The Black Mask Society

"We are Mask. Not a leaf falls without our permission. Not a single gold coin escapes our claws. Not a single life is without monetary value." - Anonymous note left for the Representative of Police in Revellon

The Black Mask Society is an underground syndicate that is responsible for the illegal trading of goods, slaves and other assets in Targonia. The BMS is Targonia's largest syndicate and is rumored to have influence in the everyday running of Taragonia's politics, infrastructure, military, and economy. The birth of the Black Mask Society has long persisted before the formation of Targonia, although the name was popularized by scholar Amakere Willowshadow in AFT 23. It is believed that it was originally made by the god of thievery himself, Mask, who encouraged his followers to steal, pillage and otherwise acquire assets illegally. The precise details of its inner workings are relatively unknown, but there is a title granted to the head boss of the BMS which has changed throughout the ages, currently the boss is called "Shadowkeeper". Other than the title, not much is known about the syndicate: capturing members of the BMS has led to members killing themselves to preserve its location and secrets. It is commonly believed that the main headquarters resides somewhere in Maladakova, given the province's rich history in illicit activities and its ongoing crime problem. Becoming a member is no easy feat and no one really knows how to join the syndicate. Due to the syndicate's secretive nature, most other organizations and governments are on the lookout for BMS members and activities, since they believe that Targonia's current problems stem from actions taken by the Black Mask, like the recent assassination of Emperor Cornelius of Eursia, which kickstarted the war between Eursia and Osia.

Structure

Due to the secrecy of the syndicate, its inner workings are unknown to the general public and governments of Targonia. However, the supposed "leader" of this guild acts under the name of Shadowkeeper; whether that's a callsign, a title or just a word is unknown. What little information is known about the BMS often dies with its members when captured, willing to rather die keeping the secret then stay alive and spill information.

Public Agenda

While no official declaration of agenda has ever come forth from the Shadowkeeper or the Black Mask Society in general, the generally-accepted theory is that they are working towards destabilizing the governments and institutions that hinder their operations, mostly in an attempt to guarantee that there's always goods to be stolen and citizens to be robbed.

Assets

The Black Mask Society is the leading cause of illicit item creation and trade, like poisons, traps, cloaks and magic items. The full extent of the BMS's assets is unknown, but it is safe to assume Shadowkeeper has amassed a great collection of wealth, access to a private coalition of thieves, robbers, and mercenaries, as well as illicit items used in the underground.

History

It is rumored that the Black Mask Society can trace its origins long before the formation of Targonia was ever conceived, making it possibly one of the oldest thieve syndicates in all of Targonia, and possibly just the older faction in history. Proof of such claims stem from the god Mask, the god of thievery, who is known to be one of the original 50 gods that created the Material Plane, and it would seem possible that Mask's influence could be felt no matter what pretense of gender, race or geography the other gods' used in their creations. After the formation of Targonia, the Black Mask Society was officially coined by the scholar Armakere Willowshadow in 23 AFT, believing that Maskers infrequently meet up and discuss plans of action like most of the other factions, forming its own "society", uninformed with the iconic black mask that the god is sometimes depicted. It was also by Armakere that coined the terms used by Maskers to identify the lead boss, who has changed over the centuries, from "Harbinger" in 23 AFT, to "Wraithwalker" in 1107 AFT, and finally "Shadowkeeper" in 1391 AFT, which is still currently used to this day.
Founding Date
23 AFT
Type
Illicit, Syndicate
Alternative Names
The Black Syndicate
Demonym
Masker

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