Dinas Porthladd Masnach
Elven Green Arrow
Hmm? I look familiar? You’ve probably seen me on some wanted posters. That’s right, I’m Laica Pilin! My ears on those posters look wrong, but other than that they’re O.K.…
Why? That’s a tough question to answer. Let’s see, I guess my life in crime would have started when I started…
My parents were simple shop owners. It had always been my father’s dream. He had to be the most honest man I’ve ever known. Naturally, people took advantage of him. We were robbed often, the general goods war was brutal, and on top of that, he was running the shop as an honest man, not to cover up a life of crime like most, and so he was often threatened by crime leaders to close his shop because they didn’t respect him. He never did. Then everything went to shit, the economy collapsed along with all of society, and Dinas Porthladd Masnach was one of the few cities left. Life sucks, right? We could barely get stuff to sell from the inflation on top of the brutal competition. My father started teaching me how to use a bow, and we would go outside the walls to get food for ourselves. If we ever got caught by bandits, we gave them what they wanted, and we didn’t eat that night. Simple as that. At least we never got killed.
Then one night, about 3 years after the collapse, there was a knock on the door. I was emptying a not-so-fresh shipment of tomatoes. My mother answered the door, and a half-orc stepped through the doorway and had these strange, curved blades. Someone had finally paid to have my father… dealt with. I hid my face as I heard the –snirk- sound of a head being severed from its neck. I looked back up, and my father was kneeling, softly sobbing. He looked up, and our gazes met. I couldn’t look away, even as the dark robbed figure stepped up from behind him. I couldn’t look away, even as I saw those blades shimmer in the candlelight. I couldn’t look away, even as I saw the life fade from my father’s eyes. I finally looked away, as my father’s head fell to the floor and I heard the –thump- of his body following. Then the half-orc walked straight up to me. I was still holding a tomato, frozen in fear, unable to move. He looked at me, grabbed the tomato, and ate it as he walked out the door. I still won’t eat tomatoes.
The assailant taught me two things that night: one, life is frail and fleeting, and two, honest men don’t survive in this world.
I left after that. I grabbed my bow and walked away. I wanted nothing to remind me of that night. I became a petty thief at the age of 7. I did what I needed to do to survive, and then, all of a sudden, life actually started getting easier then when I had a family and a home. Suddenly, I was enjoying my new lifestyle. I stole fruit and picked pockets, but never really did more of that until I got caught by these two men as I tried to steal from them. I was 13. That is when I got my first taste of robbing and major crimes. They were scruffy, burly, smelled of alcohol, and were very suspicious looking men. What bothered me more, though, was that they had no money in either of their purses. They looked at each other, at me, and then whispered to each other, “He could just be the third person we need. Do you think he’ll fit?” “He’s perfect!” By then, I was seriously terrified about what they were talking about. I was drug to a dark alleyway where they debriefed me on a crime they intended to commit in the noble district, a place I had only heard rumors about. They wanted my help with this particular crime, and they promised me 2 gold pieces and a dozen of apples, which was just about a week of work for me, if I would sneak into some prominent woman’s house and steal a specific necklace. I quickly agreed and they gave me a time and a location to meet them.
We met later that night, and I realized why they needed me: both men were too big to climb up to and fit through the window, and none of us could pick a lock, so I was the one to sneak in, and I must say, I did so very deftly that night. Even I barely heard the glass break. I quickly grabbed what fit their description of the necklace, which, even in the darkness, glittered amazingly bright, but also grabbed some other pieces of shinny jewelry that caught my attention. None were as pretty as the necklace, though. That is the instant when I decided major crimes would be my new life style. I stuffed my pockets with what I could, and then crawled back out the window I had come in. I met the other criminals outside, and stood proudly as I gave them the necklace. Their eyes sparkled, and they barely noticed me, until I, wanting attention for the fantastic job I did, asked about my cut. Then they really noticed me. Grabbing me by my shoulders (again), they drug me into a dark alleyway (again), but this time, they knocked me unconscious. When I awoke, I felt like I had a new sense of crime. It was exhilarating, yet dangerous. I also learned that trusting people came at a cost, and therefore, earning my trust was costly as well. However, these men had been too stupid to check my pockets, and I still made money when I pawned the other jewelry. After that job, I became a new person. I was tougher, wiser, and more mature, and now I was becoming a notable criminal.
