The Spire Lords
The Council of Mourn, 7 Houses—currently House Mourn, House Zrrkun, House Dufray, House Thray, House Gnarloch, House Kurn.
The ultimate rulers of Moonthrone, the Council of Mourn is the ultimate ruling body of the Spired City. It consists of representatives from the seven highest ranking houses of Moonthrone’s nobility. Positions are hard fought and difficult to keep, with lower houses constantly vying to usurp one of the ruling seven’s power to take over a seat on the Council.
The City Watch
Primarily made up of dogmen, the Moonthrone City Watch is tasked with general peacekeeping and order within the City Below. They are willing to turn a blind eye towards most crime in the City Below as long as no one generates enough unrest to get the attention of the nobility in the City Above. Much of their attention is focused on rooting out instances of warlockery, or hunting down and foiling activities of The Folk.
The Church of Asmodeus
Around 133 years ago Hell established an embassy in Moonthrone, and enacted a treaty which provided for an exclusion to the general laws outlawing warlock pacts. Warlocks with documentation of approved devilish patrons, certified and administered by the Church of Asmodeus, may practice openly. The Church of Asmodeus primarily operates out of the district commonly referred to as Devil Town, with its headquarters being the Temple of Asmodeus, modeled after Asmodeus's citadel-spire of Malsheem. The Church also operates the Hellish Embassy and Hellish Archives, which flank the Temple to the east and west at the center of Devil Town.
Based primarily out of the Pelt District, often called the Fur Grounds due to the area's large were-creature population, the Folk are the descendants of escaped lycanthropes used in the breeding experiments that resulted in dogmen. They operate as an underground insurgent group (some would say terrorists) to undermine the power of the Spire Lords. Factions within the Folk vary, with the most altruistic wanting to establish a democratic society for the fair representation of the common man, and the most vicious wanting to plunge the city into anarchic chaos where the double-skinned (as some call themselves) can feast and rule over all the single-skins (non-lycanthropes).
The Beggars' Guild
Moonthrone's City Below is full of beggars. Conspiracy theorists say the majority of them are regulated by a vast criminal organization with connections that go all the way to the City Above. Rumors also say they have been known to kidnap children or mutilate the desperate to increase begging income. Most people know better to give any of those rumors credence, at least in public (though if real, the rumors have likely worked in the Guild's favor, as not a few people have been known to throw a blind man a coin they wouldn't generally spare, just to be sure to keep the Guild happy and away from their doorstep).
There are innumerable gangs throughout Moonthrone, of various hierarchies and organizational structures, as varied as small groups of thugs to neighborhood militias to city-spanning crime organizations. Some noteworthy gangs follow:
The Dead Crows—a local gang of mid-to large size, originally controlling small territory in the northwest portion of the Moth District, near Rustgate, though dangerously growing. They are especially racist and violent towards the city’s marcrow. Their name comes from their practice of tying heavy wooden wings to the diminutive bird-men (or anyone else that gets on their bad side) and throwing them off city roofs or other high places, a practice they heard of second hand and stole from kenku ostracization rituals (not that the average Dead Crow would be aware of the practice’s origin).
The Anklers—One of the largest, most free-ranging, and most feared gangs of Moonthrone, the Anklers are predominantly Halflings. Their name comes from their practice of cutting the Achilles tendon of, or “ankling,” those known to be racist or violent towards Halflings. They are a sharp exception of the general rule in Moonthrone that Halflings tend to try their best to go unseen so as to not be mistaken for a gnome, or easy gnome ringer. They tend to travel in groups; if you see a crowd parting for unknown reasons, it is not uncommon to see a group of red-garbed Halflings emerge, once the taller folk move to give you a view. Only the unwise would dare threaten, or be seen as anything but obsequious toward, a Halfling in the unmistakable dark-red colored clothing of an ankler, lest he be awoken in the middle of the night by the pain of his tendon shooting up his calf. They have a collegial alliance with the Tusk Boys, another racial based gang, but of half-orcs.
The Tusk Boys—Despite their name, not all Tusk Boys are male, though they do tend to all be half-orcs (with the exception of a few half-orc wannabe humans, who it is hard to be sure are genuinely liked by the gang, or just pitied and tolerated). They are a fairly jovial and easy-going gang, and tend to get along with most everyone, especially the more dour Anklers. Few are dumb enough to take their easy-going style as a weakness though, as a Tusk Boy turned angry is a dangerous thing, and few survive the wrath of a single Tusk Boy turned enemy, as the gang is known to be quite protective of its own, its territory, and its allies. Though seen all around the city, their base territory is a neighborhood in the South Gutters, near the border with the Southspire district. Their leader is a hefty transgender half-orc named Grummshaw. The Tusk Boys have no problem with their leader’s gender preference and are quick to take out anyone who might have a problem with, or feel the need to comment upon, it. It is said the Tusk Boy’s unique camaraderie with the Ankler’s came about when the Ankler’s took out their last leader, a much more gruff and grumpy orc with more militant sensibilities at odds with the group’s current lackadaisical demeanor.
Rustgutters—What started as a local militia in Rustgate, is now the leading crime organization of the Rustgate district. Originally formed as the Rustgate Regulars to protect the citizens of Rustgate from the depredations of the innumerable local gangs that always ebb and flow in Moonthrone, the Regulars soon found that the Spirelords, and thus the City Watch, did not take kindly to an autonomous, semi-militaristic militia group literally under their noses. The militia went figuratively underground to survive, and soon found itself partaking in many of the same criminal endeavors as their enemies, the gangs, just to survive. Now led by the charismatic dwarf Orondus Dwarftoss, they still watch out for the common man when able, and do their best to keep to operations that won’t damage the community.
The Guttersnipes—The Guttersnipes are the preeminent gang of all three Gutters districts, with satellite gangs that seem to drop in and out of control of Gutters neighborhoods as often as the river-adjacent districts flood (which is often, hence the name).
The Blue Stripes--A neighborhood gang in Northgutter, identifiable by the strips of blue cloth they wear pinned to their right shoulders. Currently in a turf battle with another small-time neighborhood gang, the Grey Faces.
The Grey Faces--Another neighborhood gang in Northgutter, identifiable by their grey bandanas, generally covering their faces, bandit-style. Opposed to the Blue Stripes.
The Widowers--A new criminal organization that has recently taken over much of the illicit activity around the docks of Northgutter. They don't have much of a visible street presence, but their mysterious leader, The Widow, has abounded in recent rumors regarding back-alley dealings.
Cultists of the Ones Below
Obnoxiously vague on who or what exactly they worship, the Cultists of the Ones Below, or Those Who Sleep, or the Dreamers in the Dark, or whatever else seems to come into their heads, recently revealed themselves to the public when, around midnight of the last full moon, a good portion of the City Below found themselves uncannily drawn to the Heartspire, just before massive torrents of fleshy pseudopods erupted through the inside of the tower. The cultists were those weird guys who started wrangling people and throwing them into the the stuff.
Updated gangs listing