Cantata Organization in Tamaris | World Anvil


The birds have no masters, so why should we? They sing the same language and fly where no borders can touch them. Their hearts are full of pure emotion that can only be expressed in song. We men should be as free as birds, not chained and hooded in servitude to a cold master.
— Minos Frearem
  Named after the style of music, Cantata is one of the most notorious criminal syndicates on Tamaris. They operate regardless of national lines and in nearly every sphere of society. Whether it's assassination, theft, embezzlement, bribery, smuggling, espionage, fraud, or kidnapping, Cantata has it covered. They are also one of the few places where mages can openly use their abilities. Their insignia is a sixteenth note commonly tattooed over the heart of its members. They have their own language and script, and many of their ciphers rely on musical notation.


There are seven main sanctuaries throughout Tamaris each identified by a note on the staff. Each sanctuary is led by a Key with either four or eight subordinates. There are nine further ranks which indicate a criminal's individual specialty. An individual can identify themselves through a note, key signature, and time signature while specific sanctuaries are identified through a note alone.   Unique to Sanctuary D, it resides just outside a small town. The Key has declared the town under Cantata's protection, and its members actively deter petty criminals in the area. Murders never go uninvestigated, and stolen objects can nearly always be returned. Because of this, Cantata members can move freely within the town to purchase food, supplies, or enlist help from local services.

Public Agenda

Cantata claims to be against rigid hierarchies and the established order. They believe in free will, autonomy, and a reconnection to the emotional side of humanity. Through their activities, they seek to disrupt the chokehold governments have on their citizens and shatter the shackles of class.  
Our aim is noble. The people will thank us and love us for our work. The ox who grew up under the yoke fears freedom he doesn't know, but once unchained, he will be stronger and prouder than before. The rich reap the labour of the poor, and so the rich must die for the greater good.
— Minos Frearem


Cantata was founded in response to years of poor harvests and increased taxes in Verona. It was initially established as the Merkina Financial Group by Utilar Guerrera and Noa Tendiza. They aided farmers and laborers with evading high taxes and using their own wealth and influence to acquire food. Among the populace, Guerrera grew in influence and prestige, and due to his place as a priest, the Veronan government was unable to dismantle his position. He also offered up his home as a place of refuge for petty criminals, and Noa's charisma and intelligence earned her a network of thieves. By 4768, the Merkina Financial Group had offices all over Verona and conducted legitimate business as well as illicit.   In 4771, Janbeta Jancreok approached Tendiza about partnering his web of informants with hers. He'd heard rumors about the Etran ministers wanting to sign a trade agreement that would cripple the spice market in Etra. Without consulting Guerrera, Tendiza and Jancreok eliminated key supporters of the deal in Etra and Verona. Though delayed, the deal passed four months later, and the spice industry in Etra collapsed. When Guerrera found out about Tendiza's involvement, he split off to continue MFG as a legitimate bank for the poor and ceased all dealings with his former partner.   Tendiza and Jancreok vanished from public sight and took their operations with them. Over several years, they diversified their trade and expanded in Astoria. With the inclusion of Mattak Beech and Theo Nore, they reformed the organization into its more recognizable form as Cantata. They rejected the ideas of centralized leadership and maintained their status as partners under a single banner. Jancreok died soon after to be succeeded by his protege, Yuki Lambeos. She was known for being unusually well educated and ruthless. Her ideas established a unified code for communication among members of Cantata which is still known as Yuki's Song.   Cantata's growth stumped and terrified the nations' leaders. In under a century, they had dealings around the continent, and they showed unprecedented resilience to elimination efforts. Throughout the 4880s, there was a massive crack down on criminal networks, and the Keys in Astoria, Samoir, Verona, and Retland were tried and executed. Thousands of members shared that fate, and those that evaded capture either left the organization or vanished. By the end of the decade, most believed that the era of such highly organized crime was over.   However, the Veronan-Petrekian War gave Cantata the room it needed to reassemble. In particular, Minos Frearem reasserted the group's values and their importance not just to clients but to society as a whole. He reached out to the former Keys and other important members of the former organization. As a group, they rebuilt, and by the end of the war, Cantata welcomed any societal outcast into their ranks.   At present, Cantata is a dominant figure in the world's underground system, though they lack the monopoly they once had. In 5035, Frearem was captured and beheaded in Losan. Within Cantata, he was hailed as a martyr. Governments continue to try and track them down, but the group is one step ahead. Their clients have also become more high profile as members of the clergy and state.

Song of Truth, Song of Light

Founding Date
Illicit, Syndicate

Cover image: by Alishahr


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