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.