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Nochet + criminal organisations


Agentorange

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I don't think there would be any such thing as a sorcerous thief cult.  There might be thieves working for a sorcerer but even in Malkioni lands, thieves would worship a thief god (like Lanbril) or demon.  

 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I don't think there would be any such thing as a sorcerous thief cult.  There might be thieves working for a sorcerer but even in Malkioni lands, thieves would worship a thief god (like Lanbril) or demon.  

 

I don't think it would have to be a cult....but some kind of thieving organistion  with specialist sorcery suited to what they do seems plausible.

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9 hours ago, Darius West said:

Nochet is a hotbed of Lanbril activity according to what I have read, with multiple competing Lanbril families controlling different districts, and the cult grows as the city grows.  They operate very much like the armed night gangs of ancient Rome.  No doubt there are other criminal organizations in such a large population, but Nochet is not well organized, and such law as there is will be mercenary warriors paid for by the matriarchs of the noble families, who are unlikely to be impartial arbiters of the law.

a huge source of strife historically in Byzantium were the sports fans of the Blue and Green (yes, I too have questioned the color decisions here), which were the two "teams" in coliseum sports. (Originally there were four, but Red and White got gobbled up by Blue and Green.) Hooliganism was a tremendous problem in Rome, with all four colors involved in massive, violent riots.

these original ultras were a huge problem. they even ended up as sides in civil war in Byzantium!

crime syndicates initially invested in game fixing and general thievery, but rapidly they had a Furioza situation.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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44 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

a huge source of strife historically in Byzantium were the sports fans of the Blue and Green (yes, I too have questioned the color decisions here), which were the two "teams" in coliseum sports. (Originally there were four, but Red and White got gobbled up by Blue and Green.) Hooliganism was a tremendous problem in Rome, with all four colors involved in massive, violent riots.

these original ultras were a huge problem. they even ended up as sides in civil war in Byzantium!

crime syndicates initially invested in game fixing and general thievery, but rapidly they had a Furioza situation.

Good point!

I initially didn't think of public spectacles and 'circus' games in a matriarchy [institutional violence tending to be testosterone driven after all], but a city of a million people will need something other than theology and politics to entertain them.

What would be fun is if they chose to use strange and oddball team sports as their focus... lacrosse /field hockey /hurley or the old Azteca 'ball game' for example... instead of chariot racing or gladiatorial matches. For that matter, a great way for males to burn off all that energy is perhaps a gymnastika decathlonoi type competition where each team has a contestant in each decathlon event and the points are made up based on where each contestant placed in their event. Something that complicated would be VERY conducive to side-betting and associated gambling rackets by criminals.

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7 hours ago, metcalph said:

I don't think there would be any such thing as a sorcerous thief cult.  There might be thieves working for a sorcerer but even in Malkioni lands, thieves would worship a thief god (like Lanbril) or demon.  

 

Well, my supposition here is based on a very civilized but decadent culture.

Thieves could be members in good standing with official cults and still have access to spells that are unexpected and rarely prepared for.

I'm just suggesting an avenue into Sorcery as a magic form for both the Earth Pantheon and criminal underworld. The benefit of being a loyal cultist of whomever and a criminal sorcerer should be obvious... You have a large cult that vouches for you as a law abiding citizen, but you don't need to spend POW on spells. You have access to most of the benefits of theist magics AND access to sorcery that aids you in your more nefarious activities and that you can use more often than, say, the Dark Walk Rune spell.

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58 minutes ago, svensson said:

Good point!

I initially didn't think of public spectacles and 'circus' games in a matriarchy [institutional violence tending to be testosterone driven after all], but a city of a million people will need something other than theology and politics to entertain them.

What would be fun is if they chose to use strange and oddball team sports as their focus... lacrosse /field hockey /hurley or the old Azteca 'ball game' for example... instead of chariot racing or gladiatorial matches. For that matter, a great way for males to burn off all that energy is perhaps a gymnastika decathlonoi type competition where each team has a contestant in each decathlon event and the points are made up based on where each contestant placed in their event. Something that complicated would be VERY conducive to side-betting and associated gambling rackets by criminals.

