8: Forseki Lenoire

Profile

Forseki Lenoire is a 23 year old pulnagá female who stands 5’8″ tall and weighs 140 lbs. She has a forgettable look about her, unless you study her arms and legs, which appear disproportionately shorter than it seems they should be. She keeps her long, dark hair out of her eyes with a leather headband that shadows her already dull eyes, obscuring her gaze. She spent most of her early years in Breen, where she disappointed her family of diplomats by associating with the undesirables of the township and becoming involved in a myriad of criminal activities. She speaks Outer Delonian, often referred to as “scattertongue,” a dialect heavily influenced by Elmecian and often associated with fringe elements of society. Forseki drew further from her family duties and closer to the network of thieves within Breen, which led to her family’s disavowal and ultimately to her imprisonment for a crime she did not commit. Escaping from the Breen cells, she traveled south beyond the stormplains toward Oskul, where she planned to learn more about this strange stone that changed the course of her life.

Background

The noble township of Breen is a beacon of the coastlands, and the pride of South Hinn among many in the Empire. The household of Lenoire has for generations held the honor of serving as diplomats to the high court of the Delonian Kingdom and ultimately to the Supreme Regent herself within the capital. Outside the noble court, the township of Breen is a bustling settlement full of luminaries, merchants, artisans, and free makers who bring wealth and prosperity for the elite of Breen, as well as an elaborate market for criminal activity that caters to procuring those elite resources. The Lenoire have opposed the organized thieves guilds of Breen for generations, working within the court to rid the township of its criminal element.

Forseki was born “Gendalinia Lenoire,” first daughter to Rymissangri Lenoire, heir to the diplomats of Breen Keep. She seemed to want no part of her duty or her place within her family right from the start, often ignoring her social lessons–or at least unwilling to perform pleasantries out of spite. It was as if she reveled in causing her headmaster to curse, and it earned her the nickname “forseki,” which means “little weasel.” If there was anything that she seemed to take seriously and with pride it was that nickname, and by the time she was a young teen she responded to no one unless they called her Forseki. Her younger siblings–brother Tavil and sister Lissandani–had little in common with Forseki, and the more that the eldest deviated from her familial duties, the more the siblings seemed to embrace family obligations.

Much to her family’s disappointment, Forseki’s cynicism and thievery from a young age brought her a great deal of trouble and scandal to her mother’s house. She would leave Breen Keep and climb around the web of thieves in the lower quarter near the reef docks, learning to pick pockets and weasel her way into places she did not belong. Many times over the course of her childhood she was captured by the local guard, accused of stealing, breaking into homes, and smuggling disapproved goods. By the time Forseki was eighteen years old, she had already seen the inside of the prison keep a dozen times. When she was arrested for pilfering gold from a visiting Chancellor, Rymissangri was fed up. Instead of paying for Forseki’s release, she publicly disavowed her daughter, stripping her of all rights, titles, and lands. Forseki remained in prison for the remainder of the year until a thief named Moraen posted her release. Moraen asked Forseki to work with him along the docks as a procurer. She would get free room and board for blending in with the dock workers and helping herself to some of the valuables coming and going in the freight and luggage of ships.

Forseki was extremely good at her job, and Moraen, along with his crew Josen, Rad, and Pernicki, taught Forseki more effective ways of evading and strong arming the local authority. It was the first time she felt connected to something real, a group of people making their own sort of rules amid the anonymous chaos that the civilized usually inherit from the nobility. It was the first time in her life she felt like she had a real family. Moraen and crew worked the docks for five years and amassed a respectable fortune, riches that bought them a stronger voice and privilege in Breen.

One afternoon, Forseki was feeling especially antagonistic and decided to head north toward the noble keep in Breen, her childhood home. She intended simply to slip past the gate guard and sneak into the keep where she would sit and eat a meal, maybe brush a few horses to see if anyone would notice her. While the guard were inspecting an incoming supply wagon, Forseki, snuck past the stable house and wandered down to the moat below the bridge gate. She waded into the water, but nearly made a splash of sound when she tripped over something in the water. She reached beneath the surface to grab an ornate lock box, the kind used to store precious gems for nobles. Had this fallen in, or been thrown here deliberately? She needed to see inside.

Within moments she bypassed the lock and opened the lid. Green algae and water poured from the box to reveal a beautiful, eight-point stone that hummed and glowed gently as it glistened in the sunlight. At first she thought she had found a rare and priceless gemstone that could be worth a fortune. She began to imagine how Moraen might reward her with an extensive commission for fencing something so priceless. Abandoning her intended shenanigans in the Breen Keep, she snuck back up to the shore with her found treasure. But by the time she made it to the bank and began walking toward the stable house, she felt light headed and nauseated. Forseki became uncomfortably aware of her own heartbeat, the pulse of it thudded in her chest painfully and the world began to swirl around her. Suddenly she realized that the stone she had found moments ago was making her sick and weak; she wondered if she might pass out or worse. She stumbled clumsily into the center of the road, and as she slipped into a sort of delirious state, she walked toward the Keep gate. The guards noticed her approaching and rushed to stop her. One of the recognized her as Gendalinia. The guards carried her through the gate, and once they set her down on a table each of them passed her deadly stone back and forth, discussing its potential worth until they too began to feel ill.

When she awoke she was in somewhat familiar surroundings–the keep’s prison cell. She shouted, demanding to know why she was there, but no one came. An old man, her cell mate, told her that when the guards brought her into the cell she was at death’s door, with terrible welts on her hands. The man explained that he had only seen reactions like that once before, long ago–she had encountered pale stone, the rarest and most dangerous of substances. Luckily she survived, but tragically the three guards who had brought her into the Keep did not. And now, her own family was charging her with the crime of murdering the three men. The kindly old man helped wrap Forseki’s hands, and explained that pale stone was once a great source of power and the cause of an ancient war, but now no one knows its true origins. The man explained that pale stone can shift the power of whole kingdoms; those who can get their hands on pale stone or use those who are connected to it will have wealth and power. Forseki knew the substance was too dangerous for her to handle, but if she could figure out how to manipulate others who could, she might be able to amass a fortune, even depose an entire monarchy. She was more than intrigued.

Moraen and his crew came to visit Forseki while she awaited trial, but sadly he had no recourse to free her. The Lenoire family deemed that her murders were too great a crime to allow her to walk free. Moraen also explained that he could not allow Forseki to continue working on their crew given the severity of the charges, claiming it would be bad for business. Forseki demanded that he put aside her portion of their holdings, but Moraen said that she was likely to be executed after her trial and that the dead do not spend coin. Forseki was furious, but as he left Moraen handed her a small, concealed parchment. When the guards left with her visitors, Forseki read the paper. Moraen had left instructions that he would have a set of tools sent in with her evening meal that she could use to escape. Then if she made it to the docks, he had arranged secret passage for her to Oskul, where she could pursue her own interests. And so, Forseki left behind her life in Breen to pursue adventure in the Empire.

008-Forseki

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Fractalform is the gaming handle of Bret Woods--ethnomediologist, author, and lead developer of Augur's Lore RPGs. Bret is Thing 1 at http://descrypt-studios.com.

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