Now - Aedra and Daedra.
Before them - The Void.
After them - The Void.
The men and mer races of Tamriel worship Aedra and Daedra as their true gods. But what is divinity? Who wove the fabric of creation in the first place? The Master of The Void, Lord Sithis.
Only few remember this, but one race lives in dedication to the Dread Father - Saxhleel of Black Marsh, mostly known as Argonians. Sithis has never forgotten this, and thus during the Mythic era, Sithis' presence manifested in Black Marsh to show he hasn't forgotten his most loyal Saxhleel worshippers. The Dread Lord gave them a very powerful magic artifact to be used to aid Black Marsh, should some serious threat arise to it and its people. Because of the artifact's appearance, the Argonians gave it the name of "Black Rose". The artifact was offered to a selected few who proved worthy of Sithis’ blessing, and clues prove it was used in various places across the Marsh. Some say the Artifact was used for defeating invading armies while others claimed it could be used to move large stones, enabling Argonians to build various stone buildings, the most famous of which are stone pyramids known as 'Xanmeer'. With reduced need for outside help or intervention, the Black Rose made Argonians able to become a powerful and autonomous civilization. Sithis also bestowed certain secret powers to the bloodlines of those who were there when He came for the purpose of ensuring the colossal power of The Rose could only be utilized for extreme defensive purposes. Those Argonians formed an occult secret society to preserve their legacy, a brotherhood that echoes the powers given by the lord of nothingness – a family named "Echo of Silence".
After Sithis's visit many Argonians wanted to live where their Lord appeared, and thus built a town named Blackrose after their Lord's artifact. On the exact location of the apparition, a big temple was built in honor to Sithis, and in the middle of it stood the Black Rose. Members of the Echo of Silence naturally became powerful citizens of the city, leading the city from the shadows, and exerting influence outside it. With their newly gained authority, and lusting for a more direct and far-reaching grasp on their power, Echo of Silence created Ithisskk'uth-Sanssl'an (Jel for 'Touch of Shadows'). It served as an enforcement branch of EoS that operated in Blackrose city and beyond, instructed to use any means necessary to complete their mission. They were thus often breaking the law, giving them the nickname 'Blackrose Cartel'. The Echo of silence gave them six tenets known as Rule of Six, in order to prevent them from becoming mere bandits without values or principles that would stain their divine heritage.
"Rule of Six:
Never hurt innocents or children. To do so is to provoke Echo of Silence.
Never dishonor The Cartel's history and teachings. To do so is to provoke Echo of Silence.
Never provoke, threaten, or disrespect another member. To do so is to provoke Echo of Silence.
Never betray The Cartel and its secrets. To do so is to provoke Echo of Silence.
Never betray your brethren. To do so is to provoke Echo of Silence.
Never disobey orders from Echo of Silence. To do so is to provoke Echo of Silence.
To provoke Echo of Silence is to demand death from the Dread Father."
In 11th century of the First Era, various Argonian pirate lords became aware of the Marsh's treacherous nature to outsiders, making it ideal for their bases. At first they offered gifts to local Argonians wherever they came, so locals allowed them to operate near their homes, as long as they don't enter cities nor disturb them. But in 1E 1033 Empress Hestra ordered for the head of “Red Bramman” (the most notorious of these criminals) to be brought to her in order to end intensifying bandit activity. The Imperial Navy were forced to enter Argonia through the Bay and traveled deeper into the swamps than any other foreigners had before, to finally capture and decapitate the redheaded pirate-king in his bandit kingdom, near the modern city of Blackrose. The pillaging and slavery Bramman introduced into the Marsh made Argonians resentful towards these pirates, but still afraid of Red Bramman himself. With Bramman dead, many of his subordinates aspired to keep making fortune there, enslaving locals, and practicing blackmail and extortion. In response, the Blackrose Cartel organized a full-scaled resistance against them, orchestrated by Echo of Silence. This was a true test of the Cartel's guerilla tactics, ambushing their supply and raiding routes. Both sides suffered heavy losses and eventually, rumours of a group of zealous residents wanting to steal the Black Rose surfaced. Echo of Silence intervened before the power was misused. Because of this, the organization decided to become more secretive, necessarily hiding the Black Rose from the general population and depriving the Argonians of its beneficial powers, event known as "Duskfall" among Argonian folk. But soon after, the Cartel organized a coup de grâce operation on the pirates' headquarters, ending the threat once and for all.
When the Second Era started, EoS concluded that enough time had passed since the attempt on the Rose, and they returned it to its official resting place in Blackrose temple. This was a grave mistake. In 2E 560 another incident occurred, when an unknown Argonian shaman stole the Black Rose and took it to Stormhold, where he created the infamous Khanaten flu - a disease deadly to all non-reptilians. EoS managed to track the extremist fanatic and ended his life, but even after they recovered the Rose the damage had already been done. Most non-Argonians in Argonia died, with eastern Elsweyr and southern Morrowind already affected. Inevitably, House Dres (who ruled southern Morrowind) deemed EoS responsible and commissioned the Morag Tong to kill leaders of Echo of Silence. Years of spying, counter spying and murder ensued, the Morag Tong hunting down EoS relentlessly and almost succeeding in killing all of the key figures in ambushes, known by some as " The Crimson Skirmishes". Putting up a fierce defense and even killing many assassins, the few remaining EoS members ended up keeping a low profile to cease growing losses in this conflict.
Freedom is a lie, there is only Fervor.
Through Fervor comes Strength.
Through Strength comes Power.
Through Power comes Victory.
Through Victory, my Chains are broken.
The Truth shall free me!"
Echo of Silence still guards the holy Black Rose, some members still boasting His divine powers. The Blackrose Cartel on the other hand, remains EoS' day-to-day enforcement branch, establishing connections and bases across Ebonheart Pact territory, helping EoS making profits and ensuring a firm hand over its areas of influence. Whilst integrating members sharing its ideology as part of a family, it also endeavors to restore freedom and Black Marsh's lost prosperity.
After series of inner fights and betrayals, Echo of Silence fell, leaving Blackrose Cartel much disorganized. Remnants of both organizations are trying to stay together in this time of betrayal and danger, attempting to reorganize into what they once were.
ALL HAIL SITHIS!