Lethe Labyrinth (Lay-the)
One of the three great dark guilds, who operates the many world's largest and most nefarious underground operations
For being one of the three great Dark Guilds(Guilds that operate outside of the bounds of the law and/or by cutting out The Rasmanthus Guild), the organizational structure of the Dark Guild Lethe Labyrinth is somewhat well-documented - mostly because of information given by the guild itself as a mocking gesture to its enemies. SItting at the top of the guild is the mysterious figure known as "The Somnus"(Who occupies the #3 Most Wanted Spot on The Rasmanthus Guild's Most Wanted List). Little is known about this figure, aside from their apparent insider information on the workings of their enemies such as The Rasmanthus Guild and various other Zheng-Kitaran governments, as they have on multiple occasions demonstrated extreme foreknowledge of plans laid against them, avoiding traps and assassination plans and more with astonishing ease time and again, avoiding each and every capture and kill zone laid out for them with relative ease. This figure, of whom nothing is known aside from their title, sits at the top as leader of the entire guild, directing its operations and members with the practiced ease of a mastermind. Few members of even the guild seem to be familiar with The Somnus personally, and instead it seems most all members of Lethe Labyrinth recieve orders from their leader through carefully selected intermediaries and go-betweens: only a very, very select few are gifted with the privilege of meeting and interacting with The Somnus Personally. Beneath The Somnus, there sits a host of figures of varying titles and ranks - these are listed below.
Ranks of the Guild
- The Somnus: The head of the guild. Little is known about them, and even whether the position is inherited, passed on, or given away at any point or whether it has been one continuous person is unknown. Only a very rare few are allowed to meet and/or know them in person.
- The Champion: The current reigning champion of the underground fighting pits run by the guild - the champion of these brutal, sadistic bloodsports is without fail a masterful and deadly combatant who has earned a seat of power within the guild, and is one of the very few people allowed to meet with and know The Somnus personally. They act as the Somnus's bodyguard, right hand, and are given vast power within the guild.
- Head of Operations: The person in charge of the guild's internal and external affairs, such as purging traitors, maintaining loyalty and morale, as well as keeping tabs on the guild's enemies and running counter-ops and uncovering plans and threats against the guild. They typically are the one others in the guild report to, and are one of the very few people allowed to meet with and know The Somnus personally.
- The Sakura: Though the rank is known, little is known about it. The Sakura is another mysterious figure within Lethe Labyrinth, whose reputation within the guild is one of fear and terror, for unclear reasons. They are known to be one of the few people to be in touch with The Somnus Personally.
- Master of Contracts: The person in charge of handling the guild's comissions, contracts, and financial matters. They are responsible for posting bounties and job requests to underworld job boards, handling the guild's finances, and other secretive matters. They do not report to nor known the Somnus personally.
- Master of the Pits: The person in charge of the underground fighting pits run by the guild. They are responsible for organizing the events, gathering slaves, monsters, and such for participants to fight, and for handling all related matters to the bloodsports that go on within the fighting pits. They do not report to nor know the Somnus personally.
The culture of Lethe Labyrinth is extremely cutthroat - all that matters is the betterment of the guild, and a massive focus is put on one's personal contributions and success along the path of that goal. Members of the guild can vary wildly in race, culture, background, and reason for joining, but once they have joined all that matters from the perspective of the guild itself is their continued contribution to the guild's cause. Those that cannot meet this expectation or who fall behind or, even worse, fail in their duties are quickly punished in ways ranging from minor punishments to being sentenced to fight in the underground fighting pits run by the guild, where they will fight in brutal bloodsports in battles to the death as punishment for their failure or inability to live up to the guild's standards. However, if one can survive the guild's cutthroat and contibution-focused culture, it is an insanely lucrative venture(as with most dark guilds)...only merely needs the strength to survive.
The public agenda of Lethe Labyrinth is nothing less than profit and expansion, no matter the cost.
From what little is known of the history of Lethe Labyrinth, it was formed in the wake of The Rasmanthus Guild's collapse and nigh-extinction at the hands of Jilixia Worldthrone several centuries prior to the modern day. Many adventurers and former members of the guild, dissatisfied with a guild that they believed had failed to protect them and had refused to abandon its morals even in the face of obliteration, became jaded some on the mission of The Rasmanthus Guild and left the guild's employ to become 'Jobbers'(Derogatory Slang used to describe guild outcasts) that in time formed a guild of their own more closely in line with the ideals they held in their hearts.
