Rogue (3) / Wizard (1)
dresses in nondescript, grey explorer's garb, most of the time. She has dark brown hair, a light but freckled complexion, and startling, light-brown eyes that almost look amber or orange in the correct lighting.
Andolin Synger was a bard and a well-respected member of the Guild of Musicians. One of many excellent performers in Lodis, he was well-loved by his regular listeners. Andolin also boasted a powerful patron, a wealthy merchant standing high in among the power-elite of the city. As a result, when Andolin was free with verse or song that criticized the powerful, he drew less displeasure than most would, for he was protected. Protected, that was, until his love of women focused on one in particular, the daughter of his own patron. It is an old story, long retold: boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl flee angry father and live in poverty and love. So it was that Andolin continued his songs and stories, loved by the people, just poorer people than he used to play for. In particular, they favored the tales of Robyn Overlook. In the tales and songs, Robyn – a cunning rogue and master of disguise, made the rich look like fools, took the wealth they stole from the people, and redistributed it to where it was most needed. Perhaps the whim of this character was strong with Andolin, for he named his first child – a daughter – Robyn.
Robyn was raised in poverty and love: her father a somewhat broken-down bard (more and more broken-down over time, as he angered more people with his music); her mother working as a barmaid in a low tavern where the family lived in the attic. The lack of wealth mattered not at all, for the love between them was epic, and it was shared with their daughter whom they both doted upon. In Robyn's eyes, nothing could be better in life than to find someone to love the way she saw that her parents loved each other. The only thing she loved as much as watching her parents together was watching her father perform and listening to his songs and stories. Her mother and her father educated Robyn in everything they knew, engendering a strong love of learning in the young girl and a desire to collect stories the way other people collect commemorative plates. So their life and love continued, until Andolin disappeared.
It is hard to know exactly what happened to Robyn's father, there were many tales: some said that Andolin was waylaid by assassins, others that he was thrown in prison, others that he had merely run off when threats of the first two arose, but what did happen is that one day he was simply gone. Without Andolin's regular, though poor income, things became harder for Robyn and her mother. To make ends meet, she had to take on some of the characteristics of her father's character… taking money from those who had an excess and redistributing it to her and her mother. It is hard to say how this might have ended, had she not found a patron of her own… but a patron in the shadowy arts.
Robyn was considering making a move on the fat merchant. True, she hadn't practiced purse lifting extensively before this, but he seemed so uncaring and oblivious of the heavy purse that marked the steps of his waddle through the bazaar with pendulous precision. It seemed too easy a mark to pass up.
The quiet voice interrupted her reverie, “Excuse me?” She turned to the tall, thin figure standing in the shadows.
“Don't try for Marchand's purse, it's a trap.”
The young girl's eyes narrowed, “Are you accusing me...?”
“Of being a thief, yes... but don't be alarmed, my pot is calling your kettle.”
Robyn frowned, glancing at Marchand, “Why not?”
The figure stepped forward into the light, resolving in a shapeless agglomeration of gray, nondescript clothing and an equally unmemorable face. “As I said, a trap. He pays a wizard to enchant it with a spell. If you touch the purse, it will scream at you for being a thief and call for the watch.”
The young thief nodded slowly, “So... how do you know this?”
The gray man smiled, “I keep my ear to the ground. So... you're Robyn Overlook?”
The girl shook her head, “Robyn's my name, but not the Overlook part... that's a character from a song, not a real person. And who are you, by the way?”
The man chuckled, “Call me Gray, and you're right, there is no Robyn Overlook... yet; however, there could be one someday.”
Robyn shrugged, “So, since you advise me against a good dinner, what do you recommend instead?”
Gray nodded to a young woman walking through the Sea Ward toward the docks. “Follow her, and as you do... watch her, look at how she walks, how she holds herself, how she talks to people when she pauses along her way. See if you can keep up and mimic her.”
Robyn was annoyed, but also intrigued, so she chose to follow Gray's directions. The girl actually looked remarkably like her; similar height and build, hair and eye color. Her voice when she spoke was quiet, and she seemed very unassuming, lost in her own thoughts, almost oblivious to the city around her. Robyn followed the girl until she came to an expensive looking passenger vessel and handed some kind of chit to the man at the gangplank, then boarded. The sailor marked something on the tally board in his hand, and the ship began to ready itself to leave. The harbormaster came up and collected the passenger manifest from the sailor, and as the ship began to cast off, Grey walked over to the harbormaster and asked him a question, pointing up the docks a ways. The harbormaster was answering and gesturing farther down the ward, totally failing to notice when Gray skillfully took the manifest out of the harbormaster's shoulder bag and replaced it with another tally board.
