Contrary to popular belief, the Wrensmen are far from disorganized gangs of thugs. Most outsiders who think about the Wren see groups of people burning and looting neighborhoods without reason. In reality, most gang warfare stems from one group of Wren trying to take over another group’s territory. Smaller gangs usually rise up out of defiance or rebellion against the current ruling party. As the gangs battle, they typically merge with other small gangs, forming alliances and dividing territory and authority.
As gangs grow larger and become more powerful, they cause friction between themselves and the next neighbor, repeating the wars. When the gang becomes large enough, they draw the attention of the Blackguard — and quickly get snuffed out, adding interest to the price of doing business.
The Blackguard are, functionally, just another gang in the House of Wren. Some consider the Blackguard to be police, a sort of peace keeper for Claypigeon, however, they are actually Roman Jackson’s personal bodyguards. The Blackguard began as a small group of strong-willed men back on Earth who joined the Dorchester Colonizer Mission. There they met Roman Jackson, a former War General from the Republic of Texas, and he quickly became their leader. As time passed, their ranks grew, and Jackson instilled a military tradition into the group.
Unlike the other gangs of Claypigeon, the Blackguard operate as part militia, part mafia. Most Macedonians never have to deal with the Blackguard, but when they do, it does not end pretty. Such an example is the House of Lark, the long-time enemy of Wren. With the Council’s sanction and the Journeymen’s help, the Lark were exiled from the colony by the Blackguard, forcing them to live for over 10 years in the dark jungle surrounding Macedon — all because they lost against Jackson and his bodyguards.
Grime Alley Gang
Back on Earth, Sylvester McCormick was a gangster. He was a good gangster, taking over his father’s turf after his… untimely demise. Jettisoned to Skellium, Sly found that his old ways were easy to fall back into after his attempt to be an upstanding member of the Blackguard.
After gaining his freedom from the Blackguard, McCormick took control of a western region of Claypigeon surrounding Grime Alley. He then setup his headquarters in a popular establishment called Wren’s Claw Tavern, where he personally funded major improvements including VIP suites and the gladiatorial fighting pits. From here, Sly setup a network of cronies that protected his perimeter and personally met with the local merchants to establish a ‘first name basis’ relationship with them. He would re-work his Earth mojo here in Macedon.
Sly’s philosophy differed from local gangsters in that he would offer authentic protection to the locals in exchange for protection and information. The merchants have come to accept and embrace the Grime Alley Gang as the lesser of all evils, which suites McCormick just fine.
While not a major player on the political scene, McCormick, has established himself as a kingpin that other Wrensmen want to rub elbows with or follow instead of fear, slowly growing his influence with intelligence and without need for violence and war.
The Firstborn Gang
Named after their leader, Taren Blaine, the Firstborn Gang are a group of youth battling for a place of their own in Macedon. While technically founded and operating out of the northeastern portion of Claypigeon, members of the Firstborn live all over Macedon.
Taren’s movement of equality for the young generation has been heard through the colony, making her an exceptionally interesting asset or threat to many other leaders in the colony. The Firstborn Gang embody that threat as they only accept members who are around her age, 17, but include the future voters, leaders and workers.
Originally the lackies of Fat Bosco’s Orphan’s Row, the children were liberated by Taren’s defiance and emboldened by her grace and determined resolve. The youth of Claypigeon and Macedon look to her as a mentor and leader, flocking to her and offering protection, most of which she simply sends home with a smile and word of encouragement.
But do not mistake the power available to a young woman and her army of 500 kids.
Major Heroes of Wren
Jacques LeVanche, The GrinJack
On several occasions, Jackson has lost patience with other Wren gangs. At those times, he sends a strikeforce to put them down. The leader of his strikeforce, or Tactics Marshall, is Jacques Levanche — often referred to as the GrinJack for his wide sadistic grin. He is renowned for his brutality and effectiveness at winning battles. He has become something of a living legend. Parents in Macedon often tell their children to behave, “lest the GrinJack snatch you from your bed.” Jackson’s unstable demeanor coupled with the legend of the GrinJack make the whole Blackguard organization a feared and chaotic force in Claypigeon and through the entire colony.
Ginger Hind is the self-proclaimed guardian of Taren Blaine. While Taren is cunning and brash, Ginger is a physical force. Although she is only 15, Ginger is already known as someone to avoid crossing swords with. On the other side, she cares deeply for those around her and will lay down her life to protect those people, including the naive Taren. Ginger takes personal pride that she has rarely seen Taren in a fight–primarily because she tries to solve the issue before Taren has to take action. If that means that she has to bloody a lip, then so be it, but nobody better lay a finger on her friend.
Bosco is a Wrensman gang leader who decided that he wanted to “employ” the children of his neighborhood to do his gang’s business affairs. Unfortunately for him, Taren lived in his neighborhood. As the surrounding gangs learned from the Bosco incident, the Journeymen have been appointed by Council to keep a watchful eye on her. Bosco was forcefully removed from the area and has had to work hard to secure more territory in a nearby region of Claypigeon. He has not forgotten about Taren and her child rebellion. He just needs to figure out how to exact his revenge.
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Jake and I finally have everything ‘smoothed out’ with our playtesting via Tabletopia. This session includes game play of Wren vs Council theme decks.
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