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Old 02-12-2020, 01:21 PM   #11
Icelander
 
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Default Cult Connections With Organized Crime

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
If there are any further monetary concerns, considering (some of) the cultists have ties to the meth trade, it's possible they may be able to get into contact with the sort of criminal (pimps, high-ranking drug dealers, etc) who tends to have large sums of cash available and accepts Bitcoin for goods and services. While such probably don't usually make a habit of trading their illicit cash for Bitcoins, sufficient incentive - a markedly better-than-market exchange rate, a discount on product purchased in the near future, etc - may make them inclined to do just that. If the criminals are worried such a too-good-to-be-true deal is, well, just that, they might arrange for a dead drop or similar to give the cultists the funds (put the money in a storage locker and hide the key somewhere; once the cultists have provided the Bitcoins, tell them the location of the key and locker). This has the advantage to the cultists that their out-of-country assets can set it all up over the internet while they're still en route. This has the disadvantage that the criminals may be inclined to provide a key to an empty locker and abscond with the funds, although I'd imagine the cult has ways of... discouraging such behavior.
Indeed.

The cult has plenty of connections with drug trade organizations in South America, even though they themselves are not involved in drug production or the retail of drugs. They sell methamphetamine precursors to numerous DTOs in Andean countries and collect tribute from several local criminal organizations.

Those connections are where they got access to all the cash and offshore accounts they are using, after all. They are also how the Consortium hired numerous shooters who came to the US to attempt to salvage the failure of the advance team, only to make things worse.

However, neither the Consortium nor the Keepers of the Last Hearth are engaged in smuggling drugs into the US and, in fact, their more overtly criminal connections there are limited to some groups in California. That means that the five cultists connected to the 'Red Dragon' in South America can use smuggling routes used by these California criminal groups through cargo terminals in San Diego or Los Angeles to import oodles of cash, esoteric paraphernalia, weapons and other stuff they don't want going through customs, but it doesn't help the cultists who land directly in Dallas or Houston.

In Texas, the Consortium has connections with several more or less legitimate businesses that are engaged in money laundering and profiting from illegally mined precious metals, but that means white collar criminals, not pimps or gangsters. In any case, the cult are treating that entire network as compromised, so no one they know in that milieu will be approached for the new logistics and transport.

Even for the Mexico-Texas border crossing, the seven pishtaco and the sorcerer traveling with them made a point not to approach any cartels or DTOs on either side of the border, but travel among regular Central American migrants for much of the way and then deal with an independent coyote for the crossing itself.

In this setting, the ongoing drug war in Mexico is even more violent and chaotic than in our world, with dark spirits feeding on the fear and rage, influencing people to murder, torture and rape, as well as adepts of the occult rising to power among cartels and gangs, fighting for Places of Power and relics as well as profits and territory.

Quite simply, the cultists are as much foreigners to Mexico as Americans are and they don't know enough about the underworld there to feel safe dealing with any faction. The independent coyote is Chinese-Mexican and the 'friend-of-a-friend' to a strategic partner of the 'Red Dragon' element among the cultists.

As for the Texas underworld, especially if they cannot make use of what white-collar connections they have through the Consortium, the South American cultists legitimately have no more information than I do.

And I expect the native Californian cultists aren't much help when it comes to criminal contacts in Texas, as the nine traveling down to help with the ritual are part of a genuine New Age cult from Los Angeles. I suppose the best the cultists could hope for in the way of Texan criminal contacts outside their (now-compromised) Consortium alies would be if a 1% Motorcycle Club in California their other associates there deal with had a connection with some bikers in Texas, but that would probably take too much time to set up.

Hmmm... once it becomes clear that the sacrifices are lost to the cultists (rescued by PCs, a few dead, the rest in the hands of police), I wonder if I should have cult representatives in California offer concessions and a substantial sum, with a promise of more once the job is done, to the chapter of the Peckerwoods MC and/or the Nazi Lowriders they have a relationship with in exchange for a group of bikers and/or white supremacists driving to Texas. They'd tell them some lies about a business partner that required intimidation, just holding him and his family for a while until a deal was negotiated, no risk of him going to the cops afterwards because he's a criminal, etc.

In actual fact, the cultists would just be buying strong, armed bodies that could be sacrificed in order to reanimate them under the control of a minor Cold One spirit. And they wouldn't even foresee having to pay more than the first installment, so this would be relatively cheap for them. And the reanimated bikers and/or white supremacist gang members could be used as muscle to seize more sacrifices.

Granted, it's a 23 hour drive, so the earliest the bikers would get near Indianola is the evening of the 30th, more likely morning to noon on the 31st, assuming they slept at least once and made several rest stops during the trip. But if they could be induced to hurry enough to reach the cultists on the night of the 30th, there would be plenty of time for them to be sacrificed, reanimated and then sent out to collect some new and better sacrifices. Sure, the spirits would flee their bodies at dawn, but still, they could be useful for those few hours.

However, this only works if the news coverage of a massive terrorism investigation in the Houston area wouldn't scare them away from accepting a criminal job about 150 miles away from there. It would probably discourage me, but maybe the Peckerwoods and Nazi Low Riders are less careful...
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-13-2020 at 02:07 AM.
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