“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked…”
Proud to be New Gotham’s rapid underbelly, werecreaturse and shapeshifters from all different kinds come together to form the Pack Faction. In general, the Pack Faction speaks for New Gotham’s workforce, many of its members heading up local unions, factories, and supply companies. This portion of New Gotham is also responsible for the importing and exporting of raw materials.
Faction Representation and City Council
Each faction has at least one member on New Gotham’s City Council. Depending on the size of the faction, there may well be more than one representative per faction. For the pack faction, nominations are submitted at the end of each term by each registered pack’s alpha or alphas. There are certainly quite a few incumbents on the council now, but the pack faction in particular seems to rebel with alarming frequency.
For legality purposes, New Gotham legislation recognizes two types of packs: the registered pack and the unregistered pack.
The registered pack operates with a license, almost like a business. They are able to form a “union” and are exempt from certain kinds of taxes and laws. As of right now, there are 8 registered packs in New Gotham. And the city limits the number on purpose. There simply isn’t enough real estate for every pack in the world.
Registry acts as an informal consensus for city officials, and they rely on the information to help them understand the number of werewolves living within city limits. A registered pack is also assigned a symbol they can use to mark their territory and themselves. Some other benefits to becoming a registered pack is eligibility for voting during the council member election and the ability to self-govern.
Most registered packs do not submit their criminals to the NGPD, but practice a form of self-government that allows them to dictate just about everything (religion, laws, mating practices, social justice, breeding regulations) that has to do with their pack. For instance, members of a registered pack cannot legally marry without signed permission from their Alpha(s).
Likewise, territory takes on a legal connotation. Any transfer of territory or power in the pack is also a legal process. Most established territories within New Gotham’s city limits and forests are those of registered packs. Registered packs have legal rights to their territory, all rights to defend it in any way they see fit (as long as it does not cause public upheaval). For instance, no shop-owner is going to run a business in a werewolf owned territory without paying a protection fee.
This protection fee ensures that the shop is not attacked by anything (including the pack that owns the territory). Even a vampire would give pause to committing a crime within a pack marked store. The consequences would outweigh the benefits.
What registered packs acquire with legality, unregistered packs do very much the same thing with little to no outside help or interference. They maintain their anonymity and are nearly impossible to track by monster hunters. Another term for unregistered back is independent pack, and there are hundreds of these groupings or gangs in New Gotham at any time.
MOST New Gotham packs are unregistered. This does not mean that they will defend their territory with any less zeal. It means that there won’t be a court engagement between both parties (should the offender survive) afterwards.
There are people who argue that it’s foolish not to register your pack, but there are some creatures that simply don’t recognize legality as a real pressing issue. They’re not in the mood to leave a paper trail, nor are they inclined to caring about any of the tax breaks. They’re too busy doing monster things.
Registered packs are considered safer to visit. They are kind of like the “modern” werewolf who could very well be wearing Armani next to a vampire, but probably prefers tanks tops and jeans. You’ll find that most registered packs have a homestead den that is open to the community, and function very similarly to a community center.
New Gotham is home to eight registered packs, each of them with a homestead somewhere in the city (or the forest). One of the most famous homesteads belongs to the Scorpion pack. They operate out of a large warehouse down by the pier. You’ll know it by the massive scorpion painted on the side of the building. Tourists are invited to drop by and check out their trophy room, where they display hides from all the mystical animals they’ve conquered throughout the centuries. On Friday nights, they host a backyard cookout, and everyone is invited! (Bring the kids!)
Unregistered packs are considered more respected within were-creature society, as they tend to stick to the traditional aspects of their culture. And humans and many other creatures should naturally be a little more wary of these. They don’t usually open their homesteads to the public, and they typically base themselves around a business. It’s the difference between a community initiative and a biker bar.
One of the most famous unregistered packs in New Gotham is gang consisting solely of women. The Iron Maidens are considered one of the most successful (and bloodthirsty) packs in Underwood. They call themselves mercenaries, but we’re starting to think they’d kill people for free. The Iron Maiden’s male counterpart, the Silverhand, is a considerably smaller group, and they assassinate and steal from the 1%, which means they’re only a particular nuisance to vampires.
Invitations for gatherings and parlays are usually carved on the side of a fresh kill, which also doubles as a gift. For werewolves, their primary yearly gathering is called “Wild Hunt.” During this time, packs from all over the world (both registered and unregistered) hold an Olympics of sorts, coupled with a festival that ends in a mass hunt for a mythical beast. (Usually of dragon kinship.) The time and place of this gathering is marked by a lunar event that only takes place once every ten years. From what I hear, no one misses it.
There is also a gathering called a “Rumble,” where two opposing packs will pick a time and place for a battle that decides the outcome of a conflict. Any outsiders who interfere with a Rumble are killed. No exceptions.
Important Terms and Definitions
In New Gotham, the terms shifter and werecreature are very broad terms. There are many breeds of both species, each with their unique traits and cultural influences. The defining difference between species is the type of transformation.
Werecreatures may have control over their “changes” most of the time, but there is inevitably an underlying compulsion that must be satisfied according to whichever curse they happen to bear. For some, it’s the phases of the moon. For others, it’s as random as an unscheduled nervous breakdown twice a year.
Shifters have complete cognizant control over their transformations from human to animal/animal to human at ALL times. In addition, shifters generally show a second pair of animal ears and a tail until they lose their physical virginity. They also have a shorter lifespan and are generally considered a weaker creature when compared to a werewolf. (A good rule of thumb: shifters bleed red and werewolves bleed blue.)
All weres and shifters can be respectfully addressed by their faction title. For instance, it is appropriate to refer to a werewolf as “pack” in casual conversation. In fact, they don’t necessarily find it insulting when vampires refer to them as “the animals.” However, they do not appreciate the term “knuckle-dragger.”