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The Syndicate is mostly a Human criminal organization which originates from the former kingdom of Alterac. It is based in Strahnbrad and operates primarily in the Arathi Highlands and the Alterac Mountains, although a few small encampments are scattered in the Hillsbrad Foothills.
These humans are enemies of the Alliance, especially for humans in the areas the Syndicate threatens, like the Trollbane family. They also hate the Horde with a passion, as these orcs severed ties right when the Syndicate needed them. ( The Syndicate is also the rival of another rogue faction, the guild of )Ravenholdt. All who encounter these rogue vagabonds should be prepared for battle.
Created and formerly lead by Alterac's former king, Aiden Perenolde, they currently have two known leaders: Aiden's son Lord Aliden Perenolde, who directs the Syndicate's actions in the Alterac Mountains from Strahnbrad; and Lord Falconcrest who directs Syndicate actions in Arathi Highlands from the semi-abandoned fortress of Stromgarde. Perhaps Lady Beve Perenolde, daughter of Aiden Perenolde, plays an important role too.
During the Second War, the Horde attempted to conscript some Alliance nobles to help them. Lord Aiden Perenolde, ruler of Alterac, and other nobles from the kingdom thought the Alliance would lose the war, and collaborated with the Horde. Yet the Alliance won, and Alterac's treachery was uncovered. Alterac was crushed by the other nations and Perenolde, along with other nobles and many of their allies, were sentenced to exile by Uther Lightbringer.
The ousted nobles discovered, to their dismay, that the few bands of free orcs in Lordaeron wanted nothing to do with them and refused them sanctuary, so they began stealing to stay alive. Soon they banded together to become more powerful and called themselves the Syndicate. A haughty, fractious group led loosely by Lord Aiden Perenolde, this collection of fledgling rogues had many troubles working together, but managed to stay alive by stealing from towns and villages and never staying in one area for long. During their travels, other outlaws joined their ranks. These professional thieves found they preferred a larger community of rogues to working alone, although some detested the Syndicate’s haughty noble leaders. Lord Aiden Perenolde, the self-proclaimed leader, realized he had to do something drastic to reclaim his lands. When the Burning Legion and the Scourge began their assault on Lordaeron, he did not make the same mistake twice by allying himself with the enemy; he simply took advantage of the Alliance’s distraction to begin reclaiming his lands. The harried and panicked citizens, the people they used to lord over, were frightened and confused and put up little fight, more concerned with the hellish creatures that were rampaging over the land. The Syndicate thus retook the Alterac Mountains and currently battles with ogres and the undead to keep their lands. After regaining much of their lost territory, they sought to expand their sphere of influence, looking to punish the already hurting Alliance. They set their sights on the Arathi Highlands to the South. ( Later when Aiden Perenolde was captured and ousted, Lord )Aliden Perenolde, Aiden’s son, took over the Syndicate. ( His father later died in prison ) (. )
At first the Syndicate's goal was just to spread chaos and disorder, striking from hidden bases in the Alterac Mountains. With the end of the Third War and the resultant chaos however, the leaders of the Syndicate saw their chance to return Alterac to its former power. They have now gained control of several outposts in the surrounding area including the sacked fortress of Durnholde Keep and a portion of the city of Stromgarde.
The trouble with the Syndicate is that it is primarily made up of egotistical, high-born nobles, with lands, farms and citizens who once owed fealty to them. When time came for them to band together and work as one, there was difficulty in finding a leader, as they all wanted the job. Once the Alterac Mountains were retaken and nearly every noble was back in his former home with a citizenry of bandits serving him, many of the old habits returned. Each noble claimed autonomy from the others and considered himself answerable to no one. When Lord Aiden Perenolde came up with the idea to take advantage of the Alliance’s crippled state and attack neighboring lands, the Syndicate once again came under his rule, grudgingly. There was little structure beyond his rule, although Lord Falconcrest had taken over command in the Arathi Highlands.
Each noble has a household and family that serve him or her, including whatever rogues or bandits they’ve picked up along the way. These nobles in turn answered to Lord Perenolde, but there was little organization beyond that. The Syndicate suffers from pride and jealousy, each leader wished to be in Perenolde’s position. There are no titles and little management. Infighting, usually over newly acquired holdings, is a frequent problem. The dirty work, of course, is done by the people lower in the household. The nobles did the stealing and the fighting when they were exiles, but they consider themselves too good for that now, desiring to merely train their underlings and plan grand conquests over ravaged Lordaeron. Yet don’t mistake, these nobles are fierce in battle and will pick up weapons if pushed. . ( )
The Syndicate has no standing army. All adult members are expected to be able to pull their weight in a fight, although since returning to a landed state, the higher echelons participate less and less. With several thousand potential soldiers one might think that the Syndicate would be able to raise a sizeable army. However, the lack of strong leadership makes assembling a force of significant size nearly impossible. The noble households (gangs of criminals, really) hold only nominal loyalty to Perenolde or each other, and thus forces of greater than 50 individuals are rare.
