Character Backstories and Backgrounds: The Sway
In Year 15 a mysterious league emerged from the shadows to claim the power of the newly discovered Obelisk, the Sway. A league that has managed to strike fear into many Neopians’ hearts. The Sway has always been a clandestine society, with such a great number of skilled in battle, clever and resourceful members that no one would dare try to arrest them or deceive them. Yet, despite their secrecy, drawing information from the organization itself is possible. There is one thing that the Sway value more than its agents, money. Consequentially the league would gladly offer data regarding the members or classified information as long as the payment is adequate.
As revealed by the Duchess, the organization was founded in Year 1 and the administrative centre was constructed between The Haunted Woods and Neopia Central. At that time the society’s purpose was to provide water, food, clothes and a home for the poor, which was often achieved by stealing from the rich. As time passed, though, the members’ lust for money grew and they started to steal for their own benefit. Very few kept helping those in need, the Sway’s former leader included, unaware of their fellow members’ actions. In Year 3 the leader was overthrown and the Duchess rose to power. The incident’s result was the current state of the organization. The Sway’s present goal is seemingly the personal gain of its members, accomplished through illegal means: Many receive threats often converted into actions from the league for the gain of information or for obtaining cash and items are smuggled or unlawfully exported. Also, the league’s centre now changes location on a regular basis so as to ensure that apprehension is avoided.
The Sway has grown significantly since Year 3, and a large increase in its members is noted. However, only its six most influential ones are known. One of them is a Xweetok known by the codename of “Amateur Insider”. She has earned that title due to being the member of the Sway with the least experience in battle. The reason she has taken part in the battles for the Obelisk is naturally questionable when many other insiders that outstand in fighting could have participated instead of her. The answer does not lie in her battling or strategic ability. It lies in her affluence. “Amateur Insider” springs from a family of highly successful businessmen and businesswomen, all related to numerous unlawful activities. As such she is ranked up in Neopia’s richest citizens and the second richest member of the Sway, behind the organization’s leader. Thus, when the Duchess announced that all participants of the winning team in the battle for the Obelisk would be presented with the chance to choose from five perks, knowing that the league’s leader would not risk failure, “Amateur Insider” instantly offered to work as the Sway’s main contributor in exchange for the freedom to take part in the battles as a member of the Sway. The Duchess deemed such an effort worthwhile as the maintenance of the society’s buildings and the purchase of sophisticated items for the Battledome and for more specific functions was a difficult task. Due to “Amateur Insider’s” role in the league all of its members treat her with respect.
Of course, not all of the Sway’s members gained ascendancy through economical means. An example of this case is a Blumaroo called “Charming Subversive”. This scheming Blumaroo used to live in The Haunted Woods in his younger years. Its devious residents took advantage of his age and helplessness and started to bully him, the Esophagor and the Brain Tree coerced him to work for them through threatening, shopkeepers denied giving him any food, believing he would take it and leave them unpaid. These years had a heavy impact in his perspective of Neopians. “Charming Subversive” craved revenge and trained for hours every day, waiting for the chance to hit. The Duchess, who had heard rumors about him, visited The Haunted Woods, where she offered him to work as a high ranking secret agent and dungeon administrator of the Sway, both being jobs that served his interests. These days he participates in most of the society’s battle-related activities and punishes cruelly all who dare defy him.
A level higher in the Sway’s hierarchy is a Techo known as “Nefarious Plotter”. One of the Sway’s most loyal members, “Nefarious Plotter” has dedicated many years of his life to the organization. He is always one of the first to receive the Duchess’s messages and judges all decisions and suggestions that are made. He was first met with the league in Terror Mountain working as a tax officer. Being a very cunning Neopet he easily fooled the government, keeping amounts of the money that were collected for himself, yet remaining unnoticed. “Nefarious Plotter’s” present job is organizing crimes such as robberies, kidnappings, attacks and penetrations into businesses and organizations of various types, the latter being his second job, which he excels at as his skills with the knife are undoubted.
There is, however, one insider, a Nimmo whose exact position in the Sway remains a mystery. He signs using the alias “Cunning Mastermind”, but his true name is Norheim. Norheim is one of the society’s first insiders. He joined in after his abilities with magic were acknowledged by the league’s members, who promised him that he would be taught many spells hidden from most Neopians by some of Neopia’s wisest wizards. He later contributed to the successful attempt of overthrowing the Sway’s former leader in hopes of gaining access to spells forbidden even by the organization’s standards. It is speculated that he currently works as a secretary, due to collecting information which he conveys to the Duchess and having knowledge of the society’s deepest secrets. He has responsibility for initiations into the organization and many Neopians claim that he is the Neopet behind numerous plans for wrongdoings and battle strategies as well, as his pseudonym would suggest.
Last is the one Neopian who forever concluded the league’s age of selflessness and put it in its prosperous path, the Duchess. A notorious and sly Lenny, she is dreaded by most who know her. There are not many Neopians capable of fooling her and those who manage to do so do not escape her. They receive an inexorable punishment. The Duchess is aware of most of Neopia’s activities. She is connected to most of them and is often the mastermind behind many secret ones. Her main goal is unclear, though. Only one thing is certain; She wishes to control.
The Sway is a secret society surrounded by a lot of mystery. What is the Sway? Who are its members? What’s its purpose? Is it true that their goal is the maintenance of peace in Neopia or is it just another report? These questions have long whizzed in the minds of many Neopians. We have attempted to shine some light on this case, getting answers directly from the organization. Whether the league’s members have spoken the truth or not is, however, unknown.