Black Star Societies
Originally, the various Black Star Societies arose in the wake of the Crisis of 1875 among those who supported the radical Unionist agenda of a more centralized League with non-European provinces pretty much reduced to second-class status. The strongest areas of support for these groups were (and to a large extent still are) Mobile, Jacobia, Carolina, Virginia, Tenisi, Illinoise and Les Plaines. As the national Unionist Party pretty much collapsed, the radical grass roots members began to meet in small clubs and groups to intimidate their enemies. Such intimidation ranged from minor vandalism to arson and even murder. By the beginning of the 20th century such crimes were one reason the CBI was created, and in general Black Star Society members have regarded that group with profound suspicion ever since.
Contrary to some urban legends (and some fictional accounts), no one has ever managed to unite all or even most Black Star Societies under one banner. They remain very factionalized and prone to schism.
In recent years (since circa 1990) the APD was accused of having some link with the Black Stars. This is hotly denied by the APD. However, the societies do have some vague similarities. They are known for their strong pro-life, anti-sexual freedom beliefs. They have been known to throw acid in the faces of women waiting for abortions.
Virtually all Black Star Societies at least attempt to function as a secret lodge or revolutionary group. In fact, some such have been relatively open in terms of their members declaring membership openly (this fact seems to have no correlation to whether they claim to be covert, however).
In general, Black Star Societies are organized into Clans based on region and/or commonly held ideology. Clans are often named for a predatory animal, usually heraldic in nature (the "Bloody Lions" or "Screaming Griffins", etc.) When Clans unite into a network this is usually called a Legion whose name is usually associated with a physical locale ( the "Grand Legion of the East Mississipi Shore" or "United Legion of Jacobia", etc.). Legions can combine to form Septs, usually named along something the lines of something biblically apocalyptic ("Sept of the Four Horsemen" or "Final Days Sept"). Multiple septs are sometimes referred to as an Order or an Empire.
Titles within Black Star Societies cover a wide range, from Novice, Esquire, Journeyman or Hoplyte for lower ranks all the way to Supreme Master, Dux Bellorum, Imperator or Lord High Chancellor for higher ranks. Tradition has it that a truly powerful, broad-ranging leader is entitled to call himself Imperial Prefect.
Names of different Black Star Societies have included:
- Federation of Black Star Fraternities
- United Black Star Societies of America
- Union of the Black Stars
- True Black Star Societies of the American League