♚ The Karrit Family ♚
Founded and led by feared mutant mafioso, Amin Karrit, La Main Noir ("The Black Hand") is a transnational French-Lebanese Mafia-terrorist organized crime syndicate. Trafficking in mystery and operating from the shadows, La Main Noir moves invisibly in society, tightening its noose around the throats of Mediterranean Europe and Western Asia - France and Lebanon, in particular - and now, its expansions target Madripoor, Gothic City, Valor City and New York. Lawyers do not interfere with them, and no policeman dares cross them.
Empowered by the dangerous but powerful Miracle solution, La Main Noir consists of violent super-powered mafiosi, all of whom pledge undying loyalty to Amin, and all of whom partake in a litany of criminal activity ranging but not limited to racketeering, conspiracy, loan sharking, money laundering, murder, drug trafficking, extortion, illegal gambling, bookmaking, and corruption. Funded by Amin's billions and secretly supported by his espionage and assassination agency - La Société - La Main Noir is unrivaled in operation, and lethal in retaliation.
Urban myths often describe the syndicate's mafiosi as faceless shadows, obscured by the darkness and silent in activity, for they can be neither seen nor prepared for.
♛ La Famille - Organization ♛
Members of La Main Noir come from all walks of life, be they former prisoners, corrupt politicians and business leaders, people with ethnic ties to the syndicate's French-Lebanese core, or those with shared criminal experiences. Though most but not all of the syndicate's mafiosi are empowered by Amin's Miracle solution, all members are structured as "Les Cinq Doigts de La Main Noir" or "The Five Fingers of The Black Hand", with the hierarchy broken down as follows:
- ♚ Le Commandant: The leader and head of La Main Noir, Le Commandant exercises considerable power within the organization. Fulfilled by himself, Le Commandant selects the "sous-patron" or under-boss, promotes and demotes any of the syndicate's members, receives a cut from every operation undertaken by those under him, and otherwise enjoys irreproachable powers within the organization.
- ♖ Sous-Patron: Reigning below Le Commandant is the sous-patron whose responsibilities are dominated by managing La Main Noir's day-to-day operations as well as the syndicate's most lucrative ventures. Whereas Le Commandant earns a cut from every operation, the sous-patron earns a percentage from Le Commandant's cuts. Additionally, in Le Commandant's absence, the sous-patron fulfills the role of La Main Noir's leader, and is often regarded as Le Commandant's future successor. This role is fulfilled by .
- ♝ Consellier: Regarded as the final member of the syndicate to wield some form of administrative power, the consellier acts both as a mediator of disputes within La Main Noir, and as a representative of the crime syndicate in meetings with key business and political associates, as well as other criminal organizations. Furthermore, the consellier operates as an adviser for both Le Commandant and the sous-patron. The role is fulfilled by .
- ♘ Grognement en Chef: A Grognement en Chef or G.C. for short, is responsible for leading a squad consisting of 20-30 members and additional associates. A G.C. is appointed either by Le Commandant himself or the sous-patron. A G.C. gives a percentage of his and his underlings' earnings to Le Commandant, and is responsible for the successful execution of any assigned tasks e.g. murder. In labor racketeering, it is a G.C.'s duty to manage the infiltration of union locals. All the G.C.s of La Main Noir report directly to the consellier, Michel Digne.
- ♟ Grogenment: The working backbone of La Main Noir, grogenments are responsible for committing most of the syndicate's crimes ranging from assault, murder, extortion, intimidation and so on. In return for their obedience, they are awarded profitable rackets to run by the G.C.s they report directly to. Every grogenment is duty bound to kill when ordered to and is given access to La Main Noir's connections and financial resources.
Prior to initiation into La Main Noir, a potential initiate must be sponsored by an existing Cinq Doigt. Their name undergoes an extensive background check to ensure legitimacy, lack of conflict with any of the syndicate's associated criminal organizations, and zero ties with any law enforcement or government agency. Once someone is initiated, they are led into a room with Karim Moine and Michel Digne to read La Main Noir's sacred words and perform an undisclosed ceremony. The rules and guiding principles of La Main Noir are explained, and the new initiate's sponsor is tasked with mentoring them, and is held accountable should the initiate fail.
