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Alpha: Abraham Lewin
The Farrow Creek gang began as a small lycan pack living beyond civilization on the untamed frontier of the then unexplored Northwind Basin back in the late 1700’s. When they first settled in the area, they were unknowingly encroaching on territory of an ancient conclave of vampires that had long-since claimed the territory. The alpha at the time was always cautious to keep a distance between his pack and their blood-letting neighbors and for a time the world seemed wide enough for the two clans to live in wary peace. But that unspoken alliance was short-lived when human expansion brought settlements and homesteaders to the west.
The pack and the conclave were forced farther out of their own territories and into eachother’s lands as the humans expanded until what finally culminated in an all-out war in 1818. It was a bloody and gruesome conflict that claimed countless casualties on both sides and lasted for four years. It wasn’t until the winter of 1822 that the lycans struck a crucial blow and drove the conclave and their queen out of pack territory. The vampires retreated over the mountains and were not seen again.
With the threat neutralized, the Farrow Creek pack only became more established throughout the years. Once Blackacre and Twin Gulch were established, their foothold in the Basin had become secured.
Exactly what "Farrow Creek Territory" consists of all depends on who you ask. Talk to any of the Farrow Creek boys and they'll likely laugh and tell you hand over your money and jewelry as par their tax on stupid. When you managed to crawl back to Blackacre and work up the courage to ask the question again, you'll probably hear a reference to Bitter Falls Outpost up in the mountains not far from the lake that connects to Farrow Creek. That's where Bram and his boys make camp, in the husk of what was once a logging and gold-mining settlement. There are a handful of houses and something resembling a general store, where their expert trader fences supplies and bounties for the gang. While Bram and a few others claim the Falls as their home, plenty others live in Blackacre or nearby and only visit the outpost when necessary.
They were originally a mix of Indian and Hispanic wolves – both male and female – from the nearby tribes and border, some of them born to lycanthropy while others were converted (either by choice or accident). After the war with the conclave left their numbers decimated, they began to rebuild by welcoming new settlers into the gang and – eventually – the pack. Now the Farrow Creek gang employs a mixture of both werewolves and humans, though few of the latter know the true nature of their brothers in arms. Those humans that do know of their companions’ feral nature are sworn to a blood oath to protect that secret.
Bank, train and highway robbery are favorite pastimes for the gang. Farrow Creek outlaws are known for not hesitating to end the life of anyone who gets between them and their goal. Of course, don't count them out of old fashion theft. Even the most powerful gangs have use for a skilled pickpocket or smooth-talker.
Alphas: Victor & Helena Avery
This band of frontier thugs was founded in 1863 during the Civil War when the first caravans escaped the eastern territories. Formed by a coalition of turncoats and deserters from the Army, these men and women were led by a man turned from the eyes of God with a case of a terribly feral affliction. Rufus “Old Fuss” Buck was a very charismatic man despite his age and appearance. When he spoke, people listened. Where he went, men followed. So it was no surprise when men – weary and lost from abandoning their brothers in arms during the war and needing someone to guide them – fell into line under Old Fuss’ command.
Originally from the union, Old Fuss saw opportunity down south near the Mexican border, away from the prying eyes of the United States military. He started with a few men – some lycan, some human – and forged onward into the deep southwest.
Within the last few months, Rufus Buck disappeared which left a beta – Victor Avery – to step in and take his place.
The Grayhollow gang was born from the abandoned silver mine in the gulch where they made their headquarters. Old Fuss Buck was an arrogant man – how better for an old lycan to show his strength and stroke his bravado than to settle in an old silver mine? Though most of the silver was long gone, the irony of his homestead was built both on tactics and bravado.
The old Grayhollow Mining Company had pulled out of a mine over a decade ago. It was set deep within one of the twin gorges from which the nearby city got its name and was easily defensible. The mining camp was large and consisted of many buildings and housing areas, though few actually lived there. It was more of a meeting ground for the gang and a place to stash their hard-earned booty, than anything else.
Twin Gulch is Grayhollow territory. The city itself is under the protection of Sherriff Edison Hurley, but the gang keeps his pockets lined with cash and he keeps his nose out of gang business. Which is probably for the best considering that most of the gang is often seen sniffing around the Henbane Saloon – the gang-run tavern and whorehouse. Run by Rebecca Beckett, one of Old Fuss’ closest friends, the Menagerie acts as both a base of operations and a favorite place to drink or whore the night away.
The Grayhollow gang consists of both men and women as well as welcoming lycan and humans alike. Not all of the highest ranking members are werewolves, which has been a hot topic for debate in the new leadership. Rufus had always relied on a combination of lycans and humans, utilizing their individual talents to the best benefit of the group. But the new Alpha sees things differently and seems to be a little less than welcoming.
