Because of the virtual lack of law enforcement, save for Mr. Smith, the Things, and the Border Guard, only the latter of which can be trusted to show up regularly, various factions have carved out niches within the city. Some of these are controlled mainly by a single race and their allies, others by whomever is strong enough to grab the reigns. Some factions control portions of the city, or important services, and some are merely groups of people who have come together to pursue an ideal. No matter why or how they are formed, the factions are undoubtedly the most powerful groups in Convergence City.
Controlled by the Shifters and their Romani kin.
(Almost anyone will be allowed into the Vesh Varekai, but it would be rare for vampires other than the Children of Khonsu to be allowed in their ranks)
About: Meaning "the people who live wherever", the "Vesh Varekai" or just "Varekai" are a faction of forest dwellers who live beyond the walls of Convergence. Their headquarters is a grouping of old vardo, horse-drawn caravans, old RVs, houseboats, and whatever else they could put together as dwellings. Although the original caravan which arrived was of Romani descent, they have since expanded, taking in a great many misfits who are unwilling or unable to live in Convergence. Lawbreakers exiled from Convergence, those who fear for their lives from Convergence factions or other races, and those who simply prefer the forest life often join the Varekai. Most Shifters also join the Varekai, due to having such deep ties with those of Romani descent, though some Shifters do choose to live the city life. Shifters who do not live with the Romani are somewhat ostracized and pitied, but not generally hunted outright unless they take up alliances contrary to the Varekai's.
Ideologically, the Varekai stands for personal freedom, a freedom from the authority or tyranny of others. Although they have many traditions and superstitions, and are wary of outsiders, anyone who accepts and commits to their way of life, taking up the Vesh Varekai as their new family and proving their loyalty, can often join their ranks. This includes those who society might mark as "freaks" or "unacceptable" for other reasons.
Controlled by the Mutants
About: On the surface, the Union is, in fact much like a labor union. They fight for the working class. During the past two years, they have done all they can, in those cities which have remained functional, to provide secure jobs and living wages to those in needs of employment. In the past hundred and fifty years, the rate of mutant humans has skyrocketed, largely due to proximity to industrial chemicals and waste. These Mutants grew up to be champions of laborers, using their abilities to fight for the "little guy".
At least, that's what's on the surface. Below the surface lurks the less friendly face of The Union, the organized crime group known as Gojira. Somewhere between yakuza and the Italian Mafia, they take the Union's promise of looking out for the little guy far beyond what is apparent. The Union might provide shelter, and a job, but it does expect loyalty in return for these things. And loyalty often is asked in the form of "favors" that are dangerous or of a questionable ethical nature. The main goals of Gojira range beyond protection to an amassing of power and ultimately, the ability to trigger mutations in others.
::The Blue Lotus::
Controlled by: The Vampires.
About: Before the Great Blink, as the city of Convergence became more crowded, the once-glorious Silk District, with her high class courtesans of every race and gender, fell into disrepair. One by one, the great establishments of vice either closed their doors or were taken over by less reputable owners. Gambling parlors became opium dens, bathhouses became mires of disease, and violence became common to keep employees in line. Eventually, a fire burned many of the structures and most of the old Silk District was walled off, supposedly because of the hazard the burned structures posed to citizens.
Only one end of the Silk District remained, and with it, a few structures left to represent the glory of the once-vibrant area. It is here that the first vampires into the city took residence, having been enchanted by the name of the largest of the old ochaya and the attached okiya -- the House of the Blue Lotus. It's the perfect setup for them. Rapid turnover of clients with a lot of drinking allows for easy access to blood. Not to mention that most of those who work there are ghouls and blood dolls. However, for those in the know, the Blue Lotus sometimes, under some Princes, has a more sinister trade -- high end slavery. Although one can procure a slave in the Night Market, the Blue Lotus specializes in higher-end "merchandise", so to speak. Rare races, features, and powers, even fully functional sexbots. But, the Blue Lotus keeps this particular profession under wraps, knowing that not everyone would approve of their ways.
