The Red Talon Society (Petrichor 365)

8 February, 2023

Forget your cares and everything elsePort Imperial is under, and no surprise here, Imperial law which puts it in an odd situation as Imperial Law is not extensive, and in fact it is primarily concerned with tax matters and a few specialized cases though it does ban theft and unofficial violence as well.  Most of the things that many societies criminalize, gambling, intoxicants, sex work, and weird cults, are not addressed in Imperial law and thus, not illegal in Port Imperial.

This puts criminal organizations in a strange situation, they usually work the interface between what people want and what is allowed, being able to charge a premium for what they provide.  But they cannot do that here however, their supply chains for things that are in demand are still existent, drinks, other intoxicants, odd magics, these they can get and sell, just not at a premium for being illegal, just at the universal premium for being in demand in a sellers’ market.

One such group trying to find its niche in the Port Imperial is the Red Talon Organization which has strong ties back to the Jade Pillar Dynasty‘s emigree community.  They use these ties to import and sell exotic intoxicants, run gambling houses, but have found that importing food is quite profitable.  Naturally, they do their best to avoid paying tariffs and taxes, but they pay when caught without delay.

The few times that the Red Talon has attempted to control a market in specialized goods through violence, the Imperial forces have stepped in.  While the Red Talon, rightly, does not fear the Port Guard, they are no match in the field of combat to the Imperial Marines.  So, now, they stick to soft power in their attempt to control the flow of certain kinds of goods, price wars and cutthroat marketing has replaced gang wars and actual throat-cutting.  As new people get rotated in from other branches of the organization, those that cannot adapt are sent back, either above decks, lessons learned, or below decks, in boxes.

Like most criminal organizations, the Red Talon is adaptable, and as long as there is money to be made, they will be here to get their cut.  The only question is cannot they keep their essential nature in check long enough to do so.

Red Talon members usually wear the symbol of their society on a chain around their necks, the more exotic the material used, usually, the higher ranked the member is, fragment from an actual dragon’s claw is especially prized.  Some of the more combat-oriented members go for a tattoo of the symbol but they are a minority within the society.

Notes: It was interesting trying to think of how the traditional “thieves’ guild” type of organization would work in Port Imperial.  The Red Talon is one of several organizations trying to gain control of profitable enterprises in Port Imperial all of whom find their usual model of doing business challenged by the lack of laws to evade.

Petrichor 365.  Previous entry: Shavaun, Bodyguard.  Next Entry: Aclan Reyald, Inquisitive for Hire.

Image Two Chinese opium smokers in a booth watched by a woman who fans herself. Wood-engraving, late 19th century, from the Wellcome Collection and is in the Public Domain.

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