"And we burn with His hunger in our hearts."
Sty-kopös' Flames is a secretive organization made up of many individuals who have managed to blend in almost entirely with normal society. It has been said that they were created out of thin air, suddenly just there one day, ready to take on the world with their teeth bared and fists clenched. A very secretive and careful group, made up of individuals from all walks of life, all connected through various forms of communication around the world. Anyone could be a member of this shady and dangerous organization. Your neighbour who smiles at you every morning, like an old friend. The merchant selling jewelry in the crowded city streets. The organization does not discriminate in how they mingle with the rest of society. The easier it is to blend in, the better.
It's been said that most members have been raised in the secretive ranks of their organization. They scoop children up off the streets, or rip them from their mother's arms before slapping chains around the mother's wrists before they sell her. Beasts, they've been called. They raise children to be blood thirsty creatures with no regard for the law, no care for morals at all.
Rumour has it, they have no limits to the crimes they will commit. For the right price they will do anything. Stories say that they wear masks to hide their faces, unwilling to let any outsider find out who they really are. If you see a mask, run.
In truth, the Sty-kopös' Flames take its business very seriously and does not tolerate failures. They are an entirely secretive organization based all over Tam'nýer—a'. Located in most big cities, and some smaller villages, are safe houses for the members that pose as brothels, taverns, Inns, or even some that are simply that; houses, where older members will open their doors to younger ones to rest and regain their bearings before moving to the next one. It should be noted that in the safe houses that pose as public spaces, it is strictly forbidden to mention the group's name within the building's walls. Then you may ask, "How do they know fellow members apart from regular people?" There's a pass word, a phrase of sorts that all members are trained to remember. If they do not know the phrase, or slip up and say even one word incorrectly, they will not be granted access to the safe house's more private areas reserved for members only, or not welcomed into the homes of older members. There's no room for failure, as as been said before. What's the phrase, you ask? "His Fire Guides My Hand."
*The Organization is made up of many different types of members. There are members at sea who aid or partake in capturing slaves, or smuggling. There are some members who simply pass the letters around to other members, spreading news and information. There are assassins who hide in broad day light. Countless kinds of members make up this large Organization.
WHAT THEY DO
It's a popular rumour that the organization is notorious for kidnapping children for their ranks. This is not entirely true. The organization does not actively strive to rip children from the arms of their mothers, nor do they prowl the streets looking for lost kids to take. In fact, most children who grow up in their ranks are orphans the members have taken in, or were born into the ranks due to their parents being members. The members have no need for any extra ventures that may draw attention to them. Though, on occasion, some members have taken children from slaves they've sold, if only to save the children from a life of servitude.
Another popular rumour is that the organization has no limits when it comes to the jobs they will do. This is certainly not the case. While they may do more illicit jobs than others, they have their own limits to protect their members. Below is a list of some of the services they are willing to offer:
Acquiring Slaves/People: Are you a slave trader in need of more fresh meat to sell? A rich noble with a certain fondness of slaves of a certain race? Have your eyes on someone you want? Whatever the case, The Organization is always willing to pick up slaves and even people for you. This happens to be their cheapest service, but one of the most frequently requested ones.
Smuggling: Trying to smuggle something you aren't supposed to have? Something like drugs, or perhaps stolen riches? Smuggling slaves away from their masters? Doesn't matter, The Organization will assist. Prices for such things vary depending on the cargo being smuggled and the situation at hand. They are always open to discussion on such matters.
Assassination: This is by far the most expensive service the Organization offers. It should be noted that there is a limit on this service. The Organization refuses to accept requests targeting anyone in power in any areas of Tam'nýer—a'. Main Members of Püertagœ's 12 Greater Families, for example, are untouchable. However, extended family is fair game. Meaning, any cousins, nephews, or nieces of the current heads of family can be targets, but this of course will be more expensive than other targets. This is their only limit. Added onto this service, the Organization is always more than happy to pin the blame of the murder onto another if you should wish so. (They would do it anyways, but if you had a specific person to pin the blame on, that's just wonderful!). Want to blame a colleague for the murder of a mutual friend? Want to pin the blame on someone else who has scorned or humiliated you? Well, then you've contacted the correct people, my friend.
