The Broken Circle are perhaps the largest secret society active in the city of Queenstown, with a handle of operations elsewhere.
The Circle, as it was once known, was a secret order of thieves and assassins working for themselves or for hire by the very wealthy. Led by a council of elite members, the Higher Circle, they ruthlessly cut down any and all rivals, ruthlessly ruling the streets of the city by night.
Over time a corruption infiltrated the Shadow Circle, the members better able to survive assassination attempts by younger rivals, shrugging off injury or poison or magikal manipulation as if nothing. Whispered rumours of twisted images in mirrored surfaces and multiple assumed identites had the Shadow Circle living and maintaining their power for decades longer than mortal lives would allow.
A few short decades ago, a coup of sorts rocked through the Circle and even erupted onto the open streets of Queenstown. Led by a charismatic youth, and likely with backing by the Masque as the Ascended patron of thieves, the Shadow Circle was torn asunder, found to be tainted by the Undeath Curse.
Somehow bound and captured, the Shadow Circle were turned over to the Black Order, many of them in pieces though still somehow imbued with life.
That youth became the Upright Man, the new head of the Broken Circle. Surrounding himself with a coterie of powerful gang leaders and proven assassins, he remade the organisation into what it is today.
Gangs of poor children roam the streets gathering information or delivering messages or committing petty crimes. Companion houses are rumoured to be filled with his spies, and in truth the Circle owns and runs several alerooms, tea and kaffa houses, and likely own and maintains any temples dedicated to the Masque. Some say members have even secretly infiltrated the Wardens.
Membership of the Broken Circle is rarely by choice. Many are born into it, some are foundlings and runaways taken in by the guild of thieves, and yet some others are small-time competition, given the choice to join or flee for their lives should they prove able, or simply the latter if they do not.
Many members carry or wear a metal ring stained black, and many gang leaders will be tattooed with a black torque design on their arm or wrist.