|Chapter Five: Notables Among the Unnoticed|
Although a life long supporter of honest living, Elgin earned his notoriety by being a thief. When a sidhe lord “found” the Dreamstone of Madoc high up in the Appalachians sometime in the twelfth century, it started a chain reaction of deception and warfare between the local nunnehi and the European Kithain. Unwilling to see the Nunnehi stripped of their powers, Elgin spirited away his lord’s most prized possession. Elgin’s single act of thievery may have prevented an all out war between the Dreaming’s children. Legends tell that the stoic boggan still lives in a magical valley created to hide himself and the Dreamstone away from banality and prying eyes. Elgin has become one of the most sought after Lost Ones in the world, in that it is believed that the Dreamstone that he still hides might be used to open a path to Arcadia. So far there has been no success. (For more about Elgin and the Dreamstone of Madoc see Fool’s Luck: the Way of the Commoner.)
Cynthia created a name for herself and her freehold, the Silver Griffin, during the Accordance War. The night of the moon landing, it was raining in Ithaca, New York. Young Cynthia took shelter in an abandoned tenement building downtown. When the Resurgence began, the building sprang to life with the glamour of a newly awakened freehold. Not even aware of the return of the Shining Host, Cynthia wasted no time in bringing the area commoners to the new hold. By the time the sidhe did arrive there, the Silver Griffin (named for its first chimera and subsequent guardian) was teeming with commoners who had made it a home for themselves. Throughout the Accordance War, the Silver Griffin was a major refuge for the commoner forces, and even a few sidhe found respite there under Cynthia’s enforced cease-fire. After the war, Cynthia opened a mundane bar and dance club on the bottom two floors of the building, while the top three remain the most active commoner-held freehold in all of upstate New York. While most of the guests and residents come for the ambient glamour and good times, the Silver Griffin has never lost its reputation as a place of hospitality and charity for any changeling in need.
This infamous member of the Sneakers may very well be the greatest thief in all of Concordia, or at least the greatest pick-pocket and cat burglar. Wanted for crimes of thievery in nearly every kingdom in Concordia, Frankie has become well versed in the fine art of staying one step ahead of the noble authorities. Her legend has grown among Kithain, especially boggans, to that of a legendary thief in the company of Robin Hood and Billy the Kid whose fantastic exploits could make for dime novel material. In reality, she’s just a common thief with some nimble fingers and well-positioned friends in the Sneakers. (For more information on the Sneakers see Fool’s Luck: the Way of the Commoner.)
The domovoi known as Chelovek was only a young boy when his parents emigrated from Russia. His mother and father opened up a small grocery store in one of the seedier neighborhoods in Chicago and they lived poorly, but happily, until the young Russian boy lost both his parents just after his tenth birthday. Chelovek’s Chrysalis occurred the day he saw his father beaten by mobsters for refusing to pay their extortion fees. With the family unable to afford proper medical care, Chelovek’s father died of a punctured lung shortly after the beating. Apparently unable to cope with a dead husband and a boy who seemed to be going crazy, Chelovek’s mother stepped in front of an elevated train, leaving the confused young domovoi an orphan. During the next few years, Chelovek went in and out of orphanages, and even into a mental institution, where he was found by a boggan in the Order of Michelina. Chelovek has never forgotten the kindness of the order, but their ways were not for him.
While still a youth, he became involved with the Russian mob in Chicago. Now at only 30 years old, this grump is one of the heads of the Russian mob and works tirelessly to protect the interests of Russian businesses in Chicago. While he works to prevent extortion or rackets that specifically target children, he is no softy. Chelovek is frequently referred to as “the brand” in Chicago’s underworld for his penchant of using a hot poker during interrogations or punishments.
Without a doubt, Gwilym is the most influential boggan in Cymru. Not only is he the political head and master of ceremony for the province of Gwynedd, but his council is also eagerly sought by nearly every prince and duke in Cymru. Although getting quite old and not of noble lineage, Gwilym is popular enough that many would support him if he chose to take the throne of Gwynedd and make a bid to be high king of Cymru. Gwilym would never do such a thing, however; even if he had that sort of ambition, the old grump takes his position of “holding down the fort” until the appearance of a high king very seriously. Ever the optimist, the aging seneschal still actively seeks for a high king and hopes to see success in his lifetime. (For more about Gwilym, Gwynedd, and Cymru see Isle of the Mighty.)
