Tommon, Son of Durnham

Athkatla was reknowned for being the City of Coin - a place one might make a thousand coins in one day if they play their cards right. Athkatla was rumoured to have extensive roadways made of solid gold. This was untrue, of course, and anyone stupid enough to believe it deserved to have their coin taken, at least according to the slum's various gangs.

In one such gang, the motherless boy of an old smith was being raised to rob, steal, and kill. His name was Tommon. Tommon wasn't a particularly smart boy. He knew his letters, taught by his father to keep track of sales, and he knew his numbers, taught by Hangran to forge ledgers and create "clean books", a set of ledgers for more criminal deals. In these virtues, perhaps, Tommon was quite a smart boy. His writing was clean and even, and math seemed to be his forte. However, beyond this, he only knew one thing; his lifestyle was wrong. He did not enjoy stealing or robbing, and killing felt more a necessity to his own survival. He wanted more from life.

Hangran Gravehack did not want Tommon to be anything more than a copper kid with a knack for numbers. Hangran was the leader of the Shiv Sticks (a terrible name, if memorable) and the oldest son of Farrek Gravehack, a small-time banker and loanshark who served the lower class and regularly utilized his son's minions as "collectors" to harass and attack those who refused or could not pay their debts.

One day, Tommon sat in his father's shop. The Shiv Sticks did not have anything planned for that afternoon and Tommon, after completing his daily books, was given the rest of the day off. The boy, no older than twelve years old, had learned some of his father's trade - enough to pick it up later, as he chose to.

Durnham the smith was hardly accomplished. Few people ever came to him for anything more than a new knife or a set of horseshoes, and times were getting tough. The old man hadn't ever been kind to Tommon. A resentment for his mother's death at birth and the knowledge of Tommon's activities combined, he had little love to give to his own child, let alone his own work.

Even still, this would never justify the events of that night.

Tommon heard a crash coming from the shop below his own home. As he stumbled down the stairs, hoping his father had only dropped a new iron pot on the floor, his blood ran cold. Stood over a struggling old man was Hangran Gravehack. He had his foot planted against Durnham's neck, and he stared at the new arrival with a wicked grin and a blazing hot rod of iron in his hand.

"Yer father's debts 'ave come up on 'im pretty quick. Eh, Tommy," spat the large man.
"P-please, jus'... let 'im go, I beg of ye'! He'll pay - I'll pay, I swear it! I'll work for ye' for th' rest of my life, Han, please!" Tommon wailed, tears running from his eyes like a fountain made for the platinum nobles. It was no good.

Hangran lifted his foot from Durnham's throat, but the gasping breaths begging for air meant so little as they were cut short by a gush of blood and steam. The rod had been driven into the smith's neck, and it ended his life summarily. The rest of the gang began pillaging the small shop to make up for the losses in debt created by Tommon's father, and Han drew the iron back up from the corpse of Durnham to toss it in Tommon's direction. The young boy cried and cried, but even the tears would not bring Durnham back from the City of Judgement.

For years thereafter, Tommon helped the Shiv Sticks grow into a considerable force. He hated Hangran, and reveled in his capture and execution at the hands of the city guard, who were tipped off by "A Vengeful and Concerned Citizen" earlier that tenday. The Shiv Sticks knew they could not let this go unpunished. They began foolishly planning a heist against a city-backed bank who was threatening Farrek Gravehack's work.

The heist was a failure. It was not due to the combined idiocy of the new heads of the Shiv Sticks, nor was it because of a backfire - it was because one anonymous individual within the gang had turned himself in to the city guard and relayed the plan to them. They were granted forgiveness and freedom to leave Athkatla, at the expense of every other person who had been involved in Shiv Stick dealings.

That individual began making his way east, and disappeared almost completely from society until years later.

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