- "Does Beijing think they can quell the fire that is the Bog's Will and his Divine Mandate? It has come to burn aside the government of this terrifyingly weak Republic. Even their promises to quash our influence, we're far stronger than they are. They have already declared their war, but they lost.
- "I have looked into the future, and it does not look bright."
- - The Wraith, Mafiya Enforcer to Verkhovaya Gospod'
The Russkiy Mafiya (Русский мафия), also refereed simply to as The Mafiya is a loose collection of criminal organizations occupying the central Russian psuedo-nation known as the Russian Republic. The Mafiya is spread across the breadth of Russia exercising power over regions as loose "kingdoms" headed by the regional boss. And each boss in turn refers up to a figure known simply as Bog.
The mission of the Mafiya isn't formally known, but has arisen in the region as a major non-political player in the absence of a controlled, organized authority, having rapidly filled in the voids left behind by the former competing generals and claimants to the Russian Imperial Throne. Their strength is most strongly concentrated in any of the Russian regions where the local government is at its weakest, operating most strongly out of the disorganized Russian Republic, and having spread outward into the Siberian Republic, Sank-Petersburg, and down into the Caucus and Kazakhstan.
The history of organized crime in Russia can be traced to the 1700's to bandit gangs. As the population of Imperial Russia lived their lives as poor peasants living off of the country-side, the idea of organized criminal bands were promoted among themselves and a strict code of conduct of loyalty to each other were written. Successful bandits earned significant Robin Hood Status as they robbed and looted the Aristocratic Russian society on the highways and elsewhere, re-distributing the wealth to the local populace.
The criminally benevolent practices lead rise to a romantic Vorovskoy Mir (Thieves' World), where their code of Conduct strengthened. On into the early 20th century they operated as a symbol of government opposition.
Vorovskoy Mir of the Great War
The world entered into the Great War with the Russian criminal world following suit. As the large, yet inept Russian army fought on the front the gangster's of Russia's metropolitan lifestyle sought to expand their enterprise in the arise of this new market, burgeoning their exploration into the drug trade seeking to get on the demand for opiate painkillers, and substituting the medically produced pain-killers with cheaper or less savory alternatives. With the high rates of opiate addiction amid Russian injured a rising Heroin market emerged to supplement veteran cravings.
As well as this, their image of being an anti-government force continued to be fostered and the Voroskoy Mir was a driving force in anti-draft demonstrations, or the catalyst which turned them violent onto the estates of the Russian royalty.
Imperial Russia eventually capitulated to the popular demand to exit the war and withdrew their troops to combat the growing Bolshevik movement and the Mafiya. And in doing so, Tsar Nicholas II demanded the capitulation of the Russian underworld in order to win back favor in the Russian aristocracy and middle-class. Effectively declaring war on both them and the Communist forces in Russia and driving them out or underground.
Many forces within the Mafiya though were without the means to escape the Empire and were forced deeper underground, or captured and executed who sent to Imperial Gulags and work camps where they remained.
Through Nicholas II's stern deceleration he temporarily shut the Mafiya out of the light and into hiding, sending them back into the shadows and from the face of Russian society as the Russian crown lived on.
Officially driven into hiding the Russian Mafiya was forced to tone back their operations and become more secretive as a state of Marshall Law was imposed over the Empire to root out the political dissidents of the Empire. Of which the Mafiya was. This beginning a state of decline through to the 1930's when the fears and concerns over the criminal world waned and let up.
Around this time, the Chinese Revolution was kicking in and tensions in the Imperial central-Asian colonies in Kazakhstan were rising. Thus heralding a renewed demand for opiate painkillers. Wounded, the Mafiya began a half-hearted attempt to return to the international narcotics trade by seizing opium opportunities in central Asia and beginning low-level manufacture of Heroine, often cut with cheaper substances.
The process was considerably minor, but helped to stabilize the Mafiya's downward spiral into nonexistence, as well as reforming them.
