Campaign Background: The Octagon

The Octagon is the smallest of the three Seattle triads, almost entirely based out of Little Asia in Tacoma. Despite their small size, they’re also the most vicious about their territory, to the point it’s actively unsafe to be a person of Japanese descent outside at night in Little Asia. In addition, they can lay claim to be the largest supplier of black market weapons into the Seattle Sprawl, mostly Hong Kong knockoffs of popular western model firearms. Their only other major supply operation is opiate smuggling – both clinical grade and the drug Bliss – to the point that the majority of black clinics in Seattle buy their morphine from the Octagons.

The Octagons were formed as part of the larger Red Dragon Association-Yellow Lotus Triad war. The Red Dragon funded/supplied men to supporters in Seattle and founded the Octagon as a means to combat the Yellow Lotus Lodge that had territory in Seattle. However, the Octagon failed spectacularly at this and in fact lost ground, leading to the current situation.


David Gao
David Gao is the Dragon head of the Octagon, though he is a much lesser man than he once was. Reports place him as sickly and reclusive nowadays, conducting the majority of his business over the matrix. He has also supposedly been seen eating bizarrely large meals at the Peaceable Kingdom, despite his apparent pallor, weight loss, and general illness.

Chen Kwan-Ti
Chen is the Incense master, one of the 3 direct advisers of the Lodgemaster. He was supposedly sent over to Seattle in 2055 to assist the offensive against the Yellow Lotus, though it is notable that David Gao’s decline in health took a noticeable increase in severity at this time. Chen is largely (even within the Octagon itself) held to be the actual power in the triad, and the force holding it together. Even deeper rumors paint him as having studied under Lung, and deeper still, that he is the ‘ambassador’ of the great dragon among Seattle’s triads.

The Octagon are almost entirely based out of Little Asia in Tacoma while also being the most vicious about their territory.

Palace of China (Soundview Drive West, Tacoma) 
A trendy and popular Tacoma nightlife locale, the Palace is a nightclub done up ‘medieval’ Chinese style, featuring the latest and hottest music from the Hongkong and Shanghai party scene. It’s famed for its use of magical illusions to support a SOTA light and sound system. The Octagon came into ownership of the club after a business deal between its old owner and the Choson ring was discovered, with predictable consequences. Now, it’s a major vice peddling hotspot for the triad.

Peaceable Kingdom (Tacoma Avenue & S 37th Street, Tacoma) 
A traditionally ‘Chinese’ themed family restaurant, the Kingdom features traditional string music for entertainment and a meal comprised of a mix of Japanese, Chinese, and Thai dishes. However, for those in the know there is an incredibly exotic ‘private menu’, featuring all manner of endangered, dangerous, or simply rare para-critters. For those willing to pay enough, or with enough influence, even more ‘unique’ dishes can be purchased, including (rumors say) the flesh of sapient beings, including metahumans The owner, one Pan Wenshi, is closely tied to the Octagon. It’s not uncommon for bigwigs (including Chen) within the triad to hold business meetings at the Kingdom.

Organizational structure
Triads use numeric codes to distinguish ranks and positions within the gang; the numbers are inspired by Chinese numerology and based on the I Ching. The Mountain (or Dragon Master or Dragon Head) is 489, 438 is the Deputy Mountain Master, 432 indicates Straw Sandal rank; the Mountain Master’s proxy, Incense Master (who oversees inductions into the triad), and Vanguard 438/2238 (who assists the Incense Master). Law enforcement and intel have it that the Vanguard may actually hold the highest power or final word . A military commander (also known as a Red Pole), overseeing defensive and offensive operations, is 426; 49 denotes a soldier, or rank-and-file member. The White Paper Fan (415) provides financial and business advice, and the Straw Sandal (432) is a liaison between units. An undercover law-enforcement agent or spy from another triad is 25, also popular Hong Kong slang for an informant. Blue Lanterns are uninitiated members, equivalent to Mafia associates, and do not have a designating number.

The Octagon are (largely, but not entirely) notoriously superstitious, even amongst triads. Much of this can be laid at the feet of their Incense master Chen Kwan-Ti’s unusual level of influence in the power structure of the triad. A useful means to demoralize and weaken them is to light fires or otherwise vandalize their territory in similar means.

They have ties to the “Hai San”, a secret society within the larger triad network comprised of the ethnic ‘Hakka’ Chinese, who also have members in both the Yellow Lotus itself and the Malaysian Triads.

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