A few sils from a sea captain and a purse of geld from a pompous merchant; all in all, her day had been fairly profitable. Of course, her marks had not a clue of their contribution to her growing stash or ‘retirement fund’ as she called it (1). Faringda was good. She was very good. Posing as a poor halfling beggar in a human sea town, she hid in plain sight as she picked pockets and clipped purses (2). She blended in with the other beggars and gutter rats in Meren Beach such that no one noticed her presence or her movements. Occasionally she discreetly and anonymously masterminded larger ventures, under the name Fornia, but always refrained from direct involvement. It was safer to let others take the risks while she collected her sizable cut of the ‘proceeds’.
All except for that one job … She would always remember the Dwarkenshield Tiara in precise detail. Its bright gold circlet and thirteen delicate arcs, each clutching a perfect, gnome shaped emerald and its solitary high point supporting a beautiful, glittering, multi-faceted rainbow diamond were a wondrous sight no one would ever forget; especially if they nearly died attempting to steal it!
Faringda, as a vagrant youth, had made a name for herself as a thief by ‘procuring’ assorted goods, works of art, famous weapons and the like from their original owners and delivering them to new owners – all for a price. She always delivered what was commissioned and never left a trace of her involvement. All except for that damned tiara!
The ‘Tiara Incident’, as she, not so fondly, referred of it, brought back many terrifying memories. She had carefully studied every detail of the tiara; the building where it was secured, its current owner, his family and even his children. She drank with the guards entrusted with its safety and memorized their schedules, arms and abilities. She even spent a few intimate nights with the guard captain to confirm several of the finer points. She used one of her many contacts in a far distant city to construct a pair of metal climbing rope ascenders specifically to her design. They would allow her to quickly ascend a light weight silk rope without cutting her hands, and, because the rope was so thin, anyone following her would slice their hands and drop to the floor. Her plan was complete. She thoroughly reviewed every detail and practiced every action unto perfection. Finally, Faringda was ready; more ready than for any prior job.
On her chosen night, as luck would have it, a thunderstorm broke out with bright lightning, crashing thunder and a downpour of rain so thick you could hardly see in front of you. But mere bad weather would not stop her. She was ready for that. What she was not ready for, was its current owner having a drink and sharing the tiara’s story with a strange hooded traveler at the Wayside Inn (3). The traveler was a secret emissary of the high king, arriving two days ahead of schedule, sent to verify the value of the tiara and escort it to the king, where it would become a wedding gift for his bride-to-be (4). More unexpectedly, the hooded one insisted on seeing it immediately, which required walking a short distance in the dark, pouring rain.
As Faringda silently entered the secure storage house through a carefully cut hole near the peak in its roof, the thunder and rain shielded her from noticing the approach of those two. Inside the building, her feet having just touched the floor, she reached for the beautiful tiara – and suddenly the door opened and IN they came! Immediately the hooded one drew his deadly curved sword and flew toward her faster than she had ever seen a person move! Aborting her attempt on the tiara she screeched; “Aieeee”, grabbed the rope ascenders and climbed for her life (5). Thankfully, for her, the rope ascenders functioned as planned and she spun around, swiftly rising toward the roof. The hooded one’s sword only sliced a circle around her gut rather than slicing her in half! Emerging outside, she fled on the rooftops and hid until morning.
The wound was ugly and almost circled her body just below her breasts. It was a clean cut and did not pierce her internal organs. LUCK had saved her life! Very carefully, painfully, she stitched the wound and hid in her never before used, emergency hideaway for five full days. She had never been so frightened in her life. The hooded one was FAST. He didn’t take time to think. He just attacked with deadly precision. She prayed that she would never meet him again!
Some five years later, again in Meren Beach, while posing as a beggar (really, she was picking her next mark) on the main road through the center of town, Faringda heard a minstrel’s lute and baritone voice. Unexpectedly, Faringda felt the mystic pull of his enchanted tune. Without reason, she knew she had to hear more. She had to respond to his call. When she entered the Inn of Sweet Bread the following morning, she instantly hid in terror. HE was there. The same hooded one who nearly killed her was sitting near the fire, his back against the wall. Thankfully, she was not seen. Faringda circled around the back of the Inn, snuck in thru the workers entrance and hid inside the kitchen, close enough to hear but not be seen. She listening to the bard’s every word. Then, terrified and most unwillingly, she ….
To continue Faringda’s story, please read “The Last Tale of T’Lar” by RJ Borton
- Venturers of Airth ® Class: Specialist Thief
- Venturers of Airth ® Species: Halfling
- Venturers of Airth® Class: Specialist Monk
- Venturers of Airth ® Specialist Class Ability: Hand-to-Hand Combat
- Venturers of Airth ® Species Ability: Climbing
by RJ Borton, 9/28/2014 last updated 02/04/2017
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