Sheen is a thief-for-hire who currently works for Garrenton's biggest crimeboss, Alarkon.
She is a halfling, and uses her miniature size to her advantage in her work.
Early Life Edit
Sheen was born to wealthy Terranis silk merchant parents, Ara and Levvin. When Sheen was five years old, she was on a trading voyage with her parents from Terranis to Hama, but their ship was attacked by a giant, tentacled creature while passing through the sea of Meygas, south of Ballentia.
Sheen's mother, Ara, was killed instantly, when she fell from the ship's deck and into the creature's open mouth. Sheen's father, Levvin, shielded Sheen's body from the whipping tentacles and endured immense pain and injury. Finally, the creature ripped the ship in two, and Levvin and most of the crew sank to the icy depths.
Five year old Sheen, terrified and alone, managed to grab hold of a piece of flotsam, before passing out. She awoke on the northern shore of Meygas, shivering and near to death. Seeking some kind of shelter from the elements, she ventured away from the water's edge, and huddled behind a large rock nearby. Realising she would die without fire, she went back to the water to reclaim the heavy timber on which she had floated to safety, and searched the other wreckage that had been washed ashore. She found a flint, some clothing, and a water-logged sack of hard bread. She put these items on the timber, and dragged it away from the shore and behind the large rock.
She used the flint to light the soaked timber, which didn't burn well, but was better than nothing. While it burned, she dressed in as many layers of clothing as she could, and huddled close to the meager flame before it inevitably burned out.
The next morning, she headed south towards some distant cliffs which, as she got closer, she realised were the Frozen Canyons. Within, she managed to find a fallen tree which was relatively dry. She broke off some of its smaller branches and pulled them into a sheltered alcove, devoid of icy wind, where she lit a much better fire than the day before.
Sheen dried out the hard bread and rationed it for as long as she could, even as it became consumed with mold. After two weeks, the bread was gone and she knew she had very little hope of finding another source of food. Desperate and hungry, she left her shelter, and journeyed further into the canyons, where she narrowly avoided a roaming pack of demonic-looking ice creatures. While backing away from the creatures, she slipped and slid down into a large pit. At the bottom of the pit was a large creature reminiscent of some kind of giant stag, the size of a merchant carriage. It must have fallen into the pit as well, and appeared to be badly injured and unable to move.
The stag creature looked into Sheen's eyes with a look of hopeless sadness, as if it were expecting her - or perhaps pleading for her - to end its misery. It reminded her of the time when Pollis, one of her family's servants, had found an injured boar inside the house grounds, and the guards had beaten it to death with their cudgels. Sheen had never killed anything before, but resolved that it was in both of their best interests for the stag to die. She picked up a rock and, using what little strength she had, repeatedly bashed the stag in the top of its head until its eyes became glazed and vacant. She then collapsed, crying from the sheer physical and emotional exhaustion of the event, and fell asleep beside the stag's furry corpse.
When she woke, she used the rock to break the tip off one of the stag's antler's, creating a crude, makeshift blade. Over the next year, Sheen survived using the stag's meat for food, its fur for warmth, and its bones for tools. She dug out a cave to use as her home, where she stored wood, or food, whenever she found it. She spent her nights huddled by fire in her cave, and her days exploring the vast maze of the canyons, learning to anticipate and avoid the dangerous - and ofttimes magical - creatures that lived within.
A Hope of Rescue Edit
For ten years, Sheen survived on her own until one day a woman in a tattered dark green cloak walked past her cave, heading north. At first Sheen thought the woman must have been some kind of hallucination, or perhaps a clever illusion by one of the canyon's more mystical inhabitants, but when she saw footprints in the woman's wake, Sheen knew she was real.
Sheen followed the woman, who appeared to know her way through the canyons just as well as Sheen did, even managing to effortlessly avoid hidden hazards and weak ice. When the woman breached the northern entrance to the canyons, and walked onto the white plains heading to the shore, Sheen was hesitant to continue pursuit. Sheen had not been outside the canyons since that first day after washing up in Meygas as a child, and she felt she would be too exposed without the canyon's massive walls.
