"But we are family, aren't we?" - Lythal Zenith
|Lunam et Stellas|
An extensive syndicate that controls various areas in Arcana, known as the mortal enemy of the royal authorities. In certain places, they are effectively the government, ruling the populace through fear and protecting their interests by becoming allies of corrupt officials. Lunam’s influence is particularly strong in the Western and Southern Continents.
Sebastian, after being exiled from the mainland due to a ghastly scandal, did not give up his ambition to rule over a land of his own. Using his personal charm, unwavering confidence and deadly skill, he attracted followers that eventually became the core of Lunam et Stellas -- ‘The Moon and Stars’, named in mockery of his former house sigil. With ruthless and efficient planning the guild managed to gain considerable foothold over the land, ousting lesser guilds and coercing corrupt officials into their fold. Sebastian’s wrath was feared throughout, amplified by tales of the horrifying deaths his opponents suffered. In time, Lunam et Stellas became the undisputed master of the continent, and it is showing no signs of stopping its expansion.
The main guild has its headquarters in the largest city of the Western Continent. Sebastian specifically chose this location to mock royal authority, claiming it to be the capital of ‘his’ kingdom. Most of the major towns and cities in the continent has a branch of Lunam et Stellas, either as the sole guild in control or managing the motley of other lesser guilds and gangs.
Even with its expansion, Lunam et Stellas has never strayed from its roots -- being that of a mercenary guild. Its exorbitant rates is backed with promises of efficiency and effectiveness -- a zero-percent failure rate. In their controlled areas, they also engage in extortion and other criminal activities. While most citizens despise them like all the other guilds, they grudgingly admit that Lunam is the lesser evil compared to the rest of the syndicates. Lunam control means bringing some kind of ‘order’ and peace, which the people of the Western Continent crave after decades of unrest. As long as an area welcomes Lunam and turn a blind eye to their activities, it is welcome to continue its way of living. Moreover, the guild actually helps in repelling the Sahar. In some areas, it is Lunam et Stellas who stand between the Sahar horde and the townspeople.
The recruitment process is handled mostly by the local contacts. Sometimes Sebastian himself will handpick people based on personal whims or, very rarely, if they managed to impress him. More than talent and skill in battle, Lunam prefers to recruit individuals likely to develop loyalty and dependence upon the guild. They have made an art of approaching potential members in their direst straits and promising them security. Sometimes the guild itself has manipulated events to ensure that their target has no options but to agree to their offer.
Recruits start out as full-fledged members barely above the non-member ‘fodder’. Due to the competitive and dangerous landscape, many members die at this stage. Members who live beyond their first year have good chances of becoming the eventual head of their local Lunam branch. Regional heads are picked from branch leaders, and they answer to the Zodiac. The Zodiac -- the strongest members of Lunam et Stellas -- are accountable only to Sebastian.
While Sebastian himself has discouraged infighting (for he hates to be bothered), tension within the ranks is ever-present. Killing superiors in order to take their place was a known practice, although the Zodiac are known to step in when the in-fighting has escalated to the point of affecting their operations. The Zodiac themselves aren’t exempt from assassination attempts by their subordinates, although to date no one has succeeded.
Despite being the most influential guild, they aren’t numerous -- many of the ‘common thugs’ associated with Lunam actually come from ‘allied’ lesser guilds whom Lunam uses as fodder. In exchange of being allowed to live in Lunam territory, these lesser groups must offer their services to Lunam. Some regional leaders prefer to crush the leadership of these guilds and subsume the leftover members, but without conferring complete membership.
Because of its reputation, Lunam members don’t take well to defeat -- especially if it’s a victory for the royal authorities. Sebastian has been known to fly into rage whenever he hears that his guild has been undermined by the Royal Knights or any government-allied forces. Members who have failed expectations one too many times are disposed of -- if they aren’t killed by their more able subordinates, then a Zodiac will make a public show of their death.
