Thieves are an understood byproduct of success in any honest habitation but Murkin Tradewind has become something of a notorious one in the village of Redstaff. Known foremost for his truly terrible skill at his chosen profession, Murkin, while awful, usually manages to knick little things such as wallets and purses. It’s ill-fated luck that his ambition far outstrips his talent. Frequently he aims for the higher marks in town, the Alderman, the nobles, and even guards, and frequently he is punished or reprimanded. Yet somehow Murkin always ends up on the streets again. There is plenty to suggest that Redstaff is beset by the selfish and cruel, but Murkin’s continuous freedom in the face of ever increasing severity of charges suggests that the village is home to more than a few ruffians but perhaps a full blown thieves’ guild.
The whole of the village knows he is a part of it, but no one dares to question the young thief about the underworld boss behind it. In Redstaff the thieves aren’t supposed to target the villagers only the adventurers who pass through. Only Murkin pokes around in his own backyard and secretly does so for the ruling echelon of the village. His frequent failures allows the village to play ignorant to the thieves guild, acting as a victim as well when serious headhunters pass through looking to punish. While those headhunters stay in the village their coin fills everyone’s purse, part of a scheme that feeds the village. For this Murkin takes phenomenal abuse and temporary incarceration and the village treats him like a favored, spoiled son. Murkin was not born in Redstaff but claims to have family among the villagers, none claim him today but all continue to welcome him in their own ‘unseeing’ way.
Being the village whipping boy is a lucrative business, not just monetarily in those little unseen ways. Murkin, when not doing an impressively bad job at sleight of hand tricks, is often recovering from wounds or rough treatment following a failure or two in a tavern or pub. Most of the tavern allow him, but only because Murkin discovered that if he spent every coin he palmed in the tavern he palmed it there would be no complaints. Small and wiry but tough and charismatic Murkin also enjoys a fair bit of attention from the rebellious young farm girls who know his bad streak is definitely criminal and distasteful, but also that he will only go so far. After the incident with the noble’s daughter Murkin learned where to draw a line, and he did so without the pinky and ring-finger of his left hand. Rather than lament the loss of his digits the intrepid thief learned that his maimed hand fits into tighter places more stealthily, and now he’s had a rare taste of forbidden fruit and lived to tell the tale.
Arissa Doelene will swear to any who listens that she has a wood nymph as a great grandmother but the only relatives she has lives with her in the village. Her great aunt and great uncle Donna and Jackal Doelene lived an long uneventful life, are quiet, and have become too infirm to live without care. Arissa volunteered to escape the pestering hoard of interested suitors of the valley in favor of the salty and heroic adventurers who passed through Redstaff. Most of her day is spent caring for her great aunt and uncle and once they are secured in their bed she heads to work at a tavern. Arissa is a familiar face everywhere she goes and few look down on her or try to take advantage of her friendly nature. Not that they don’t try, nor are they all poorly received, on the contrary she is always looking for another interesting encounter and seemed to never tire of disappointing uninteresting parties. The intense messages Arissa sends can cause quite a stir but sometimes the unfamiliar patrons can assume that her adventurous nature means an inherent weakness and are then made witness to the most polite verbal and occasionally physical thrashing.
With her powerful positive attitude she endures a barrage of abuse and advances that would crumble the resolve of many as unsavory characters of all manner of ill repute pass through who come just short of openly being monsters in the village proper. Otherwise, in Redstaff, she finds that problems are often transitive, easily or soon gone because this is not a place you come to stay it’s a place that you pass through. The same is true of Arissa as she only awaits the passing of her great aunt and uncle to leave this one as far behind as many others. The love of travel and the new and exciting adventure, the opportunity to meet a special someone, and the chance to leave misunderstanding behind her are all appealing things to her unfettered nature. However as each day passes she feels more at home, more comfortable with Radstaff and if she were to put a finger on any one thing that so turned her from her wanderlust it would be the entertainers of Redstaff who were unique and mesmerizing as only a festival-centric village like this could be.
While Arissa helps many of the youngsters in the village her kind and giving nature ends with her family, them, and her conquests, otherwise the hardened criminals in the taverns she works are shown a hard line and sometimes that cold wind blowing off her shoulder is enough to chill the room entirely. Because of this, and a few jilted lovers, it’s rumored that she is actually a succubus who has taken the face of a Doelene woman to hide her demonic nature. They claim this would explain her penchant for all her travel and avoidance of commitment. But then so would a tragic life, and Arissa never answers truthfully about her family. Donna and Jackal Doelene are the only ones who might have known anything but no one has spoken to them since they became so ill. Healers have been to see them and Arissa’s many pet projects in the youngsters of the village return to her enough money to see that her family is comfortable in their all too slow passing.