Controlled by the Underkin
(While all races are allowed to visit the Factory Club, or even work there, the Cabal itself is more selective)
About: With a little luck and a few greased palms, one can find the velvet-roped entrance to the Factory Club. The club itself seems like any other club, with dancing, drinking, perhaps a few more...illicit activities on the side. However, the original controller of the city, Mr. Smith, and now Ada, have declared it a sort of supernatural "open" zone. Non-humans are allowed to show their full forms in the the Factory, and magic is allowed -- within reason. Too much, or if it strays into the realm of dangerous to the club or other patrons, and the caster will be asked to leave. Of course, there's always the possibility that showing off your true form in the club will give your enemies a great deal of information about you, so not everyone does.
More interesting than the club, however, are the series of tunnels below it, in specific, a place called The Void Room. In this zone, casted magic doesn't work at all, and inherent magic is minimal. This makes it unique in the city of Convergence, perhaps all the world. It also makes it the perfect place for magical entities to negotiate business deals without the fear of magical interference or influence from the other side, or to keep magic-casting prisoners. The Cabal uses this to their advantage, using the Void Room not only in their own deals, but occasionally allowing other races to use the spot to broker their deals...at a minimal cost. (As a note, this "Cabal" has no relation to the "Cabal" of Old Convergence. Probably.)
Controlled by The Mages
About: The Convergence library is one of the few structures that seems to have weathered the Great Blink, and whatever befell the city before it arrived, with minimal damage. A lot of magic went into protecting it, and it took the first few mages to arrive working together to figure out how to even open what had been so soundly sealed. They claimed it, immediately realizing the value of the knowledge within. A journal had been left by the previous keepers of the library, a group known as The Tesseract. In it, they detailed the fall of their world to some force known as "The Dark". They hoped, and believed, that if all their spells and calculations went as planned, they could save the city, or at least the people of the city.
The books in the Library contain the wonders of Old Convergence. Unfortunately, 80% of them are written in languages not known on Earth. It will take a long time to unlock their secrets, and the group of mages dedicated to doing so, known as Liber Libelum, have undertaken this phenomenal task. At least, that's what they tell people. The truth might be both more sinister. The Mages have a hell of a lot of ugly history in their past, and with the secrets yet unlocked within the Library, they might finally find that which they have for so long sought -- the secrets of Chronomancy, the ability to change time, and events in the timeline. Who knows how different the world might be, with time-traveling mages at the helm.
Controlled by the Fae.
Membership Info: In the olden days, the Fae were condescending towards other races at best, looking to exterminate them at worst. However, this was largely because of the policies of the King and Queen. With most of the royalty and high nobles gone, the only Sidhe left are largely low-nobles, many of whom have less strict views on mingling with other races. Times are changing for the Fae, and they might be convinced to let others join the Ebon Hollow.
About: The first Fae who arrived to Convergence, arrived in a convoy. Having had a truce with the vampires of New Orleans, they were largely protected by their allies. However, with the loss of Avalon and tensions rising in New Orleans between vampire clans, they traded a large portion of their wealth and a few priceless heirlooms for several seaworthy boats. They set out for Convergence and arrived two months later.
With their ships, the Fae control a great deal of the traffic on and off the island. Over 80% of all people and goods are transported from the mainland via Fae vessels, or vessels contracted to dock at the harbor. The only other real options are the Razors, who can not transport near as much volume. Within the city itself, the Fae set their sights on The Hollows, the entertainment district adjacent to the Silk District. The Hollows includes not only the theater, but recording studios for both music and film, art galleries, record stores, and a dance studio. The Hollows do not innately contain much power within the city, but are a boon for the Fae, allowing them to easily glean the magic generated by inspired humans whilst they control the harbor ferries beyond the gates.
::The Night Market (and the Razors)::
About: Secreted beneath the city, the Night Market is among the structures of Old Convergence which still stands. One must reach it through a series of tunnels. The colorful market can be a maze to untrained eyes. Nonetheless, it is said that almost anything can be bought at the Night Market, for the right price. This black market often even contains items which would have been turned away at the Convergence gates due to safety concerns, items smuggled into the city, often by the Razors. Hard to find items, if they are to be found anywhere, will be found here. This includes, but is not limited to: food, SolarCling, batteries, fuel, herbs, books, fabric, household items, shoes, common tools, electronics, processed medicines, synthetic drugs, blood, precious metals and jewels, ammunition, and magical items. The Night Market also occasionally holds interesting auctions.
