The Fiery Hesiesh Youth Murder Society
An organization that existed originally during the Shogunate, the Fiery Hesiesh Youth Murder Society, in theory, was a group of young political activists. Known most for staging demonstrations in which they lit themselves on fire, towards the end of the Shogunate, they were often responsible for initiating political rallies that turned violent. What is less evident and only suspected by a few savants is that the Murder Society, true to it's name, were killers. Among the organization was a special circle of members. The founders, though few realized it, were using their wilder and more obvious brethren as a cover, hiding behind the curtain of outrageous stunts and youthful excess. Unorthadox political assassins, they killed key political figures of the Shogunate; not to further any specific political goal, but rather in an attempt to 'purge' the corruption from the government. They took on only what they considered to be good causes that furthered the stability, dignity, and strength of both the Shogunate and Creation as a whole. This circle, mentioned only in one or two surviving texts as the Ten-Fang Fiery Halo, died out with the rest of the Murder Society. Their efforts, surprisingly, did prolong the collapse of the Shogunate for a time, though no amount of careful pruning could prevent the Contingent nor the Fair Folk invasion.
Now, in the Third Age of Man, there has been a popular movement among the youth of the Realm. A new Fiery Hesiesh Youth Murder Society has begun to form in the Secondary Schools. It is not quite the organization it once was, more of an honor society and a private club for the wealthier dynasts than a political organization. Still, they adhere to many of the old traditions and rituals, though these days they light themselves on fire to protest "righteous causes" such as unacceptable food quality of school meals or insufficient funding for recreational activities. Deeper beyond this facade of youthful arrogance and the flailing spoiled children however, lurks something different. With the return of the Murder Society, a new Halo has been formed as well, once again using the more obvious nature of it's members to hide their own actions. Young men and women from several different Houses, unhappy with the political landscape of the Realm and what they see as the corruption inherent in many of their elders, this new generation of assassins is far younger and far more eager for action than those they based themselves upon.
While they've made no overt moves yet, they wait and watch, researching potential targets carefully. With the disappearance of the Empress and the rapid decay of the Realm's might, the Halo has began to spiral ever faster towards plans of assassination. Their plan hinges largely upon eliminating those contesters for the throne whom they feel would only bring further ruin to the Empire. Yet some are hesitant. In the bleak political climate of the Realm, many turn untrusting eyes towards their fellows, wondering if the oath they swore together to forsake House loyalties truly holds or if their companions merely plan to use them to eliminate rivals to their House's ambitions.
In the days to come, as the Murder Society itself begins a sharp and unexpected veer away from the selfish complaints of spoiled children and into earnest protests against the state of the Realm and their whole society teeters ever closer to the brink of civil war, it remains to be seen what part the Halo will play. They are a wild card in the game, one far more likely to rush towards rash action as things swing even further out of control. They may inadvertently start civil war in the Realm or even achieve what they desire by preventing it and elevating someone to the throne. They could all simply implode along with the Realm itself, as their own distrust and paranoia rises to a head. In the end, the Halo is naive but well intentioned - the stone and mortar that the road to hell is usually paved from.
Just a passing idea for an organization I had, based loosely on what is probably a misremembered mentioning of a group in one of the Aspect books. They're also sort of a tribute to all those college secret honor societies like the Skull and Bones whom people like to think have sinister motives. That sort of organization seemed like it could fit perfectly into Dynastic society. - Greymane
I'm confused by the settings themselves on fire thing. Are they all fire-aspected, and thus don't care? Or, far worse, are they not fire aspected, and actually permanently disfiguring themselves for a cause? -- GreenLantern
Yeah, I'm gonna have to go back and rewrite/expand on little things like that later. Just for in short though: As a group on the whole, I imagine that they are primarily, but not exclusively, Fire Aspects. Those in the original Shogunate Age group might have actually been that crazy-dedicated as to have those of other Aspects willing to set themselves on fire to make a statement. Of the current lot, the ones who actually torch themselves are all going to be Fire Aspects for sure. They've yet to make public protests against anything any one of them would think was worth death or disfigurement for. Sans the Halo, they're just a bunch of young folk using the name and pageantry of the original group, in all likelihood because they think it's cool and might lend weight or tradition to their rallies. Mind, I also tried to leave the group 'open' to the potential for just about anything, including them actually developing into the same sort of crazy-dedicated "Lets douse the Water Aspects in gasoline and toss in a match" types. It's up to the whims of what you might want or need them to be like. – Greymane