Campaign of the Month: November 2022

Curse of the Crimson Throne

Mystery Log 3000
Don't worry about it
Crawling Back Part 2
Some lessons are never learned

Illaria’s bedside manner was not as gentle as it usually was when it came to Dagi. Her mouth was small and terse, her brows knitted more out of anger than concentration. “You look like…shit,” Illaria muttered. She winced a little at her own harshness. But the blonde was rightfully angry. “Care to explain why? And where you’ve been?”

Dagi heaved a heavy sigh and winced. “Illy,” she started but stopped herself when Illaria gave her a quick look. “Illaria, I uh. Well…” She took a moment to take a deep shuddering breath. This was going to take some time to explain and this amount of talking already hurt.

“I…I was trying to…there’s no good way to word this. I was trying to get enough dosh to get you outta here…”

Illaria had paused at cleaning the open gash on Dagi’s side. She didn’t look up at Dagi, only nodding to affirm that she’d heard her.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you…”

“Don’t apologize yet. I want the story first.” Illaria stopped Dagi. She was looking Dagi in the eye and keeping her bubbling emotions just below the surface. Dagi swallowed hard and began again.

“Right. So…you know I left…and went to out to get enough to buy up your contract or for us to survive on…get away. Something. You wouldn’t just leave. So I had to do something to square us away here.”

“So I was working my way through the Heights, Midlands and Northpoint. A quick scouting during the day, one at night. Like I used to, yanno? Then sneak in, pick a lock box, grab a few things…”

“It was going great. I had a couple pretty big stashes hidden. I was about to come back for you in a couple days…but I screwed up.”

“Last night I was in some shop in near the University. On Pickle Street I think? Some of its a little blurry. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to uh the places I was hitting. Probably ’cause I was jumping back and forth through neighborhoods…but I was working some areas that were already claimed…”

Illaria looked up at Dagi with a look of ‘you didn’t. You’re surely not that stupid’. Dagi only smiled sheepishly and continued.

“I’ll spare the grizzly details, you can see most of them,” she gestured to her whole self. " But I forgot to look for ah…sigils? Runes? Half the places I’d been hitting were marked under protection by the Cerulean society."

“Long story short I got caught. A couple of them had an ambush set…”

Illaria wanted to strangle Dagi in this moment. Dagi could be clever, Illaria knew that, but in the same breath she was painfully stupid. Like she didn’t learn lessons very well. She would’ve thought growing up a child of the streets some of this would’ve occurred to Dagi.

Dagi could sense the tension coming from Illaria and decided to frame the rest of her story differently. Not handling the emotional depths this was going very well.

“But it worked out. I got a hair cut out of it, and they only threatened to drag me down Dead Shoanti Way a few times. And I know what some of their marks are now… All it cost me was my two big stashes and uh, a black eye.. cracked rib…and I got some…new…scars…out of it… well the big one I did myself….”

Dagi trailed off. Her trying to make light of the situation was doing very little to uplift Illaria’s mood.

“Bite down on something,” Illaria said flatly, trying her best not to get emotional and argue with Dagi. She uncorked a bottle of clear spirits and unceremoniously poured it on the open wound.

Dagi had not had time to grab anything to bite or really steel herself for the moment. Her eyes bugged a bit as she writhed from the burning and stifled a scream into a low growl. Her visage flickered in and out of her bestial form. This caught Illaria’s attention and made her tear up a little. “Sorry…I..”
“I know you’re mad. It’s fine,” Dagi panted through gritted teeth that bordered on fangs. “I was stupid and I wanted to make it better. I could’ve been killed. I can’t get caught doing it again. They told me that specifically. I am lucky all they did was cut my hair and bruise me up. I uh, I actually thought about asking them for a job but I didn’t think I’d get to come back for you if I did.” Dagi spoke all of this very fast. It was a shortened version of nearly every scolding Illaria was about to give her.

