As we have already discussed, Slothjemia has three Paladin Houses. Certainly this represents a small, yet thriving influence for virtue and nobility. One should note, however, that these Houses are relatively new. Much older are the dozens of institutions dedicated to criminal activities.
The oldest of such organizations are the families that have an ancient tradition of assassination. The oldest and most highly esteemed of wickedness are the huntsmen, and close behind them are the Shadow Elven clans. No amount of priestly or chivalrous influence will lessen the power of these groups, because they are so ingrained in the psyche of Slothjemia as to be literally inseparable. Certain of these families have branched out into other criminal activities, and have staked out territories in and around the cities and towns of the country. While forbidden to engage in criminal activity inside the borders of Slothjemia (let’s not pretend that they adhere to this prohibition), they will use these places to reach beyond the borders and wreak havoc among Slothjemia’s neighbors. An example of these is the Torkezahn family, a jorish clan that has laid claim to part of Slothenburg as their base of operations. Another is the Jordecayne family, the undisputed masters of Middleswamp’s criminal activity. These families clash from time to time when their nefarious plots run afoul of each other, but for the most part they keep the peace to avoid closer scrutiny by the constabulary.
Another facet of Slothjemia’s seedy underworld are the criminals that have been chased out of other countries, or have been ostracized by their cohorts. Examples include the Black Marbles (a group of sinister ne’er-do-wells that fled Forkanza), The League of Velvet (a loose gathering of thieves sought by foreign authorities), The Caliphate in Exile (an organization devoted to giving safe haven to Torkan brigands on the lam), and The Abyssal Knights (outcasts from the Sikilian Confederation that practice their dark arts in secret). These live in fear of being uncovered by the constabulary, but their fear of being cast back out to their native lands is even greater. This causes them to be extraordinarily cautious when conducting their activities within Slothjemia, but it does not curtail such deeds entirely.
On the slim chance that the constabulary are utterly unaware of some criminal syndicate operating in their jurisdiction, there are plenty of rival rogues ready to duly inform them. In this way very carefully placed boundaries exist to keep the peace, but to call such agreements tenuous is generous. Everything hangs by a thread, and if anything slips, the constabulary will charge in swinging their truncheons and tossing folks in prison until peace is restored. And peace is always restored. The executioners might have a very busy weekend, but there will be peace.