Grey returned and Robyn looked at him curiously. “So, what was that about?”
The nondescript thief smiled, “Agate Nagle, daughter of a wealth merchant from Ostorea, was awarded an nonrefundable scholarship to Blackstone academy. Part of a deal her father brokered for blank spellbooks and other basic spell components.” He nodded to the disappearing ship, “Unfortunately, her homesickness was compounded by her belief that she just wasn't up to the academic rigors of the school, so she's abandoned her scholarship and gone home.”
Robyn nodded, her expression carefully blank as she repeated herself, “So, what was that about?”
Gray chuckled, “I want you to take her place, get inside her skin, play her part for a couple of years. Room and board is paid for, and as much education as you can absorb – all for the cost of a little deception.” He tossed a small book at her. “Here's all the facts you need to play the part, a few observations... it's a nice first try for you since you already look so similar, and she's befriended almost nobody in her short time in the city.”
The young thief shook her head, “If you know as much about me as about her, then you know I don't just steal for myself. I can't just be ignoring my obligations.”
Gray nodded, “I've got a situation for your mother, do not worry. The last page of that book has an address for a book bindery. Go visit it tomorrow and you will find your mother employed there and doing quite well.”
Robyn frowned, “Why would you do all of this for me?”
Gray smiled, “I have my reasons, which you will know in good time... free education... time is wasting.”
Robyn nodded, “Okay, let's see where this goes...”
Nearly two years later, Agate Nagle graduated with honors and on her academic merits was awarded another scholarship to Blackstone. She was sitting at a table in an outdoor cafe, reading, when a shadow eclipsed her from behind. She turned slowly and squinted at the gray figure.
Gray was clucking his tongue, “You were very easy to sneak up on... that's the problem with stories and books and those who love them. They get lost in their own little worlds and forget the real one... acting inattentive was good for remaining in character at first... actually becoming inattentive could get you killed. You might think about working on that.”
Not-Agate smiled, “Well, if I've become a little cloistered, that's not a big problem. After all, as you say, it works in the academic world.”
The gray man nodded, “However, you aren't remaining in the academic world, just as you aren't remaining Agate. That particular face has worn out and you must move on.”
Robyn looked startled, “But I'm doing so well. I've earned honors, I've even earned my credentials as a beginning conjurer.”
Gray simply shook his head, “You will learn more of spells later on. For now, Agate's father will soon be pursuing what happened to his little girl.”
Robyn looked shocked, “But she went home, I saw her leave.”
Gray nodded, “However, there was always the possibility that his contacts here might have mentioned his daughter's stellar progress and raised his suspicions... or would have... if she'd ever made it home.”
Robyn stood, shocked, “You killed her?”
Gray laughed and shook his head, “No, she met a young man on the ship, fell in love, and went off with him to another city. She currently has two sons and is very happy.”
The young academic shook her head, “I don't understand... who was the man she fell in love with?”
Grey smiled, “An apprentice of mine. He needed to prove his abilities at seducing a young woman and making her believe he loved her. He's done quite well... an exemplary young actor.”
Robyn shook her head, “How can you play with people's lives like this?”
The gray man lost all expression. “It's what we do... and what you will do, if you make the cut.”
The young girl took a deep breath, “And if I don't make the cut?”
Gray frowned, “Then I will have to make a cut... but if it's any consolation, I will be sorry. You're one of my most promising assets.”
Robyn sat still, trying to absorb this all.
Gray smiled again, without any hint of it getting to his eyes, “Now, you know the route of the young urchin thief, and the thoughtful academic... I think a taste of poverty might fortify you're role playing, and possibly even help you to work out this inattentiveness. Beggar, I think.” He hands her a slip of paper, “Go to this corner and look for the young cripple there, he's usually there between dawn and noon. Watch him for a week, get to know his habits and routines. Particularly note any close associations he may have formed. Don't worry about the gender difference. A little lemon juice to roughen the voice and sufficiently bulky and well-scented clothing will keep people from getting too close.”
