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The Tricentumvirate: Who or What are they and what do they want?


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A "Duumvirate" is a government or rule by two.  A Triumvirate is a government or rule by three.  Quadrumvirate, rule by four, and so forth.  So, thinking outside the box, I contemplated how far it could be taken.  So I came up with Tricentumvirate, a group of 300 who rule together. 

 

But that's all I have so far.  I need to brainstorm where to go from here.  Are they an illuminati or secret society?  Are they an overt group dedicated to establishing dominance over...?  Are they a "union" of sorts?

 

And who are they?  Politicians and businessmen?  Crime lords, terrorists , mercenaries and assassins?  Supervillains?  Aliens?  Are they even perhaps mega or master villains?  Are they all equally powerful or are some far more powerful than others?  Do they traffic in differing kinds of power--political, economic, temporal, physical, magical, etc.? 

 

Could it be a benevolent organization?  Amoral or neutral?  A secret society that inducts "worthy" individuals, including PCs? 

 

Just throwing it out there and seeing what the fertile, fevered minds here can come up with. :winkgrin:

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To me it sounds like a kind of oligarchy from the ancient world. Given the Latin form of the name, probably in Italy. It would be a kind of assembly, a Senate or something like that, composed of the 300 richest men in a city.

 

That's in the ancient world. The modern version would imagine themselves as being something of the sort. Of course, they wouldn't be the richest 300 people in the world, but they would somehow class themselves as the 300 best/most important people in the world.

 

The use of Latin indicates a western origin for the group. It also implies a class aspect. 300 gangsters aren't likely to give themselves a Latin name, even if they have a more cultured leader. They'd still end up as "the 300" in practice. This is clearly a bunch of people from upper class backgrounds.

 

Even if they are nominally equals, some will be more equal than others. It's also unlikely that 300 people can keep a secret for very long, so the group will be unstable. It's quite likely that the active membership of the organisation is much smaller than 300, although these doubtless have other people working for them.

 

Escafarc is correct about DC's 100/1000.

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#1 as the 300 Spartans who fought at Thermopylae were fathers, why not have these 300 the sons/bloodlines of the original? The Secret Society would be called The 300 Spartans, or even better Lacedaemon.   

 

#2 the shareholding heirs of the British East India Company form a secret society called The Committee of 300. A book of conspiratorial history has been written on exactly this called The Committee of 300. Your fictional organisation could use the "real" one as a model. 

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Plutocracy-"We are the 1%"

 

Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word about them, or they'll send The Talon for your head.

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Since we're just spitballing here, what first came to my mind is a descendant of the Republic of Venice. The Republic had a complex form of government comprised of a number of patrician participants making up a ruling oligarchy, divided into various bodies and offices which changed and evolved over time. It combined aspects of monarcy, aristocracy, and democracy, balanced to keep any single party from gaining dominance. Venice at its height controlled a vast capitalist empire based on trade. It maintained its independence from other European states for many centuries through a combination of naval power, control of strategic assets, shrewd alliances, and extensive external and internal espionage.

 

My thinking is that as the Republic began to decline in the 18th Century, its most powerful and secretive governing body, the Council of Ten, began to transfer their assets, and establish contacts and followers, elsewhere in Europe. By 1797, when Venice fell to the French under Napoleon, the Ten effectively "went underground," assembling a new council of aristocratic members from across Europe, totaling 300 in all. As the dominance of the European powers spread across the world, this Tricentumvirate reaped the economic benefits. Today the group wields enormous but covert financial, political, and social influence around the globe.

 

And what does it do with this influence? The Tricentumvirate has no ambitions of world conquest, no philosophy they wish to spread. As with their ancestors of the Venetian Republic, they seek only to secure their own status and fortunes, by keeping any other nation, group, or individual from becoming a threat to their assets. Is a particular government trying to nationalize their holdings? Manufacture a scandal, foment a revolution, or otherwise destabilize that government. Is some nation threatening to invade a neighbor where the Tricentumvirate is operating? Forge evidence that said nation is creating "weapons of mass destruction," or another pretext to force the international community to intervene. Is growing peaceful cooperation between different nations or ethnic/religious groups in a region diminishing the Tricentumvirate's exploitation of resources in contested areas, or its arms sales to the parties involved? Create provocative incidents that each party will blame on the other, fanning their natural distrust and hatred into renewed violence.

 

And if heroes are intervening in the activities of the Tricentumvirate, or investigating their members, render them impotent through all the channels the group controls. Destroy their reputations in the media, cripple them with lawsuits, have controlled law-enforcement bring charges against them. If all of that isn't enough, hire whatever amount of mercenary force is needed to dispose of them.

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They're pirates. The descendants of Henry Morgan and Blackbeard, Barbarossa, Simon the Dancer, Jans Janszoon, Koxinga. Never able to marry before church/ulama/the proper rites, they passed their inheritances down as treasure maps given to the illegitimate brood of their mistresses.

 

At every turn, they sought their fortunes at the margins: opium to China, guns to Ethiopia, seal blubber from the Antarctic. Then they reinvested it --into insider trading and stock bubbles and real estate held through untraceable shell companies. With their money, the corrupted politicians and the laws to protect their wealth.

 

And the treasure maps got fuller and more yellow. Today, half of the gold mined since history began is buried, from the elephant seal skerries of farthest south to the longest-abandoned palmaries of the deep Sahara. All to back up fortunes that know neither law nor nation. And if you cross them, you will discover that in their hearts, they are pirates still. 

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Back during the Cold War there was suggestions for a world government led by one person from the West, one from the East, and one from the Neutral nations.  They called it a Troika, Russian for a "Set of Three", as in three horses pulling a cart.  Perhaps it's something along those lines. 

 

Or the Three Stooges. :winkgrin:

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