The Order of the Obsidian Hand
Knowledge is power, but secrets hold the key to nations.
The Order of the Obsidian Hand, commonly referred to as the Black Hands, is a clandestine but acknowledged organisation that deals in information, secrets and blackmail sold to those who wish to wield it, usually for political or social gain. It was founded and still operates most actively in Noravia but has gained influenced in Skoce, Blaustein and even the relatively apolitical Krovandir. The main strength of the Order comes from two areas. Firstly that it operates as network of decentralised cells or "houses" that control, monitor and act within a particular region or area; secondly, that all information is worth something to someone and that no allegiance or bond should alter or compromise that price - it is this facet of its work that has ensured its notoriety within Svalskogenheim.
The Order conducts its operations as a series of separate disbursed cells, known as "Houses". Each house has a distinct geographical area, ranging in size from a city district, a small town or even a fief or county within a nation.
Shrouded in secrecy and misdirection, very little is accurately known about what the Order wants, or what its goals are; ironically this is one of the Order's goals in of itself. Most that have heard of it believe it is a criminal organisation or at the very least a covert one, but wouldn't truly be able to tell you what illicit activities it partook in - a Blausteiner might say they are slavers or brothel owners, whereas a Noravian noble could regard them as loan sharks and crooked tax officials.
True AgendaThe Order's main goal is to sell and trade in information for money. Though some of its members may believe they are operating for a higher purpose, the Order operate purely for the benefit of its Masters.
The Black Hands