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9Dragons Dev Journals: Clan Feature: Brotherhood of Thieves

By Guest Writer on July 20, 2006

Clan Feature: The Brotherhood of Thieves

Editor's Note: This is the second of six exclusive articles on the six starting clans of 9Dragons. You can read about the Shaolin here.

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This is the second instalment of a six article series exploring the background lore of the clans in the exciting new MMO martial arts game 9Dragons. Today we’ll explore one of the black clans - The Brotherhood of Thieves.

The Brotherhood is an organization of thieves, robbers, rogues and brigands, unified by a noble purpose, that of fighting off the Imperial tax collectors and feeding the poor. Hence their common farewell, “Take what you will, share what you can!” Well, that’s how the clan started off anyway. Today, the clan itself is rather corrupt and violent. Coercion is used to ensure loyalty and non-adherence to clan rules is dealt with swiftly and harshly. And so, with true nobility at the root of their clan, and a harsh criminal code of ethics, life in The Brotherhood is sort of like Robin Hood joins the Mafia.

The origins of The Brotherhood go back to two men sitting around a campfire, Ji Longfeng, also known as “The Divine Spear,” and Ma Taichun. Ji Longfeng was a master of Six Harmonies Kung Fu who had refused his invitation to Shaolin for his love of wine, women and song. Ma Taichun was a former landowner who had lost his land to corrupt tax collectors and was forced into a life of crime. Ji Longfeng saw Ma Taichun being chased one night by bounty hunters and rescued him. Ma told Ji about the terrible conditions in the town and how its people were starving to death. So Ma and Ji formed an alliance, and together they recruited fellow thieves to join in their battle with the tax collectors and corrupt officials. Over time, wanted men from across The Land arrived at their encampment seeking membership.

Today The Brotherhood consists of hundreds of small dens and 18 major fortresses. Every three years, there is a purge of these fortresses with the weakest expelled and the strongest promoted, typical of the clan’s brutish manner and mentality.

Upon entrance, each new clansman swears seven oaths:

Never to disobey the boss of a den
Never to disclose a clan secret
Never to abandon a brother in danger
Never to fight with a sworn brother without permission
Never to betray a sworn brother without permission
Never to retreat once a fight has begun
Never to loot from the poor

Since there is mistrust even among brothers, entrance to the Brotherhood is gained through personal reference only. And clansmen won’t give those recommendations lightly, since any oath broken is cause for severe punishment, on both the offending clansman and the brother who recommended him! This makes for strong bonds indeed within the clan.

The Brotherhood has many strengths and weaknesses. Their command system is strong, since it’s built on fear. Communication is good and there’s a great sense of unity among the members. On the other hand, power struggles take place often and greedy elder members are often loath to share their Kung Fu techniques, so newer members can expect to pay for training.

Their chosen weapons range from spears to axes and maces. Their Kung Fu is based on The Six Harmonies combat system combined with Ji Longfeng's Divine Spear techniques. It revolves around the correct focus of one’s Chi and one’s physical driving force, much like the thrust of a spear. Clansmen are taught to reach an opponent as quickly as possible, then drive through them with shocking attacks and direct footwork, in-line with their take-no-prisoners mentality.

Discrimination amongst the rich and poor drives them forward with income achieved through raids, bribes and extortion. Although during lean times they have been known to gather herbs to sell. A clan member does not strive to accumulate wealth; rather they look to spend their money on wine, women and song, though not necessarily in that order.

Although the clan’s collective intentions and deeds may be noble, its methods are certainly not, designating them a black clan. By joining The Brotherhood you may make some very strong friends… but you will always need to watch your back!

We look forward to telling you about The League of Beggar’s clan in our next article. If you would like to register for beta testing or to find out more about 9Dragons then visit the Acclaim site at www.9dragonsgame.com or if you are a European player go to the Persistent Worlds site at www.9dragonsonline.com .

-By Ken Johnston and Steven-Elliot Altman
(based on The Lore created by Steven-Elliot Altman)


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