The Aspis Consortium is an international organization of merchants, businessmen, mercenaries, and adventurers that is motivated by profit. They are often the first organization to set up trade in newly discovered regions, and usually negotiate exclusive trading rights. While usually willing to subcontract trading rights, attempts to open up new lines of trade in places that the Consortium has already established itself tends to end poorly for the upstarts: leaders of rival ventures have a disturbing tendency to end up dead, robbed, marooned, or sold into slavery.
The Consortium is particularly known for its trade in exotic and hard-to-obtain items. The legality of certain goods is generally not a concern of the Consortium, other than contraband fetching a significantly higher profit margin. Despite the generally-acknowledged ruthlessness of many of its members, and the high prices it tends to fetch, the Consortium is usually considered to be a reliable broker of rare goods, and often the only source.
It is generally known that agents of the Aspis Consortium hold ranks in the organization, and that a higher rank indicates a higher level of trust within the group, and a higher expectation of profit. Most agents encountered are Bronze Agents, and the glimpse of an Aspis Bronze Medallion is an indication that you are dealing with a cool professional. Not all agents are merchants: The Consortium employs negotiators, troubleshooters, spellcasters, and a variety of other adventuring sorts to meet its goals. There are known to be Silver and Gold agents, but their roles are not generally known outside of the organization.
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Headquarters: Ostenso, Cheliax
Leaders: Director A.X. Adrius; Treasurer Jaydis Maladdis IV; board of trustees
Structure: Multinational corporation