Organizations: Part 7
Name: The Gainsborough Merchants Association
Nicknames: Merchant Princes, Coin Counters, GMA
Symbol: A balance with several representations of expensive items on one side, and a pile of gold on the other.
Structure: Competing Financial Consortiums
Description: The city of Gainsborough, on the far South Eastern portion of the Eastern Reaches borders the ocean and acts as gateway between the Land of Golden Sands and Darkon. As such it is the trade capital of the continent. In theory the city state is ruled by a Lord Governor, but in reality the Lord Governor is little better than the city’s social director. Real power lies with The Gainsborough Merchants Association. This collection of a dozen competing financial interests fights one another to make the biggest profit available. The Merchant Princes learned a long time ago that open conflict is bad for everyone’s business so they like to avoid it. Instead they usually attack one another politically and financially. They are, however, not above indirect violence. As a result the city has twelve Thieves’ Guilds, each loosely associated with a financial interest in the city and doing its dirty work. There is a certain amount of solidarity among the members of the GMA, as they ruthlessly team up to make sure any outside financial interest doesn’t exist within the city. Currently the most powerful interest in the city is the Greon family who control city politics with an iron grip, and are ruthlessly efficient in using their resources to their advantage.
Name: The Elemental Scions of Water
Nicknames: Water Masters, Water Witches, Ocean Lords
Symbol: A stylized wave
Structure: Loosely Knit Religious Order
Description: In the Bleak North, amongst the barbarian tribes, exists one of the few remaining groups of true Elemental Scions. These Elemental Scions worship water and have historically lived on the Southern shore of the Bleak North. However, ten years ago, The Ocean Prophet, the closest the order has to a leader, declared that the destruction of the other orders of Elemental Scions has put the world’s natural forces out of balance. This spurned an exodus as Elemental Scions of Water, generally Water Adepts, have begun searching Darkon, and other continents for adepts able to control the other three elements in hopes of forming new orders for each. The going has been slow, and their sole success has been The Kryn of Hurricane Islands taking to the worship of the air. Meanwhile the Elemental Scions of Earth, generally Dwarves, have abandoned their faith because of the corruption of their last generation of adepts, and the Elemental Scions of Fire vanished entirely from the Dragon Spine Mountains. The Elemental Scions of Water continue their quest knowing that an imbalance such as this could have dire consequences if left unchecked.
Name: The Convent of Shadows
Nicknames: Shadow Monks, Shadow Boxers
Symbol: A Pair of Black Arms, crossed over one another
Structure: Religious Order
Description: Before the dawn of the Merithian Empire humans were slaves to trolls. They toiled doing all manner of menial labor for them. They were an intrinsic part of troll society though they never knew it. When the mighty Krauser knew he would need to face the trolls he formed an idea. He took the greatest unarmed fighters that the human tribes at the time had and forced them to work together. Together these warriors devised a unified combat system that would make its masters as deadly as any armed combatant. They dubbed this method the Shadow Fist School, as it relied not on punches, but almost entirely on kicks to defeat a foe. With the basic system devised the creators broke apart and allowed themselves to be captured by trolls all over Darkon. The masters would then teach their skills to small groups of fellow slaves before escaping and allowing themselves to be caught elsewhere. By the time Krauser marched on the trolls’ cities he had thousands of trained warriors operating on the inside undermining their defenses. Legend holds that there were so many Shadow Boxers that Krauser crushed the trolls’ capital city with amazing ease. With the end of the war most of the former slaves set aside their skills and went about simple lives, others took their skills and became adventurers, and still others opened schools teaching their craft. Twelve hundred and fifty years later only one such school seems to have survived. Nestled in the Dragon Spine Mountains is a simple stone tower where several dozen women still train in the ancient Shadow Fist School. There’s has become something of a religious order, by their reckoning they are the shadow to Taija’s light and must move in the darkness to crush her foes.