The Whisperer in Darkness
A pair of immigrants from the great plains of Isalfyrne, the Appleby brothers arrived in Gerelden in 327 U.I. The elder, Frank, set to work running a carving business down by the docks while his sibling, Ronald, found intermittent work as a porter and courier. It was not long before the younger brother succumbed to the temptation of petty crime, and he began working for a couple of the dockland gangs as a runner and smuggler. Success followed and he quickly rose in the ranks of the gangs.
Though he never got involved in anything illegal, Frank Appleby’s otherwise thriving business inevitably became a target for those who wanted to hurt his brother. A steady increase in intimidation and violence culminated in a brutal attack in 335 U.I. which left the elder Appleby permanently brain damaged, and his pregnant fiancee distraught. Ronald took over the business and used the profits to hire enough muscle to start trading in narcotics himself.
The Appleby family grew steadily over the next few decades to become, as of 363 U.I., the most powerful gang in the north of the city and docklands. Ronald had several wives over that time and most of his children entered the family business, while his nephew, Douglas, divided his time between caring for his vegetative father and causing mayhem as the city’s most feared enforcer. Though corruption is rife within the city guard, the Applebys are known to have particularly deep pockets with regard to rewarding city officials for their assistance. It also helps that they have a reputation for brutal retribution on those who betray their trust.
Apart from Ronald and Douglas, the most well known member of the family is Kellor, Ronald’s second son, who is a particularly big gambler but extremely competent legally and with an eye on the political intrigues going on at court. Other associates of note are Phinus Pormus, the halfling who runs day to day business for the syndicate, and Mika Sullivan, half elf protoge of Douglas Appleby and a brutal knife man.