Luke’s Charity (downtime story)

The incident below occurred with Luke before the group’s second game as part of the downtime.

Luke pulled on a new tunic and trousers that he’d bartered from a human gal in the Warrens for the cost of the fabric, and the healing he routinely did for her and her six children. She’d done a great job, and he doubted anyone that didn’t get right up into the stitching would realize it was a cheaper fabric than it should have been.

He then took the banner, he’d also bartered for, that had written in large gold letters “Redeemed Tieflings for Noble Rule”. He’d carefully given the directions to have it mirrored in smaller infernal script to make it look more convincing. It was bright, and golden, and filled with hypocrisy, just like the noble quarters.

“They should love this,” he said.

He caught a ride across town with a delivery headed for the winding road that led up the jeweled cliffs to the noble quarter. The road was only used by servants and deliveries, and actual nobility in ostentatious carriages, or atop steeds in expensive livery.

As soon as he planted his feet, he carefully unfurled his banner. He paused to consider juggling to get more attention, but the first carriage rolled to a stop right as he turned around.

The driver asked, “The lady would like to know the meaning of this banner.”

Luke affected a bow, and said, “It is well known that the nobility have been born into rule, by divine right, and as such, they are most equipped to make those decisions that govern our lives here in Kokand. As a tiefling, my group has come to realize this, and are asking for a pittance to help cover the costs to show this truth to the others of my race.”

Luke’s smile was real. He couldn’t believe this might work.

A small bit of whispering came from the carriage, between the driver and his unseen occupant, before the driver reached down and handed several gold coins to Luke.

Luke affected his best low bow, and said, “My lady, thank you. I will continue these good works.”

The driver fixed him with a dry look, and said as the carriage continued on, “My lady, he’s a tiefling, he might very well be crazy.” Luke wasn’t sure the driver was as convinced as the noble woman he was working for.

Luke didn’t mind. He was used to the stares, and the snide comments. This was just a way to take advantage of the stereotype that every tiefling was evil. These idiots would fall over backwards to reward an “obviously” evil race supporting them, and trying to be a good little demon. He’d roll his eyes, if they weren’t so black that nobody would notice.

The rest of the day went as well. The only unexpected moment was when Glorion came by and rewarded his attempts with more gold. Glorion was so impressed he started spreading the news of this tiefling doing good works to the nobility.

Glorion was almost as bad as the nobles in this respect, but unlike the nobility his heart was in the right place. Luke thought time was probably the one thing the man needed. If his heart remained on helping those in need, time would wear off these unrealistic views coming from his sheltered upbringing. He wasn’t a stupid elf. Just so very sheltered.

At the end of the day, Luke hitched a ride back through town with a different merchant, and took his 205 gold with him. It was a day well spent, but it wasn’t over yet.

Once safely back in the Warrens, he went to his small one room apartment on the ground floor. He wasn’t sure keeping that much gold here unprotected was a smart idea, but being a tiefling had its’ perks. Most folks didn’t want to piss him off. They just didn’t know how deep the demonic blood ran.

He snorted as he changed back into his own clothing, and thought it was better to be Luke, then Leucis Morthos. He hadn’t thought of his mother much since her execution, or the name she gave him. He didn’t like to dwell on it.

He then went to the market, and made some purchases, and stacked it all carefully in his backpack until it was so full he could hardly get it closed.

It was close to dinner time when he got back to the warrens. Before he ate, he had a lot to do.

He stopped by an elderly couple’s hovel. There was a dog out front, but instead of barking, it wagged its tail at Luke as he made his way to the rickety stairs that would take him to their home. It was clearly familiar with the tall demonic figure.

“Hey Jumper. How you doing?” Luke asked the dog, and rubbed its head, before slipping past to the actual front door.

He paused to knock, and waited until a thin reedy human voice called, “Come in. . . I can’t get to the door today, and the wife’s out.”

Luke ducked his head, and his expansive horns to get through the threshold, “Let me just get myself through the door, Hans. I brought you some of the medicines the apothecary said you should have.”

Inside the two-room space was an elderly human, laying on a cot by the kitchen stove that had been half-heartedly installed with a crooked chimney exiting directly out the side wall. The back room was filled with laundry, because the mans’ wife took in laundry to support them.

“Is that you Luke? Couldn’t be anyone else with those horns, and those pants!” the elderly man said with a smile. He was thin, and weak, and the although he was under the blankets, his legs clearly ended above his knees.

Luke went directly to the cot, and knelt down. He reached out, and patted what was left of the man’s legs. Hans had lost them as an adventurer, and no cleric had been able to fix them. There were some medications that could make it bearable, but the wounds were unhealing. It was one of Luke’s side projects to try and find an answer for these wounds, and help keep the man comfortable in the interim.

“How are you today, Hans? Is Myra being good to you?” Luke asked.

Luke wasn’t big on words, but he listened to Hans talk. When Hans had finished, Luke told him he’d found some nobles to fund his cause. He then gave over a month’s worth of medication, that he knew Hans and Myra couldn’t afford on their own.

Hans was a proud man, but he took the medicine. He refused the coins Luke offered, though. Luke didn’t push, but made a note to use the money to bring Myra some food later. “Leftovers” would be accepted. They didn’t have to know he’d bought the leftovers specifically for them.

The rest of the evening was in a similar vein. Shoes for a child in need, food for several families, or coins where they’d do the most good.

It didn’t take long for the entire 205 gold he’d scammed that day to be depleted in the best possible way.

The last job of the night was to put out a few fish, and some cream for the local stray cats. He might not be completely welcome at the temple by all the clerics and priests, but here the streets of the Warrens were Sekhmet’s temple for him. The strays were her priestly eyes and ears. Not to mention, he liked cats in general. They were good luck for him.

He laid out the food, before going in to call it a night, comfortable in a job well done.

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