- "Some say it was our time to adapt and survive, others said it was all because of the Fool. I say it was because the union was dying and we needed new order. Whatever it was, we go it, and now I'm happy."
- -Member of the Crown
Originally the Allegiances were full blown factions within their own respective Sects. Each led by a Legate with their own self styled titled in the Ashenfold Cant. Those times are sadly gone, now the Allegiances sever a new purpose, to act as true divisions with their own focus and goals. With what has come to be the Cartel Reformation, the Allegiances have evolved new Cultures and a new sense of identity. In some cases this hearkens back to their origins, and in others it is the result of the melding of two separate sources.
Legates and AdministratorsEdit
Power within the Sects can be divided among several different players. Each Allegiance is headed by a Legate who acts as the Master's field commanders and operation bosses. When a Legate is elected to run a Cartel Territory they are given the right to control, determine and direct all local operations in an area. They are in effect the business and supreme directors of that region. However, their abilities can often conflict with orders of Masters which in turn can place them at odds with Masters of the Council. For this reason the rule of an Administrator requires careful balance and respect for the Master of each Sect.
Allegiances in the Spear follow the Entente Tenets with careful ferocity and independent consideration.
The Steel RingEdit
"Honor in skill, duty in freedom."
The Steel Ring is the bastard child of the former Svartholm, Battalion and Armory allegiances of the Blade and Hunt Sects. From what some consider an unholy union was born a strange entanglement of discipline and free minded tenacity. Hearkening back to the Sons of Rin and the Amber Guides of old (historical Sects that would become the Blade and Hunt) the new Allegiance Focus and goals for the Steel Ring sees them hoping to master land, waves, and all in between. With industrialist design and their newly ordained contract to enforce the Code and Tenets of Entente, the Steel Ring takes on all comers.
Who would know that the regimented ranks of the Blade would so easily meld with the more independent minded contractors of the Hunt. Born from this interaction is a open minded and martial based Allegiance where not only skill, but the ability to fight with comrades has become the primary basis of honor. Trophies are still taken with abandon, but they are done so in a more particular and selective manner.
Members of the Steel Ring call themselves Steeled in an almost joking regard to their cousins in the Jade Ring.
Some Steeled dislike to wear the Sect Colors where as others wear the Spear's Blue proudly! Those that do so are often the enforcers of the Entente Tenets and chose to do so in a manner of marking themselves openly to all codebreakers.
The Steel Ring conducts itself careful planning and discipline when making a business deal. It however is not above a drunken brawl now and then, but their is a sense of calm when signing and agreement. Most Cartel operations if defended are often done so by the Steel Ring as they are the Cartel's frontline of Defense against the oncoming Bane.
The Jade RingEdit
"The Triads of old shall rise again."
They were once the Jade Ring Triad and then they were the Jade Ring within the Hunt. Out of all the Allegiance they are the only one still standing bearing their old title and purpose. However, with change and survival does come evolution. Once the Jade Ring was a dark and lonesome Sect bound to speak to barely anyone outside itself, now it serves dutifully as the underhand of the Spear. From this change in behavior came a new concept of free thinking and a desire to shirk the laws and let people live as they wish. In effect the Jade has gone from a band of thieves to a simple band of outlaws seeking to make their mark on life within the Cartel.
Life for the Jade Ring can be described in three sayings, "Harsh, but free". They were once the shadowy thieves and pirates that dwelt in Lion's Arch and after the Reformation they have arisen as the soul that once embraced the feral love of skill that dwelt within the Hunt. Though they break the Law, the Jaded (as they call themselves) still respect those that can get job done even if it involves being a valiant knight. This way of thinking may put them at odds with the rest of the criminal underworld, but it is this bond that places them firmly at the side of their compatriots within the Steel Ring.
Jaded mark their identity by simply wearing blue on a small part of their bodies. Some wear it openly, but in most cases they prefer to wear small pieces of jade on a string around their neck. This simplicity is born from their thieving heritage and this nature has still lent itself to their general culture.