Around a year and a half after I started out as a true criminal, I met this girl. Before then, I was more of a stealthy criminal, preferring deftness to brutality. Her name was Betha, and she was a human. She was around my age (14), beautiful, seductive, and an even more notorious criminal than I was. She was better, slier, and wasn’t afraid to kill. Although I was now committing major crimes, I had never harmed a person, let alone kill, before. My bow had almost become irrelevant, yet I still carried it with me. She got me to shake the dust off it, metaphorically. The first time we met, we were committing the same crime, stealing a nice dagger from an antique dealer. Instead of quarrelling, we decide to work together, seeing as how things had gone south and the guards were coming for both of us. It was the only way to get out of that mess alive. We had slipped passed the guards who were bearing down on the store we were in, and we were two blocks away from the scene when a guard, staggering to the call of crime, a bottle in his hand, came at us. Betha insisted that I kill him, since I was known for my accuracy with “that bow of mine.” I objected, saying “I haven’t shot it in years!” “You can’t seriously forget!” She was right; you never forget how to use a bow.
We soon became partners, stealing by night and crooning at each other by day. We started to become a pretty well known and respected as a team, and we were fearless. We felt invincible, and we weren’t afraid to do the craziest jobs or fight our way out of them. Then, one night when we were 19, we decided to do the craziest heist of them all: the city treasury. I’m not even sure what our plan was or how it worked, but it did. We talked about lining our pockets with what we could and then going out the way we had gotten in, but when we were there, Betha only searched for one thing: a gold coated bone sword that glittered with fire. Crazy, right? With barely anything but this sword, she made me leave. Tons of guard’s blood was spilt on our escape. Betha led me outside of the city. She told me that she had a buyer for this sword and that was the real reason for the heist. “Besides,” she joked, “if we didn’t leave when we did, you’d be dead.” Her “buyers” we six very scary looking men, like, cut-your-tongue-out-and-use-it-for-a-gauntlet-scary. But she had earned my trust through the years, and getting paid was getting paid. Then one “buyer” hit me in the head, but I was not a weak boy anymore. I wheeled around, blood gushing from my skull, and shot the one that had attacked me. The arrow went straight through his neck. As he coughed on his own blood, I saw the other five men itching to fight, and quite possibly, to kill. I knocked an arrow, screaming, “Stand back! Get away! I promise, I will kill you!” They laughed. Then I felt a sharp, searing pain through my chest and saw the gold sword jutting out of me. As it was pulled out, I turned and looked at Betha in astonishment. “Sorry, but as you say, getting paid is getting paid,” she said. The next part is a bit blurry. The best way to explain it is that I was thrown down and nearly beaten to death. I can’t describe it any better than that.
I’ve always enjoyed nature. The city might be my home, but beyond those walls were always welcoming and tranquil. Mostly. I’d always venture off into the forest to relax and clear my head. And then there I was, bleeding to death at night off in some ditch. I know a little bit of magic though, and I healed myself and decided that nature wasn’t being to tranquil that day, so staggered back into the city. I wanted something nice to wash the taste of blood out of my mouth, and I had heard that the Lucky’s Toss was pretty good. I don’t know who the fool was who told me that. Anyway, I stopped in there and had a drink. It tasted horrible, like cat diarrhea. I figured it was a bad glass or something, and I wasn’t drunk yet, so I ordered another one. It still tasted horrible. So I finished that one too (I wasn’t going to let my money go to waste) and ordered a third glass, requesting that this one be fresh and from an unopened keg. It tasted even worse. That’s when I leaped off of the bar stool I was on, and, mildly intoxicated, vulgarly asked what they were trying to serve. What followed was a memorable bar fight, which ended with multiple patrons and servers battered and bruised, and me, having a black eye and a couple of broken ribs, being thrown out of the Lucky’s Toss forever. Then I crossed the street. I hadn’t heard anything about The Maiden’s Vengeance, but it looked busy and prosperous. I sat down, had a glass of some weird thing called Carnay, and I don’t remember anything after that. I knew then that this was the bar I’d go to forever. Also, the day-bartender who owned The Vengeance became a really close friend of mine. I’ll say this: bartenders are good to go to for info. They hear a lot.
