"“I only steal because my dear old family needs the money to live!" Locke Lamora made this proclamation with his wine glass held high; he and the other Gentleman Bastards were seated at the old witchwood table. . . . The others began to jeer. "Liar!" they chorused "I only steal because this wicked world won't let me work an honest trade!" Calo cried, hoisting his own glass. "LIAR!" "I only steal," said Jean, "because I've temporarily fallen in with bad company." "LIAR!" At last the ritual came to Bug; the boy raised his glass a bit shakily and yelled, "I only steal because it's heaps of fucking fun!" "BASTARD!”"
— Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Gentlemen Bastards are a gang of thieves first created by Father Chains and later led by Locke Lamora. They were based in the city-state of Camorr, in a hidden Elderglass cellar underneath the city's temple to Perelandro. This family of thieves was raised by Father Chains for the single purpose of breaking The Secret Peace of Camorr under the nose of Capa Barsavi and Duke Nicovante. The Gentlemen Bastards are all acolytes of the Nameless Thirteenth, with the garrista of the gang being a full-fledged priest of the heretic god.
Father Chains was a friend to Capa Barsavi when he first took over Camorr's underworld. This earned him a special place as one of Barsavi's garristas, or gang leaders. Most importantly it allowed Father Chains The Distance, a special trust from the capa that so long as taxes were paid and no trouble came to the capa, Chains could do whatever he wanted. Chains began his scheme as the false father of Perelandro's temple, discovered the secret cellar, and began to plan his gang.
Chains would eventually start buying orphans from the Thiefmaker of Shades' Hill, orphans that he could train to be proper thieves. Among the first were Sabetha, and Calo and Galdo Sanza. Over the next several years Locke and Jean Tannen would be added to the group. Each child was schooled in literature, arithmetic, acting, cooking, fine manners, and of course the arts of pickpocketing, lock charming, and disguise. They were taught how to impersonate priests and were often assigned small jobs by Father Chains as tests of their burgeoning skills. Each new member was sworn to Capa Barsavi and made an official pezon of the Right People.
When Father Chains died, Locke took up the title of the Gentlemen's garrista, and began planning and pulling off the sort of heists that Father Chains trained the Gentlemen for. Over the next decade they would successfully rob over 40,000 crowns from several dons and donas of Camorr's nobility, making them one of the richest gangs, indeed some of the richest people in general, in the entire city.
Being a Bastard
Father Chains had strict rules and guidelines for his training of each of his apprentices. First and foremost of these was proper thieving techniques. Each Bastard is an excellent pickpocket, lockpick, robber, and con artist capable of quick schemes or long term con games. These skills are most often used in their large cons against the nobility, but are also used to maintain the true goals of the gang from both the Duke and the Capa.
Each Bastard was trained with basic education; how to read and write, do large sums, etc. In order to allow them to impersonate workers of most forms of business, as well as write forgeries and keep track of their finances.
The Bastards were also trained in the fine arts in order to be able to personify and work with the upper crust of society. Each apprentice was taught proper table manners in all the common cultures from Camorri to Verrari, and kept up with popular fashions and current events. Forgetting such information was usually cause for extra chores around the temple or a reprieve from receiving food during training.
Every apprentice was also trained in the Eight Beautiful Arts of Camorr, the traditions of cooking various cuisines. Every apprentice in the gang knows the basics of all eight arts, and some could potentially pass for masters.
Each Bastard was trained firsthand in the inner practices of at least two or three priesthoods, and secondhand in all of them. Father Chains trained all his apprentices in the practices of both Perelandro's priests, and the secret priests of The Benefactor, and would call in favors in order to get them trained as initiates in all other priesthoods. In this manner, each apprentice would learn as much as they could about each temple's inner workings and practices, and then find a way to escape back to the temple of Perelandro to teach their fellows all that they had learned. Thus each bastard is capable of imitating an acolyte or priest serving any of The Twelve.
The Bastards are also all trained in some form of combat. While some are more adept at the art of self defense than others, each is capable of holding their own in a fight with some kind of weapon. Most received only basic training, while Jean received his training from Don Maranzalla, the steward of the Garden of Glass Roses. On more than one occasion each gentleman bastard has had to rely on their blade more than their quick wits.
Members of the Gentlemen Bastards
Father Chains (Founder)
Locke Lamora (Garrista)