Shyri Cragjumper was born the youngest of three daughters and the second youngest of seven children. Pigtails, dolls, delighting over dresses when she was not learning to cook had been fun times. Then she heard about all the fun her brothers were having in town and she decided to join their games. The boys of Blackstone played a game called Take The Banner. They would try and sneak or fight passed one another to steal the other team's banner, which was often a painted handkerchief tied to a stick. Quick and able to fight due to having four brothers, Shyri proved a natural at the game. She only fought when she had to and only long enough to get away. Mama Cragjumper did NOT approve and forbade Shyri from running off with her brothers. Shyri began to learn the art of sneaking so she could still play the game. Sneaking proved to be her best skill. Unfortunately, her little brother Thimmy had been born with that skill so most of the time she had him coming after her.
All Grown Up In Blackstone
Mel Cragjumper, Shyri's father, owned Cragjumpers Alehouse that had been passed down for generations. Across the street from the alehouse stood Cragjumpers Brewing Barn, where her father made his famous Peak Ale, Spiced Cider, and Black Walnut Whiskey. As a daughter, she was not taught the art of brewing, much to her relief. Instead, she spent her days cooking in the kitchen or serving customers. It was tedious work, but Shyri found ways to make it interesting. She especially found it amusing to listen to drunken folks ramble out their secrets to a friendly serving girl. Secrets she made sure to remember in case they proved useful.
She had loved playing dolls as a girl but that had never instilled in her dreams of having babies. Shyri was not at all interested in finding a husband from the available youngmen in Blackstone, either. The wearing of beautiful dresses was marvelous but never once did she dream of a husband that would buy them for her. What Shyri really longed for was to be a member of The Hand, a gang of thieves that went all over the kingdom and who had a strong presence in Blackstone. The Hand did not believe in taking in girls no matter if they were more skilled than the boys. Shyri deeply resented this and dedicated her nights to stealing from the thieves. To do this, she needed a disguise so she stole man-clothes from her brothers so no one would suspect a girl was at fault.
Along Came Fawkes
Shyri felt stiffled in Blackstone, especially with her father always looking for her to marry and settle down. Any youngman she showed an interest in was soon under the scrutiny of her father, who made sure to find out just how capable the youngman was at providing for a family. Shyri learned to avoid youngmen so her father would not try to marry her off if he found one be to his liking. Then, The Gosling began to winter in town. The Gosling was a keelboat that carried an old spice merchant all over the Darkwater River. It was skippered by his grandson, Fawkes L. H. Fairchild. The grandson was good-looking youngman and Shyri found him to be as much fun at night as he was a gentleman during the day. They took great care to never let her family suspect a thing, except for Thimmy whom they managed to dodge often enough to truly vex her little brother.
Then came the terrible day when a rogue wizard cast mage fire within the Blackstone Inn. The mage fire instantly killed Fawkes' grandfather, the crew of his keelboat and a few townsfolk. Though no one ever dared say too loudly, most folks believed it was the work of the Hand. Her dreams of being a grand Lady Thief of the Hand were shattered that day. That the Hand had to resort to vile murder to steal repulsed her forever against them. Still, she could be a Lady Thief and stealing from the Hand became an even more intense game. In this way, she held on to a new dream. Fawkes, still grieving his grandfather, was an even more willing to be a partner in her escapades. Thimmy, on the other hand, was more appalled at this. Her little brother decided it was his duty to see to it that Shyri did not get herself married off to a keelboat skipper who could sail away with her heart any day. Dodging him was far more difficult that evading the townwatch or sneaking around Hand. One night, the Hand caught Thimmy. Things were grim and terrible and only a daring rescue by Fawkes saved Thimmy from certain death. In order to keep Thimmy alive against further Hand attacks, Thimmy and Shyri escaped aboard Fawkes' keelboat, the Gosling. Fawkes brought them to Honey Port, a town that the Hand's greatest rival, The Silvers, calls their own. Here Shyri portrays herself as a well-to-do young widow with a ward, Thimmy. At night, though, she is the Lady Thief.
The Hand is beneath contempt. They pretend to be thieves when they are nothing more than fumble-fingered killers! What they did to my brother will see them all into Inferna!
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