What is "the Network"?
The Network is not a traditional "faction" in game terms but rather, an effort to give individual antagonists a route into the story with connections and relationships once they arrive. In much of the criminal underworld, it seems reasonable to assume that parties involved might have knowledge of other individuals working outside of the law.
The Network specifically refers to a series of individuals with a focus on dealing and smuggling artifacts and raw magical substances internally and across international borders. Much of the work that is done involves smuggling items into the UK, particularly in the wake of recent muggle conflicts in the Eastern hemisphere. In the wake of the Second War, many dark artifacts were either confiscated by Aurors, destroyed or hidden away by Death Eaters. Likewise, the Ministry also began to ban certain raw materials, feeling them potentially dangerous because of the potential of using them to create illicit potions or new dark artifacts. A group of individuals began to see profit in the trade and as such, began to specialize in the illegal smuggling and sale of said items. While alliances shift rapidly and people sometimes leave the lifestyle, once you are in "the Network," it becomes difficult to let go.
What types of characters fit in the Network?
- Petty criminals - Small-time thieves, embezzlers.
- Fences and dealers - People who receive and distribute items.
- Forgers/Counterfeiters - These people create fakes not only of documents but of artifacts and artworks.
- Graverobbers - A grim profession, many valuable artifacts were buried with wizards at their deaths. These people retrieve them.
- Smugglers - Those who move objects from one country to the next.
- Information Brokers - These people deal information to all sides.
- Informants/Snitches - Work in conjunction with one Ministry department to rat out other people in the Network (NOTE: this has the potential to result in PC death, to anyone considering this).
- Master Thieves & Cat Burglars - Experts in crime, these people plan the big heists.
While one character may hold a specialization in an area, there is no reason to assume that they might take different roles in different capers. Many of them may be affiliated with an individual or family who commissions much of their work but for the ease of game play, characters connected to the Network are automatically aware on some level of other members inside of it.