Campaign of the Month: January 2014
Greyhawk 937 CY: The Age of Steam
The Crime Families of Greyhawk City
Crime Families of Greyhawk City
No list of crime families is complete without the Sevestrian family. Although it is not longer correct to classify them as a crime family, they are not above entering that element the way a king will take the battlefield..impressively, quickly, brutally and to send a message. The family is not just rich, they are wealthy. Long ago, near 350 years ago, they were a crime family of great discretion and skill. But when Gavin VII became the head of the family everything changed. At that time heroes were needed to restore the god Dalt and stop Vecna. What is not generally known is that each hero was picked by a god. And Gavin Sevestrian was picked by the oddest entity of all…the mystical embodiment of the Free City of Greyhawk.
Gavin believed that the way to wealth was to make the opportunity for wealth available to everyone. Then you just do everything better. And if someone threatens your family or those in your protection you destroy them by the most efficient means possible.
Gavin was one of the five who fought Vecna head on while the rest of the Heroes took on his legions. The five: Vir, Valdred, Simon, Gavin and a version of Princess Jenna Everdawn were given what amounts to hero god status.
The merchant contracts Gavin made in his travels all over Oerth and the services in eliminating organized crime in Geoff helped his family become completely legitimate. For over 300 years the family has grown those contracts and influence while worshiping the City and their Ancestor. The family keeps abreast of criminal activity in order to maintain order and the flow of goods. They are not a criminal family, they are the kings of families and no longer require to engage in crime. However, to protect their own they will immediately engage in anything to end the threat.
The Gasgal family feels that they are neglected and disdained by a city that should be at their feet. The great success for them was to get their family into the heart of the politics of the Free City. In fact they held the office of Lord Mayor for many years. Then Zagyg returned. They were thrown to the side…the city that should be theirs was given to others. They owned the city. They were the city…the city disagreed. What they are now is the heart of organized crime in Greyhawk. They control illegal good and trade and have their hands in cult activity and slave trade. Their goal in all life is to bring down the Sevestrain family, and it is their vendetta and attacks over the years that have kept the Sevestrains loosely attached to crime. The last time a Gasgal plot touched a Sevestrain family concern was when they killed a Severtrain messenger. The result was five Gasgal’s burned alive in a week and the leader of the family dumped on the elemental plane of earth until he suffocated. It is considered by the crime world that the Gasgal’s got off easy.
A Suel family of mages. If it makes you feel a certain way and can be put into your body it was made, handled, commissioned or created by the Amaidar family. They are the druglords of the Flanaess. Their ties to the Scarlet Brotherhood let them import exotic plants and drugs from and export them too…all over Oerth. They have a small hand in prostitution but do not want to interfere in the Gasgal or Dronik concerns too much. Although many of those who work in the houses of the Dronik would love if the Amaidar were involved more. Anything is better than working for the Dronik. They have been the particular project of the Hand of Chance recently and are in a level of disarray that is making them consider going to the Al’ Dani. The Al’ Dani are the best at hiring and finding assassins and perhaps they cold find someone who could take care of the Hand.
If it victimizes people, the Dronik family is at the middle of it. The undisputed lords of prostitution in the city they also have a robust gambling and illegal goods trade. But their true interests in taking dignity away from people for their own profit. They are good hired murderers but not as subtle as the Al’ Dani. The Dronik are the most evil of the families. They worship devils and demons and also supply sacrificial victims to cults. They worked closely with the mythical Teivryn Vayne in helping him find victims for his unholy experiments.
If you want someone killed, send the very best to do it. And the best, who are active, are the Al’ Dani. They make their money as contract killers and robbers. Who robs for robbers who don’t have the skill? Who kills for killers? Who are the professionals that professional criminals hire? The Al’ Dani family. They also took over the magical black market after the Vayne family fell. They have some of the old records of the family and some of the last entries in the ledgers bother them enough that they are thinking of cutting a deal with the Amidar family for expert magical advice on one entry in particular about an artifact.
The Vayne Family (The Lost Family)
A cautionary tale even to criminals, the Vayne family history is one of amazing promise and horrific ends. A rising family that had existed for hundreds of years, the Vayne family specilized in illegal magic: Stolen goods, spells and even artifacts and relics. The family even funded many archeological expeditions to get ancient treasures. Such wares are tricky to handle and sometimes they can have an odd effect with long term exposure. At least that is the theory for what caused Teivryn Vayne.
The family birthed a madman. A genuine genius who was also as evil as most monsters. He experimented on people, animals and monsters…creating things for reasons only he knew. Eventually his plans were discovered at the same moment he made a play to take over the family. His murder of his family and the watch crackdown destroyed the Vayne empire. Their niche in the criminal world was taken over by other families and only the older families remember them now. In fact they tell the story like such a fairy tale to new criminals that they think it happened centuries ago… not mere decades. And they would be shocked to know that Teivryn escaped justice and is alive. Where he has been and what he has been doing is unknown. But there are whispers among the older members in the families that he has been seen and never ceased his plans. That he escaped with some powerful artifact. That this time he wants all of the criminal families and all of Greyhawk. Few believe this…but few are wise.