38th of Roalis, 2709
THE KING'S PALACE | LATE EVENING
The King of the Underworld had not reached his position of power by mere violence or simple manipulation, no. Silas Hawke was a ruthlessly calculating and careful planner who'd risen in the ranks of the Bad Brothers first as a young Black Hand—or so the story went, anyway, though no one living in the tribe had ever claimed him as their own—and then as part of the small, disorganized original gang's inner circle, making a name for the Brothers with both charm and cruelty. Once he neared the top and began to admire the view, the sly wick's plans came together quickly and he emerged from the bloodshed and fire in Old Rose Harbor to declare himself its patriarch.
He spent the next several years creating his kingdom: pruning out rivals, murdering entire gangs, sinking ships, and setting fire to the criminal world of both the Kingdoms of Anaxas and Mugroba especially, sewing seeds in a struggling economy that he hoped would pay off as they grew and blossomed. Like some Hessean wildfire, hot and fast, he burned away the undergrowth and put down roots so that when the smoke cleared and the sun broke through, his place was firmly secured.
So secured, in fact, that when the Symvoulio cycle changed, Anaxas had no choice but to accept his presence, but to welcome him as purseholder and trade dictator.
It was good to be the King.
Although, some times, not everyone agreed to acquiesce to his rightful rulership and other times, not everyone lived properly under his laws. When such things happened, he sought to exert his authority, and those that didn't find him agreeable? Well, they usually ended up dead. Not entirely merciless, however, there were occasions that stirred his curiosity and led Silas to offer the rare kindness of second chances or alternative opportunities—
Young Kirrah was a shining example.
The Bad Brothers weren't unaware of her activities once a few of their regular buyers of opiates like King's Crop or other illicit goodies began to go elsewhere. Careful observation led to a few of Hawke's trusted craftsmen to become curious. Curiosity led to investigation. Investigation led to a beaten child at the sly wick's feet at some clocking annoying hour of the evening.
Silas didn't enjoy being dragged away from his rare moments of distraction, and the hastily-dressed, somewhat disheveled King of the Underworld had poured himself into his throne in the Palace while Remses poured him a glass of wine and two of his better thugs dragged the pale youth through gilded doors and over expensive carpets to drop Kirrah roughly into the room. One of them, a broad-shouldered human with green eyes and a shaved head, was even kind enough to cut her bonds.
No one offered her a glass of wine, and the wick curled up in his bejeweled mockery of a royal throne sipped from his glass loudly, dark eyes taking in the bloodied young thing,
"I ent sure I asked either of ye t' beat her." He purred, a hint of displeasure in his voice at the mess they'd brought before him. It wasn't the tribute he preferred and it gave him very little room to negotiate when his opponent was already bleeding.
Fingers waggled to silence the thug and he leaned forward, hands weighed down by silver rings glittering in the lantern light coming to rest on his knees,
"Good evenin', lass. I s'pose yer wonderin' what garnered ye such a lovely invitation, eh? Trust me, it ent 'cause you've ne been payin' yer taxes, but mayhaps ye should sign up an' start. Ye got a name, bochchild?"