The Case of the Warrior:
Skill, training, confidence: these things only go so far. Sometimes it just comes down to who wants it more, or who’s meaner. And Kizzier was a mean son of a bitch. One of a small number of half-orcs in Sasserine, he’d gotten used to the teasing, the cold stares, and assorted bullshit that came with being “different”, in the same way a lump of raw iron got used to being thrust in the flames and beaten with a hammer.
Not all half-orcs were violent brutes, as anyone who’s met a good number of them would know. Kizzier’s father, a minor noble and accomplished smith, was quite the gentleman. Kizzier, conversely, wasn’t one to buck stereotype; when one of Zelkrune’s Horns teased him about his parentage, Kizzier broke his hand in two places. It was the first volley in a series of politely antagonistic measures carried out between the most junior members of Zelkrune’s Horns and Kizzier over the next several months.
Today, however, would mark the last. One of the Horns had finally made the mistake of challenging Kizzier to a match in the Sasserine Arena, and it was going to cost him. Okay, maybe Kizzier had given him a little push. Maybe he had help from his friends bourbon, gin, and ale. After Kizzier got done publicly humiliating the Horns on their home turf, it wouldn’t matter. The only thing anyone would remember was who was left standing.
The Case of the Noble Son:
The Torr’s are a minor noble house that has occupied a home in the Noble District for the past 20 years. The Patriarch (Tiberius) and Matriarch (Mara) are semi-retired adventurers, and have founded a life in Sasserine, allowing for enough time to start life and a family. They have 3 kids: Rupert, Serena, and Othar. The two oldest have long since taken up the mantle started by their parents, Rupert and Serena have taken up as a Cavalier and Bard respectively. And have made names of themselves as defenders of the weak and brought pride to their house.
The Youngest, Othar, named after a dwarven warrior that traveled with Tiberius and Mara. Othar the dwarf was known for his short temper and love of the tankard. Because of the shining example set by his older siblings, Othar feels that he has been forced to try to live up to the paths. At a young age his talent for magic got his parents to enroll him into the House of the Dragon when he was old enough. Unfortunately the martial authoritarian atmosphere of the school ran counter to the young magic users’ sensibilities and often resulted in flair-ups with the instructors. It should come as no surprise when he erupted against his superiors.
Kicked out of the House of the Dragon has given the house Torr a black eye to the rest of the nobility in Sasserine. Kicked out for using his abilities against one of his instructors at the Academy (Poor guy failed his saving throws), which he did to defend a fellow, attractive female student from some stupid rule that got her in major trouble. Fortunately his parents are out of the city and haven’t found out about the expulsion yet, and now Othar out on his own has to try and make sure he can look his family in the eye.
The Case of the Sailor:
The Case of the Confidence Artist:
Dorian had never liked Mason, but then again, he didn’t really like most of the other street kids in Cudgel District either. Mason however, was a bully and a thug and was certainly more suited to Sasserine under the Sea Princes than the city it was today. Dorian had higher aspirations for his future than signing on with some merchant ship for a life of stale bread and rotting potatoes, where one’s odds of dying at the claws/jaws/tentacles of some horrible creature were inversely proportional to one’s chances of dying of old age in a gilded bed. He also knew that there was no future in attempting to have a long and illustrious career as a “Cutpurse in Cudgel.” Dorian figured it out when he saw the wealth adventurers like Veric and Larisa Vanderboren had managed to amass in the process of exciting journeys through far and exotic lands. Dorian was going to be an Adventurer. He just needed to create a little positive buzz and make one good score to cover his initial traveling expenses.
Though he was older, Mason was somehow not as worldly and certainly nowhere near as smart as he was. So Dorian decided to kill two birds with one stone, he would make a name for himself and get Mason off the streets at the same time. The con was simple enough, but never the less Dorian set about a process of careful planning. He spent a few weeks building up a collection of cheap baubles that looked far more valuable than they actually were. The whole time teasing Mason with minimal details of a “great scheme” that was going to set them both up. When he felt he had collected enough of the necessary items and planned for every contingency Dorian set the plan into action.
The plan was simple enough, on the surface at least. Dorian would set up a small table in a fairly busy intersection of Cudgel District. On this table, he would setup a common “shell game” with the valuable looking baubles he had collected as prizes for winning. He would play the shell game straight, allowing winners to select a prize and move on to the next player. Once a crowd began to gather around the chosen work area Mason would come into the equation. Dorian had spent the weeks leading up to the execution of his plan praising Mason’s skill as a pickpocket and artful dodger.
“You’re a far better cutpurse than I’ll ever be.” He told Mason. “I’ll keep them distracted while you rob them blind. Then we’ll split the winnings 60/40 because you’ll be doing all the hard work and I could never pull this off without the help of someone as skilled as yourself.”
With the line so skillfully baited and cast, Mason was easily hooked and ready to start almost as soon has Dorian had finished explaining the plan.
After Mason began moving through the crowd, liberating the observers and players of their valuables, Dorian began the real con. He kept one eye on Mason and the other out for the District Watch. “Assisting” one of the gathered rubes in noticing Mason’s activities would require more precise manipulation than he had thus far displayed during the entire shell game. He would have to time his actions perfectly. A two man patrol entered the square as Mason was moving into the center of the gathered crowd. Dorian could not have created a better scenario if he tried. All he needed was for the current player to win. After what seemed like an eternity of bad guesses from a player who was either blind or stupid, possibly both, Dorian was finally able to drop the prize into the crowd. The watch was still close enough to respond to the commotion as Dorian’s “fumble” led to Mason being discovered in the act. Dorian didn’t waste time waiting to see what happened. He ran, knowing full well that word would spread through the youth of Cudgel District that he had finally rid them of Mason. Now he just needed to make one good score of his own.
“This was his idea!” Mason shouted as he pointed at where Dorian had just been. The Watchmen only saw a crowd of people, half of them fuming at the thief who had robbed them, and the other half squabbling over cheap baubles near a sideways crate.
“Tell it to the judge boy.”