In my discussion of Diervale, I covered the factions that lived there. While the mayor, tavern keepers, merchants, and farmers are pretty well explained there, the gangs have a lot of variety and bear further description. I’ll cover the biggest gangs.
The Hardblades are the most powerful gang. They have a reputation for making assassinations happen, even if it means having thugs waiting in the wings to finish the job. This reputation helps them get many of the assassination contracts brought to the city, nearly 20%. While this abundance of contracts attracts many assassins and potential assassins to the gang, their brutal punishment for failure in order to keep the reputation makes it hard for them to get talent without incredible pay. They also send their thugs into more risky situations as backup, so their thugs are well paid, but have a high turnover rate. They are not trusted with finesse jobs like burglaries and delicate hits.
Given their assassination reputation, most mayors are careful to stay on their good side. They’ve also demonstrated a willingness to kill tavern keepers who push them. Their relationship with the tavern keepers is tenuous, mostly built on threats and fear going both ways. Their territory is near the western wall between the western gate and the north western gate.
The Girdles are a muscle gang. Their business outside the city is mostly in hired muscle for leaning on people and smash and grabs. They do sometimes get hits, but only the ones that can afford some clumsiness. With their control of the large western in-road and the western gate, they have many pick pockets and beggars working for them who double as spies. They deal in information on a small scale, just the low hanging fruit coming through the gate.
The Girdles have an agreement with the tavern keepers for their use of the western gate. They also often supply muscle to protect important shipments. As a result, the Girdles are among the best equipped gangs. The mayor’s police force often clashes with the Girdles and other gangs fight to prevent Girdle access to the mayor, fearing that with the police force added to their thugs would give them the ability to clean out rivals. The Girdles also sometimes help Alfoli and Reigzen prevent sought after criminals fleeing their extractors through the contested west gate.
The Reefrats control much of the underground in Diervale. They control the cave dock and much of their power comes from contacts outside the city to bring in valuables for the other gangs. They are known for being better at keeping these goods a secret than the tavern keepers. They are also willing to secretly get people out of the city. Their control of the underground also affords them a good spy network and they are known to sell information they haven’t been paid to keep secret. They will sometimes be hired by outside organizations for their spying skills.
The Reefrats have decent relations with many of the other gangs, generally treating them fairly in their business exchanges and selling them information equally. Most gangs would rather not lose them as a source of information, and they certainly don’t want to give them reason to sell information about their operations at a discount. The Mayor especially values their information and spends what taxes he can collect on their spies on a regular basis.
The Deep Cloaks are one of the most secure gangs in Diervale. They fight against the Reefrats for control of the underground and the Reefrats have little information on them. They are best known for their finesse and planning and are often hired for high stake jobs. They have a well known policy of not accepting pay unless the job is done to spec. When a client really needs a job kept quite, the Deep Cloaks are their first choice. They get roughly 30% of burglary contracts and 10% of assassination contracts.
The tavern keepers are willing to keep the Deep Cloaks well equipped to them from retaliating. The mayor similarly leaves them alone. The Deep Cloaks are frequently in conflict with the Hardblades, who have trouble recruiting the best assassins with the Deep Cloaks also courting them. The Deep Cloaks have the most shrewd leaders and their operations are always well planned.
The Rifters, like the Girdles, are best known for their muscle. They hire out mostly body guards and bouncers and get many of the contracts to protect shipments for the tavern keepers. They get a good cut there. Their spy networks are more effective than those of the Girdles and they sometimes sell information.
There territory is completely separate from that of the Girdles and they get along fine. The Rifters have a great relationship with the tavern keepers and generally stay out of the way of the bigger gangs. They spend a lot of effort on their own security, constantly threatened by lesser gangs.
There are dozens of other gangs in Diervale, but they are significantly less powerful than even the Rifters. They still have market share in the assassination and burglary contracts, as well as other kinds of jobs. They continue to exist primarily through constantly shifting alliances with each other. They also often function as pawns for the larger gangs. These smaller gangs come and go on a regular basis.
There are also independent criminals who are hired for special cases by the gangs, but they are rare.
Would you be interested in working with the order? They’re having trouble with a powerful necromancer, how would you help them? Or would you fight against them? Let us know in the comments below.