Loyal listeners, welcome, once again, to Fridays in AEthrem! This week, we delve deep into the lurking shadows of our cities, exploring the terror of organized crime gripping our darkened alleys, secluded basements, and nighttime street! That's right, dear listener, we take a look at Valerica's infamous crime syndicate - the Gavierna!
Born within the earliest mining camps in Mirenfell, the Gavierna was established by destitute workers to help their fellows bear the hardships of the mines - smuggling goods for sale outside of the exorbitantly-priced company stores and providing a variety of illicit entertainment. Even the organization's name shows its origin - Gavierna meaning "miner's society" in Exelosian, with immigrants from that nation making up the bulk of its original membership.
By the time Mirenfell had developed into a well-populated colony and the average miner no longer suffered so harshly under the thumb of their bosses, the Gavierna were already well-established in the criminal underworld locally. Most of their early enterprises have become cornerstones of their empire - everyone is familiar with the Gavierna's underground casinos, bordellos, boxing rings, and drug dens. The most infamous business of these criminals, however, remains offering illegal thandi services.
Everyone is all too aware that the organization acts as a clearing house for immoral pact work, able to put you in touch with a thandi willing to skirt the law to mesmer a business partner, rough up a mark, or read the mind of that special person you've got your eye on. The Gavierna take a cut from every contract, and carefully tend their stable of thandi - hiding them from the Bureau and "acquiring" targets for the sacrifices demanded by their ryns at a high cost.
Over the years, the Gavierna have expanded rapidly, incorporating a handful of existing gangs in each new territory into the lower levels of their organization and crushing all opposition. When Valerica started major trade with the outside world, the Gavierna expanded into new markets through port cities across the globe, tying itself into the local underworld everywhere it has grown. While this has allowed them to grow easily and at a breakneck pace, it has also kept the syndicate's organization shaky, at best.
The Gavierna is organized like a tiered pyramid on paper, but functions as a chaotic mass of shifting alliances in practice. Promotion is still most often accomplished with a hit on a superior, and the Patro (the head of the entire syndicate) maintains power only by playing all sides against the middle. Frequently, these struggles erupt into open mob war.
In Valerica, politicians make a big production of cracking down on the Gavierna whenever open violence in the streets starts headlining local papers. Unfortunately, things aren't quite so simple - the mobsters are have become experts at integrating themselves into society at every level. These social puppeteers use their ill-gotten gains to keep many, politicians, judges, and even police patrols in their pockets. It is said that the Patro's vote in Mirenfell is the only one that matters. The Gavierna also know just what to do to rile up the labor force, and more than one captain of industry keeps close financial ties to the mobsters to prevent any sudden and "unexpected" work stoppage.
For venture companies, the Gavierna can offer a channel for any manner of illegal goods, information, and even muscle, when needed. They can also be a potent threat if you get on their bad side. Given the syndicate's organization, they can even be both at the same time - wise outsiders should best try to not get caught in the crossfire when the mobsers' Apry guns come out.
Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.
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