Forgotten Realms 1372

Before the Flame

I don’t remember much of my childhood. Amn isn’t a great place for orphans. You hear it’s a mean city, and you hear right, but it’s a different kind of mean. I’d call it “sophisticated” but what does that mean in a city so full of corruption? Not that there wasn’t a place to be carved out by those willing to dirty their hands. I’m living proof of that, as were my brothers. Not brothers by blood, but by circumstance. When we worked together, we ate. When we cooperated, we managed to find places to keep out of the cold. And woe be to you if you wandered across our path. We left countless numbers of dandies in the streets and alleys, slowly bleeding out, relieved of their coin and jewelry. I’d like to say that there was a silenced dignity among us, that we had some remorse for the things we did, the things that we had to do to survive. That might make it sound better than it is. But the truth is, I enjoyed it. The terror in their eyes. The scent of fear. I felt a fierce glee when we collectively beat those rich snobs into unconsciousness. Maybe it’s my orcish blood. I knew on some level that they weren’t actually responsible for my upbringing, for the nights I went hungry, but they had and I had not. That was enough to give me the fire. That was all that mattered. They had no compassion, and nor did I. We didn’t have any delusions about our lot in life. The path I walked is a short one. The rotating cast of figures with black sacks over their faces hanging from the Silvermoor Bridge was a typical end for those of us forgotten by polite society. So what changed? Karash Stonesoul



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