The Second Generation
The Truth about Jaysen Firefly
The voyaging merchant story has been a very successful cover for me, but my real story isn’t as pretty.
My parents, Wilhelm and Diahna, were simple and honest people. My father owned a traveler supply store, Wilhelm’s Wanderers Wonderstore, in Greystone, a decent sized city in the kingdom of Gondreth but we lived in a small halfling village called Detrouyen. He was moderately successful, but loved his work and his customers. He started my sister and me at the store at a young age, since he wanted us to take over when it was our time. we stocked shelves, swept the floor, recorded inventory, and other basic routine items that left us awfully bored.
Taking after my father, I grew to form good relationships with the customers. I greatly enjoyed meeting people outside of the typical halflings in our small village. Through my time at Wilhelm’s Wanderers Wondershop, I met and spoke with travellers of many different races from all walks of life.
One particularly memorable acquaintance was a half-elven bard named Gibben Birdsong. He was staying in the city to rest up while on his way south in search of an adventuring party to gather stories and songs for his repertoire. He stopped in a few times for various supplies and I got to know him pretty well. He shared with me stories of his wanderings and adventures that captivated me. Gibben spun tales of the brave knights he’s traveled with and the vile creatures they’ve vanquished; of the wondrous treasures and mysterious items he collected. He planted the seed of wonder lust in me that slowly bloomed over the years.
In my 15th year, I approached my father with the idea of venturing out on my own. I decided to spin it as if I would seek out fresh wares for his shop, but he wasn’t buying it. I brought it up a few more times over a couple weeks but he kept insisting I stay home. Eventually our conversations grew more heated and evolved to arguments. It wasn’t long before we grew cold towards each other or fought over little things, all stemmed from my desire to leave under the surface. Inevitably, we had a blow-out fight and I just left to make it on my own.
I had no idea what I was doing.
I started out poorly by stealing traveling gear from my father’s shop. Combined with our fight, the theft left me feeling guilty from the get-go. Then, I headed to the next large city to seek out an adventuring party. These are the people I grew up getting to know, so I got along with them immediately. They were glad to take me along but quickly figured out I was useless in most respects. I had no training as a fighter, no magical ability, and no real skills at all. The only thing I was good for was talking and being everyone’s best friend. More and more, as I bounced around the realm, the only groups I was successful with was bandits and thieves that needed someone to be the front man. Talking only gets you so far, however, and I was quickly caught and thrown into a dungeon for a couple years.
After I turned 17 I was released and decided I’d had enough. I put my pride behind me and slunk my way back to my father’s shop. He grudgingly took me in, but soon hard times fell on Greystone. The lords of Gondreth kept raising taxes and making things harder for the lowborn. Eventually, enough people were forced to leave Greystone or starved to death that my father had to close the shop. My father had no other skills and was too old to learn more. Without work we became more poor, dirty, and hungry. I had to turn to what experience I had with less than legitimate means of income; and, my sister had to use what little she had as well. The only source of income was my sisters prostitution and my thieving and after about six months of that arrangement our family hit rock bottom when my sister was beaten half to death by some sicko who got off on it We didn’t have the money to get her healed, so we were forced to give her to The Little Sisters to take in. Now poorer, my father was unable to pay the high taxes so I had to try bigger jobs just to get us fed but was too inexperienced to pull them off. Eventually the guards showed up on day and took my father, one of the kindest and most honest man I knew, off to the dungeons where he died just a few months later. My mother had been taken by the sickness right around the time we lost the shop so I was on my own.
I bounced around the country a bit. Did the only work I knew how, got caught, and moved on. Eventually I found Darrio, or he found me. I was attempting a job on some jewelers shop. I ate at a nearby pub where I could keep an eye on the place, watching the habits of the shopkeeper, unknowing that I was being watched in return. On the night of the heist, I had managed to sneak in without setting off any of the traps or alarms, only to find this gruff , old looking dwarf sitting in the middle of the shop. “You arn’t as slick as ye think ye are sonny,” he tells me, “just because some old stupid shop owner doesn’t see you peepin’ at his wares er’ry day, don’t mean no one else does either. You coulda got yerself caught like that” he laughed, snapping his fingers. Shocked, I didn’t know what he was going to do and figured he was of the local militia at first but instead of turning me in, he took me in.
Darrio told me to meet him at an inn on the south-east side of the city called the Rested Hoofs Row. It was a hole in the wall for sure, but the fare wasn’t bad. Darrio paid, which I wasn’t expecting, and said he just wanted to get to know me, which I certainly wasn’t expecting. He asked about my past, why I traveled, how I got into stealing, and why. Just before we finished, he let me know he wanted to help me. Not to get me back on track or anything, but to help me be better at what I do. To not get caught, and to pick the right targets.
