The Traveling Detective
CN Tengu Investigator
Born on the run, Zevarian Tsubasa never knew a stable home. His home was in the back of a wagon during the day and more often than not, under a haystack in some isolated barn at night. His adventure would start two months before he had even hatched, in the Tengu Nation of Kwanlai when his father Jimren “Crow” Tsubasa was suspected of some underhanded embezzlement. Jimren a roguish Tengu, renowned for his cunning and intellect, was Majordomo for an unstable Strix Crime lord known as Voss.
Voss was a real piece of work, riddled with paranoia and delusions, and possessing a short and violent temper. What little mercy Voss knew was a quick death at the pointy end of his rapier. So when rumors surfaced that Jimren was skimming a cut off the top of his sizable Shiver profits, his wrath was swift and hot. For Jimren and his wife Merle awoke that same night to flames licking their heels. Grabbing what little they could and their unhatched child they bolted into the night, their silhouettes outlined by the fire of everything they had worked thus far to achieve.
Two months passed in relative peace as they fled Kwanlai on a small merchant vessel. Sailing south into the waters of the Minata Archipelago, the vessel stuck to the shallows of the coast and lost any pursuit in the maze of islands. It was there in the early mists of a chill Desnus Fireday that Zev hatched bringing a little joy into Jimren and Merle’s now chaotic life. Zevarian was an average Tengu baby with average black feathering however a keen intellect seemed to live in his deep blue eyes.
Word of the families survival took several years to trickle back to Voss but when it did he placed a six figure bounty on each of their heads. Voss swore, that until he had proof of the traitor Jimrens death, he would not rest, firmly believing the accusation that Jimren had stolen the hundred thousand gold. He didn’t care at this point about the money. Jimren escape, made him look weak so he sent riders far and wide searching for the Tengu and his family. Eventually tracking the trio to Goka only for them to escape on a boat headed west, to Avistan and the inner sea regions.
Making landfall in the country of Vudra their journey began, for eight long years they traveled barely staying ahead of their pursuers. All this time, as Zev grew he remained in a constant state of hyper awareness and paranoia. He was incredibly intelligent and was naturally skilled in deductive reasoning often times forcing his family to rely on his keen observational skills to keep them safe.
They traveled far and long, often times on foot, others by boat and horse. They traveled as far north as the pit of Gormuz before cutting across the wastes to the western ocean. It was there that they caught a break and found another merchant ship from Katapesh heading to some Remote inland port called the Sevenarches. There they heard rumor of an assassin guild in a town called Daggermark which they gave a wide berth on their way north ending up in the city of Carrion Hill in a strange land called Ustalav.
Strong storms were rolling through that night and outside of the hill the family found a crowded Tavern that offered limited room and board. The Tavern was a busy place located in a small Hamlet right outside the city. The wind roared and lightening fell almost as frequent as the rain. Drenched in their traveling robes the trio stumbled into the small hotel bar to a barrage of suspicious stares. Zev knew right away it was going to be one of those places where they were considered unwanted at best. Zev’s father approached the counter and dropped a couple coins there. However the inn keeper was not pleased he motioned for more and turning to look at his wife she stepped forward away from Zev to drop a couple more coins reluctantly onto the counter. The man seemed to have his greed sated enough to bypass his prejudice for he reached beneath the counter and basically threw the key at Jimren.
The rest of the night was quiet and despite their rude treatment the room was cozy and the beds were soft. The three slept well, having been thoroughly beaten by the storm the beds were a welcome sight. They woke as the first beams off sunlight filtered through the window and warmed their beaks. Zev was the first up and immediately he knew something was wrong. He couldn’t hear the sounds of the kitchen below. Quickly he looked out the window and noticed that the pedestrians were eying the front of the inn and keeping their distance as though something peculiar was underway.
Zev immediately roused his parents and they shook off their slumber, hastily dressing and were about to head toward the door as it flew open revealing three armed men with cross bows. Zev had the window open and turned to shout to his parents as the crossbow bolts thunked into the wall out the window and one ripped its way through Zev’s left cheek injuring his eye. He screamed and lept out the window. As did his parents however not before his father had cut down the men who injured his son.
