Ambition is one of the defining characteristics of those who enter the Brotherhood. Through their own desire, and lust for power, they have succeeded in throwing off the values of their cultural backgrounds, and accepting the goals and discipline of the Brotherhood. The problems within an organization as diverse as the Brotherhood, must be overcome with some form of stratification Those in power, the Grand Masters and Elders, carefully instruct their students, using their drive to success as a means of maintaining control over the masses of Journeymen and Equites. This creates an intensely contentious political atmosphere within the Brotherhood.
The most obvious of the political controls, is the Hierarchy of Classes and Ranks. Every member who seeks, and gains admission to the Brotherhood begins on the bottom of the ladder. The Grand Masters disregard all prior training, and may even suppress the power of an unusual applicant. This ensures that all applicants may begin training according to the strict procedures of the Shadow Academy. Many Apprentices literally burn themselves out on emotional fuel as they seek power beyond what they are capable of understanding. The Brotherhood stresses the need for gradual development.
Most political positions, such as Summit status, and Dark Councilor are also dependent on a certain rank. As a Brethren progresses, and develops understanding, they are rewarded with positions of greater prestige. It is almost unheard of for a Neophyte to command a Battleteam, much less a House, whereas a Knight of reasonable influence could expect to achieve a command position within a House. Elders are almost universally on the Dark Council or seated upon a Clan Summit. Those who are not positioned are usually Rogue members, though a significant number are still active within the Clans.
It is a great honor when any Brotherhood member receives a rank elevation. When a member advances, it is because a mentor has determined that they has surpassed the abilities of their current rank. Only certain leadership positions can give promotions to the membership. However, anyone may recommend someone for advancement by contacting a person's superior. The Grand Master and the Master at Arms have final jurisdiction over all advancements. If they do not find the candidate is worthy, no elevation is given. All advancements must be approved by the Master At Arms prior to the announcement of the new rank. The Master At Arms will generally approve promotions according to the following table. Should a person recommend another for a promotion past what their position normally entails, the Master At Arms will get Deputy Grand Master or Grand Master approval before proceeding.
|Grand Master||All Ranks|
|Deputy Grand Master / Justicar||Elder-2|
|Core Dark Council||Elder-1|
|Aedile - Proconsul||Equite-3|