This of course did very little to smooth things over. Illaria had to calm herself. Dagi taking away her ability to express what upset her was infuriating.

“Wait…why did they cut your hair?” Illaria asked Inquisitively. “And how did you do this?”

“They were under the impression I was a real Shoanti and uh that my hair length had some significant meaning. I played along though, a hair cut hurts a lot less than the other threats they were making,” she said with a smile while pulling up some if the sloppily hacked stands and letting them fall on her face. “And that uh, that right there….I might’ve fallen on some wrought iron spikes on my way back…..”

Crawling Back Part 1
So tick down at least one more life...

Dagi held onto the balcony above her. Her hair was in her eyes. Her vision was blurry from one eye being swollen and the taste of blood was still fresh in her mouth. She dared to look down at her chest. She’d slipped on the balcony and probably would’ve been better if she’d fell instead of latching onto it and swinging into the support column beneath it. The reason being the top of the column was ringed in Romeo spikes. Meant to catch suitors sneaking into the windows of young noble girls. Dagi hadn’t been a suitor for anyone but she was definitely sneaking across roof tops and balconies to get where she was going. Her arms shook as she tried to haul herself up enough to pull the spike out of her side. She was lucky it had not gone between her ribs, but skited along them and was hooked under her skin.

“Fuck fuck fuck,” she swore quietly as she had to lower herself again. She couldn’t get a good enough grip to pull herself high enough or out enough to back it out of her. She was already sporting other cuts, contusions, and was looking rough. Looking down it wasn’t too far of a drop. She’d make it. A few deep breaths and she closed her eyes tightly and let go. The split second it took for her flesh to tear under her full weight seemed like it took forever before she landed on the hard cobble beneath her, knocking the wind out of her.
A couple hours later Dagi stood on the dock in front of Eels end. She was unsteady, swaying on her feet and blood could be seen pooling around her right foot, as it had any time she stopped on the long trek back to Old Korvosa. Pressure wasn’t doing much to staunch the bleeding and her head was spinning.

She took a moment before resigning herself to the task at hand. She boarded The House of Clouds. Luckily whoever was working security had gone off to drink or piss or drink piss. She didn’t care. The Twins greeted her. They didn’t look a day over 15.

“Welcome to The House of Clouds. What servic..vics….Dagi?” Danielle had taken a few moments to recognize the Shoanti and an unfamiliar look of concern was on her face. Her brother looked more disgusted.

“Yeah, uh. Is Illy around?” Dagi managed to wheeze and choke out.

“She’s with a client… We can go ge-” Daniel began.

“No no,” Dagi interrupted. “Just uh, tell her she’s got another client when they’re done.” She handed several silver coins and a gold piece to Danielle. “I’ll buy up the rest of her time tonight, keep the rest and don’t tell your mother or Devargo I’m in here, okay?”

The two tricksters eyed the money for a moment then looked Dagi up and down. They seemed to seriously debate the best course of action but decided to play along for Illaria if anything. Danielle escorted Dagi to the back of the house where only special clients got to go or the girls would take breaks. She gave Dagi a cloth to hold on the most offensive wound and went back to the front to play Hostess with her brother.


Illaria had her brows furrowed as she marched toward the back of the House. Her small fists were balled up and she had her robe tied tightly around her. “They should’ve come got me immediately…” She huffed to herself. Stopping at a few spots where she thought Danielle must’ve deposited the Shoanti. Her anger changed a bit when she stepped in something wet on the ground. She grimaced and looked down, about to go off about someone not cleaning up after themselves when she spotted it was blood that had a dotted and scuffed trail headed toward an area behind a privacy screen.

She quickly rounded the corner and her hands flew to her face. Dagi was laid out on a bed of pillows. She was still breathing but she didn’t seem conscious. She’d tied a long cloth around her side and it was nearly soaked through, but the stain didn’t seem to be growing any more. But that wasn’t Dagi’s only fresh injury. Illaria could see them clearly as the ioun torch danced around Dagi’s head, illuminating her.

