Dragon Heads: The Triads of the 21st Century is a pair of ingame eBooks in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Volume 1 can be found in Alice Garden Pods, inside the safe in the reception office. Volume 2 can be found in Lower Hengsha, round the corner of Lucky Dot.
A Traditional Form Edit
The original eightfold rank structure among the Triads became more streamlined in the modern era, with such traditions as the 36 Great Oaths of fealty falling out of favor, to be replaced with less ornate, more immediate pledges to loyalty.
The contemporary four-tier system reflects the flexibility of the Triad criminal enterprise, with a mixture of numeral designators and/or traditional honorifics assigned to given roles.
At the very lowest level are the probationary members, often drawn from youth gangs. These so-called Blue Lanterns become a rank-and-file '49' after an initiation ceremony.
Above them are key administrators and enforcers; the White Paper Fan ('415'), the Red Pole ('426'), and Straw Sandal ('432').
At command level comes the Vanguard, Deputy Mountain Master and Incense Master (each a '438'); and finally the Mountain Master, also known as the Dragon Head ('489').
The Backstreet War Edit
By far the incident that left the biggest imprint on the Triads of the 2010's was the "Mark Gor Lau War" of 2018, a conflict between established groups like the Wo Shing Wo, Sun Yee On, and 14K and several smaller pretenders to the throne.
To this day, details remain sketchy, but it appears that the untimely passing of a 'Mountain Master' of the Four Dragons ignited a storm of accusation among many key Triads; what began as dissent spilled onto the streets as gangs engaged in violent conflict.
The 'war' escalated to such levels that military police were called in to curb the threat; and by the time the smoke cleared, a new hierarchy had ascended to take the place of the old, led by newly empowered groups like the Red Arrow Brotherhood, LMF, and the Luminous Path.