One of the largest and most notorious criminal organisations in Kelbonnar, the Scarlets have been operating for hundreds of years under the noses of governments across the length and breadth of Kelbonnar. Unlike their main rivals, the White Fangs, the Scarlets specialise in more extravagant criminal activity, with a particular penchant for espionage and art forgery and theft.
The Scarlets have little formal structure that runs through the majority of their organisation, and instead rely on their Council of Adepts to govern the entirety of their operations. The Council is composed of over 200 hundred members, who assemble from time to time to vote on a variety of issues ranging from key organisational decisions to adjudicating disputes amongst their members. When an Adept retires or dies, the Council of Adepts votes to elect a new members to their ranks from the pool of all of the members to fill the vacancy. Each Adept is responsible for a chunk of territory, and these territories can range from being the size of a city district, to enormous tracts of land that range for hundreds of miles. Within their territory each Adept is responsible for all decision making and organisation, including the allocation of any jobs that come up in their territory to the members below them. Technically each member of the Scarlets is assigned to the territory of a specific Adept, the rational being that each territory will have the requisite amount of boots on the ground to allow the Scarlets’ business in the area to be transacted successfully. In reality, members work across territorial borders all of the time, which leads to no end of disputes that have to be solved by the Council of Adepts.
The Scarlets have engendered a culture of the ‘gentleman’ or ‘gentlewoman’ miscreant amongst their members, encouraging them to engage in what they regard as more high end crimes such as forgery, fraud, racketeering espionage, blackmail and the acquisition and black-market trade of objet d’art. This preference is thought to come partly from the influence of Scyath, the city that they were founded and in which they are still headquartered. Scyath is known across the Empire of Turelion and throughout Kelbonnar as having one of the finest Colleges of Art in the world, and which has an extensive population of talent artists and craftspeople to draw upon. That is not to say that the Scarlets do not dabble in less ‘sophisticated’ crimes. They are of course very happy to engage in murder, extortion, theft, intimidation, protection rackets and the like, but the leaders of the Scarlets would have to be convinced that undertaking such action would be for the good of the organisation as a whole. In addition, it has become tradition that members of the Scarlets, as well as being indelibly marked with the organisations symbol of the Scarlet Curve Bill bird, also were an article of Scarlet clothing to further identify themselves to one another. Most members tend to prefer something more modest, such as a scarf or neckerchief, but some members opt for quite extravagant ad not so subtle accessories instead.
As a criminal organisation, the Scarlets have no official public agenda, other than the obvious one that can be inferred, to make as much money for the organisation and their members as possible. However, the Scarlets regularly sprinkle some money in territorial areas deemed to be particularly key, money which is spent on public works and projects that the local authorities haven’t bothered to fix. These grants are by no means rooted in altruism, but are instead designed to increase the publics perception of the Scarlets, and to increase their tolerance for their activities.
Whilst the exact resource base available to the Scarlets is unknown, they are believed to have significant financial resources at their disposal, along with large caches of weapons and equipment spread out across their various territories, to be used in defending the organisation’s interests. Additionally, each territory has a safe-house within it that acts as the headquarters for local activities and which acts as a base for the territory’s Adept to operate out of. These safe-houses vary widely in their size and quality, and are not built or acquired with the needs of the local territory in mind, but rather to fit in with their local surroundings. Consequently the safe-house in Meltaro's Gardens of Meltaro district is a vast, grand building that provides far more space than the territorial activities of the Scarlets there need, whilst the safe house in the Empire's Greltor Province is little more than a quaint cottage.