The Night Market is also a good place to hire people for...questionable or dangerous jobs. Bodyguards, mercenaries, assassins, smugglers, thieves, all of them can be found here, usually brokered though a third party that works for the Night Market itself, in order to assist in keeping identities secret. The Night Market claims neutrality of all races as one of their main tenets. It is known that this is not always true, and often the Market Maestro will ban a race for a time if they are perceived as causing too much trouble or breaking too many rules. There is no particular ideology for this faction other than commerce, though Marketeers are often a close family, and sometimes even live in the Market or in hidden places within the tunnel structure. Others live outside of the city, and deal more in smuggling, scavenging, and procurement.
The Night Market's compound outside of the city, and those who live there, are known as the Razors. The Razors are a rag-tag group of scavengers and smugglers living in a hasty structures put together out of materials cannibalized from old shacks and boats. They provide an alternative way to get items (or people) into the city if one needs to bypass the harbor or the Border Guard. The Razors have a few boats, mostly row boats or old fishing boats now outfitted with sails, that they use to cross the channel between Convergence Isle and the mainland. They make regular forays into the warzone of Portland and other nearby cities, to scavenge or make deals with the gangs there. What they bring back can range from pots and pans, to tech equipment, to slaves, and they are smuggled into the city to be sold in the Night Market. Unfortunately, their bypassing of the gates as well as their competition with the Harbor makes them a target for more powerful and organized groups, who occasionally overrun their camp or attempt to bully them when they are in the city.
::The Eleutheria Herd::
Controlled by the Sylvari
Secrecy Info: The presence of the Sylvani in this area has created a veil that extends around the camp even as it grows. It is impossible to locate the Sylvani camp without being Sylvani or a member of the faction. There are always guards (Centaur, Minotaur, Harpie and Satyr) securing the periphery of the camp. For friends, or those seeking aide, they act as guides.
About:The Sylvani camp is a place of refuge for visiting Sylvani, and those who have decided to take up residence in Convergence. It is located in the woods outside of Convergence. All Sylvani are welcome to take refuge there in their true forms. The camp, itself, is protected by the veil and as impossible to find in the wood, as a Sylvani themselves. The Sylvan glade, in which the camp resides, grows with the number of Sylvani coming to seek shelter near to Convergence. Oddly enough, regardless of the temperature outside the camp, the camp itself is always warm and sunny and reminiscent the Mediterranean.
The Sylvani are reknowned for their parties and have often extended invitation to the peoples of Convergence to join them in their camp for an even of flowing wine, dance and revelry.
In addition to the camp, The Eleutrheria Herd controls The Greenery, a small market offering flowers, plants, herds and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
::The Adepts of Ada::
Secrecy Info: People with ability in Computers, Engineering, Ancient Engineering, or Technomancy are able to find a "secret" location on Adanet where people talk about Ada. There they may express interest. If the Adepts, after doing checks, wish to do so, they may contact to meet.
About: Once, people did not believe that Ada, much less her Adepts, actually existed. Even those who knew of this group dismissed them as a faction, because they were not believed to hold exceptional power within the city. However, the Adepts of Ada definitely DO exist, and these days are stepping more and more into the light to be known. They claim to have been able to interface with an AI known as "Ada", the overarching intelligence programmed by the Ancient Engineers to sustain the city of Convergence and her magics. Almost all Convergence robots are connected to or receive updates from Ada, though it is doubtful that many of them have interacted with her directly.
The Adepts are almost all people who are invested in, or interested in, the expansion of technology. They realize that there is technology within the seemingly magical workings of Convergence which far exceeds, in many cases, what can be found on Earth. Unfortunately, much of this knowledge is protected -- hidden under layers of security or made otherwise obscure by the Ancient Engineers so that no single entity could gain too much control of the workings of Convergence. Ada claims to wish to help the Adepts rebuild Convergence, and she has offered, as incentive, her knowledge of the city. Unfortunately, Ada's appearances and guidance is limited. She must spend most of her time running the city, and even when she wants to speak with the Adepts, the interface is flimsy, the translation between the complicated language of the Ancient Engineers and the languages of Earth...difficult.
::Lost Psalm (The Nexus)::
Controlled by the Elohim
About: Before the Great Blink, when Convergence existed elsewhere, the Nexus contained the contraption by which Convergence stole people from other places, other planets, other universes, other realities. It was the heart of Convergence, half-hospital, half-shelter for the newly arrived. The Nexus Device no longer seems to work for that purpose. It is dormant, broken.
