The Janus Syndicate

An organised criminal faction with influences spreading along the West Coast of North America from Panama to Vancouver, the Janus Syndicate prefers to work behind the scenes. It functions mainly as a facilitator and service provider for other criminal groups, providing avenues for the transport of people, drugs, weapons and cash. The Syndicate runs black markets, fences and auction houses for major-league stolen goods that couldn't be sold anywhere else: if you want to get rid of a set of pilfered crown jewels, a world-renowned painting or a trophy from a defeated superhero, Janus is your man. Working closely with so many other criminal groups puts Janus in a position close to the pulse of the underworld, and he always seems aware of major happenings before they arrive.

The Janus Syndicate's origins are even less well known that its night to night illegal operations. It is a splinter from the Ariadne Compact that broke away during the Gateway Wars. Janus was originally in charge of the Compact's attempts to control international organised crime on a global scale, a Patriarch of Crime, but for reasons of his own defected to Professor Gateway's cause. The Syndicate was almost entirely gutted during the conflict, its agents hunted down and brutally punished by the Compact's forces for their betrayal, forcing Janus to retreat deep into the shadows to reassemble his group almost from scratch.

Threat Ratings

GTR: Mild; Life/Limb: Mild; Property: Moderate.

Group Membership

The Syndicate is rather top heavy as criminal enterprises go: its proportion of low-level thieves and enforcers is small compared to the number of black-book accountants, information brokers, smugglers, planners, consiglieres and other 'criminal admin' roles. For this reason, and because of the strangeness and remoteness of its leadership the rank and file goons are known for having poor morale and being relatively prone to disloyalty unless shepherded by one of Janus' lieutenants.

Bases/Centres of Operation

Los Angeles, with a wide network of members, contacts and agents along the Pacific Rim and beyond.

Leaders/Notable Members


An enigmatic crime boss who always works through many layers of go-betweens and emissaries, little is known of Janus personally. In rare personal encounters he wears a mask depicting his namesake, the two-faced Roman god of doorways, beginnings and endings which seems to provide him with all-around vision - or this may be a natural talent, perhaps literal eyes in the back of his head. Janus plays at an obsession with Roman artefacts, the concept and imagery of duality and multi-facetedness, and, occasionally, doors; he often sends his underlings to acquire items befitting this theme, but whether it is a true obsession or just a hobby is unknown.


Mindy and Mandy Twain were twin sisters who fled an abusive home in Idaho with hopes of finding happiness and success in LA. What they found instead was drugs and petty crime. Mandy was shot by the police attempting to escape a bungled robbery; this apparently caused Mindy's mind to snap, and now the young woman believes she is 'possessed' or 'inhabited' by her twin's mind. She began to dress in a patchwork of her and her sister's modes of fashion, and wearing each half of her hair in a different style. Her crimes became more vicious and successful, and Janus took note of her. Something about the girls fractured mind touched a perversely paternal string the crime boss's heart, and he took her under his wing, grooming her to be an enforcer, lieutenant… and perhaps an heir.

Janus had Doublespeak extensively trained in martial arts, making her a capable combatant, though one that relies on speed, agility and trickery over strength and stamina. She seems almost superhumanly perceptive, has uncanny reflexes and the ability to split her concentration to accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously; as she describes it, she's 'thinking for two'.


Little is known about Janus's right hand man, Dramaturge. There may even have been several men behind the half-Comedy, half-Tragedy mask at different times. He is the most common leader of Janus's thugs when they conduct large-scale robberies or crimes, and is the emissary that is trusted to oversee his master's most critical operations. Dramaturge is a highly skilled fighter, both unarmed and with a sap or tonfa. His abilities are well within human norms, however. He has been known to carry low-caliber devices such as smoke bombs and grapple guns.


The Garlands were an ordinary, middle-class suburban family from a commuter village north of LA. Perhaps they were even more 'old fashioned' than normal; a stay at home mother and a workaholic father. Like many children, young Leila blamed some of her misdeeds on 'another girl' or 'Bad Leila'. By the time she was ten, her mother had had a nervous breakdown, and was committed to a mental health unit, convinced of delusions that she had had another daughter, an 'evil twin'. Leila's home life soon became intolerable thanks to her father's neglect, and she ran away to live with a succession of friends and lovers, until she was old enough to join the military. After a tour with the marines marked by citations for violence and ill-discipline, as well as commendations for her drive, industriousness and forwardness on the battlefield – she displayed a willingness to charge into high-risk situations when ordered to, and yet often came through these fights without a scratch. After leaving the marines, she was induced into employing her skills in increasingly violent paid work, and finally settled into a role as a hit woman with the code name Gemini. Janus became interested in her because of her abilities, and began to use her services more and more often, until she became a fixture of his organisation. She is his tool for eliminating opposition and cleaning out treacherous or incompetent underlings.

Gemini has the ability to create a single duplicate of herself, including her personal equipment. The most likely sources of this ability are metagenetic (some form of instantaneous self-cloning) or extradimensional (summoning parallel versions of herself – her age is within the range for her to have been affected by the Gateway Wars). These duplicates are indistinguishable from the original. Perhaps both are viable as independent beings, or perhaps she views the duplicate as expendable, as she did during her military service. Gemini seems to be able to communicate silently with her copy as long as it is within eye contact.

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