Hibernation Restructuring - Growth of the Second Vorovosky Mir
Their new markets had an effect on their operations. Slowly waning off of being a band of thieves that stole from the rich to return to the poor in charity, the Mafiya was instead turning into a narcotics ring, producing and distributing drugs to the Russian underworld and the veterans of conflict in Russia, China, Manchukoko, and Japan. It is in this period that the Mafiya had a limited effect on the loose disassociated bands of Chinese warlords throughout mainland China that allowed them to exist as the feudal or Bourgeoisie society they did until their capitulation by the hands of the Communists in the 60's.
Their restored source of wealth as well allowed them to gain influence of, or own Imperial Magistrates throughout the Russian East until the Empire's failure. Though wide-spread popularity or influence would never be regained.
The Second Mafiya drug and narcotics circles would restore the strength of the Mafiya in the late sixties and make them a determining force once again in the underworld.
End of the Empire
The assassination of the Czar and the rise of the independent generals and title claimants entered Russia into an era of chaos in the seventies. The total lack of control over Central Siberia and Western Russia laid down the groundwork for a resurgence in Mafiya power. The framework and authority of the Imperial regime collapsed on all sides, ending their suppression and opening all the doors for them. Throughout the beginning years of the 1970's the Mafiya rushed onto the scene, brutally taking advantage of the opportunities.
Likewise, the Laisze Faire policies of Polish Industry played heavily into the Mafiya favor as into the second half of the seventies large volumes of Polish weapons were purchased up by the rising Mafiya lords to combat not only each other, but the world around them. The total anarchy bringing to realization a criminal paradise, where the Mafiya underwent another transformation.
In a realm where murder was common and there was plenty of death to go around, the growing Mafiya lords carving out their influence and territories in the Russian society needed to undergo a change in order to call attention to themselves as a message to one another. Thus giving birth to a rising interest in the fear and supernatural between the years of 1975-1980.
The advantages of a weakened, disorganized, and spread-thin Republic, the Mafiya underwent a campaign of intensified terror, interested not only in sheer mass but execution. The Mafiya developed a violent theatrical interest. Conducting their murder with not just gunshots, but a violent display of their own power. The mass execution of rivals and those who refused to pay their personal fines were often destroyed, and not just killed. An art of death perfected with the use of religious iconography and a bloody display of he corpses.
Aiding to this, was their expansion into drug markets after the collapse of the Chinese Red Guard Gang, leaving a blank slate in the world Opium market. The Mafiya charged into this with the wide-spread production of methamphetamine and a return to heroine manufacture.
As part of their recent evolution in the mid/late-seventies, the Russian Mafiya organized itself along the lines of feudal lord-ships with Mafiya bosses claiming the title of "king" with sworn officers taking in lower ranks with regional power. Each king - or Korol' - in turn is banded around a figure known as Bog - Russian for God - who otherwise dictates large-scale dealings without interfering with any familial feuds the lords may have, but ensuring that each internal conflict doesn't evolve into a larger-scale internal riot.
Bog - God - of the Mafiya is a mysterious figure that not even the studies of the Chinese IB could pin down. He is a commonly invoked character, and has a militantly "divine mandate" in reference to his affairs. And through their lieges, every member within the Mafiya is as loyal unto him as they are into each other as is the case of the Code of Conduct of the old Thieve's World.
The current Mafiya specializes in drug production and distribution, as well as branching out into racketeering, illegal gambling, prostitution, extortion, murder, and some levels of corruption.
The Mafiya has largely faced resistance from any groups claiming government authority and legal weight, involving the Russian Republican government, the Chinese Government, Kazakh government, and the Siberian and Neo-Bolshevik governments. In addition, small loosely associated militia groups could as well see them as a threat to their local community, as any other outside threat could be, turning any conflicts between the two into gang-level street wars and conflicts should any Mafiya unit step into the area.
Although, the scale, fire-power, mystery and mysticism, and their psychological weaponry entails a position making them power and able contenders to defend their operations and hold out against many of the stronger administrative forces.