Terry's Campaign 1

Backstory - Mortdecai

Growing up on the city streets is not difficult for humans… I however, am not human. At first glance, everyone assumes I am, but when closely examined you can see the difference in my left eye. It is why I normally keep my hood down and my eye patch on. This city doesn’t like outsiders, and I am not even from this plane of existence, so outcast never even comes close. Every once in a while I have to change my appearance, the color of my cloak, the shade of my skin, to avoid becoming familiar to others.

Early life was difficult for an orphan. I never knew my parents, or even where I was truly from. I was found wandering the woods one day, starving and half dead. No memory of where I had come from, or where I had been. The ones who found me soon made me a slave, and performed some sort of magic on my eye to forcefully see through it themselves. This not only gave them certain control over me, it granted them the ability to give me orders from anywhere telepathically. When I tried running away, I would be summoned back and forced to stand in place for hours without food or water. It was at least a good thing I looked like a human, because I watched horrifically as many others were butchered by the guards in front of us all. Some even looked at me and wondered why I was not being executed myself.

A few years go by, and I find myself being able to resist commands from the watchers. At first it was just hesitating to pick something up they told me to, but as the days went on I started resisting harder and harder. Eventually it was noticed and I was summoned. It had only been 4 years since I was found, and already I was much larger and stronger than the other kids. This combined with my ability to now completely resist the watchers commands, they summoned the guards and I was to be executed. They had found out my secret and I was forced to flee. Regardless of the fact that it was slave labor, they fed us. Now I was all alone… again.

Months past, then years, until finally I found myself on the streets of Ludgershall. It was much easier to find edible food in the city, but it was even easier to find work. A bustling trade route connected Ludgershall to Calisham, and profit was everywhere. I made myself a makeshift eye patch to hide my brand and offered my hand at anyone who could pay for my services. A lonely old Blacksmith was my main source of income for many more years. I had no experience with a hammer or any sort of weird machine the old man used to make weapons. The only thing I knew was that one weapon always called out to me.

Up on the mantle of this old mans shop was a scythe. It had a really nice, silver sheen to it, even though it wasn’t made of anything but steel. I began asking him about it every chance I could. He just smiled and waved me off like it was nothing to worry about. Still, it was like the weapon kept me in a trance for days to come. Life was not always questions and food for the old man though. He was being heckled by some rich know-it-all who kept coming around and wanting to buy the scythe from him. He simply responded with a smile and the 3 words that made this rich lord red in the face… “Not for sale.”

For years I spent with the old man. Even though he would tell me nothing about the scythe on the mantle, he showed me how to use one for cutting down wheat. Eventually I used it so much that even in a fight I could wield it better than most swordsmen. Just because the city was bustling with profit, doesn’t mean everyone had money. In the lower part of town, you had to protect yourself. The guards would rarely lift a finger around here.

Like every story, tragedy always seems to be the turning point, and this one was no different. Gathering enough wheat for a long winter was not easy when working as a Blacksmith’s aid. 16 hours with short breaks for eating in between, then as much sleep as you could get before doing it again the next day. When returning to the old blacksmith, I found him dead and his shop torn apart. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the rich bastard had waited long enough for the weapon he wanted. I couldn’t let this go, but attacking a rich man in public would be suicide. Especially if I was outed to the public as a former slave. I would be tossed in the Colosseum to fight for my life the very same day. I had to be more clever than that, so I hatched a plan.

One thing about guards that come to the lower city, they don’t like it here. So any time they can find themselves getting a drink or blowing off steam, they take it. It wasn’t hard to convince them of a new ale someone had come up with in one of the local taverns. I could even convince them that the drink they had tasted multiple times before was better than ever. Getting a rich man to drink; easy. Guards; easy. Having the guards come in after the rich man. Piece of cake. I sat down with the rich man and had a wonderful conversation about life, love, women, romance, wealth, murder, theft, horses. Eventually, everyone in the bar was quiet as this man started spilling his guts about the men he paid to get the job done. Once everyone heard it, the guards couldn’t ignore the law anymore. They took him in, and even I had to let out a small smile when they hanged him from the gallows.

Of course, I didn’t stick around. I wanted to be done with the whole scenario. I was eventually tracked down by the old mans lost son. He told me the actual story behind the scythe. How it was a family heirloom that had a celestial spirit inside of it. The old man was a Paladin from back in the day. The son had no use for it because he was a traveling merchant, but since I was mentioned in the will he wanted me to have it. No sooner had I grasped the weapon, the spirit made itself known to me. It was none other than the old man himself.

The old man gave me even more training in the ways of the Paladin. He taught me to feel no fear, rise above sickness, and slay the evil that haunts the land. Eventually I found that the old man’s name was Zasel. He was also not from this plane of existence, and informed me of my heritage. He said that even though I was born in evil, I was destined to become a Paladin. The lessons came easily, and my skill with the scythe was growing rapidly. Even though I am something called a Pitborn Teifling, I remained almost completely human.

30 years had past since then, and with those years came new kings, some sort of conflict among Ludgershall and Calisham. A treaty between them shortly after. More profits again after that. During this time I spent so many years changing my appearance, cutting my hair in different ways, getting different clothes and taking up different jobs throughout the city. Eventually I settled into a new line of work that didn’t make face to face interaction all that required. I became a Private Investigator.

Being a Private Investigator makes enemies, and I didn’t want to accrue a reputation. My line of work is something that only works with a certain amount of anonymity. I am not your average P.I though… Most of the ones I met before were pickpockets, rogues, monks, and even the occasional cleric. Paladin’s normally end up being protectors of the church, guards for the royal family, or even one of the guards that police the city. I have no patience for such a life as that, and I feel that eventually it would expose me anyway. Still, not many of them have a silver tongue like I do either.

Through the years, I found myself normally in service to the high class. Most of them had me following family members and spouses. Meeting them in bars to find out what secrets they are hiding. Even though I am not very light footed, when you are able to change clothes in an instant when rounding a corner, you never really attract attention. I gathered the information, delivered under the cover of night, and then disappeared after receiving the rest of the payment. Those who didn’t pay met Zasel. It didn’t happen often, but occasionally I brought back news they did not approve of, or sometimes believe. Still, rules are rules, and no one breaks mine. Zasel actually enjoys this line of work, which I found rather interesting. Apparently he is rather against ripping off family, or making a mockery of the vows in marriage. He’s picky that way.

Word spread around that a branch of the military finally found the slave camp. One of the men who raided the camp heard of my escape and eventually was able to track me down. He was a stout human, light on his feat and could definitely hold his own. I was rather impressed that he found me in the first place, so he became my first real friend since the old man in over 30 years. He often accompanied me on different investigations for clients. Oliver was quite the archer, and he knew it. On a few occasions he saved my life with his uncanny accuracy. He and I have been partners ever since.

Anyway, we now come up to present day, where the Festival of Merchants are to celebrate their successful ventures and profits. A day I like to watch from afar, and keep my eye out for potential clients and newly active thieves.

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DustinLappert

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