The Urchins

Kids and teenagers tend to know the street-level secrets of Fellport, and they tend to get in trouble. The Urchins have been around officially for at least 50 years, and probably much longer. The older Urchins teach the younger about what information to give away, what to charge for, how much to charge, and how to ditch troublesome employers. Many also learn stealth and disguise skills, or at least how to act in different neighborhoods.

Urchins don't have any solid hierarchy, but everyone knows who to talk to when trouble comes knocking. An Urchin in trouble with the law have surprised the Fellport Council on more than one occasion with a high-priced lawyer coming to the youth's defense. Anyone stupid enough to raise hands against an Urchin will find themselves robbed blind. If they continue coming after Urchins, they'll wake up naked outside the city gates, all their worldly possessions permanently lost. Or framed for murder and swinging from Execution Wharf.

Information flows like water in the group, and new slang comes and goes to keep anyone who thinks they know Thieves' Cant on their toes. Information about newcomers and big shipments flows up the hierarchy to be sold to another group in town, usually The Lakeside Six, but Newfair tends to offer better prices for juicy secrets. Sometimes the Urchins decide to make a big score and lay low for a while, like that chest of diamond dust they sold to the Divinity Sanctum for an obscene (but still discounted) price a couple of years back, but it's much safer to let the adult thieves take all the risk and just take a small cut.

Urchins offer themselves as tour guides, asking a few pennies or a silver for directions through the safer sections of town. Some develop specialties in the type of person they work for, and in the type of information they gather and trade. Merchants are popular marks, as they don't tend to stay long and they plan for thieves to take a percentage of what they transport.

Many Urchins forge friendships with other groups in town, hiring themselves out for information gathering, courier services, or other errands. Smart members of the Fellport Watch make sure to have at least one friendly Urchin on the payroll, just for the heads up about any big scores or intra-guild political conflicts coming up. Even the clerics in the Divinity Sanctum hires Urchins to gather supplies or deliver messages. Many Urchins compete to hang around the Sanctum just in case they're needed.

Urchins tend to "graduate" in a few ways. They could convince one of the other thieves' guilds in town to let them join. The Six and the Minders usually take new recruits from the Urchins when they're old enough, but Newfair tends to hire more selectively. They could go straight and find someone to apprentice with. Merchants and craftsmen will take talent where they can find it, and the Watch likes hiring talented locals who know the city inside and out. Or they could find their fortunes elsewhere, hiring onto a ship's crew, guarding a caravan, or becoming adventurers. Whatever path they choose, they start adulthood with a network of associates and friends to help them get ahead.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

No comments:

Post a Comment