My sister used to play hockey at school - it could get pretty vicious by her account. Who knows what might cause problems. maybe The great Brithini Bake Off could get out of hand,  pitched battle between Babeester Gor cultists hacking at each other with baguettes with embedded flint blades in.  Thousands dead in the streets from sling shotted rock cakes.....

Okay, I'm getting silly now. I'll stop.

 

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1 hour ago, Agentorange said:

The great Brithini Bake Off could get out of hand,

One of our campaigns involved a "Rune Chef" competition, which was basically an extreme version of Iron Chef.  You weren't allowed to directly attack opposing cooks, but you could sabotage their supplies, shoot at their bags of flour on stage, etc...

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11 hours ago, metcalph said:

I don't think there would be any such thing as a sorcerous thief cult.  There might be thieves working for a sorcerer but even in Malkioni lands, thieves would worship a thief god (like Lanbril) or demon.  

 

Crime rings and families are likely going worship glorified spirits like Lanbril or Black Fang, aspects of the Trickster like the Thief or Murderer, strange remnants of once broader cults (e.g., Worlath the Thief, Humct the Killer - which might just be Eurmal in disguise!) or even vile entities like Krarsht. Sorcery requires years of research and work, and I doubt is going to be particularly useful for any crime ring (although individual sorcerers might certainly useful!). 

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17 hours ago, jajagappa said:

As MOB has described it, the Grandmothers of these Great Houses are like a cross between bedouin and mafia leaders.  There is no single "Mother of Public Order", but there are multiple temples to Ernalda and Esrola throughout the city.

While I agree that this is the case in terminal Third Age Nochet, I wonder whether it wasn't different back when Esrolia had strong, monarchical husband-protectors to the city queens.  I would not be at all surprised if whichever shadow lord Ezkankekko delegated command of the Nochet Kimantoring garrison to were responsible for maintaining the 'public safety' of the city, protecting the Earth against uncontrolled manifestations of the other elements (fire, flood, storm, Chaos in the form of murder and similar crimes, etc), just like Argan Argar was responsible for protecting Esrola from those things in the myths.  Argan Argar conquering the god of the Vent is a ready-made mythological metaphor and precedent for some sort of fire brigade system, for instance.  His spell Safe is one of the premiere magical methods for opposing burglars, too.

If anything like this were the case, I would expect Belintar to institute something similar through his governors and garrisons once he took power.

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7 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

a huge source of strife historically in Byzantium were the sports fans of the Blue and Green (yes, I too have questioned the color decisions here), which were the two "teams" in coliseum sports. (Originally there were four, but Red and White got gobbled up by Blue and Green.) Hooliganism was a tremendous problem in Rome, with all four colors involved in massive, violent riots

7 hours ago, svensson said:

Good point!

I initially didn't think of public spectacles and 'circus' games in a matriarchy [institutional violence tending to be testosterone driven after all], but a city of a million people will need something other than theology and politics to entertain them.

What would be fairly thematic would be for the cults of the various husband protectors to have their champions compete in various athletic contests. A Runelord of Orlanth wrestling with a Uz runelord of Argan Argar would be great entertainment. Their might be arguments about the use of associate cult magic in these events: the Orlanth temple would firmly be pro associate: think about how much of an edge bears strength would give them.

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2 hours ago, dumuzid said:

If anything like this were the case, I would expect Belintar to institute something similar through his governors and garrisons once he took power.

this is an interesting question. certainly the presence of Kimantoring was a stabilising effect; we know they trained in the city itself and organised men under arms, perhaps even as a sort of equivalent to a ghulam system. Well, that's what it would look like for humans, anyway; the men taken away and trained.

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14 hours ago, metcalph said:

I don't think there would be any such thing as a sorcerous thief cult.  There might be thieves working for a sorcerer but even in Malkioni lands, thieves would worship a thief god (like Lanbril) or demon.  