As we traveled together, Darrio taught me about the real reason to steal and pull of heists. “We need to take what’s took” he would say, always jabbing a finger at whatever lord’s castle was near by. His philosophy was that some of us have gifts, and it was our duty to use them for the betterment of the people. He was a shadow when he needed, silent and hidden. I had a way with people, an ability to sweet talk anyone. Together, and with others, we only stole from those with too much, and always gave some back to commoners. He also helped me use my people skills to my full advantage. He taught me to take on other personas, to lie and charm, to use my personality to get what was needed, and how to hide and sneak when all else failed. He always stressed the importance of a team, of having people watch your back so you can do what’s needed.
Eventually I noticed that there were multiple locations of the Rested Hoofs Row and said so to Darrio one after noon. He gave me a long and very searching look; and asked me three very important questions.
“I’m going to ask ye three very important questions now, sonny, and you better answer me true” He said. Catching the significance, I didn’t question him.
“Of course” was all I replied. He paused again, and when he spoke again, I could sense that these were words he’s spoken before.
“Who is it we steal from?”
“The corrupt and over rich who stockpile gold.”
“What do we do with our bounty?”
“We take enough to live on, and give the rest out to the common folk.”
“Why do we do this?”
“Because it’s our duty as people with talents for this line of work. To better the world around us. You taught me this, Darrio, what’s with the questioning?”
He then stood up and motioned for me to follow. We walk into the kitchens and down to the store room. Through a door and another set of stairs to the root cellar. After feeling along the wall for a moment, Darrio pushes on a spot that suddenly clicks open to reveal a secondary door. Darrio knocked a specific rhythm and the door opens to another staircase.
At the bottom, we came upon a large rooms with a few desks and chairs scattered around; a few with maps and various papers and folk working at them. Many bookcases line the walls and there’s a stone door at the far end. There were eight people in the room, I automatically count on account of my training, and they take no notice of us at first.
“I seek audience with the Prince of Thieves.” Darrio says, to no one in particular. A large, previously unseen man then steps from the shadows.
“Thieves need not a prince, sir.” He says
“Aye, but a prince deserves a thief.” Darrio replies, while tossing a silver coin to the man.
He looks at it, nods, hands it back to Darrio, and walks toward the stone door and proceeds through it. Darrio and I follow. Through the door we enter a short hall with a few doors and other hallways branching off. Through one of the doors, we find ourselves in an office containing a large desk in the middle and a small man behind it. Behind him, are more book cases and a large tapestry containing a map of the country. The man looks up
“State your name and business” he insists
“I am Darrio Ileidr, and this is my apprentice Jaysen Firefly. I wish to have him inducted.”
After a searching look, the small man replies “Aye, so ye do. I am the Prince of Thieves in this district, it’s what we call our guildmasters, so you know. John Briarstone at your service.”
Noticing something amiss, I turned to Darrio “I’m not sure what this is, or what’s going on, but that man is lying and he could be dangerous”
“Nonsense” John says, “I am guildmaster here and will not have my integrity questioned by one not even initiated”
“The integrity of a thieves guild master is laughable at best to begin with, but even so; you’re no guildmaster, you’re a fraud. You look slightly left when you say that but maintain eye contact the rest of the time. You’re lying through your teeth.”
After a tense moment where I almost reach for my daggers, the large man who walked us in here stepped forward.
“Easy, easy, everything is fine. I am the guildmaster here. This is my number two, Togim Beetlebard. You, my astute friend, have passed the first test of initiation to the Boorish Nod”
He then explained the guild and what they do. They’re a group that spans the country side, stationed in various pubs named Rested Hoofs Row. Their factions all share a common purpose and mission statement – To work to achieve the even distribution of wealth and promote the betterment of the greater good. To take from the unjustly rich and give to the common man.
The Boorish Nod
Structure & Governance
Prince of Thieves
Master of Coin
Captain of Secrecy
Normal members (5)
In addition to dues, I contribute by acting as a mole to the merchants guilds. When I set up shop in a new city, I join a local guild, or present myself to a local chapter of one I’ve joined and infiltrate. I then gather all the info I can on the wealthiest merchants. I learn who they are, where they are, their hobbies and traits, weaknesses, security infrastructure, and routines. I relay this back to my guild and allow them to target and distribute the wealth to the less fortunate ones.
Since that day, I’ve travelled across the country fulfilling missions for the Nod and fulfilling my love of travel. One of my missions took me to Broken Town, where I planned on using a couple of lugs for a job. However, it all went south and I was near death when the priest of the group brought me back. Since then, we’ve all worked well together and have become companions. Though I keep my truth secret since both of them are holy men.