Landing one after another in the soft muddy road in front of the inn armed men started to pour out of the bar room portion. Zev’s one good eye scanned the road for an opening and found one and he bolted ahead of his parents. A couple moments passed and he knew the men were right on his tail feathers. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small vial. Blood streaming down his face he spun and faced the coming men. Seeing his parents followed closely by the armed party he threw the vial hard.
The vial flew past his parents and landed in front of the men. Zev shielded his eye as the flash momentarily illuminated the entire street in blinding light. The men were caught off guard and fell to the ground stunned, which gave Zev and his family time to bolt down an Ally. Spying a barn Zev darted inside running straight into and older scholarly man. The man smiled disarmingly at Zev and his parents who had just rounded the corner.
“Quickly my friends, into the hayloft I saw everything. My colleague Mr. Umble will meet you up there go with him, leave your sword with me however good sir.” The man said motioning to Jimren’s sword.
Jimren was hesitant to relinquish his weapon but Zev’s insistence that he do so quickly swayed him.
“Quickly now, off with you.” The aged professor said with a smile.
The trio rapidly ascended the ladder and were lead out a back hatch by a man with red hair and goatee with a shock of white running through it. Mr. Umble lead them into the attack of a nearby house and closed the shutters but not before mumbling a couple words and sending a pea sized ball of energy darting out of his finger into the hayloft. A moment later a dull roar could be heard as the entire barn went up in flames.
Panting and out of breath the family dropped against the wall, Jimren managed to ask the question running through all of their minds.
“Who are you? And why are you helping us,”
The man lit a lantern and hung it on a hook in the dark room. The light illuminated his face, and his smile was slightly disconcerting.
“Calm my friend, Lorrimor will handle the bounty hunters. You all just rest, I will bring up something to tend to your sons wounds. I am Umble, a wizard of sorts.” He said still smiling.
He paused a moment straightening his waste length over coat and continued “I was attempting to divine something for Professor Lorrimor when I saw an image of you three running through the streets. I asked myself, “whatever could these Tengu have done to garner such a response? And the answer came to me almost immediately. A butterfly told me you all were innocent,”
He smiled again and walked away shortly returning with a medical kit to treat Zev’s wounds, sadly it appeared that he had lost most of the use of his left eye. Zev swore he would never be so sloppy again and slipped off to sleep.
A couple hours passed and the local fire fighters managed to control the blaze from spreading to the nearby houses. Jimren kept a lookout through the slats in the window, it was hard to see but it appeared that the bounty hunters had found his sword. That seemed to appease them and they left the smoldering ruin.
Moments later the man known as Lorrimor came up and introduced himself. He offered his home to them to stay in until the bounty had been collected and the heat had died down. Jimren thanked him repeatedly and offered to somehow pay him back for his sacrifice, but Lorrimor simply smiled and refused saying “In time you will pay me back, but for now don’t worry on it,”
It was then for the first time ever that the three of them actually felt like a family. Jimren and Merle helped around the house and quickly settled into life there. However Zev could not shut off his over active mind. His hyper awareness persisted and he began to pick up on little things that didn’t mean anything and make connections that weren’t there. Lorrimor was no fool and took an interest in the young Tengu. He began designing games for Zev such as changing subtle things around the house and asking him what was different. Or going to the bakery and leaving a scuff of flower on his shoe as the give away and asking Zev where he’d gone that day. Zev took to liking the games he played with the professor and was saddened when his family was eventually able to leave. Zev vowed that the debt that his family owed to the professor would someday be repaid by him.
The family eventually settled in Lastwall at the suggestion of Lorrimor. No one bothered them any more and they acquired a small home. Jimren found a job as Steward for a local noble family and Merle began working for a local Bakery. Zev attended a local academy, when he was old enough he opened an Investigators office and worked for many clients wealthy and pour. From finding lost cats to cheating spouses, to more dangerous affairs such as trapping and removing undead who were terrorizing the country side. All the while waiting vigilantly for the day that Lorrimor would request his aid, until one day it came. A simple request to come to Ravengro and bury the man who he had befriended all those years ago.