Tess leaned against the side of the chandler’s stand, scanning the dense crowd of people passing by. Through the carnival goers she looks for pick pockets and thieves to turn in to the authorities. She’s been paid to do this for some time now, and she’s gotten good. In the crowd, a man dressed in fine clothes cuts to the front of a line giving a sneer of derision to those waiting before he disappeared into the tent.
Tess couldn’t stop the flood of unwanted memories from her past. She saw her parents faces; always proud. High elves are known to be conceited, but her parents were especially vain, thinking themselves to be better than everyone. She grew up semi-isolated because of this.
One day, she left the elven lands, ready to embrace the world she was kept from. After only a few days on the road, she had her first taste. The bandits outnumbered her 4 to 1, and they beat her bloody. Even in that state, she kicked and screamed and fought, but she couldn’t stop them from using her and taking everything she had. They left her for dead, but she lived to spite them. The slow recovery time exposed to the elements worked to her advantage in burning each of their faces into her memory.
When she came upon a large city, she quickly learned that kindness was a rare thing, and no one would care if she died of starvation. Doing unsavory things was the fastest way for her to get what she needed, and of everything she tried, stealing was the easiest. There were a few times she was caught and suffered the punishments, but after a while it happened less and less. Anonymity was key, so she moved through cities and towns, always extra alert and ready to hide while travelling. By the time she came across the carnival, her skill had reached a level where she just stole what she wanted and she loved it. Once inside, it became clear that she had a lot of competition. She decided to turn them all in, one by one. At that point she was hired to watch the crowds. For the first time in a long while, she had a place to call home.
Tess was jolted from her absorption when the finely dressed man exited the tent. Her mouth was a hard line as she wove though the crowd towards him. Closer and closer, until she passed him. Her mouth became a slight smile as she felt the weight of her new coin purse.