Fate of the True Empress
Those who do not believe in coincidence sees the Hand of Fate behind every event; they might be right, save that the hand they saw belongs to the Worldshaper Council. A group of 13 individuals, they come together to manipulate conflicts and events to their advantage, to achieve their ultimate goal. So far, none could fathom the goals of the Worldshapers. Political power? Arcane mastery? Domination over the world? The precious few who have an insight into the Council have too little information to piece together the Council’s big picture.
While arguably the Worldshaper has agents almost everywhere, belonging to almost every Icon (save perhaps the Fey Lady and the Devourer), you are unlikely to identify them. (That’s the whole point of being a secret agent). You do know, however, two groups of people – victims of the Worldshapers, and those who have benefited from them.
Political leaders, powerful nobles and wealthy merchants tend to be the benefactors of the Worldshapers. The victims tend to be those who have gotten into the way of those people. Not the poor folks – they couldn’t get in the way of those high and haughty. We’re talking about the honest Inquisitor who wants to bring down a corrupted nobleman, the head of a minor House who refuses to sell his ancestral rituals away, or a Arbiter who is threatened to bury an inconvenience truth.
It’s true that with a relationship with the Worldshaper, you can find people with links to other Icons easily. However, be warned, even an outright advantage on your Icon roll always means that sort of danger is not far behind.
Lore, Skill & Knowledge
A precious few are aware of the Worldshaper Council. The Judge and the Merchant Prince deny that an organization with such threatening reach exists. Among the precious few who knows of the Council, even a lesser few thinks it’s real. They are really good at covering their tracks – and with your association with the Council, it’s something that rubs off on you.
The Worldshapers are masters of espionage, spying and covert operations. If you have a conflicted or hostile relationship with the Council, you pick up some tricks with your conflict with them.
While most of the operatives of the Worldshapers are in the shadows, a couple are well known and relatively easier to contact. The Repairer of Reputations is a master Fixer – none has ever manage to corner him, or pin a crime or event on him yet. The Seeker of the Lost is a legendary ‘retrieval specialist’. There is also rumours of the Giver of Strange Gifts, who for favours (usually in form of information, or old artifacts) will grant the request of the petitioner. Lorehaven suspects the Giver to have access to a large cache of artifacts and ancient lore.
Finally, among the dwindling few who investigates the Council, there is a belief among some that the Worldshaper Council is ran by one entity – the mysterious Prince of Shadows. However, even those who believe the Council to be true think that the existence of the Prince of Shadows is an exaggerated tale.
The Worldshapers abhors outright conflict, and to protect their agents and secrets, they have devised a maddening array of ways to escape. Smoke bombs, teleportation amulet, artifacts that speed up disguise and so on. In combat, you are good at creating distraction and getting out of tight corners (when grappled, or being forced into an alley with a dead-end), but inflicting pain? The Worldshapers’ Operatives prefer escape than to fight.