"There are only three people in life you can never fool--pawnbrokers, whores, and your mother." - Father Chains, The Lies of Locke Lamora
There is little that is remarkable about Gamhuin's origin. He was the younger of two brothers born into an very poor and ordinary dwarven family of the Delzimmer Clan near the Great Rift. His father was a trader who was rarely at home and his mother would make repairs to cloth and leathers for the community for pennies at a time. His brother would eventually become his father's apprentice and likewise became a rarity at home. When Gamhuin was a young boy, they left on a journey to trade in Eartheart and were never heard from again. The following year, Gamhuin's mother grew ill and died. Gamhuin made do as best he could on his own. He had learned some of his mothers skill with needle and thread, so he continued with her work in order to earn a minimum living for himself. But that wasn't good enough. He wanted more. He wanted what others had, people who were no better than him. Gamhuin began to cheat and steal his neighbors and life improved. But it was still not enough. He envied the merchants their fine clothes, good food and warm houses. Why should they have these things? They too were no better than he was. He deserved it. So he began to hatch new schemes and invent new stories for himself in order to make their gain become his own. And if done well, they would never be the wiser that they had been robbed.
But one of his marks was the wiser. A traveling pawnbroker named Vonbela saw right through his con, though he was not aware that he had been made. It wasn't until Gamhuin had returned to his home after a day spent setting Vonbela up for the taking that two of her goons appeared and invited him to join the pawnbroker for dinner - the invitation may have involved a couple of clubs, a generous number of bruises and a sack over his head that smelled strongly of cat.
Vonbela had seen potential in Gamhuin and had decided that he would be her apprentice, whether he wished it or not. His first lesson was taught through pain. Her master, the god Abbathor, forbids his children from stealing from other dwarves, nor from harming or knowingly interfering with the well being or wealth of another of his children. As Gamhuin had been reaping all of his profits from his fellow dwarves these past few years, he had a great deal to atone for. First he would be beaten for each coin that he had taken from another dwarf. Then she or her thugs would attend him as he approached each and every one of his past marks, confess to his crimes and return what he had taken. To those he could not pay back, he forfeited the home that had belonged to his parents.
When Gamhuin was battered, penniless, homeless and defeated, Vonbela left the village that had always been his home, taking him with her. His crimes unveiled for all to see, no one was sad to see him go. She was to train him up to be a proper thief, one that Abbathor would be proud to call one of his own. He would serve at her side and help her amass great wealth. Gamhuin was far less enthusiastic about her vision, but he couldn't return home at this point and had no other prospects.
Vonbela it turns out was not a pawnbroker, nor was her name Vonbela. That had simply been the face and identity she would wear when doing business in the region around his village. She had many names, many faces, she could change her language, accent and bearing, summon up a new backstory and she was someone new. She trained and fine tuned Gamhuin's skills and soon he was helping her pull off her fantastic cons across the countryside. She taught him of Abbathor, the dwarven god of greed, of his strictly enforced commandments, of the importance of amassed wealth, the power it commanded and of Abbathor's favor to those with the greatest hordes of gold and valuables.
Gamhuin loved gold, it was very lovely, especially in firelight. But he wasn't a dragon. He didn't want to sit on a pile of gold as "Vonbela" seemed content to do. He wanted to surround himself with beautiful things, with fine tapestries, wondrous statues, paintings, beautiful clothes, fragrant incenses and other objects of art and value. Her goals and outlook were far too small. She would never win Abbathor's favor. She was just a pretty face that she used to distract people from her less skillful hands as they snatched away their goods. It was time to leave and make his own way.
Leaving proved problematic, but he did manage to escape her grasp, though it cost him some broken ribs and her two thugs. He may have also accidentally burned down the inn where she was staying in the process - but he DID escape.
He DID also fail to actually come up with a plan to follow his daring egress from the now burning village. North. North sounded good. Far, far north away from the angry villagers with Vonbela at their lead that he could see roaming the fire lit village road.
So north he went, performing various tasks on his way, supplementing his earnings with a little swindling here and an acquired coin purse or two there. He eventually fell in with a group of mercenaries hired to defend a caravan. They worked quite well together, though they were a very odd lot. He actually found them to be rather entertaining and profitable, though they had a tendency not to get much in the way of repeat business.
Gamhuin doesn't generally reveal his ties to Clan Delzimmer. He had been a little known member prior to Vonbela's intervention in his life, and a little known infamous member afterward. He generally identifies himself as Gamhuin of Cimbar to those who know him and as a myriad of false identities to those who do not. He reserved his well established alternate identity of Olben of Waterdeep (below) for more important situations.
Gamhuin is unusually tall for a gold dwarf, standing at four and a half feet in height. He has a bold, noble nose, warm walnut colored skin, long straw colored hair that he meticulously grooms and eyes the color of wet sand. His clothing and equipment is finely detailed and of high quality. He has the bearing of a lord and everything about him is fastidiously tidy and perfectly placed and organized, from the placement of his gear to the way his cloak folds and lays over his shoulders.
Established Alternate Identity (Charlatan Feature)
Name: Olben of Waterdeep
Disguise: Olben is a Waterdavian shield dwarf. Gamhuin becomes him by use of an alchemical pigment lotion to lighten his skin, a fake mole on his cheek and a temporary dye to darken his hair that requires salt water to remove - add a snooty lilt to his voice, fancy clothes, spectacles and a generous fat purse and he's an entirely new dwarf.
