The Nine Golden Swords
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"I'll never pay a cent of my hard-earned money to those blood-suckers. Exploiting their own people, is there no decency in this life?"
-Kenji Komura, owner of Kenji's Eastern Curios in Phsant

Among the teeming Shou towns of Thesk's Golden Way lurks an insidious peril - the Nine Golden Swords, a secret society of yakuza and their minions who seek to bind the Shou expatriates beneath their own ruthless rule. Once all Shou in Thesk serve the Nine Golden Swords, the masters of the society aim to make themselves the secret lords of the land.

The rogues and thugs who make up the hundreds of "soldiers" in the society go about their sordid business in much the same manner as crime syndicates anywhere do. They peddle vices of all sorts in dens and houses of ill repute all along the Golden Way, rob passing caravans, and intimidate local business owners, demanding a ruinous cut of legitimate enterprises. So far, they have been cautious in extorting native Theskians, preferring to maintain the chokehold on their fellow Shou instead of provoking the merchant-princes. Now the Nine Golden Swords have just about conquered their chosen battlefield, and the riches of their neighbors beckon. Shou thugs and gangsters are moving their operations into the heart of Theskian business all along the Golden Way.

The Nine Golden Swords are led by a mysterious figure known as the Golden Master. The city of Phsant is the base of their power; the Golden Master can muster hundreds of loyal soldiers in the Shou quarter of that city, if he so chooses. The Shadowmasters of Telflamm have no use for the Nine Golden Swords, and a fierce gang-war has sprung up between the two powerful societies.

High ranking members of The Nine are skilled martial adepts, able to execute inhuman feats in combat.

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