Black Iron Brigade
Type of Organization
Type of Members
|Thieves, Pickpockets, Fences, Bandits, Thugs|
|Number of Members||224|
|Demographics||Dwarven 47%, Human 40%, Grum 8%, Elven 4%, Other 1%|
|The Iron King, dwarven male|
|Year Founded||2550 CY|
The Black Iron Brigade is a busy criminal organization running a number of scams, protection rackets, organized thievery, bandit raids, information brokering and smuggling in and around the city of Forge. It specializes in smuggling Forge made metal and stone crafts out of the city and selling them in other cities and kingdoms. The Brigade has over 200 members and almost half of all crimes in the city are committed, directly or indirectly, by this group. The Black Iron Brigade is the only major criminal group in the city of Forge. Although there are rumors of several smaller groups, they are tiny compared to the Brigade. The Brigade maintains small groups in other towns of Uthran.
The members of this organization exchange tools, information and supplies. They often assist each other on jobs. Each thief is given a wide degree of freedom as long as he follows the rules. Most members are common thieves, although a few work as assassins. Some members specialize in fencing stolen goods or smuggling Forge products out of the kingdom. Others focus on gathering and selling information.
The Black Iron Brigade is ruled by a dwarven crime boss who calls himself the Iron King. His true name is unknown and his subordinates refer to him as “Your Lordship”. All members of the Black Iron Brigade are expected to give 10% of the profits of any crime to the Iron King. There are no exceptions. Those who withhold this “brigade tax” are dealt with harshly.
Thieves who come to Forge are encouraged to join the Brigade and pay this tax as well. Thieves are usually given a week or two. Those who do not join are visited by Brigade enforcers who will attempt to intimidate the thief into joining or leaving the city. The Iron King considers it a sign of disrespect to steal without paying tribute to him.
The Iron King is a cool and methodical ruler who has no reservations about killing anyone who stands in his way. He has many plots in the works, most of which are aimed at acquiring more wealth and power. He hopes to one day amass enough gold and men that he can lead a coup against the city and take over the city and kingdom for himself. That day is, undoubtedly, very far away.
Because their ranks include a large number of dwarves, craftsmen, blacksmiths and miners, one might expect the Black Brigade to have created a vast and complex network of tunnels and secret meeting chambers under the city. However, the authorities and city guard also have a number of dwarves and diggers in their ranks. This creates a stalemate and a rather unique criminal atmosphere.
To stay one step ahead of the law, the Brigade has created dozens of small underground hideouts rather than one huge network. Each hideout typically contains a large central meeting chamber, a couple of minor connected rooms and three or four secret entrances, often coming in from other buildings. If one such hideout is discovered by the law, it does not compromise the location of the others.
The Brigade’s hideouts have ingenious designs with very clever secret entrances. Their weapons, armor , manacles, chains, locks and other tools are of extremely high quality, rivaling anything the city guard can boast. This group is surprisingly well armed and well funded (no doubt from the spoils of many successful robberies).
The largest and most elaborate hideout is hidden beneath a tavern in Forge named the Assassin's Quarrel. It is run by a dwarven barkeep named Cendath, who is also a member of the Brigade. The Iron King holds “court” in this underground hideout which also houses his private quarters. A network of secret passages and hidden doors provide a number of escape routes should this hideout be discovered.
This page last updated March 23, 2017. Copyright 1990-2011 David M. Roomes.