Pangolin the Peacock
Richie's PC - Tiefling Rogue
Pangolin just opened his first orphanage and feels a little smug. If one looks closely, they can see a small smile appear on his usually cold, uncaring face. One of his defining mantras has always been repay kindness and respect with tenfold charity and repay ill intent with cruelty 10 times what was given. He calls it the Law of 10. Today was one of the rare days that he is able to give back to the some of the nice people of scurvy town by creating this orphanage to give the kids with no homes a place to stay so that they do not grow up like him. And it serves as an economic tool for the citizens, less theft and more economic recovery. After all scurvy town is the slums. Who else is gonna help us. Not the Sea Lord, the Council or that damnable Commissioner Williams.
While sitting at one of the kitchen benches with a cheap bottle of wine, Pangoling starts to think about his crappy life and how he ended up becoming the man that he his….
He starts to get a little moody because he has always been alone until recently. He had no mother, nor a father and was forced to grow up by himself without anyone to depend on. He would smile at some of the people here because they would catch him digging through the trash and would offer some bread to help him out. These were the people that he admired. The ones he wished were his family.
Hell, even his name is fake. Pangolin, that was some type of vermin that ate trash and Peacock, the kids would make fun of his skin and eyes. They said that he looked like a peacock, like he was some kind of freak. So out of hatred and spite he took those names for himself to show them that they could not abuse him. He became Pangolin the Peacock. However, he knew that by standing up for himself, for not lowering his head he would invite trouble. The gang of scurvy town soon took notice of him and his inability to back down from trouble.
The Cutthroats tried to recruit him, but he refused. Why give up your freedom, work hard only to hand over everything to somebody else? They tried over and over to force him to join. And because he wouldn’t they would beat him every time he refused. They didn’t want to kill him, he was such an untapped resource, if they could only break him. However, he did eventually enter into a beneficial arrangement with them. He got a “license” from them to work the turf of scurvy town. He had to give 50% of his profits but this also allowed him to get some education, some cultivation skills on survival. He also got a place to sleep and some food when they had it.
Pangolin stayed there for almost 10 years, and he truly learned to hate himself. He saw how petty and cruel people could be. Not just the savagery of youth but evilness to the core. He saw 5-7 year old girls forced into prostitution, kidnapping for ransom, the selling of drugs to those who knew no better. He even participated in beating people for the money owed them, dispose of corpses of those who wronged the Cutthroats, he became desensitized to the world. However, the small kindness that he was able to receive from complete strangers allowed him to persevere. His code had been formed in those years. He would repay kindness with kindness and cruelty with cruelty. He knew that evil would always be around, but why not become evil to hunt evil. Pangolin saw for himself a wish, a dream to be the only crime syndicate in Freeport. He would not tolerate the crimes of anger, of violence, only victimless crimes would be tolerated. And those who stood in my way will perish and be an example of those who wrong those who do not deserve it.
The sins of the flesh could be found in the brothels, the sins of addiction could be found in a lounge, gambling houses could be created where bets are put up front so that no high inflation loans and the consequential broken bones would be had. Not everything would be perfect but it could be tried and hoped for. At least he could stabilize the system and control it. He knew it was a false dream, but it was all that he had.
Pangolin set himself to learn as much as he could about the underground. He learned how to fight, how to steal, how to con people, how to forge documents. (Rogue class, background skills Deception, Persuasion, Slight of hand, and Forgery tool kit proficiency) This was his life and he now had a goal and a reason for living. He also started to make contacts, those who could help him. He would stay at some of the brothels to learn of how to run a brothel and the sins of flesh. He would need to recruit girls to make his own brothels, he would be able to use the girls to learn secrets from their clients and put thoughts into their heads as well.
Soon, Pangolin felt it was time to leave his Cutthroat associates and strike it out on his own. I was down at the old Cutthroat haunt “the Dead Pelican” looking to slowly gather my own crew. However, on this fateful evening this dumb, burly kid finds his way into my gambling table. I mean the heavens must have been blessing me. This kid’s money was as good as mine. But I got a chance to talk to him and see that he was truly down on his luck. He could have been me if I took a different path and I felt sorry for him. I paid his tab and gave him his coins back. Paying it forward like the old timers did for me when I was hungry. However, some of the cutthroats come in and had some beef with Tubo. Apparently, Tubo had a bounty on his head from his old ship’s captain. What can I say, something in me was screaming to help him and so I did.
Tubo can fight!!!! but the odds where against us, he took down a couple and I did the same and then we fled back out into the streets. We laid low for a few days and I provided for Tubo. Something felt right about this and I knew I had to have him in my crew. I told him about a shipwreck that I knew about and how we could make it into our base of operations. Soon the crew became a family and their isn’t much I wouldn’t do for any of them.
After some time the new Commissioner Williams started to clean the areas up by removing the gangs. This is a fine idea if the city of Freeport would step in to fill the power vacuum and help with the poor. But once again a posh, self righteous person thinks might makes right and with his evangelical thinking will correct the sins of the city. This only made things worse in Scurvytown and where I soon began my climb up….
Smiling to myself, I kick my feet up on the bench and have another sip of wine.