The next thing Illaria noticed was how short Dagi’s hair was. Three weeks ago when she’d seen her last it’d been a long thick, black braid that was now cropped close to her face, and roughly so. One of her eyes was darkening and swelled, so was her lip and she had several bruises on her arms that Illaria could see. What’d been a half nice tunic before was tattered and dirty. She looked like something the cat had drug in.

Tears started to roll down Illaria’s cheeks as she looked at Dagi. She didn’t know whether to be happy, sad…mad. Slap her or kiss her. Treat her wounds or let her lay there and see if she woke in the morning.

“Illaria, please tell me that’s you,” Dagi wheezed out quietly trying to peek through one bleary eye.

One Late Morning, 4704 AR
When the past is a little too close or comfort

“This one will be very compliant.”

Dagi stirred in her sleep. This was the first uninterrupted stretch of sleep she’d had in as long as she could remember. She didn’t even wake in the usual cold sweat from a nightmare. She was comfortable. Warm. She could feel a weight pressing her body into the pillows and cushions she’d bedded in. Soft warm skin. Illaria. Dagi idly petted the blonde’s hair, letting it twirl through her fingers and tried to settle back into sleep. She could hear Madam Halvara talking to someone. Sounded like a new acquisition and their addictions.

“Shiver mostly. It’s ready to do anything for it’s next fix. Very docile.”

Dagi’s body began to quiver. She paled and her eyes became wide with fear. That voice was what woke her. Her breath caught in her throat as she listened.

“This one looks like the last 3 you brought me …can you find something a little more exotic? I’ve got enough Varisians. Find me something pale…”

“I’ll see what I can do. You’ll have to put in a higher bid though. Nobles usually get first pick on the exotics”

Yargin’s voice cut through the air like a snake striking its target. Dagi had failed to remember where she was as her face contorted and claws grew from her fingertips and her hands and arms became covered in black velvety fur. She gripped illaria’s shoulder tightly, her claws nearly breaking skin.

“Y-you’re hurting me,” Illy hissed quietly, trying to pull herself from sleep.

Through the pain in her shoulder illaria noticed Dagi’s whole body quaking. She slowly looked up at Dagi and froze. Dagi’s face was not what Illy expected at all. She barely recognized her lover. While fear was clearly written all over it, Dagi’s face was contorted to something very feline. Slitted pupils, very little whites to her eyes. Her ears..ear had grown pointed and covered in fine fur. Her nose and teeth bestial.

“Dagi,” Illy said quietly. Her voice was more stern than expected and got Dagi’s eyes to dart to her for just a second only to be pulled back to focusing on the direction the man’s voice could be heard. There was only a privacy screen between them and the scene on the other side.

Illaria paused to listen as well. Illy did not notice anything out of the ordinary other than Yargin being unsavory in dropping off a poor wayward soul. Dagi was obviously experiencing something else.

“Hey. Hey…look at me,‘’ Illaria said, reaching up to cup Dagi’s face in her hand and redirect it to hers. It was hard, Dagi resisted having her face pulled down, but finally caved. “You’re going to to be okay. You need to cover your face and take your…claws…out of my back.”


Once Yargin finished his deal and Halvara had Illaria escort the new girl to a bunk to get settled in by some of the more seasoned workers Illaria settled back onto her bedding that hid Dagi.

Dagi was still shaking and trying to calm herself. She nearly jumped out of her skin as Illaria settled next to her. Illy’s pale hand snaked under the blankets and Dagi apprehensively and slowly took Illaria’s hand and squeezed. Dagi took a deep breath and her form shuddered a few times before returning to a more human visage and uncovering herself.

“We need to talk about this….” Illy said quietly as she tried to pull Dagi to her. It failed spectacularly with their size difference and Illy ended up pulling herself down onto Dagi.

Eye to Eye
Taice, ya nasty bastard

“Couldn’t this wait…till…you were done?” Dagi said exasperatedly to the ceiling. She was doing her best to avert her eyes from Taice.

