my background for a character I am developing for an upcoming Forgotten Realms campaign set in Loudwater. Comments please. ^^
I am not from Waterdeep. I have never even lived there. Perhaps it's best to start from the beginning.
My parents were adventurers, heroes by some's reckoning. They adventured before settling down in Llorkh, it was a difficult time before the rulers of the village drove out all those who could flee. My parents were ones, who given the choice of staying or leaving, chose to leave towards Waterdeep. A city it would take me eight more years before I would see.
We left on a crisp dweomer filled morning with a group of other travelers. There was talk of a tax being imposed to prevent people from leaving, but that was the talk of parents long after I was supposed ot be in bed.
We trudged along in our caravan for two weeks, the plan was to head first north and then west, passing by a mining community of dwarves and humans and then west through patches of planes land back south along the the Western side of the river. It was the second night when we were attacked.
The raiders came at the dead of the night. They slipped through the sentries easily and the moment I knew something was amiss when I heard screaming from the neighbouring wagon. My parents fought valiantly, but we were eventually captured.
We headed north into the forest. It would be weeks before we would see the sky again. Moving along deer paths. Constantly trudging on single file. We would be thrown scraps of food. Just enough to keep us moving, but not enough to keep away the cold. My fingers would be so cold, that I was constantly trying to bite away the tears as they burned their way down my face.
My father already wounded was slow in movement. Until even the hobgoblins whips could not make him move any further. They waited until night and killed him. My mother as they feasted on his still steaming flesh helped me and several others escape into the forest. We hid and dodged the hobgoblins for four fearful nights before hunger and fear drove us back to them.
My mother was not in good shape, but eventually the thrashings on her body started to heal. We continued to walk westwards until we crossed a heavy track and waited in a corpse of trees. We were afraid of the hobgoblins as the day wore on and they became increasingly agitated. They eyed us and they eyed each other. Finally in the early glimmer of the morning we saw a black bannered caravan go past. They stopped and with baited breath we watched as men came towards the corpse of trees with blades ready. They were grim men and were there for a grim task.
The met with the hobgoblins, not for war, but for commerce and we were the commodity. Money changed hands and we went from captured to slaves. We rode in the back of covered wagons; the bread was hard, the meat stringy and the water brackish.
It was on a marshy river inlet that we were transported into a trading ship. Below we joined others who had been captured. There was a multitude of voices and languages. Some guttural curses, others of feminine wailing. We were mercilessly shoved into the cages that smelled of offal and human detritus. The storms were not kind and the ship would nightly creak and sometimes gush the stink of the sea into the holds. I would occasionally hear the wail of my mother from the holds and she and I would send each other messages. My writing barely understandeable with the shaking of my hand. It was several weeks before we made landfall.
The slave pits of Luskan are beyond description. There we were herded inspected and prodded. However, the food was warm and the water less brackish. I had not seen my mother there for a long time, each day stretching into the other. One time I was told to get up and I was escorted by a cruel looking man to a cell with other women. Many had become sick and my mother lay among them. I stumbled and clutched at her as she absent mindedly tried to straighten my matted hair and wipe the dirt from my face. Her breath was shallow and she tried to say something to me through a hoarse throat. I could not listen for she was my mother and she was my all.
Finally my sobs went to single tears and she spoke to me, of love and of strength, of prayer and of hope. I tried to understand, but I was not sure what I was hearing. She spoke like that eventually going into circles as delirium took hold and I was taken away screaming and crying back to my cell.
One torch lit night me and the rest in the cell were escorted out. They gave us rich clothing that was black with grime and scratched our bodies. We were viewed by a throng of shouting spectators. I could not see their faces, only the cold reality we were being auctioned. The sounds of numbers fell on my leaden ears. The auctionaeers voice cut through the haze into my mind. The five us, were advertised perfect for breeding or for hard work such as in the scullery. With the proper training and breaking we could become whatever the purchaser wished.
