Pupuhi NimbleStoat

Never trust an Orc, especially when he is holding you by your throat, and wants to kill you.
I never understood why people get so up tight when they “lose” things. Its not like they just can’t find something else, from somewhere or someone else. I was always good at finding things, its almost like they would just fall into my pockets.
This is exactly what had placed me in my current predicament. But lets step back, to how I ended up here.
I had a wonderful childhood, mostly. My family were the purveyors of “Whisltecreek Windup Curiosity’s and Pipe Weed Parlor”. A wonderous shop, filled with all manner of amazing items. Beautiful metal birds, mechanical fish, dogs, Goblins, beasts, small Elven dancers, tiny Draven smiths, amazing miniature dragons, intricate gods, demons and monsters of all shapes. All with moveable parts, mechanical windup devices of wonder.
The pipe weed parlor on the other hand was a different creature. Dark, smoky with plush armchairs and velour curtains, that were never opened. Large cushions lay scattered on the floor around the walls. People, always people, sat or laid talking in mumbled tones. Some playing board games, or cards. Smoke layered the top half of room, bluish and thick. It had stained the walls like a flood mark halfway up. But, it wasn’t the people, smoke or decorations that made me uneasy with the parlor. It was the feel, the energy. The place just felt down, cursed, a dark miasma held sway here. This was the domain of my Mother. A unique Halfling, as they go, not because of her looks, she was pleasant enough. It was her temperament. A permanent melancholy, as if the light of her life burned low. She worked the parlor day and night, seemed to rarely sleep. She was there but not there. It was like having an unhappy shadow for a mother.
My father on the other hand was light, jovial, always ready with a kind word and a laugh. A consummate salesman with a fine mind. It was with my father that I spent my time, it was he that really raised me.
If I used a word to describe myself as a child and now it would be lucky. I have always had a gift, of wrong time right place, or wrong place right time. Falling out of an Torin apple tree, only to land on a passing sheep. Stepping in a puddle and diving out of the way of a galloping horse, only to land face first in the mud, looking up I saw a lost gold ring. But luck is like the wind. She only blows your way when she chooses. Some she favors more than others, and she never choose my mother.
This was my families dark side, and the bane of my mother’s vice. That was gambling. Dice, cards or racing goblins. It didn’t matter as long as there was a wager, and wager she did. The family business had always done well, the same could not be said for mother’s games of chance.
Noticing my father’s change of mood, and our dwindling coffers, I soon decided it was time for me to pull my weight. But what could I do? I had no schooling in a trade, and was loath to carryout manual work. The only appreciate skill I had was luck and daring. So, the decision I made for better or worse, was to indulge in the same vice that had put me in this situation, Gambling!
I quickly appreciated why my mother was so hooked on games of chance. The thrill of not knowing, the exhilaration of a win, devastation of a loss. All extremes of emotion, flooding the mind over taking the senses. It was here in the dens of favor that I was schooled in the ways of luck. The fickle mistress, would come and go. On one of these vexatious nights, after being completely tapped out, and still owing the patron, I met Kaldair Swiftfoot. An ostentatiously dressed halfling, of fine features and strong charisma. As I stood midway from the card table and bar, not knowing what to do. No coin and a 12-gold debt. Kaldair approached,
“It’s a mess or opportunity my boy, which way will you look at it?”
W-what, what do you mean.
Kaldair winked, nodded his chin to the table and then the bar, “You, are at a precipice. Your choices are simple and the risk is beautifully high. You can run from, a thieves’ guild owned, gambling house. Or you could ‘find’ the coin.”
Find, where?
Kaldair smiled, his eyes slowly locking onto a portly Dwarf, with ringed fingers and heavy purse. “Take it, he doesn’t need it, he has more than he could spend or need. Slip the purse and walk to the bar, pay your tab.”
I looked at the fat Dwarf, fat Purse. This is when it struck. The spark ignited within, an urge I had never felt. Heart racing, my mind became razor sharp. Kaldair touched my shoulder, “You got this kid, move fast, smooth, soft.” Walking with purpose toward the bar, I angle myself by the Dwarf, readying myself, sliding my hand toward the purse, eyes still fixed on the bar, fingers finding the purse tie, I gently brush the dwarf and loosen the purse. Slipping it into my hand, passing it to the other. Continuing my stride, I reach the bar to settle my debt and leave a gracious tip. I was elated, pumped, mind racing and blood pounding in my head. It was fantastic, it had nothing to do with the coin, but the joy of discovering the undiscovered, the thrill of the steal, the rush of risk. This was it, this was my delight.
Kaldair and I became inseparable. We spent the nights wandering the streets and taverns ‘finding’ what others were unwilling to lose. All the while Kaldair, schooled me in the art of risk. “Seek excitement and danger wherever your feet take you, for risk-taking leads to life’s greatest rewards. Lust for thrill, not for treasure, for greed obscures the true prize of the experience. At the end of the day, the halfling with the wildest tale is the most honored in the eyes of the Irrepressible Scamp, Brandobaris.” He spoke often about this ‘Brandobaris’. God of trickery and adventure, The Irrepressible Scamp, Master of Stealth.
That was the past and this is now, Kaldair went as he came, unexpectedly, but I carried on becoming a wanderer in Bradobaris’s name, follower of his ideas and dogma. My temples are the taverns, gambling houses, castles, dungeons and forests. Any where there is risk and I can test my luck. Most times the mistress is with me for I am touched by Brandobaris, sometimes she is not. But such is the nature of chance.
Ahhh, and the stories I can tell. Like, now with this Orc in this ally…. but I think I will save that for another time, when you can shout me a drink in exchange for a thrilling yarn.