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Seraph Rae (SEH'rahf RAY)

Overview

The Sicru Battles battles caused the split in Yzel's military and both the Yzel Kingdom and the Eoion Empire blamed nomadic tribes, the Vloibare, along the border for the start of the conflict. As such, when members of the tribes settled down, they faced discrimination on both sides of the border. Several groups jointed together in order to protect themselves from attacks by those around them. This was the beginning of Seraphim .   Over the years, the group grew in power, celebrated in their communities as sources of protection and strength. They were a non-centralized group that relied on community good will for financial support. However, their enforcement arm, Angel's Sword, saw Seraphim as weak for how passive they were to violence. They broke away from Seraphim after their leader was rejected to fill a vacancy left after the death of Seraphim's leader. Angel's Sword took the name Seraph Rae and began dealing in protection for profit and, most notably, drug trafficking.  

Introduction of Celestial

  Seraph Rae was initially a small subset of Seraphim and were targeted by the larger group to suppress their illegal activities. However, this drove them deep underground where they were able to grow their numbers without the knowledge of others. The strict hierarchy of the cartel made them formidable opponents to the much more decentralized Seraphim. With the rise of Ires Droor in 1060, a charismatic young man who innovated a drug produced by Cael-esh called Celestial, what had previously been only a minor part of Seraph Rae's income became its path to vast wealth and power.   With the development of celestial, Seraph Rae grew exponentially in riches, which they used to bribe local officials. They also brought much larger amounts of the drug to the still nomadic members of their community, which spread it to both Yzel and Eoion at large. Members of the gang traveled with the nomads and recruited from among them or kidnapped villagers on both sides of the border who were then forced into human trafficking and prostitution.  

Current Status

  As of 1074, Ires Droor has consolidated power within the gang through his control of celestial. Unlike Seraphim, Seraph Rae has maintained an extremely organized system, with a centralized power structure that has made them efficient and very difficult for the more decentralized Seraphim to capture or suppress.   Celestial has given them an immense amount of wealth and they spend most of this on obtaining materials to continue making the drug, bribing officials, and the luxurious lifestyles of the higher ups. Wealth generated from their prostitution and racketeering is used to fund expansion, along with paying the 'salaries' of members.   Due to their willingness to use violence in order to protect their territory, some nomads and settlements see them as helpful. In these areas, they have built up social goodwill by protecting those who share their ancestry from Yzelians, Eoins, and rival gangs, at times even supplanting Seraphim as the primary recipient of community support despite their illegal activities.   Ires in particular has encouraged this as a parallel to their criminal enterprises, assuring that locals will assist them in hiding from law enforcement. He has also encouraged the gang members to arbitrate community disputes, assist with local poverty issues, and act as a pseudo-law enforcement along with their protection enterprise. They have also been able to infiltrate, legally and illegally, community politics, holding seats on local boards or obtaining the ability to influence members.   Despite the arguable good done by members of the gang, their primary activities are illegal in nature and revolve mostly around the manufacture and distribution of celestial. Secondary to this is the 'taxation' of legal and illegal businesses within their areas of influence. This control, particularly over illegal enterprises, allows them to enforce their own rules on local crime, keeping it manageable and under their control, which generates further income.   In larger cities, drugs and prostitution are their main sources of income. These can either be people pressed into service to Seraph Rae or independent actors who have been forced to pay for their protection or sought them out as a defense against others. Human trafficking is a minor business and tends to involve ferrying people for local or regional pimps from allied gangs. They also perform some contract services for smaller allies, including assassinations. However, these tasks are rare.   They have become well known for their violence against rivals, which has fed the stories of assassinations and the gang encourages these stories to permeate the criminal underworld. Seraph Rae uses violence as an intimidation tactic given their reputation, a way to recruit others, and as a method to ensure the compliance of their members.   Their most signature method of attack is whirlwind slicing. This involves beating the victim only just shy of necessary and then placing them into a whirlwind of air. If a cael-esh is not part of the attacking party, the victim is instead forcefully drugged and spun while gang members slice at them with blades of varying sizes. The victim is then left to fend for themselves until death comes soon after or delivered to another if others are meant to receive a message through the attack. More often than not, the attack results in death.   Other violent acts of the gang include beheading, beating, stabbing, burying alive, flaying, immolation, disembowelment, removal of limbs, and many other crimes. Punishment for a single member can be left to the discretion of a local leader and become very personalized to the transgression.    

