Life in the Camonna Tong

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Author (in-game): Goval Sadryon

The first think that you have to know about Goval Sadryon is that I am not a smuggler, I’m a tavern brawler. No one taught me what I know. I had to teach myself through lessons of blood and bruises. Lost a fair number of my teeth before I figured out how to stop blocking fists with my mouth. There are some lessons I learned quickly, and a few which took much longer.

We didn’t have much growing up. A small hut with a dirt floor. And even though my parents worked our sorry plot of land all day long, there was never enough to go around. We lived like n’wahs in our own homestead. Sleeping in the mud, working in it, sometimes we even ate it when there wasn’t enough food. Still, my parents were proud. They took nothing but ungrateful dirt and made it a home.

So, when the oathman made snide comments about my father or the hireling dared to look down on my mother, what was I supposed to do? Let their insults slide by unaddressed? No. I know how much work it takes to make a family—make a home—without the help of the so-called Great Houses. Not a single one of those over-fattened cushion-sitters has the right to look down on us!

I got into a fair number of scraps when I was young. Had my arse handed to me more times than I care to count. But so long as those uppity s’wits kept calling us n’wahs, I kept fighting back. Mother said that words hurt worse than fists. I’ve heard a lot of words that hurt me, but you can be sure that my fists caused more pain.

When the bad harvest came, father fell into the sujamma—great big tankards of it. Stank up the whole hut with the smell of sick after drinking too much. Mother didn’t want to waste a single coin more than she had to. She went out and picked a whole bundle of bittergreen and ate it raw. We didn’t find her until she was so cold, she frosted over.

All their effort and what did it get us? A mother frozen to the dirt of her farm and a father watering the land with the contents of his own stomach. They worked harder than n’wah and made us all live like them, too, and for what? I suppose that was the last lesson my mother ever taught me: if you accept your lot in life, this world will kick you and mock you until you’re dead.

I’d like to say that I picked myself up and made something of myself quickly after that. I didn’t. Remember how I said I was a tavern brawler? Well, I remembered my earlier scrapes with the low-ranking members of the Great Houses and how good it was to get even with the fetchers who snubbed me. I went looking for more scrapes. I spent a long time fighting. My fists changed. I got better at knocking sense into the idiots who talked back to me. Met a good share of fetchers who threw better punches, but most of them belonged to some Tong or another, so I didn’t take it personally.

I guess I started getting some notice. I developed a reputation as a tough fetcher myself, and that impressed some cutthroat fighters who approached me in the Cornerclub one night. They offered to buy me a drink, but I refused. It’s hard to swallow most alcohol when it smells like my father’s vomit. That impressed them even more. They said I was just the sort they were looking to recruit. I thought they meant too smart to bribe, but now I know they were talking about all the brawling I did. They promised me steady work, chance to travel, and enough gold to send my mother to Necrom for a proper burial. They also offered an opportunity to get back at the n’wahs who ruined us.

Why should I live the way I always lived when the n’wah are dressed in finery and sleep on actual beds? Why should I work the land and cover myself in dirt and muck? I’m better than that. I deserve better than that.

So, I joined up with the Camonna Tong. And they were right. The pay is good. There’s always work to do and ways to impress the right people. There’s still more fights to get into and n’wah to beat. Which is something I actually get to do these days. Never seen so many noses that needed bloodying or so many attitudes that needed correcting. Eventually, they all come to fear me. Or at least, they fear the pain my fists can bring.

I’m respected here. I bagged a troll the other season. Got an extra purse of gold for that and took a short break to go visit my mother in Necrom. She’s proud of me. She said I looked good. That I was finally eating enough. She didn’t like the danger, but my parents never had the courage to fight back. They never knew how to take more from life than what they were given. I do.

Mother said that words hurt more than fists. I’ve felt fists and I’ve heard words. Neither can hurt me now. I taught myself to take the pain and use it to make myself stronger. And even if something kills me, like that troll killed Nilera on the way back to Camonnaruhn, at least I know I made myself better than how I started. Until I die, I’m going to keep taking what I deserve from this life. That’s the Camonna Tong way.

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