Then first thing Jack felt was soaked, then pain and hunger. Jack slowly opened his eyes to an unfamiliar sight. Cobblestone streets with Victorian era style architecture houses and stores lined the streets.
Horse pulled coaches passed by while rain poured down, "wha.. Huh?".
Jack looked down to see him wearing scrappy worn out clothes that could barely pass for rags. His hands looked calloused and thin. All his joints ached and all in all he felt like crap.
(This certainly isn't a dream... I've transmittigated? The last thing I remember is going to bed early because I had a headache. Did I fucking die from a headache?!? you kidding me?)
Jack groaned as he stood up from his sitting position, taking a better look at his surroundings. He was located in a alleyway between 2 shops, in front of him was a large road that was bustling despite the downpour.
(Well I suppose I'll have to make the best of this..)
Before he could finish his thought, he suddenly felt a throbbing pain radiate through his skull as memories poured in. Jack Axter was a farmer's son. Born 754, his mother died soon after leaving just him and his father to run the farm. Running a farm while taking care of a child was no easy task so naturally his father quit being a farmer and moved them to the city of Forgemire in hopes of making money. At first things went well for them, his father made a living through his skills in sculpting form when he was a lad. They had small but stable income and meals coming their way. Fate was not so kind unfortunately; the governor became greedy slowly demanding higher and higher taxes.
Unable to keep up with the rising demand his father lost his job and home in 767. Ironically soon after his father passed away in 771 the governor was removed from power and property taxes were lowered. But after living on the streets for 4 years Jack could no longer just restart, stuck in the everlasting pit of poverty and grief. He was able to just barely survive through petty theft and soup kitchens.
And that's Jack's story up until this year 776.
Jack was livid unlike his previous memories he was educated and realized the extent of some of the corruption going on in this city. Taxes raised with no real reason, oppression of everyone in the lower class. Blatant false election results, blackmail, you name it; it was here in Forgemire.
Jack started thinking about all the books he had read with them becoming heroes. Jack also thought about the stories he had heard his mother read to him before bed, especially Robin Hood. Jack was always infatuated with the idea of the vigilante hero stealing from the bad guys and gving it back to his friends or the good guys.
But as he grew older those childish dreams died, and he became ordinary working a part time job to make a living. Eventually he managed to get a full time job and even became a manager, but his life was not fulfilling. He was not going to let this chance pass him by.
(Well Jack Axter does have a good ring to it and I'm no longer that poor farmer boy, it's time for change. I will become the Robin hood of this world or I'll go down kicking and screaming until everyone remembers the name Jack Axter)
Jack stumbled out of the alley and started walking to get feeling back into his legs. Putting his hand onto his chin he started pondering.
(Alright before I get ahead of myself, I need to get food. Although I have some skills in theft it won't be enough to feed me. Not to mention its high risk and low reward at this point. Where can I find work in this pitiful state.)
As jobs were going through his head he spotted a building out from his peripheral vision. It was a church. The church of Mayaht to be specific the goddess of Light and healing. Jack's foot steps slowed before coming to a complete stop as he stared at the temple before him. Suddenly an idea popped in his head.
(I can apply to be an acolyte for the Church of Mayaht!! From there I can get food and info from gossip. And I don't need to feel sacrilegious about it because if they're corrupt then they deserve it, and if they're not uhh… I'm sure the goddess of healing won't mind a decent citizen like myself helping out the injured even if I'm not pious… Yeah that's right it's fine right? Probably.)
Jack did not enter the church immediately though, after all he had no idea what the prerequisites were to become an acolyte. First he needed information, the problem was that beggars were not aloud into mass due to previous theft, and the only other way was to be injured.
He couldn't just walk in and ask about the test because he couldn't afford the books that would be recommended. Priests and acolytes were not allowed to speak about the test only the scriptures of the goddess which had to be bought. And forget about stealing them, walking deep into the basement of a temple in major city with high ranking members and paladins patrolling, great idea if you we're able to cloak yourself from holy vision.
But if he were injured then they would have to use healing magic on him, which was less expensive than the scriptures and him inside at least. And with other injured people there paying for treatment, he could steal their money to afford the scriptures.
(Alright I have 35 copper that's 3.5 silver, treatment is about 2 silver for non-grievous injuries, and scriptures are about 40 silver. Phew alright gotta wait for someone who looks rich to be healed before I injure myself.)
Jack walked away for a couple blocks before turning and looping back around and stealthily entering a nearby by alley with a view of the doors to the infirmary.
As time passed by the rain gradually slowed before clearing up to show a clear and sunny sky although there was contamination from smoke this was the outer parts of the Forgemire it wasn't that bad.
After about 5 hours Jack was restless.
(Maybe waiting for someone to get injured was not the best plan. At this rate I'll starve before I get the chance to act. Alright I'll put this plan on hold until I figure out a better way to go about this or some food.) Jack decided begrudgingly.
Jack slowly stood up slowly and stiffly toward the market area. Since the rain had cleared up the market was vibrant. Jack squinted up at the sky.
(From the looks of it people are rushing to get their missing ingredients before it's time to start cooking dinner. Perfect they're too busy being in a hurry to be paying close attention to me.)
