Max Silverfoot

Max grew up in Stellavallis, the largest city in the Upper Dales. He always ran some sort of scheme in his youth, relying on gaps in information between his marks and the law in a culture reliant on non-written communication. He requisitioned a chain shirt and a spear from the town guard before his 15th birthday, then disguised himself and sold them back for a finder's fee when the quartermaster's deputy came on duty. He studied what few books he had access to, learning to copy different writing styles in several languages and create passable fake documents.

He became obsessed with learning secrets and with playing the Game of Lies to find them out. He left home at 22 and wandered the world to find what he could find. He uncovered secrets in libraries, and he stole hidden books from wealthy hoarders to learn more. He tripped across several spellbooks along the way, and he taught himself a few spells to help with his quest to obtain secrets he could trade for more secrets. He never tired of the Game of Lies, and he became quite accomplished at spinning a tale to gain someone's trust.

Eventually he found himself in Fellport. He learned that the Ionian Republic treated this coastal city as an occupied territory rather than a lucrative trade hub. Several powerful people in town decided to secede from Ionia, but they needed a way to keep the Ionian legions busy while establishing some sort of new political structure to ensure the continuation of Fellport's independence. Max gathered a team of spies and contacts and went to work, convincing Andalusian privateers to step up the attacks on Ionian ships, leaking scandalous secrets about the commanders of several legions, and finding some interesting gossip to convince the Molten Throne to recognize Fellport as a new sovereign city-state.

Everyone wanted Max to join the leadership team, but nothing bored him more than being a figurehead that people reported to. He would become one of his own marks, a person other people would blackmail with dirty little secrets, and that held no appeal at all. Max declined and remained in the shadows doing what he loved doing best: playing the Game of Lies.

Soon after independence, Max opened Magic Touch Cleaners. The College offered him a large pool of wizards who needed money and could cast prestidigitation cantrips, and the new Fellport Council needed to look their best for a parade of visiting diplomats. It just made sense. And once the word got out that Max could be trusted to thoroughly clean and repair clothing, he started taking diplomats to dinner, intent on earning their business and their trust.

It worked. Max has worked with generations of human diplomats over the past 120 years, trading secrets and acting as a back channel of communication between them. He keeps dirty little secrets about everyone he works with, and he knows everyone in Fellport working in the spy business. Most of the people involved in the push for independence have passed on, and the ones who remain recognize Max's worth as an information resource. He hides in plain sight, a simple businessman who cleans clothes.

He has enough employees and repeat customers to let the business run without him most of the time. He comes by the office before sunup every day, checking on any outstanding jobs, composing secret messages and using mending to hide them in the seams of completed jobs dropped off the previous afternoon. If anyone screws around and doesn't complete a job on time, he fires them immediately and hires someone new after interviewing them the next morning.

He leaves the shop by mid-morning when the day shift hits its groove, wandering the city and have coffee and then lunch with friends who require his services. And then he keeps wandering and takes tea with more friends. By sundown he has dinner plans with even more friends. All the while, he trades secrets with them, giving and taking and learning and putting pieces together and meeting new friends and walking the social high-wire without a net that still gives him such a thrill all these decades later.

Max just turned 153 years old. He still retains some wispy white hairs on the top of his head, carefully maneuvered for maximum coverage, while he keeps the sides and back neatly trimmed. He relies on glasses more than he wants to, and he encourages an air of not quite remembering his current circumstances, with the notable exception of any job for a Magic Touch customer. He comes across as a harmless older gentleman doddering around Fellport after decades running his small shop. He figures he still has at least 50 years of spycraft still in him, and he welcomes the ongoing thrill of his Game of Lies.

Max Silverfoot
Stout Hominae Vitae Arcane Trickster Rogue (Level 12) (He/Him)
(Charlatan Background; Linguist Feat)
Str 8  Dex 18  Con 14  Int 16  Wis 10  Cha 14
Acrobatics +8, Deception* +10, Investigation* +11, Persuasion +6, Sleight of Hand* +12, Stealth* +12

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.

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