Leese was the typical kind of street rat. She was born and spent most of her life in the squalid recesses of the city, the part known as Old Town. Old Town was the original land fall area where the city was established. The city that is known today grew around Old Town.
Leese was one of the lucky ones though. She had a mother that truly loved her. An aging woman that could hardly walk, but still managed to do work as a seamstress, earning enough now and then to at least have some food for her only daughter. Most nights though, her mother would go hungry.
Her mother taught her some very important lessons, the least of which was knowledge. Every year was another subject, another lesson. Knowledge is important Leese, you can never know too much. As such, Leese grew up loving her mother and generally believing in what is good is the right thing to do.
Things changed for Leese when she turned twelve. No longer a girl, and quickly becoming a woman, the boys and men in the neighbourhood began to take notice. It was shortly before her thirteenth year that while out on an errand she was assaulted by a small gang of youths.
As they cornered her in a blind alley, she could only think that her life was over. But as they appoached she saw a shadow on the rooves above, and a rope came down. She quickly grabbed hold and the stranger hoisted her to the safety of the rooves, some twenty-five feet above the angry gang.
Not waiting for a thanks, the cloaked figure took off across the rooves. In his haste, a single silver and gold amulet with a solid gold pendant dropped from his sack. Leese picked it up and she too ran across the rooves and the unfamiliar paths of wooden beams and narrow planks that formed later learned was the Thieves’ Highway.
Leese returned home with the ‘prise’, not seeing the gang or the thief again. She immediately showed the jewellery to her mother who gasped with wide eyes. Leese retold the story of the gang and the unexpected kindness of the thief.
“We must return this to the Watch.” her mother said.
“But what if he comes for it?” Leese asked, slightly afraid.
“Leese it is the right thing to do. We will go in the morning.” her mother said with the kind of finality that meant ‘end of discussion’.