Belinda was already well known as one of the greatest potters in the Kingdom of the Burning Sun and had an international reputation among mortals and Kithain for her black-earth pots. The locals mostly knew her as the pottery lady, and the biggest source of gossip and tall-tales in three counties. They used to call her Belinda the Barker for the short yipping laughs she made when telling stories.
That changed during the aftermath of the nunnehi raids where King Videll made peace with the natives and took the name Greyhawk. When the Kithain in Tucson were attacked they all fled via trod to Caer Blacksalt. Belinda, however, refused to budge from her pottery shop and was there molding a pot when a troupe of nunnehi braves broke in and threatened to kill her. The story says that without hesitation, she formally invited the braves into her shop and gave the bewildered warriors glasses of cold water and a gift of some freshly glazed pots and vases. One of the warriors raised his spear to kill the defenseless boggan, but the war-leader stayed his hand lest they anger the spirits for killing a defenseless woman who had offered them hospitality and freely given them gifts. He ordered his warriors to sit, and he began talking, trading gossip and pottery techniques with the fearless boggan.
They were still there talking when King Videll arrived with his knights. The event, known as the Bloodless Battle, was instrumental to the peace that Chief Greyhawk forged with the nunnehi, and Belinda the Barker was forevermore known as Belinda the Brave.
Quote: Now listen up blockheads: that quarterback is too damned chicken to try and run the ball, and he only passes to his buddies, numbers 13, 9, & 21. If you pin down those three, he’ll hesitate long enough to give us a chance to blitz him. Now go!
Background: Your father was an auto-mechanic and real sports nut. His greatest hope was that you, his only child, would grow up to be a great athlete. Even though you never grew taller then five feet and tended to be a bit on the pudgy side, he let you fall behind in your studies so long as you played some sports and knew how to fix a carburetor. In high school, you tried out for the football team, but the only position you could get was “waterboy”. Still, you showed up for practice every day and helped out the team however you could. Before long, you found that you had a knack for figuring out the other teams’ strategies. But your world changed the day when the star quarterback was injured; you were the first one on the field, immediately trying to help your wounded teammate. As you removed his helmet you noticed a small set of horns and suddenly his whole skin tone looked blue; what surprised you the most though was that nobody else seemed to notice this. You helped the QB limp off the field and later in the locker room he said that he was really something called a troll and that you were obviously a boggan. It took some doing, but eventually he convinced you of your heritage. When his sprained ankle healed, he took you to meet the duke who ruled over the fae in your area.
A lot of time has passed since then, and you love football as much as ever. You got a job teaching the metal shop class in your own former high school and you also coach the football team. You’ve never had much patience for court politics, but you get together with some other boggans every Sunday to discuss cars, teaching, sports, or just to hang out.
Concept: You loving working with the kids at the high school, whether it be in the classroom or on the practice field. You focus a surprising amount of your energy helping out some of the more troubled students that come through the school. Many of your students manage to move on to lucrative careers in sports, mechanics, or metal works, and you take great pride in that.
Roleplaying Hints: You take the role of the gruff and callous mentor, but you’ll move heaven and earth to help out those under your care. You also find as much glamour in a simple well-done piece of work as in any museum piece; subsequently you frequently find yourself as something of a defender of the common-man among the high-fallutin’ fae.
Equipment: Whistle, clipboard, and toolkit.
Download the Coach character sheet
Quote: The answers for worksheets 12 and 13, an essay on the trading guilds of the Hapsburgs, and the answer key to the final for honors chemistry…Of course I have them. What do you have for me?
Background: From a very young age, you never really got along very well with the other kids. They always seemed so…immature. It didn’t take long for you to discover that you preferred reading books or tooling around with computers to playing silly games with the other children. Unsurprisingly, you were a frequent target for bullies and hecklers; until one day when things went too far.