Robyn looked at the gray man, “And I won't run because...?”
Gray looked at her, “Even if you believe I couldn't find you, haven't I taken good care of your mother?”
Robyn nodded slowly.
Gray shrugged, “No more needs be said, does it?”
Robyn shook her head, rose, and walked away from the last two years of her life. She wondered if she could find Allowyn at the lake... she hoped she would be able to see her again.
Another year had gone past, and the beggar boy recited a bit of Alruad's poetry, “Gentle mercy comes like a spring rain, effulgent and friendly to all that lives. Surely it is ignorance and indolence that strains the mind and body, making one hard and empty. Follow the way of mercy and mercy shall come to you when you need it most...” The ring of hard silver hit the ceramic bowl, and the crippled boy looked up into Gray's eyes.
Gray smiled, “I like the weeping eye, how did you achieve it?”
The boy shrugged, his voice rough, “Carlimon seed, under the lower lid.”
The gray man laughed, “I've used feneel myself.”
The boy coughed... a wet, nasty sound. “Feneel discolors the tears and makes them look fake... at least, the feneel you can get around here.”
Gray nodded, “Good to know. So, why the poetry... it's hardly standard for most beggars to be reciting Alruad?
The beggar boy shrugged, “I've been giving people the impression I might have come from the wealthier merchant classes or even lesser nobility. The wealthy are more generous when they think they might be donating to one of their own, fallen on hard times.”
He nodded, “Not a bad idea... but it could lead to questions. Well, never mind, ready for a rise in your fortunes?
Robyn shrugged, “It might be nice to be clean again for a while.”
The grey thief smiled, “So, I think a little swashbuckling, a young bravo, perhaps a lesser noble house, as you said... one on hard times.
Robyn frowned, “How am I supposed to carry off that disguise?”
The grey man smiled...
The roles came faster the next year, there were more than ten in as many months, and when Grey next appeared, Robyn sighed. "Can't I just be myself for a while?"
Grey paused, for such a long time that Robyn thought he was paralyzed... then he simply nodded. "Very well, Robyn Synger for a bit... but there is something I want you to look into. I want Robyn to pay proper homage to the church... here's a donation that will get you in good with the right people." He tossed her a heavy purse, "And I want you to express interest in the mission to Ostorea. Choose your words well, and you will be selected for it."
Robyn nodded, "And you will..."
Grey smiled, "Look after your mother... of course." Alignment:
Expected Posting Rate:
I'm on every day, so I will post every day that my character has something to add to the scene, multiple times a day if the flow of the story allows.
Robyn walked into a bar, clean and dressed in her new explorer's garb. Equipped and ready for a mission to other shores. She took a seat in the tavern and looked about, slowly. She carefully chose a seat with a good view of the common room, but not the typical one that a rogue might choose in a shadowy corner. Her eyes usually looked a mere light brown, or at most a warm amber in good lighting... it was when she clung to the shadows that they seemed to reflect more unusual colors, making people take
more notice of her, rather than less. Robyn pushed back the hood of her cloak and glanced around the room again... nobody in particular standing out. She felt the paper in her belt pouch crinkle, orders for the mission to Ostorea folded neatly within. The rogue looked up and caught the barmaid's eye. The buxom girl was fairly plump, and resembled the man behind the bar too much to be anyone but his daughter. Robyn's trained mind immediately broke down exactly how she would try to imitate the girl if she needed to. Not because she wanted to wear yet another face, but because after so many guises, she couldn't help thinking this way about anyone she met. She cursed Grey under her breath.
"What was that, ma'am?" The plump girl looked at her curiously.
Robyn smiled and shrugged, "Nothing... I've heard you have a very good cook here, I'm shipping out tomorrow and I'd like to fortify myself with a good meal."
The barmaid smiled with crooked teeth, "Aye, we have pigeon pie, pork chops in feneel sauce, and poached salmon with a light lemon curry. Rice or potatoes with any meal and fresh greens." Pie is 2 coppers, pork is a silver, salmon is two silvers."
Robyn nodded, "Salmon, and a good wine to go with it... perhaps a andalese?"
The girl nodded, "The white andalese is a silver a glass, or five a bottle, the red is two silvers a glass or ten a bottle."
Robyn chuckled, "Red andalese with fish... no, I'll take a glass of the white." She places three silvers on the table.