Avatar Spotlight: Anatoli Vidales (City of Mist TTRPG)
There are many players within the City of Mist’s criminal underworld. Yet none take the desire to rule the underworld as literally as Anatoli Vidales, Head of the Vidales crime family. Not only is he in control of a network of mafias and other gangs of criminals, Mr. Vidales has cast off his humanity to become the Avatar of a god, with the powers and cunning to match.
Last week, we went over the powerful puppet-masters known as Avatars. In today’s article, we’ll be going over one of the most prominent Avatars in the City of Mist tabletop RPG. We’ll go into their former life as well as their current Agenda and Iceberg operation. There are major spoilers ahead, including to some popular City of Mist cases, so only proceed if you wish to uncover the mystery.
WHO IS ANATOLI VIDALES?
Anatoli Vidales was the eldest son of the Vidales crime family. Originally, Anatoli had no desire to run his father’s mafia and instead used his money to travel, drink, and gamble. His fun-loving party lifestyle came to an abrupt end, however, when Anatoli’s youngest brother assassinated their father. With his father dead and his brother having disappeared, Anatoli stepped up to run his family’s criminal empire.
All of this happened over a century ago. In truth, when Anatoli claimed his birthright and awoke to the power death held over all people, he also awoke to his Mythos. While he still goes by his original name, Anatoli soon became the Avatar for Hades, Greek God of the Underworld.
Anatoli wishes to be the ruler of the Underworld, with every soul in the City under his control. But instead of just murdering everyone in sight (which has its own many complications), Anatoli wishes to bring people to Hades as a state of being.
Through his branching operations, Anatoli directs his minions to force people into debt and approach the desperate or dying with an offer they can’t refuse. They’ll give you just what you need--money, drugs, even a second chance--and all they want in return is your soul.
Those who agree become increasingly indebted to Anatoli. When they die, they keep on living as the Living Dead. But rather than zombies, they look and sound just like they did when they were alive and can seemingly go on with their daily lives. In truth, however, these people are residents of Hades, going through the motions, feeling nothing at all. They are completely enslaved to Anatoli because his people can turn them to dust with a word. And if Anatoli has his way, he would make every citizen like this.
To bring the entire City into Hades, Anatoli separates his operation into three branches: the Living, the Dying, and the Dead.
The Living Branch consists of mundane mafia families, bribed dockworker unions, and corrupt pawnshops all working in tandem to make everyone in the City indebted to Anatoli. Once a few thugs shake you down and force your shop to close, it’s only a matter of time until you sign away your life.
The Dying Branch is where things get spooky. One of Anatoli’s consiglieres is Tassos Salis, the Rift of the undead ferryman Charon. By being able to sense when anyone in the City is about to die, Tassos sends his Ferrymen to deathbeds in order to offer the dying another lease on life. In truth, they sign away their soul and become another resident of Hades, joylessly going about their regular routine. If the target is especially important, Tassos may send a powerful messenger like K9, the dog-walker Rift of Cerberus, to ensure the deal is made.
The Dead Branch consists of all the Living Dead indebted to Anatoli. This army of walking ghosts is called upon for anything Anatoli needs, including the creation of his magical drug Ambrosia. While the living drink Ambrosia and gain the abilities of demigods, the Living Dead drink Ambrosia as the only way they can truly feel anything without a soul. With Ambrosia, Anatoli keeps his enforcers loyal and his victims eternally in debt. Little do these Living Dead know that Ambrosia is made of the memories of other Living Dead like them who sank so deep into debt to Anatoli, he no longer had any other use for them.
All three of these branches together creates a well-oiled machine working to put people in debt and take away their souls. As Anatoli enjoys a fine meal in his restaurant he named Persephone, his operation works to one day make every citizen a resident of Hades.
Anatoli Vidales has an army of Living Dead and criminal organizations between your crew and him. And while the Mist works to shroud his identity from the City, your crew likely won’t even know he’s the one behind it all as they face his street-level minions.
But if a team were to go through each branch, solving cases and uncovering clues along the way, perhaps they could uncover Anatoli’s presence. Perhaps they could investigate his former life, and perhaps find a woman he let go from his world long ago. As an Avatar, Anatoli is nearly unstoppable. But perhaps there’s a way to make him human again...
You can face agents of Anatoli in official City of Mist cases. This includes Shark Tank, included within the City of Mist Starter Set, which introduces the Living Branch of Anatoli's operation. You can also try Gambling with Death, the adventure included within the Master of Ceremonies’ Toolkit, which introduces the Dying Branch. Both of these cases deal with criminal enforcers, mysterious disappearances, and mysteries that will keep your crew guessing until the final reveal.
Tell us about your crew’s encounters with the Vidales crime family. What other City of Mist characters would you like us to spotlight next? Let us know on social media or on the City of Mist Discord. Until then, have fun!