The Velvet Court Organization in Vallanna | World Anvil
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The Velvet Court

Perhaps the most secretive and indeed the most secret of all of the guilds of Vallanna, The Velvet Court is an exclusive order of assassins.   Spoken of only as a rumour among the general populace, and in hurried, hushed whispers by those who are privy to the truth of its existence, the guild plies its deadly trade only for those wealthy individuals who can afford their substantial fees. Those who do employ their services often consider this money well spent.   The assassins of the Velvet Court are considered to be the most skilled practitioners of the deadly arts in the land, and have continally proved this reputation correct; their covert actions shaping the histories of the continent more often than those in power would perhaps like to admit.


The Velvet Court is led by an enigmatic individual known as The Porcelain King. The true identity of this mysterious leader is unknown, as they are never seen without a featureless porcelain facemask which covers any and all identifying facial features.   Below the Porcelain King, the structure of the Court is strictly hierarchical. At all levels of the organisation, face-masks are worn to obscure their wearer's identities, although typically those in the strata above will be aware of the true identities of those below, to varying extents. As an individual moves up the ranks of the Court, their masks contain less and less ornamentation and facial features, symbolising the increasing anonymity of their elevated position.


Catering in the main to the richest and most prominent members of society, it is perhaps unavoidable that many of the Court's members also hail from noble houses. In these cases, typically the individual in question would be a younger child, or at least someone who is not in line to become the head of the household some day. The chance offered by the Court to hone skills and become, albeit anonymously, a major player in the events of the world, has appealed to many over the centuries.   This is not to say that membership is limited only to the nobility, as skill plays a major factor in the success and progression of an assassin. While the origins of its members remain unknown, by design, a highly skilled individual will always survive longer, and rise higher in the guild than a privileged but untalented applicant.   Indeed such applicants are often weeded out early in the initiation process. For some, this might mean that they do not survive the trials or even an early assignment. For those whose sudden disappearance from society would lay unwanted attention on the Court, the services of unscrupulous arcanists have been employed to remove all memory of the individual's time with the Court.  

Contacting The Velvet Court

    Those who wish to employ the services of The Velvet Court do so at the discretion of the Court's secret and silent observers. The process of initiating contact is done by the simple, yet subtle, act of, in public (typically at the Royal Court, or at related society events) wearing one's Signet Ring on the wrong finger.   If the observers decide that this is a deliberate act, rather than a simple mistake (most who attend the royal court have been trained in the proper etiquette of which fingers rings are to be worn on), and if the individual in question is known to be able to afford the fees of The Velvet Court, they will later, usually in their own dwelling, be contacted by an anonymous intermediary, who will hear their request, and relay it to back to the Court.   If the contract request is accepted, payment must be made up front, prior to any fulfillment. Again this is made through an anonymous intermediary.   At all times, the identities of the Velvet Court members themselves remain completely unknown to those who might hire them; from initial contact, all through to the completion of the contract.

Public Agenda

While hardly a public organisation, the members of the Velvet Court abide to a strict policy of impartiality towards the surrounding world, except where doing so would harm the interests of the Court itself.   This is most evident in their selection of contracts. Provided that there would be no harmful fallout to the Court itself, then they would have no compunction about agreeing to assassinate members of both sides of a disagreement. Should there be any hint that taking on a contract would be detrimental however, then it is unlikely that negotiations to perform said contract would progess past the initial contact with the client.     The notable exception to this is rule is the case of contracts to eliminate royalty or other heads of state. In such extreme, high-profile cases, while judgement ultimately lies with The Porcelain King as to whether to accept the contract, a conclave of all higher members of the Court is called to debate the matter. The exposure of the Velvet Court must be weighed against the undoubtably massive political and social fallout that accepting the contract would cause. In this, as in all cases, the matter of payment is of course also a central consideration in the deliberations.   First and foremost, the Velvet Court does not act out of charity. They are extremely well paid for their work, and will not even make contact with those who seek their services but are known not to have the resources to compensate the Court for their actions.
Guild, Assassins
Leader Title


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