Business for the Jade Ring sees itself based primarily in various operations of the illegal kind. This can be running a smuggling operation or simply fencing stolen items to the local pawn shop. In this regard the Jade Ring often at times works with the Court of Rats (Crown Allegiance) to help maintain order when dealing with fellow criminals. Much of the business conducted by the Ring is done in Lion's Arch, with several smaller operations being managed in cities throughout Tyria.
Allegiances of the Tome are seekers of knowledge and keepers of wisdom. They obey the Entente Tenets are always seeking to innovate for the future.
The Obsidian CircleEdit
"Technology and the Arcane wedded as one."
Born from the union of the Watchers and Controllers Allegiances, the Obsidian Circle was named in honor of the ancient Black Circle, a cadre of casters dedicated to fighting rogue magics in Tyria. A darker undertone still exists within the Allegiance as the quiet esoteric study once inherent in both the former Allegiances that contributed to its creation. Though they still hold the quiet observance and controlling nature of their predecessors the Obsidian Circle has set a new path for itself within the Cartel. No longer are they tied to the restrictions or obsession of the Inquisition or always follow the quiet nature of the Watchers. Charged with not only holding and supporting the line against threats, they also hope to infuse the Cartel with new life with their ever advancing belief in invention and discovery.
At the core of the Obsidian Circle is the need for understanding about what threaten's the Cartel. Their desire for innovation is in many ways a reaction to their violent past and for this reason they often strive to better Cartel defenses when possible. It is for this reason that after the Reformation that the Technologists turned to the Tome and joined with the Obsidian to reinforce the Cartel's new theories on the future. In many ways this infusion of the arcane and technology and breathed new life into the magical defenders and scientists within the Tome Sect. Giving a sense of not only revival, but also achievement as they seek to eke out a new name for themselves in Tyria.
Members of the the circle often call themselves Glassbound as a mark of their surrealistic nature.
Members of the Obsidian Circle identify themselves by wearing dark almost black shades of Red. This darker color is a reflection that they see themselves as the darker, but quiet defender of the Cartel when it comes to the strange and magical.
Many of the Glassbound find themselves in league with various individuals when it comes to business. Because of their interest in the Mists, the Obsidian Circle often supports or even heads expeditions into the astral realm. In other cases they are inventing and working with various fields to produce new items used by the Cartel at large. It is also not unheard for them to work with members of the Crown as magical bodyguards or even guards in Cartel backed businesses.
The Ivory CircleEdit
"You can never know when that book will come in handy!"
They were once called the Seekers and even though that name is gone, their desire for seeking knowledge still remains. If the Obsidian Circle is the exploring, technological, arcane guard of the Tome, then the Ivory is its healing hand. This duality once inherent to the bickering found in the Lore has produced a much more cohesive and unified sense every since the act of Reformation. Now they set their eyes on the future exploring as much lost knowledge as possible while increasing their understanding of alchemy and medicine.
The Ivory Circle has a fairly egalitarian culture based on the pursuit of knowledge and discovering new things. Because of their less militant nature, they are often charged with expanding the libraries of the Cartel and acting as keepers of its history. For this reason they are charged with teaching others in the Cartel the basics Cartel life and knowledge. This new charge has often left members wondering what they can do to further their understanding to prevent the mistakes of the past.
Members of the Ivory circle call themselves Ivorybound.
As the inheritors of the work of the Seekers, the Ivory Circle prefer to identify themselves with various shades of red or orange. Wearing colors openly is considered a formal affair, while wearing anything green is still seen as somewhat distasteful (former dislike of the dead Voice sect still hold sway in the Tome). For this reason it is not unheard of for members to only wear read specifically during meetings or when in the presence of other Cartelites only.
