- The Ring
The Ring operates outside whatever semblance of the 'law' remains out here. But lawlessness does not exclude civility, and does not need to create chaos. If someone is intent on taking what is not theirs, better to have a professional handle it and avoid unnecessary violence and confusion.
The Ring is contracted by those who seek a solution to the... misallocation of resources. We assign members based on the needs of the job, and we take a small cut. Everyone wins, other than the target of our work.
The Ring operates based on favours. Markers allow us to track those favours, and to ensure no one is taking advantage of, or being taken advantage of, by any other Ring member. They are also how you got here. You'll excuse me if that seemed obvious. At times I must deal with people whose talents are... not intellectual in nature.
Do I hear the clink of markers in your pockets? Claimed from one of your victims, or perhaps from the victim of one of your victims. It is impossible to know how far back that chain could unwind, but now they belong to you, and you seem to be in good health. To the victor, et cetera. It seems you are the one I have patiently waited for. Yes, you will do just fine.
Take a marker in your hand. Speak these words into your mind: The Ring binds us all, and to all within I shall do no harm.
I will see you soon.
What is valuable to you or I may not be valuable to the Boss or Faustus. Where you see a worthless trinket, another may see a precious heirloom, or the final piece in a life-long collection. Contracts allow our clients to hire the Ring to pursue goods that hold no objective value on the client's behalf. Sometimes that value comes from knowing the original owner no longer has it.
The Ring makes few moral judgements on what it is hired to obtain. So long as it is not breathing and it is not liable to put the entire Ring at risk, we will not turn a contract down. And neither should you.
Though Contracts allow the Ring to keep spinning, we are skilled professionals, and skilled professionals wish to test the limits of their skills. The Ring has obtained the layouts of locations known to hold objects of great value. Naturally, these locations are heavily protected and patrolled, and to pull off a job in such a location requires a team.
The Boss is happy to provide blueprints for these highly secure locations and access to the skills and resources needed to strip such a location bare... for a price. Complete contracts, earn markers, and you will be able to utilise those services.
Dominus was a terrible human being, but the Ring owes a great debt to him. Without his overzealous exilings, the Ring would not have a rich pool of talent to draw upon. The Boss himself learned a great deal about the power of anonymity and mythos from Dominus. Lessons he employs today.
- The Boss
I once served a worthy Sekhema. The Boss is no Sekhema. He rules through deception, obfuscation, and manipulation. However, if he agrees to do something, he will do it. That in itself is a form of honour which I can respect.
He expects the same of us. In exchange for a place here, I have agreed to use my skills to enable the travels of this wretched heap of rhoa dung, and that is what I will do. My word is my bond.
Ah, the Boss. The big man. The man of a thousand faces, or no face, depending on who you ask. He's cultivated quite the reputation, hmm?
I fancy myself a connoisseur of the truth, and I have yet to hear a story about the Boss that has the wondrous ring to it that only true stories have. But...
Well, I have certain connections, and those connections have certain connections who have turned up some very striking truths about this mysterious figure.
I'm not about to run my mouth to a thief, but let me tell you, those definitely-not-true stories you keep hearing? The truth is even stranger.
Interesting man. Very interesting indeed. Hairless as the day he came into this world. No need for a man of my trade, you see. Yet, bald as he may be, he knows the value of a good barber.
No one here knows much about the Boss's past, except maybe Kurai, and she won't tell you much, not even for a mountain of markers. Loyalty is the most valuable currency, and she and the Boss have a lifetime supply.
I tried to find out what I could. Conflicting tales of a smuggler kingpin, a Theopolan aristocrat, and, strange enough, a retired arena champion. Then Kurai told me to stop sniffing around, else I end up like the last barber. Or maybe she said I'd end up the last barber. Either way, I value my life and my work more than I value gossiping about an old, bald, gladiatorial smuggler.
Heard the Boss got his start as a stable boy in the Grand Arena. Used to feed and care for the chariot horses. That was his first job, and it led to his first ... err, 'job'.
Apparently, someone asked him to slip something into the feed of the Octavius family's finest stallion, greatly favoured to win the race. Paid him a week's worth of his normal wages. Boss figured it was some sort of poison. So he watched the man place a bet, and poisoned that horse as well. Neither died, but neither won, and the Boss, betting his wages on a horse he knew to be fit as a gladiator, took home a killing.
'Course, that was also his last day of gainful employment at the arena. The man stalked those stables for months trying to find him.
I wasn't exactly planning on a life of crime. Yes, most in my profession do end up begging or stealing, but my career was on the up and up, until I was accused of
Pecuniary Lust and exiled.
It just so happens that the Boss, cultural elite that he is, saw me in a few shows. He must have noticed my ability to fully embody any role, to become not just the character, but the person. I'm told he was a practitioner of the performing arts himself, in his youth. Obviously, he has a keen eye for talent.
I'm dying to perform a dialogue with him. Good material is hard to come by 'round here, but I did find a piece by a Bestel floating in the foam. Not particularly engaging, and a frankly unhealthy focus on the female lead's figure in the stage direction, but it's something, at least.
Alas, Kurai maintains the Boss' schedule, and I'm told he is booked up indefinitely. Imagine having lucrative work for months to come! A performer can only dream...
A man of style, the Boss. A thief of course wants to be rich and live a life of luxury, but once you hit a certain point of wealth, I imagine you might be motivated by other things.
Apparently, the Boss was living very comfortably indeed, but felt the need to challenge himself. He entered the First Bank of Theopolis in the middle of the day, entered the vault, and just started... movin' stuff around. Octavius family fortunes into the Maxius deposit box, Avarius riches split across every small safe, each of which he popped open as if there weren't even a lock on 'em. Mixing all the money up like it were caught in the tides. Then he goes and finds the records of deposits and withdrawals, and sets 'em on fire. Walks out like nothing happened.
Well, of course the bank puts the fire out, but the records are gone. So they notify all the big customers, telling them to come in with their copy of the deposit slips... and wouldn't you know it, they're gone too.
No bloody idea how he pulled it off. 'Course, the bank and all the clients will deny it ever happened. Be foolish not to.
The Boss is private to the point of paranoia. I've never visited his home, but I've heard he has some very particular requests of his guests. No boots. No cloaks or coats. No hats. No slacks. No dresses. Undergarments are strongly discouraged. You're given a robe for privacy. It has no sleeves. You're never to enter his kitchen or approach him from behind or from the side. Or above. Absolutely never above. No mention of approaching him from below, but I've also heard he lives underground, so that would be quite a task.