Sal Ortega
Salvador Ortega
Portrayed By Dave Navarro
Gender Male
Date of Birth April 2nd, 1976
Age 31
Zodiac Sign Aries
Aliases Sal
Place of Birth Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
Current Location New York City, NY, USA
Occupation Criminal; Arms Dealer; Tattoo Artist; Owner of Ink By Numbers
Known Relatives Paulo Ortega (father), Marsella Ortega (mother), Maria Ortega (younger sister)
Significant Other NONE NEVER NO WAY MAN
Known Abilities None
First Appearance Love Is Forever

An arms and explosives dealer from LA, currently based in NYC. He sells his merchandise from the back of his tattoo and piercing parlour, located in the East Village.


Salvador Ortega was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. But he didn't remain there for long. In fact, his parents, Marsella and Paulo, had planned to cross the border into the United States before they even knew Marsella was pregnant. Upon this discovery, they decided to wait, and stayed at the home of Paulo's parents throughout the pregnancy, and six months after Salvador, who was already named 'Sal' within the first few weeks, was born.

Sal's future was up for debate around this point. Marsella was tempted to leave him in the hands of her parents, and sneak out with her husband to go to America, as it would be difficult to bring an infant with them - the illegality of their journey for one thing, and then the eventual raising of a young child in an uncertain environment for another. But in the end, she couldn't bring herself to do it, and after a few heated arguments with Paulo, she managed to get her way and bring her son with them. They would come to live in Arizona for a couple of years, before moving to Los Angeles, California. This is where Sal is raised and inevitably still calls home.

Growing up, Sal's life was pretty standard. The schools he went to weren't the best that money could buy, as there wasn't a lot to spare, and he wasn't much interested in them anyway. He managed, however, to stick with high school, with the help of the chemistry teacher who more or less took him under her wing when he proved to be reasonably adept and even interested in the subject. He graduated with decent grades - more in sciences than anything else - but never pursued education higher than that. However, this fundamental knowledge and natural understanding in sciences would turn out to be of use to him later in life.

In the meanwhile, Sal took an informal apprenticeship with a tattoo artist, set on learning this particular trade. Considering he spent most classes that were less than interesting drawing in the margins of his notebooks and making pen marks on his owns arms and hands, body art was definitely of interest to him. Once he graduated highschool, he became the informal apprentice of a local tattooist who owned their own parlour, and that's where he worked for the better part of his younger adult life.

This wasn't all he did. The kinds of people Sal ran with were general low-level criminals, and he found himself integrated into a small-time gang of Latinos and whites alike. They mostly pushed drugs like marijuana and E, occasionally siding with larger circles of criminals when it came to turf wars and the like. Sal learned his way around guns, became more actively involved in heists - he even helped rob a jewelry store, instrumental in arranging and putting together the detonators that made it possible. His natural bent towards chemistry and physics evolved into specialising in weapons more complex than handguns (isn't the Internet wonderful), able to put together simple bombs and gaining know-how on where to get the right supplies and from who.


When he turned 24, two things happened. The first, is that with the help of a few friends, Sal was able to buy and open his own tattoo and piercing parlour. The second, is that Sal started making a name for himself within the criminal underworld by selling weaponry straight out of the back of his store. Assault rifles, handguns, pistols, various detonators, even comm equipment and rope could be ordered in. In the local circles of the crime world, Sal became the go-to guy for this kind of thing, and he became relatively successful.

And for a while, he lived in more or less equilibrium. Until one day, someone appeared to have sold him out, as police started sniffing around his store and asking clients questions. This went on for less than a week before Sal decided he was better safe than sorry. Without a word to anyone, not even his closer friends, Sal closed down his store and seemed to just disappear off the face of the earth.

In reality, he had headed east, and after a few months of scrimping and saving, Sal set up shop once more. The process was slower, as no one in NYC really knew who he was, but slowly, Sal was able to regain a reputation, and started selling weaponry and equipment once more out of the basement of his parlour. It's been a few years now, and Sal is much more careful. His immediate family still resides in LA. His father is a cars salesman, his mother a stay at home wife, and his younger sister, Maria, is a twenty-something still living at home.