Jack walked leisurely towards the crowds whistling a tune from earth. As he reached the crowd he started casually looking at the jewelry vendors, since they usually had the richest costumers. Not because they sold jewelry but because they claimed to be selling magic trinkets. Arcane enthusiasts would dig into there lies and spend up to 30 silver on some useless trinkets before ultimately being disappointed after studying it at their home.
Although Jack didn't like robbing from good people he vowed inwardly that when he became more successful he would pay them back. Suddenly Jack spotted his first target.
A woman wearing common clothes leaned forward inspecting the trinkets. She was fair looking all be it there was soot smudged on her face significantly decreasing her attractiveness. Mid length black hair with a slight wave flowed down loosely.
Jack casually approached the stall eavesdropping on the conversation between the woman and the vendor.
"Yes ma'am this is a genuine quartz talisman from the Zultein empire, it's known to bless the owner with the strength of a warrior for a brief period if the activation code is said."
The vendor held up a stone talisman on a leather string.
The woman frowned hearing that "What is the activation code?"
"I have no clue miss I barely escaped with my life with talisman so I can assure you of it's authenticity, but not of it's details. I'm sure a studious ma'am like yourself can decipher it."
The woman ponder for a second before asking " How much?"
The woman starting reaching for her coin purse before taking out 2 large silver coins as she was about to hand it over to the vendor she heard a voice from beside her.
"Excuse me ma'am but I couldn't help but to over hear your conversation, but I believe you are being scammed."
Jack spoke up suddenly not even knowing entirely what he was doing. He was going to rob her but something within him stirred it just didn't sit right, so he spoke.
"Bullshit!" Exclaimed the vendor.
"On what basis can you claim that I am scamming her? Can you read Zulteine?"
"As a matter of fact yes I was once a historian before I was like this."
Jack stretched the truth he new some Zulteine because one of the tools that his father had before he sold it, was a Zulteine artifact. It was a spherical metal ball that could either produce water or fire. His father would use the fire to get rid of weeds and the water to water the plants.
Jack being curious about it learned that apparently on the sphere it had said, -When the sky dries of it's tears I shall provide. When the sun looses it's luster I will provide.- So Jack knew that much.
"Oh?" The woman cocked her eyebrow at Jack.
"All right then what does this say?"
She proceeded to pull out a paper and scribbling down some intelligible words on it.
(Shit, shit, shit, shit, why did I say that now I'm screwed. Jack why are you such an idiot?) Jack panicked inwardly. But on the outside he maintained his poker face before chuckling.
"Ma'am you and I both know that that isn't Zulteine. That is ancient Bralten the language from the northern barbarians." Jack bluffed using another scholarly language that he knew of, pleading inwardly for it to work.
He knew vaguely what Zulteine looked like had he could tell that it wasn't Zulteine albeit similar. Think of it as Zulteine being Chinese and whatever she had wrote was Korean. Obvious to some but to westerners it was harder to tell.
The woman raised both her eyebrows in surprise. "I see that you at least recognize Bralten there might be truth to your words. But I am still inclined to doubt you sir seeing as you are now a beggar, a fine scholar like you claim to be would find it very difficult to fall to such a low position."
Jack smiled coolly before extending his hand toward the paper. "May I?"
The woman glanced at the paper before giving him an affirmation. Jack proceeded to grab the pen and paper she used to write the Bralten.
Jack put his hand up to his chin pretending to think, Jack was panicking not know what to do before he suddenly stopped and facepalmed his mind.
(I can just write When the sky dries of it's tears I shall provide. When the sun looses it's luster I will provide!)
"There you go"
The vendor then took the opportunity to speak up.
"This means nothing!! Just because he can write a couple words of Zulteine doesn't make this amulet any less authentic! Any old chump can memorize a couple words that they chanced upon."
Jack outwardly looked offended, while internally pulling on his collar sheepishly.
The woman read through what he wrote frowning lightly. "Alright I believe you, but how did you know that his amulet was fake without studying it?"
"Why that's quite simple really if you think about it there is no way a talisman would lose it's necklace portion, the leather strap there was not around within the Zulteine empire. That made me suspicious so I took a closer look seeing that the runes carved into it are just gibberish." Jack said inwardly panicking.
The woman looked stunned for a second before looking at the talisman and then frowning at the vendor.
"Also didn't you say it was a talisman why did you just refer to it as a amulet just now?" Jack said inquiringly.
At this point the vendor started sweating bullets. "Well I uhh…. I.. um."
The vendor suddenly stood up grabbing the woman's coin purse before sprinting away. Or at least that's what he tried to do, Jack stuck out his foot tripping him the coin purse flying out and leading smoothly landing in Jack's hand.
"Jack Axter at your service ma'am"
Jack extended his hand with the coin purse out to the woman.
"Celine" Said the woman still stunned from the abrupt theft attempt. Before taking the coin purse.
Jack quickly stepped on the back of the vendor before he could run away and fishing around his body until finding his coin purse.
"Well it's been splendid having a scholarly discussion with you Celine but unfortunately I have places to be"
Jack then slipped away before Celine could even realize that a beggar wouldn't have anywhere to be.
Celine looked out toward where Jack had left, "Hmm, scholar huh? I wonder how true that is, this will not be our last meeting Jack"