The workings of the Ivory Circle have evolved over the years and with the additions of alchemy and even religious keepers in the fold, the Circle has many avenues to explore. For this reason it is not uncommon for members of the Court to work with the Crown in charitable notions or even setting up clinics for the sick. In other cases they may fund academies or even run one to teach people in a local community. Sky is the limit with in the Circle as the Ivorybound consider themselves to be a versatile and adapt Allegiance ready for anything that can be thrown at them.
Allegiances within the Crown obey the Code and Tenets of Entente with careful thought as they play the great game of power.
The Court of RatsEdit
"You got a problem with Darkeye?"
Who would think that unifying three of the Cartel's darkest Allegiances would result in a sense of stability, seems the Shadow did. From this rickshaw union was born the Court of Rats, the home of the Cartel's official Underhand. Called the Undercourt by many the Rats evolved out of the criminal organization of the Coin and were bathed in the secretive control of the Voice's Black Court. The result is something akin to the original Aekart Venture, which used a combination of noble blood, and carefully planned buyouts to form a vast mercantile empire. In many ways this is why the Darkeye (or Rats as they call themselves) can still make outsiders quake when they appear on the scene.
The society inherent within the Court of Rats is not unlike the Black Court that existed before it. With the gangster like nature of the Rat's Den walking in the shadows the Darkeye no longer live purely in service to gain information and fight Shadow War for the Cartel. They now use their increased connections in the underworld as a means to spread their influence and back their brothers in the Court of Rooks. As the Cartel's Undercourt they are willing to get into the gutter to fight others or even kill them off as necessary. It is the Court of Rats that dirty's itself for the rest of the Cartel and in silence they are respected for it.
Members of the Court of Rats wear a simple stitched badge of a dead rat or an open black eye somewhere. Some have taken to tattooing eye marks on themselves or wearing jewelry engraved with the emblem. The Darkeye do like the idea of wearing gold, but only in special settings as they considered an obvious marker to those who might be trying to locate them.
Business for the Court of Rats can be quite illegal and perhaps even unethical. From the Silverthorn they inherited the slaving racket and seem to have taken to this without much care. They also inherited the work of spreading drugs and also controlling gangs within various regions. This however has unfazed the Sect as they use it to not only their political, but also economical advantage when they see fit. It is the Undercourts primary job to cover up and remove loose ends for the Cartel in alliance with members of the Jade Ring.
The Court of RooksEdit
"I am a player of the game of thrones."
They are the players and gamers for what many call the Overcourt, and they wear that name proudly. To the Court of Rooks, every action is measured with careful consideration and for this reason they can be considered whimsical by some, or even over cautious. From the Oxhorn Lodge, they inherit a sense of duty, and yet from the Voice Courts their respect for the law can be considered mixed at best. Gone is the fixation on legitimate work and now exists a need to excel for the Cartel whenever possible. The Overcourts place within the Cartel is to act as the Crown's will and the Cartel's silvertongue in Tyria, as a means of keeping the outsiders at bay.
Of the two courts, the Court of Rooks are perhaps the most worldly in their desire to expand connections. With the Overcourt acting as the overwhelming negotiating and social force within the Cartel they can sometimes be considered a bit zealous in their work with outsiders. In other consideration they are the Cartel's primary bankers, investors and backers when it comes to new ventures. Perhaps one of the more interesting facets of the Court is its love and support of the arts. Inherited from the Artisan Court, the Court of Rooks hosts many performers and entertainers alike.
Members of the Court of Rooks call themselves the Dawneye.
The Dawneye wear the Crown's Gold with pride and respect. Those behold to other powers such as warbands, houses or krewes wear any insiginia to notify their support. Others simply wear no color or emblem as they consider the work of the court more important then displaying one's leanings.
The primary works of the Court of Rats is in legitimate business and work. Many of businesses can range from trade companies, restaurants or even simply a fruit cart. The notion of backing different businesses is a keystone of the coin influence in the Crown. The Voice influences however can be seen in the support for the arts and for the various entertainment ventures backed by the Crown. This is where in many cases the old influences of the Oxhorn are cast aside as the Crown is not above working in dirty business when needed or when it can gain them greater influence.