5 hours ago
Monday, February 21, 2011
A Piece of the Action
Traditional government broke down toward the end of the last century, in the wake of vicious gang warfare. Finally, the boss of the Strillo crime family made a Faustian deal with the Hell Syndicate. Granted hellish powers and infernal soldiers to swell his ranks, he quickly overwhelmed the other gangs and took control of the city. Since then, a succession of gang bosses have controlled the city through use of patronage and influence-peddling, though they are certainly not above the application of violence and intimidation.
Lake City’s mayor and city council are elected, but all are indebted to the gangs. The city is divided up into territories doled out to “underbosses” who not only oversee criminal enterprises, but also control voting precincts and act as unofficial magistrates, in a sort of de facto feudal system.
Poor youth look up to the gangsters, and hope to join their ranks one day. Every neighborhood has stories of a local kid who rose up through the ranks to get his or her own piece of the action through judicious application of street-smarts and gunplay.
What only a few of the wide-eyed youth ever live to see--an unlucky few--is the boss of bosses. They never have to take part in the ritual visits of "made men" to pay fearful homage and offer sacrifice to Ziacomo Mostruoso, imprisoned behind strong thaumaturgic wards in the sub-basement of an old prison, his immortal body and devious mind ravaged and mutated by a lifetime’s exposure to the raw energies of hell.