On your way home from school one day a group of older boys knocked you down and grabbed your school books away from you. They kicked you and laughed as you tried to stop them from ripping the pages out of your books. As you looked up at them with teary eyes you noticed that the leader of the bullies suddenly had ugly grey skin and a wide mouth filled with vicious teeth. Just before they finally left, the leader leaned down to where you were lying and whispered in your ear, “Welcome to the real world.”
The next day when you saw the bully with strange teeth (that nobody else seemed to notice) you surprised him during lunch by walking right up to him and saying that you had a proposition for him. Later, behind the gym, you offered to do his homework for the rest of the semester if he clued you in on this “real world”. The young redcap agreed and before long you picked up on your real position in school.
You remained the straight-A teacher’s pet in the classroom, but in the halls and cafeteria you wheeled and dealed with your classmates. Homework, notes, essays, test answers, tutoring- with your normal study habits and increasing control of your boggan abilities, you could provide it all. Whether lunch money, comic books or protection, it was amazing what you could get from them. And you did. Using your natural talents to pick out which kids were most in need of your services, you would give them what they needed and then milk them for all they were worth. You also learned that a good reputation with the faculty can get you access to anywhere in the school building and that you’re never blamed if something goes missing. You’ll be going into middle school next year, and things are only looking up.
Concept: You are the darling and precocious child that all of the adults make a fuss over. Your parents are sure you have a bright future ahead of you. At school, though, you reign like a don, bestowing favors on those that can meet your price.
Role Playing Hints: You are a conniving and shrewd manipulator with your own interests at heart. You enjoy your new found position and intend to stay there.
Download the Student Entrepeneur character sheet
Quote: Hey there! I was just passing through and noticed that you seem to be in a spot of trouble. Anything I can do to help?
Background: Ever since you were very young, your father would read you bedtime stories about legendary knights and adventurers. Your favorite of these tales were those of errant knights- noble warriors who set off into the wilds, fought evil, and saved innocents. With a head full of chivalric notions, you convinced your father to let you take fencing lessons. The fencing lessons were great. You reveled in them, but somehow you felt that it wasn’t enough. You learned how to wrestle, and how to hunt. You told yourself that this was in preparation for something, although you never really knew what it was preparation for.
After high school you thought about becoming a writer, but your father convinced you that you needed to do some more living before you could be a successful author. He bought you a heavy-duty backpack and plane ticket to Europe and saw you off to the airport.
While waiting in the airport, you saw a CNN report about an earthquake in the Yucatan. You felt something strange come over you, like being bathed in ice water. With a steely resolution and a sense of purpose, you walked up to the ticket counter and exchanged your one-way ticket to Paris for a one-way to Mexico City.
It was while helping with earthquake relief in Mexico that you discovered that you were a boggan, and were introduced to fae society. You were eventually offered a position in Duke Topaz’s court, but you respectfully declined. You weren’t done being a knight errant yet. You made your farewells, hitchhiked to the border, and started backpacking across the U.S. You’ve done hurricane relief in Florida, tornados in Nebraska, and floods all over the place. You travel where you know you will be needed, usually lending a hand here or there along the way.
Concept: You are a strong and versatile fighter, although you only use your skills to defend the weak. Even then, you only fight after all other avenues have been exhausted. You’ll go anywhere and help solve any problem, but you’ll be on the road again as soon as your work is done.
Roleplaying Hints: Although you encounter all manner of danger and misery on your travels, you maintain a joyful outlook on life. You are a carefree soul who blithely wanders through the worst in life with unflagging optimism and a smile. You are unabashedly truthful and kind to everyone you meet.
Equipment: Traveling equipment, survival gear, chimerical short sword, chimerical pistol, and dog-eared copy of Le Morte d’Arthur.
Download the Crusader character sheet
Quote: Did you know that the Duchess’s gown needed mending yesterday? The whole front of the bodice had been ripped off, and the beads were flying everywhere. She didn’t say what happened, mind you, but I know what cologne Sir Lebel wears. Of course with the Duke out of town...
