#2 Isgrigg Blackhand

| November 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

Isgrigg’s tale takes place in a world in the midst of a magical revolution, where magic is no longer in the hands of the elite mages, but is widespread. Sentient constructs labor in vast arcane factories, and towers climb miles into the sky, their dizzying heights supported by levitation magic. This is the world where you find Sharn, the city of towers. It is a divided city. The uppermost reaches are dizzying displays of glass and crystal, magical airships and floating ballrooms. The lower  one goes, however, the cheaper, the dirtier, and the worse life is.

Isgrigg is a Halfling, a humanoid standing about three feet tall. In the beginning, they were proud warriors, nomads of the plains. They followed the herds of dinosaurs that they hunted. But as magic and progress came along, the race divided. Those who would continue to live the same lives as they always had, and those that would instead turn to the cities, living among the other races.

Isgrigg stands about three feet tall. He has a lean, wiry frame, and is almost always covered in black, clinging soot from his job as a chimney cleaner. His family have been chimney sweeps for generations, their last name being a reference to the family profession. He has red hair naturally, but the soot of the years has built up, staining his hair coal-black. Despite his usual state of filth, he’s almost always smiling. When he’s working for the academy, he wears a full black bodysuit that covers everything below his nose.

Isgrigg, usually, carries nothing more than his sweep-broom and the clothes on his back. However, in his pocket he carries a whistle which he can use to call his companion, Corrax the soot gryph. Soot gryphs are a small species of gryphon, only slightly shorter than Isgrigg at the shoulder. His fore-half is that of a raven, while his rear is that of a panther. Corrax has been partnered with Isgrigg since he came of age.
But, when on his true job, Isgrigg carries a wide array of tools. Lock picks, flasks of acid, a few magical items… All the tools a master thief needs.

Isgrigg is friendly and personable, as well as being surprisingly intelligent for a chimney sweep. He’s got a great many acquaintances among the lower levels of Sharn, though nobody seems to be really close to him. At the academy, he is practical and direct, saying very little.

Isgrigg was born to the Blackhand clan and immediately brought into their secret true profession. The Blackhands are, on the surface, chimney sweeps. Some of the best in the lower city. But the real way the clan makes money is with their second business. The blackhands are master theives. For generations, the blackhands have been stealing priceless relics, works of art, and, of course, the usual gold and jewels. They have become masters of the craft, training each successive generation everything. When they come of age, the blackhands are partnered with soot gryphs, which help them with both of their traditional jobs. The partnering has become traditional, the ceremony of acquiring the egg requires a young blackhand to sneak into an aerie of the gryphs and escape alive with the egg. Isgrigg was the first in several generations to escape the aerie without even being noticed.

Isgrigg was soon making a name for himself. The thievery became at first a game, then an art. Soon, he was performing robberies on only the rarest and most valuable artifacts and prizes. When the Morgrave university came into the possession of the fabled Shell of Deception, Isgrigg couldn’t resist. He went for it, and he messed up. The security forces of the arcane university had him under so many binding and holding spells he couldn’t even sneeze. He cursed himself all night, knowing he and Corrax were going to jail. But, when morning came, the headmistress of the academy came to him and instead of offering him up to the court, they offered him a job. A dangerous job, but one that paid well.

The academy was struggling. It was a young academy. It had neither the vast libraries of it’s competition, nor the long traditions. But they did have an advantage they could press. The academy had a surprisingly large collection of artifacts and magical items, and they intended to make use of that. Within an hour, they had affixed the unlucky thief with a magical compulsion to fulfill his agreement and he was officially the first member of the academy’s ‘Acquisitions Department’ A slightly less-than-legal branch of the college that was in charge of getting new items to add to their collections.

Isgrigg desires the ultimate heist. He has no idea what that would be, but he’s always seeking to pull off riskier and riskier jobs. He loves the danger. His father always told him that pride was a dangerous thing for a thief. The perfect crime will drive a proud thief mad because, for it to remain the perfect crime, nobody can even know it was committed. However, Isgrigg is addicted to the thrill of the dangerous heists.

Isgrigg fears very little, his father’s training made sure of that. However, he does fear being uncovered. If his true identity was uncovered, the Blackhands would be hunted down and the entire family would be thrown in prison.

Isgrigg’s secret is his name. He always goes by a pseudonym at the academy, and he keeps his lives as separate as possible.

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Category: Fantasy

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  1. Hey, I love a good thief character and this guy seems pretty cool. Would love to see him in a story.

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