Descent of Darkness
Streets are what the local people of Aldritch name the children and young adults of the rough side of town. No one knows what really happened to the other side of town but there has been a stark dividing line for many generations. The good side of Aldritch is much like any other town, with shops, a good trading economy, and various inns. On the seedy side, however, the buildings are mostly rotting and torn down. Gangs of children, from little ones to almost full-grown adults roam the streets with home-made weapons of glass, slings, and wooden slats. Some of the more well-off or lucky Streets, usually the leaders of their respective gangs, carry actual weapons of knife, bow, or sword as well.
The Streets are a law unto themselves. No one crosses over from the good side to the bad and very few come over from the bad side to the good, unless it is to try their hand at pilfering some food or money from the wealthier good-side residents. For the most part, the residents of the main part of Aldritch do what they have always done – which is to ignore the Streets who aren’t there and to punish the ones that get caught stealing by either chopping off a hand or sending them to be hung in the city square, depending on which person the Street is caught stealing from. The guards that have now and again been sent into Street territory never return and their bodies are never recovered. Few will venture willingly into the place anymore. Occasionally the youngest and most pitiful of the Streets are able to surreptitiously beg for some scant morsel of food on certain streets in the good side of town, though even this holds its dangers and many do not attempt it any longer.
Many years ago the Streets used to be divided up into a myriad of small, 6-9 people groups. This is no longer the case, however. There are now three main rival Street gangs. The largest and most ruthless is led by Farl. The second major group’s leader is unknown, though the size of the group indicates that there is a leader, no one outside of the group itself has any idea who it may be. The third group’s leader is a woman by the name of Cat. She is tough but as just as possible for a Street. She does not enjoy the same sick and twisted sense of pleasure that Farl does. Cat mostly keeps to her side of the city and takes her marks far away from Farl’s territory. The third, more shadowy group is almost never seen by the other two factions. In this way is a tentative lack of violence achieved between the three largest groups. The groups will still try and harass the other if they see them and there are still a small number of smaller Street factions that plague this or the other big group but for the most part, they stay out of each other’s way and leave each group to its own devices.