Okay, Triads 101: Chinese ethnic criminal fraternities that grew out of secret underground political groups. They spread out along with Chinese immigrants, including to the Pacific Coast, where they were sometimes known as “tongs.” They’re organized into “lodges,” not entirely unlike Western Masons. Of the old-world syndicates, they embrace magic and mysticism the most, no surprise considering how they are steeped in mystical traditions, including a complex set of codes and initiation rituals administered by the Incense Master of a particular lodge.
- Triad Incense Masters ensure the loyalty oaths members take upon their initiations are magically binding. That means captured Triad soldiers can’t talk, and anyone who breaks under interrogation dies screaming before he can reveal anything.
Vice is the Triads’ primary business, especially drugs, chips, and human trafficking out of the “Golden Triangle” of Asia. That includes a big share of the world opium trade, along with a brisk business in “Kong chip” BTLs and sex slaves from Southeast Asia. Their side businesses include shaking down Chinese ethnic neighborhoods, smuggling magical goods and contraband, and murder-for-hire services.