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Fluff / Vory

The Vory v Zakone


A syndicate split in two, hailing originally from Russia, The Vory, compared to other syndicates, care little for mysticism, and their use of brutal violence and brute cunning to let nothing stand in their way is second to none. They are the reason Kalashnikovs sends rounds into bodies the world over, they destroyed the Mafia’s iron grip over Europe, and are moving into a neighborhood near you. [1],[2],[3]


To understand the Vory, you must understand their history, and their origin, the Soviet Gulag. The Soviets cared very little for organized crime, and soon these labor camps were filled with thieves, rapists, and murderers, rubbing shoulders with political dissidents. These two groups established a Code, the Thieves Code, and those that followed this called themselves Vory v Zakone, Thieves of a Code. As they were released, these Vory took their code with them into the wider world, and soon controlled much of the black market of the USSR. In the Chaos of the Soviet Union’s fall and with no one to stop them, the Vory soon controlled the Russian underworld.[4],[5],[2]

They then looked outward, towards Europe and many former Soviet Republics. Vory soon had a presence in every major city, and in 2016, the Avtoritet joined the organization. An Avtoritet differs from a Vor significantly, many of them businessmen whose greed overtook them, and handle the structures of power and white collar crime, while a Vor is a street operator who handles the more messy side of the business. Things were looking up for the Vory, until General Secretary Kropunin broke them in half. [2]

General Secretary Kropunin, the man later responsible for the first Euro War, wanted a glorious new future for his Nation, and that future required money. Seeing the money that could be made in the arms trade, he undertook several purges in 2026 of all Vory who would not ally with him, with those Vory that fled into Europe becoming the White Vory, while those that modified their code to ally with Kropunin became the Red Vory. Enmity has existed between these two factions ever since.

The exiled White Vory, with both the Euro Wars to profit from and the destruction of the Mafia’s network through The First Crash, moved swiftly. Only the united front of the Alta Commissione was able to stop the onslaught, and even now, there is constant conflict with no end in sight. [2],[16]

The Code

While they lack the centuries old traditions or mystical trappings of many other syndicates, the Vory do have The Thieves Code to tie them together. Hardly being something that could hurt them, the Vory have modified The Code throughout their history to best suit their needs, focusing first on doing what works. Gone are rules requiring prison time for membership, or the forbidding of prior military service. Vory are no longer forbidden from enjoying the fruits of their labor or from owning a house, and tattoos are no longer required, with many Vor taking up a Corporate aesthetic.[5]

The core of the Code remains however. Promises to other Vor must be kept, debts must be paid, and the organization must not be disgraced. A Vor must always keep his wits about him, and excessive drunkenness is looked down upon. Finally, he must contribute some of his earnings to the Obshchak, a collective money fund. [5]

The final part of The Code is the death of anyone who insults a Vor. Spilling your drink on him at a party, insulting his favorite dancing girl, slapping him, TPing his house, it does not matter, any insult is met with swift death, and any Vor is required to assist his brothers in this matter.[5]

Violations of the Code are handled quite simply, smaller infractions lead to pain and suffering, and betrayal is met with torture then death. [6]


Both White and Red Vory follow the same structure


Either a Vory or an Avtoritet, the Tsar is the undisputed leader his own Organizatsi. He has the power to call for Skodkas, meetings between Tsars to handle issues that affect them all, and Strelkas, meetings to handle disputes. Due to the smaller operating size of a Vory organizatsy, a Tsar will have the power level of a Mafia Capo.


Usually a Avtoritet, the Sovetnik is the second in command, and an advisor to the Tsar. He handles the Vory’s prison connections, and makes sure those below him are doing their jobs.


Part project managers, part accountants, the Lideri handle both the money and oversee street operations. They are in charge of the Obshchak.


The Soldiers of the Organizatsi, these are cybered fist of the Tsar. They handle anything violent that cannot to trusted to Shadowrunners or vassal gangs. They also act as middle men to those gangs, being the ones who break them in the beginning to allow the Vory to control them, then supplying them with weapons, BTLs, armor, and money.


The lowest rank of the Vory, the Shestiorkas, or gophers, are teenager recruits to the Vory that handle anything that cannot be trusted to outsiders, but doesn’t require expertise. [6],[3],[5],[7]


While every Organizatsi will operate in different markets, their preferred markets and methods stay the same.

Protection Rackets, or “Shoom”

The Vory enjoy a good protection racket as well as any syndicate, put prefer to go straight to the source to ensure compliance, this tactic also extends to whenever they need to get the message across to anyone. An Avtoritet will show up one night, before the man of the house has come home, and begin to socialize with the man’s wife and children. During these interactions, he will be quite friendly and amicable. When the man comes home and finds his wife at the dinner table with the Avtoritet, it will be made quite clear nonvocally that his family can be destroyed at any time if he steps out.

On the other hand, the Vory will send the same message by parking across the street and just watch the house, making it quite clear to the man that they know where his family is.[3]


While the Avtoritet grease palms and buy gifts as well as any syndicate, they prefer a more long term approach to having corporations, police firms, and Governments comply with their needs. Often, Shestiorkas will be hired at a low level position, and the Vory will use other tactics to “fast track” the Shestiorka up the ladder.

