Murphy and co. of Crowblood street is one of London’s most successful trading companies. It runs half of the warehouses on West India Wharf and another dozen on Steam and Orchard Wharves. There warehouses are famous for rigorous security and the rumours of uncountable riches contained within. The company has an unrivalled team of lawyers who keep Murphy’s security teams out of jail when their actions extend beyond their ostensible brief of non-lethal force. If this was the limit of their actions then other powers within the city would be happy enough but the fact is that few companies rise to the position Murphy’s has reached by playing by the rules. A delve into the highly confidential company archives would reveal a stream of top secret memos to trusted members of company security that have ordered everything from intimidation of rivals to the assassination of anarchist leaders in Brick Lane.
Silas Murphy is as cold and heartless a man as you could ever hope not to meet. Any morals that were once in his heart have long been replaced by an all-consuming greed and constant feelings of jealousy and loathing towards anyone that has anything he does not. He pays most of his workers a meagre wage and drives them as hard as any employer in the city. Many who labour in his warehouses and docks are desperate, pitiable people who have no other to turn to. In his old age Silas has become more bitter than ever. His sight is beginning to fail him and he becomes more haggard by the day. It is rumoured that all his wealth is stored in a great steel safe beneath his house in Kensington. He is a miser of the first degree and famed, even in London, for his peerless brutality and ruthless efficiency.
Uriah Larkham, known almost universally in the underworld as Rufus, is a former army soldier who was dishonourably discharged for beating a junior officer to death with a riding crop. He made a comfortable living as a vicious enforcer for a number of criminal bosses including Abel Caine before coming into Murphy’s employ. He accompanies Silas everywhere and has shown a level of initiative beyond the average thug. In 1891 he blew out the eye of Inspector Abercrombie with a revolver but all judges who have attempted to bring the matter to court have mysteriously disappeared…
Niels Van Daken does not resemble a typical assassin; he is quiet and unassuming in the extreme. Perhaps that is the reason that more than 30 assorted politicians, trouble makers and leaders have been sent to meet their makers by a bullet from Van Daken. He always prefers a long distance kill, normally with a rifle and is constantly accompanied by his associate and spotter, Lars, a mute KNIL veteran with a grudge against Lord Curr from his time in Istanbul.
Jasper “Hanging” Lynch is Murphy’s confidential assistant. He wields a gun or knife as easily as he does a pen and despite appearing outwardly to be nothing more than a clerk he has been responsible for a number of murders including the Kensington Strangulation case which resulted in his nickname “hanging” Lynch.
Raphael “Shifty” Luca is London’s foremost getaway driver for the criminal underworld. Alongside his almost preternatural skill with a hansom cab he can fight and shoot as well as any thug in the East End. His favoured weapons are a Richards & co. double barrelled shotgun and an Italian stiletto, normally made of tempered steel. In recent years he has taken on the role of chauffer for Murphy and his uniformed figure on the front seat of his new employer’s characteristic black coach is enough to frighten any sensible man in London.
The majority of Murphy’s men are unemployed former soldiers and sailors. They are given virtual free reign and most are never officially recorded as company employees, making their actions completely unaccountable. They are given better pay than most because while Silas may be a miser he is also a shrewd tactician and aware that in big business muscle is often the last word in “assimilating” competition.
|Silas Murphy||2+||+2||+3||+0||Ld+2, erudite wit, terrifying||Magneto-static waistcoat, nightstick, shotgun (short)||53|
|Uriah “Rufus” Larkham||3+||+4||+3||+1||Ld+1, tough, lightning draw||Pistol, garrotte, 2x brick lane bottle grenades||56|
|Nils||4+||+2||+4||+0||Hunter, marksman||Faraday coat, military rifle, axe||43|
|Lars||5+||+2||+2||+1||Grenadier||Faraday coat, sabre, pistol, 3x explosive grenades||40|
|Raphael “shifty” Luca||5+||+3||+1||+2||Duellist||Chain shirt, dagger, throwing knife||24
|Thug||5+||+2||+1||+1||Brigandine, pistol, club||13|
Any thug may replace their pistol with a shotgun (+2pts), a military rifle (+6pts) or a carbine (+2pts).
Luca may take his characteristic black steam hansom (+12pts)
Any thug may take a single bottle land grenade (+6pts)
Larkham, Murphy and/ or any thug may take a horse (+5pts)
Nils may replace his military rifle with a hunting rifle (+7pts)
Lars may replace his pistol with a carbine (+2pts)
This company was based on some Musketeer IRA figures which are great miniatures but strangely also buggers to paint. Silas Murphy needs a classic Dickensian style villain miniature if there are any out there. Although a little out of period the Sir John Fielding miniature from Outpost Wargames Services has just the right miserly hunched position and cane.
Thanks for reading.
This is Frontline Armchair signing off…