Another day in prison.
Also known as Wroat House for the Correction of Wayward Youth. Daily beatings, religious instruction, and work – laundry, mostly. Keeping the togas of the good folk of Wroat clean, with the aid of various noxious alchemical compounds, elbow grease, and pissing into the vats. A small gesture of defiance, something of a rite of passage.
Korgul bore it better than most. A lad with a bit of orc in his blood grows up quickly, and doesn’t meekly join the end of the queue at mealtime. He’d broken a nose and a couple of fingers the first day, and had had no trouble since except for the occasional newbie.
Better than living on the street. Kicked out of home by dear old mum six months ago, with a “Can’t afford to feed you anymore”. Served the old whore right for being careless with a half-orc client a few years ago. Can’t afford to feed you, and can’t sell your bum to nice gentlemen looking for a bit of rough. The first and second one that had tried got themselves sliced up. After than, mum lost patience. Korgul understood: man has to earn his keep. Mary and Jane – sorry: “Sugar” and “Velvet” – were still back at home, earning theirs. Not a trace of Orc there.
Still. If he was not cut out to be a rent boy, he wasn’t much of a cracksman, either. He’d tried his hand at burglary, but it was the shoplifting that put him in here. He had been spotted, and it all turned a little tasty. The less said, the better. Prison was not bad: regular food, and peace and quiet if you kept your head down. Its all a matter of knowing when to fight, and when to shut the fuck up.
Mr Jackson. Time to shut the fuck up.
“Ahh! Korgul lad! And how are things going for you today?”
Shit. Jackson had been watching him, he knew. You don’t antagonise the screws, but if smiley was going to try to bum him, there’s be hell to pay.
“Wonderful! Wonderful to hear it! And you will be leaving us in?”
“Two weeks, sir.”
“Amazing! Amazing! You know, most of the fellows with your background who come in here for shoplifting, assault, and public affray don’t usually manage to serve out their term, but your rehabilitation has been completely without incident. A model inmate! Outstanding!”
Smiley was needling him, trying to get a reaction. He knew, and he knew that Smiley knew that he knew. He hadn’t been asked a question, so kept silent.
“Well, Korgul? To what do you credit that?”
A fair question. What would he credit it to? He settled for, “Not stupid, sir.”, which seemed to amuse Smiley no end.
“Indeed, indeed. Not stupid – a rarity around these parts. You know Korgul, you’re a big lad, and have your head screwed on right”, (“here it comes”, he thought), “have you considered a career in the army? Or the watch?”
Well! That was unexpected. Taken by surprise, Korgul blurted out without thinking: “I might be a orc, sir, but I ain’t a facking pig.”
Smiley surprised him again. His smile broadened, and his voice dropped into cant. “Well ain’t you a likely cove? Now, I’ll tell yer this once, so you listen. You want a job when yer out, head to the Sailors Arms and find the barman with the dabber tattooed on his neck. Tell ‘im “Old Fast Fingers” had a job for yer.” He smile fell away as he leaned in closer, “and if yer don’t want a job, you stay away from our fences. Try knocking one over again, and we’ll fackin gut yer.”
Smiley winked and walked off. Korgul stood for a moment or two with his mouth hanging open. Then straightened up.
It was best offer he’d had in, well – ever.
Korgul has a decent Wis (12), which is what makes him “Not stupid” in the sense that matters when you are in prison. He enjoys a fight (“thirst for battle” feat), but is not a beserker, does not have a short fuse. He’s – not a nice person. A young criminal. My characters have been getting darker, I notice. Baharash was Lawful Good – and he was, definitely – but Matt said once that he had a “mean streak”, and I kind of have to agree. He totally did.
I intend to give Korgul a special war cry, which I may have opportunity to unveil when we play. I’d like to go rhyming slang, but I only know one or two terms. Also, it’s more appropriate for a sneaky type rogue, which Korgul isn’t.
I’m inspired by Viz magazine, especially the “Cockney Wanker” character
“Wanker! Wanker! Your bruvver!”
“Wot about im?”
“‘Es been Morgan Dabbed in the Hale and Pace!”
“Ow is ‘e?”
“‘E’s, ‘E’s Brown Bread, Wanker.”
But I don’t know that I can pull it off. Oh well 🙂