This was 5 or 6 years ago. Dagi had a few less scars. Her hair was much longer and in a thick braid that hung just below the small of her back.

Taice meanwhile was propped up on his elbows looking rather calm and collected while his body bobbed back and forth with the motion of the services he was receiving. “No no, it couldn’t wait. It’s very time sensitive,” he said with a smirk. Dagi’s discomfort amused him to no end. He stopped speaking. Whether it was to concentrate on the enjoyment of his current activity or to watch Dagi shift uncomfortably between impatience and politely ignoring him was up for debate.

“J-just find me when you’re done,” Dagi said after the pause had gone on far too long. The silence in the conversation making the moment all the more uncomfortable. She turned on her heel to quickly go back to her post.

“Wait wait, Fine. When I’m done I’m supposed to take you up to put on a show for Devargo,” Taice said coyly. “Obviously a different show than what goes on here. A little blood sport.” His unnerving smile cracking widely across his face. “I’ll even make you a wager outside of the actual game.”

Dagi stopped in her tracks, but didn’t turn back around. She really wasn’t here to watch the spectacle. “I thought that’d catch your attention.” Taice was grinning like the cat who caught the canary. “I know you nicked that cat’s eye emerald from the haul the other night. If I win, you hand it over.”

Several things happened in that moment. Taice’s body stopped bobbing as the courtesan attending to him stopped, their jaw dropped in surprise at the accusation. Dagi’s body stiffened and her hair stood on end. She had indeed stole that emerald from the Twin Tigers take a few days ago. She was hoping to fence it in a few days and strike out on her own. She spun around and grabbed Taice’s face. It took all of her control to not grow her claws into his creepy smug face.

“How about you keep your mouth shut,” She growled at him. His grin never waivered.

“Lover, I didn’t say stop,” Taice snapped his fingers. Slowly, the bobbing resumed.

Dagi pulled her hand back in disgust. “You both keep your mouth shut. If I win you give me that ring of yours and you don’t come back in here,” she retorted, placing a hand on the dagger at her side.

“i won’t come back for a month, and deal.” Taice retorted.

“Deal,” Dagi agreed. “You, you didn’t hear anything if you want me to keep the next drunk from gutting you,” she said pointing behind Taice to the individual behind him. They made a motion showing their lips were sealed and professionally went back to work.

Dagi stormed off, flustered, pissed, and on edge.

The deck of Eel’s end was crowded as patrons and workers gathered and jostled shoulder to shoulder. Illaria was wrapped in a silken robe, with a couple others from the House of Clouds in front row on one end of the table. The table in question was covered in nicks and old blood stains. Definitely well used for Knivesies. Dagi stood next to her trying to puff her chest and put on a brave grin for Illy. Inside she was nervous as hell. She’d gone up against Taice a couple times before for Devargo’s entertainment. They were actually a pretty even match. It often came down to how dirty they decided to fight. Dagi anticipated tonight being a game that would be lousy with it. And she couldn’t afford to lose.

Taice sauntered onto the deck, straightening his shirt and began pulling his hair back as he approached the table. “You’re late,” Dagi called at him.

“Well I was occupied and we nearly had to start over after your interruption….” He said with a grin, placing one foot on the table, ready to take the full step up.

“On time or late, just put on a good show for these fine folks,” Devargo called from the side. He was standing with his arms folded, flanked by a few of his favorite cronies.

“Time ta place yer bets!” called a dirty little gnome that stood on a stool at one side of the table. He was acting as referee and bookie for the fight. “On this side we’ve got Dagi, the fiercest bitch in the Clouds. On this side we’ve got the Mister who’s probably fucked your Sister, and anything else that moves, Taice”

Quickly the bets started to pile onto the table. Several coppers here, a few silver coins there, even a few gold pieces. It was definitely more wagers than a typical game would gather.

