It’s time for another Iyastera lore post!! This one details a criminal network within Tashkil– perfect goes for those cunning and resourceful party Rogues (or College of Whispers Bards) who like to have connections across the kingdoms.
The Shabaka is a network of thieves and information brokers in Tashkil, are used by politicians and nobles alike for missions of espionage, blackmail, and behind-doors dealings. There are two branches within the Shabaka:
Usaka wield information like a weapon, and very little goes on in Tashkil without their knowledge. With all of this knowledge comes great power and influence, and Tashkil rulers know that the Ukasa could could topple the kingdom with a word, though with that power comes a code of honor. Ukasa are sworn to protect the information they gather, and should any member use that information irresponsibly or cause irreparable damage to the people of Tashkil, then they would be killed by their own brethren.
The Dhahab are the thieves of Shabaka, and can both extract and insert items of value. They specialize in rare and dangerous goods, often confiscated from a corrupt noble exposed by the Ukasa, or resold illicitly. The Dhahab make up the darker backbone of Tashkil’s economy which does not outwardly promote things of an unusual or arcane nature, but the Dhahab know that all kingdoms are connected by the shadow market. They are called upon to investigate suspicious goods, steal items of value (either monetary or informational), or sometimes plant items in specified areas.
The Dhahab and Ukasa work hand in hand to simultaneously exploit and defend the kingdom of Tashkil. If matters were left entirely to the councils, the Shabaka know it would only be a matter of time before Iyastera plunged into war once more.
While agents will attempt to protect eachother when possible, each agent is trained to be self-sufficient and independent, to survive on their own. Though many prefer to travel without any identifying mark, some members does carry with them a copper coin with the Shabaka symbol pressed into it: a web with a single eye in the center. This coin cam be presented to prove alliance, but is easily disposed of, or even planted on someone, should they risk exposure.