The Union and the CartelEdit
For many years the Ashenfold has maintained a multitude of faces to protect itself, as lies constructed to dissuade outsiders, and as a means to protect itself in its endeavors. For many reasons, the most prominent of these faces exist as the duality between the Ashenfold's illegal dealings versus those of its legitimate businesses. These two halves form what can be called the Faces of the Ashenfold. The two halves go much deeper than simply defining the barrier of the illegal versus the law-abiding, and speak to the very core of the Ashenfold's organization and policy making.
The Union Versus The CartelEdit
Within the Ashenfold, there are two primary faces, the Union and the Cartel. Both “faces” represents a primary front the organization creates for itself in a given side of business. Members that typically conduct legal or law-abiding business often refer to the Ashenfold, or themselves as a member of 'The Union,' while those with less conventional business practices which lean towards the illegal may refer to themselves as a member of 'The Cartel.'
The term 'Union' arose from a group of dock workers within Lion's Arch working for the Aekart family. They commonly called themselves 'The Union' as a means to show their common connection.
The Union is a general term referring to the Ashenfold as a whole. Taken from the coded street speech of thieves (Ashic, the Ashen Cant) the term came to apply to the Ashenfold's legitimate, outward face. To most outsiders in the law-abiding realm, the Ashenfold is known as the 'Trade Union' or simply, 'The 'Union.' To many, 'The Union' is a large scale combine of multipe companies, houses, and groups seeking common ground and economical advancement in Tyria.
The Union by default covers the following Allegiances
Origin The Cartel originates from the era when the Aekart family made a play for power. Its singular aim was to create a monopoly in all business across Tyria, with itself seated at the top. Those participating in their play for power called themselves 'The Cartel.'
Although 'The Union' is a general term applied across the board to the entire Ashenfold; 'The Cartel' represents the criminal half of the Ashenfold. To those in the criminal underworld, 'The Cartel' is a faceless syndicate with roots in Lion's Arch and Divinity's Reach. It offers many services from smuggling to political assassination, and is considered a silent backer in several legal ventures. Some have called it 'The Union,' but those in on the know understand it as a simple, but convenient, lie. Politicians work for 'The Cartel' and have been known to look the other way when a Cartel member is arrested.
The Cartel by default covers the following Allegiances
Using the NameEdit
The Ashenfold is a secret society with controlling interest in multiple ventures, businesses, and associations across Tyria with a keen interest in not only surviving the tumulteous times of the rise of the Elder Dragons, but also thriving within the upheveal.
Ashen Word Discussing the operations of the Union with an outsider is frowned upon in general. Giving up sensitive or information that could create a loose end will result in heavy consequences. It is best to avoid linking either Face of the Cartel, and to keep things separate at all times.
Using the Union Name In public situations where a person or individual is found among your typical citizens who generally are going to follow the law, the “Union” name is used. It is generally not used among criminals as it is probably a bad idea to connect the illegal operations to legal backers in the public eye.
Using the Cartel Name The Cartel name is most often used among criminals and when doing backroom deals. The point of this is that when dealing with types it is best to put on the shady mask. The Union is the public face, the clean slate, the Cartel on the other hand is the dark mask. To connect the two is perhaps one of the worst things someone can do without a means to misdirect their goals. It is best to avoid to connect the two Faces at all times unless directed to by a Superior for good reason.