extremist Thistle Grove cell which had separated from the Union in the summer of 1017 AE. The Union disapproves of the Grove's harsher methods and does what it can to limit the Grove's growing ambitions.
The Union has grown hostile to the Crimson Coalition after the Coalition forcibly drove them out of Etheril. The thieves are doing their best to hamper the Coalition's financial side by any means possible which include letting loose assassins and lawyers. Because of their harsh counterattack on Etheril and the treatment of Baron Jeremiah Seneron, the Union can no longer count on the support of people in Etheril which they've nearly left in ruins. The Union also ended up aiding Alent's Western Army against the Coalition in the Battle of the Rivers.
The Union shows mercy to few if any demons at all and are actively aiding Yamatian factions such as the Akai Tora combat the demons in Yamato. The reason they're siding with the Alliance is because that's the lesser of two evils in their view; they know that only with the aid of the Alliance and Alent can the Union fight the Coalition and the demons on equal terms without getting wiped out although they hold no illusion about the fact that Alent and Alliance might try to use them for their own ends.
Although they've had good enough relations with the Order of the Black Rose, they reacted in a hostile manner after the Order seemingly targeted the Union's master thieves in Alent. After a brutal onslaught known as the Alent Gang War during which many Union and Order operatives lost their lives not only in Alent but throughout Libaterra, the two factions have noticed that something is amiss and there might be a third faction pulling the strings in the background, so the hostilities between them have ceased for now.
- Anders - loremaster
- Dreanne Bark - thief
- Jane Doe (Healer) - member of Assembly
- John Doe (Speaker) - member of Assembly
- Madeline Emmenson - thief
- Malik (Union) - thief
- Mathias - thief
- Raul Emmenson - rogue
- Richard - messenger
- Samuel Clemmons - thief
- Sara Merrier - thief
- Tara Merrier - thief (dead)
- Tobias - general