|Plural:||Syndicate agents/members, Syndicate|
|Nicknames:||Convention of Cash, Credit Card Convention, Cash-or-Credit Convention|
The Syndicate is one of the most reviled Conventions, even among the Technocracy. They control the flow of money and trade among the Masses as well as in the Union. This leaves them in a very unpopular position and they are often blamed for perceived shortcomings. But the Syndicate knows that it is the glue which keeps the Union together, and without them, the Technocracy could not function.
Money makes the world go round - this is the Syndicate's primary ethos. The Syndicate is about the almighty Bottom Line, but the Bottom Line is this: the Masses want a Consensual Reality where they have a say in what goes on. The Union gave the Masses exactly what they asked for, and the Syndicate continues to do it today. Traditionalist propaganda aside, the common man doesn’t want to fight for Awakening. The Masses want something simple: they want to live.
What the Syndicate sells to the Masses is control — a stable system in which they can pursue their goals without fear. They can find their niche and they can work, raise their families, and contribute their full-and-complete worth to their fellow men and women. This Control is about trust, in the government, the corporates and the banks as well as the trust in oneself. They just have to embrace their creativity, and the Syndicate does the hard work of selling it for them.
The Syndicate believes in humanity. They see the absolute value and worth of every human being on the planet. Everyone has a place on the Bottom Line. Every CEO needs a board. Every manager needs a team. While they don’t believe in Enlightenment for all, the Syndicate aims to be shepherds of progress and prosperity all the same. They create a system in which anyone has the potential to succeed, where anyone can look at their bank account and their home and their car and say that they earned something with their labor.
Early History Edit
The history of the Syndicate begins in the form of the Brotherhood of the Rule within the Roman Empire, a group of craftsmen and labourers, who came together to work on something great, that exalted human craft and handwork. They kept a low profile, until Rome collapsed and the stability of the Empire vanished.
Dark Ages Edit
The Brotherhood spent hundreds of years getting by in hiding or relocating to slightly less hostile countries. During this period, Wolfgang von Reisman called his fellows togther in 997 in Frankfurt, to tell them to liberate the Masses from the work-without-pay that the Traditionalist feudal system had them toiling under. Some went on to rob nobles that exploited their subjects, which resulted in a ban of trade guilds from the Council in Rouen in 1189. Enraged, many of the members of the Brotherhood joined forces with other artisans and reorganized themselves into the Craftmasons. The Craftmasons later laid siege on Mistridge, a Hermetic Covenant, blaming the interferences of wizards into mortal affairs as one of the main reason the Masses remained unfree.
During this period, proto-Syndicate agents were hard at work improving the economies and working Adjustments in other parts of the world, with a lot more success than the Brotherhood of the Rule was having. Islamic capitalism flourished in the Middle East right up until the Mongols invaded in 1258. In Bengal, agrarian economy flourished in the Pala Empire. In 1299, the Turkish tribes were united into what would become the cosmopolitan (and ridiculously wealthy) Ottoman Empire. The ancestors of the Syndicate were hard at work in all these places.
The Convention of the White Tower within the obliberated Mistridge saw the formation of the Order of Reason, where the Craftmasons split between the artisan branch, who retained the name, and the High Guild. The High Guild and the Craftmasons tried to work together for a long time after the Convention. When the Craftmasons went rogue, the High Guild aided sorrowfully in their disbanding.
Victorian Age Edit
In 1851, the High Guild, and the larger Order, underwent reorganization and emerged as the Technocratic Union. The Guild were re-christened as the Invisible Exchequer. This lasted until the later years of the 19th century, when the Union overhauled itself yet again. The Exchequers became the Syndicate.
Modern Nights Edit
Debate and dissent about the Syndicate’s role in the larger Union caused schisms. Some influential members of the Financiers heavily invested in the economies of Europe took to feuding amongst themselves. The chaos that resulted from all that infighting led right into a stunned Convention in the beginnings of World War I. The Great Depression, paired with the recent expiry of most of the work force of the civilized world, meant that the Syndicate had their work cut out for them. They used their remaining stores of cash and invested them in economies throughout Europe, only to see them blown up again in World War II. When the Cold War ended, the Syndicate was overjoyed. In 1999, they introduced the Euro in an effort to stabilize a shattered European economy and gain some semblance of control over those fractious countries. Various financial crises, however, let this plan backfire and now, the European project is spiralling out of control of Syndicate agents.
When the Avatar Storm severed the contact to Control, it was the Syndicate that managed to keep the Technocracy together, spending their fundings to save their fellow Conventions. The Modern Nights also saw the collapse of many of the hypereconomical experiments of the Syndicate, with further financial crises as the result. This earned them considerable blame from the New World Order. Other, more successful, experiments include the MMORPG economy; a new approach to the introduction of Hypertechnology, which involved the funding of several Sleeper scientist to construct a Device after Technocracy blueprints; and the use of Social Media as an advertising platform.
Agents of the Syndicate begin their existence as Associates, who rarely have any idea of the sheer vastness of the Technocracy and only interact with Syndicate members as regular employers. An Associate’s most important job is networking. If they are not already well-positioned, the Syndicate will take care of installing them in a lucrative and influential position, to observe them for leading quialities.
The next step are the Managers, who operate their own Construct or supervise other Associates. The Syndicate gives its people a good deal of freedom,so there is a vast array of different positions under the title “Manager,” and quite a lot of jockeying for position within that tier.
A good Manager can expect to remain in that position, enjoying its considerable perks, for the rest of his life. A great Manager may be tapped by a VPO to become a Chair. With a staff of Managers and their Associates, a Chair is installed in a large corporation or criminal network. Their first job is to maintain what already exists, preserving the Syndicate’s infrastructure, power, and influence. This earns Chairs reputations among their underlings as conservative thinkers or stuck in yesterday’s modes of thought, which isn’t entirely deserved.
And at the top of the heap is the Board, made up of the seven Vice Presidents of Operation (VPOs). The VPOs used to be associated with regions, but since the Reorganization, the Board is geared toward a globalized world. Consequently, each VPO’s portfolio concerns a single, massive industry. There is a VPO for Energy, Finance, Healthcare, Media, Manufacturing, Transportation, and Resource Extraction. A VPO serves as a shepherd and custodian for their associated industry.
Role within the TechnocracyEdit
The Syndicate sees itself as the manager of the Technocracy and indeed, the war efforts in the Ascension War could not have been funded without their aid, something that grinds the gears of many other Technocrats. It is the Syndicate that decides how much resources are given to any project another Convention shows them and the Syndicate that controls temporal resources (money), funding, and primal energy (Quintessence).
Like any multinational conglomerate, the Syndicate is made up of organizations and fragments of organizations from many sources. Over the centuries, a number of minds have woven them together into one monolithic engine of economic control. And while there are inevitable cracks and seams born of history, rivalry, and ambition, the Convention is also united by its culture of optimistic capitalism and individuality. The Syndicate values and rewards ingenuity, innovation, and acute business acumen, and is structured as a vast gladiatorial arena where victors win spoils and losers are relegated to the sidelines to plot their comebacks. This actually forestalls most infighting and bickering, because successes are easily measured by the bottom line and universally celebrated throughout the Methodologies. Unlike other Conventions, transfers between the Methodologies of the Syndicate are relatively common.