Son of a Boss
Son and enforcer of opium den merchant/crime boss
- Criminal underworld
: Dealing in opium and other services the Feng family provides aren't illegal per-say, but their business does at times chafe under the law and they are involved in and acquainted with many of the less reputable operations in Kingstone, such as gunpowder manufacture. It's only fear of the Inquisition that stops the Fengs from going too far in their methods.
- Merchant class
: Despite the Feng family being wealthier than some lower nobility, the fact they are low born and also foreign immigrants makes them only little better than working class in social standing. Both Lau and his family seek the recognition and esteem of being part of the nobility, they and other well off bourgeois families often try to imitate their betters, throwing balls and living in manses.
: The Feng family mostly operate in and around the Kingstone docks area owning several vessels which can double as floating opium dens.
: A sector of the Old Commons, the hub of many opium dens and illicit activities in the city, the Feng family have much influence on the immigrants there.
- Opium addict
: If Lau isn't exactly a junkie then he's pretty close, he considers a bad day to be where he hasn't smoked the poppy and after two or three days without he starts to develop withdrawal symptoms.
- Trained Swordsman
: Lau was instructed from an early age in the use of a Jian sword which he often carries with him; while arguably an inferior weapon to the rapier, many who are not used to fighting against one might be caught off guard. In recent years his training has lulled somewhat.
- Big Mouth
: For better or worse Lau has a difficult time keeping his mouth shut, at times he can have a silver tongue but just as often it gets him into trouble.
: A life of intimidation and growing up around people who fear your family has instilled a lot of this young Lau, he doesn't scare easy but then he doesn't always know when to back down from a fight.
- Martial Artist
: Lau has been taught in martial arts of his native Nanman, covering close combat and acrobatics. He carries an iron fan which, when not wafting himself with it, can be used effectively in his off hand.
The philosopher-junkie, brat child and overall hedonistic son of feared crime boss Jun Feng, the White Snake. Neither British nor Nanmane, upper-class or lower-class, traditional or modern, Lau suffers from an identity crisis in some ways embodying the disheveled state of his families native Nanman, his solution is opium. The drug seems to seep the emotion out of him and set him at peace to see things clearly, correct or not this has given him quite a negative nihilistic outlook on life and his response was simply to stop caring and try to live in the now. Deep down Lau would like to move out of the shadow cast by his father and his family, though he can't quite bring himself to give up the trappings of wealth and power that come with his connections; he's searching for something to believe in and care about beyond just the next pipe.
As a result of his outlook and his position in life Lau is quite brazen and cocky, more than happy to make fun of anyone and anything that crosses his path, he is a loud mouth and smart-alec who seem to leak arrogance and is able to talk for hours if no-one stops him. He often muses aloud to himself and enjoys finding out what makes people tick as well as generally trying to bring them down to his level, part of what makes him an effective enforcer. Too long on the poppy and in a happy cushion of safety though have disillusioned him somewhat, in his mind he is fearless and invincible but reality has yet to really bite him hard yet.
It was almost forty years ago now, at the defeat and humiliation of the British, Nanman at last opened its borders and waves of immigrants spilled out, a young Jun Feng stepped onto the docks of Kingstone with a mind to go places. Since then the Feng syndicate has risen in prominence to control the vast majority of opium dens in Kingstone; centered in the city Nanmantown and the docks, they have a number of trading vessels and hold large sway over the immigrant population of the city.
So growing up Lau wanted for nothing, at least materialistically, he was instructed to speak and write both English and Nanmane and his education included the traditional martial arts of his home country, as well as various other subjects including subtle instructions on how to run the syndicate from his father, the White Snake. Things changed once Lau entered his teens though, it became apparent to him that despite all his family had achieved they were still looked down upon by many members of society, either for their social rank, ethnicity, or the nature of their business, more and more Lau began to see the Feng's as simply an empire of dirt.
Lau began to treat his family and father with increased disdain, tired of living in their shadow. Jun his father was in turn deeply hurt and continued to try and be supportive of his son which in a way distanced them further, that was when Lau tried opium. The drug wasn't so much an escape but a way for Lau to see things from a distance, it drained out his emotion and allowed him to think without the clutter in his mind. As Lau's addiction grew his outlook on life changed, Lau lost his anger and rebellious nature and began to see life more as absurdity, in general he just stopped caring and adopted a much more hedonistic and nihilistic approach to living. Dismayed at his sons downfall Jun enlisted a bodyguard to be with him almost at all times to watch over him and brought Lau back into the family business at the admittedly much lower rank of just an enforcer and general task doer in an attempt to ween him into having responsibility.
Accompanying Short CS: The White Snake of Nanman
The White Snake
Jun's personality lies on opposite ends of the spectrum, on the one hand he is a very stern, driven man in business dealings, adopting a serene mask who could offer you tea or order your execution with the same amiable tone of voice. When it comes to family and personal matters though Jun is much more emotional and sincere, he considers everything he has done thus far in his opium empire to be for his family and is very protective of them and despite everything highly caring, very much leaving his business persona behind him.
A long term goal for Jun has been acceptance into the nobility, though he recognizes it to be a challenging one, to him that would ensure his families legacy for generations to come. Like many other wealthy merchants he has begun living in a manse and adopting numerous other habits of his betters, a far-fetched goal it may seem but looking back on his humble beggings Jun has learned to set his aim high.
Nearly forty years ago a young Jun Feng arrived penniless onto the Kingstone harbor, he and many others had immigrated after their native Nanman had recently lost a major trade dispute with the Union and its government had been dealt a heavy blow in the process, forcing them to open their borders. For Jun it was a new start in life, he'd previously been raised in poverty and hardships in a remote rural area, this was his chance to make himself a better life.
It soon became clear though that foreigners were far from welcomed in Kingstone though and he found himself at the bottom rung of society, but vowing that he would make a better life for his wife and their future family he began making connections with other immigrants in the area which had quickly become known as Namantown. It started innocently enough, Jun began to sell what he called tastes of home, food, clothes, furniture, things that reminded people of the now nostalgic old-country. Everything changed though when he first started selling opium, again starting innocently but he soon realized that its addictive properties and the fact he was the sole seller meant he could charge whatever he wanted, soon he opened an opium den specifically for smoking the substance, then another, then five and so on.
Jun went on to sell his product to non-immigrants, the conditions of the lower classes made them desperate for any brief respite, he even started opening higher class joints with women and gambling on the side to try and attract more wealthy clientele. Seeing off competition Jun's name began to be feared and he earned himself the moniker 'The White Snake of Nanman'
in reference to opium as venom, Jun has since adopted it as a symbol for the Feng family.
- Nanman is for this an equivalent of China which I thought to mirror its real-life counterpart, though a more stereotyped version. Trade disputes with the British occurred some time back culminating in a short but humiliating conflict that forced the Nanmane to open their borders breaking centuries of seclusion, the ruling dynasty is now crumbling apart and many of the population are addicted to opium.
- Wasn't too sure where the setting would stand on the legality of certain things (opium, gun powder manufacture etc), so if there's a conflict there then that can easily be changed like many things here that touch upon lore.