The Black Hand

The black hand is a large network of thieves, assassins, and various other people who make their living in legally questionable ways. The Guild is the largest Thieves Guild known on Nor, an controls much of the underground in East and West Aranthar.

The lowest rung of the ladder are known as agents. These are people who report to guild members, but have not suite proved themselves enough to be in the guild. Local Gang leaders, small time thugs, questionable Business owners may all be agents. Agents usually have the protection of the guild-member they are working for, but have no rights in the organization. They often ask favors from those they report to and pay off the debt by working for the guildmember.

Guild-members are a step up from agents, and make up the lowest membership. One an agent has been elevated to guildmember, there is no going back. He is also given a tattoo that most law authorities will recognize easily, tying him even more firmly to the organization protection. There are several benefits of being a member. Members have access to resources and information that agents have to bargain for. They have some limited protection from the law in places where the Black hand has influence over local law enforcement. They also have the protection of the guild. If a guildmember is killed by someone not in the guild, you can be sure there will be retaliation.

Over a guildmember is a captain. A captain is usually in charge of either a small area, in which case he is in charge o all that goes on there, or he is in charge or a larger area, but one aspect. An Example is that a captain can be in charge of the Docks section of Torf. Or he can be in charge of all the brothels on the east side of the city. Captains came name lieutenants, but these members are more of assistants then leaders in their own right. Lieutenants do not control any members, but act as enforcers, or ad visors to captains. While regular guildmember do not report to them, they are usually respected, as they often have the full confidence of the captain they work for.

Over a captain is a Boss. The Boss is in charge of an entire city, or in some cases more than one city. He is usually assisted by an under-boss or "Second". He also usually has several "Bi-guards" or enforcers that do special jobs for him. Like lieutenants, they have no-one reporting to them, but they have great influence, as they work for the boss directly.

Over even the Bosses are chiefs. They are very few of these, and they usually control large areas. It is a chief who meets with the guild-master and helps make decision for the whole guild.

The highest rank is the Guild-master himself. The guild-master is often a former boss, who has taken the old guild-master out somehow. Rarely a chief will elevate to Guild-Master, but most prefer to remain where they are are as their position it not so covetous. The Guild-master often has member of the guild who are not ranked, call his retinue. These may include enforcers, ad visors or secret assassins. These men are usually know by name rather than a rank, and are feared by all in the guild. Some say the strength of a guild-master is dependent largely on the skills and the loyalty of his retinue.

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