To get a hold of the Organization to request one of their services depends on what sort of safe house you have ventured into:
1. If you are looking to request the aid of this Organization and have ventured into a tavern you believe is under the care and watch of the Organization there is a certain process to follow to signal your desire to meet with them. You will sit at the bar counter and tap your fingers (index and middle fingers) on the counter three times and request a drink named Drop of Sara'ni, and then tap the same fingers on the counter three more times. If you have entered a tavern not under their care, the bartender will look at you as if you've grown a second head, or laugh at you; no such drink exists. However if you successfully ventured into a tavern under the watch of the Organization, the bartender will bring you a drink along with a small note telling you where you go or what you do to meet up with the associate(s). More often than not in an Inn and a Tavern, the note will tell you to venture to the back room of the establishment. Speak of this meeting to no one.
As a side note; if you have ventured into a brothel under the care or alliance of the Organization, ask to be shown to "The Red Room". If you are in a brothel that is not under the care or watch of the Organization, they will look at you like you're crazy, or laugh you off. No such room exists. If you are in a brothel under care of the Organization, you will be taken by the hand to a private room where an associate will meet with you. Speak of this meeting to no one.
2. Once you are alone with the associate(s) of the Organization, you will tell them what it is you want. The deal will be discussed there in private, and you will be expected to pay a a small portion of the overall price then and there. Have your P'ee K'äh ready at that time you will be dismissed. You may come again, but do know that you will be watched closely until your return.
3. Once the dealings have been spoken of and agreed to, and the P'ee K'äh collected, you will be sent away. Do not try to contact the associates again. They know. They are working on it. You will find yourself visited by an associate when the job is done. They will either deliver the goods or news of the job to you and collect the remaining P'ee K'äh. If you have requested a large service, such as slaves or anything else that cannot be concealed easily, you will be given a meeting place to go to in order to collect and pay.
IN A JOB?
1. Every aspect of their work is done quickly and carefully, and responsibility is put in the hands of their most capable members that could be found at the time. A member that is given a job from a superior can decline only if they have a good reason that should get in the way of performing their job, like an illness for example.
2. Members are paid by the superiors who have talked the job through with the client. Members can accept jobs on their own, outside the regulations of the Organization, but any trouble or complications that may arise while a Member is working outside of Organization rules fall on them and only them. The Organization will not claim ties to them, will not offer aid. It is the member's problem and only theirs. Should a member take a job outside of the Organization and is caught, or their identity or anything of the Organization is revealed, swift termination will be delivered.
3. It should be noted that there is one rumour that is quite true; the masks. Every member wears a mask when dealing with Organization issues. The Masks hide most, if not all, of their face. They're careful to hide any sort of tattoos or scars they have as well, so as not to leave any features that could make it possible to identify them visible. This is a very important rule that the Organization upholds. Many members own business, or are reputable people in their own communities, and it would cause a great deal of trouble for their more illicit activities to come forth.
4. On the chance that a member should slip up and reveal the Organization to someone, let information loose, or is recognized outside of their mask, the punishment is immediate termination. Meaning you mess up once, just once, and you are swiftly taken care of. Death is the kindest punishment they can offer
Being such a wide spread group, and being as secretive as they are, one might ask how all the members stay in touch with each other. How do they get in touch with members to pass along a service request to them? Listed here are the answers to those questions:
There is a public safe house in nearly every city and village. Even in the smaller villages, there's at least one near by. These public safe houses are almost always owned by a member of the Organization, or their owner is allied with the Organization and allows a member or two to either be stationed there or near by. A lot of these times these associates are considered superiors, or communication members who hold onto information. All members are required to report their presence in the town or village at their nearest safe house. Their names are kept there on record, and updated if they move away or leave for business or a trip. These on record names are how the associate stationed there rations out jobs.
To communicate with other safe houses in other towns and villages, each safe house has a member or associate with the sole job of sending letters and information out. These associates are to always be sure none of the letters-which contain names and information and locations-get into the wrong hands.
"His Fire Guides My Hand." is a phrase used between members and only between members. If one enters a safe house and wishes to speak to another associate in charge, or wishes to report their name to be added to the records, or anything else business related, they will use this phrase quietly and only once. It is also used when members try to use more private safe houses, such as the homes of older members. If the phrase is uttered incorrectly, the member will not be allowed into the home or granted access to the members they wish to meet with. They get no second chance. After the phrase has been spoken correctly, the member it has been spoken to will reply with a confirmation phrase; "His Passion Ignites our heart."