Manny
Name: Manny
Gender: Male
Race: Goblin
Age: "Dunno, guv. I lost count. Which toff is sitting on the throne again?"

Personality and Physical Description:

Manny is a city bred goblin which means there's very little more the world can throw at him that someone else hasn't tried to throw at him already. Though down on his luck of late no amount of ill-fortune can dampen Manny's relentless optimism. He remains ever alert for an opportunity to change his stars - preferably for ones that promise lavish comfort for a bare minimum of work if possible.

Manny's most distinguishing feature is his enormous head, disproportionate even by quite liberal goblin standards. He can comfortably wear a man sized helmet despite standing quite short for his race at 2'10". When he grins he has the off-putting demeanor of a rather homely, broad nosed shark.

Beneath his ill fitting garments the little goblin is seemingly comprised of little more than skin and bone upon which is writ a prodigious patchwork of scars. Manny is however quick to assert in his own defense that he is 'more, what you might call wiry'.

Powers/Abilities:

Due to the unique circumstances of his past Manny is no longer a flesh and blood goblin in the traditional sense, or at least that's not all that he is any longer. He is a magical creature, irrevocably bonded to another, and for so long as that bond persists then so to will he. But where age brings wisdom to some, it has not done so for Manny. More knowledge perhaps.

Few thieves can rival the quick fingered goblin at his craft. Necessity is the most demanding master of all, especially when it is tempered by adversity and adversity has been a constant companion to the luckless goblin for a long time indeed. Manny is also a natural linguist, an unexpected talent that has blossomed with age. He speaks a broad array of tongues, a few of which have fallen into disuse, and all of them uncouthly.

Backstory:

Manny is something of a happy accident, the unfortunate product of an arcane misadventure. He is bound to a great sorceress as a familiar is to its master. Though neither was initially excited at the prospect he served aptly (albeit with no shortage of grumbling) for many years before one day returning to his mistress's tower only to find it vanished but for the gaping stone of its foundations. What became of the witch he has never learned, but she must persist in some capacity for the bond never wanes.

In years to follow he has largely lived the life of a vagabond, gravitating to other miscreants and subsisting on the edges of a larger society in which he is largely unwelcome.

Strengths:

Manny is a consummate scoundrel and gifted thief. Necessity has also molded him into a competent scrapper particularly with a blade, of which there always seems to be a wide array secreted somewhere about his person. Like most members of his despicable race he is surprisingly fleet of foot and a natural climber, able to scale almost sheer surfaces with the ease (and general social graces) of a lizard. Though he lacks any and all magical aptitude the little goblin has been around enough magic in his 'formative' years to have a rather impressive (if fundamentally flawed) insight into the arcane arts.

Weaknesses:

Manny is driven and easily manipulated by the twin preoccupations of greed and sloth. A perennial outcast scorned by polite society and goblin kind alike (he doesn't smell right, other goblins find his presence unnerving) Manny nonetheless has a soft spot for children, one that is only seldom reciprocated. The reason for this is unknown. Manny is also uncomfortable in the presence of horses and dogs. Though he can swim (poorly), he has an almost pathological fear of drowning and hesitates to enter any body of water deeper than he can comfortably stand in.


Manny's Story - Part I

"Yes, guv. Right away, guv. Just as you like."

The vestiges of a cooking fire crackled and popped indignantly as a makeshift rake was drawn across its ashes sending up a shower of tiny bright red embers. Fleeting shadows cast about the small campsite revealed it to be little more than a crude lean-to beside which two mismatched figures, one large and dour, the other small and nervous, presided over a tiny mound of rabbit bones. An ember landed in the dirt beside the diminutive speaker, and was swiftly snatched up between the pincer like tines of two slender twigs. A moment later the tiny coal was raised reverentially to the tip of a grubby cigar stub beneath a large flat nose, itself plastered on to an even larger head.