One night when I was 23, as I was staggering away from The Vengeance, I came by my parent’s old shop. A man who wasn’t only known for his great bargains owned it. He was a crime lord, and he had a particularly bitter feud with my father. I knew then that he had been the one who had paid to have my family killed. I shot an arrow straight through the window before he noticed me, and the arrow went through his skull and landed with a –thunk- against the wall. I went into the shop, taking what I needed, remembering my parents, and retrieving my arrow. Suddenly, I noticed the rug I was standing on. It was the exact same place where they died. I lifted it up. Their bloodstains were still on the floor, like some goddamn prize of his. I left, but this time I did what I should have done when I was 7: I burnt it down.
Business, though, as a criminal, started to really flourish. I wasn’t some dumb kid doing crime just for the fun of it, and I wasn’t a little petty thief either. I started planning my crimes and using stealth again instead of brutality, which leads us to present day. I became widely known, and infamous amongst the guards. I usually slip away from them, preferably with stealth, but occasionally with combat, and I’m seen as a ghost AND a guard-killer. I’ve got to say, I hate the Warden. It seems like I’m always being chased around by his men, and he makes me out to be a public menace when he’s the real one. Think about it: honest men don’t survive, right? Not in this world. No one can make it without cheating. So he’s can’t be honest, not with all of the power and respect he has. And whatever secret he’s hiding by pretending to be good, it has got to be huge, and I can’t wait to find out when his lie pops.
I feel like there’s one more thing I should mention since you’ve been such a good listener to my life story so far: I ran into Betha again. It was just about a year ago, and I had just turned 28. It was night, I was sprinting along the rooftops, not because I was fleeing from a crime scene, but because being on those roofs, so isolated yet so close to every unsuspecting citizen, feels amazing. As I leapt off one building to another, I looked to my right and saw Betha in a particularly tall building, and she had made quite a mess. Blood, bodies, riches in her hands, and guards climbing up the stairs without her knowing. I leapt through the window, and she about killed me, especially when I started firing arrows, but when she realized that I wasn’t shooting her, but the guards behind her, she calmed down. “So, you’re not dead,” she stated. “No thanks to you.” “Hey, I’m sorry, but it was either you or both of us.” “So what happened to the sword?” “Don’t worry about it.” I didn’t see the sword then, but I really don’t know if she has it or not. She continued, “Why’d you save me?” “I don’t know. Don’t worry about it.” “Still some feelings for me, eh?” “Ha! No. I’d never trust you again, and don’t expect me to save you next time either.” And that was it. What a great reunion, right?
Well, I can tell by your horrified face that you stopped listening somewhere between my incident with the half-orc assassin and the first time I met Betha, so I’ll leave you be. Besides, I’ve got to get to The Vengeance. I’ve got a taste for some Carnay. I also need to get some place safe, after killing 2 guards tonight. That makes 11 guards I’ve killed. The first one tonight had it coming, ‘cause he was raping that girl, but I’d never let the Warden know I did that out of the kindness of my heart. The second one was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh well, Vengeance first and safe place second. If I can still walk.
Hey, you won’t go ratting me out, right? Because I may just hunt you down and kill you if you do. Or maybe I won’t. It depends on how busy I get. And if I’m sitting in a prison cell or not. See you around! (Gives creepy-Laica-Pilin-smile that’s not as creepy as he thinks.)