Since returning to Alterac the Syndicate has become less cohesive. Each noble claims a territory (usually, but not always, their original lands), and his or her household “works” that land, stealing from the communities within it and the travelers who pass through. If a village proves stubborn or a common threat enters the area (such as Scourge forces), multiple households may band together to deal with the threat to their collective sovereignty. However, the households just as often work at cross-purposes, squabbling over territory.
Most members of the Syndicate lack training in any productive occupation and receive no encouragement to learn. Instead, the households survive by “appropriation of resources,” which is just a fancy way of saying “stealing.” In most cases a noble sends his goons to a village and tells the inhabitants that they are now under the “protection” of his household. They then tax the village — taking food, supplies, and whatever else catches their fancy. A village that refuses meets with violent retribution, until it either submits or is destroyed. These “taxes” are often more than the noble’s household needs or the village can afford. Woe betides the village that finds itself between two competing households. The Syndicate is also infamous for “taxing” travelers through their lands.
Members of the Syndicate are almost exclusively warriors or rogues (or both). Other classes are rare: The Syndicate has only a handful of magi and warlocks, and no healers. Many of the founding members also have levels in aristocrat. Because of the prevalence of rogues and the lack of healers, the Syndicate favors ambush tactics. The ideal combat is one in which they can surprise their opponents, get what they want quickly, and leave without being followed. They know they can’t win a battle of attrition, and avoid extended combat.
Given that the Syndicate’s primary targets are travelers and small villages, most raids go according to plan. If a target turns out to be more powerful than expected — if, for example, the travelers are in fact adventurers — the gang retreats. Often it returns at a more advantageous time with reinforcements, but sometimes it doesn’t return at all. Some of the nobles would rather let spoils go than be forced to share them with another household. ( )
Most Syndicate members had no choice in the matter: they were part of the traitorous nobles’ households, either staff or family, and they were exiled with their lords. They learned the lifestyle of the thief the hard way, leaving their pampered lives behind to steal from others. They still managed to justify it with no problem, saying that their victims should be supporting them anyway, as they once did. Many of these valets, stablehands, and pampered noble children found themselves developing a clever hand and a scrappy demeanor when it came to living hand-to-mouth on the road. After some weeks of whining, most everyone began pulling their weight when their bellies became empty enough. With enough stolen items, they began to build a semblance of a community in the foothills.
Leaving the Syndicate is very difficult. Each noble knows who belongs in his own little “gang” and notices when someone goes missing. The penalty for attempting to leave is whipping and branding the lower back with an “S.” Bandits found the Syndicate a powerful organization that, while fraught with infighting, is still better to belong to than the smaller gangs they were leading. The Syndicate had greater plans than simply robbing the refugees fleeing Lordaeron. Land conquest was more than the bandits had ever dreamed, and they were eager to join. The Syndicate accepted their pledges of fealty, and thus stronger warriors and rogues brought their skills to the group. One of the smarter decisions Aiden Perenolde made for the Syndicate was to break up these bandit gangs among the noble families, giving the bandits new allegiances so the gangs couldn’t stay together to work against the nobles. This trick worked perfectly, and most bandits went along with it for the greater reward. Any member of the Horde wishing to join the Syndicate is slaughtered on sight. ( )
They are enemies of both the Alliance, whom they consider their mortal enemies, and the Horde, whom they consider mere brutes good for nothing but slave labor. As a result, the Syndicate is now hunted by both factions, with the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, in particular, placing a bounty on their heads - guaranteeing that all captured Syndicate members will be summarily executed. In addition, Horde Warchief Thrall ordered a number of his agents, including Krusk, Drull, Tog'Thar and their leader Gol'Dir to launch an investigation into the nature of the Syndicate and its activities, as well as to recover a necklace that belonged to a dear friend of his, Taretha Foxton - a necklace now worn by Elysa, the mistress of Lord Aliden.
