Player Group: The Gemstone Factions
Faction of Hope?
Looking for info on the Faction of Hope? Look no further! As this is a plot Faction and not a Player Group, it will be located in this thread!
All information on the Faction of Hope will be there. Keep watch on the main plot for updates and details!
There are two groups spread across the Realms that are known throughout the underground; that of the assassins and that of the thieves. Known as the 'Gem Factions', these two groups came from a singular Guild long ago, and thus their traditions, ranks, and leadership tend to be quite similar to one another. Since the Gemstone Guild's splitting, both Onyx and Ruby Factions have been in contest with one another, ranging from tense rivalry to outright war at any given time.
Both Factions are led by a Council of anywhere from three to fifteen individuals supporting a single leader, called the Lord or Lady of their particular group. They both share the same ranking system, detailed in the chart below.
Crown; master rank: Crown, as in 'crown jewel', is the highest rank held by the Gemstone Factions, and denotes a skilled master of their craft, usually a leader among their particular Faction. Generally, all Council members and Lords/Ladies will have this rank.
Flawless; expert/adept rank: Those that have achieved Flawless rank have been recognized for their skill, and are well respected in their craft. However, most Flawless members have not become leaders, and are not quite as skilled as the Crown.
Gemstone; intermediate rank: Most assassins and thieves hold the rank of Gemstone if they have experience in the craft; these make up the majority of all the Factions' members. Informally called 'gems' by other members.
Rough; beginner rank: New recruits with some experience and skill, but who are still somewhat new to the craft. Informally called the 'uncut' by older members.
Shard; new recruit: The newest recruits are called Shards, and have little to no experience. Informally called 'chips' by older members.
The Ruby Faction is one of thieves; they specialize in many forms of larceny, and can be found in great number across multiple Realms. Its members are split into small gangs of thieves/lesser guilds, and individuals - though these 'loners' may be few and far between. Those in the Ruby are taught the importance of working together, and the value of safety in numbers.
All members of the Ruby Faction have pieces of jewelry set with a single ruby, designating their affiliation. Their color is a definition of rank, and those of greatest skill (the Crown rank in particular) have the kv'naer rune for the word carved somewhere on its surface (a combination of the letter-runes S and L).
Those of high rank and great skill are often considered leaders of the Faction, either in the Council or heads of small bands or gangs; these are those thieves of Crown rank, though a certain few work on their own. Members of the Council have ruby pendants of blood-red, while the Lord or Lady has one that is so dark it appears black in low light. Lesser leaders have red to magenta rubies in their Faction piece of jewelry, while normal members hold low- to mid-quality pink rubies.
The Ruby Faction is well-governed by a respected Council of thieves who have attained the rank of Crown; they are hand chosen by the Lord or Lady, the reigning leader at any given time. This council delegates jobs to Ruby leaders, who may choose to do them or not at will. Recordkeeping is done by these leaders, though these records may be audited at any time by the Council. This Council may also give out special jobs to retrieve items for Councilmembers or the leader, but usually only entrust this to their most skilled thieves.
Each leader (or individual without a group) must pay a tax twice yearly to the Council; how much depends on how lucrative that thief's business has been. Should a thief or their group refuse to pay, they will be bereft of the Ruby's protections and resources. These resources not only include the aforementioned protection, as long as taxes are paid - such as breaking a Ruby member out of jail, providing them with new/fake identities, or keeping law enforcement from capturing them - but access to fences, informants, and smugglers as well.
The Onyx Faction is one of assassins; they specialize in contract killings, often for coin or rare, valuable items. Primarily, members of this Faction work alone or in pairs - groups are seen as dangerous, and those that form may draw the ire of law enforcement more often than an assassin that works alone.
Those of Crown rank are given a tattoo with the kv'naer rune for 'skill' (a combination of the letters S and L), along with an unmarked onyx pendant. Master assassins who become members of the Council get pendants engraved with the kv'naer rune for 'leader' (a combination of the letters L and R). Normal members may also keep onyx jewelry, with certain color specifications: the Lord or Lady of the Onyx wears a (pure) white onyx pendant; Council gets (pure) black; and normal members get any other color besides white or black (though white and black may be utilized if banded with other color).
Currently, the Onyx is split into two distinct facets: the Old Onyx, chaotic and arrogant, and the New Onyx, honor-bound and strictly ruled. Old Onyx is slowly fading, while New Onyx rises beneath new, idealistic leaders.
Old Onyx operates on few rules and little leadership. It does not bar any death, against anyone or anything; assassins work for coin and little else. No punishment exists, and they rarely listen to the Onyx Council. Old Onyx members may challenge New for rights to a mark, and violence is commonplace between both groups. However, while instigations by New Onyx against Old are warned against, Old members have no qualms about maiming or murdering their idealistic partners.
On the other side of the coin, New Onyx is tightly led; assassination contracts are often handed from leader to subordinate, though payment is from the client to whatever assassin completes the contract. An overseer marks all jobs, the client, and the assassin who completes them, as well as payment rendered. If a client does not pay, they become the next mark. New Onyx also does not allow the killing of pregnant women or children regardless of why or how much jaden is being paid.
New Onyx members may be differentiated from Old by the engraved mark of a coiled serpent on a cabochon of onyx, worked into anything from a piece of jewelry to the hilt of a dagger. These cabochons follow strictly the color code of the Council; and breaking such a rule may result in severe punishment. However, Old Onyx members may steal or destroy these - in retaliation for what they see as a perversion of their Faction.