Organized Crime in Auresia

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<gallery caption="Family of Cephorus IV" widths="100px" heights="100px" perrow="4">
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Image:FStraccijpeg|Francesca Stracci, Bernelli family
Image:FStraccijpeg|Francesca Stracci, Bernelli family
Image:OMaranzano.jpg|Osvaldo Maranzano, Lastorino family
Image:OMaranzano.jpg|Osvaldo Maranzano, Lastorino family

Latest revision as of 17:36, 10 September 2019

Organised crime in Auresia (Auresian: criminalità organizzata in Auresia - also referred to as the Cartelli ('Cartels') or Bande ('Gangs') - are a collective of various criminal organisations and syndicates operating in and out of the Auresian Empire.

Contents

Types

Criminal organisations in Auresia are primarily organised into two general categories - cartels (cartelli) and gangs (bande).

Cartelli

Style

The cartelli are a network of old, well-connected families - a handful even have links to equestrian and patrician houses - who operate legitimate business interests which serve as fronts for their criminal activities. These activities include racketeering, murder, contract killings, extortion, intimidation, bid rigging, loan sharking, assault, smuggling, political corruption, terrorism, illegal gambling, prostitution, art theft, money laundering, firearm trafficking, vote rigging, political bribery, fraud, fencing, kidnapping, and robbery. Each crime family is named after its founder, and retains that name even after the patriarch’s passing.

Unlike the banda, which function more as loose gatherings of like-minded individuals, the cartelli operate as a sort of extended family, where everyone within an organization is treated as a member of said family. The hierarchy is such the higher figures are treated as the elder siblings or such, and the leader is the "father" or "mother" of the entire group. They operate within a strict discipline which demands their silence and obedience at all times and no matter what the cost, governed by a code known as l'Obbligo - "the Obligation". They refer to the organization as questa è la nostra cosa - "this our thing".

l'Obbligo is a code of silence and honour that places importance on secrecy in the face of questioning by authorities or outsiders. This extends to non-cooperation with authorities, the government, or outsiders; and willfully ignoring and generally avoiding interference with the illegal activities of others (i.e., not contacting law enforcement or the authorities when one is aware of, witness to, or even the victim of certain crimes). The code is likewise infamous for its inflexibility - any violation, no matter how minor, tends to result in the death of the offender.

The key distinction between the cartelli and the banda is that the former acts against only those who oppose it or wrong it or its membership. Wanton, nihilistic violence is frowned upon severely, as it draws unwanted attention from the authorities. "Justice" against those who wrong members of a family is focused on those who did the wrong. Collateral damage - such as killing the wrongdoer and then their family simply because they were in proximity, for example - is likewise severely frowned upon, and severely punished.

Made Men

In the cartelli, a "made man" is a fully initiated member of one of the Families. To become "made", an associate first has to be Auresian and sponsored by another made man. An inductee will be required to undertake three actions to become a "made man" - carry out a contract killing, commit to l'Obbligo, and undergo the induction ceremony. After the ceremony, the associate becomes a "made man" and holds the rank of soldier (Auresian soldato) in the hierarchy.

Other common names for members include man of honor (uomo d'onore), man of respect (uomo di rispetto), one of us, friend of ours, goodfellow, and wiseguy; although the last two terms can also apply to non-initiated cartelli associates who work closely with the Mafia, rather than just official "made men." Earning or making one's "bones" or "button" or becoming a "button man" for the cartelli is usually synonymous with becoming a "made man". Other street terms for being initiated into the cartelli include being raddrizzato - "straightened out", or battezzato - "baptized", or guadagnare il proprio distintivo - "earning one's badge". Soldato (soldier) is also usually synonymous with made man, as one must generally be officially "made" to move from the rank of "associate" to the rank of soldato.

Before being inducted, a potential made man is often required to carry out a contract killing. Traditionally, this rule is applied to prove a hopeful made man's loyalty to the cartelli. According to traditional rules, any murders committed for personal reasons "do not count". Committing one's first contract killing is referred to as farsi le ossa - "making one's bones". Performing a contract killing to become a made man is also known as getting or earning one's "button" or becoming a so-called "button man" or hitman for the cartelli. However, earning one's "button" does not always involve killing; "heavy earners", or experienced associates who have not necessarily murdered for the cartelli but instead make significant profit for it through illegal activities, have in the past earned their "button" or become made men due to their other valuable contributions beyond contract killing. Though valued by higher ranking members for their economic contributions, "heavy earner" made men who have not committed a murder for the cartelli are sometimes looked down on or derided by other made men that have committed murder to be initiated. Made men who have carried out killings may mock (for example, by calling them "mooks") or accuse those made men initiated due to their economic contributions as having "bought their button" (as opposed to "earning one's button" or "making one's button" through murder).