While the bets piled up Illaria and a couple other girls from the house of clouds fussed over Dagi. It was no secret Dagi was the favorite when it came to the security that worked the brothel. That seemed to piss off the rest of Devargo’s muscle.

It wasn’t long before Dagi and Taice were ready to take their places on n the table top. Each with one arm tied behind their back, dagger stuck in the table between them, surrounded by a heap of coins.

The crowd split, standing behind which ever contestant they bet on. It was pretty evenly split. Dagi might have had a couple more on her side.

“Alright! We want ah good bloody fight, alright?” the gnome ref. “You know the rules. Ya fight till the gold’s gone, one of ya’s knocked out, dead, or hits tha ground.”

Both of the contestants nodded. Taice had his shitty air of confidence about him. Dagi’s look of concentration would turn milk.

“Ready!? Aaaaanddddd GO!”

Both of them were quick and reaching for the dagger. Dagi was faster but Taice had the reach and grabbed the dagger first. Before resetting from her mad grab at it she instead grabbed a hand full of coins and crammed them in the bag on her belt as she stood up, leaning back away from the slash Taice took on his way standing back up.

“Well shit,” Dagi said under her breath. She would have to knock him off the table now unarmed…or get as many coins as she could. He’d cut her up in the process though.

“What’s that? Cat got your tongue?” Taice asked making a wide swing for Dagi.

“Just don’t have a lot to say to you,” Dagi answered as she ducked low and kicked at his knee.

The game went on for a bit. Dagi landed a couple punched to Taice’s face and managed to rake her boot down his shin. He got a few cuts in on her arms and blood was splattered around. She knew she had to end this quick.

Dagi dove low at his legs and hooked her arm behind his knee and started to pull and lift. “Let go you bitch!”

Dagi’s vision went red before she could register the pain from the dagger slicing through her brow and into her hairline. It was not enough b to dissuade her from pulling his leg out from under him and shoving him off the table.

Cheering and squeals of excitement sounded off behind her as she stared down at Taice, her chest heaving to catch her breath and blood pouring down her face and into her tunic.

“Beat you this time, spider fucker,” Dagi said spitting blood from her mouth before grinning triumphantly.

“With a face like that, you won’t be fucking anything,”Taice had a petulant pout and threw the dagger into the deck of the ship before getting up and storming off.

The gnome bookie began to divvy out the prize money. Devargo looked pleased. The show had been bloody and fast with an upset at the end.

Dagi hopped off the table and turned to Illaria and the other girls from the House. Illy gasped and immediately began tending to Dagi. “How bad is it?”

Not quite First Sight
But maybe the first time really seeing eachother

Dagi sat perched on a stool in the dead center of the house of clouds. She couldn’t be a day over 17. Her frame was very lanky and barely filled out. Her hands were shaking as she struggled to use a small knife to clean some suspiciously fleshy bits from under her nails. Dagi had absorbed herself in the task deep enough she failed to notice approaching foot steps.

“Hey, are…. Are you okay?” A petit blonde asked gently, reaching out tentatively to rest her hand on Dagi’s.

Dagi became instantly still. The trembling stopped and she visibly stiffened as the girl’s small pale hand touched hers. It was an awkward amount of silence before Dagi answered almost robotically. “Yeah, I’m fine,” she said quickly, and be withdrew her hands to sheath the knife.

Dagi looked at the blue eyed girl in front of her. Her eyes were a bit teary and a bruise could be seen forming on her cheek. “Thanks for….uhm,” Illaria started

“It’s what I’m here to do,” Dagi interrupted and turned her attention to just over Illaria’s shoulder. Whether she was actually looking at something or just trying ot avoid eye contact was up for debate.

Illaria weighed the debate and side stepped bringing herself back into Dagi’s line of sight. “Well yes, but I wanted to thank you and talk a bit,” Illaria said with a light smile. “You’re a lot nicer about it than the others.”

