Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
Twilight For Slavery, aka "The Strugglers"
The Strugglers are a terrorist group; their public statements are often signed off with the phrase, “This is the Twilight of Slavery, and all means are justified in the struggle”, which gave them the diminutive nickname “Strugglers”. The ‘Strugglers’ happily took the name for their own – and made it feared.
They are widely believed to have begun some 100 years ago as an offshoot of ORS, led by certain subversives who disagreed with the strictly pacifist line they espoused. Whether or not this is true, the Strugglers grew in popularity amongst the radically anti-slavery persons who were frustrated at what they saw as the ‘ineffectual’ efforts of the ORS, and at what they perceived to be pro-slavery ‘front’ groups masquerading as anti-slavery, such as the Kobold Society or, later, the Mendalius Foundation.
They have performed some relatively minor crimes such as helping runaways to evade the law; they have engaged in more serious activities such as people-smuggling; they have committed major crimes such as the murder of high-profile slavers and popular pro-slavery speakers; and in some particularly slave-driven regions (including Imperial Pelargossia) they have committed heinous acts of terrorism and sabotage, including bombing civic buildings used for slavery, derailing trains, and sinking cargo vessels. Some branches’ acts seem more an excuse by fringes to partake in violence, than to advance their proclaimed cause; it is not uncommon for slaves to be killed in their attacks, which they officially blame on the use of slaves as ‘shields’ by amoral slavers – but acts such as detonating bombs in a crowded slave market filled with ‘produce’ for trade, hardly seem the fault of the slavers.
Even in nations that abolish slavery they are officially an illegal organisation that no nation dares to admit turning a blind eye to (though many are suspected to, in an effort to turn the Strugglers’ gaze elsewhere). There are a great many accusations that they have strong links to organised crime and religious fundamentalist groups with far less noble-sounding goals; some say they really are just a criminal gang pretending to have lofty ambitions when they’re really just in it for money.
There have long been accusations over the group’s history that it was dying out, until the Republic actively tried to reestablish and support it in Imperial Pelargossia in an effort to sow strife in its mighty rival – the Republic now has significant problems with them in its own Pelargossian territories, so if that is how it was founded, it certainly backfired.
It is known that Strugglers operate ‘franchises’ and that different cells often have little in common bar the name; there are a dozen splinter sects and many lesser factions who have occasionally directed their violence at one another amidst accusations of “aiding the enemy” by various means – including the nebulous “engineering defeat” by not performing enough attacks. Some splinters have opted to focus on the “enemy within”, and primarily attack peaceful pro-kobold anti-slavery groups for ‘permitting’ and ‘enabling’ the continuation of slavery.