This group is made up almost entirely of supernaturals, they believe that
humankind has proven to be weak, unreliable, short sighted and stupid and
that the world would be a better place if they ran it. To this end the
group has many political connections and is a powerful force behind the
scenes, manipulating governments and companies using their supernatural
gifts to their own ends. They tend to see supernaturals as superior because
of their gifts, and wiser because of their longer life spans and thus more
suited to rule, while humans are considered a lesser class.
The Hand wishes to implement corporate like meritocracies in which the superior rule over the inferior, with the superior almost always being those who are supernatural and also card-carrying members of the Hand. In such a society the use of supernatural abilities is never a crime, simply a natural expression of an individual's merits.
Hand governments tend to use corporate guises, with the leader being the CEO of some cover company and their advisors being the board of directors. They are usually located within some unusually well guarded corporate building near the center of the city. Hand governments are very relaxed in general and encourage their people to deal with their own problems. They only intervene in the case of serious crimes, such as serious assaults and murders. They typically don't police crimes against humans unless the crime could call attention to the supernatural world, or is otherwise bad for their interests. A crime against a human who belongs to another super is considered a crime against that super however, but the government would only get involved if it was of the serious assault or murder level. They are generally easy to get permission to do things from, but difficult to obtain help from.
If someone is accused of breaking the law, an investigation is carried out by an inquisitor with some mind control abilities. If found guilty their punishments usually involve brainwashing the guilty into being some new, productive member of society. You can be found innocent of any crime in a Hand court if you can successful argue that what you did was for the greater good. In theory this is the greater good of the world, but in practice often blurs more into the greater good of the Hand.
The Peacekeepers are the Hand's soldiers, guards and police. Called upon whenever martial might is required.
The Peacekeepers tend to deploy in modern black military gear and are usually well armored. One of their favorite tactics is to use slightly curved, rectangular shields and deploy into what they call the phalanx. This involves a squad of troops, the first line crouching and planting shields, the second line placing their shields on top and firearms and sometimes the occasional flamethrower being pushed through special slots in the shield to allow the peacekeepers to fire. It presents a front that is effectively immune to small arms fire, but is somewhat slow to move or maneuver and can be vulnerable to flanking attacks. The defense can also be penetrated by heavy weaponry, amongst other societies they are often called 'turtles' for their use of this tactic.
The Shadows are the Hand's covert operatives, responsible for assassinations, espionage, spying, research, R&D and arcane support.
The Shadows tend to deploy in lightly armed and armored black military gear, or enemy/civilian outfits. They are particularly fond of espionage and assassination in open conflict, but also fulfill much of the sniping, scouting or support roles for the Hand. Due to their dark garb and the high number of vampires normally found in them, they are often called 'Bats' by other societies.
The Whisperers are the Hand's public face, they are it's diplomats, PR agents, advertising executives, and politicians. Dedicated to influencing the world at large to serve the agenda of the Hand as well as handling relations with other groups. Those groups might be supernaturals ones, or natural ones relating to the Hand through one of their many corporate fronts, the largest and well known of which is Coretech Industries.
When the Gods left earth, the resulting power vacuum was filled by their former servants forming independent and competing councils. One of the earliest and strongest of these was known as the Council of Rome. This was where the first vampires developed as a way to extend the lives and power of the council members. They waged war against the Israelites and then the Christians until Christianity was adopted by the Roman State, at which point the group became more covert and started to call themselves Manus, or The Hand.
Through most of the Medieval era The Hand controlled primarily Italy and England as well as some Eastern European states and warred with the Temple and The Order. The industrial revolution began a decline in the power of supernaturals but the Hand was still able to exert significant control over much of the new world including Australia and many of the economic powerhouses of the US.
World War Two broke the power of the Hand, the increasing complexity and secrecy of global conflict with the rise of the Cold War was an anathema to the large organizations and they splintered apart into several smaller groups. One year after the supposed defeat of Et-Aral however several in the supernatural community started advocating for greater cohesion, the need to return to larger, more powerful groups to safeguard the world and The Hand began to regather its strength.