Węsza Bryn (vɛ̃ʂa brɨn)
The Swan's Army is a religious order infesting both Rojgraszian cities. They believe there is no reason to fight against the Abyss, and they worship the Dark Swan as its herald. They commit atrocities in its name, hoping to be noticed and granted its divine powers. Even though the small organization lives in the shadows and is widely condemned, people still fear it and try not to do or say anything that could anger them. Someone shily advanced the hypothesis they might be related to the Shadow Court, secret services of the neighbouring Arkadhian New Empire. Their current chief goal is to find a lost ancient artefact.
The current leader is Szane Coręng. Some people believe he's also the organization's founder, some he's Iskat's successor. He is currently in Remnava, organizing the search for the artefact personally. Below him, there are several priests, veteran worshippers who are granted the ability to complete initiation rites for new acolytes. Their exact number is unknown but deemed to be around a dozen per city. At the base of the organization, there are the recruits, freshly initiated, called cygnets. They form the backbone of the army, performing missions for the priests. They have wide autonomy in their everyday life, as long as they complete an assigned task to the best of their capabilities. While not a proper promotion, the leader chooses the best among them and assigns the most relevant missions directly to them.
Their main declared goal is to find an ancient and powerful artefact that would restore the Swan's powers. They did not disclose the nature of the item, not even to their members. However, it seems the artefact is "an unmistakable possession of the Swan". Rumour has it, the object has recently been in their possession, but a thief stole it. While the story is barely told in the cities, it is more common in their neighbourhood. It seems the army's guards accidentally let the rogue out of town before being told that someone had stolen the artefact. The escape leads to a long hunt, but the army ultimately lost its tracks in a dangerous swamp. It is unclear what happened to the fugitive and their treasure. Many think a quick death in the swamp is the most likely event, in which case the item would still be there. For some reason, the army's priests believe the artefact did not leave the city with that person and are following different tracks. Secondarily, they have always ensured no one tries to change the Dark Lands status. If the Swan is endangered or its location is found, they will make sure to converge there and defend it.
The most popular tale about the Army's foundation involves the Dark Swan and Iskat. A common variation sees Szane, the current leader, in Iskat's place. Someone believes they are the same person, in which case, it wouldn't matter. The story recounts how Iskat found the lost lake where the Swan emerged the first time, cursing the lands. There, he met the demon and swore his allegiance to the Abyss. In return, he received great powers. What exactly depends on the version, but in the most common, it is his famous dagger.
Granted Divine Powers
People have various reasons to join the organization. Many deeply believe the Swan will bestow future rewards when its influence is absolute. Most followers are only after the most immediate blessings. After the initiation, cygnets feel more confident, more aggressive, and are more skilled in what they do. As long as they do not deviate from the Swan dark ways, they retain these powers. The army's general, Szane, declares acolytes will have a significant role and important benefits when the demonic army will invade and conquer Nys.
Political Influence & Intrigue
It is a common claim that the Swan's Army is a branch of the Shadow Court. Some go as far as saying its leader is the Shadow Crown, the head of the Court. This relation would explain why imperial agents can freely enter and exit Nojgraszian cities. Almost everyone thinks they have at least a secret pact as a means for the Empire to control its Nojgraszian borders. Those few who believe the Court has no connection with the Abyss deny any possible relations, but they do not have a way to prove anything.