|“||The Martillo Family certainly never leaves me bored. It’s a good organization. I have superiors that I can respect, colleagues whom I can speak to frankly, and pupils I can enjoy teaching knife fighting to. It’s a good environment. No, a good...family.||”|
The Martillo Family (マルティージョ・ファミリー Marutījo famirī) is a small independent Camorra with territory in New York City's Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods. Founded by Italian immigrant Molsa Martillo, the Family relies on informal banking services, commercial trade and casinos for income, with the original Alveare serving as their base of operations.
In the late 1920s, a brewing turf war between the Martillo Family and the Gandor Family is diffused at the last second and the two syndicates establish formal friendly relations around 1928 AD. The relationship is further bolstered on account of Martillo associate Firo Prochainezo's personal friendship with the Gandor bosses. Like the Gandors, the Martillos refuse to involve themselves in the drug trade.
About two years later, all the Martillo executives, some of their family members, and two Martillo employees become complete immortals after accidentally imbibing the Cure-All Elixir at Firo's promotion party in November 1930. When Firo devours Szilard Quates the next day, Szilard's servant Ennis affiliates herself with the Martillos.
On May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building has its grand opening. Sometime between this date and September 1931, the Martillos claim an office "partway up the building" and use it as an 'import agency'; this agency specializes in dealing small articles, such as watches, jewels, and artworks. Molsa is the agency's owner while Martillo chiamatore Ronny Schiatto serves as its director, though Ronny states this he is directly "in name only" and does very little practically speaking, as the agency is another front of sorts.
In September 1933, Ronny confronts Jacuzzi Splot over his gang's unauthorized operations on Martillo turf. Jacuzzi eventually agrees to pay the Martillos a fixed monthly tribute in exchange for permission to conduct business on their territory.
After Prohibition is lifted in December 1933, the Alveare speakeasy becomes a restaurant and thus remains the Martillos' main source of financial support alongside their honey specialty shop. During the decades that follow, the Martillos pursue a more stable income by setting up a spice import business as a front for the rest of their organization.
In February 1935, the Martillo casino Firo manages is destroyed; meanwhile, the Martillos are among the many organized crime families invited to attend the Runorata Family's casino party at Ra's Lance. When Molsa learns that Jacuzzi is unable to pay the month's tribute, he proposes a deal in which Jacuzzi's gang assist Firo in gambling at the party in exchange for their tribute waived for the next six months. His offer is extended to Ricardo Russo and Christopher Shaldred, the former of whom had initially sought to join the Martillos in order to learn the syndicate trade.
Several years prior to 2002, Don Molsa uses his own money to invest in futures trading. His investment proves extremely profitable, and he uses the money to create a chain of Alveare restaurants. The stable income from these restaurants is enough to make the Martillos' Camorra businesses their secondary source of income, and by the early 2000s there exist Alveare employees who are completely ignorant of the truth behind the Family.
Typically, Camorra groups only notify an associate of their potential promotion to camorrista on the night of the ritual itself. However, Martillo custom instead informs the associate of their candidacy the day before; on the morning of the ritual, another executive accompanies the candidate to a specific haberdashery and purchase a suitable hat for him. The custom began when Molsa founded the family and gave each of his new members a hat, but holds no particular special meaning.
The induction ceremony takes place in the secret dining hall underneath Alveare, and is steeped in symbolic and ritualistic procedure. As the content and significance of Camorra promotion rituals differs from group to group, the Martillos' idiosyncratic sequence of stages is listed below.
- Interrogation: With all executives present, Molsa begins the induction by asking the candidate a series of questions designed to affirm the candidate's determination to join the Martillos' ranks.
- Demonstration of Resolve: Once the candidate pledges himself, he is asked to show his resolve. First, he shows his courage by stabbing his knife into the table, demonstrating that he does not rely on weapons alone. Second, he shows his loyalty by aiming a handgun first at Molsa and then at his own heart, demonstrating a willingness to sacrifice himself over shooting the caposocietà. Third, he shows his devotion by taking a glass of poisoned wine from Molsa and bringing it to his lips, demonstrating that he would accept death itself should Molsa order it. Before the candidate can drink, Molsa dashes the glass to the ground.
- Test of Duty: The final stage consists of a knife duel between the candidate and contaiuolo Maiza Avaro, presided over by primo voto Kanshichirou Yaguruma. The candidate must wound his opponent's arm to succeed—should either he or his opponent stab each other in the chest, Yaguruma will kill them on the spot. If the candidate loses to Maiza, he tries his blade again against another executive; should he lose to three executives in a row, his promotion is postponed so that he can hone his skills with a knife and retry the ritual duel at a later date.
- Maiza remained undefeated for years until his loss against Firo Prochainezo in 1930.
- Aftermath: Once the candidate wins the knife duel, Molsa acknowledges the new executive's promotion by firing a salute with the handgun from stage two. With the ritual complete, all present celebrate with a feast that lasts well into the night.
Structure and Members
Size and Demographics: Molsa has no preference for nationality, and the Martillos' membership includes a variety of different races and backgrounds. However, the Family remains one of Manhattan's smaller organizations throughout the 1930s: to provide an idea of their size, Firo is one of a dozen Martillo executives as of 1934, who are said to make up "nearly a quarter" in the same year. It can therefore be estimated that the Family had just under forty-eight members at the time.
Structure: The Camorra hierarchy from the bottom up includes apprentices, associates, and executives, with each possessing lower and upper levels. The highest-ranking executives are those with individual titles and tasks entrusted to them: as a primo voto, Yaguruma is responsible for overseeing the Family's associates and apprentices (foot soldiers); as a chiamatore and de facto second-in-command, Ronny has involved himself in negotiations with other organizations and business-keeping, and as a contaiuolo, Maiza acts as the Family's treasurer and accountant. Other known tasks executives have carried out include casino management and debt collection.
|Molsa Martillo||Don (Caposocietà)||Complete Immortal|
|Ronny Schiatto||Secretary (Chiamatore)
Second-in-command (de facto)
|Kanshichirou Yaguruma||Elder (Primo Voto)||Complete Immortal|
|Maiza Avaro||Bookkeeper (Contaiuolo)||Complete Immortal|
|Firo Prochainezo||Bookkeeper (2000s arc)||Complete Immortal|
|Randy and Pezzo||Executives||Complete Immortal|
|Seina||Alveare Proprietress||Complete Immortal|
|Lia Lin-Shan||Waitress||Complete Immortal|
|Annie||Waitress||Mortal (Hilton vessel)|
|Allies||Actual Affiliation||Immortal Status|
|Ennis||Firo; Martillos||Immortal Homunculus|
|Luck Gandor||Gandor Family||Complete Immortal|
|Berga Gandor||Gandor Family||Complete Immortal|
|Keith Gandor||Gandor Family||Complete Immortal|
|Isaac & Miria||Independent||Complete Immortals|
|Claudia & Charon||Independent||Mortal Humans|