So you want to know about the factions, huh?
Well, you've got a pretty okay balance, far as that's worth anything here. The cops. The robbers. And those poor folks that just want to live their lives without dealing picking any particular side.
Of course, here in the City, you can't really say one side is 'evil' and the other side is 'good', can you? You got little angels just tryin' to get by over in Kairos, and corrupt, power-hungry dogs in Legion.
Factions don't mean shit aside from who you call family, that's how I see it. What your family does, well, that's up in the air, isn't it? Up to you to decide where you want to belong, who you want to call family.
Just try and make sure you don't piss off the wrong people.
The City is protected by private police forces, independent contractors who are essentially extralegal mercenaries. Not truly under the watch of umbrella organizations, they occasionally come into conflict with bodies of nations like the UN. Nobody has yet come up with a better system (or the money and time to implement it), so they’re allowed to operate as they have for the past sixty years unabated.
The Spirit Detectives were founded over thirty years ago, though there’s been turnover, deaths, maimings and burnout in those years. Legend has it that the original Spirit Detective was a comics junkie, and only eighteen when his private police force was started. It’s hard to deny that, even to this day, many young powerhouses in the group think of themselves as superheroes. In the complex realities of life, in which so much is grey and almost nothing is black and white, this idealistic thinking is growing twisted, the good intentions of a Batman, Superman, and Goku-loving teen constantly compromised, over and over again.
Originally formulated as a band of heroes, there’s plenty on this team of private contractors who have looked into the abyss of the city and felt their intentions twist. Now, there are about as many jaded bastards abusing their power on the team as there are self-proclaimed heroes from an ivory tower. They have been known to show a callous disregard for usual legal proceedings. Some lawyers and city officials find them a nuisance, because of that. They also have a habit of sticking their noses into the business of the rich and powerful, exposing corruption and other activities that have put them in danger, and stripped political protection from them.
The Legion is a military force, and a walking ad for why police with military-grade gear are a danger. Better organized than the Spirit Detectives, better trained, generally older, more mature, many Legionnaires are ex-military themselves, or otherwise professionals. The Legion is less dangerous for its employees than the Spirit Detectives, but has had more scandals in four years than the Spirit Detectives have managed in thirty. Their bureaucracy is infamous, and has been since the group’s creation in 1951. They get the highest arrest convictions because they follow the rules and go for the low-hanging fruit.
Crime has become a part of the tradition of the city. Since there is no regular police force, and since people uproot and come from all over the world to live in the City despite an absence of jobs and a strangeness of infrastructure that makes abuses of power all too likely, crime is a sad necessity. The city imports all its food, so eating is expensive, particularly finding fresh produce in Ghost Town. Money has to come from somewhere. Increasingly, it’s come from crime and corruption. Ending up in the Panopticon is not unheard of for many citizens of the City.
While there may be dozens of copycats of the infamous group of intelligence gatherers and brokers, there is only one organization that earns the prominence of being the White Rabbit. Playing host to a global network of black market buyers and sellers, the White Rabbit is notorious for being a mover and shaker on the world scene. In the City they are believed to be the leading cause for intellectual piracy and the leaking of corporate - and government - secrets. Countless mega-corporations have been exposed and exploited by the White Rabbit and it is believed that most large businesses - who seek to avoid victimization by the group - pay protection fees.
The City’s security personnel have failed to pin them with crimes for two decades, and attempts to infiltrate the crime organization has failed, often spectacularly. Police have two major problems when tackling the White Rabbit: first, that it is a decentralized organization, and secondly that they seem to have perfected the art of toeing the line of legality. At least, on the surface.
While there are a number of criminal organizations that call the City their home, Kairos maintains a reputation of fear-mongering and ruthlessness that classes it among the most dangerous groups around. Kairos dates back to the collapse of the barrier, with ‘Kairos’ being the name of a demon lineage that once ruled the group with an iron claw. The Kairos family has since been overthrown - their names ushering in respect, but no real power among the organization.
The Kairos faction serves their own interests and seek power and wealth beyond all else. They keep their clutches on the pulse of the City and intimidate many of the smaller factions into obedience.
Then there are entities all of their own, not working towards any particular cause. These colorful characters seem to be the very beating heart of The City, with it up to you to decide if that heart is selfish, caring, or maybe... woefully indifferent.