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Scratch | The Cutthroat Smuggler

on Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:08 pm
Character Name: Scratch

Age: 27

Gender: Female

Race: Human - Castinian

Nationality: Castinis

Place of Residence: Bagrada of the Eight Elders, a merchant city in Maqae. It is the only province in Castinis not ruled by a Vessel. Instead, the Eight Elders/Disciples, each involved with a particular Vessel, oversee Bagrada’s function.

Appearance: Scratch stands taller than most women of the region, matching height with most males in her profession. Her hair, black as pitch, is often pulled up in a top knot, a few thick strands hovering over her forehead. When most hear her name, they search her featureless face for some kind of scar or marking. Most will be disappointed to hear that the ‘scratch’ in question runs down her forearm to the center of her palm. Due to the nature of her work, Scratch does not often expose herself to the sunlight. Most of her work occurs either under cover of night or within the city of Bagrada, where most streets are covered by a thick canopy of cloth covers and tarpaulin. Her complexion is fair compared to most, though it is often covered by a vibrant neck gaiter that she consistently wears. When not working, it is tucked below her chin, but on the job she often uses it to cover a majority of her features below the eyes. She wears a green tunic held together by a thick leather belt. A black hooded cloak flows down her back, held together by a pin that depicts a set of smiling gold teeth. She wears tan slacks that cut off at her calves and a simple set of wrapped sandals protects her feet. Strapped on her hip is a gilded sheath containing a short sword of flawless steel. It’s her pride and joy, a weapon that she rarely uses in fear of damaging the blade. As a result, she has another sheath on the opposite side of her belt. A shorter blade, a hunk of iron that has seen better days, serves as her primary defense in sword fights. In the small of her back is a dirk, a weapon that has been used more often to threaten than to kill. In stealth, having such a blade is essential.

Background: Scratch was made for Bagrada. She was not made, however, for nobility. Born Dalia Hadiyah, the youngest of her mother’s children, she was quickly made aware of her parent’s intentions for her future. Before she even learned to read she was put into classes that sought to teach her how to function in the court. Her parents were quite political, as were her siblings, and they did not want to have an unfortunate weak link tarnish the family name. As a result, she hardly ever saw her parents. They were busy with engagements quite often. Her father, ambitious as he was, was fully engaged with the idea that he would someday replace one of the elders. It was preposterous, of course, and even at a young age Scratch knew this. While her father was not a stupid man, he was a blind one. Ambition overtook his life, leaving no time for his family. Scratch was cared for by a variety of people. Nurses, teachers, babysitters. They were responsible for all the knowledge she possessed, making them far better candidates for parenthood.

It didn’t take long for an idea to grow in her mind. On various excursions they would go through the streets of Bagrada. There was no choice other than to pass through various marketplaces. Though protected by armed guards and given little to no choice on their destination, Scratch was always ecstatic to journey through the streets. It was nothing like the courts, which were comprised entirely of Castinian families. Races of all kinds walked these streets and sold their goods. Her companions would always complained of the racket, but she loved it. They were surrounded by noises while she was surrounded by stories. These people had things to say, interesting tidbits that shed light onto lifestyles that Scratch had never even heard about. She desperately wanted to mingle, if only to listen, in that marketplace for ages. No one would heed her desires, however, instead choosing to quickly travel through these areas so they could make it to their formal gatherings.

The idea was coming to fruition. An escape was being formed in her mind. A very elaborate plan had gone through her mind. It consisted of a variety of disguises, thefts, and a healthy dose of parkour. When she finally found the courage to run at the age of twelve, she was disappointed by how easy it had been. She’d stolen her father’s store and a bundle of clothing from the servants before slipping into the night. Most of the guards were drunk or lacking any kind of awareness that their profession expected. The act was exciting, she admitted, but she was expecting more of a challenge. She had over prepared, thinking that her escape would lead to several alarms and an extended chase through the city. Instead, she had simply walked out of her prison into the freedom of Bagrada’s streets.

When she began her new life, Scratch quickly discovered she would have to provide for herself. People no longer gave her the respect that she had expected as a noble. They would push her aside if she was in the way, curse her if they wanted her to leave. Some even beat her if they suspected she was loitering and driving away important customers. She gained her infamous scar during this time period. When attempting to steal a fruit she was caught by the vendor, a thin man with a wicked dagger. He swiped at her with the blade, giving her a nasty cut. If it had been infected she would have likely died from the wound. For two years she was unemployed, wandering the streets only in search of easy food to steal and nobles with insecure coin purses. It wasn’t until she met the Teeth that her world changed for the better.

The Teeth was a gang of thieves and mercenaries, a family for the impoverished and unfortunate. It wasn’t difficult to find them if you knew how to ask the right questions. Once Scratch discovered their cover, an art gallery of various busts and tapestries, she began to bother them very frequently. They, of course, feigned ignorance at first, but it didn’t take long before they grew tired of her questions and decided to employ her. For years she took simple jobs, mostly stealing from nobility in the streets and selling items to the Teeth’s fence.

When she was eighteen, they began to give her burglary jobs. Breaking and entering was dangerous, as there was no telling how proficient the guards would be, but she happened to be quite good at it. Close calls were far too frequent, but it was never enough to get her to stop. She started to enjoy it. The money was great, but the adrenaline was better. Five years of successful thievery led to her becoming a lieutenant of the Teeth. The job shift wasn’t as exciting for her. It involved a large amount of responsibility, as she was now in charge of a company of pickpockets. Along with that, she assisted in the management of black market trading, making her responsible for a variety of goods being pushed over the border. Many valuable relationships in the underworld were made as a result, increasing her value even further. People started going to her for help, asking for her to point her finger in the right direction. It was a profitable endeavor, but it didn’t last.

Their fame was growing, something the Teeth did not enjoy. It didn’t take long for their various caches to become snuffed out. There were rats in their midst, selling information for immunity. Much of the blame was placed on Scratch’s shoulders. They called her practices in business foolish and driven by greed. Overwhelming support was stacked against her. Scratch lost her position as a lieutenant and fell to the bottom once more. She began to operate as an individual, though she refused to remove their emblem. Scratch had worked to earn the badge and she was keen on giving it up. She continued business without them. Inevitably, there were attempts made on her life. The city she loved was turning against her.
Shortly after she made the decision that she would have to leave, she was approached by a man dressed in attire far too pleasant for the environment. He was a soldier, a man named Alric.

The man was wanted for reasons he did not know (bullshit, Scratch thought). Scratch was ready to tell the man to shove off. Her neck had been out for far too long, there was no way she was going to get involved with a fugitive. When he showed her the money her opinion changed. It was a sum that she could not ignore. It was enough to start a new life somewhere else. Scratch took the offer. One last job, perhaps. Now, on the run with her only friend and a man she had never met, Scratch can only hope that the Fallen keep their words and give them safe passage. Being a criminal herself, however, she knew there had to be a catch. There was always a catch.
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