Do I hear the clink of markers in your pockets? Claimed from one of your victims, or perhaps from the victim of one of your victims. It is impossible to know how far back that chain could unwind, but now they belong to you, and you seem to be in good health. To the victor, et cetera. It seems you are the one I have patiently waited for. Yes, you will do just fine.
Take a marker in your hand. Speak these words into your mind: The Ring binds us all, and to all within I shall do no harm.
Welcome, Exile, to the Ring. I am Kurai. While you are here, you will do no harm to any of its members. You are a guest of the Ring, and the Boss has no tolerance for guests who do not obey his rules. What goes around, comes around, if you will excuse the aphorism.
Take your time and look around. Introduce yourself to the others here. When you are ready, find me. The Ring has a job for you, if you are willing.
The Ring operates outside whatever semblance of the 'law' remains out here. But lawlessness does not exclude civility, and does not need to create chaos. If someone is intent on taking what is not theirs, better to have a professional handle it and avoid unnecessary violence and confusion.
The Ring is contracted by those who seek a solution to the... misallocation of resources. We assign members based on the needs of the job, and we take a small cut. Everyone wins, other than the target of our work.
A client wishes to utilise our services. The Boss would like to offer you the opportunity to assist member Karst on this job. There is room yet in the Ring, if you can handle the work. The details are on the contract. I suggest you review it before you set off.
Speak to Adiyah when you are ready. She will get you within range of the mark.
And try to keep your partner safe, so he may do what he is best at. Karst is not as tough as he believes, but the Boss has never seen another Lockpick as talented.
I hope you enjoyed your first job. Karst spoke highly of you. Well, he did not outright speak poorly of you, which, for Karst, means a great deal.
The items you procure should be exchanged with Faustus for markers. In addition to allowing entry onto Ring premises, markers can be redeemed with the residents of the Ring for various goods and services, including Blueprints. Please, do not hesitate to speak to me if you need further elucidation.
I suggest you return to your ordinary duties, whatever they may be, until another Contract crosses your path.
The Ring operates based on favours. Markers allow us to track those favours, and to ensure no one is taking advantage of, or being taken advantage of, by any other Ring member. They are also how you got here. You'll excuse me if that seemed obvious. At times I must deal with people whose talents are... not intellectual in nature.
What is valuable to you or I may not be valuable to the Boss or Faustus. Where you see a worthless trinket, another may see a precious heirloom, or the final piece in a life-long collection. Contracts allow our clients to hire the Ring to pursue goods that hold no objective value on the client's behalf. Sometimes that value comes from knowing the original owner no longer has it.
The Ring makes few moral judgements on what it is hired to obtain. So long as it is not breathing and it is not liable to put the entire Ring at risk, we will not turn a contract down. And neither should you.
Though Contracts allow the Ring to keep spinning, we are skilled professionals, and skilled professionals wish to test the limits of their skills. The Ring has obtained the layouts of locations known to hold objects of great value. Naturally, these locations are heavily protected and patrolled, and to pull off a job in such a location requires a team.
The Boss is happy to provide blueprints for these highly secure locations and access to the skills and resources needed to strip such a location bare... for a price. Complete contracts, earn markers, and you will be able to utilise those services.
The Boss is an extraordinarily busy man, so I enact his orders and allocate tasks to members as needed on his behalf. I am, for all intents and purposes, his administrator. If you have any issues, please take them to me and I can raise it with The Boss when he is available.
The Vox family has enjoyed a place among Oriath's nobility for several generations, but in recent years, Victario and Vincent Vox have used coercion, blackmail, and violence to ensure the family sits at the centre of Oriath's business and social ecosystem. The twins enjoy a legitimate public persona, all while they bury their hands deep in the criminal underworld.
The Boss would, of course, love to see the Vox criminal enterprise dismantled. The Ring competes with the Vox crime family for many of the same jobs. But removing competition is secondary to freeing hard-working families from their looming threat. The Boss is shrewd, not heartless.
Dominus was a terrible human being, but the Ring owes a great debt to him. Without his overzealous exilings, the Ring would not have a rich pool of talent to draw upon. The Boss himself learned a great deal about the power of anonymity and mythos from Dominus. Lessons he employs today.
A king is human, mortal, vulnerable to the same temptations and vices as are we all. A legend lives on for as long as it is told, its meaning and message shifting to fit the needs of the speaker or the audience. Kaom seems to have found himself stuck somewhere in the middle.
The greatest lesson to take away from the story of the fallen Karui king is this: A leader is nothing without the loyalty of their followers. And, I suppose, that those followers should still have their heads attached.
You've got a contract I have taken out. Excuse me if you know the tale, but I find a well-informed thief is a better thief.
A few hundred years ago, Kaom, a Karui king of note, landed on the shores of Wraeclast and began an ill-fated conquest north. He won a decisive battle against the Eternals with the help of his niece, Hyrri. She and many other women took up bows and ambushed General Lioneye when hubris got the better of him. It was an ingenious workaround of a restriction of the Karui Way.
The poet Victario was present at the battle and later gifted Hyrri with a signed copy of "O' Eternal", one of his works. It now sits in the vault of an Oriathan nobleman. I'd like you to bring it home. It should be a straightforward job.
The Vox twins are offering to return Hana and negotiate a truce, so long as we are willing to meet them in person once more. I doubt this meeting will be any more useful than the last. In fact, we may be walking into an ambush, but I want Hana back. I've put all members on high alert while we are gone, and Adiyah is ready to help us escape if it comes to that.
We have been monitoring communications in the Vox crime family for some time. Vic and Vinny have been careful to remain separate, so as not to invite an ambush, but we believe they are uniting very soon for a celebration.
This is the best time to strike. Please ready yourself.
Death cannot bring back the dead, but it can bring peace to the living. The Vox family was a source of anguish for more people than I care to mention. With the twins gone, their hold on civilian life is relinquished, at least for now. The increased business we will now receive is a simply a happy coincidence.
And I know, somewhere in Hinekora's hallowed halls, Hana is sinking her claws deep into Vox flesh.
The Boss has authorised me to give you a bonus. Thank you again, Exile.