Crime in Detroit
Though Detroit was once a shining example of peace and prosperity, the last few decades have seen a slow slide back into the poverty and crime of the turn of the last century.
Detroit, being a major manufacturing center and port city has a thriving smuggling industry. Whether into the city or out, there is always some form of merchandise that needs to be moved under the radar, whether by ground, air or sea.
A number of underworld organizations specialize in smuggling, from drugs to technology to people. One of the largest and most infamous is the Purple Gang. While smuggling is their primary endeavor, they also partake in piracy, ambushing ships in Lake Erie.
The Black Market
The black market is as present in Detroit as it is anywhere there are the SINless. The majority of black market activities take place outside the city in the slums, but the connected can usually find a black market connection within the city proper.
There is remarkably little in the way of organized crime in Detroit, but it still manages to hold on, despite all the efforts of Knight Errant to stamp it out.
1. The Mafia:
Don Leonidas ‘The Lion’ O’Rourque, a half-Italian, half-Irish ork has recently ascended to the head of the mafia in Detroit. Rumours abound that The Lion has extensive connections within Ares/Knight Errant that allow him to remain one step ahead of efforts to crush the Mafia in Detroit. He is a long-time ally of Dona Rowena O’Malley of Seattle. The organization in Detroit is run almost exclusively by the O’Rourque family (of which Leonidas is the head) and the Antonelli family, a sprawling clan of elves and humans. Occasionally outside muscle is hired, primarily from the various gangs in the city.
2. The Yakuza:
A recent raid by Knight Errant has left the Yakuza in Detroit scrambling. The K.E. forces managed to capture the former Oyabun alive, and have been using enhanced interrogation methods to slowly force secrets out of him. The new Oyabun, Kiro Hachiyama is working furiously to re-organize and secure the organization’s existing assets before they are seized by Knight Errant. Meanwhile, he must maintain a strong front lest the other organized crime factions in the city pounce on his organization. He is making extensive use of shadowrunners to project his power.
3. The Triads:
The triads have never had a large presence in Detroit, as they are constantly opposed by the Yakuza and the Mafia. However, with the recent setbacks suffered by the Yakuza, a renewed effort at establishing power in the city may not be far away.
4. The Vory:
Of all the organized crime syndicates in Detroit, the Vory are by far the largest and most powerful. With their long-time connections to smuggling of both contraband and people, they have a long-established base in the city, and have established several long-lasting relationships with the local gangs, including both the Purple Gang and the Maniacs. The head of the Vory in Detroit is a small human male that goes by the moniker ‘Yuri’. No-one outside the Vory high-ups are sure whether that is his real name or just a nickname. ‘Yuri’ is accompanied everywhere by a pair of Vodyanoy, a rare troll sub-species.
5. The Koshari:
With their interest in magic and the like, the Koshari do good business in Detroit, mostly in the smuggling of illegal magical materials and awakened drugs. They also deal in mundane drugs, BTLs and their usual fare. Like the Vory, the Koshari are linked to the Detroit gangs, including the Cutters and the Devil’s Marauders.
The major gang in Detroit is the Cutters, one of the largest gangs in North America. However, with the recent deaths of several of the senior members and driving forces behind the gang, they have seen a drop in power, allowing for several other gangs to gain footholds in the city.
1. The Cutters:
Let by Cutter John, the founder of the gang, the Cutters have spread quickly, and their membership is over a hundred members. They have interests in many areas of underworld activity, including drug trafficking, smuggling, the protection racket and gambling. However, this rapid expansion and interest in such broad areas has attracted the attention of several of the other gangs, who see this upstart as encroaching on their territory.
2. The Newbloods:
The Newbloods are one of the newer gangs in town, and have little connection outside the city. However, they are working on alliances with gangs in other cities, to give them more resources to draw on in their battles against the other gangs. Heavily involved in matrix crime, they have managed to attract the disaffected youth of the city’s rich and powerful, giving them a foothold in The Pointe. Many of the Newbloods are former members of the Youngbloods gang, including their leader, a hacker named Crash. An on-going feud exists between the two gangs.
3. The Daughters of Hestia:
While not a gang per se, the Daughters of Hestia are involved in many gang-like activities. They claim to be a peaceful ecological defence movement, but are involved in protection rackets (‘pollution fines’), drugs (“naturopathic medicine”) and cyber-snatching (“keeping bodies pure”). As their name suggests, they are also, unlike most gangs, predominantly female.
4. The Maniacs:
The Maniacs are one of the smaller yet better known gangs in the city. Highly involved in the drug trade, they are brazen and violent. Many drug-enhanced orcs and trolls are part of this gang, and are known to attack members of other gangs on sight, often involving many civilians on their clashes.
