For Profit and Headware
The Amaranthine Syndicate appears, to outside observation, to be nothing more than an up-and-coming cartel of interstellar traders, minor merchant houses, and void born families who have successfully banded together over the last few years to improve their lot in a region notoriously difficult and dangerous to operate in. The Syndicate’s reputation has yet to spread much beyond the Hazeroth Abyss and its nearby stars. However, its rise has been noted by the economic powers of the sector who, though long established, always keep an eye on potential rivals and commercial shifts. As far as most of the emissaries and notaries of the great trade houses, Chartist captains, and sector grandees are concerned, the Syndicate offers little threat or challenge economically as it is simply too small a group and founded on too precarious a footing to be worthy of being considered a potential rival.
Those that have encountered the Syndicate in action, however, might offer a different opinion. It has proven itself efficient, well-resourced, and ruthless in its operations, as many who have crossed it have found out to their regret. Many independent interests, criminal groups, and even local governments where the Syndicate has taken hold are starting to view it with growing disquiet and some suspicion, as are some within the Adeptus Arbites and Battlefleet Calixis, although the voices of concern in those last two organisations are still relatively few so far. The suspicions that surround the Syndicate are linked primarily with travel to prohibited areas outside of the Imperium, the trade in illegal xenos artifacts, and piracy.
The Amaranthine Syndicate operates exactly as one might expect of any successful trade cartel. It is made up of a diverse group of private commercial interests that trade between the worlds on the Calixis Sector’s Trailing border and has recently made inroads into the more established areas of the Josian Reach, as well as the northern edge of the Ixaniad Sector. The Syndicate’s membership includes independent free-trader captains and local void born clans, as well as planet-based merchant houses, trade guilds, prospectors, petty nobles, and the like. While these members continue to operate largely independently, the Syndicate acts on their behalf to cement trade agreements, negotiate settlements, and quell discord between its members. It also works to control markets and prices, massing its power against competition, rivals, or outside threat.
The Syndicate’s ruling body, known within the organisation as the “Principals,” also provides resources, financing, and armed force and punitive measures at its members’ request. These Principals demand that members give them a (surprisingly moderate) cut of their profits, that potentially useful information be reported back to them, and that when they do make a direct request of their members, it is carried out promptly, expediently, and without question. In terms of structure, the Syndicate follows a simple pyramid layout. The largest, lowest tier of the pyramid is the Syndicate’s production base and markets—local planetbound individuals, such as nobles, guild bosses, traders, prospectors, specialist artisans, and the like. These individuals might be quite powerful locally and control large bodies of men and material; indeed, their own organisations might know nothing of the master’s affiliation to the Syndicate.
The middle tier is composed of the Syndicate’s agents and a number of groups with direct Syndicate affiliation. This tier is primarily made up of starship trader captains, their crews, and associated void born clans. However, it also includes a number of mercenary groups and a small dedicated body of scribes, emissaries, and logisters who negotiate for the Syndicate in more formal settings as a legitimate trade body. This tier of operation also incorporates a less legitimate “shadow” made up of smugglers, outlaws, hereteks, and assassins who also serve the Syndicate. The upper tier controls the Syndicate. It is composed of the Principals—a rarely encountered group who deliberately hide behind layers of secrecy. Outsiders and many within the organisation believe that the Principals are simply taking prudent means to protect themselves. Some believe they may be powers already present within the sector (such as a great house who wishes to keep its involvement under cover) or one or more Rogue Traders seeking to expand their power within the Imperium’s bounds. Others believe the Principals are renegades from outside the Imperium—pirates, non-compliants, and outlaws—and that the Syndicate is backed by blood money taken in raids and destroyed shipping.