When the murder is completed and the conditions approved of, the prospective made man then awaits word that the "books are open" to accept him as a full member. "The books are open" is a phrase used in the cartelli to indicate that a particular family is ready to accept new members; conversely, if a family is unwilling or unable to accept new members, the "books are closed." When the crime family "opens the books" (accepts new members), an associate will get a call telling him to get ready and dressed. He or she will then be picked up and taken to the room where the ceremony will take place, alone or with other accepted candidates. An inductee will be required to take 'l'Obbligo, the carteli code of silence. Though the ceremony varies somewhat from family to family, it usually involves the pricking of the trigger finger of the inductee, then dripping blood onto a picture of an Orkanan saint, which is then set alight in his hand and kept burning until the inductee has sworn the oath of loyalty to his new "family" - "As this card burns, may my soul burn in Hell if I betray the l'Obbligo," or "As burns this saint, so will burn my soul. I enter alive, and I will have to get out dead."

When introducing one made man to another, the phrase "a friend of ours" is used, indicating that he is a member and business can be discussed openly with him. If the person being introduced is an associate or civilian to whom business should not be mentioned, the phrase "a friend of mine" is used instead. Made men are the only ones who can rise through the ranks of the cartelli.

Structure

  • Capofamiglia, the 'Boss', also sometimes called the 'Father' (Padre) or the 'Mother' (Madre), is the leader of a cartello. He, or sometimes she, inherits the position upon the passing of the family member who preceded them in the position, and who named them his or her successor. Some bosses are referred to by the rare honourific of Padrino or Madrina - godfather or godmother, respectively. The few bosses who hold this title are among the most prominent and powerful.
  • Capo Bastone, the 'Underboss', is the right hand and enforcer who wields power and acts in the Boss's name. Often times, this figure is a son, who will take over the cartello if the boss is sick, killed, or imprisoned.
  • Consigliere, a 'Councilor', is someone close to the Boss who advises him or her on important matters. These people are the inner circle of the cartello. Each typically will fulfill a particular function. These figures are required to be impartial third parties within the organization who will mediate disputes so as not to distract the Boss from more important matters.
  • Caporegime, a 'Crew Leader', is a ranking made man of a cartello who will oversee a crew of soldato and undertake various tasks or specific responsibilities for the organization. They are also referred to commonly by their crews simply as capo.
  • Soldato, a 'Soldier', is the rank and file of made men in any cartello. They are given basic tasks to perform, at the direction of their caporegime.
  • Socio, an 'Associate', is an individual affiliated with a cartello, but lacking any direct or obvious connections to it, and not yet "made". These can be informers, sympathizers, or just individuals who choose cooperation over the alternative of falling afoul of a cartel.

The Eight Families

The Eight Families - Le Otto Famiglie - are the eight cartelli considered the most powerful and influential in the Auresian underworld. Collectively, they comprise the membership of la Commissione, the body which effectively controls the cartelli world within the Empire and it’s colonies.

  • Bernelli
  • Condotti
  • Franzese
  • Lastorino
  • Papalia
  • Profaci
  • Rimini
  • Zerilli

Other Families

  • Adornetto
  • Borgesi
  • Caponigro
  • Caramandi
  • Costello
  • D’Arco
  • Denaro
  • Fresolone
  • Merlino
  • Napolitano
  • Natale
  • Nicodemo
  • Pollina
  • Sindone
  • Testa

Bande

Style

Compared to the strictly regimented style of the cartelli, whose activities and membership center around a family style of leadership and direction, the bande are more loosely structured and less bound by the codes of honour and behaviour the cartels embrace. Often times, a banda is a group of like-minded individuals, the majority of whom are career criminals, whose cohesion as a group depends on the strength of their leadership. While the carteli maintain an unspoken and harshly enforced rule of minimizing collateral damage, the bande are not so restrained, and often times a nihilistic view of violence is a hallmark of their activities.

Structure

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