Sea of Madness
It’s not easy growing different from those around you, it’s even harder when you’re an orphan. I was still a fey, but you wouldn’t think so the way the elves and eladrin treated me. But I suppose I should be thankful for how hard my childhood was as it helped make me who I am now. I still remember the bitter tang of disappointment after being rejected from every place of education or employment. Surviving on my own wasn’t easy until I learned how to use my power. One day while in exceptionally high spirits I started pretending I was a wizard. I pointed to an unattended barrel and imagined using arcane knowledge to destroy it. I couldn’t believe my eyes as lightning shot out of my hand and disintegrated the barrel and its contents. As soon as I recovered from the shock I immediately went looking for a chance to put my newfound talents to work.
Everyone who spent time on the streets knew who Verdol was. There never seemed to be any shortage of “problems” that he needed solved. A combination of excitement over my powers and youthful brashness made me want to solve every problem with violence. It didn’t take long for me to see the error of my ways, violence was best used as a last resort. So I learned what I could about how the average fey thinks. Once you realize how arrogant they tend to be, dealing with them isn’t that difficult. They think they are so damn clever they are easier to fool than the few outsiders I’ve dealt with. If you show enough false bravado you can make them think you knew every move they were going to make and have appropriate countermeasures in place. After that scaring them into doing what you want is pretty easy. For over a decade I worked for Verdol and I quickly become one of his most valuable employees.
In between jobs I would play Three Dragon Ante with Verdol and some fellow employees. I won a lot more often than I lost, and most times I lost on purpose just to avoid any private resentment or suspicions of cheating. I never had to cheat, Verdol actually played a good game and was slightly hard to read, the rest of them might as well have been children. As time went by things became harder and harder for Verdol’s organization, you can only bluff people so many times before some start catching on after the fact. Word of my methods started to spread and resistance had dramatically increased. Verdol was upset with me and we argued. I wanted to go off on my own he wanted me to do one last job with a group of fey. He insisted they would all be my equals. I wasn’t interested and it appeared as we would come to blows over this agreement until he suggested we play cards to settle it. The terms were simple if I won he’d let me go my own way and give me a nice parting gift, if he won I’d join the group and give him double his normal cut. I gladly accepted those terms.
The game was going just as I expected until Verdol’s luck was perfect. Time and again he would get the exact cards he needed to win. I mean the exact cards, it was enough to arouse my suspicion. I couldn’t figure out how he was doing it but I was confident he was cheating. When I lost I called him out on it. He laughed and said “See boys I told you he’d figure it out.” and the three other fey in the room joined him in his mirth. “Hell I barely paid you what your services were worth. That’s why I could afford to let you win, when you wanted to that is.” As their laughter continued I began to understand. I had fallen victim to the pride I had exploited so often. I enjoyed my work so much and was so focused on honing my powers I never considered the big picture. I promised myself this would be the last time I ever allowed it to happen. “You’re forgetting one thing.” I calmly stated. “What’s that?” He replied without any sign of comprehending my intent. “I don’t honor deals with cheaters.” My energy coursed through my body turning me into lightning incarnate. Verdol’s three henchmen were dead before they could stop smiling. Despite the lightning coursing through his body Verdol still managed to grab his sword and attack me. I teleported away before his blade even came close and used my power to crush his brain.
I took my retirement bonus and I noticed something, those cards now appeared to have magic in them. I laughed out loud when I discovered their power works only for the creature they are bonded to. “Thanks for the parting gift and the life lesson Verdol” I said to the empty air with a smile on my face. I could feel my magical energy manifesting itself in my body a way it had never done before, no one would ever fool me so greatly ever again. With that comforting thought in mind I decided to go meet with the group Verdol mentioned. Perhaps they could be my equals after all.