IKRPG Character Crunch #2: Glum

I enjoyed making Rook for Character Crunch #1, so now you get to endure my fumbling with another IKRPG character! Muhahaha!  Ain’t I malevolent?

This time around I’ve got Templecon on my mind. I’ve scored a seat in the Friday IKRPG session of “Dude, Where’s My Warjack?” (and Lost pal Kev Bryant’s in the Thursday session!), in which all the participants will be playing Gobbers. The powers that be, whomever they may be, will be providing pre-generated characters, but they’ve also given us the option of making our own, though of course it has to be a Gobber. To make it more complicated, we’re not making starting characters – we’re at 30XP, which means I’ve got some decisions to make.

When you’re born a gobber, it’s almost like life has kicked you in the jubblies from day one. You’re a third class citizen in most communities, your size makes you a target and makes it harder for you to fight back, and just about every human out there treats you like a child. At least, that was Glum’s perspective. He’d been born to loving parents, but from a very young age was surly, aggressive. It was almost as if he took his being a gobber as a personal insult from the universe. He tried to be  a dutiful child, but his temper kept getting in the way. Fights seemed to break out wherever he might be, and as much as his parents tried to explain it away, he was almost always in the thick of it.

The thing is, that’s the only place he was happy. Oh, he could feign cheer for the sake of it, but the only time he really felt as if he was winning one over on the curse of his own existence was when he was swinging thickly corded arms (for a gobber, anyway) toward some other poor unfortunate gobber. 

He left home as soon as he was able and made his way to Carre Dova where he found himself in a little gambling trouble with a small-time local thug, Morgan Slythe. When two of Slythe’s goons turned up in the alley while Glum was relieving himself, he discovered that being of such a small stature had its advantages. It was his first real fight against human opponents,  and try as they might they found themselves unable to grapple the wily Glum as he ducked and weaved, batting aside their clumsy strikes until he could make a break for the alley entrance… where three more goons were waiting.

What should have been a sound thrashing never occurred. Slythe had also been watching, and he made Glum an offer. Work for him by fighting in an underground league until such time as his debt was paid. Glum didn’t see that he had much of a choice, and while he lost his first few bouts, the novelty of having a gobber in the ring drew in the punters. The bookies placed heavily odds against him until his fourth fight. Glum had always been short-tempered, tough little mongrel, but there was something about the man across the ring from him that flicked a switch in his head.

Glum would not be able to recall the human’s name if asked later, but the moment was seared into his memory. He was still angry, he could feel it, but there was a clarity that pierced the usual red haze. Glum concentrated on his foe to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else mattered. Not the baying crowd, not the screaming bookies. Glum moved in and… saw the oncoming strike, and slid under it. A foot lashed out, but Glum wasn’t there. Instead, he was behind his foe, and swung a blow directly to the side of the man’s knee. It crunched in a satisfying manner and down went the man. A steel-shot kick to the side of the head, and he stopped screaming. Glum was victorious.

Glum stayed with the league for some time. Through observation he learned more about the Slythe’s operation, and after each fight he learned a little more from Slythe’s in-house medic not only about how to tend to his own injuries, but also where to strike an opponent for more significant results. 

Glum wasn’t particularly unhappy in his role as novelty pit fighter, but one fight ended that. He hadn’t known it at the time, but he had caught the eye of Alloysius Bourque, a racketeer who had significantly more clout than Slythe. Glum’s opponent was a plant from Bourque’s crew. Something of an exhibition match had been arranged, but no-one had told Glum that the rules were any different. Bourque’s bruiser disavowed Glum of the notion with the first swing. Glum’s head was ringing as he struggled to get off the floor, and he barely dodged the next attack, which would have been a crippling blow. His opponent had produced a short metal bar and was wielding it with much implied menace.

To his credit Glum didn’t panic, but he knew the rules had changed and that if he wanted to survive he had to change with them. He shook his head to clear it, and then went to town, starting with a dirty shot, straight to his foe’s unmentionables. The bar clattered  to the floor as his opponent doubled over. Glum picked it up, and struck. And struck. And struck. Repeated blows to the back of the man’s skull. A bloody pulp before him, Glum suddenly realized that the crowd had gone silent. For someone to die in the pit by accident was one thing. This was the murder of a goon working for a rival crime boss. 

His handler dragged him from the pit in a panicked state, not sure how the dust was going to settle, and the first chance he got, Glum bolted. He knew he had to get out of Carre Dova, he had to vanish, before Bourque’s people found him. 

A week of scurrying through shadows, and Glum found himself in the wretched metropolis that was Five Fingers. He didn’t know the local syndicates at all, who was working for whom, which bosses had friends in Carre Dova that could have put the word out, so when he stumbled through a doorway in an effort to get out of sight of some street thugs, he had no idea that he’s just applied for a job.

Mortimer was an old Rhulic fellow, leather apron and magnifying goggles, surrounded by beakers and alembics and mortars and pestle. He was an alchemist on the verge of retiring, and until he got to the point where he could no longer comb his own beard, he was in need of an assistant. Oddity that he was, Mortimer was no fool. He could tell Glum was on the run from something and in need of somewhere to lay low. The deal was struck. Glum would take on the role of Apprentice Alchemist, helping Mortimer and perhaps learning a few tricks of the trade, while Mortimer would provide Glum with food, shelter, and above all, a place to hide. The sense of legitimacy that came with having an actual career besides brawling was an unexpected bonus for Glum.

Time passed, and Glum learned the basics of alchemy while he waited for the heat to die down. Mortimer’s temper paralleled Glum’s own, but Glum feared what waited for him should he break cover. After three years, he had learned enough to run the storefront on Mortimer’s behalf while the old dwarf slept more and more, until the day when Mortimer no longer woke. It was a blow to Glum, who had become fond of the crotchety old fart. The blow was softened when he learned that Mortimer had left him the storefront and its contents in his will.

Glum had no interest in managing in the storefront without Mortimer. It didn’t feel right without the dwarf calling the shots, and some of the clientele felt the same way, taking their business elsewhere once Glum was the sole proprietor. Besides, he told himself, this isn’t the life he was born to live. He was a fighter. He felt that the heat from Carre Dova had probably died down enough by now, though the idea of being alone out there was still a little disconcerting. He went to the pub to drink… er … think about it.

The flier on the wall beside the door caught his eye. It was from a local mercenary chapter, they were looking for new recruits to fill some specific roles. At the top of the list was Alchemist.

Glum is a Mighty Duelist/Alchemist. The Duelist side has manifested from years of picking fights with his fellow gobbers, followed by pit fighting. The Alchemy, well, that was more of a way of hiding out for awhile at first, and eventually became his ticket to gaining some form of legitimacy as he signed on with the mercenary company. While he knows enough to leverage the Alchemist role, he really has no interest in pursuing it beyond its ability to keep him employed.

PHY 5 Spd 6 Str 4
AGI 5 Prw 5 Poi 4
INT 3 Arc 0 Per 4

Hand Weapon (2), Pistol (1), Thrown Weapon (2)
General Skills (1), Gambling (2), Intimidation (1), Jumping (1), Alchemy (2), Medicine (2), Streetwise (2), Law (1), Forgery (1)
Deft, Parry, Riposte, Grenadier, Poison Resistance, Revitalize, Precision Strike, Tough, Acrobatics, Vendetta

Alchemist’s Leather, Gas Mask, Traveling Alchemist’s Kit, Grenadier’s Bandolier, Five Alchemical Grenades, 1325 GC of additional equipment