The Fish Head Gang: Jalizar, March 2510

Or, with a nod to Greywulf: Grand Theft Donkey – Jalizar.

The third PBEM player has kicked off with a human thief, and he is playing under Labyrinth Lord, since he prefers D&D to SW. So, as a parallel experiment to the Gratitude of Princes, his plotlines will be developed using Mythic.

Now, I could start a new city, but instead I’ll drop him in Jalizar with Bjorn and Ochirtani. I know Umberto Pignatelli is working on a Jalizar sourcebook, but I haven’t read it yet; so I turn to Red Tide for the background – the PC, currently known as Stan after a character in an Eminem song, has specified working for a gang on the docks. I’ve already made up a gang, the Fish Heads, and there’s no reason to create another so soon, thus Stan works for them. As much of Jalizar’s population is Imperial, thus culturally Graeco-Roman, Stan is probably short for something like Stanislas.

The Dockers’ Friendly Society

Modifying the standard tong writeup in Red Tide according to things committed to in email exchanges with Bjorn and Ochirtani, I get this… The Society began as a brotherly fellowship, a group of otherwise unrelated men – and occasionally women – who banded together for strength in negotiating with the wealthy and powerful, providing for the widows and orphans among their numbers and ensuring that their dead are accorded a decent burial; sort of like a union. During the three-year siege by the Valk, it developed into a more venal organisation, and now maintains a regular commerce in thievery, extortion, vice, and other criminal pursuits along with its charitable work.

Disputes over territory and revenge for insults often result in street fighting between the Society and rival gangs. The group is also known as the Fish Head Gang from its tradition of leaving fish heads by the bodies of those who have wronged it.

It is organized loosely, with a Grandfather presiding over a circle of Fathers composed of the wealthiest and most influential members. Beneath them are the Elder Brothers who have contributed substantially to the Society’s goals, and the Younger Brothers who have yet to prove their value to the organization. One of the Fathers is the Master of Rites, charged with conducting initiation ceremonies and sacred festivals, while the Stern Master oversees internal discipline and oversees the enforcing of the Society’s will on outsiders. The Honored Sage manages administrative and financial matters, while the Favorite Uncle aids in negotiating disputes between fellow tong members.

Rolling 1d6 on the Persons of Importance table on RT p. 85, I see there are three NPCs of importance. Rolling a number of d10 on the Tong table on p. 89, I get the following definitions of their title, power source, and other NPC connections:

1, 7, 4: The Grandfather, who is a notoriously tough and dangerous person, is connected to the orphaned child of a gang member. I’ve decided the gang should be mostly Jademen, so I use the Imperial names table on p. 149 of Red Tide (Chinese is close enough to work, although really these should be Tibetan names) to determine that he is called Yusheng, and the Noticeable Quirks table on p. 154 to find that he is very thin.

7, 7, 3: The spouse of a member, who is also tough and dangerous, and is connected to the widow of a gang member. She shall be known as Zhilan, and wears religious emblems. Oh, I know; flaming skulls embroidered all over her clothes, I read somewhere that Tibetans wear flaming skull emblems to ward off demons.

2, 3, 4: A Father, extremely popular among the Younger Brothers, and also connected to the orphaned child of a gang member. He will be called Jing, and carries his work tools constantly. I’ll make him the Stern Master, and his work tools can be a fish-gutting knife.

Immediately, I decide that the new PC – Stan – is the orphaned child and a Younger Brother, and that the widow is his mother (technically, you only have to lose one parent to be an orphan, although we normally use it to signify someone who has lost both). That gives me four NPCs to fill in off the bat. I should also mention Furritus and the Brass Dragon to Stan; I decide that simply walking into the docks and asking to see the Grandfather leads to a noisy and one-sided conversation with Jing’s knife, so instead potential patrons make their interest known via Furritus.

Next I roll 1d10 on the Conflicts table, Red Tide p. 86, and get a result of 8: Need. One of the people desperately needs an object or land owned by another. That makes most sense to me if the Father needs something owned by the Grandfather.

That all took about 15 minutes, and gives a nice set of background for the newly-minted thief. Once he has digested this and come back with a fleshed-out PC, we’ll set up a scenario for him. More of that next time I look at this particular thread.

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