Dagi’s ruddy complexion flushed a bit and she squirmed at being noticed. She was trying her hardest to look any where but into those blue eyes that were quizically studying her. “I-I’m just uh, doing what I’m supposed to do,” the answer was very canned. It almost sounded like this was a mantra that Dagi had said to herself repeatedly to convince herself to keep her head down.

Dagi’s eyes were cast anywhere but Illaria’s face. Over her head, somewhere over her shoulder, the floor, and then to the side. If they’d been focused there they would’ve seen the crest fallen look of not quite pity, but more compassion. “Yes you are….but you were lightning fast. He only got one hit in,” Illaria said and touched her own bruising cheek tenderly. “Most of them take their time…or laugh about it.” Illaria herself seemed to grow uncomfortable as some darker memories flooded up in her. “I know you’ve been here a while but I don’t think I’ve ever caught it….what’s your name?”

Dagi’s fidgeting froze again. Most of the workers at The House were nice to her, but simply called her Sister. Off that ship nearly everyone else just called her Horser or worse. She couldn’t remember the last time someone asked for her name. “I-it..It’s Klandagi..b-but uh, Dagi is fine,” she stumbled over the syllables and ventured a look toward the blonde’s face. Illaria’s face was beaming a genuine smile that extended to her eyes in a kind way Dagi was admittedly unfamiliar with, but it sparked a small fire somewhere in Dagi’s mind and she was entranced.

The blonde giggled a little, “ Mine is Illaria.” She said, trying to alleviate some of Dagi’s obvious unfamiliarity with the scenario. “I for one am very glad to meet you, Dagi.” Illaria was pleased with Dagi giving her something other than a canned response, let alone her name, was as gratifying in the same way that getting a stray animal to eat out of your hand for the first time.

Teenagers Scare the Living shit out of me
Damn Dagi, that's messed up, he needed those eyes for seein'

It’d been a week since Dagi found herself in a clean bed in a stranger’s home. The man had cleaned her wounds and bandaged her. She’d woken in clean clothes in a pile of clean linens on a true bed. A glass of water and a change of clothes waiting for her and a breeze coming through the windows. It hadn’t taken much for her to change into the provided clothes and find a few silver and copper rifling through the drawers of the dressing drawers in the room and be out through the window in a flash. She wasn’t sure who he was, or what his intentions were for her….but she couldn’t stay. The last thing she remembered was him speaking to her kindly and pulling her up out of the filth of the alley. She had a pang of guilt having taken the few coins she found in the room and not saying thank you. But surely someone who took the time to patch her up would claim she owed them something. She did not want to be under anyone’s thumb again.


This bed was not as clean. The ship smelled bad, like piss, vomit, and sweat. It had the heady smell of men drinking and salt. Dagi hated it. But she had enough coin to stay till she was mostly healed up. The Goldenhawk was cheap and a way to lay low for a short time. She was not ready to be seen on the streets by anyone who would tell Lamm any time soon. She’d have to start moving soon though. Her body was still bruised and beyond sore.

“Aye! Ye lil’ bitch, rent’s going up,” came a gruff voice from the bastard that kicked the post of the bed she was lying in and startled her awake. He was tanned like old leather, sported plenty of scars himself, and graying hair.

“I’m paid through the week,” Dagi said, sitting up to stare at him. “Hassle someone else.”

“Too bad, rent’s still goin’ up,” he growled as he loomed over her. “Yer small, but if you ain’t got the coin…I’ll take it in other ways. I like ‘em small.”

Dagi stared daggers at him. She could feel the familiar itch in her limbs of her body wanting to transform. The fear she felt was nearly blinding. It’d been less than a fortnight that she’d been beaten, cut, and burned and her instincts were on high alert to danger.

“Damn you’re ugly,” He said as he bent down and got right in her face. “They fucked you up good….”

The mistake he made was gripping her face to twist it to the unburned side toward himself. “This side’s not so-HNNNGAHG,” he let out a yelp as Dagi bit his hand.

