Gangs of the Seattle Sprawl
Like a lot of major metroplexes these days, Seattle is filthy with gangs. Major organized crime syndicates have a significant presence in Seattle, too: Triads, the Mafia and considerable Yakuza activity can be found by those who know where to look. Many of those larger organizations pull the strings of Seattle’s gangs, but other gangs seem genuinely independent. Regardless, they’re much easier to spot and track than the crooks in the suits. The ‘plex has dozens if not hundreds of small neighborhood gangs, but the major players are:
A mostly-human go-gang that has spread out beyond the I-405 of its namesake to ride all over the freeways of the East Side. The Hellhounds seem to have a lot of magical muscle for a go-gang.
An elf go-gang with chapters all across North America, though Seattle seems to house (or at least frequently host) one of the largest concentrations of the gang. The Ancients practice good information security and street tactics. They don’t boast about their big scores or their criminal activities like other gangs do, but they certainly seem well-connected. Given their high degree of discipline, fighting skill and occasionally surprising firepower, the Ancients are generally considered the most dangerous gang in the Metroplex.
An ork and troll gang born out of the Night of Rage. The Screamers have strong ties to the Ork Underground of Seattle and spend a lot of their time making sure the Troll Killers don’t get too numerous or spread out too far from their turf.
Comprised of Native Americans of every metatype (though largely Salish humans), the First Nations wears its cultural heritage as its gang colors. They dominate the waterfronts of downtown Seattle and Everett.
Easily the largest, freakiest and most violent of Seattle’s gangs. Scary masks, gaudy costumes and arson are the gang’s hallmarks. The Halloweeners have seen their fortunes rise and fall over the years, as they have occasionally bitten off more than they could chew. Seven years ago, everyone thought Renraku’s Red Samurai had wiped the gang out after they’d harassed the wrong executive, but since 2050 or so the gang has roared back to life and is now bigger and badder than ever. The Halloweeners don’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender or cultural heritage; they’ll take anyone who’s unhinged enough to hang with them. They stay mostly in downtown, but they have the numbers and muscle to occasionally roam if they so choose.
Claiming the shores of Bellevue around the 520 bridge, this go-gang has allegedly moved up from fighting other gangs (who no longer contest their turf) to feuding with organized crime. The Lake Acids ride shiny new bikes and sport ordnance that would seem beyond the reach of a gang of their size and inclination.
Most gangs form around ethnic or neighborhood bonds. Occasionally, a gang will form around a core of magically-Awakened members, and sometimes a gang will be exclusively made up of Awakened individuals. These gangs usually don’t last long; ego and power usually cause enough friction to bring the gang down in a spectacular fashion. The Merlyns have bucked this trend for years, and have maintained a small but steady membership in Bellevue. They don’t have quite the roaming nature of a go-gang, but they’re mobile and capable enough to roam when they so choose. The gang is ostensibly led by a mysterious mage named Saturn, but most people only ever see his second-in-command and apparent girlfriend, Venus.
Bellevue’s own collection of rich kids who have gone beyond “spoiled” and into “just plain rotten.” The money this gang makes on its criminal activity can’t possibly measure up to the cash its members could make by just behaving well and living off their allowances, trust funds and inheritances. Nova Rich is a well-equipped and generally well-dressed gang that commits crime just for fun. Most of its members are human, though they’ll take anyone who measures up to their standards.
This elven gang was all but shattered after a terrible battle against the Spikes in 2053. The survivors retreated from Tacoma into the Puyallup Barrens, where they now hold territory and try to rebuild. The “Black Prince” who leads the gang still wears an eyepatch to cover a wound inflicted by the leader of the Spikes. This is a gang of survivors and newcomers trained by those who have endured harsh street warfare.
Red Hot Nukes
These dwarves in the Redmond Barrens will tell anyone that they’re really more of a “neighborhood watch association” born out of a lack of police presence. The Nukes don’t engage in the time-honored, traditional gang techniques of drive-by shootings and rumbles. They skip straight to using high explosives, often delivered via tunnels underneath a target’s house.
An Everett gang of mostly orks and trolls that seems to have either split off from the Halloweeners or decided that imitation is the sincerest form of giving rivals the finger. The Scatterbrains tend toward clown-themed make-up and clothes.
A troll biker gang with significant power over I-5 through Tacoma. The Spikes have a particular hatred for elves. As one might expect, the Spikes are feared less for their connections and more for their sheer physical power. “Lord Torgo,” the gang’s leader, is said to have big ambitions.
A humans-only gang that claims the western shores of Lake Washington. That the Troll Killers are an arm of the Humanis policlub is an open secret, though the denials start to fly anytime legal charges are aimed at those connections.