Underworld Denizens of Efavan - Gangs
So letâ€™s talk the denizens of Efavan, the underworld and its main factions in my little rogue's gallery of players.
When I first imagined Maris, her concept was tied to a setting, placed in a hazy spot between worlds. Elementâ€™s of the world building have come from everywhere, I can spot influences from Aladdin, Oliver twist, Warriors, Mad Max, Necromunda, the Wire and the city beneath the cloud layer in the Fifth Element to name a few.
Initially, when we first meet Maris sheâ€™s a low-level courier with some responsibility working for a Besalisk fence named Arvus Tratten. I have an ill-defined obsession with using Besalisks in my RP. I simply love the look and build of them for thuggish muscle roles - especially those roles were the thug also has some brain power behind them.
We never met Arvus, but the impressions I left of him were as a cruel Fagin, running his business with a labour force and spy network of youths. From the idea of these youths, I decided we needed some gang wars, and that the strife I was soon about to spark in the underworld of Efavan could be played out in miniature between street gangs.
Most important to me was that the gang's world be utterly dedicated to their own tiny world, a microcosm where the best thing you could dream about was becoming one of the crime lords who lived above the smog. Jedi, sith, wars and space travel are all stories to the youths of Efavan.
I wanted Maris to be learning lessons about the universe from within her own system, and I wanted her grounded in a reality where everything you have, you must fight to preserve; Anything you need, you must take for yourself.
Thereâ€™s a code they live by, no one spills blood on a parle, no one attacks a family home, no one kills kids (under 16-year-old by the gang's standards).
Maris needed a place in it, and eventually, I came up with the concept of five warring tribes, under charismatic leaders, with vastly different cultures.
Trattens Brats became a nickname used by the real gangsters to represent a gang who called themselves the Shrike.
In Brief: pickpockets, sneaks, liars and couriers.
The Shrike move fast, and work well in packs, they read the underworld better than most and they adhere to a strict code of internal loyalty, Shrikeâ€™s don't talk business in front of the others and they donâ€™t share.
They have no set dress code but prefer dark colours, hoods, fingerless gloves, concealed weapons, brutal attacks.
Young Shrikes are sworn in by a sponsor, but almost always its a family tie to a previous shrike to get in. they cultivate turncoats in other factions. The Shrike are predominantly human or human-like.
Some of the notable Shrikes:
Maris Fero - see bio.
In Brief: Alpha, might is right, Brawn before brains, muscles, vests, spikes, warrior code delusions.
The Carriks are the big dumb stick carrying thugs. In my head, I saw the Carriks as being the largest territory, with the most outspoken members and they came across as show-offs. They take other gangs territory every so often just to make a point, but they never hold onto new territory well, and often simply stop claiming areas at all.
They are slow, numerous, and physically large. They attract male and female members in equal numbers and for the longest time have been led by scions of the Mallit family. The Carricks are predominantly Human and Hrakian.
You have to prove yourself in recruiting fights to get into the Carriks, and members are regularly ejected for weakness and failure.
I imaged and mad max 2 and Fury Road Marauders, Goliath Gangers from Necromunda, lots of flesh on show, brutal weapons on show, spikes, tattoos, bright hair. Loud bombastic voices.
Notable members -
Akro Mallit - Much feared and respected Carrick leader. Brutal, but fair. More of a thinker than his reputation suggests, cautious until angered. Staunchly tied to â€˜the codeâ€™
Herk Mallit - looks the part but heâ€™s Prince John to Akroâ€™s King Richard. A Coward hid behind his brother's strength, ultimately not Carrik material but in there due to family connections.
In Brief: The catch-all group for those not welcome in other gangs, traitors, odd-fits and aliens from subcultures unaccepted or unwilling to join the other gangs.
The Majority of the gangs I was writing about were human-focused, but there's a reasonable population of others on Vorzyd V, and the Selonians needed to stand apart from the humans in my world, they needed to make their own space, and carve a niche from which to look at the others through unknowable eyes.
Melort, their leader, started out as a bizarrely tall lank human girl with a crappy Bayonetta look but slowly morphed into the Selonian mystery we see today. They are the youngest and the smallest faction, holding fringe territory and counted on to stick with the majority vote at parle to avoid conflicts with others. Habitually mistreated and spoken down to the Oddballs are still a threat due to the sheer diversity of their abilities and influences.
The Oddballs were more of a catch-all collection of subcultures, and as such all dressed in individual styles depending on which sub gang they belonged to.
Notable members -
Ku Melort - a Selonian female, quiet and inquisitive, she has her own goals that she neglects to share with anyone else. Ku values survival highly and is changeable when new directions suit her better. She responds well to power but poorly to attacks on her people. She is fiercely territorial.
The final two gangs are less well defined in my writing as they have found themselves almost wiped out in the earliest days of the gang war, but being me I have already considered who they were and what they did.
Baloâ€™s Boys - The only one of the gangs to admit only one gender. Led by a leader known as the Balo, selected by a contest on the removal of the previous Balo. The gangers are faux mystics who style themselves as laughing warriors, they wear warpaints and get tribal tattoos, drug taking is rife in their ranks. They treat fighting and gang wars like a game and much of the trouble between gangs is firmly down to these grinning bullies.
Lower-L crew - In any conventional story, the Lower L would have been our heroes. Naetin Kaperko was a heroic figure, handsome, dashing, cunning and brave. He had his faults (including a nasty temper) but he was the natural leader type who defines his faction. The hard-working, honourable, down on their luck lower L crew were they plucky, clean-limbed photogenic maze runner/hunger games etc. cast of infinitely redeemable anti-heroes.
I imagined a mix of dusters and vests, cargo pants and perfect teeth. When the bad times started they quickly lost their leader figure, mostly because he made the mistake of getting interested in the femme fatale Shrike Maris Fero, and she quickly framed him for a murder that got the poor hero executed long before his time.
So there we have the Gangs, next time we'll talk the various criminal elements above them, and the businesses they own.