"It wasn't Manny wot nipped your coin purse, guv, not poor Manny." The words sounded a little muffeled now as they were mouthed around the edges of the tabacco filled cylinder. They stopped altogether for a moment and were replaced by a wet sucking noise as the speaker tried to coax life into the marrow of a cigar that had been a dogend from the first moment it was rolled. He was rewarded by a faint glow.

"I never saw'n it, it was gone before I got there, there was a hole in the bottom when I picked it up." A thin stream of acrid smoke rose with each passing word.

"One of those woss'names - unbelievable coincidences, right?"

The rest of the breath was released in one great big plume and the speaker offered his prize across to the scowling figure that was for the time being his captive audience. After a moment's silence with no answer apparently forthcoming he let his arm fall back against his side with a shrug.

"Hah, humans. Who needs em, right? Not me I tells you. Bunch of sodding todgers - why I'd like to kick the next one I sees right in the fork. That'd show him. 'course he'd have to be lying down first..."

The speaker it should be fairly pointed out at this time was only about three feet tall. He had dark green skin, fan like ears, an impossibly broad grin, and as has been mentioned already an enormous head. Truly massive. So large in fact that one could not help but applaud the tenacity of the wiry little neck that struggled to keep it aloft.

It was without a doubt his pride and joy.

"Is, ahh, is you going to eat that?" A tiny claw gestured towards an untouched leg of rabbit resting beside the silent listener. Most of the bones were next to him as well.

"Only, I did catch them - but no matter, no matter. You need to keep up your strength, right? Fine, strapping lad like yourself..."

The speaker's stomach growled, but he pretended not to notice.

"Humans, right..." he recovered after a moment.

"I mean I suppose some of them aren't so bad..." he confessed. "Not all of them leastwise. Mr. Vargas in Tamran was a decent sort, always ready with a penny for a half dozen tails no questions asked. And old Mrs. Purdy always left the kitchen scraps wheres' I could reach 'em, bless 'er heart. Real dame, she was."

"But really, being a city goblin is no life," the speaker continued with renewed vigor, suddenly realizing that he'd lost the approval of his audience. "You've got no choice but to live right out on the edge with the garbage, and the muck. And the only work to be had is menial type - you kills yourself for a few coppers. Well, practically anyway. Its mostly ratting-"

There was a sudden disturbance from amidst the fold's of the speakers cossack and a furry nose poked out around neck level.

"Don't you fret, Merve my love. I hasn't et you yet, no I hasn't. Here, I fink I still have a few crumbs."  He went digging in one of his pockets while he continued and the tiny creature settled.

"I always left a couple behind, see? So there's more work in a couple a months. Otherwise its mucking out the middens. Nasty work, that. We're woss'name - untouchables. Leastwise as long as no one sees us. Otherwise there only too happy to touch us with the toe of a boot but hard... or a cudgel..." he grumbled.

"But country goblins," the speaker continued after a moment's dark musing. "They've got it even worse - wot with the warring amongst themselves, and the hungering, and the cold. And every time a chicken goes missing its 'H'what ho, lads, grab the torches, grab the pitchforks, time to teach 'dem gobbies a lesson', right?"

"I should thank my lucky stars I found you then, hey? I sawr you and right away I says to myself, 'Here, Manny. There's a man who's going places, that Balthazar is. There's a man who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to break a few bones to get it. Go on and hitch your wagon to that-' hey, where you going? Oh, off to bed are you? I ah, I don't suppose there's room in the tent for me tonight? No, no, of course not... someone has to keep watch, and its only fair that its my turn. Again. I'll, uh, I'll just see you tomorrow then..."

The speaker waited until all rustling from within the confines of the lean-to had ceased, and a gentle snoring had replaced them before scampering over to the long forgotten rabbit shank. Raking the coals once more he settled down beside the fire and wrapped himself up tightly in the folds of his cloak.

"Don't you look at me like that, Merv," he muttered as he tore into the smokey rabbit flesh with wounded aplomb. "Its only a temporary arrangement, right? Pretty soon we'll be back in the flush with a nice dry roof o'er our heads and all the bread crusts you can eat. You just stick with Old Manny, my son, and you'll see. You'll see..."