Recruitment

  While some of the members of Seraph Rae are poached from disgruntled associates of Seraphim, this is a much smaller number now than it was at their inception. At the start, every member of Seraph Rae had been in Seraphim at one point. However as the gang continued to expand, they created their own recruitment process.   Some members sought out the gang for protection in uncertain living circumstances. These are generally the descendants of nomads who settled in the larger cities where other gangs controlled various areas. Children as young as ten can be brought into the fold and trained. Other methods of recruitment involve violence or coercion, along with kidnapping. As the reputation of Seraph Rae grew, recruitment became easier as the protection and power offered by the gang, along with the violence associated with incurring their wrath, made new members more likely to seek them out and subsequently join.   When a new member joins, they are given small jobs and placed in a period of limbo in which they must prove their loyalty to the group. As these members are often very young, they are primarily used as spies and lookouts in order to support the crimes committed by other, higher ranking members. The newest recruits are called rings.   After two years and twenty successful assignments, the ring becomes a sphere. How much time a person spends as a sphere depends on the needs of the family in each location. However, the average is one year. Spheres are given more compromising and dangerous tasks in order to learn more about the gang and further prove their loyalty. Time spent as a sphere is meant to demonstrate to full members that the recruit is devoted and ready to commit crimes in order to further the interests of the group.   In order to become a full member, the sphere must first carve a wing design somewhere on their body. Popular locations were, at the start of the gang, on the neck or face to show their devotion. With the increase in law enforcement scrutiny, locations hidden by clothes are more common. Another tactic is to carve the wings in an obvious place and then cover the mark with a tattoo or other body ornament. The second requirement for full membership is for a sphere to kill a member of a rival gang and return to their arc with an item belonging to their victim. Finally, they are beaten by the family members for a full minute. After this, they take a new name and are welcomed as full fledged members of Seraph Rae.  

Notable Members

  • Tess Haugen- Founder of Seraph Rae. She led Angel's Sword and split off from Seraphim.
  • Dannel Sarie- First member of Seraph Rae to be killed by Seraphim. His body was sent back to Tess as a warning and this act sparked the first of a series of deadly wars between the two.
  • Kaja Onfroi- Current cherin in charge of drug distribution and extortion. She came to prominence through her efficiency in accounting while part of a small local family. Her work caused her group to acquire much more money and power than others and she successfully petitioned for a position as a cherin.
  • Castor Nilenna- Current cherin in charge of human trafficking and recruitment. He was part of a community ravaged by the Yzel-Eoion tensions at the border and grew up surrounded by Seraph Rae. After Seraph Rae helped him find his missing sister, he became an extremely good recruiter. Ires brought him up to use as a teacher for other recruiters.
  • Ires Droor- Current godhiet of Seraph Rae and developer of celestial. His innovations with celestial and extreme violence turned Seraph Rae into the multinational cartel it has become. His main goal is to expand the organization as much as possible. Peace with Seraphim is an afterthought.

Structure

At the bottom of the structure are the street level members. Age, time with the gang, and types of activities performed are central to moving up in the hierarchy. These street level members are organized into small groups of approximately 10-20 called 'families'. A single family controls a local territory, although one legally recognized area, such as a city, could have multiple families controlling various areas.    Families are headed by 'arcs' who control the day to day activities of the family. They are meant to ensure that local business is carried out correctly and keep the members in line. These arcs are subservient to territory leaders known as 'domae'. Their priority is to keep the families from becoming rivals with one another, supply them with celestial, and monitor recruitment.   The domae meet once per month with their higher leader, called a thron. These people are almost never seen by the lower members and are responsible for managing large regions, consolidating revenue, obtaining raw materials, and keeping the families organized. They are the only ones who report directly to the highest members.   There are two 'cherin' who are the second highest ranking in Seraph Rae. They oversee half of the gang's activities each. One is mostly concerned with drugs and human trafficking, while the other operates the extortion and recruitment areas.   At the top of the hierarchy is Ires, who the lower members only know as 'godhiet'. He runs everything, but mostly concerns himself with the development of new strains of celestial.

Culture

The rules of Seraph Rae were set down initially by Tess, but have been expanded or changed several times over the decades. At present, the rules of the gang are as follows.
  • Once a member joins, they are never allowed to leave Seraph Rae
  • Speaking to the military or any law enforcement is strictly forbidden. Associating with rival gangs also carries severe punishment
  • Attacking other Seraph Rae members, or their families, for any reason outside of sanctioned actions (punishment, initiation, etc) is forbidden
  • No member is allowed to steal from the gang
  • Drug use is not forbidden, but the drug must always be secondary to the needs of the gang. If this priority structure switches, a member can be punished harshly
  • All members must work for the benefit of the family and Seraph Rae
  • New members must be introduced by a current member
The concepts of family and protection are very important within Seraph Rae. Rather than to make money, the violent offshoot of Seraphim was formed in order protect their tribes or territory within a city. Their reputation for extreme methods allowed them to begin extorting money from other criminals and legitimate businesses. However, with celestial now as their main source of income, they see its protection and distribution as the most important activity. Those who are good at making or moving the drug become powerful within the group very quickly.

Assets

Seraph Rae controls several urban and rural territories throughout the continent. Their largest stronghold is in Navaford. Despite the military garrison there, the marketplace allows them to blend with legitimate businesses and disappear into the crowds. They have also managed to secure the assistance of corrupt military officials to ensure that they are not bothered by law enforcement or other gangs, although the latter is rare. Rivals know that Navaford is mainly Seraph Rae's territory and entering would mean a very strong likelihood of death.   The gang's annual revenue is approximately 500 million pavacs (250 million saqushir or $368.8m USD). This comes mainly from extortion and the sale of celestial.   In each of their territories, they have various safe houses for illegal items, which are also used to hold meetings. The size and luxury of each house is dependent on the income of the family that controls the territory, with the largest just outside of Navaford and home to Ires, Kaja, and Castor.
Founding Date
1013
Type
Illicit, Cartel
Alternative Names
SR, War Angels, Rae
Leader
Location

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