Matrix Crime

Fully embracing the technical education offered in Russia, The Vory have fingers in every digital pie that exists. One of their favorite tactics is E-Hijacking, hacking into shipping manifests and having goods delivered to a quiet place they can be picked up, and then when the corporate hit squad arrives, be nowhere to be found.[8]

A specialty of the Vory is data brokerage, and is the most profitable operation for North American Vory. They operate a massive network of watchers, like paparazzi, but without the glamor. They watch everything, and forward anything they find back to their masters for a price based on the quality of the info. The topics they cover are wide ranging and extend far beyond the shadows, with many corporations and politicians being their clients. This network has been key to Vory success in North America, with their superior intel allowing them to outmaneuver their much larger competition. [8],[7]


The Vory do not bother with the specialty of the Bunraku, or the glamour of Mafia Brothels. Vory Joytoys wander the streets and docks, with AROs listing their prices and what fetishes they can provide. Cheap motels nearby facilitate the transactions.[8],[9]

The Vory also deal with more discerning customers, kidnapping squatters and molding them into the form custom ordered by the customer. These toys are also implanted with sim rigs, so they can double their purpose and be stars in cheap Vory BTLs.

Pyramid Schemes

Run by the Avtoritet, these are much the same from what you’d expect from regular pyramid schemes, only the perpetrators don’t get arrested in the end, and pump the pyramid full of bad debt before bailing.[10]

The Arms Trade

The true bread of a non North American Vory operation, the Red Vory control almost all of the arms trade within Russia, working hand in hand with the Government to make the biggest nuyen, they don’t care who they sell to, with even rival syndicates able to pick up hardware without issue as long as they pay. Even outside Russia, the Red Vory are not to be underestimated, with the Seattle Vory running the biggest Black Market in the metroplex, under the eye of the dwarf Gregory “The Red Stare” Orlov. [10],[11],[12]

The White Vory, lacking the backing of the Russian Government, still move massive amounts of hardware, much of it either Eurowar overstock or hijacked shipments meant for law enforcement agencies. They prefer to handle BTLs and Narcotics. [10]

Vory Standards

The Vory, as flexible as their code is, are still quite bigoted themselves. The Red Vory are racist, old world racist, and while they take any metatype, non-Russians never become Made Men, though they will use vassal gangs made up of any ethnicity. The White Vory are a bit more tolerant, their exile nature forcing them to be, but they still prefer to recruit from Russians. [13]

Mages are not trusted, as in Russia, almost all Awakened are in state service. Those mages available to the Vory are conditioned for loyalty, sometimes even psychotropically. They are uniformly hermetic.

The Vory hold no strong opinions on Technomancers, as long as they serve the Vory well.[13]

Seattle Vory, Povryejhda Seattle

Lead by The Terminator, the current Seattle Vory is a branch of the Moscow Red Vory, killing or subjecting any remaining White Vory in the city, and have set themselves up in Tacoma near the docks. Povryejhda means broken.[10]


The Tsar of the Vory in Seattle is Aleksander “The Terminator” Bilotkiy, a massive, cybered up man with a slow burning temper, and long time boogeyman of the Moscow shadows. A veteran of Red Army Special Forces, he appears to be in his 30’s despite his age. He still reports back to Andrei Petschukov in Moscow.[10]

His Sovetnik is a man named Sergei Antonov, who approaches his business in a cold mathematical sense, ever gun, soldier, and prostitute just a number he can spend for the greater profit of the Vory. His cover is as a liason for the Russian Refinery Company NOR, which makes deliveries to the Tacoma docks. He himself is almost as large as the Tsar, and is an amatuer bodybuilder, with short shaved hair. He is the true brains of the Seattle Vory.[10]


Besides running the Metroplex’s largest black market through Gregory “The Red Stare” Orlov, the Seattle Vory control much of the Tacoma docks, smuggling massive amounts of arms from Russia, and chips and designer drugs from Hong Kong. The Vory also allow independent smugglers to use their docks for a 5% fee; those that shortchange the Russians are dismembered. Further inland, much of the former Mafia prostitution business and protection rackets have been taken over by the Vory. Downtown, Vory all over are collecting information for their network, writing down what they see on notepads so not to be hacked. Even more Vory are diving deep into local data havens, taking any information they wish. [9],[14],[12]

An odder part of the Vory operations is their control of the Orxploitation music scene, as they own Hez Music, a major music label with even Crime Time under contract.[14]


The Seattle Vory have around a hundred fighting men, not including their vassal gangs, however, The Terminator has purchased land to set up training camps. They have few onsite deckers, mainly relying on men back in Moscow, or the few they’ve been able to recruit here. For magical talent, they have recruited the Ear Bleeders wiz gang and several others, and put them under the tutelage of Lyodor Kovska, a former professor of Thaumaturgy at the University of Kiev. [14],[15]


  • [1] - Vice Pg 74
  • [2] - Vice Pg 75
  • [3] - Vice Pg 77
  • [4] - Underworld Sourcebook Pg 73
  • [5] - Underworld Sourcebook Pg 74
  • [6] - Vice Pg 76
  • [7] - Underworld Sourcebook Pg 75
  • [8] - Vice Pg 79
  • [9] - Vice Pg 81
  • [10] - Vice Pg 80
  • [11] - Underworld Sourcebook Pg 80
  • [12] - Emerald Shadows Pg 14
  • [13] - Vice Pg 78
  • [14] - Vice Pg 82
  • [15] - Vice Pg 83
  • [16] - Shadows of Europe Pg 35

Page last modified on July 27, 2019, at 07:52 AM