The Triads are ancient, organized crime cartels primarily found in China. They have no political agenda other than the protection of their centuries-old monopolies on the underworld of the Pacific Rim. They most closely resemble the mafia - they are involved in various niches of everyday life, while maintaining criminal activities such as smuggling and drug trafficking.
The player has no direct contact with any representatives of the Triads, though a few are named in passing, including the Red Arrow and Luminous Path. Jensen does have close contact with Tong Si Hung who wields an impressive amount of power and appears to be the de-facto leader of the Harvesters. Despite the Harvesters being more of a gang than a Triad, Tong Si Hung has been rumored to possibly be the next Dragon Head, or ultimate leader and decider between the Triads.
|"Dragon Heads: The Triads in the 21st Century - The Backstreet War
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. "
|- -eBook, circa 2027|
Only two Triads are seen (or even heard of) in the city of Hong Kong in Deus Ex. They are the Luminous Path Society led by Gordon Quick and backed by Tracer Tong, and the Red Arrow led by Max Chen and influenced by Maggie Chow. By 2052, there is often fighting between the two Triads, mostly due to Ms. Chow's stealthy manipulation under the orders of Bob Page.
|"Know Your Enemy - The Triads:
UNATCO surveillance of Hong Kong is currently a high priority given the renewed threat of Chinese organized crime in the form of the Triads. Despite being a model of prosperity and technological leadership for decades, Hong Kong persists as a haven for organized crime.
The Triads, namely the Luminous Path and Red Arrow, vie for control of the ten-trillion credit shipping business, much of which supplies greater Asia with pirated technology, illegal drugs, and weapons. Most disturbing of all, the Triads preach an ethic of technopiracy that has found enthusiastic support among small shopkeepers and businessmen who often aid the gangsters and buy their bootlegged software.
Gullible and greedy, this army of middlemen remain insensitive to how their violations of intellectual property and copyright laws damage the global information economy."
|- Datacube, circa 2052|
- There are many triads, some less notable than others, such as the Wo Shing Wo Triad that is mentioned within the Deus Ex: Icarus Effect novel.
- Tai-Fun by Lin Yeoh