The Painters - Ven's Documentation
This document, written by the half orc Ven at the request of the Herald, is avaliable to be read by all members of the Norwick Milita, as well as any of the adventurers who were involved.
The name's Ven. I guess I should start with myself, right? Well I was born in Amn, the streets of Athkatla to be precise. Uh my status as a half orc meant not many people wanted to hang around me, so I gravitated to the scummy underside of society, naturally. Eventually I started running with real gangs, if you can name a group of criminals I've probably been in it.
Anyway that's enough about me. This is about the Painters, let me start with what I know about them.
So back in the day there was this wealthy painter, or so the story goes, who made works so beautiful it'd bring a tear to your eye. People wanted his paintings so badly they'd steal from him, and after a while he decided to start hiring muscle. But not just any muscle, the original Painters were elite, some veteran mercenaries here and retired soldiers there, even some assassins.
With this cadre of killers and bone-breakers, the Painter started thinking about what else he could do. And soon, well, they started doing what any man with a loose moral compass and a desire for power and wealth does, they started extorting. Then they started stealing, then they started smuggling and hell... they even started slaving.
Now this is the thing about the Painters, their founders really rubbed off on them. For all their rabble rousing, and for all the scum that try to get in, to get to the top you have to be strong, determined and hardened... a real soldier type. If you can't cut it, you get knocked back down, and often people don't survive that process.
But this hasn't stopped in fighting, feuds between Painter cells and good old fashioned backstabbing, not one bit. The lower rung are rabble for sure, a lot of small time crooks and killers. They generally don't make it to the mid rung, which is where things start getting heavy, and spend their often short lives fighting for a bigger slice of the pie.
Now let's get on to the juicy details. The Inner Sanctum.
The Inner Sanctum
Four guys, each with their own personal strike force, lord over everyone else. Supposedly they only report to the Painter, but uh, we'll get to him in a bit. These four are dangerous, I bet each one has a criminal history longer than a halfling is tall. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone in the Painters willing to cross a member of the Inner Sanctum.
Billy Billy Billy. Don't let that name fool you, he's no run of the mill farmers boy out to play hero. Billy Piper is one of the worst men I've ever met, and I can tell you stories for hours. Billy is the only member of the Inner Sanctum I know of who wasn't in the Inner Sanctum when I ran with the gang. He killed the man who once held his position in a brazen attack, just to prove he could.
Billy Piper is a human and I'd peg him as around 28 to 34 years old. Now I was told he has some divine wiggly-woo powers, but nobody has a clue who Billy's patron is. He is skilled with flail, sword and spear and can shoot a bird flying past his window from the other side of the room. He's sharp as a whip and shrewd as all hell, and make no mistake Billy Piper has not a shred of empathy.
Of the four, Billy is the most visible of the Inner Sanctum. It's hard to get involved with the important stuff without seeing that skull face of his every which way. As such you can consider him the gang's "Ambassador" and if they need something said he'll say it. He's a bit of a dandy type, really dramatic and into theatrics and likes the finer things in life.
Officially Billy spearheads the "Enforcer" operation of the Painters, you can think of it like the response team to the other operations. Billy and his men appear whenever the gang is threatened, and they make sure the threat is dealt with. Even if that threat is other members of the Painters.
The Old Man
Here is where my information starts to falter, I don't know the rest of the Inner Sanctum's names. I can tell you the guy they call the Old Man is scary as the hells themselves though. From what little information I have on him, he's a professional assassin who did what almost nobody in that field gets to do, reach old age.
The Old Man spearheads the Slavery operation, and I hear he does it from a smugglers vessel that is constantly on the move. Rumor has it his men travel from port to port looking for victims and snatching them away at night onto the Old Man's vessel.
This guy runs the smuggling operation, if you need something he can get it for you. I don't know much about him either, but the few pieces I've gathered actually state he may be an elf. Either way, this guy is hard to track down, rumor has it he spends most of his time in his "Palace" far from Narfell.
The final member of the Inner Sanctum has two duties, the first is extortion and protection, and the second is responsibility for training the men. The Dragon is called such because he, well, wears a helmet shaped like a dragon's head and uses a flaming sword. His training regime is said to be brutal and exhausting.
I heard you took down Victor and dismantled a training camp, good job, I wonder if it'll piss the Dragon off.
The big guy, the boss, the leader. The Painter is the namesake of the gang, the guy who started it all. From the streets of Athkatla, this guy apparently went from a talented artist to a crime lord in a matter of months. Now it's impossible to find a member of the gang outside of the Inner Sanctum who has actually seen this guy, though a lot of people lie about it, so there's some rumors that go around saying he died at some stage, but this is unconfirmed.
The Painter, from what little evidence of his existence can be found, seems to be charismatic and intelligent, capable not only of turning a group of killers, soldiers and thieves into a successful and highly unethical business but also somehow being able to keep them on his leash. That's no easy feat.
And that's it. As time progresses, I'm told I should keep updating these documentations, but uh. For now that's it. Thanks.