For a clink of money we were escorted away to new cages for loading onto one of the many ships. We were never picked up. The merchants defaulted on their trade and while money did change hands we were the lost cargo of what later I would know of a dead flesh trader.
We ended up in the hands of a man whose name still causes me to involuntarily to shudder. He was the one who would buy the runt of the cargo. He would teach us how to steal and steal we did. In Luskan bread or meat are not to be openly bought or traded, but stolen and bargained for - often at knife point. We stole for him and he grew fat on his commerce.
Like greeds, he too became slothful, he found the power in flesh and the lash. It grew our hearts cold and it would only a matter of time until someone overthrew him. I worked in his house, placing the food on his table until one night he got into an argument, we had grown and were aware of him, and he was dimply becoming aware of that. He was already drunk and then we held him down and took turns stabbing him until there was no more blood to spill.
Some, like me escaped. I wandered through Luskan till I joined a gang. No longer was I someone's bread thief. I was an equal and we all stole equally. We were a gang called the castoffs, from a bewildering group of races and cultures. Elves to orcs. All that binded us was our age and our need for survival.
The springs in Luskan have a pungent odor. The dead that once stayed nicely under the ice sheets and snow drifts, like gruessome sheets would be drawn off the poster bed of father time. The smells would make you not want to eat for many a day, until the carrion crows would come back for the summer and would feast on this offal. Our gang had grown. No longer were we small hands stealing in the dark, but we were working towards full criminality. With age I grew long and more dextrous. The lies easier. The ruses on the drunkards and the aged more functioning. We took any way we could and they payed the price.
We were sitting one afternoon in one of the broken houses by the docks. Occasionally the sea would shift and one less noxious odor would replace the other. We were lookign at our treasure a breadboard full of gold and treasures. Of course we all talked of our plans with that treasure, some of us wanted to save it further and see about building ourselves more powerful others looked beyond the walls at fatter pickings south.
The gang became divided, but so did the treasure. I for one did not wish to stay in Luskan, but instead wished to escape and escape I did to Waterdeep. Where they say merchants are carried in sedans because no ass could carry their weight of their riches through the cities. I and three others started out there, we stole during the summer months, sleeping wherever we could, until the autumn came and we went into burglaring houses. I would often climb in to the houses and steal from under their sleeping noses dropping the riches down to my accomplice below. It was only a matter of time before we would become caught, but they were heady days.
I am never sure what or who gave us away. The city watch had layed a trap and upon our departure of our latest acquisition of wealth we were assaulted, trapped and captured.
Six black robed magisters with six guards next to me as I stood manackled in the cage. I had fought and killed a watchman, I had stolen things not belonging to me. I had sought to cause further harm to people and was therefore considered a menace to society and would therefore be locked up in one of the many institutions meant to instill in me less wayward behaviour.
It was a year before I would feel the sky upon my face. Most of that was spent in small cages, prodded and laughed at. Occasionally clerics would come with promises of redemption in the form of conversion. I saw it for what it was, slavery from man to god. I bided my time and when I could leave I did.
The first night I broke into one of these temples and stole their food and their coffer. I continued to do so, wreathing myself in their trinkets, selling them among the fences and curio shops. I became fat off their slaves generosity. And as fat becomes I too became careless, for I was no longer content with the alms of chapter houses, but sought the trinkets of foreign gods on their altars. Someone would eventually lay a ward on such items and I was caught in such a ward. I had become fat with money.
I was tried and given the choice of exile or execution. Exile was my choice and with nothing but the clothes on my back and the few items I had stashed was I forced to leave the city. My portrature of a young woman of influence and perhaps power garnered favour among the inns I stopped and paid for with their god smitten coin.
It was easier to pretend to be a daughter of my parents of having live with them until they died in outlying raids with hobgoblins. I was there to bring the ashes of my parents - the scrapings of an inn hearthe - to Loudwater for burial. It was a second life and fit me like an ill covered trapping.