Lunam et Stellas’ control over its territories rarely go unchallenged, especially during its early days. Many of its conquered guilds have tried to retake their position and power, usually by allying with each other and using their numerical advantage. Lunam triumphed over these alliances by exploiting their mutual paranoia against each other, using moles to sow distrust among the member guilds and striking when they were divided. Sebastian himself usually led the attacks on these opposing guilds, as he relished personally crushing his enemies.
A wind walker with prodigious talents with the blade, Sebastian lives only for himself. He believes that the world exists to bow down to him, and he will stop at nothing to realize his ambition to become king. Sebastian trusts no one but himself. His goal is to leave an imperishable mark upon history.
Despite his selfishness and narcissistic attitude, he possesses the self-assured charm of someone who believes they can truly change the world. In the uncertain, ever-changing landscape of the Western Continent, this attracted the loyalty of many followers. Sebastian cares for his guild in his own way, believing that no one else should ever mess with his ‘possessions’.
Other than establishing his rule over others, Sebastian loves a good fight. He isn’t averse to bloodshed and violence, though he finds no glory nor pleasure in ‘easy’ battles. He is also very fond of taunting and challenging the authority of the royal family.
The Twelve ZodiacEdit
Aries - Alto Elward (Gladiator)Edit
Alto is a hotblooded gladiator who loves fighting. He frequently spars with Sebastian, the only person who defeated him. Alto follows Sebastian simply because the elf has proven himself stronger than him and therefore deserving of his obedience. While Alto is rather friendly, he is also short-tempered and doesn’t take insults well. Apparently immune to Catalin and Harun’s frigid aura, he often tries to engage them in conversation.
A coldhearted elven healer, Loremaria was a fallen noble. With their riches gone, she fell into undesirable company in order to survive. Few people can tolerate her haughty attitude, yet she is an exceptional healer because of her keen understanding of magic. Loremaria makes no secret of her disdain of everything and everyone, but she is staunchly loyal towards Lunam et Stellas for taking her away from the hellish existence she endured after her family’s downfall. Moreover, it appears that children are exempt from her ill-temper.
Gemini - Shelia Arrowflight (Hunter)Edit
An energetic huntress, Shelia wants to be where the action is. She is known for her sarcastic quips, unafraid to exchange barbs even with Sebastian himself. Highly competitive, she is fond of challenges and often competes with other Zodiac members (especially with Keir). Despite her demeanor, Shelia is unquestionably loyal to Lunam et Stellas -- she offered her life to Sebastian in exchange of his help to take down the guild that killed her hybrid tribe.
Mereth is the opposite of Loremaria -- she genuinely cares for people, and even has sympathy to spare for Lunam’s enemies. She stays in the syndicate out of a sense of obligation, for the guild helped during her time of need. Believing that she has to project an appearance of strength, Mereth initially projects a serenely cold persona which is easily broken when the situation calls for her help. She is childhood friends with Keir and it was because of her that he tried to fight Lunam. Because of this she feels responsible for his well-being, even if he assures her time and again that he acted out of his own volition.
Leo - Keir Stuart (Templar)Edit
Despite belonging in an infamous criminal guild, Keir tries to maintain a sense of honor and humane standards. He initially fought Lunam to ‘free’ his childhood friend Mereth, but he was defeated by Sebastian. The guild leader considered him a good addition to his ranks however, and was spared in exchange of joining. Keir dislikes stealth and underhanded methods, which puts him at odds with the other members who consider them indispensable in their lifestyle. Nevertheless, Keir is popular with the citizens under Lunam territory, seeing him as a rare, noble soul within a dark organization. He is among the more ‘administrative’ Zodiac members, actively traveling around the continent to check on their people. He is a ‘people-person’ and dislikes being alone. Curiously enough, outside of fighting and guild matters, Keir can be quite clumsy and awkward.
