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Author Topic: attitude of shadow towards crime (updated)  (Read 2296 times)
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smeagol
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Hiding from Shadow


« on: May 11, 2008, 11:54:40 AM »

Attitude of Shadow towards crime

The attitude of the Shadow towards the surviving organized crime in Eredane could be summed up by two concepts: indifference and contempt.

Indifference

At first, when the Shadow invaded Erenland, the new masters made sure to eradicate all those who did not follow its strict rules, including merchants, artisans and thieves.

Most thieve’s guilds were thus eradicated. But,as sure as the sun rises every morning, you can suppress people, but not the niche they fill. Especially in the Last Age, when it began to get difficult even to feed oneself decently, the attractivity of criminal activities could not be denied.

Of course, this second generation of thieves had learnt the lesson taught by the legates: they did not even try to interfere with the Shadow’s activities or target one of its members. The poor would steal from the poor.

Now the legates consider the problem with indifference: as long as such activities do not hinder their work, then they are happy to let crime prosper. After all, the thieves can become useful informants about the underworld, and they can be hunted down very easily if they push it too far (that is, if the populace becomes too upset because of their behaviour, the legates will act as justicars and quickly raid the dirty parts of town to make examples, thus restoring order).

All that matters to the Shadow is to keep control. It is not interested in the way people try and survive, as long as their illicit (or immoral) activities don’t hinder the Shadow’s control of the city.


Contempt

Legates find unworthy scum those who use illegal ways  to survive instead of fighting the Shadow. They have no respect for the underworld, seeing them as too weak to either join the Shadow or fight against ir. As a consequence, they treat petty thieves and crimebosses as their dogs, whose lives they own.

Legates will however investigate any crime (theft, assassination, extortion, etc.) that is performed on one of the Shadow’s troops, be they orcs or humans. Any activity involving the troops, including bribery, gambling, smuggling and any other threat to the discipline of the Shadow’s armies will be investigated and harshly punished. It is one thing to survive as a thief and another to “corrupt” the troops with such weaknesses.

The treatment of crime

Usually a thief that gets caught is one who managed to somehow displease the local ruler or legate. If the investigation only proved that his activities are criminal in nature but do not involve resistance to the Shadow, the man is simply given a harsh public beating performed by enthusiastic orcs. Many are crippled after such treatment, and the lucky ones die.

Sometimes a thief will be used as a spy into the underworld to help check whether the crimebosses are involved in resistance activities or are merely pursuing their business. Such infiltrations are very commonplace, and the legates make sure to let it be widely known, in order for the underworld to not attempt to have ties with the resistance.

Other times, a captured thief will be “used” to steal important items or information from competing legates in exchange for their freedom.

Some are also used as bounty hunters to “redeem” their crimes, and have only one choice: bring back their targets or die at the hands of a sister of tenderful mercies

Captured resistants are a specific case: since their mind can easily be broken by legates, they are not expected to escape. Such “survivors” will look very suspicious and might be killed by their fellow insurgents should they attempt to make contact again.

A carefully kept secret

Unknown to most, the Cabal secretly protects reborn criminal organizations throughout occupied Eredane. The reasons for this are twofold: first, crime bosses and their ilk provide necessary intelligence, be it reports about the general mind of the populace living in the city’s underbelly (always a useful tool to prevent riots), or more refined intelligence: actually these people have obvious talents for spying the Devout, which would be a shame to ignore.  The thieves’ guilds thus trade such collected information (which they couldn’t use themselves anyway) in order to gain some measure of “protection” from the Cabal legates. They also are used as “bait” for prospective resistance band, only to better betray them when the time is right.

Another advantage of using the crime world is that it provides “expendable” operatives, who are ready (or can’t refuse) to do the Cabal’s “dirty work”, thus letting the legates’ hands clean. Spying, stealing, extortion, blackmail, murder can then be used against the Devout without any trace designating the Cabal for those crimes. Of course, such “operatives” often manage to escape before talking, as there seems to be a few complicities amongst the very guards who caught them…

Another boon provided by the criminal networks to the Cabal is that their work is, like any other, “tithed”, which means that in Cabal-controlled cities, crime is allowed to prosper, as long as about 80% of the benefits are given to the legates to ensure their “protection”. This covers all illegal activities, with the notable exception of the Hidden Hand, who are known to work only for themselves (and are suspected to actually work for the gnomish resistance).

The Cabal also uses the criminal organizations to play subtle manipulation games with resistance bands: sometimes these will be given much-needed resources when they fight against a Devout legate, only to be later “sacrificed” when said Devout legate is politically weakened or that “results” against the resistance (by the Cabal of course) are needed.

The Cabal also organizes (with the right “tithes” and connections) many black markets in cities they control, which allows for the trading of special items (books, magic items, weapons), all “traceable” and always with strings attached. It then takes the economic benefits while making sure such wares are “controlled”.

Unfortunately for the Cabal, the High Legate who first initiated this new policy towards crime is slowly forgetting his initial goal, and keeping more and more riches for himself. A few junior Cabal legates are starting to reconsider this policy, disgusted by this “corruption of their goals”. Will there be an intra-Cabal coup in the near future?

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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Tome of Sorrows vol. III (Moderator: smeagol)  |  Topic: attitude of shadow towards crime (updated)
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