The bite sank deep into the webbing of his hand. Her face was contorted, eyes lacking their whites, pupils turned to slits, and fangs deep into his hand. He didn’t get a chance to see it as Dagi returned the favor by digging clawed hands into his face and eyes.

The tousle was over quickly. Dagi stood, blood covered and breathing heavily over him. Her body quickly shifting back to normal. The man writhed on the floor clutching his face. Two more of the hired muscle watching over the Goldenhawk ran to check on their companion. “Wot ‘ave you done!?” one asked her while the other waited for no answer and threw a haymaker, knocking her out.


Dagi came to after having a bucket of saltwater thrown on her face. It burned the openings in her wounds the scrap had stretched open and she grimaced. “So… now that you’re awake we have some decisions to make,” came a slow, measured, calm and cruel voice from some where in front of her.

Her eyes burned from the salt water and she tried her best to brush it out with her hands. There was splintered wood beneath her and the air was thick with cologne and that sweet smell that spiders and other insects had when kept in high numbers. Dagi shuddered as she finally cleared her eyes enough to see she was set in front of a spider themed man on a make shift throne. Devargo. Stood next to him was a hard looking woman, dressed like a woman of the evening. Dagi hadn’t gotten her name yet, but assumed she was the Madame of the House of Clouds. A few of the girls looking for clients at the flop house had tried to get Dagi to go back there with them, tell her she could make a lot of money. Dagi had no interest in that work.
“You’ve blinded one of my men…and while Viper likely deserved it…I will need to hire someone new,” Devargo’s expression was best described as uninterested and sly. Dagi didn’t dare say anything at this time. She froze. “Halvara has said you’ve been nice to her girls and has interest in having you work for the House of Clouds.”

Dagi’s chest began to heave in panic as her breath quickened. “I don’t think you’d be good for clients…seeing how Viper looked before we tossed him over for a swim,” Devargo added after seeing the fear wash over this brat before him. This kid couldn’t be more than 14 or 15 but she’d laid out one grown man in seconds.

“So I think you’ll do nicely to replace him working under Halvara at the House. It will be for a while as you will have to work off his debt, and now yours for the trouble,” he said flatly as he made the proposition. “If you refuse, well, hopefully you can swim to shore faster than the sharks can catch you.”

Cats have 9 lives right?
How many has Dagi lost already?

“I don’t think it’s going to shift now, Sir,” Yargin said looking down his nose at the small form in front him. It had finally stopped writhing and now just twitched involuntarily on occasion. “Even if it did at this point ..I think it’d be worthless. Shall we feed it to your pet?”

“Whatever, just make sure it’s dead.” Gaedren responded with a snarl before walking to a trap door in the floor and kicking it open. “Come on Gobblegut, dinner’s coming.” He called down.

Dagi’s eyes were wide open and every nerve ending was overwhelmed. Her small body wouldn’t respond to her commands. She was covered in fresh lacerations and cigar burns and acid continued to fizzle in her ear and she felt her flesh tearing and parts of it falling away.

Yargin grabbed her by her hair and pulled her small body toward the trap door. He held her up above it. Dagi tried to will herself to move but her body only hung limply. “If the fall doesn’t the reptile will. There’s not much life left in it anyway”

Gobblegut could be heard thrashing excitedly I’m the water below waiting for his meal. Hookshanks appeared into her field of vision again, flipping his knife across his fingers. “Welp, you were my favorite play thing. Almost hate to see you go.”

Yargin let her hair go and Dagi dropped straight down into the water below next to the alligator. The briney water burned every bit of raw flesh that was her small body, but otherwise the water was cool and dark.

Dagi was ready to welcome whatever ending was written for her. She was small and tired. Her 14 years had not been kind. She felt the darkness start to seep into her when a sharp pain encompassed her entire hip. The alligator snapped down and began to pull her deeper and under the walk way around it’s pool.