Story: Olben is a trade viability investigator from House Talmost, one of Waterdeep's leading clothiers and furriers. He travels to other cities performing reconnaissance on the health and viability of the trade market in the region for the potentiality of future business.
Backup: Olben has all the proper documentation to prove this identity and a series of acquaintances scattered in Waterdeep and Silverymoon who can back it up, as well as one of the Talmost whose favor he had won when he assisted her in seeking vengeance against an unfaithful lover.
Carried Equipment: travel clothes, studded leather, 2x short sword, whip, hand crossbow, scrollcase, coin purse, backpack, bag of ball bearings, 10' string, bell, crowbar, hammer, 10x piton, 2x flask of oil, 2x flask, 5x day-ration, tinderbox, waterskin, 50' rope, common clothes, fine clothes, disguise kit, forgery kit, thieves' tools, smith's tools, weaver's tools, leatherworker's tools
Other Important Individuals
- Vonbela: He doesn't actually know her real name as she's never shared it with him. She is a roaming thief, con-artist and worshiper of Abbathor. She had been Gamhuin's mentor, having plucked him up from his village as a young man and taken him with her on her travels. Gamhuin eventually decided to strike out on his own, but she denied him. In his attempt to escape her grasp, he ended up killing her two paid thugs and burning down a village. But he did manage to make good his escape. His decision to head north was based in no small part on his knowledge that she absolutely loathed cooler climates and always preferred to operate in the south.
Projects, Goals and/or Downtime
- Money, all the money. Gems! I love gems, so pretty, so sparkly. And beautiful art, I want to be surrounded by lovely things. I want to wear exquisite finery that most king's couldn't afford, eat from plates with golden filigree, sleep atop a pile of priceless tapestries and crap into gem encrusted chamber pots. Praise Abbathor!
- Vonbela had a magical bag that could hold countless treasures, regardless of how many she kept shoving into it and it never got heavier than a box of rations. I desire one of these for myself!
- If we seek to continue working together, our little band needs a name. A trademark that will become known, or if necessary, cast aside so that we can adopt a new name to avoid affiliation with our past actions.
Session 1, 10.08.14 - We arrive in Everlund, lose our jobs, get into a tavern brawl (we won), run and hide from guards, have dinner with a rich woman and land a new job. Next morning I buy a donkey named Givemefood, we head into the wilderness to rob a tomb and meet a very disagreeable ettin. He dies and we find silver and gems! Praise Abbathor!
Session 2, 10.22.14 - We dispatch a shrieking ghost outside the structure. Gwald gets a face full of frost magic when he opens the door. Turns out it's a crummy temple to some stupid elf god. Elwyn gets an elven branch up her ass about it and wants to "save" the mindless security automatons that want to skewer us. We rob a little treasury room, I get poisoned from a dart trap. Lame. We find a magic flask and a fountain full of coin and gems guarded by a water monster. Elf-girl wants us to leave it alone. I don't, it fights back, we kill it. She has a hissy fit, we split the treasure. Praise Abbathor!
Session 3 - Night falls and we retreat back into the forest to rest. When morning comes we venture back into the structure. We fight some more animated armor that a statue was wearing and "kill" it. An undead elf bitch shows up and starts babbling in frilly elf language. She looks angry. She's undead and threatening. Elwyn and the lich keep going on and on and on, obviously not getting anywhere. So I call the debate to it's ultimate conclusion and shoot the undead bitch in the neck. We fight - we've almost won...and the walking dead bitch calls for a truce, I figured we'd ignore her, but she did some sort of subtle manipulation on Gwald, something about his people - always a weak spot. So we don't kill it. /sigh/ Bla, bla, holy relic, elf magic, bla, bla bad people who hired us, bla. Somehow the group is convinced to defend the temple until some elves show up to take over. Ambrosias tries to seduce the lich...disgusting, but not particularly surprising anymore. The undead elf, unable to fight given that we didn't leave much of her intact, hands off her magical goodies to each of us to help in the coming battle. I get some snazzy elf boots that make me shimmer in shadows. Mine now. Good luck every getting these back.
Session 4 - We erect some impressive defenses up in the statue room, block the side doors with sarcophagi, chain the side fountain room doors, spike a few more doors, make sure the frost wards are active - and we hold a single door as a choke point - Murder Door. Ambrosius is called to betray us and make a deal with the woman who hired us, who is a demon it turns out - he refuses, but uses the offer to mine for information and setup a parlay with some of her hired thugs, who all belong to Gwald's bear tribe. Gwald and Ambrosius convince the goons to go play in the undead hand room and make their way back to us. Then the assault begins. The barbarians come rushing at us through the fountain room, we hammer them with arrows, bolts and...whatever the black purple stuff Ambrosius hurls is - as they charge the one door into the room we are holding. Ambrosius drops a globe of night on them and Gwald, Ander and Elwyn move to plug and hold the door, cutting down all to come near them. The plan is highly effective and we slaughter all those who rushed us. Some others attempted to enter one of the doors blocked by the sarcophagi, but received a blast of frost ward for their troubles. The few surviving from the first wave flee. We prepare for a second assault.