 

13 hours ago, Agentorange said:

I don't think it would have to be a cult....but some kind of thieving organistion  with specialist sorcery suited to what they do seems plausible.

I had postulated a while back that, IMG, the Thanatari who worship Atyar, the Horned Skull, had formed a sorcerous society (the Horned Society) which specializes in stealing occult and arcane secrets from other organizations/cults/etc. If you use such an organization, they would certainly have a cell in Nochet, what with the large Lhankor Mhy temple there, not to mention being a trading hub and therefore a great place to seek out new secrets.
 

EDIT: To add to this, I picture this as a group you might patronize if you want to find out more information about the protective spirits of a rival House, prior to attempting some shenanigans with said House. Alternatively, if you want to find out if the secrets of the House of Black Arkat include a specific myth you need to know to succeed in a HeroQuest, these guys might do it for the right amount of money (or in exchange for other lore of interest).

Edited by AlHazred
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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

 (e.g., Worlath the Thief, Humct the Killer - which might just be Eurmal in disguise!)

With a name like "Humct" one might be forgiven for seeing a perverted "Humakt" worship. Though how Truth would apply is an open question. May depend upon the worshippers having a firm belief in some odd form of truth (honor among thieves? Everyone else is prey.).

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The Only Old One had little direct role in the governing of Nochet in the Second Age. There were dark trolls with trollkin spearmen of the Argan Argar cult, but they were essentially mercenaries made available for the benefit of the ruling queen. 

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9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The Only Old One had little direct role in the governing of Nochet in the Second Age. There were dark trolls with trollkin spearmen of the Argan Argar cult, but they were essentially mercenaries made available for the benefit of the ruling queen. 

did i misunderstand that the kimantoring were important? the military is still called that now. i wasn't talking of direct rule but of the presence of a stabilising force in the guise of an organised military

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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11 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

a huge source of strife historically in Byzantium were the sports fans of the Blue and Green (yes, I too have questioned the color decisions here), which were the two "teams" in coliseum sports. (Originally there were four, but Red and White got gobbled up by Blue and Green.) Hooliganism was a tremendous problem in Rome, with all four colors involved in massive, violent riots.

In my Nochet, there are annual horse races through a set of streets within the city!  And, yes, they are recognized by colors! 🙂 

"Each of the districts holds an annual festival commemorating their patron Noble Brother.  For the district of Nolerian, it is the Festival of Nolerianmar, and popularly called the Golden Race.  It is a wild and often brutal race of horses through the streets of Nochet circling the Sacred City twice.... Each district traditionally fields a ‘team’ of four horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colors of their district and the badges of their Noble Brother.  By virtue of their noble heritage and many skilled cavalrymen, the Greens of Dearno and the Yellows of Nolerian have dominated the Golden Race for many years.  The Blues of Helamta, supported by many wealthy merchants, and the Reds of Kalava, aided by recent Lunar patronage, also field strong teams.  A long-standing feud between the Reds of Kalava and the Whites of Sarli has occasionally marred the Golden Race.  This boiled over in the Machismo Riots of 1599 after which the Queen herself intervened.  The Whites were suppressed with considerable savagery by the Queen’s loyal Axe Maidens – to the point where they have fielded but one horse in some recent years.  The Nights of Deresagar are known for their deep purple colors and sleek black horses which rumors claim are demonic steeds purchased from the sinister Sir Ethilrist.  On the other hand, the Coppers of Tendayvora always field large, lumbering horses which stay afoot but rarely have anything to show for their efforts.  As for the Browns of Tershis, they are rarely known for anything other than their buffoonery and clownish antics."

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5 hours ago, dumuzid said:

If anything like this were the case, I would expect Belintar to institute something similar through his governors and garrisons once he took power.

Except there is no indication that Belintar did so.  His Esrolian Governors have been drawn from the Queens of Nochet (or possibly Rhigos earlier on).

