Dark Brotherhood Fundamentals: Shroud Syndicate Initiation

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1. Introduction

The Shroud Syndicate is a society of artists and artistic creators within the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. Fictionally, it is the premiere criminal organization operating in Dark Brotherhood space. It involves many smaller gangs, crews, and criminal combines within its area of operation. Lead by the Herald, the Syndicate operates from the Shroud Nebula where its massive ship, the Godless Matron, makes berth. The organization is involved in almost every major black market deal that happens in Dark Brotherhood space. This course will cover a fictional history of the Shroud Syndicate as well as the society's ranks and structure.

2. History of the Shroud Syndicate

The Shroud Syndicate was formed in 35 ABY under orders from Grand Master Pravus and the machinations of Herald Morgan B. Sorenn and her crew. The organization operates as any syndicate should, its integrity based on cooperation between the strongest crews and gangs who control the trade of spice and illegal commodities from the vastness of the galaxy, as well as artifacts and rarities from the now desolate Antei system and wider Brotherhood space. The Syndicate’s influence spreads throughout known space and even into Unknown regions where Dark Brotherhood Clans hold sway. Many bounty hunters, mercenaries, pirates, smugglers, and other less-than-civilized individuals work within the Syndicate, either as crews or as individuals, the organization itself providing services to them in return.

However, even the crews that seem to lead the organization answer to the Herald, who in turn answers directly to the Grand Master. Most of the profits from trade deals acquired by the Syndicate end up in the Dark Brotherhood's coffers and fuel its war machine and never-ending need for recruits and technology. Despite this, however, the Shroud Syndicate is adverse to control and is often left to its own dealings and machinations, internal struggles and politics, if only to avoid any further instability or outright revolt in the organization. The criminals are mostly unruly free-thinkers who don't stand for an overbearing power controlling their destiny, and as long as the Dark Brotherhood's coffers are full, the lowlives are usually left to themselves.

The fact that the Dark Brotherhood still holds sway over all of it is kept a complete secret from the common folk, and the Herald subdues any rumors that crop up with extreme prejudice. Most simply dismiss the fact that "some lightning-shooting crazies" control the leadership as mere rumor, though conspiracies have been known to exist, and at times they have been rampant.

3. Being a Member of the Shroud Syndicate

To become a member of the Shroud Syndicate, you must first pass this Course which covers the basics of the Society. Once passed, you will be added to the roster of the Shroud Syndicate as one of its many members.

Through contributions to the goals of the Brotherhood or their Clans, or acts of service or skill, members will find themselves climbing through the ranks of the society. You will be able to advance in the Syndicate by participating in, or winning, competitions and acquiring Clusters of Graphite through other contributions. For more information on Clusters of Graphite see: https://wiki.darkjedibrotherhood.com/view/Cluster_of_Graphite.

Additional advancement is available for shows of skill with placements in these activities, or through service to the Brotherhood by running these competitions to provide the opportunities, or by holding different positions in the Herald’s office. The Society Points Chart below covers all the different ways to earn points.

The Syndicate is organized into five tiers comprising twelve different ranks. As a member advances through the ranks they will find different perks become available both fictionally and for show. The Rank Chart below covers the points required for each rank and associated perks.

  • Womp rat: (Ranks I through IV) - Everyone starts from somewhere and in the Shroud Syndicate that usually means from the bottom. Womp rats, the first tier of membership in the society, are given menial tasks, such as stealing, scouting probable targets for their gangs, or selling the most basic contraband on the streets. They are the basic thugs no organization can live without. Usually found as part of pirate crews, smuggling rings, or street gangs.

  • Rook: (Ranks V through VIII) - Sometimes Womp rats can become trusted members of their gang or crew once they prove themselves to their boss. These newly christened Rooks are tough enough to become lower ranking officers on their ships or gangs. They can also become individual professionals in the Syndicate’s employ, striking out to chase their own means of profit.

  • Enforcer: (Rank IX and X) - Enforcers are the leaders of smaller gangs, lieutenants or officers of pirate ships, well known bounty hunters or smugglers, or other famous individuals within the Syndicate. Trusted among their peers and superiors as competent individuals, many Enforcers are tasked with leading criminal operations on whole planets. Many of them become top level bounty hunters or smugglers that only the wealthiest clients can afford.

  • Underboss: (Rank XI) - Just one rank removed from glory, the Underboss is a rare breed of criminal, often taking control of Syndicate operations in one or multiple star systems or controlling multiple ships or crews. Underbosses are trusted and often feared personas in the Syndicate, more often than not seen as the voice of the boss they serve. They are respected and adored in equal measure, as they are the bridge between the boss and the henchmen.

  • Boss: (Rank XII) - The highest rank an individual can achieve without being the overall leader of the syndicate. These individuals are feared for their cunning and brutality - after all it takes a special kind of person to reach the heights they have. Often leading multiple ships or small armadas, or controlling whole sectors of criminal operation, Bosses demand respect from their crews and companions. These individuals hold the most power and move the various pieces in the proverbial chess game that is the Shroud Syndicate.

4. Advancement and Rank Structures

Society Points Table

The following table shows all the different ways a member can earn points with the society, through different activities, services, or showing skill and winning competitions as outlined.

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Rank Table and Rewards

The following table shows the number of points required to reach each rank of the society, as well as the rewards that are given when you reach each rank.

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5. Conclusion

This course is intended as a full review of the fictional background of the Shroud Syndicate, and an understanding of the entire structure to make it clear how your character may possibly fit into it. It’s just another way to help reward and give visibility to the great members who spend countless hours contributing to the Brotherhood.

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