Mass Effect: Stardust
The Shadow Broker
“I know your every secret… while you fumble in the dark.”
The entity known as the Shadow Broker deals in trading secrets and information between the galaxy’s disparate factions, always selling to the highest bidder. The Shadow Broker appears to be highly competent at its trade: all secrets that are bought and sold never allow one customer of the Broker to gain a significant advantage, forcing the customers to continue trading information to avoid becoming disadvantaged, allowing the Broker to remain in business. The Shadow Broker hoards information, leaking out very little yet achieving an incredible reach with what is sold. It takes no sides but its own, and will do business with anyone who can pay its price.
Very few people know who or what the Shadow Broker is; even some of its underlings believe it is a group of people rather than an individual due to the far-reaching scope of its operations. The Shadow Broker’s reach has even extended to having Council Spectres on their payroll at certain points in the last half century of their involvement in galactic power games.
As befits such an influential and well-funded criminal figure, the Shadow Broker has a private army at their disposal to carry out operations that require the application of force, apart from those who serve as sleeper agents and thus work for the Broker in uniforms of their choice. All Shadow Broker troops wear black and white armor, and bear the Shadow Broker’s insignia: the triangular red emblem pictured below. One can be sure that if they’re at cross-purposes of the Shadow Broker’s troops, they will have made a nearly inescapable enemy: to work with the Broker is to be known by the Broker, and to cross the Broker is to be courting a short lifespan.
(PCs may know of, have worked for (knowingly or otherwise), secretly work for, or are attempting to escape the influence of the Shadow Broker; its influence in the underworlds they will or have traveled within cannot be denied. If the PCs wish to work with the Broker, they can also be sure of two things: they will require a high Obligation, and they’re getting the worse end of the deal. PCs should be aware that their Obligation will increase extremely quickly if working with the Shadow Broker due to the often illegal nature of the jobs provided them, but they will be well compensated for the trouble. The downside is that they may also become pawns in a galactic shadow war, potentially under threat by sleeper agents from a variety of sources at the most random of times)