It is here that the Pale Empire initially set up shop. The Nexus mechanism had been identified as a possible target of the Grey Crusade, something they'd very much like to use to bring their legions into the world. They protected it, and in the course of that protection, also ran the hospital. It's was an excellent advantage to them. Coma patients who were beyond the likelihood of ever being revived are seen as an excellent source of bodies for the Wraiths. Not only that, but they had a vested stake in keeping people alive -- every dead human was another potential soldier of the Grey Crusade. Not to mention the fact that control of the morgue was useful for the Ghede.
However, after controlling the Nexus for the first year of Convergence's time on Earth, they eventually ended up trading it to the Elohim during a time when the Pale Empire was diverting most of their resources to the nearby city of San Francisco. The Wraiths left to occupy the Reliquary. The newly established Celestials were much better suited to control the Nexus, due to their leader having run it before the Great Blink. A secret pact was made between the two groups concerning the fate of the Nexus Device. The Elohim faction of Lost Psalm now headquarter their faction at the Nexus, running the hospital as a refuge and sanctuary for the innocent and wounded. Of course, this sometimes put them at odds with less savory people who come in search of healing. Having all that access to healing equipment is also an excellent boon to a race that is notorious for having difficulty in healing.
Controlled by the Nephilim
About: A group forged from hardships and tests. They were cast out of paradise for wanting the freedom. They had found their earthly home in a place that reminded them of their heavenly home, Polaris Labs. It was taken from them in another one of Ael’s many jokes on his cast out peoples when a fire destroyed the former labs. After this trial they reformed themselves as Solus Stellaris. They wished to keep their connection to their celestial home but with the added strength knowing full well in the truest times of tribulation they can only depend on their own.
In this new day and age Solus Stellaris agents have found a place to call home in The Moonrise “Café”. However they are as abundant as the stars they are named after. Their influence is shrouded and growing throughout the city and the rebuild of the world after the D13 outbreak. They do tend to drift toward ventures that feed their need for pneuma. Though they are building in strength only time will tell what is in store for the Nephilim, and they have all the time in the world.
Controlled By the Yokai
About: The Hinansho Han is focused on its namesake village which was discovered by the Yokai after powerful magics washed over the isle. A peculiar juxtaposition seemingly pulled out of two places in spacetime they claimed it as their own. It now serves as the first known independent territory for their race in history. The residents of Hinansho village are a wary bunch and are cautious to let strangers into their midst. To this end the village is protected by both patrols of Oni warriors and a peculiar sort of barrier that causes non-yokai without permission to be there to simply forget they ever saw it the moment they look away. Even with permission generally they cannot remember how to get back and would, of course come under the barrier’s influence again.
Yokai are a practical lot and despite their wariness of outsiders Hinansho Han does have several ventures that tie it to the city of Convergence. It is said they have cornered the market for fishing and the production of bamboo products. There are also rumors they control at least one business in the city though no one seems to know for sure.
Controlled By None
(Suggested by Ascilia Enoch)
About: The name of this group, taken from Latin texts written in the middle ages about how to die well ("The Art of Dying"), refers to the fact that those within the group share common goals or, at the least, abilities. By and large, those within Ars Moriendi wish to protect the living AND the dead -- the peaceably dead, anyway. Those who are dead and disturbed or disruptive in the way of the Gray Crusade are actively worked against, since they wish to destroy both the living and the dead. Ars Moriendi actively works to ensure a peaceful transition for those who have died, but does not shy away from using Necromancy when necessary for the greater good. Those who are wraiths within Ars Moriendi still must abide by Pale Empire law, but do not serve the Pale Empire directly, though they do actively work with Pale Empire legions when goals align. Other members of Ars Moriendi tend to be those who have direct concern with the dead. They accept non-wraith Necromancers, as well as all who are Mediums or who can interact with the Pale Realm.
The meeting place and headquarters of Ars Moriendi is the local Funeral Home, and the morgue underneath. They additionally claim the cemetery as theirs as well. The level of secrecy of their faction depends upon the current leader, with some keeping the group's activities highly secret, and others treating them as a more public group to assist in grief counseling and funerary advice.