I apprenticed at an early age to Nermiroz (half-orc level 5) in jewelry making and gem cutting. He was a harsh master, I can still feel some of the beatings. Half-orcs can be such beasts. Did I mention I was a slave? Suppose I deserve it, my parents did always tell me to stay on the Owstellan island. Couldn’t help it, especially after they passed. What was to keep me? I just liked to hop around, and the islands always looked so inviting. Anyway, I don't know if I will ever really trust another half-orc, or anyone else from that rat’s nest of a city, Maburh. Why do those denizens have to get so angry at the slightest thing. I must admit he was very skilled and in the end he taught me well, but I still feel a slight tingle when I remember the day they told me he was dead.
He may have been expensive but that assassin was true to his word, I was never even a suspect and it was ruled an accident. I paid him almost all the earnings I made at my little table in the open air market in the year since I finished my apprenticeship. People always underestimate the goblins. I think the mother of pearl carnations with the jade stalks I created for the funeral were too good for that orc. After the funeral I worked another 18 months at my little table until I had enough to sneak out Maburh and back to the capital, Owstela, and set up a proper shop.
I have to trade with Dwarves often to get materials for my crafts, and I was not about to pay the high prices in the market for something I could go get from the Dwarves myself. It was a long journey on foot back and forth for these trades, so I learned to ride and got a very well trained mule from Pece to carry me. The mule made these excursions almost a joy and Toughy, as I have taken to calling my mule, has saved me on several occasions. He has fought off animals I thought would likely be the end of me.
One time he seemed to sense it long before we got close. There were South Pawalan brigands that had set an ambush across the road. No amount of coaxing on my part would get him to stay on the road, he took his time meandering through the brush well clear of the road. Half way through this trail blazing the brigands must have heard me cursing Toughy for tearing my good travel coat on some thorny tree. I could hear them yelling at us and trying to get to us through some brambles. By the time we got back to the road they were well behind us. I learned to trust Toughy that day. If he is stubborn about taking a different path, we do it. On the way back through that area a week later I noticed the blood stains in the dirt of the road. Toughy must have smelled the fresh blood on the wind, that is the only thing I can think of to make sense of it.
I was buying some tools from a friend of mine, a skilled smith named Salben, and he suggested I might make better coin from the Dwarves if I learned their language. It sounded plausible to me and so I set about finding a tutor. Learning the Dwarven language took a while and it was expensive; Dwarves don't work cheap; especially not dwarven exiles. Oh god that was miserable, do those guys ever smile? He had the audacity to raise the rates halfway through, he said "if you are not going to stop setting those devious traps you are going to have to pay me extra or I will quit the tutoring sessions".
Traps!? How insulting, they were never dangerous, all in good fun, just little jokes. I had to do something to lighten the mood, those brooding Dwarves are insufferable if you have to spend more than an hour at a time with them.
In the end it was worth it. Those Dwarves love gold more than gems, so trading gold got me their raw uncut stones. It is pretty lucrative if you can persuade them to get their god awful price down. Those stubborn Dwarves, I get that they know they’re in short supply up in these parts; but I swear they are trying to insult with their first offer.
In one of these deals the Dwarf threw in a small brass orb covered in strange runes. I still talked him down intending to pawn the worthless looking bauble at the next opportunity.
I can’t bring myself to part with it, I carry it as some kind of good luck charm I guess. Besides, it reminds me of that night, I think there was some swimming in a large vat of strong drink and those two comely young female dwarves I woke up with, their hair so red I thought it would catch fire. What a night, I just get flashes of memory but you know I sure woke up happy. I guess Dwarves can be fun as long as there is plenty of strong drink!
I have been enjoying a great side job. I have been vouching for people who want to travel to Owstela capital in exchange for their gold. Don't get me wrong, I don't do it for just anyone, my word has to count for something or my recommendations will no longer be honored. You have to take into consideration this though, if a person can afford a large enough sum they are likely to have at least some idea of how to behave among their betters. I do a little investigation just to be sure you know, would not want to lose a source of income on a poor decision.
I had to leave my beloved capital in search of materials to make my great work. I must show the guild that I am the best they have. To do this I will need to source the best and most rare materials and craft a piece like no other. I think I will have to get it enchanted as well, nothing less than an artifact of great power, and dazzling design will do. So I closed up my little shop and told the guild I was traveling to source the materials for this work. I paid up my dues for the next 3 years, much of my savings, and set on my way with Toughy and the gold I got for selling my shop.
These materials are so rare and coveted by many. So rare that some would display the raw material on a shelf as if it is some trophy. These materials in my skilled hands could be so much more! Why do they balk at selling these lumps of potential treasure, museum, smuseum, a waste I say . If I can't get it fairly, if the owners are unwilling to sell at any price, I am willing to take it!
I am no ruffian, no brute, the only way I can think of to get these items from those that will not sell is through trickery and thievery. I loath to associate with those scoundrels who are the bane of honest merchants everywhere but what else can I do.
I will be the master of the jeweler’s guild someday, I guarantee it! Even if I have to put some of my honor and morals aside. . . for now.
I have tried hiring some of these so called rogues to get a couple of the items and have been met with nothing but failure. If you want something done right you have to do it yourself, besides, it could be fun.
I traveled long and hard under an assumed name to the South Pawalan city of Cucor in order to join a thieves guild and get training. Everyone now knows me as Thistle, kind of a nickname that Dwarven language tutor gave me because he thought my jokes were annoying, “like trying to walk through a field of sharp prickly thistles” he said. Whatever, the name seems to serve me well and since he was the only one to call me that it should be safe.
After a year of groveling and running errands with the thieves guild they have named me a rogue. I am sure I will need to hone my skills in some adventuring before I can go after some of the rarest of materials; South Pawala is utterly barren and the people of these parts seem so wretched and petty.
Still, the experience has not been wholly unpleasant. I met some interesting folk, some even joined me in setting up some complex jokes on our friends. My skills in jewelry making and gem cutting have served me well; lockpicking and pickpocketing needs a delicate touch. My precise steady hands, ability to work by touch and my sharp eyes help immensely. I really enjoy the slight of hand, I have employed it in some of my more entertaining jokes.