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20 hours ago, Agentorange said:

I don't think it would have to be a cult....but some kind of thieving organistion  with specialist sorcery suited to what they do seems plausible.

To have specialist sorcery requires a full-time sorcerer and not some full-time thieves dabbling in sorcery.  I won't say it can't ever happen (the bizarre tale of the Russian Major-General shot down in combat over Ukraine springs to mind) but it does require a good story.

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7 hours ago, AlHazred said:

I had postulated a while back that, IMG, the Thanatari who worship Atyar, the Horned Skull, had formed a sorcerous society (the Horned Society) which specializes in stealing occult and arcane secrets from other organizations/cults/etc. If you use such an organization, they would certainly have a cell in Nochet, what with the large Lhankor Mhy temple there, not to mention being a trading hub and therefore a great place to seek out new secrets.

While Atyar may use sorcery and may be in Nochet (a lot depends on what changes if any are in the forthcoming works), they are not a cult of thieves.

 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

the bizarre tale of the Russian Major-General shot down in combat over Ukraine springs to mind

to be fair Ukraine claims it killed 12 Russian Generals in combat already, and so far their claims have turned out to be 75% accurate, so IDK if this is the best example of "rare happenings" hahaha

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20 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

to be fair Ukraine claims it killed 12 Russian Generals in combat already, and so far their claims have turned out to be 75% accurate, so IDK if this is the best example of "rare happenings" hahaha

The rare happening is that he was a general flying a combat aircraft at the time.  Combat pilots promoted above a certain rank get grounded in administration and never again fly combat ops.  But this particular major-general had been fired from the air force several years before for <checks notes> getting drunk on vodka, taking a Su-27 for a joyride, performing aerobatics in it and crashing the said plane.  After being fired, he joined the infamous Wagner group as a mercenary pilot where he flew an SU-25 (reportedly specially painted for him) in Ukraine and was shot down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanamat_Botashev

Which reinforces the point I made about a good story needed to explain something normally impossible (to wit, a sorcerer working for or with a gang of thieves).  Although to be blunt, this particular story was frankly unbelievable when I first heard it.

 

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I would expect something more along Dr. Moriarty, leading a group of outcast criminals of the groups above, that may well kill themselves before surrendering, for her own purposes, and offering some special services to the true criminal groups. Someone neutral that can offer services nobody else can, from Dominate Human to Suffocating people in closed rooms, passing by Alchemy, espionage and long duration spells. Which mixing genres would be worth the look in my players' faces when the sorceress says "I find your lack of faith disturbing", followed by choking sounds...

The sorceress' motivation could be as simple as becoming a power behind the throne, or something more mystical, such as a black arkati preparing the ground for a secret society shake down, or political, such as a Lunar weakening the social structure before a new attempt at a takeover. 

But ir would not be crime for its own sake, but a mean to a particular end. 

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On 6/18/2022 at 4:25 AM, Agentorange said:

Just ran a search on the search box but drew a blank, what criminal organisations exist in Nochet ?  I'm going to just start working through the results for Nochet, but thats a lot of results, so if some one knows of a thread or  article please point me in the right direction......

As Peter points out, there are some 2000 members of Lanbril cult criminal rings. That's burglary, fences, protection rackets, other rackets, smuggling, extortion, and general corruption. That's about one in 33 adults, so a pretty significant percentage of the population is directly involved in that activities.

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On 6/20/2022 at 4:27 PM, metcalph said:

I don't think there would be any such thing as a sorcerous thief cult.  There might be thieves working for a sorcerer but even in Malkioni lands, thieves would worship a thief god (like Lanbril) or demon.  

IDK, I could see something like a sorcerous thief cult occurring in Fonrit.  If you think about it, sorcery is the easiest form of magic to learn, because all you need is a grimoire and the time to puzzle out how to cast spells.  Also, the spell creation rules on RQG p390 would mean that you could cobble together some useful new thief specific magic.

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