The Black Sun is a secret organization of merchants who have interested themselves in matters of a supernatural nature. It has thousands of members all over the world, and there are only a few important cities that do not have at least one of its offices. Formally, there is no tie that unites the members of the Black Sun. Thus, they appear simply to be a group of powerful merchants who maintain profitable relations among themselves. However, all of these merchants make up part of the same society. They are, in essence, the first global "corporation" in Gaia. Their legal businesses include all types of buying and selling of goods and transports. However, they secretly dedicate themselves to the traffic of supernatural artifacts and antiquities belonging to other civilizations. In general, they sell a great deal of the objects that they acquire to those people who have means to purchase them. Every now and then, however, they keep a few artifacts that would let them grow in power. As a group, the volume of legal and illegal operations that the Black Sun has moves approximately twelve percent of the economy of the Old Continent.
The organization was created by two powerful noble families - the Delacroix and the Steiner - who, almost since the dawn of the Empire, have maintained fruitful business endeavors with warlocks and supernatural creatures. Aware that some of these wizards pay or do whatever was asked of them to attain that which they desired; these merchant families began to extend its web of influence among rich bourgeoisie and small nobles to satisfy the demand of their buyers. Nevertheless, some time later they became aware of the incredible power that they had acquired, and they created the Black Sun to maintain order among their subordinates.
Currently, the Black Sun is governed by a pyramidal power system. The Delacroix and Steiner families are found at the top of the society; they make the most important decisions, exercising an absolute control across all its branches. Nothing that happens within the organization is missed by either family. Every territory or group of Principalities has a central office governed by one of the highest-ranking directors, who deals with coordinating the actions of the different societies under his charge. Many of these men wish to ascend even further along the ladder and become equals with one of the two governing houses, but for now no one is able to challenge them.
To assure their interests, the Black Sun has at its disposal a full army of private mercenaries, some of whom even have supernatural abilities. Normally, they never take offensive action, but they do not fear violence if they consider it necessary. The organization holds some influence in all the Free Trade cities, and in general, they always have one or two members of the organization in the Merchant's Council, or they keep close relations with some of them. Their illegal business with supernatural elements makes them face off directly with Tol Rauko and, to a lesser extent, with the Inquisition. On occasion, Tol Rauko has spoiled more than one of their important operations. At the same time, the Black Sun has removed entire shipments that were being sent to the island of the Templars.
THE ANTIQUE STORESEdit
As a general rule, the establishments that the Black Sun uses to sell their "special" goods tend to have the appearance of antique stores or old bookstores. Acquiring one of those products is not an easy task at all, given that only those people who have dealt with the company before, or those who have some form of recommendation, are allowed to buy them. In the majority of cases, they work by special order, reserving requests from their clients on specific objects. If they do not have anything at that moment, they consult one of the superior offices or they order it from one of the divisions under their charge to get it.
These locales tend to have a secret entrance that leads to the room where the artifacts are safeguarded. In these rooms are objects that are not very dangerous, except for the grand orders that are waiting to be retrieved. Naturally, behind a false appearance of tranquility, the secret sections of these stores have a high-level of security systems, protected by mystic means and special agents. Of course, given the type of clients that they deal with, they have measures against attacks that are supernatural in origin.
The Retrievers serve as the special forces of the Black Sun, obtaining artifacts and other banned antiquities. When they have proof of the existence of ruins or ancient vestiges, they send one of these divisions to obtain everything that they can. On other occasions, they are entrusted specific missions in places that their clients have indicated. Retriever divisions are normally made up of five or six people, one of whom (at least) possesses special abilities. The more important groups can have at their command a division of private soldiers. Sometimes the Black Sun, if it is lacking specialized personnel at that moment, even contracts some of its clients to carry out the job.
THE BOOK OF THE DEADEdit
Forty-three years ago, the greatest division of Retrievers in direct service to the Delacroix family made a truly terrifying discovery. In the depths of one of the ruins of Moth, they found a metal tome that had as its title Et Versiculum Mortem, the Book of the Dead. Within it, the dark rituals and necromantic secrets that had been lost since the War of Darkness itself were listed. Once the book arrived at the hands of Jean Pierre Delacroix, the patriarch of the family, he was aware of the extraordinary power that was within his reach.
Jean Pierre decided to use his organization to test and master the secrets of the book - even though a great majority of them were completely beyond his understanding. Since then, he has built several secret test camps where he tries to fully exploit the tome. His immediate goal is to develop powerful creations that he could use as weapons, able to destabilize any principality in Gaia.
These experimentation camps have an exceptional security system; actual fortifications that seem to be practically impregnable. In each one, there is an incomplete copy of the book with a small fragment of the original manuscript; the true location of the tome is only known by Jean Pierre himself and his children. It seems that the book itself possesses strange powers. In fact, the members of the group of Retrievers who found it were converted into different classes of undead creatures simply by being in contact with it for a prolonged time; they now serve the Delacroix family as elite agents. On one or two occasions, their rituals and practices have escaped their control, completely destroying small towns close to where their experiment camps were located. Nonetheless, they have made sure to erase any trace thanks to their influences.
The Steiner family is aware of these mechanizations and does not support them, but it is also conscious that it cannot start an internal war without being sure of its victory.