5. The Purple Gang:
The Purple Gang is by far the oldest gang in Detroit, though they have long lost most of their power. Established in the 1920s, the gang was famous for their link to the St Valentine’s Day massacre and Capone. The gang is now mostly older members who long to go back to the ‘good old days’, but are still violent and merciless when required. They still keep their hands in the smuggling and piracy rackets. The gang is led by the ‘Bernstein Brothers’ (Abe, Joe, Raymond and Izzy), though they are not related, of the same race (Joe is an ork and Raymond a troll) or even the same gender (Joe is female).
6. The Skulls:
The Skulls are one of the most infamous go-gangs of Detroit, and are said to be based in the Trenton industrial districts, despite the pollution. They are easily identified by their skull-themed helmets and their propensity for body mods. The gang is heavy into smuggling and gambling, with street racing being their main focus. Despite being led by a human ex street samurai named Mitchell ‘Chill’ Moss, the direction of the gang is heavily influenced by Lord Kong, one of the city’s most infamous fixers and underworld figures. Also, primarily due to Lord Kong’s influence, the Skulls are allied with the Titans.
7. The Youngbloods:
One of the older gangs in Detroit, the Youngbloods are involved in smuggling and prostitution. The gang is also known for its young membership, aiming is recruiting at young teens. Most members rarely last more than 10 years in the gang, finding themselves involved in the more dangerous aspects of gang life as they reach their 20s. A few years ago, several of the older members of the gang broke away and founded the Newbloods gang. The split was not well received by Bloody Mary, the gang leader, and considerable tension exists between the two gangs to the present.
8. The Devils Marauders:
Led by a male dwarf who calls himself ‘Lucifer’, the Marauders (as they are commonly called) are one of the larger and more visible gangs, with over 200 active members. Seeing their symbol (a skeletal hand holding a pitchfork) painted on walls or on the back of jackets is a fairly common sight, and people give them a wide berth, due to their reputation for quick violence. They are primarily involved in the drug trade (primarily combat drugs) and some smuggling.
9. The Titans:
The Titans are one of the most distinctive of Detroit’s gangs: it is almost exclusively made up of trolls, with only a few above-average sized orks in the mix. They are also one of the most passive of Detroit’s gangs, with little apparent desire to expand their territory or influence. The gang is involved in smuggling, and with plenty of troll muscle, the protection racket. The gang is led by an albino troll named Thrym, who is rumored to be a shaman of some power. Lord Kong often acts as the face of the gang, and has arranged their alliance with the Skulls.
10. The Slicers:
A small gang, originally from Toronto, the Slicers are only beginning to show their presence in Detroit. Specializing in matrix crime, including BTL chips and hacking-for-hire, they have yet to cross any of the more established gangs, but have already made it onto Knight Errant’s watch list. They are led by a well-known hacker (and reported technomancer) that goes by the name ‘Specter’
11. The Ronin:
A small gang, it is in fact a front for Yakuza activities, a secret it guards very closely. The gang is involved in small crime, drugs and prostitution, and whatever the Yakuza need done without their fingerprints on it. Though most members are of Japanese descent, there are a few half-bloods and non-Japanese in the gang.
Being the seat of ARES power, a significant amount of the shadowrunning in the city is directed either directly or indirectly at the megacorp. NeoNET regularly has jobs against Ares, but they take their security very seriously, and use several cut-outs between themselves and any runners.
Ares also is a big source for shadowruns, and often their target is Ares itself. Competing departments or corporate execs use shadowrunners to sabotage their competitors or try to gain any sort of advantage in the cut-throat corporate culture.
In recent months, the Yakuza have been making more use of shadowrunners instead of their own personnel, as they have suffered some setbacks. As long as the runners are successful, the Yakuza have been good to work for, paying promptly and rather generously.
Detroit is remarkably tolerant towards metahumans, and race crime is fairly sparse. Major players in the race wars, like Humanis Policlub, maintain a very low profile in the city.
On this night before Halloween, Detroit becomes the playground for rapists, arsonists, and gangs. Literally all hell breaks loose. Police are out in full force, and the fire department is on full alert. Riots, murders, and city wide fires have broken out on nights such as these. And just because Knight Errant has laid claim to Detroit as its Home Office, does not mean that Devil’s night is now safe. With the extra law enforcement, it makes the evil-hearted want to strike out more against society. Citizens have formed local security unions to prevent the damages caused from this night. Although police try to deter vigilantism many altercations result in death on this night.