However, should the initiate meet or exceed all expectations, they undergo a final loyalty test, and upon passing, those willing are injected with the Miracle solution and given superhuman abilities. The primary goal of La Main Noir is to generate streams of income and consolidate power, political or otherwise. If money can be earned legally, then doing so is prioritized over illegal streams of income. More often than not however, upon expanding into a new territory for example, La Main Noir starts by generating illegal streams of income before investing it into legitimate sources. A grogenment, for example, may begin their career as a burglar or thief, taking any income earned from ill-gotten gains (sans a certain percentage that goes to their G.C. and those above them) to purchase real estate, a liquor store, bar or restaurant.
Income from gambling and extortion, as well as scams, are common, while burglary is often regarded as a lowly and less dignified source of illegal income. Membership in La Main Noir typically lasts a lifetime, although retirement is permitted should certain conditions be honored. A retired mafiosi is shelved from all crime-related activity, and has their memory of La Main Noir's inner workings selectively wiped. A zero tolerance policy is in place for those who violate the syndicate's rules. The explicit fate of those who violate La Main Noir's rules remains unknown, however, common occurrences are unexplained disappearances as well as the repossession of their assets.
As highlighted before, La Main Noir's primary goal is to create streams of income, and in doing so, the syndicate engages in a wide range of criminal activity. Although La Main Noir is involved in a variety of activities, their core business activities are drug trafficking, extortion, loan sharking, securities fraud, kickback schemes, white-collar crime, murder, union racketeering, fencing, illegal gambling, bookmaking, racketeering, arms trafficking, conspiracy, stock market manipulation, money laundering and others.
Though La Main Noir operates mainly in France and Lebanon, it has operations throughout Mediterranean Europe and Western Asia, and is currently expanding into the United States and Madripoor. La Main Noir often works with other organized crime and terrorist groups. Their primary partners are as follows:
- ◈ Miscellaneous Biker Gangs: Their utility is in drug distribution and occasionally acting as enforcers, collecting debts and employing scare tactics against those who warrant warnings.
- ◈ Mad Dog Gang: Remnants of the Brahma Brotherhood that survived the fall of Satar in Gothic City, the Mad Dog Gang consists of mutants with the power of both passive and active sonar. Their passive sonar is used to detect sound waves emitted in their environments, while their active sonar emits pulses and listens for echoes, enabling them to not only map out their environment but measure the echo properties of physical systems to detect structural weak points.
They have since spread out, forming several different street gangs in Gothic City, Valor City, New York and other cities nearby. Their use is in blending in where La Main Noir would otherwise fail to. The majority of La Main Noir members are French-Lebanese, rendering them unable to move silently through neighborhoods where they are ethnically uncommon.
- ◈ Miscellaneous Drug Cartels: La Main Noir often charges drug cartels money for any drugs that are brought into cities under heavy La Main Noir influence. In return, La Main Noir provides drug cartels protection from law enforcement and other criminal groups. Furthermore, the syndicate also purchases drugs from cartels, and the cartels themselves occasionally assist La Main Noir in its drug operations.
- ◈ La Clique: A French-Canadian crime syndicate operating mainly in Canada, France, and the United States, La Clique operates in some of the same American and French territories that La Main Noir operate in, thus opening the door for business opportunities between them. As the larger organization, La Main Noir often charges La Clique gangsters a "street tax" for operating in their territory.
- ◈ The 3rd World: An underground terrorist faction led by Amin's twin brother, Satar, the 3rd World is La Main Noir's main means of influencing Saharan Africa. Its main purpose however, is supplying La Main Noir with exotic firearms and weapons designed for chemical warfare.
