Gilburt Finius Sterobotum doesn’t actually like money. He likes the variety of forms that it comes in, the different denotations of nations, the unique weight and material that each is made of, all of it excites his senses like a beautiful painting or sunset might inspire in another. That’s not to say that Gilburt doesn’t appreciate the thing that each really represents: a favor that can be granted by anyone who wants a favor of the same kind. He knows where the gold is made, who has made it for the last few hundred years, and aspires to work with them. But his talent is not in minting money, but in the mastery of the numbers they represent, in keeping a vast network of numbers and their relations in check. Trained at a young age when he showed a knack, Gilburt was fortunate to study with a dwarf from under the Dark Lands named Kaz Chetulmach who had been a tutor to some of the subterranean Princes and Princesses in those cursed lands. He had retired in the Northern Realms but couldn’t turn away a precocious mind like Gilburt’s.
With Kaz’s tutoring and his own natural talent Gilburt at a young age he helped his parents, Blessibell Brandiby and Roudolfo Puck, mind their repair shop. Mastery of the numbers allowed them to plan carefully and earned them a pretty penny which elevated them all to nobility. They were able to buy a small manor and plot in the wilds on the coast of the Northern Sea, their own status was substantial but the once poor Sterobotum family ignores the local caste and instead manages the docks outside of Restaff. Their repair and docking services are scattered along the coast, which means they have a small hold on the trade to this western coast, this brings them the notice of the small noble pool of Redstaff who came to him to put pressure on the family and left as clients. With Gilburt’s help a number of nobles are still noble today in the face of oppressive raids, unexpected shortcomings and just plain bad luck. What Gilburt doesn’t enjoy, however, is that he has become a victim of his own success.
Once he began to work with people of great wealth he came to meet the Underworld Boss and his many underlings. His options are terrible, he has no desire to work with them, but due to the vast reach of the guild he couldn’t hope to turn in everyone and escape with his life, or better to escape with his family’s lives. He now cooks the books for a great number of Thieves’ Guild members and their success throughout the region can be attributed to his intervention. In return for his compliance and skill the guild gives Gilbert everything else he could want, short of letting him leave the region. Although the work is not ideal Gilbert does find himself comfortable most of the time, only his conscience weighs on him and settles on his brow like a crown of lead. With the seedy underbelly of the kingdom hiding their misdeeds behind his skill he often attends taverns, drinking heavily in the evenings.
Zarcutus Kasapor was born to the half fairy mother, called Misty Breeze, and his human father Nikorius Kasapor. Zarcutus’s father was a local member of the Fighter’s Guild who was hired to fight a demon on the loose in the Redstaff area. Though victorious, Nikorius was killed in the fight, after which Misty Breeze abandoned Zarcutus into the apprenticeship of a barkeep. The apprenticeship was rocky at first as time after time his customers would receive the incorrect drink no matter how carefully he tried to pay attention to his task. He was fired from his first and second job before the serving wench Arissa Doelene who had taken a liking to the young man spotted the unintentional magic at work and paid to send him to the Wizard’s Academy in hopes that he could learn to control it.
Zarcutus was welcomed with open arms by an excited student body and staff. Transmutation is a powerful branch of magic and produced wild results that most pupils needed to train to make manifest for years. His unconscious effort made them drool, but the scope of his ability was limited to changing one liquid to another and only after intense practice was he able to manifest the liquors of his choosing. He left in disgrace and returned to Arissa in shame. In the guise of a pity-drink she took him to a tavern and brought him a rockbottom ale, which he deftly turned into a king’s ale to better drown his sorrows. After enough drinks the lad was feeling much better about himself and at her behest began changing drink after drink. The two of them drew a crowd and with each drink changed he turned one doubter into a believer, with each conversion the cheers swelled Zarcutus’ pride.
When the barkeep discovered what was happening, notably why all his paying customers were no longer purchasing the high quality drinks, he dragged the two into the back stockroom to discuss the newfound talent. Not one to complain about cracking open a new case of each of his cheapest, the barkeep quickly made a much wiser decision. Rather than punishing the two of them for the impertinence he hired Zarcutus and built the young man up. He found his place in the bar and found a generously paying job that brought him fame, attention, and virtually everything he could want. While his affections come and go his recent love of his talent has seen him practice into the morning, changing drinks over and over again. His skill with drinks is masterful and ever desiring to be more he has been experimenting unsuccessfully with foodstuffs. His only success was in changing turkey gravy into chicken gravy but his recent experience with the wizards of the Academy and the encouragement of Arissa has seen an end to his self defeating nature.
