The Children's Campaign
There is a great caldera of a still simi- active volcano. It has many hidden bays within its ringed atolls. One of them bears the name El Lay.
El Lay consists of a great stone quay, honed from the porous volcanic rock of the caldera and extended by a wooden wharf constructed of hard wood imported for that purpose. Facing the bay is one row of buildings. Consisting of a few stores, and several combination Inn, Bar, Whorehouse establishments. Behind that row are the few houses that exist, and the warehouse where The Peddler works from, behind that row is jungle.
The ports very existence is allowed by the gnomes who let the humans stay there. The city is a clandestine operation from one end to the other. Haven for smuggler and raider alike. Pirate and rogue, thief and criminal. The whores who ply their trade at the houses of joy, upon ill circumstance become with child. Those babies, for their own security and protection are separated from their mother soon after birth. Instead of being left in a situation that had historically proven to provide guidance which was shoddy abstract and for the most part negligent bordering on abandonment, they are removed from that environment. Their rearing and education taken over by the Peddler. As mentor he makes sure that they don’t quite starve and learn life’s lessons. He also finds out what they are gifted at.
The children entrusted to the Peddler are known as the Peddlers. All are taught the most important basic crafts and skills. Thievery. Lying. Begging. They learn to swim, and to tie knots, to pick pockets, and spot a mark. And they learn these things at the earliest of ages. By the time they can walk and talk they can lie and steal as well.
They grow up as orphans under the care of “The Peddler”. In Else Lay there has always been a peddler, and always will be. As long as one is needed. This community of children is called the Peddlers.
Each of the Peddlers stride to earn his or her ink. Tattoos. This ink, for the peddlers, map accomplishment. They log the prowess, if you will, and form a worn record of accomplishment. From simple design of skilled novice, to ornate depiction of proficient mastery,the ink one owns or has earned, represent rank as well as hierarchy. This art of ink forms a clandestine and very complex language.