The Night Alliance
'The Night Alliance'? What kind of a name is that anyway? It sound like something made up by a moody fucking teenager.A consortium of criminals, the Night Alliance unites five of the gangs that operate in Cirranne's underworld, however tenuously. Their cooperation in certain matters protects their respective businesses and affords them a measure of leniency from the city guard and other officials of the Protectorate who would seek to shut them down, neither of which they could have achieved as separate entities.
The Night Alliance, still young in the grand history of Vanelle, have operated the same way since their inception and does so quite successfully. In spite of the nature of their work, the members of the Alliance do abide by their own rules.There are five gangs that make up the Night Alliance:
- The Rats - Will acquire anything from anywhere. Expert lockpicks and masters of alternative entrances and exits.
- The Bazaar - Whatever you have to sell, the Bazaar will find you a buyer; no matter what you are looking to purchase, the Bazaar will procure it for you.
- The Vane Ferriers - Need to get something or someone from one place to the next? At the right price, no cargo is too small or large for the Vane Ferriers.
- The Treasury - Loans, protection, collection and intimidation.
- Dusk's Men - Souls efficiently extinguished and delivered to the afterlife.
In the first moon of each new year, a new The Night King is appointed. The job of The Night King is to lead the alliance in matters of diplomacy, strategy and general direction. It is also their job to make sure the member gangs do not step on each other's toes or infringe on each other's territories. The The Night King cannot be from the same gang two years in a row, and the vote of each of the member gangs weigh equally when deciding upon a new one. The vote is usually cast by the leader of each gang, although each gang has a different way of deciding how to cast their vote. They are forbidden from voting for themselves.Each gang has a different vision for the Night Alliance and their role in it, so by changing its leader regularly, no one leader can get too carried away in chasing their particular vision. However, some former Night Kings have pointed out that this also makes it impossible for any one leader to affect lasting change within the organisation, be it for good or bad. There is, of course, room for cooperation and deals to be made in order to keep the same agenda running for multiple years, but these schemes are fragile at best due to the often selfish and territorial nature of the various gang leaders. They are this way out of necessity rather than any particular personal trait prominent in their line of work - their positions are constantly under threat from multiple sources; rivals, interlopers, lawmen and wronged citizens seeking revenge; they simply cannot afford to relax, to ease their suspicion. Each Night King has his or her own way of running the organisation, and usually appoint their own lieutenants and administrative staff, again mainly due to issues of trust and loyalty. This means the core of the Night Alliance is forever changing, adapting to the will of its current King, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The changing shape and location of the heart of the organisation make it hard to pin down, and each leader has their own contacts and strengths, their own way of keeping trouble at bay.
Founded in 1384, the Night Alliance in its current form is relatively young compared to its member organisations. While there were attempts before the formation for the Night Alliance to unite the various gangs operating in Cirranne, none were particularly effective. Most broke down within half a dozen years due to leadership conflicts and squabbles over territory and resources. These alliances were more concerned with dividing up geographical territories rather than the division based on skills and specialities that have been successful for the Night Alliance. Initially an agreement between The Rats and The Bazaar, the Night Alliance was a sucessful agreement protecting The Bazaar from the activities of The Rats and allowing The Rats to distribute their stolen goods through The Bazaar's outlets at favourable rates without running the risk of being sold out to the authorities. As their relationship evolved, The Bazaar would often commission The Rats to acquire goods for trusted clients, while also alerting their network of buyers to any rarities or particularly valuable items The Rats brought to them unprompted. So beneficial was this arrangement that The Vane Ferriers eventually approached the leaders of the other two gangs with the aim to get in on the deal. While capable on their own and symbiotic together, these three gangs had neither the manpower of financial resources of The Treasury, a well-established criminal organisation dealing in racketeering, money-lending and money laundering. Due to the nature and high value of their operation, they employ a large number of goons and other unsavoury folk specialising in the particular type of violence that make people do what you want them to. Thus, when it became evident to the first three gangs of the Night Alliance that they were going to need the protection and connections of The Treasury to continue expanding their operations, they entered into negotiations. The negotiations carried on from early winter, 1383 until the spring of 1384, when finally, they reached a compromise all parties could tolerate. Already under the control of The Treasury, an inn in central Cirranne called The Ebon Flow became their meeting hall. This seemed natural due to the fact that most of the negotiations had taken place there, and it was a safe environment that was unlikely to suffer any disruption by the City Guardians or The Wardens. The fifth and final member of the Night Alliance, Dusk's Men, didn't join until late 1401, finally persuaded by a handsomely paying contract and a helping hand in freeing their captured leader from the dungeons beneath Cirranne Castle. Although not very well thought of by several of the members of the alliance, even The Vane Ferriers admitted that they would rather have Dusk's Men on their side than not. The Night Alliance remains stable in this formation to this day, and their continued cooperation has afforded all of the member gangs a great deal of success which would have been unavailable to them had they been working on their own.
Notable AchievementsThe creation of the Night Alliance and the circumstances under which Dusk's Men finally joined are achievements in themselves. Releasing their leader from imprisonment and certain death required the gangs to work together in a way they had never done before and was a test of their ingenuity and skill in their respective areas. Their success cemented the Alliance as it is today and proved to certain sceptical persons that they could achieve far more together than they ever had on their own. In 1394, the Night Alliance managed to install a representative from the ranks of The Treasury on the Lord Protector's council through a lengthy campaign of bribes, deception, trickery and the sudden demise of a young councilman. The combined efforts of the Night Alliance have managed to move countless criminals, refugees and incognito travellers in and out of Cirranne - for a price, of course. Many of those were unable to pay with coin and instead pay with their time, connections and skills. While it is certainly not the wish of anyone to be indepbted to the Night Alliance or any of its members, it is often better than the alternative. These arrangements have served the Alliance well and through the years they have accumulated countless strings to pull on in times of need, both in high and low places. In 1409, the alliance sent representatives to Pale, Rille and Hemley on Vane and have since established a presence in each of these locations, with the regional headquarter in Pale being the most successful. This is likely due the larger size and population of Pale compared to the other two.
Uniting the night
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