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Parsantium's Icons No.4 Boss of All Bosses

Crossposted from http://parsantium.wordpress.com/blog

Here's the latest 13th Age icon write up for Parsantium – this one is definitely villainous. There's a GMs only spoiler at the bottom after the illustration, so don't scroll all the way down if you don't want to read it! You can read about the other icons here.


Also known as the Fourth Tribune, the Boss of All Bosses controls the criminal gangs of the Hidden Quarter beneath the city streets of Parsantium.

“You have failed to meet your tribute target, Darius, for the first and final time. You will find the consequences of failure to be most unpleasant.”

In his secret headquarters in the Bone Catacombs below the Forest of the Dead.

Avishandu is the current Boss of All Bosses ruling Parsantium’s criminal gangs; he presides over any necessary strategic decisions, resolves disputes and takes a sizeable cut of the profits. Only the leaders of the biggest gangs (such as the Golden Scimitars) have actually met Avishandu – a handsome Aqhrani with an impeccably neat moustache and beard, piercing blue eyes, and a cruel smile. Dressed in a jewelled black turban and purple silk djellaba, he receives visitors while lounging on a golden throne, surrounded by beautiful women.

The Boss of All Bosses is cunning, absolutely ruthless and phenomenally patient – Avishandu is playing a long game. It has taken him ten years to build up his current power base in the Old Quarter, but the Fourth Tribune is plotting to expand his sphere of influence into the Mercantile and Imperial Quarters when the time is right. Avishandu has some concerns about the Old Quarter tribune Murad al-Rumi and his plans to tackle the criminal gangs but hasn’t overreacted: for now, he is content to gather more intelligence through the spy he has placed in the tribune’s household.

Rogues, sellswords and other adventurers with dubious morals may decide to join a Hidden Quarter gang, carrying out daring burglaries and robberies, or acting as enforcers. Gang members in good standing might be called upon to undertake special missions by Heinsoo, Avishandu’s right-hand man. Freelance thieves will need to pay a percentage of their earnings to the local gang, or risk being found floating face down in the Dolphin Strait.

Heroic adventurers based in the Old Quarter are more likely to find themselves coming into conflict with the gangs, perhaps coming to the aid of a local businessman being leaned on for protection money or breaking up a smuggling operation. Experienced adventurers may become mixed up in the sinister schemes of the gang leaders, Heinsoo, and the Fourth Tribune himself.

See “Secret Knowledge” after the illustration below. The Boss of All Bosses will work with anyone who will further his aims to grow his power base in the city. He has met with agents of the Water Lords and the Caliph in the past, and the door is open for further negotiations.

The Basileus and his Prefect are determined to contain the Boss of All Bosses’ influence, and the Tribune of the Old Quarter, Murad al-Rumi, has taken an unprecedented stand against the criminal gangs. The Dragon works actively against Avishandu, steering heroic adventurers into the path of gang activity in the hopes they will put an end to it. The Cult of the Black Mother also operates in the Hidden Quarter: as yet, confrontations have been restricted to a few bloody fights over territory but further conflict is likely.

There has been someone in nominal charge of the Old Quarter gangs for centuries, but Avishandu is the first Boss of All Bosses to wield true influence over organized crime in Parsantium. In the past, the title was an honorary one given to the head of the most powerful gang who would arbitrate disputes over territory, but the Boss relied on the backing of the other gang leaders and did not exact tribute from them. This changed with the arrival of Avishandu who seized control in a bloody coup and ruthlessly eliminated any opposition to establish a firm grip on power. Now, the Fourth Tribune is feared and treated with great respect by all the gang leaders, several of whom have witnessed first hand how he deals with those who have displeased him.

Everything will be alright while Avishandu’s power base remains confined to the Old Quarter and does not spread throughout Parsantium.

Spoiler after the illustration...

Golden Scimitars symbol

Avishandu is a powerful rakshasa lord, serving the Rajah, Vrishabha. While he builds his power base in the city, the Boss of All Bosses is using Heinsoo to search for the means to free his master from his icy prison in the Pillars of Heaven Mountains.

*Artwork copyright William McAusland, Outland Arts, used with permission

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