- ◈ La Société: A mysterious espionage and assassin agency founded by Amin. La Société provides both intelligence and assassination services to La Main Noir.
Other unspecified criminal groups are used as shields, to ward any attention from law enforcement away from La Main Noir. Maintaining a low profile and not attracting attention is key to La Main Noir's operations. By fielding other criminal groups in their stead, La Main Noir often forces law enforcement to fight multiple battles on different fronts, causing law enforcement agencies to overextend and exhaust themselves while simultaneously enabling La Main Noir to evade any culpability. In addition to the syndicate's named activities, La Main Noir controls French-based MMA promotion "Gaul FC", which was founded following the France's 2020 legalization of MMA.
With the intention of monopolizing France's untapped combat sports potential and toppling Cage Warriors as Europe's largest MMA, Gaul FC (Fighting Championships) enjoys three main sources of income; lucrative TV Contracts, ticket sales from live events, and La Main Noir. La Main Noir provides the funding for Gaul FC's overhead expenses, including fighter salaries, enabling La Main Noir to generate tremendous streams of income from gambling on the fights as well as from bookie fees. In both Lebanon and France, La Main Noir owns a string of waste management companies, forcing every town in specific geographical areas to allow those companies to manage all the waste that is produced, effectively monopolizing the area, eliminating any competitors, and allowing La Main Noir to raise prices.
Additionally, La Main Noir also manipulates the stock price of top-flight European football clubs on the stock exchange, particularly clubs from France's Ligue 1, Belgium's Jupiler Pro League, and Italy's Serie A. La Main Noir further extends its influence down to even the lower levels of football/soccer by interfering with youth football associations, sponsoring young players or buying struggling small clubs under the guise of saving them from financial difficulties. Money earned from the syndicate's illegal ventures are typically used to fund cleaner activities like hotels, tourist villages and even wind mills. To earn public favor in certain geographical areas, La Main Noir typically builds hospitals, schools, distributes free food and water in places devastated by natural disaster or otherwise suffering from poverty.
♛ Marchands de Mort - Assassins & Arms ♛
For elite-grade assassinations with as little evidence and connection as possible, La Main Noir usually employs Amin's shadowy agency, La Société. However, the Cinq Doigts of La Main Noir still exhibit remarkable skill in the art of assassination and stealth. Trained by La Société in the nuances of stealth, many of La Main Noir's members are expert stealth artists who, no matter the terrain or conditions, understand that making sounds can and often will attract unwanted attention from anything and anyone that might compromise their position. When operating with stealth, its members remain conscious of where they are walking, how they're distributing their weight with each step, and any objects which might produce sound.
Furthermore, their composure rarely, if ever, breaks. They never behave suspiciously or out of character, or in any way that may attract unwanted attention. They use their environment to their advantage, be it a strong Sun, the shadows, large crowds, and so on. Additionally, they not only dress for their given environment, but tend to avoid points of interest like traffic lights, bus stops or areas that leave them too exposed e.g. an open field. To further fortify their stealth, La Main Noir mafiosi rely on exceptional disguises. Depending on the occasion, the disguise may be light, consisting only of wigs, fake facial hair, glasses and so on. But when faced with situations that demand more convincing disguises, Amin's mafiosi dip their hands in a versatile toolbox.
They use prosthesis to change their cheekbones, add a forehead, change the nose etc., as well as dental facades to change the shape of one's face, such as those that make the gums plumper or alter facial profiles. They use artificial pallets made from mouth impressions to change their enunciation or add a lisp. Typically, the disguises used by La Main Noir are designed to make Amin's mafiosi look elderly, as older men are universally considered less threatening than younger ones. The goal is not merely to conceal their identity, but to ensure that mafiosi engaging in stealth can present themselves as someone who will be instantly forgotten once they have left the scene.
They learn to change everything about themselves, from the way they eat, to how they stand, sit and even walk (accomplished via a physical apparatus like a pebble in the shoe to pinch the toes or a bandage around the knee to restrict the walk). To facilitate escape that is not immediately possible with vehicles such as cars, boats or helicopters, La Main Noir mafiosi use the art of moving efficiently through space - parkour - to scale walls, overcome obstacles and so on while using as little energy as possible.
