Sunday, December 23, 2012

Faction Profile: The Shadows

                The Shadows are a specialized group of mercenaries led by a man named Scorpio. They are a breed of elite scouts, and are often hired to gather intel or to closely tail specific targets. They contrast with typical mercenaries, who are often hired for their guns rather than their discretion.

                No one knows the location of their central base of operation, and they take pleasure in running potential clients through hoops in order to contact them. If the client doesn't want to exert the effort to find them, they don't want to bother doing the job. First a thread of rumors must be followed to locate an Emissary who could be anyone scattered about the Undercity. The Emissary will then hear the details of the job, and if they follow the acceptable limitations the Shadows perform, the Emissary will discuss it with a head in their jurisdiction. If the contract is accepted, a different Emissary will inform the client.

                What they do is simple: They observe. They follow. For a time specified by the client, the Shadows will tail a target and report on its every movement. If requested, and for additional fees, they may even offer limited protection to the target if the client wishes them to remain alive. While the Shadows are present, it is an almost comforting safeguard; they are not the ones the target has to worry about. The true panic will set in once they leave, unknowing what will happen to them next, or who had hired them.

                Capturing a Shadow agent is extremely rare, but not unheard of. Though extracting information out of one will prove even more difficult. First off, one has to be absolutely certain the detained agent is one who even has knowledge of the contract. If that is the case, you would have to be quick to get your information, as they tend to carry a wide range of evasion technology on their person, both lethal and nonlethal.

                If the identity of an agent is somehow revealed, mandatory genetic reconstruction is assigned, but only if he has been given permission to remain active within the guild and redeem themselves. But they do have a choice in the matter: alteration or execution. Should they wish to continue, a mark of failure is tattooed on the genetic code of the agent, taking form of marker proteins in the DNA strand so that their features are indistinct, unlike a tattoo or a scar. Too many marks on an agent's DNA causes the individual to be reassigned to clerical work, if they have proven their continued worth.

                They started off as a small handful of individuals, trained from a similar background. Now no one knows their numbers. But to become an initiate, you cannot find them, they will find you. They keep their hideouts a secret, so trying to unearth a location of one of their bases is an easy way to an early grave.
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