Scarecrows of Nevermore
The Angaria is a network of couriers, scouts and messengers centered around Inaulia. Originally created as an intelligence gathering apparatus during a series of wars, it has morphed over time into a vast and mercenary organization providing everything from secured mail delivery for the wealthy to diplomats, cryptographers and spies for hire to whatever kings or nobles require their services.
The Angaria was originally Nyrach’s network of like-minded merchants and associates, who aided in undermining the armies of King Agerimal during the Tradesmen’s War (see the history of the Trade Council). After the war, most of its members became the 1st Trade Council, and the Angaria as an organization became irrelevant. It was only with the imprisonment of Nyrach and the rise of the 2nd Council that the necessity of such a network was again realized; those of Nyrach’s associates who escaped the riots disappeared from public sight and began to reconstruct the Angaria as an intelligence network. It is likely that their influence was key in securing the relatively light sentencing of Nyrach and the other councilmen under the Court of the Constitution.
During the fall of the 3rd Council, surviving members of the 1st Council and some of the kings of surrounding fiefs united to establish a new Trade Council; their alliance almost certainly made possible by the manipulations of the Angaria. Nonetheless, the Angaria remained hidden until the rise of the 5th Council, when they began to emerge as a courier network serving the well-heeled. This function allowed them to infiltrate cities, courts and royal chambers with impunity, while they secretly continued to collect information on those they did business with.
The Angaria’s influence has been increasingly recognized throughout much of its network, nowhere more than in Inaulia itself, where they work quickly to dispatch any perceived threat to the city or to their own interests. While it still exists nominally to serve the Trade Council, it has grown into an entity powerful enough to stand on its own, and perhaps to rival the Council itself. Endyne, with a tight grip on the current leadership of the Council, seems to have a tight links with the Angaria, though it remains to be seen whether those links reflect the Council’s remaining control of the Angaria or the Angaria’s transposed domination, through Endyne, of the Council itself.
The Angaria is broken into several divisions, each with its own particular focus. The divisions are named for constellations visible from Inaulia, and include:
- Esger (The Warrior)
Guards, enforcers, gladiators and street toughs; the ‘muscle’ of the Angaria, they will often accompany agents of the other divisions through dangerous areas for protection. Under Endyne, this division has rapidly expanded and is gradually turning into an army.
- Katib (The Scribe)
Accountants, negotiators and spies; often hired to aid in managing the finances of the Great Houses, their greatest value is in the connections they form and the information that they are privy to.
- Sahin (The Falcon)
Messengers and scouts; the most mobile of the divisions, they are renowned for their ability to travel great distances with haste, and navigate the most inhospitable of terrains. The danger of many of the places they traverse has also led to an emphasis on stealth and fieldcraft.
Each of the divisions is structured with a geographical hierarchy; the bulk of the manpower is at the lowest level of individual agents (nomenclature for both members and ranks varies between the divisions), whose superiors most likely oversee a village or town, or, for a city the size of Inaulia, a single neighborhood. Higher ranking captains will govern increasingly large areas until reaching the final rank of Principal, with command over an entire division’s activities throughout the lands under the Angaria’s reach.
Above the Principals, and outside the structure of the individual divisions, is the Archon, a small council consisting of Endyne and 2-3 others, who determine the highest level priorities and goals that the divisions are expected to implement. The details fall to the Polemarch, a subordinate council made up of the Principals (of which each division has several) and their staff.
Alongside this structure of semi-vocational divisions and Principals is an additional division called the League of Dragoons. The League is a mounted division of more independent officers; while still broken into a hierarchy along geographic boundaries (out of the necessity for active communication between a Dragoon and his/her superior), they are less tied to their immediate region, and often travel widely during their work.
While the divisions focus on specific capabilities, the League is expected to use whatever means necessary in pursuit of the goals passed down from the Principals. In order to accomplish this, Dragoons are thus given authority over the other divisions and expected to make full use of their agents—who will often, as a result, report to both the higher ranking officer of their division, and to whatever local Dragoon has need of them.
All Dragoons bear a metal seal stamped with the constellation Ejdeha, the Dragon; the quality of the metal denotes the bearer’s rank.