The Network is a semi-secret conglomerate of trade houses, powerful merchants, mercenary companies, spy networks, and thieves guilds.
The Network weilds a respectable amount of power in the Middle Kingdoms, controlling much trade and able to influence nobles and even monarchs.
The network is known to provide some of the most reliable, mercenaries, spies, and assassins in all the world. It also trades in valuable information and knowledge, having vast access to libraries, sages, and wizards throughout the lands.
Many members of the Network are honest merchants that see value and security in being part of a larger network or guild in order to safeguard their trades. Others however like to toe the line of legality leveraging on the Network’s influence and resources to engage in less than savory endeavors.
The Network is trying to expand its sphere of influence on the frontier placing agents in key positions in many settlements of the Free Cities Coalition. These agents are tasked with uncovering information and secrets to allow the Network to better profit from the lucrative trade that passes from the Free Coast to the Middle Kingdoms.
Black Powder Weapons
The growth of the Network is believed to stem from the fracturing of the Uridium empire.
During the war, black powder facilities were targeted in mass and sabotaged. The Network and its access to very high skilled adventurers and individuals were employed to undertake much of the sabotage by the rebels and Wizarding guilds that sided with them.
Black powder production is now strictly regulated all over the world with most nations having deemed its mass production, storage, and transportation too dangerous in the face of magical sabotage.
Most black powder weapons are custom-made. Works crafted by master artisans that produce them in significantly low quantities to not concern the ruling powers and wizarding guilds of the world.
The niche production of these weapons ensures they command a high price due to their scarcity of production.
The Network has a near-monopoly on the niche production and smuggling of black powder weapons particularly on the frontier.
The Network is said to be ruled by a small council of anonymous individuals referred to as The Commission. It is suspected this council is made up entirely of elves, but a popular conspiracy theory is that The Commission answers to an Ancient Dragon who is the true ruler of The Network.