Easy to stop, hard to destroyAnother reason Lethe Labyrinth is so dangerous is their very nature - because many of their operations draw such a large 'casual audience'(Defined as those who come to watch or join in their activities who are not a member of the guild itself), their operations are easy to find and stop, but hard to permanently damage or destroy. When the locations of their underground fighting pits are found and strike forces are organized to stop them, many of the people who are captured are simple bystanders or even upstanding adventurers or warriors who had come to simply hone their skills in a somewhat restrained environment(Or, to come find an environment in which they will not be persecuted or discriminated against for who they are and can properly let off steam and wield their talents, such as women or other highly discriminated against ethnic groups)...while the higher-ranking members of the Guild get away in the confusion long before the strike force can get to them. This adaptable, malleable nature of the guild makes them a very worthy foe, as the locations of their operations are always changing and shifting around to better throw their foes off their trail, relying on specific invites or info brokers who give out the locations of their fighting pits and operation centers to those who can be trusted. And as well, considering many job boards and even those operated by The Rasmanthus Guild are in some way co-opted by Lethe Labyrinth, many do jobs for them without even knowing it.
No job forgotten. No job undone.
The Labyrinth, The Pit, One of the Three
Leithan, Jobber(Rasmanthus Guild Slang)
Fingers in every pieThere are few things that the dark guild Lethe Labyrinth does not have their hands in - everything from slavery, murder-for-hire, monster subjugation, the training of insurgents and rebels, and nearly anything both above and below the law is and has been a part of Lethe Labyrinth's portfolio at some point. While most famous for their brutal underground fighting pits which many come from all across the continent to join, watch, or simply be a part of, they are hired and put out requests to nearly every corner of the continent for all walks of life. While not nearly as focused as their other two 'Great Dark Guild' sister organizations, their danger comes from their extreme variety, and universal and widespread nature - most all adventurers(Even ones certified by The Rasmanthus Guild) sometimes take on requests from Lethe Labryrinth(Knowingly or not) to join in their fighting pits, donate captured monsters or people to fight in the same pits, or any number of other tasks which in some way contribute to the guild's cause. And though the likes of The Rasmanthus Guild are loathe to admit it, many of their own ilk frequently take part in the Dark Guild's fighting pits, which are seen as a fun way to relieve stress, hone one's skills, and operate in a place devoid of morality or qualms with murder or darker techniques - even the most upstanding of adventurers or warriors sometimes take part in the pits from the allure of a place to fight challenging foes and monsters.
Wary Allies that avoid each other
While officially allies under the Raughata Alliance, the treatise which has bound the three largest dark guilds together in a nonaggression pact, Takamagahara and Lethe Labyrinth seem to wholly avoid each other - there has never been documented or suspected instances of cooperation between them, and they even seem to go out of their way to not provoke each other...though Lethe Labyrinth seems to be more deferential with its avoidance of Takamagahara than vice-versa.
While both Lethe Labyrinth and Necro Shroud are technically 'allies' under the legendary Raughata Alliance, this is less of a true alliance and more of a nonaggression pact - an 'alliance' of convenience and neccessity made only to form a united front between the Dark Guilds and those who would wish to destroy them such as The Rasmanthus Guild. As such, while technically allies, the two monolithic Dark Guilds are more like warily neutral organizations than true allies or openly hostile enemies - they skirt around each other, scheming and plotting to undermine the other in sneaky, less obvious ways such as striking at the smaller guilds beneath the other rather than making direct passes at their rival themselves, all while outwardly presenting as united a front as they can.
As The Rasmanthus Guild has long taken an openly hostile relationship with 'Jobbers'(Slang for guild exiles who try to cut out the guild and work towards their own benefit) and Dark guilds in general, the two organizations have been mortal enemies from the start. They actively hunt each other and constantly work to destroy the other, though on very rare occasions they can be seen working alongside each other on massive operations in which they are both contracted by a third party to perform some large and important task.