The Argus Wake
There is considerable evidence that the Syndicate is being manipulated by a higher group called the Argus Wake, who in turn serve the Shadow Council at Jaedenar. This would put the Argus Wake on a level with groups such as the Burning Blade and the Searing Blade. Precious little information exists about either the Argus Wake or their exact connection to the Syndicate, however. The Argus Wake does not appear to be present anywhere outside the Alterac Mountains, and their only minions there are the human Argus Shadow Mages in Strahnbrad. In Orgrimmar, Thrall warns that the Argus Wake is a group that serves the Shadow Council, just like the Burning Blade and Searing Blade; beyond this, the group receives little mention.
The Argus Wake would appear to have literally nothing to do with the lost Eredar homeworld of Argus, except the fact that the Shadow Council is a group of demons and demon worshippers, the Eredar themselves being demons hailing from Argus. Could be the Argus Wake named themselves that in honor of the great Eredar.
The Syndicate has worked hard to destabilize the regions it operates in and does not hesitate to resolve to subterfuge and covert operations. Baron Vardus, a high-ranking member of the Syndicate, was recently involved in a foiled attempt to assassinate Magistrate Henry Maleb in Southshore. Baron Vardus has since been assassinated, although it is still unclear whether this was done by an agent of the Alliance seeking to retaliate for the attempt on the Magistrate's life or by a representative of the Horde seeking to further check the expansion of the Shadow Council's agents, perhaps both.
The Syndicate strongly believes in slave labor and is determined to return to the days of the internment camps for orcs. Aliden Perenolde in particular was determined to enslave the orcs again, thus following in the footsteps of his mentor Blackmoore.
Syndicate Presence: Hillsbrad Foothills
The presence of the Syndicate in the Hillsbrad Foothills is fairly low. Although a number of skirmishes with its agents have been reported, credible sources attest that the Syndicate forces there are poorly trained and equipped, and are no match for an experienced adventurer. In spite of this, the Syndicate has successfully held control over Durnholde Keep and continues to use it as its base of operations in the area. More significant Syndicate presence can be encountered further to the north and east, where the Syndicate controls extensive areas of the Alterac Mountains and Arathi Highlands, even succeeding in holding a part of the ruined city of Stromgarde, despite the best efforts by the Alliance to remove the Syndicate from the area.
Syndicate Presence: Alterac Mountains
Presently the domain of Aliden Perenolde, the Alterac Mountains houses Strahnbrad - an abandoned town that has since been taken over by the Syndicate and transformed into a military installation where Syndicate agents practice their skills as well as keep some of their enslaved orcs. The Alterac Mountains are also the home of Dandred's Fold - the area where the mansion of the late Syndicate leader, Lord Perenolde, is located. The Syndicate presence in the area still remains strong, and its soldiers in the Alterac Mountains are well-trained and equipped, second perhaps only to the elite group that currently controls a part of Stromgarde in Arathi Highlands.
How to gain reputation
Currently there is only one known option to increase a player’s reputation with the Syndicate, and that is by killing members of the Ravenholdt faction. Unfortunately, at the moment little is known about the rewards of increasing Syndicate reputation as all Ravenholdt-affiliated NPCs only give 1 Syndicate Reputation Point, with the exception of Myrokos Silentform, who gives 5. With all players starting at 32000/36000 Hated with the faction, it would require killing 10,000 Ravenholdt NPCs to reach Neutral status with the faction; unfortunately, Neutral status is the highest you can reach with the Syndicate, and if not to deter players further, none of the Ravenholdt NPCs drop loot.
There is one possible way for rogues to become friendly with both the Syndicate and Ravenholdt, but it would very likely require hundreds of hours. Turning in Syndicate Emblems to Ravenholdt guards doesn't lower your reputation with the Syndicate. With this in mind, one could turn in one Emblem and gain 100 Ravenholdt reputation points and be able to kill four Ravenholdt members to gain four Syndicate Reputation points without going below Neutral with Ravenholdt. In other words you would need to pickpocket 3250 Syndicate Emblems and kill 13,000 Ravenholdt NPCs.
All Syndicate mobs give 5 reputation points with Ravenholdt (1 at grey level), thus allowing players to redeem themselves with Ravenholdt. You will however lose your Syndicate reputation this way.
Be aware that there are no known rewards for gaining reputation with the Syndicate. Blizzard may add something further in the storyline in WotLK, but it is unlikely at best.
Ravenholdt NPC Reputation Value Chart
|Name||Reputation Gained with Syndicate||Reputation Lost with Ravenholdt|
|Lord Jorach Ravenholdt||1||25|