The Crown Edit
They were born from the old noble families of the Ashenfold and from the union of the now dead Coin and Voice Sects. From this varied past was created the Crown, a Sect intent on gaining power and profit for the Cartel with whatever means they deem necessary. Filled with Merchants, Nobles, and Diplomats alike, the Crown serves as the Social arm of the Cartel in all things.
Strengths The Crown has connections across Tyria and various pockets into which it can delve into to get things done. Their social acumen and the backing of a variety of merchants provides the Crown influence and wealth that are only dreamed of by the Tome and Spear. The Crown leverages its resources in a variety of ways, excelling in entertainment and propaganda. It is Crown agents who cover up the messes left behind by the other Sects and who often negotiate bail for those in trouble with the Authorities.
Weakness The twin courts of the Crown, with their mixture of diplomacy and business, have at times caused friction with other Sects. The pervasive atmosphere of influence-brokering and power-gaming has placed the Sect in precarious, if not dangerous, positions in the past. Due to their shifting alliances outside of the Cartel, few are sure to trust members of the Crown.
The Court of RatsEdit
Who would think that unifying three of the Cartel's darkest Allegiances would result in a sense of stability, seems the Shadow did. From this rickshaw union was born the Court of Rats, the home of the Cartel's official Underhand. Called the Undercourt by many the Rats evolved out of the criminal organization of the Coin and were bathed in the secretive control of the Voice's Black Court. The result is something akin to the original Aekart Venture, which used a combination of noble blood, and carefully planned buyouts to form a vast mercantile empire. In many ways this is why the Darkeye (or Rats as they call themselves) can still make outsiders quake when they appear on the scene.
The society inherent within the Court of Rats is not unlike the Black Court that existed before it. With the gangster like nature of the Rat's Den walking in the shadows the Darkeye no longer live purely in service to gain information and fight Shadow War for the Cartel. They now use their increased connections in the underworld as a means to spread their influence and back their brothers in the Court of Rooks. As the Cartel's Undercourt they are willing to get into the gutter to fight others or even kill them off as necessary. It is the Court of Rats that dirty's itself for the rest of the Cartel and in silence they are respected for it.
Members of the Court of Rats wear a simple stitched badge of a dead rat or an open black eye somewhere. Some have taken to tattooing eye marks on themselves or wearing jewelry engraved with the emblem. The Darkeye do like the idea of wearing gold, but only in special settings as they considered an obvious marker to those who might be trying to locate them.
Business for the Court of Rats can be quite illegal and perhaps even unethical. From the Silverthorn they inherited the slaving racket and seem to have taken to this without much care. They also inherited the work of spreading drugs and also controlling gangs within various regions. This however has unfazed the Sect as they use it to not only their political, but also economical advantage when they see fit. It is the Undercourts primary job to cover up and remove loose ends for the Cartel in alliance with members of the Jade Ring.
The Court of RooksEdit
They are the players and gamers for what many call the Overcourt, and they wear that name proudly. To the Court of Rooks, every action is measured with careful consideration and for this reason they can be considered whimsical by some, or even over cautious. From the Oxhorn Lodge, they inherit a sense of duty, and yet from the Voice Courts their respect for the law can be considered mixed at best. Gone is the fixation on legitimate work and now exists a need to excel for the Cartel whenever possible. The Overcourts place within the Cartel is to act as the Crown's will and the Cartel's silvertongue in Tyria, as a means of keeping the outsiders at bay.
Of the two courts, the Court of Rooks are perhaps the most worldly in their desire to expand connections. With the Overcourt acting as the overwhelming negotiating and social force within the Cartel they can sometimes be considered a bit zealous in their work with outsiders. In other consideration they are the Cartel's primary bankers, investors and backers when it comes to new ventures. Perhaps one of the more interesting facets of the Court is its love and support of the arts. Inherited from the Artisan Court, the Court of Rooks hosts many performers and entertainers alike.
Members of the Court of Rooks call themselves the Dawneye.
The Dawneye wear the Crown's Gold with pride and respect. Those behold to other powers such as warbands, houses or krewes wear any insignia to notify their support. Others simply wear no color or emblem as they consider the work of the court more important then displaying one's leanings.
The primary works of the Court of Rats is in legitimate business and work. Many of businesses can range from trade companies, restaurants or even simply a fruit cart. The notion of backing different businesses is a keystone of the coin influence in the Crown. The Voice influences however can be seen in the support for the arts and for the various entertainment ventures backed by the Crown. This is where in many cases the old influences of the Oxhorn are cast aside as the Crown is not above working in dirty business when needed or when it can gain them greater influence.