A flame burst wide open inside Dagi in that moment. Her body regained it’s ability to move but she truly wasn’t in control. She became a wet whirlwind of fur, claw, and fang. She lit into the alligator’s face and tore into it’s eye. Blood filled the water.

It quickly dropped her and swam away. Not wanting to lose both eyes. The burning rage in Dagi’s body carried her under the walk way and into the Jegarre. She didn’t have control of herself as it ran on pure adrenaline and instinct. Her skin was dark and covered in fine black fur and her face was nearly purely feline.

Slick with silt, blood, and water she stumbled into the rocky shore under ramshackle scaffolding on the old Korvosa side of the Straights. Out of the water the fire began to leave her belly and her appearance melted back to that of a young Shoanti girl. As it did so did her strength. She used the last of her strength to pull herself into an alley before her arms have out and her body began to quake from the pain again. “Adesso sei al sicuro, piccolina,” came a warm and kind voice just before the world faded completely to black.

Caught in the act
Wait, a lore dump?

It was actually a pleasant tingle when her body shifted and changed. The way the bones cracked and groaned you'd think it hurt, but they actually helped Dagi be good at what she did. Gaedren had her working harder marks than what was available on the street. Not that pick pocketing was easy, but it was definitely a whole different job to slip into buildings and take the tucked away treasures. She’d worked up enough trust to work alone and the opportunity to think for herself. Gave her more time away from his goons that kept the kids in check. Or so she thought.

Her next job was to empty the coffers of an apothecary whose owner wasn’t paying their protection. She had scouted earlier that they only took their deposits away twice a week, the remaining time they were kept in the owner’s apartment above the shop. And a bit of eavesdropping had her knowing the shopkeep would be out for drinks tonight.

Easy. In and out. Except Dagi was getting cocky. What 14 year old isn’t, especially under her circumstances. She was less cautious. Didn’t check for anyone tailing her. Little did she know Gaedren had sent one of the help to watch her. She was a little too good at what she did and that made him suspicious. She was getting old enough to be sold into other work at best or outright killed if she weren’t so scrawny and useful.

It wasn’t quite as dark in the alley as she usually liked when she shifted, but no one was around, right? Biting her lip she stared at her hands as they contorted and changed. Fur grew from them, soft pads replaced her fingertips and palms and sturdy, sharp claws grew in where her nails were. Her legs contorted as well and she flexed her digits. It still took a lot of concentration to do and previously had only been a thing that happened when it was life or death. The first time was scary but it had kept her from a nasty fall. She smirked a bit to herself as she quickly scaled the stucco wall beneath the window of the second story bedroom she’d use to gain access to her spoils. The fool didn’t even lock the window.

Dagi slid down the outside of the building when she was done gathering a quite large amount of coin from the shop’s owner. Sales must’ve been good the last couple days. Once her feet touched the ground again her limbs returned to the normal gangly appendages of a teenager. “Good Job. That’s a lot of coin,” came the raspy shitty voice behind her that made her freeze and every hair on her head and neck stood on end.

“Would be a shame if something happened along the way or you dropped any. Let me go with you so Gaedren gets his full cut,” Hookshanks said as he grasped the back of her neck and leaned forward to grin at her with that menacing toothy grin and wild eyes. He was shorter than her, but far more ruthless, experienced, and she knew he’d not give a second thought to making her life shorter.

It was a very tense walk back to the dilapidated building where Gaedren had set up shop. He moved his base every so often when he couldn’t keep enough of the corrupt guard paid off. A million thoughts were passing through Dagi’s head as they approached and the hefty coin purse in her hands did not feel heavy with success as it usually did. It was weighed down with the dread of what was to come. How much had Hookshanks seen? Was it the wrong mark? Would he tell? Would this be used against her?

They walked stiffly into the room Gaedren was using for an office. He was pouring over ledgers. “What is it?” the old man barked, looking up with only his eyes through his grey brow.
She knew better than to speak and stayed quiet. Nothing she said right now would end well. “Dagi here has got a secret…”