“To never be caged again”
The Freemen fought long and hard for their place in the world. They are Darkleechers who unified into a single family after several wars and now hold the major crop producing Districts in Acheron. With permission from the Government of course. They value their space, preferring to live a more rural lifestyle. Art, history, and a varied culture are important to the Freemen, who feel they have been suppressed for generations. Mostly segregationists, most Freemen live their lives outside of the Central Districts farming, fishing, shipping, and more. This, and their innate connection to the magical aspects, makes them more likely to partake in magical rituals, spirit healing, and other customs many Humans don’t believe in.
After the Freemen family was formed they made a contract with the Government to cement their new power. The head of each house must be branded with the curse of the council. One or all of the Council members bind the Freemen leaders with a spell that takes the shape of a branded pair of hawk's wings on their back. If a food shipment is more than one month late, the current Head of House will have wings rip out of their back, killing them with excruciating pain. This is the only rule of their contract. If the food stops, they die. If the food keeps flowing they can do whatever they wish... Within reason.
The Freemen family is divided into four houses based on the seasons. The Spring House (Fae Pedigree) are typically the face of the organization, while the Summer House (Demonic Pedigree) are in charge of the legal aspect of the family business. The Fall House (Spirit Pedigree) are in charge of the actual production of food stuffs, while the Winter House (Eldritch Pedigree) are the family's spies and assassins. The leader of each seasonal house is always drawn from the Pedigree corresponding to the season that they represent, but they can have any and all pedigrees of Darkleecher working under them. Each Head of House rules for three months out of the year, and can only rule for a total of 20 seasons. After 20 seasons a head of house will be replaced during a festival called The Changing of the Seasons. When a Head of House retires they become a Patrician, and typically spend their time counseling their children. The head of the ruling seasonal house is the Head Apparator for the entire Freemen family; it is their responsibility to mediate and resolve disputes and looks out for the family's interests in general.
This system works rather well for well for the Freemen, or so we are lead to believe. In truth each Changing of the Seasons brings more rebellious individuals into power, and the relationship between the Law Dogs and the Freeman is growing more tense. The heads of each house are still bound to their contract with the Council, but they seem to be trying to find any way to gain greater independence without breaking the terms of their agreement.