My brother purchased safety for us
the coin he used has stained the grass
and still they laugh at those who ride
heedless of those who passed
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In March of 2544, elements of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion of the 1st UPE Army Special Forces Group under the command of Captain Kironius Mengst, successfully ran the Tevarin blockade of the Idris system and dropped onto Idris IV. Their mission, Operation Black Rose, was to join up with the resistance movement led by Rachel Locke and provide training for the Greys to prepare them for their critical role in Operation Nemesis later that year.
The few soldiers who survived the grueling six months of guerilla warfare came back from Idris IV changed, including Mengst. For months, the unit had been in a lethal game of cat-and-mouse with a Tevarin commander named Iskaedrus, and from these desperate battles and hard-fought victory grew a deep respect for the Tevarin and their warrior code. Mengst was later quoted as saying, “I have never encountered, amongst men, such a deep and unshakable honor and poise, such a profound commitment to duty, that I have witnessed in the Tevarin. Their Rijora is the path of the warrior. There’s much we should learn.”
Shortly after the end of the war, Mengst retired, but not before he and his fellow Idris IV veterans had planted seeds of The Path through the UPE military. Mengst and his followers would approach soldiers and civilians alike who they felt embodied this warrior code, and invited them to gather, to network, and, occasionally, to band together to intervene in events of note.
They became known as The Black Rose Society.
Through the Messer Era, the Society formed a quiet resistance in the UEE officer corps and corporate contractors against the Empire’s excesses. Once going so far as to coordinate a mutiny and armed resistance to prevent the slaughter of civilians during worker uprisings on Rytif – an operation that saw dozens of Society members executed for treason. UEE Navy Rear Admiral Alison Ichihawa, the commanding officer of the Society at the time and the mastermind behind the operation, said at her execution, “It is a price well-paid. No doubt we will be asked to pay it again.”
Four centuries later, members of the Society can be found in all walks of life, from naval warships, to corporate board rooms, to tramp freighters, and even some criminal enterprises. All bound together through a sense of brotherhood and their common code. The Society still possesses Iskaedrus’ Rijora Codex, one of the few remaining in private hands.
For the last fifty years, the Society has also operated a private security company – Black Rose Security – that services the specialized needs of an exclusive list of corporate and private customers. The company provides employment for Society members who do not have their own pursuits, and regularly calls on the broader Society affiliates to meet changing demand. However, in 2950, an incident decimated a majority of the company’s assets, as well as a great number of the Society’s members. Since then, the company has been operating at a much reduced scale, and the Society has been keeping their eyes open for enterprising individuals with the spirit and discipline to walk The Path.
Founded in 1997 on the Catskills shard of Ultima Online, The Black Rose Society is an organization of mature role-players drifting together across various MMO and virtual tabletop games.
The Society is, at its heart, a military company. Most of the recruiting is performed in the branches of the UEE military, and that code of conduct extends to the Society. Even though some members of the Society come from non-military backgrounds, all are expected to defer to those of higher rank and maintain a certain level of decorum when together or otherwise representing the “Rose and Shield”.
When it was formed, The Society idealized the tenets of the Tevarin Rijora , a warrior-code similar to Bushidō on ancient Earth. As the centuries (and Tevarin) have passed, the ideals of The Society have mellowed somewhat, but remain a warrior code of honor and integrity. It’s not uncommon to hear snippets of the Tecumseh Poem when they gather:
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
The Society is a casual crowd, our core team is mostly composed of older professionals with families, other pursuits, etc., and as such we will likely never scale the same way more active orgs may. We expect members to generally remain in-character when in game, and represent the ideals of the Society to those they meet.
In all things, we expect members to follow Wheaton’s Law and we will not hesitate to discharge anyone who, through deliberate act, makes other people miserable, causes out-of-character drama, or otherwise engages in unnecessary tomfoolery.
Any full member of the Society is assumed to be an employee of Black Rose Security, however, because the Society is at its heart, a brotherhood of people with similar ideals, we accept Affiliate members from all walks of life. There is, after all, even honor among thieves. And corporate execs. And cargo haulers. And sometimes mimes.