The circumstances surrounding the old lycan’s disappearance are unknown and about as suspicious as they come. Half the gang thinks Victor killed the old man to take his place, while the other half don’t think Victor had what it takes Old Fuss. Whatever the circumstances, it seems that leadership was not going to come easily to Victor. He’s losing his grip on the ability to control the pack and his second-in-command is beginning to wonder if it’s time to challenge the Alpha and put the gang back into the hands of a true leader.
The gang’s main goal is to outstrip the other factions in the area. Bootlegging, armed robbery, herd rustling, gambling, and a good bit of honest whoring is where the Grayhollow gang makes the most of their talents. They also dabble a bit in protection, if the price is right. You want your smithy or your stable free of thieves and brigands? You get these thieves and brigands to do it for you.
Queen: Amaranthe Hargrave
The Conclave is as deeply embedded in Northwind Basin’s history as the mountains themselves. The vampires of the Basin had existed in secret long before the wolves came crashing down their gates, though there are few alive that still remember that time before. Back before settlers began moving out west to homestead, the Conclave lived deep in the mountains and forests on the edge of the basin. Their survival hinged on their ability to instill awe and create fear in mortals, bending their perceptions of gods and monsters and fantasy.
The local Native American tribes were what primarily sustained them. The locals both revered and feared them as they would gods. They understood and recognized the raw power that the monstrous beings held often provided sacrifices – both willing and not – to appease them. When the demons were sated, the tribes saw long stretches of peace and prosperity and the symbiosis of their relationship lasted for decades… until the wolves arrived.
In the escalating war that followed, queen Amaranth Hargrave was struck a critical blow in the winter of 1822 that sealed the Conclave’s fate. Defeated, outmatched, and outnumbered, the Queen gathered her Conclave and fled north of the Basin to lick her wounds and plot her return. Fifty years of obsession and clawing her way back to power has blinded her with a thirst for revenge. The once-deposed queen has gathered a formidable army and is hell-bent on taking back the land that was ripped from her clutches half a century ago.
Not all of the Conclave shares her eagerness to repeat their kind’s near extinction, and there are rumors of a plot to overthrow the current monarch.
Though the Conclave have only recently moved back into the Northwind Basin, they have staked a claim to the land that was once theirs deep in the overgrown forest on the north end of the Basin. The dense thicket of trees and brush make it impossible to be casually stumbled upon and it perfectly hides away the massive commune they have built there, aptly named Deadwood. It is hidden away from prying eyes and only those with business with the Conclave even know of its presence.
Deadwood appears to have been the start of a small homestead that the land eventually reclaimed. It is comprised of several small homes, and elegant tents that were added later. Amaranth and her closest advisers take up residence in the large, once abandoned manor that had become dilapidated and overgrown. It is also the main gathering point for all Conclave meetings. Though the outside of the home remains ivy-covered and disheveled, the inside has been furnished with all of the amenities required of the luxury-obsessed queen.
Most – if not all – of the Conclave vampires live in Deadwood as it is the only place they can truly assure their safety when they take shelter during the day. Though their beds are here, they still roam the Basin and infiltrate the cities on cloudy days or dark nights. Many have been masquerading as a part of society in Twin Gulch and Blackacre for years.
The Conclave is run by a single queen, currently the scorned Amaranth Hargrave. Though she has taken many lovers through the decades there has not been a king of the Conclave in centuries. Succession is largely matriarchal and passed down through the acting queen’s decision on what is best for the clan, not necessarily by blood. At this time the Conclave has no succession plan – Amaranth’s obsession with exacting revenge on the wolves of the Basin has absolutely consumed her.
This is a cause of hot contention among the Conclave’s cohorts. Spearheaded by her younger sister Moira Hargrave, not all share their queen’s thirst for vengeance and are simply content with having a place among civilized society again. The Conclave is split into two schools of thought: retribution for past misgivings or parlay with the lycans… though supporters of the latter are smart enough to silence such thoughts in mixed company. Queen Amaranth has made examples of those who stir rebellion in the ranks.
The Conclave itself consists of the vampires that returned to the basin with Amaranth as well as a small group of select humans that the queen has seduced into her clutches with promises of dark desires and wealth. Humans in choice political positions, those with resources, or even just a few of the more dimwitted folks to handle light duty. Primarily, the Conclave is unbeknownst to anyone except those in it… that was the plan, anyway.
Rogues are lycans or vampires that are not a part of the Farrow Creek gang, Grayhollow gang, or the Conclave.
The normal, everyday citizens that call the Northwind Basin. This includes any humans who are not affiliated with any of the gangs or the Conclave. Your shop owners, livery managers, cattle-breeders, tailors, teachers, sherriffs, and much more all fall under this category. Though knowledge of the immortals is not widely known, the few people that have become hunters of the supernatural are also associated here. This faction includes only humans as any non-faction lycan or werewolf is considered rogue.