Due to his earlier years, Sal has picked up the unfortunate habit of drug use. It's rare that Sal doesn't have something mind altering either already in his system or simply on his person. In general, he keeps this to marijuana and booze, but it wouldn't be unheard of for him to seek out heroin or cocaine to scratch the itch.


July, 2007

  • 12th - Love Is Forever. Carmine, less than sober, drops by for a custom tattoo. Sal is happy to oblige. We learn a couple of points: Carmine is an account (he accounts things), and his wife is a bitch. And he has a thing for powerdrills.
  • 17th - Shaking The Canvass. Nadia's turn? In a twist of coincidence, the Mafia Princess drops by for a tattoo of her own. Unlike her dad, she's not drunk! And the bee isn't named Henry, except in Sal's mind.
  • 19th - Cover Your Cock Up. Sal is visited at work by Jack, there on business. Both kinds! Next week: thermite and its harmful effects. (???)

August, 2007

  • 26th - Inked!. Nadia brings in Elena for her first time. Oh come on, you know what that means.

September, 2007

  • 2nd - But What's Your Airspeed Velocity?. An enigma of a man makes contact with Sal, and so Sal sets up a meeting. The cheque with all the 0s behind the 1 is really word enough.
  • 5th - Under The Gun. Sal runs the whole Enigma thing by Jack, and plans for thermite are sealed after Jack's cracked out sleeve tattoo is completed.

October, 2007

  • 26th - Pirate's Treasure. Rubies, and emeralds, and diamonds - oh my! Jack makes Sal an offer that would be way easier to refuse if he wasn't stoned.



Some people keep journals. Sal gets tattoos. There are many different images tattooed onto his skin, of many different designs and cultures. Here are most of them.

  • Left Upperarm: Snake surrounding a pig, tribal designs
  • Left Forearm: Gustav Klimt's Death and Life, a ring of dolphins, Virgin of Guadalupe, the suits of cards (spade, diamond, club, heart), "Addict"
  • Right Upperarm: Scull and bones, Japanese kanji ("fuku: fortune, luck, wealth"), circle of Arabic script, a fairy, a rose with "I Have One But Not By Choice"
  • Right Forearm: Gustav Klimt's Hope I, elaborate cross, "Don't Try This At Home", silhouette of a horse's head
  • Shoulders: Bats (identical)
  • Elbows: Symbol (identical)
  • Back of the Neck: "Los Angeles"
  • Center of Chest: "Los Mochis"
  • Knuckles: Roman numerals
  • Back of Hands: Spider webs
  • Right Hip: "Trust No One"
  • Lower Left Leg: Sexy Nun
  • Lower Right Leg: Female Dominatrix
  • Left Ankle: Olive branch bending in the shape of a helix

Piercings include both ears (one gauged, one normal), nipples, and… a place he may tell you about sometime if you buy him a drink.

Leaving Your Mark

Here's a list of people Sal has had the pleasure of tattooing, in game.

  • 12th of July - Carmine - powerdrill with a banner reading 'Francesca.'
  • 17th of July - Nadia - a bee hovering around a rose.
  • 19th of July - Jack - old-school boxer, circa 1890s, with a red banner reading, 'FREE BOXING LESSONS'.
  • 26th of August - Elena - small thorny rose woven with a tribal shape.


  • "Yeah, you wanna go for something cutesy in this case, so good call. Otherwise you may as well tattoo 'raging whore', and well. You don't wanna end up like me, do you." (Shaking The Canvass)
  • "Fuck you. I tattooed a girl on her vagina yesterday." (Cover Your Cock Up)


  • His store is called Ink By Numbers, and is a fully functioning tattoo and piercing parlour. Sal is qualified to give piercings, but he focuses on tattoos and leaves the piercings to two other employees when he can. One can get almost any kind of piercing at Ink By Numbers, save for ones that require extreme surgery, but there is an obvious preference towards tattoos.
  • His store doubles as a site for black market guns and explosives trade, as well as other weaponry, depending. This is definitely not public knowledge, and Sal won't freely tell just anyone about it.
  • Sal has terrible stage fright. Anything that even resembles like he has an audience will start the hands and voice a-trembling. This might come as a surprise, as he's generally an extroverted person. But he can't stand speaking, singing, dancing, performing in public whatsoever, and he's even uncomfortable with being the center of attention in a group of people.
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