Hovering at the canyon entrance, Sheen faced the most difficult decision of her life. If she followed this cloaked woman she could either be led to a ship and back to the civilised world, or be led into some kind of unfamiliar deathtrap. She had been alone in the gods-forsaken frozen wasteland for so long, that she honestly did not know which of those outcomes would be worse. If she stayed behind, in the familiar safety of the canyon's walls, she might possibly never see another living soul for the rest of her life.
Finally, as the cloaked figure was almost out of sight, Sheen knew her time was up, and sprinted onto the plains after the woman, shouting for her to stop. The woman turned around and, seeing a fur-clad teenaged halfling running toward her on the uninhabited ice continent, was visibly shocked.
Sheen stopped running, a few feet from the woman, and paused to catch her breath. She pleaded "Please. Please. Wherever you're going; please take me with you."
The woman smiled at her, and said "Of course, dear." She then introduced herself as Taarin, and as Sheen was about to tell the story of how she got there, Taarin stopped her. "We must hurry. The ship is due to leave without me, if I'm not back before sunset. And besides, there'll be plenty of time for stories on the way back to Ballentia."
Together, Sheen and Taarin journeyed to the shore, where there was a ship waiting. As they approached, a man yelled from the deck, asking Taarin who her new friend was. Taarin had a brief exchange with the sailor, explaining how Sheen had found her on the plains and needed help getting back to the main continent, before he eventually allowed the two to come aboard. Soon after, the ship pulled away from the shore, and headed out on the Meygas sea.
Return to Civilisation Edit
While sailing, Sheen shared the story of her parents' shipwreck and her fight for survival. Taarin listened intently, offering sympathy for the Sheen's loss, and praise for her tenacity and instincts. In return, Taarin shared tales of her own life, but Sheen felt like the woman was holding something back, and telling only a small portion of a much larger story.
The ship arrived at the Garrenton docks after an uneventful week at sea, and Taarin and Sheen disembarked without ceremony or any farewell to the ship's crew. Together, the two walked through the bustling city streets, the sheer amount of people providing Sheen with considerable discomfort. The sounds, the smells, and the activity were all so foreign to the girl who had been alone in the wilderness for most of her life.
When Taarin announced that she was not stopping in Garrenton for long, and was heading north to Pinebridge, Sheen suddenly realised that she had no idea what she was going to do next. She had returned to the civilised world, but had nothing to claim as her own. Taarin suggested for her to journey to Terranis, to try to find some remnant of her former home or her parents' legacy. Having no other obvious options, Sheen agreed that was the best course of action. She bid Taarin farewell, embraced her, and the two friends went their separate ways.
On the long walk north west towards Terranis, Sheen used her survival skills to hunt boars and other prey in the Ballentian countryside, and then in the treacherous Wolfwood. She had heard stories of the Wolfwood as a child, and how it was too dangerous for even the most skilled hunters to survive a night without shelter. But, after a decade in Meygas, she had no fear, and knew she could handle whatever the wood threw at her.
By day, as she traveled, Sheen mostly steered clear of people, but occasionally stole food or equipment from unexpecting caravans or camps at night. One night, she sat in darkness, within earshot of a camp, and listened to a group of men - bandits, possibly - boasting about dangerous things they'd done, or valuable things they'd stolen. One of the bandits, a red-faced older man, said there was a man in Garrenton called Alarkon who hires skilled thieves to work for him, and pays big money for successful jobs. While the other men listened and then boasted about how they were the best thieves in Isen, Sheen stole their weapons and all of their food, before disappearing into the trees.
When she reached Kors, the capital of Terranis, she sold as much stolen equipment as she could to local merchants, and asked around about her parents as she went. She quickly discovered that there was no legacy left behind. Their business, their home, any sign that they had ever existed was gone. She asked around the city, but nobody had any recollection that there had ever been an Ara or a Levvin. Some older citizens could vaguely recall a rather successful silk business from a few years back, but did not know who had owned it, or where it had gone.
It was only then that Sheen realised that she essentially a ghost. Nobody seemed to know her or her family, and even if anybody did, they probably presumed she was long dead. She had nothing left to cling to, and no reason to stay in Kors any longer.
She took out the coins that she had been given for all the stolen equipment. As she stared at the gold in her hands, it was only then that she realised just how easy it had been to steal from those bandits. Then she remembered what they had said about the man who was paying for skilled thieves to work for him.