A beggar prostates himself before a finely clad merchant. His pleas fall on deaf ears as the individual scowls and berates him for his insolence. From behind, a nimble pickpocket liberates the merchant of his coin purse.
The lank man finds himself at the end of an alleyway, sweat dripping down his temples. He clutches a leather bag to his person. Trembling, he turns to find the squad of hooded figures, most featureless except for their jawlines. Not a moment passes before they advance, the damp, stone wall behind him providing a damned solace.
With a fan splayed in front of her face, she lets out a soft giggle at the gentleman's quip. As the night passes, the socialite maneuvers him and their conversation like a string on her finger. The manservants continue to fill his cup with more wine, much to his pleasure. Once the drink begins to settle, she flicks her fan to a close and urges him to share his lord's musings with her.
Unranked members of the Cloaks are typically not referred to with any specific titles; however, members of the guild may regularly refer to one another with familial titles, such as "sister" or "brother." Common members typically work only within a specific regional area of operations, also known as a "hood." These hoods are under the jurisdiction of guild officers known as Managers, who oversee the guild's enterprises and the upkeep of the hideouts within them. Managers also act as formal supervisors to the guild's members who operate at their branch. In the event that a member must operate within a different hood, he or she must first report with proof of their assignment to the local Manager, who then becomes their direct superior until their mission's completion. The only exception to the hood structure is the Cloaks' base city of Reven.
Above the Managers, there are the Mantles. These individuals typically oversee the macro-operations of multiple hoods while one also maintains the guild's headquarters in Reven. They approve the types of assignments that Managers may dole out to members as well as organize high priority missions. Furthermore, Mantles act as emissaries to and fro for the higher echelons. They ensure that the upper brass remains informed of the general state of the organization as well as keep the guild on the same page as their leaders.
Lastly, the highest ranked members of the Cloaks comprise a group known as the Inner Circle. The identities of these individuals remain anonymous, more often than not. They dictate the overall direction of the guild, from the nature of their accepted jobs to allegiances. However, little else is known about the exact means by which they operate.
The Cloaks lack a written code of conduct, though a few tenets are often echoed by its members:
- Absolute loyalty.
- Act only in the guild's best interest.
- The Cloaks are family.
The Cloaks is an organization of professionals thieves. Its activities range from burglary to bedlams, to embezzlement and espionage. Their actions go as far as guild's best interests, often synonymous with its political safety, and then its profits. However, the Cloaks have upheld a policy of avoidance regarding assassination contracts.
Outsiders generally know little of the Cloaks' history. Founded some time in 3300 3E, the Cloaks trace its beginnings to the city of Reven on the Javalina coast, borne of a band of thieves who managed to grip the city's underworld during a period of local political restructuring. In the following centuries, the guild spread its influence by establishing hideouts in most of the key urban settlements on Varia. A notable failed attempt to sink their roots in Grandia has since made the organization wary of the Order of Avalon, though the constant flux of the major political powers has generally left it intact. Within Reven, locals recognize a silent symbiotic relationship between the shadowy organization and the city government. However, the Cloaks' exact impact on the socio-political climates of areas beyond remains uncertain, as they maintain the natures and identities of their clients with the highest confidentiality.