The Mercyside Dunners
Albow was born into the House of Shrieker and is a direct descendant of the noble warrior who earned land and title for his battlefield prowess. The house takes its name from the warrior’s pre-battle jitters, which included profanity, short screams, and frequent bouts of vomit. The house was quite old, and while it was never very large, it was well positioned, with close ties to the royal family. When the royal family was recently wiped out under rather suspicious circumstances, most members of house Shrieker could lay a pretty reasonable claim to the throne. Albow’s parents discovered evidence that house Nyrand, the previous royal family with a slightly better claim to the throne, was responsible for the assassination of the previous king, and attempted a coup.
Albow narrowly escaped death at a young age after this coup failed miserably. Someone from the inside had revealed the attempt, and the plan went awry. Luckily, a privateer vessel was able to smuggle Albow out of the country, though this, too, was leaked, and he ended up abandoning the ship to avoid assassination.
Until the age of 8, he’d had the finest tutors, learned some basic combat, and had never missed a meal. All of this changed rather suddenly, and Albow found himself fleeing his homeland with nothing. He struggled to get by begging, and though he told people who he was, most did not believe him. He performed his first 419 scam (“I am a noble of a neighboring country, and all of my assets have been seized…” accidentally when he was 9 and had to flee the city he was in to escape a foolhardy patron (Markus Albricht, an ex soldier with access to a small force of retirees and their proteges) who sought to re-establish his house with himself as a guardian. Albricht possesses Albow’s noble documentation and signet ring.
After fleeing, city 2, Albow moved on to Havenrook, where he kept a lower profile. He learned to disguise himself and to perform more intricate cons, and also picked up some skill picking pockets and locks. He didn’t always get away clean, but he was generally able to talk himself out of the more dire situations. Eventually, he joined a street gang with some other orphans. They had a good run, but pretty quickly found themselves in over their head.
One day, though, at around 12 years of age, overhearing a conversation about the current noble House of Nyrand, he lost his cool and started correcting misconceptions about the way the house was run. An old priest of the local template of knowledge, overhearing the child, realized that something was up and counter-conned his attempted con with RELIGION. By 13, Albow was an acolyte of a small sect within the temple of knowledge dedicated to current events — this is organized religion spy-craft! He lost touch with his previous street friends for a while — his training was heavily supervised.
He began learning general acolyte responsibilities — and in a temple of knowledge, this alone kept him quite busy, but once lessons were done, a second set of lessons on spy-craft continued. He began by spending time in high end taverns as a child, being generally ignored but picking up useful gossip. He honed his ability to deceive and persuade people and also started intercepting messages. Realizing the power of couriers in the city, he began to develop the ability to forge documents and messages, and started using intercepted messages as a means to open up money making possibilities. This generally entailed ensuring couriers handling monetary transactions were caught up in some sort of trouble and running off with the money end of the deal, but he started to get more elaborate with his schemes.
This propensity was not sanctioned by the temple, and while they may be aware of his actions, Albow believes that they are not. He is currently being blackmailed by the thieves guild, but is attempting to use his connection there to gather even more information about contemporary events, frequently finding ways to take or read documents. He began replacing books from non-reading collectors’ private libraries with blank copies with similar bindings and trading them with libraries in other cities. At some point, he reconnected with his old childhood gang member, Horster, and was saddened to learn that all of his other friends were dead or in jail. He began making sure any spell books he found made their way to Horster before their primary destination, and the two of them pulled some small jobs as time allowed :P
By the age of 18, Albow began establishing an alternate identity, recognizing that one day his propensities may catch up with him. This identity (described in detail below) also aids him in gaining access to fancy manors.
He currently willingly serves as a fence, a caser, and a job arranger for higher end jobs, and has been forced to operate in burglaries. Despite his somewhat loose morals, Albow takes his religion seriously, and his studied alternative belief systems extensively in case infiltrating or pretending to be a member of another religious order is necessary.