Catalin is a quiet magician who once belonged to an alliance opposing Lunam et Stellas. When their resistance proved to be futile, her companions left her to fend for herself. Faced with certain defeat, Catalin chose to fight till the bitter end -- only to ironically become the sole survivor of the onslaught. Her resilience caught Sebastian’s attention and offered her membership in his guild. Nobody knows what goes on in her mind, but Catalin has never questioned her orders and is a stringent perfectionist in her missions. However, one thing that is never discussed within her earshot is how she sometimes wakes up screaming in the middle of the night.
Auremis used to be quite the swindler - a master of stealth, disguises and smooth-talking. When her modus operandi finally failed her, desperation drove the barbarian to sell her services to Lunam et Stellas. Auremis started at the bottom of the hierarchy and, for the first time in her life, worked hard to improve herself, for she knew that weakness will only get her killed. While outwardly sociable, she trusts no one and has no qualms betraying people for her own gain. Auremis’ allegiance towards Lunam only extends as far as the guild is willing to protect her from her debts.
Scorpio - Harun (Assassin)Edit
Harun is the ‘hitman’ of Lunam et Stellas, the stealthy knife in the dark used to take down highly important and dangerous targets. Harun is the second member Sebastian recruited into Lunam et Stellas after Lythal. A hybrid who became disillusioned with the royal authorities, he placed his belief upon Sebastian, who promised him that he will create order out of the chaotic continent. Beneath his seemingly serious attitude, Harun has a petty side, using his skills to ‘get even’ for childish remarks or mild offenses. He also uses his aloofness to hide the fact that he has overwhelming social anxiety.
Sagittarius - Emil Albertus (Adventurer)Edit
An adventurer whose real passion lies in alchemy and science, Emil is the feared poison master of Lunam et Stellas. He eschews ethics and morality in his pursuit of scientific perfection. His politeness and refined bearing only heightens his apathy towards most living creatures. Lunam is the only guild willing to harbor Emil and his research, hence his loyalty to Sebastian. Emil’s progress wasn’t the result of genius, but his near-manic perseverance, pushing on his studies despite the repeated failures. Because of this, in spite of his seemingly low regard for life, he deeply respects hard work and resilience.
Capricorn - Laurenz Randall (Champion)Edit
Laurenz is a stoic champion who joined early on in Lunam’s history. The circumstances of his inclusion in the guild is a subject of speculation, and the people who know the truth (Sebastian, Harun and Lythal) never discuss it. However, it is common knowledge that Lythal appears to be suspicious of him. Laurenz is so quiet that it’s easy to forget his presence, and his silence magnifies the fearsome rumors surrounding him. He never obeys any order unless it is directly issued by Sebastian and barely has any opinion on guild matters. The other Zodiac avoid him with the exception of Keir, who claims that he is a decent fellow once you get past his chilly facade. Due to a recent mission, Laurenz is currently recovering from grave injury, causing hopeful murmurs among the lower-ranked members.
Aquarius - Lythal Zenith (Sorcerer)Edit
Sebastian’s second-in-command, sometimes called the ‘shadow king’ or ‘shadow guild leader’, the sorcerer Lythal handles the administrative side of Lunam et Stellas. The first person Sebastian had gathered for his cause, the warlock has no qualms openly questioning him. Lythal follows Sebastian because he wants to observe how a ‘monster’ like him could change the course of history. The sorcerer values efficiency first and foremost, with loyalty a very close second. Genuinely polite and soft-spoken, his diplomatic ways contrast with that of his guild leader. While Lythal is more lenient than Sebastian in most cases, he has a deep dislike for traitors. He is also visibly incensed when opposing factions attempt to conquer Lunam territory.
Pisces - Alzamorne Isore (Sniper)Edit
Formerly of a rich merchant family, Alzamorne became disillusioned with the royal authorities after they neglected the rescue of his town from the Sahar. He joined Lunam et Stellas because of naivety and necessity, perfecting his 'antimagic' gunmanship within the guild. When he realized the true depths of the guild, he tried to escape. For a while he thought he had succeeded in turning over a new leaf in the Eastern Continent -- only for his past to catch up with him in the most horrific way possible.