Background: Your father and your grandmother were professional tailors, and from the time you could walk, you spent most of your time around scissors and fabric scraps. They tried to teach you their trade, but you would have none of it. You spent your teenage years telling everyone that you wanted to be a fire fighter or a computer programmer- anything but take up the family business. However, when you were in your twenties, you took up theatre as a hobby. You couldn’t understand why you ought to pay someone else to make your costumes for you. I mean, they couldn’t be that hard to make, could they?
For the first time since you were a child, you went back to your family’s workshop and began to cut and piece cloth. Caught up in the moment, you were amazed when you emerged an hour later with a completed costume and an entirely different perspective on the world. Your family was delighted when, an unhappy semester later, you decided to quit pursuing your Engineering degree and come home to work with them.
While your family’s clients had included the rich and high society before, you carefully managed to attract a whole new set: the Shining Host. It was no surprise to anyone that you were good at what you did (blood will tell, after all), but you seemed to have a double helping of talent- and no one was sure how you managed to complete contracts so quickly. Two years after you quit school, you were asked to be the Court Tailor of a highly placed and well-respected sidhe lord.
Concept: You’re not sure how you feel about sidhe rule, but the sidhe you know seem to be nice enough, for the most part. You love your job- not only are you paid well, but you are in a prime position to get the best and newest gossip about the nobles- it’s amazing how often they seem to forget that you’re in the room. You’re usually discreet, so they’ve had no cause to complain about you- but it never hurts to have someone keeping tabs...
Roleplaying Hints: You’re friendly and helpful, but a little quiet. The nobles ignore you much of the time, and you almost encourage that. Around friends, you’re much more talkative and outgoing. You love your work, and take a great deal of pride in delivering just what the client wants.
Equipment: tape measure, pin cushion, sharp scissors, chalk
Download the Royal Tailor character sheet
Quote: No my lord, I haven’t seen that awful thief. If I do see or hear anything though, I’ll be sure alert the Red Branch immediately.
Background: You were born the eldest of five children. Your parents both worked whatever jobs they could find, and they relied on you to take care of your younger siblings, because they couldn’t afford child care. When they were both killed in a car crash, you were 21, and it was easy for you to get custody of your siblings- it wasn’t like anyone else wanted them.
You spent the next ten years being both mother and father to your brothers and sisters. It was hard, but you kept them mostly out of trouble, and entirely out of jail. The summer your youngest sister moved out, you were 32, and you were alone for the first time in your life. Not just alone, but childless. Although you never had any children of your own, you had been acting as a surrogate parent for over 25 years. Looking for a new purpose in your life, you started regularly volunteering at a soup kitchen.
One night, you saw a poor Hispanic druggie get dragged out of the shelter by the police and beaten in the street. Witnessing the violent event finally triggered your chrysalis and another boggan who worked at the kitchen introduced you to fae society.
At first, you were dazzled by the Shining Host- you could scarcely believe that you belonged to this world of faery princes and princesses. You quickly became a member of good standing within the Seelie court; you were even given a small freehold by the duke after your saining. But then you discovered that the duke had recently seized the freehold from some unseelie commoners who wouldn’t swear oaths of fealty to him. Of your own volition you sought out the hold’s former occupants and heard their side of the story. What you discovered was a group of poor childlings and wilders who had been unable to stand up for themselves against the might of the seelie court. Unable to leave these kids to forget themselves or starve to death on the city streets you secretly brought them back into your freehold.
Now you use your position within the seelie court to spy on the nobility and your freehold as a secret haven for the outlaws of fae society.
Concept: You spent all your life looking after others, and you know how to hide people from the law. You devote yourself whole-heartedly to your charges, but you’re careful not to reveal your game to the local gentry.
Role Playing Hints: You don’t act the mother to the commoners in your charge, but more like a protective older sibling. Keep your ears open amongst the nobles, but keep playing the role of helpful little boggan while around the sidhe.
Download the Protector of Rogues character sheet
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