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The Shroud Syndicate is the premiere criminal organization operating in Dark Brotherhood space. It involves many smaller gangs, crews, and criminal combines within its area of operation, it is lead by the Herald, and operates from the Shroud Nebula where their massive ship, the Godless Matron, makes berth. The organization is involved in almost every major black market deal that happens in Dark Brotherhood space.
History of the Shroud Syndicate
The Shroud Syndicate was created in 34 ABY by the Herald at the time, Morgan B. Sorenn, and her associates. Its inception predates its creation by several years, to a previous attempt by the wayward pirate captain to create a wide-spread conglomerate of criminals, cutthroats, and bounty hunters. She failed then, but her opportunity came in the form of financial backing from the Dark Council, and their leader Grand Master Pravus. Under the Dark Council's wing and jurisdiction, the Herald set off to consolidate and re-organize the disparate criminal groups, first withing and around the Shroud Nebula, and then on into wider Brotherhood space.
Through various influences and deals, she managed to acquire a large ship, the Godless Matron, and sent it to Arx Space Yards for retrofitting and repair. With no time to lose, and only after a month of repairs, the ship flew out of drydock and headed for places unknown. It reemerged from the Shroud Nebula months later, several thousand crew members strong. The herald finally had an army at her disposal and her domination of the criminal underworld began.
- Main article: Godless Matron
The Shroud Syndicate operates as any syndicate should. Its integrity is based on cooperation between the strongest crews and gangs who control the trade of spice, illegal commodities from the vastness of the galaxy, and artifacts from the now desolate Antei system. Their influence spreads throughout known space and even into Unknown regions where Dark Brotherhood Clans hold sway. Many bounty hunters, mercenaries, pirates, smugglers, and other less-than-civilized individuals work within the syndicate, either as crews or as individuals, the Syndicate itself providing services to them in return.
However, even the crews that seem to lead the organization, answer to the Herald, who inadvertently answers directly to the Grand Master. Most of the profits from trade deals that the Herald acquires across the Syndicate, end up in the Dark Council's coffers and fuel its war machine and never-ending need for recruits and technology. Despite this, however, the Shroud Syndicate is adverse to control and is often left to its own dealings and machinations, internal struggles and politics, if only to avoid any further instability or outright revolt in the system. The criminals themselves are mostly unruly, or free-thinkers who don't stand for some over-bearing power that controls their destiny, and as long as the Dark Council's coffers are full, they tend to leave the low-lives to themselves.
The fact that the Dark Council still holds sway over all of it is kept a complete secret from the common folk, and the Herald subdues any rumors that crop up with extreme prejudice. Most simply dismiss the fact that "some lightning-shooting crazies" dominate the leadership, though conspiracies have been known to exist, and at times they have been rampant.