The Wilderlands of High Weirdness
The thieves' guild
All things Right and Good
“Anything can be done, it’s all a matter of knowing the Right People.” This euphemism that organized crime in the City State region uses for itself has become common cant throughout much of the Wilderlands. Also used is “Good People” as in “he’s Good People.” The surnames “Wright” and “Good” and variants (e.g. Cartwright, Hapgoode) are often used as aliases or noms de crime. In the City State itself, there is a schism between the Wright and Goode families, currently in detente.
Assassins in the City State are called Gentlemen in common cant. This is from the formerly most renowned assassins’ guild in the region, the Gentle Men, in a good example of what happens when you don’t protect your trademarks.
Bring the ruckus
What we do is secret
This thing of ours
Crime and the city solution
On the frontier, organized crime isn’t really a factor. Every town or village with more than a couple-few dozen people in it has a guy who says they know a guy whose cousin in the city is in with the Right People and can get you what you’re looking for. Bandit gangs are thick on the ground, but they’re usually disorganized and undisciplined and rarely make a better living for themselves than they could by farming or herding. If they make a big score, they’ll come into town, drink too much, raise a little hell with the locals, break some things, spend the night in gaol or the pig pens, and go back to camp in the morning. Frontier settlers understand that this is just the price of doing business.
But sometimes you’ll get a bandit leader who’s smarter and more ambitious than usual. He opens a seedy inn on the outskirts of town with gambling in the back and maybe a whore or two, and starts running a protection racket. The Invincible Overlord, who is prudent and practical, tolerates this sort of thing, as long as it doesn’t interfere with tax collection. He understands that a healthy settlement attracts crime as a healthy animal attracts parasites, some more benign than others. Keeping those parasites under control is simply the cost of doing business. If crime gets out of hand, the Overlord will send a sheriff to enforce order in the settlement. The sheriff has the power to deputize anyone he sees fit (read: passing adventurers) to assist him in this task.
If crime in a settlement really gets out of hand, the Overlord will send a throng (100 fighting men and 40 slaves) to put the gang down. If this isn’t enough, he will send a vasthrong (ten throngs) to eradicate the settlement.