OverviewSeraphim was formed soon after the Sicru Battles, which led to the split of Yzel's military. With both the Yzel Kingdom and the Eoion Empire blaming the nomadic tribes, the Vloibare, for the conflict, the people faced large amounts of discrimination on both sides of the border. As such, they began forming groups to protect themselves and serve their community, both their nomadic members and those who had chosen to settle in various towns. These groups all came together under the name "Seraphim" in 936.
Split of Seraph RaeWhile the first few decades of the group's existence were mainly peaceful, there were those who believed that their people would continue to be targeted unless they fought back. Along with this, there was a growing pull to engage in criminal activity, although the leaders of Seraphim were adept at heading this off for the sake of the organization. They contested that any illegal activities were the decision of the individual members and not a reflection of the group as a whole. Those who wanted to fight organized themselves as an enforcement arm of Seraphim, called Angel's Sword, in order to protect their people. However, as the militant, violent group grew in power, they began dealing in more and more illegal activity in order to generate profit for the group. After the death of the main Seraphim leader at the time, the members of Angel's Sword wanted their own leader, Tess Haugen, to have control. This was voted down by the others. By this time, the Angel's Sword had amassed a significant amount of power and routes to illicit money and Tess decided to leave Seraphim for good. She changed the name of the organization to Seraphe Rae, taking the name of the Tekel war goddess. The accidental murder of Dannel Sarie was the incident that began the first in a series of gang wars between the two. Sarie and a member of Seraphim got into an altercation that resulted in Sarie being hurled down a flight of stairs, which killed him. Rumors flew across both organizations that the killing had been intentional. The Seraphim member was not handed over to the authorities, but Sarie's body sent Tess Haugen. She took this as an insult, an attempt at a coverup for one of their own, and the murder resulted in open war.
Current StatusThe group has become split even without Seraph Rae. In front of the public, the group still acts as a community organization. Their main purpose is to provide protect and education for members of the nomadic tribes and their descendants. They also have hands in local and regional charity work and many of their members have become well respected within their communities for their work. In attempts to separate themselves from a group they see as traitors, Seraphim focuses as much energy as possible on community outreach. The group has become particularly famous for their horse drives, which aim to bring in money for children and struggling families. They will ride for as long as possible, passing through various towns, and trying to call attention (and attract donations) for their cause. These drives are the only surface interaction people outside of the nomadic communities have with Seraphim, which the group likes as they want to partner with local authorities and organizations to better the lives of their people. On the other side, Seraphim has also been engaged in a war with Seraph Rae ever since the split. At first, they tried to ignore the new group, but when that proved insufficient, they attacked. However, the members of Seraph Rae were much more adept at, and willing to use, violence, which saw many members of Seraphim maimed or killed. In order to compete with the increasing resources of Seraph Rae and other gangs, some of their members began human trafficking operations. These are still active today and kept quiet from more public facing members of the group. They have also expanded into smuggling by using the nomadic tribes and horse drive events as cover. Those in the organization who hate the illegal activities keep quiet in order to maintain the group's reputation. Overall, Seraphim has become a split group with each quasi-independent section maintaining their own rules in regards to criminal enterprises.
RecruitmentMost members of Seraphim have been brought up in communities where the group was prominent. They saw the organization as a positive force in the community and were eager to join. On the other side, those who grew up in areas where the Seraphim members were more heavily into illegal activities saw the group as a way to find comradery and earn the respect they were not getting among their Yzelian or Eoin peers. A person must be at least 15 years old before officially joining either "halves" of Seraphim. Anyone younger who wishes to participate is called a 'by' and is generally tasked with performing errands for the higher ranking members of the area's group. Once the person turns 15 or if they are over 15 at the time they would like to join, they must take an oath of loyalty to both their ancestry and Seraphim. In non-criminal groups, this is all that is necessary and the person is considered a full member of Seraphim. However, as each group operates almost completely independently of the others, the criminally inclined have several more steps that a recruit must go through after the oath. These include a series of missions for Seraphim. This often involves helping young people cross borders or spying on rival groups. New members are called 'recruits'. After three years of work, and a vote by the overall group, they can then be considered full members and are called 'brother' or 'sister'.
- Evia Visir- Founder of Seraphim. Her role as organizer brought all of the disparate groups together under the Seraphim banner
- Tess Haugen- Founder of Seraph Rae. She was the first to gather the more militant and violent members of Seraphim together in order to protect the formerly nomadic people
- Adem Bos- First member of Seraphim to begin human trafficking operations.
- Ruy Steop- Currently the main instigator of the acceptance of criminal activity. She sees this as the only way to compete with Seraph Rae and eliminate them
- Hayd Grahn- The main voice for an avoidance of illegal activity. He would like the group to outright condemn those who act as criminals and focus solely on positive works, ignoring Seraph Rae altogether
- Senna Petter- Current leader of Seraphim. While her power, and that of all high leadership, is supervisory rather than active, she is trying to keep peace between both the warring factions of Seraphim and between her group and Seraph Rae
The organizational structure of Seraphim in highly decentralized. At the bottom are the most important sections of the group, called 'charters'. Even the groups running illegal operations technically have an official status within Seraphim and must pay dues along with report to yearly meetings with the rest of the organization. Within each charter are between 10 and 30 members. Full members are referred to as 'brother' or 'sister' and both men and women can hold equal ranks. All members of a charter are equal, but can be given jobs that garner more respect. In particular, each charter has a head and vice. Larger groups can also add a secretary and trainer. The purpose of the head is to lead the group and the vice assists while the secretary keeps records of charter activity and group members organized. Lastly, trainers are there to teach the newer members how the charter operates, whether legal or illegal. At the top of the organization is a council of seven, with each member serving for five years. The members are voted on by the wider charters and any full member may run for election onto the council. From among themselves, the council then elects a head and vice. Currently, Senna Petter is the head of Seraphim. The council has the ultimate authority to recognize new charters, expel heads and handle the money received through the dues of the charters.
Evia penned the original rules for Seraphim, but some have been twisted or outright ignored by the members committing illegal acts. Other rules have been added over the years as well.
- Never lie to your fellow members
- Keep watch over the civilians and their families
- Violence is only a last resort and must never be fatal
- No member is allowed to join Seraph Rae
- Drug use is completely forbidden
- New full members must be at least 15 years old- this was set to combat child recruitment, which was, and still is, a practice of Seraph Rae
Unlike 'formal' gangs, Seraphim does not have territory to defend. They are a multinational organization. However, each charter has a specific area that they reside in and represent. They will defend this territory, along with the people in it, from other gangs. Overall, the organization has official offices in various provinces of both Eoion and Yzel. They also collect approximately 50 million pavacs (25m saqushir or $36.9m USD) in legal revenue. Their illegal businesses generate more income, usually around 100 million pavacs (50m saqushir or $73.8m USD)