Trained by ex-military operatives from Satar's 3rd World faction, nearly all La Main Noir mafiosi are highly skilled gunmen. Although superhumanly strong and durable, enough to toss cars and survive high-caliber gunfire, as well as being well-trained in unarmed combat, Amin's mafiosi - when armed - usually elect to avoid close quarters combat, instead pouring their energy into assuming long range vantage points that both conceal them from their targets and enables surveillance of the terrain to avoid counterfire. When forced into close quarters situations, the mafiosi may draw daggers or use handguns or light assault rifles, or otherwise rely on their brutal strength.
Still, many are snipers by choice, choosing their shooting positions carefully and always staying beyond their target's line of sight, rendering their own positions extremely difficult for a target to locate simply from the sound of gunfire. And as La Main Noir mainly operates in urban environments, the sound of their gunshots are often distorted by surrounding buildings, helping to further mislead the target. Amin's mafiosi also carry muzzle-flash suppressors to prevent targets and enemies from locating them from muzzle flashes. And like all skilled snipers do, they record every shot taken, including the weather conditions, state of the rifle, and the optics when the shot was taken.
They are trained and conditioned to account for crucial details, such as adjusting elevation for distance and major wind effects. At great distances, the mafiosi skillfully evaluate and adjust for minor wind effects, heat, humidity, light and shadows, ammunition characteristics, firing to a higher or lower level, and so on. Furthermore, they are experts on parallax and reticle adjustments, eye relief, fitting the rifle to the body, breath and trigger control, sling use, and more. As snipers, the mafiosi are prepared to wait long hours while remaining perfectly still to survey the scene and wait for the right moment to shoot. As a rule, Amin's mafiosi don't often use firearms with three round burst functions because with each recoil, the weapon moves, meaning the third shot is nowhere near where the first shot was.
If forced to do so, they often aim for the groin so that the first shot targets the groin, the second the chest, and the third near the head.
Standard arms and weapons used by La Main Loire are as follows:
- Handguns (9x19mm Glock 18, MK25)
- Shotguns (Benelli M4 Super 90, Mossberg 500, Saiga-12)
- Rifles (M4 Carbine, CheyTac M200,M107, McMillan Tac-50, SA80, Dragunov, Tavor 21, FN F200, Steyr Aug, FN F2000)
- Personal Defense Weapons/PDWs (FN P90, MP7A2)
- SMGs (PP-19 Bizon 9mm, Uzi-Pro, Colt RO635)
- Grenade Launchers (M203 Grenade Launcher, XM25 CDTE)
- RPGs (RPG-30, RPG-7, RPO-A Shmel, RPG-32)
- Smoke Grenades (M18, L83A1)
- Flash Grenades (M84 Stun)
- Fragmentation Grenades (M67)
- Tear Gas Grenades (CS and CN)
- Chemicals (Dimethylcadmium, 5-MeO-DMT, Delta-Atracotoxin, Tetrodotoxin, Strychnine, Polonium)
However, given Amin's funding and arms trading with the 3rd World, La Main Noir has come to enjoy a series of unique and exotic weaponry, which are as follows:
- ◈ Vibranium Rounds: A very strong and durable metal, enough to penetrate most barriers, even those in a world dominated by metahumans, vibranium was quickly identified by Amin as a material of great potential use as ammunition. Though vibranium absorbs kinetic energy and vibrations, the mechanism by which standard firearms operate is an accumulation of pressure behind the projectile.
Vibranium, therefore, does not detract from this, at least not to a degree that will significantly degrade a firearm's performance. Nanites in the vibranium rounds amplify the stored elastic potential energy to be released all at once upon impact as large amounts of kinetic energy. The results are vibranium rounds that implode most targets.
