|“||A cult within a cult, the origins of the Black Hand date back to soon after the founding of Nod itself. Initially established as a form of religious police and tasked with enforcing adherence to the teachings of Kane, in the ensuing years the Black Hand saw their purview expand significantly. By the time of the Second Tiberium War, the cult had become Kane's chosen wardens of all things religious, charged with the distributing and proselytizing of his prophecies while also maintaining spiritual discipline within the Brotherhood ... by force if necessary.
The Black Hand maintains a parallel organisation within the Brotherhood with political, religious and military wings.
Yet, for all of their power and influence, until recently the Black Hand had managed to maintain a surprisingly low profile, shrouding their rituals, beliefs, and to the world beyond Nod, their very existence in a veil of mystery and obfuscation. However, as the Second Tiberium War drew to a close, all this would change. With Kane's "death", Anton Slavik, a respected military leader, rose to become leader of the Brotherhood of Nod - and revealed himself to be a Black Hand prelate, raised from childhood within the cult. Needless to say, Slavik's ascent drew significant attention to the Black Hand, attention that was not always welcomed.
Unsurprisingly, many within the Black Hand chafed at the cult's new public profile, with internal dissent quickly escalating into a series of impassioned public confrontations between Slavik loyalists and those who claimed the Nod leader to be a traitor to the Black Hand's true purpose. From within the anti-Slavik ranks there soon rose a figure who could stand toe-to-toe with Slavik, an impassioned and popular preacher by the name of Brother Marcion. With leaders chosen and battle-lines drawn, what had started as a doctrinal disagreement had quickly escalated into a schism that threatened the very existence of Nod itself.
Despite the Inner Circle's repeated attempts to heal the rift, the situation soon spun out of control, leaving Slavik dead at the hands of an assassin and Marcion and his followers retreating to self-imposed exile in the Australian outback. These cataclysmic events splintered the remainder of the Brotherhood into countless sub-factions, each claiming to follow the "true" word of the Prophet, with, ironically, Marcion's new Black Hand serving as one of four surviving links to the Brotherhood's storied past.
Now claiming himself to be the one true prophet, and, in turn, branding Kane a heretic and charlatan, Marcion sets forth to make his own mark upon the world.''