THE CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD
Due to the lack of a centralized police force or city-wide watch, criminal gangs flourish in Umberwell. Gangs involve themselves in all manner of criminal activities—drug dealing, protection rackets, thievery, the vice trade—and most operate in the open because the city’s authorities have no viable means of reining them in. Some citizens value the gangs for the protection they provide, but innocent lives also get caught in the crossfire of frequent clashes between rival gangs. Gang members in the city proclaim their allegiances with colorful tattoos.
The 47 Rodents. A wererat gang that runs protection rackets and deal drugs. Known for their stylized leather armor decorated with rat skull insignia.
The Cardinal Queens. An all-woman gang specializing in smuggling contraband. They favor jeweled tiaras, torn gowns, and baroque hair ornaments.
The Cuckoos. The Cuckoos operate black markets for the sale of stolen goods and kidnap innocents for ransom. They wear top hats bedecked with colorful plumage.
The Empty Eyes. The Empty Eyes gang is comprised of ghouls. They specialize in smuggling illicit goods up to the city’s surface from the Slumgullian Warrens.
The Gauntlet Brothers. Membership in the Gauntlet Brothers is restricted to athletic men with hulking frames. They are often employed as dependable hired muscle.
The Knives of Purgatory. A gang of assassins who specialize in slaying mages; as part of their initiation, members swear an oath to avoid the use of arcane magic.
The Knuckle Syndicate. The Knuckle Syndicate operates underground boxing arenas, dog fights, and contests where trained drakes battle to the death.
The Onyx Viper Yakuza. The Onyx Vipers deal in narcotics. They sport silk waistcoats embroidered with snakes, and operate according to a code of honor.
The Redhooks. A goblin gang known for burglary and housebreaking. They ply their trade in the wealthier districts and wards, targeting estates and mansions.
The Slaughterdogs. All-purpose thugs and assassins. They wear canine masks, use a system of barks and howls as signals, and carry serrated short swords.
The Urn Street Soldiers. The Soldiers are dealers in military-grade arms. They affect posh accents, dress in sleek fashions, and favor ornate pistols.
The Violet Cross. Spiritual burglars who swear vows to Vondros to only eat food that has been stolen. They also operate several legal gambling establishments.