The gods of Nevre: The Mimic – Before

Kiawk was a skravyn Living in Rentaz, the capital of Zentar. But it didn’t feel like the capital. Decades before Kiawk was born all the skravyn in Rentaz were forced into a section of the city known, at the time, as the Abandoned District.

The buildings in the abandoned district were so contaminated by the airship industry that even the most insane members of the Mage Guild avoided it. The council decreed that any skravyn living outside the abandoned district would have to pay double taxes and only the richest families were spared the relocation.

The only shops near the Skravyn Slums, as the area eventually became known as, were owned by the airship factories, and the only nearby jobs were ones in those factories. Unfortunately for the skravyn some corporate big shot decided to pay skravyn employees in scrip and set a low exchange rate from scrip into coin.

Unable to save money without starving the skravyns realized the council had made them into forced laborers. Some skravyn left the city, hoping to make it on their own in the countryside, but those who chose to do so were rarely heard from again.

In this environment, Kiawk learned to fend for himself with trickery and deception, but he also learned to care for the young first and himself second.

– – –

One day Kiawk watched as a priest of The Balance came to the slums with bread. Usually the adults would force the children to give up their food after they received it from the priest and they would also beat the priest up to take what was left of the bread. This time, however, the priest extended a hand of peace and started handing out the left-over bread to the adults. Surprised at this the adults formed a line and waited patiently for food.

Kiawk watched as the bread was slowly running out and positioned himself at the end of the serving line. He may be a trickster, but he knew that he didn’t deserve free bread any more than the next skravyn.

From the end of the line Kiawk realized that he was effectively invisible as he saw the priest look around and quietly cast a spell on the food when he wouldn’t be noticed. But he was noticed. Kiawk was confused at first, then realized that the food should’ve run out ten people ago, but there seemed to be just as much food as at the first. Kiawk knew now who this priest really was.

Stepping forward to receive his loaf Kiawk looked Brevman in the face. “Wait, you’re no pries-“

Brevman shushed Kiawk and handed him a pendant with the bread. “Here, I feel you should have this.”

Kiawk quickly shoved the pendant in his pocket to examine later, where no other eyes could see it.

“The Calculating may come to take that back, but until then you should follow what it tells you.” Brevman turned and left.

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