Hand of the Order
The Hand of the Order (generally referred to as the Hand when not spoken of in the same context as the unrelated 125 Hands) is a group of security professionals serving the security interests of the elusive Verdant Order. Though originally a private security firm hired to guard events at the Verdant Order ski lodge, the Order's contracts have since proven so lucrative that the firm now serves the Order exclusively.
Modern Hands of the Order frequently carry GF-1 "Tarantula" Assault Needlers. When a target must not be allowed to report back to authorities, these needlers are loaded with harrow-tipped ammunition; otherwise, they are loaded with needles tipped with capsaicin payloads to dissuade assailants without killing them.
Many Verdant Order chauffers are actually Hand of the Order agents. The Hand employs armored automobiles and sidecar motorcycle escorts to make sure that members of the Order reach their engagements safely.
The command structure of the Hand is relatively shallow. Each high-ranking member of the Verdant Order employs a Hand chief, who manages the operations of the other Hand operatives working on the behalf of that member. In fact, the right to utilize Hand services is contingent on remaining in good standing with the Order, with lower-ranked members sometimes only having access to only a single Hand bodyguard when conducting the Order's business.
The Verdant Trust, an Order-administered financial trust which funds the activities of the Order and which is overseen by the eldest and most wealthy contributors to it, also provides all monetary support for Hand services.
The Hand's watchword is discretion. Sometimes, the Hand cannot move against threats to their employers without revealing their own involvement. In these cases, Hands of the Order have been known to furnish less-than-reputable subcontractors (mercenaries, contract killers, etc.) with money and intelligence to see these matters dealt with without implicating the Hand or the Order itself.
Hand of the Order recruitment is handled through various channels. Former military and government types (especially former members of the Petalcap Vale Customs Authority) are vetted by Hand recruiters before being approached with an offer. In other cases, members of the security cadres from Order members' other social circles (e.g. corporate security officials) can be recruited to reduce the risk of conflicting loyalties.