Parents? You have no idea, and on most days, couldn’t care less. In a city like Freeport, the only good parents are ones with a noble name, a noble house, and privilege. Not that you’re bitter. You don’t gnash your teeth about the hard knock life. You’ve learned to laugh at it. Laugh at something that frightens you, and it always seems to take the piss out of it. “Hilarious Hutch” is what some of the boys in Lamm’s Little Lambs used to call you, when you were still part of the gang.
That seems like an awfully long time ago, though it’s only been three months: running wild in the streets of Scurvytown and the Eastern District, moving from abandoned house to abandoned warehouse to abandoned storefront, to abandoned house. It’s one of Gaedren Lamm’s strategies for staying away from enemies, and better still, not paying rent. As with all of Gaedren Lamm’s hideouts through the decades, the places he dwells are a forgotten echo of someone else’s dreams. Gaedren chooses these lairs not only to give him and his Little Lambs a place to hide, but also for their current ownership (or lack thereof ), preferring buildings whose owners have died and left behind no heirs. Under Freeport law, a building abandoned in this manner immediately reverts to the city and is held in escrow for 2 years, during which time any rightful owner who can prove a claim can regain control of the building. After the 2 years, the city claims the building, yet even then, the government is slow to handle its eventual fate. Gaedren has found that by choosing the right building in the right location, one can effectively live for free for years at a time. Accordingly, you have no idea where he now resides, which bothers you some nights. What if he’s claimed a home here in Drac’s End? However the next meeting with Gaedren Lamm goes, you want it to be on your terms.
That last meeting was one you won’t soon forget, though, no matter how long it seems to have been. “Laugh at me, will you?” the old man had grated. You suddenly found yourself wondering how it was you’d all been so frightened of him for so long. If all of you attacked at once, you could be free! But no one else had stepped forward to aid you, and the beating Gaedren’s thugs, Yargin (human), Hookshanks (gnome), and Giggles (half orc) had given you was brutal. Of course, that had ended with Yargin’s trademark acid wand giving you a scar to remember him by, before you staggered off into a monsoon rain to escape. The mark on the side of your face is a daily reminder of the revenge you seek.
But first, you need a crew.
It was in the third week at Cleaves Home for Orphans and Wayward Children that the idea had first occurred to you: start your own crew. Do what Gaedren does, but more like this bloke, Euglenus Cleaves: the kids are well fed, and well treated. Sure, there’s that little rat pack of his favorites who get away with murder most of the time, but getting a thumping from Lucinda Penmark or Simon Midwich is a walk in the park after the farewell party Gaedren’s thugs threw you.
Sadly, aside from that pack of teacher’s pets (like Dire Wolves as pets, is what they are), there isn’t much in the way of streetwise, or intestinal fortitude as Lamm always put it, to put together anything resembling a crew. That was, until Mokey showed up. The godsdamn cops brought him in. That speech Cleaves gives to every new kid (except the babies, who just get cooed at, and handed over to the Matrons to put in the nursery), he likely gave emphasis to the part about “WAYWARD CHILDREN” and “SOMEONE WHO SEEKS TO CONSUME OTHERS,” with this fellow. And so it proved. After a week of watching how he handled the favorites (the Forking Knives is what you like to call them, because of that ridiculous utensil tattoo they all sport), you approached him and spelled out your plan.
Next came the weird looking short kid. Red eyes like fire, and until you got close enough, you couldn’t even see a godsdamn pupil. You gave your speech, but he seemed hesitant. Told you he’d think it over. And then the half-orc, who seemed promising, but cries in his sleep. Things were looking decidedly hopeless until you were asked by Miss Jessel, one of the Matrons, to show some new kid around the home. Only you could tell pretty damn quick this was no kid. You’ve seen enough Halfling con artists who pose as kids to recognize this one for what he is. You’ll give him the tour, and with any luck you’ll get a chance to talk if he goes on work detail with you and Mokey under Oskar Broadhammer’s watchful eye.
Contacts:Gaedren Lamm: Gaedren Lamm, hunchbacked thieving snake, plague on Korvosa’s forgotten children, and all-around despicable wretch, is a jaundiced and bent corpse of a man, his eyes yellowed and skin speckled from age. His left leg carries a pronounced limp as he shuffles about. Lamm’s old skin can’t stand the chafe of armor, and thus he typically wears only a gray cotton robe. On his rare trips outside, he wears a tattered widebrimmed sun hat to protect his bald head from sunburns. Gaedren is well-schooled in the credo, “secrets can kill,” and the miserable cur hasn’t survived to become the stinking old man he is now by letting people get the drop on him. Yet he’s also a proud and bitter man, used to fighting tooth and nail to keep what’s his. When you first met him, a more cautious Gaedren would have pulled up roots and fled at the first sign of trouble, abandoning his thugs to their fate. However, Gaedren’s age has all but crippled him. On one level he’s aware of his flaws, but his bitter and cruel personality often gets the better of his judgment. You’re hoping when you find him he’s too weak to run. Nevertheless, he taught you everything you know, and despite hating him, he’s the voice in your head that says how to run a con.
Yargin Balko: Gaedren’s right-hand man and his longestlived accomplice is Yargin Balkro, a bitter human alchemist who’s served variously as Gaedren’s accountant, advisor, assassin, and fence for nearly a decade. Yargin’s true obsession is acid—he carries several vials of the stuff with him wherever he goes. He even concocted a weak acid that plays a key part in the rendering of fish into slurry (and is sometimes used to punish wayward orphans).Yargin is a perpetually sour-faced man with short blond hair and a fondness for expensive clothing. As the public face of the operation here, he takes pride in his appearance even though his taste in clothes always seems to be at least two decades out of style.
Hookshanks Gruller: A taskmaster who loves his job because he gets tobully human children who are even smaller than him (well, most of them, anyways). Hookshanks is quick to punish kids with his sap and threatens to “feed them to the dog”(a beast named Gasher)—even the kids bigger than Hookshanks have learned to shut up and follow the gnome’s orders as a result. Hookshanks usually dresses the part of an orphan himself and appears as such.
Giggles: A half-orc brute who titters as he beats children who aren’t working fast enough for him. Giggles lost an eye to a devilfish several years ago. His face still bears several angry puckershaped scars from the creature’s suckers. He wears his scars with pride. Giggles lives up to his name in combat, chortling and snickering at anything remotely funny (and often at things that aren’t funny at all).
Oskar Broadhammer has been a miner, sailor, stonemason, and blacksmith at various times in his life, but now finds other people to do manual labor. Anyone who needs a crew to unload a ship, build a house, or excavate a drain comes to Oskar, who (for a fee) finds day laborers and workers from the folks of the Cluster or the transients of Tent Town. Oskar travels throughout Drac’s End every day, recruiting and hiring, and keeping an eye open for new faces with new skills. Oskar tries to do his best for the community while also making a profit; he’s decent and reasonably honest but not above finding warm bodies to do something shady as long as “his boys” are paid well and not put into too much danger. You are among the crew of boys he takes with him from Cleaves to do work detail.
Hutchins' stats, skills, and feats to follow.