- ◈ Vibranium Bomb: A weapon not yet used by La Main Noir, the vibranium bomb is a means of rare devastation, the likes of which can annihilate even high-tier metahumans. The bomb itself is a combination of the two vibranium variants, the normal one which absorbs and stores energy, and the Antarctic variant which produces vibrations that liquify other metals. However, as anti-metal does not liquify vibranium, but makes it stronger, La Main Noir has weaponized the unique oscillation between the two isotopes.
By blasting the two metals together, an exotic reaction is produced when their two atoms come into close, molecular proximity, one vibrating and the other storing until it breaks. However, at the onset of the reaction, of the bombardment of particles from two exotic isotopes of the same element, an explosion of catastrophic power is unleashed. La Main Noir possesses only one such vibranium bomb.
- ◈ E.C. Rifle:A destructive, long-range rifle with a low rate of fire, the E.C. rifles uses electromagnetic coils (an asynchronous linear-induction motor) rather than chemical propellants as a source of kinetic energy. As a result, it shoots round with far greater speed and far greater force than any standard firearm.
- ◈ 210-A Rounds: Used only by Amin (given his immunity to radiation) and mafiosi who are either sufficiently protected or have accepted suicidal roles, 210-A rounds are a form of ammunition La Main Noir developed to weaponize Polonium-210 powder. To ensure maximum lethality, on armored and unarmored targets, with collateral damage considered a highly desirable consequence, 210-A is a long-rod penetrator. It is based around a 5x~45mm uranium needle (so as to fit inside the 51mm length of the ammunition without fouling on the cartridge's base and primer) with a non-discarding finned jacket filled with 4 grams of Polonium-210 powder.
In a functional sense, it is an armor-piercing composite rigid/high-velocity armor-piercing projectile. To achieve maximum muzzle velocity, the 7.51mm NATO brass is filled with an HNIW-based propellant. So as not to alert the target or targets of its extreme danger, 210-A is fired from a weapon strongly resembling an Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, the only difference being modifications for a significantly stronger barrel and to be smoothbore as long fin-stabilized ammunition is faster and deals greater damage when not spin-stabilized. The brass is loaded to the point where mechanical failure of the rifle is possible after a single magazine of 210-A rounds are fired, in order to achieve the maximum muzzle velocity.
The cartridge is loaded to produce extremely high muzzle velocities, at the cost of effectively destroying the rifle within a single magazine-worth of shots. Another avenue of lethality is offered by a jacket filled with Polonium dust, one that will be stripped off the depleted-uranium penetrator on impact and will burst, filling the air around the victim(s) with several grams of Polonium-210 dust, which has an LD50 of 0.89 micrograms. The depleted uranium penetrator carries most of the kinetic energy on into the victim, passing through most barriers, and disintegrating to deliver the remainder of the kinetic energy to the victim's vulnerable organic vitals. Given the lethal dose of radiation from the Polonium-210, once it disperses widely enough and is breathed in, it kills all intended targets within days.
The target need not be classically harmed by the 210-A round, they need only inhale the Polonum-210 dust. Once in the bloodstream, it burrows into the spleen, kidneys, liver, and bone marrow, causing liver and kidney damage, extreme nausea, severe headaches, vomiting, pain, loss of reflexes, muscle wasting, diarrhea, hair loss, heart failure and so on as it leads the victim to an excruciating death by radiation poisoning.
- Standard RPG rules apply e.g. no godmodding the mafiosi or metagaming etc.
- If for whatever reason you want to join the faction, shoot me a PM (on this account or 8th Wonder/Thee Champion/Venenoso/Grimmwald).
- Although it does not have a page or blog, La Clique(mentioned in the "Operations & Associations" section) is a fictional crime syndicate created by me. If you have any idea regarding it or even want to run it, shoot me a PM.
- If you want to stop by and make a deal, plan a hit on someone etc. swing by.
- La Main Noire doesn't have one base of operations, it has several bases across the globe.
- Have fun with it. Or not! I will though.