Crouching Cultist, Hidden Heretic
Yufu Qu is on the eastern coast of the city, north of the port at the river’s mouth, and is home to the city’s bustling fish markets, fisher docks, and of course innumerable towering tenements, which are often built right to the edge of the sea such that the water terminates at a hundred and fifty foot edifice of carefully balanced wood and cloth housing hundreds of families. Everything in this district flows back to fishing. The tailors make clothes for fishermen, the carpenters make their boats, the merchants buy their fish and sell it to the cooks and restauranteers who take those raw fish and turn them into meals, and the Southern Dragon Pirates bilk all the spare gold out of everyone. There’s not a whole lot of spare gold to go around, but with tens of thousands of people to bilk, it adds up.
The Southern Dragons also use the fisher docks for their smaller vessels (the larger ones must dock in the port proper in Gangwu Qu), which then extorts protection money from shipping into and out of the city and preys on any who won’t pay or attempt to bypass the fees by docking at other ports. This makes docking at anyplace but Daxing Cheng hazardous enough that it actually encourages trade to flow into the city, even as it cuts into the profitability of that trade, so you take the good with the bad.
The Southern Dragons have an accord with the Eagle Talons in Gangwu Qu. The Southern Dragons don’t attack any merchants who are actually in Gangwu Qu, and the Eagle Talons won’t attack any Southern Dragons while they’re in Daxing Cheng. In both cases, it’s open season once they’re out on the sea or further up the river, so battles just outside the harbor or just past the city’s river gate are common.
The Southern Dragons are led by Long Zhao. Long Zhao is often commanding his fleet preying on shipping out at sea, so the day-to-day operation of the clan’s businesses in Yufu Qu is often left to his son, Long Weiba. Long Zhao is a vengeful and proud warrior, but his son is a drunk and a hedonist. Though powerful in his own right, Long Weiba’s drunken lashing out at his own men would see his crews disintegrating were it not for the influence of his father reigning him in whenever he gets too far out of hand.
The Southern Dragons’ two most powerful enforcers are Jing Bai and Jing Yong. Their parents were killed by a Black Lotus Wulin when they were young, and they joined up with the Southern Dragons swearing revenge. The two terrorized the seas until finally, tested in many battles against the orthodox Wulin and others who would defend the meek or uphold the law, they were prepared to track down the Black Lotus who killed their parents, finding him in Daxing Cheng and killing him. This has earned the ire of the leader of the city’s Black Lotus Zhang Jun, who was friends with the man, which has provoked the Black Lotus to even greater enmity with the city’s Southern Dragons. Bad enough that they were muscling in on the crime scene, now it’s war.
The Liquid Metal Delegates see removing the Southern Dragons as a high priority and great honor would be given to any Delegate who would take the task upon themselves. While the Southern Dragons are not the most powerful faction in the city nor are they even doing the most damage to the keeping of law within its walls, their chaotic pillaging is harmful to towns and villages for miles around, bringing their disregard for the law to otherwise orderly populations far from Daxing Cheng’s infamously lawless streets.