Wednesday, December 10, 2014

City of Curses: Gangs of Poorfellows

Betrixt the major criminal syndicates of the Prince and the Demon's Orphans, are various small gangs that remain independent of their influence.  In Poorfellows are the most of these tiny gangs.  Because of its slums and crowded nature, each neighborhood has its own personal gang.  The city watch avoids Poorfellows.

Here are just a handful of the kinds of gangs that live in Poorfellows outside the grasp of the Prince or other Icons.

Ainesian Refugees: Between exiled nobility and those who lost much during the Revolution Wars, refugees fill these neighborhoods.  Gangs in these neighborhoods are of either the Publisher's persuasion (trying to spark revolution among them) while others focus on finding allies that might help them survive (such as the Prince or the Voice).  Native Tomasi often find more trouble from the refugees, as they've taken more jobs and space away from their own families, often at a cost to the Tomasi.  The Archwitch and Archdruid in particular strive to use refugees to promote their own interests, while the Chancellor often attempts to recruit students and test subjects from among them.

Old Tomasi Families: To the old Tomasi of Poorfellows, their own code of honor comes before the laws of others, including the City of Crux.  They remember when Poorfellows was its own town.  These street gangs act more like vigilantes, protecting their own from outsiders.  Among the Tomasi the Tinkerer lives, as she is descended from one of the older families.  The Commissioner and the Voice often ally with Tomasi gangs to give their various projects added legitimacy.  Some others like the Archwitch and The Spice Khan harbor ancient rivalries among the Tomasi gangs.  The Prince makes a point to specifically ask Tomasi for permission before having any of his agents act in their territory, respecting the age of some of their bloodlines, but no one is certain why.

Note that some of these Tomasi gangs date back to the Legions of the Tomasi Empire, honoring old soldier and arcane traditions.  Relics of all kinds from that era can be found within these families.  Most Tomasi consider the idea of civilization and honor to be something inherent in their traditions, something they taught the rest of the world.  So where some would call think of their street gangs as criminals, the Tomasi see them as protectors of kin and livelihoods against those who would corrupt their traditions and honor.

Androids: Free androids often live under the streets of Poorfellows, most wanting to be closer to The Tinkerer.  Struggling on their own for a sense of identity, these androids form their own gangs.  They try to exercise the will of the Tinkerer, acting as her agents in Poorfellows.  Some are fanatical.  Others are innovative.  But all of these Gear-Gangs unite in their loyalty to the Tinkerer.  They are the bottom rung in Poorfellows social ladder as well.  Most Android gangs lack homes or history to have their own turf.

The Feyborn Gangs: Born of generation upon generation of breeding by Ursyklon, Poorfellows is also home to Sparrows, gulls, rats, mice, cats and other Feyborn animals.  Their tiny communities exist between the tight spaces of Poorfellows.  It isn't uncommon for Rats or Sparrows to form their own gangs, protecting their villages and towns from outside predation.  The Archdruid and members of rodent-oriented Ursyklon Clans often act in their interest.  They feel some loyalty toward the Archdruid, but the Tinkerer and the Voice have found gangs of talking animals willing to help them along in their own pursuits too.  Perhaps the nastiest are the Snakes, whose strong loyalty to the Spice Khan has long been linked to a pair of Medusa living under Mason Street.  Their gangs often work to protect the Spice Khan's market interests in Poorfellows, more than willing to poison food and market stalls associated with non-Maliphi.