Tomnin Alcoast is the son of the peasant woman Julie Alcoast, and open-secret bastard of the Alderman. He was a stable hand for the first few years, working with his mother on her odd jobs until his shenanigans would lead him into trouble. Every job that came to them would inevitably be ruined by his horseplay. Rather than struggle against his natural habits to force his conformance to their position she collected scraps of colorful cloth from her sewing jobs and fashioned them into a party outfit for her son to parade around in. He became apprentice to the jester Hardwick Thistlebound but found that learning some of the tricks from the halfling were impossible due to his ever increasing size.
Instead of being discouraged Tomnin sought to focus on his best skill, juggling. With the help of Hardwick the two of them put on a number of shows where Tomnin juggled glasses, chairs, and eventually Hardwick himself. The crowds at any tavern wanted more, however, and remained unimpressed until Tomnin began throwing knives. His was an elite skill and he enjoyed the attention that a little purposeful mishap only to have him recover at the last moment would garner. Now wherever he performs at a tavern he draws a crowd, not to cheer for him but rather to try to cause him to slip up which he embraces beautifully. His skill is such that he allows people to try to throw objects at him, which he ends up juggling, and once he caught the first set of daggers blindfolded the crowd began to demand it.
Although he has yet to hurt himself the patrons can become enthused and dangerous in their participation, so the barkeeps and other entertainers help out by way ofinterference whenever necessary. Julie would never forgive them if something ever happened to him, which he uses to his advantage as often as someone will allow him. In his act he often consumes the alcohol of those he entertains right in front of them, they willingly toss him the full glasses or coins or even trinkets from their travels for him to juggle and often they will end up in his pocket or in the many little hiding places in the rafters. Sure, there have been a few complaints but Tomnin is defended by the town, secreted out back doors or tunnels and sometimes even holes in the walls. It’s a dangerous line to walk but Tomnin has the skill set and the love of a good mother to prop him up until he becomes a full and proper man.
Alderman Tarcy Meenwellow is simply known as Alderman throughout the village of Redstaff. He oversees the greater community functions and acts as judge to many issues of dispute among his fellow villagers. His will is iron and the people under his purview know to call on him if there is no way of reconciling the matter otherwise. The Meenwellow family is large and one of the oldest in the region, having settled here as one of the first families, and originally owning a large portion of one of the most successful mines. The family sold it before he was born, and now the family only has history to prop up the decay of their otherwise stately farmhouse. Tarcy was taught the history of the village, of the people who live there, and is a firm hand in matters of state or business. He also corresponds with a number of nobles who will join him in his estate or visit throughout the region, coming from even as far away as the castle itself in the capital city of Orynn. Once there was a great fortune but a series of less than careful relatives left his estate in poor repair by the time he was able to inherit it. Not to be one to live in squalor, he began to make many of the repairs himself, earning back some of the respect that his family once commanded.
Because of the great cost of repairs and the gaping wound where the Meenwillow hoard once stood Tarcy became a tightfisted man, sparing no coins for beggars, granting no boons, and leaving no mercy. As such his duties are light, no one willingly turns to his judgment or seeks out his council except when necessary, so many of his days are spent sipping brandy in a local tavern. All these things he learned from his father, a drunkard who was quick to anger and self-indulgent to the point of negligence. Although Tarcy’s pride demands a certain level of decorum he does not deny himself the pleasures that killed his father and so has become a connoisseur of the finer food and drinks that pass through his village. This small amusement keeps him happy, and a happy Alderman means he’s less likely to begin making assertions about the people around him, so many people go out of their way to spoil him into placation. This has been the manner that most in the village take to handle his moods, and also the reason why he is still alone even in his old age. Rumors abound about illegitimate children, under the table bribes, back ally deals, and cold blooded murder. While he doesn’t look like a man of great strength, he is a man of great influence in this dusty, sprawling little village known as Redstaff, and that power does most of the work for him.
The Meenwillow family was never particularly likeable, but Tarcy was always the least favorite of the family and the Villagers both. His sour attitude and his haughty, hawk-like nature lends poorly to winning others’ trust. Yet despite this he was otherwise seen as a child of true grit. He would grow under the sparse attentions of his father and blatant disinterest of his mother and was more often than not spending his time with servants who filled him with stories of the family and their long hand in establishing a sense of self in the village. They had always connected the people of Redstaff , bringing in many families to work at the mines, granting them homes which their descendants today farmed or lived on. Without the Meenwillows much of the village would have been lost to the surrounding wilderness. Tarcy took this to heart, and not as if the village were his toy, but his sacred charge. As such, every aspect – even the festivals and holidays – are to be treated with a proper attitude which he has since enforced. Though hard as the ragged bones which now support him, the softest place in his heart is for his village home of Redstaff.