The Black Dogs
The Black Dogs is the name of one of the main political groups vying for power in the Imperial city of Cauldron, as well as southern Polina in general. Within Cauldron, they are lead by August Black II, the current head of the Black noble family.
Politically, The Black Dogs are something of an anomaly within the Polina Empire, a reflection of their roots and the unique role of Cauldron in the empire. Coming from a long line of blacksmiths, the Black family were very strong loyalists, but happened to live on the old border between Polina and Aenir. During the Progenitor War, at great risk, the August Black I led a small group of citizens posing as refugees to throw upon the gates to Border Keep, the main stronghold between Polina and Aenir at the time, allowing the Polina armies to storm in and take it without a lengthy siege or significant loss of soldiers. For his bravery in doing this, the August Black was awarded a position in the noble cast, and made regent of the Border Keep area. Because of these common beginnings, the Black family line has always been a driving force in the importance of the lower castes in imperial society.
Throughout the generations, the Blacks have tried to extend their influence and power throughout southern Polina with mixed success. Their support from the sizable Merchant and Labor castes gives them a considerable amount of influence in local politics outside of their regencies, which leads to Black Dogs being appointed in several advising councils. However, they are mostly met with distrust and disdain from other southern noble families, in fact, the name The Black Dogs comes from the insults that their political opposition threw at the Blacks as well as their Upper Class and Noble supporters, who were viewed as traitors to their caste for supporting commoners.
Within the city of Cauldron, the Black Dog influence is very low. This is mostly due to the large population of mages within the city, a caste in which The Black Dogs receive the least amount of support from. Other factors include much of the Upper Caste and Noble landowners being supporters or members of the highly influential Opoli Family, who are hard-line supporters of the traditional ways and are strong opponents of the expansion of the roles, importance, or advancement of lower castes. Recently, The Black Dogs have also been critical of the Ringmaster’s Office and Regent Opoli’s advising council, who have been vocal advocates of expanding the rings of magical influence around the city, already having added one in recent months, on the grounds that increasing the magical influence allows for more expansion of the groups that rely on this ambient magical force to power various utilities, including magical libraries and research areas, business catering the the tastes of the wealthier castes, and the homes of the Noble Caste and other members of the affluent elite.