Cynis Operations, the Smugglers

Background

The Cynis family had a bad reputation. They were involved in politics, shipping, investment and insurance. They had their fingers in every form of vice from drugs to gambling. They didn’t get involved in the war beyond monetary support, and everyone sneered at them for it.

Now the gods are dead. Suddenly, no one cares about a family’s reputation. Everyone needs help, and the Cynis family is in a position to provide it. Normally they wouldn’t lift a finger to help an outsider… but they’re willing to take you into the family and protect you, provided that you do a few things for them.

Cynis Trahka, Cynis Remma, and Cynis Vetho worked as smugglers. They ran weapons for both sides in the war, pretending to be letter-carriers. Eventually, after Karal Volan came to power, they refused to support River Island. “Cynis Operations” turned to even more lucrative work smuggling entire families out of the war zone. It’s amazing how much someone will pay to keep their husband and children safe. The three of them continued their work even after the Holocaust of the Gods. They know the Badlands well. Starsight and Jek Eikar have both done business with them, though they and Jek aren’t on speaking terms right now.

Things are bleak, though. When Cynis Operations heard about Cathak Venkan and his plan, they had a serious talk about the future. They agreed on one thing: the Weapon was bad for business. Maybe more than just business. They called in a few favors, hired a few extra hands, and found themselves some heroes looking to do the right thing. From the Ragara brothers Van and Uto they bought the vanishing zeppelin No Memory. If anything can save the world from the Weapon, it’s their ragtag band of… ugh. Don’t even say it. They’re doomed.

They’re pretty sure this isn’t going to work, but they can’t afford to do nothing. Monetarily, of course.

Appearance

The Smugglers 500

Trahka is a dark-haired, dark-lipped woman with dark eyes. Her skin has an olive cast to it. She wears a variety of necklaces, and a ring on her right hand.

Remma is red-haired and fair-skinned. Her clothing is brightly colored and often striped. She enjoys hats. Each morning she puts a few striking touches of makeup on her face to distract others.

Vetho has dark eyes and brown skin, with reddish lips. He only shaves every week or so – both face and head. His cheeks often shows stubble. He dresses like an aviator, though the goggles and scarf are hardly necessary at the helm of No Memory.

Demeanor

Trahka often acts meek and uncertain. She acts like a new recruit, or like someone who never quite grew into their shoes. Underneath that, she’s the strong core of Cynis Operations. It’s her support that makes people think Vetho is in charge, and makes them think that they might be able to set the group against one another by winning over her or Remma.

Remma is a planner. Everything has to be detailed, everything needs to be scoped out before it’s safe to act. As one might guess, she’s often nervous, especially on this particular operation. She plans to survive this mission, and is watching out for the risks and the advantages that could let them eke out victory.

Vetho acts as the group’s point man. He has a huge smile that he’s quick to share. He remembers everyone’s name, and he’ll make good use of that as well. Vetho is at his best in chaotic surroundings, and get a bit stir-crazy when things are quiet for too long. He’ll brood and fuss. When it’s time to be busy again, he’ll light up the grin.

Intimacies: “The thrill of the con”, (Trahka, Defining), “Hope”, (Remma, Defining), “My family” (Vetho, Defining), “No world, no fortune” (Major), “Each other” (Major, Positive), “Teamwork” (Major), “Karal Volan” (Negative), “What’s left of the Empire”

Capabilities

Trahka, Remma, and Vetho are all highly-skilled thieves with many years of experience as smugglers and con artists. They’ve each learned how to fly airships and give orders to their crews. Beyond that, each of them also has their own specialized talents.

Trahka is an excellent actor and infiltrator. She can fake any emotion convincingly and never loses track of a con. She’s also great at estimating risks and weighing rewards, a skill from her old job in the family as an actuary. When Cynis Operations needs an executive decision made, she’s the one who makes it. In a fight she’ll circle an opponent and trade a few probing blows with her sword – before switching to the concealed pistol built into the hilt.

Remma is a trained observer, having been sent to apprentice with a detective when she was young. Little escapes her notice, from secret doors and compartments to emotional “tells” to exploit. She can read social situations, noticing ties between people and minor annoyances that might be exploited or suppressed for the sake of a mission. She’s not good at hiding her own emotions the way Trahka is, but she’ll be able to tell if a client is becoming suspicious or if Vetho has pushed things too far. When the team ends up in a scrap she’ll be the one standing back with a long pistol, drawing a bead on the target and looking out for additional trouble.

Vetho has a charming smile and knows exactly when to break it out. His charisma is what hooks most of Cynis Operations’ clients. He also has a good mind for numbers and faces, but an ambition that wouldn’t let him settle for his old job in a restaurant. He tried a few different professions before becoming a smuggler, and being a jack-of-all-trades is part of what lets him relate to so many people. It also lets him improvise well, though Remma and Trahka often take him to task afterward for deviating from the plan. When things get rough, he closes with his opponent, using knives and his scarf to distract a foe long enough for his allies to strike.

Supporting Characters

  • Zekkalo, who flies the airship most of the time. Calm, courteous, drunk.
  • Four-eyes, who runs the maintenance crew. Impatient, unconfident, demanding.
  • Vok, a bruiser that no one remembers who hired. Silent, imposing, mercenary.
  • Hona, the navigator, with a room full of maps and charts. Frantic, calculating, exhausted.

Questions

  • Will Cynis Operations continue to act together during this mission, or will the stress and the stakes break up their team? If it does, who will end up where?
  • Does the rest of the Cynis family support this operation? Would they act against Cynis Operations?
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7 thoughts on “Cynis Operations, the Smugglers

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