Sullivan

Halfling Opportunist

Description:

Str 12, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 17, Wis 13, Cha 15. AC 17, touch 17, flat footed 14, Fort 4, ref 7, will 5.

Bio:

Sullivan was born the son of a Halfling trying to make a living as a bookbinder in the slums of Whitechapel, London. His mother was a traveler, a member of a group of Halflings who had blown into town one day. Months later, the young man found the woman at his door, child in hand. That night, she had disappeared while the other two slept, and in the morning, only father and son remained.
His father forsook Halfling society after this slight, and went so far as to raise his son under the human name Salvatore. His adoption of human culture though earned him disgust from Halflings he once called friends, and though he tried, humans never miss an opportunity to look down on someone. As Salvatore grew older, he found that the few Halflings in the area mocked his human name, and the local human teens, already busying themselves with getting into trouble, would never miss an opportunity to make his life miserable. In the middle of developing a serious chip on his shoulder, he found that his life was about to take another turn.
Having undertaken a job for a very wealthy client, his father had been hard at work generating a book that had absorbed almost all of the family’s money, and, only two nights after the book had been completed, it was stolen from his workshop in the night. His father had his suspicions, of course, but when he couldn’t prove the book had ever been made in the first place, or that it was stolen, he was left on the hook for the advance he had received for the commission, and was sent to work off his debt in a debtor’s prison, and shortly afterward, suffered a fatal accident.
With his father’s debt now on his shoulders, and him being an orphan, he was pressed into service in a factory workhouse. He managed to work as a typesetter in a printing press for a long time, and more impressively, he managed to keep all of his fingers, but one day, after receiving a particularly savage beating at the hands of an older child, who was functioning as a sort of trustee, he decided to flee.
With his debt still not repaid, he knew apprehension would mean a return to the doldrums he had so recently fled. So he used all he knew of his father’s trade, and his time in the printing factory, and carefully prepared his rebirth. He decided that his old name, “savior” wasn’t terribly fitting, and decided instead to be known as Sullivan, a name meaning “dark stranger”.
Sullivan came to stay in an orphanage, a place he would later say, if he were the type to say anything of his past, he felt as though he was accepted. The man who ran the place, a former cleric, was never one to push too hard into his past, recognizing damaged goods when he saw them. He did however, encourage Sullivan to read to the younger children, many of whom were illiterate, and when he was finally too old to stay, it was this man who got him a position at a local college, operated by another man of the cloth, where he worked in the library, first stocking the books, and later, when they discovered his ability, repairing damaged tomes as they made their way into the library.
Sullivan read anything he could get his hands on, any time the opportunity presented itself, and soon became known as a sort of rogue scholar, even finding himself attending classes, though he could never have enrolled. Frustrated, he turned to tutoring students for money, though watching them go on to graduate, while he stayed behind ate at him.
One day, he was invited by some friends to attend a sort of impromptu duel of knowledge, as it turned out, one of his friends instigated the challenge by claiming that his friend made the challenger look like an imbecile. Being on course to complete his term in the college as a valedictorian, the challenger took this rather personally. By the time the challenge was early complete, the stakes had risen to include most of the savings Sullivan had tucked away, but he was confident in his ability to claim victory. When the final question determined him the victor, Sullivan was elated, but any joy he felt soon withered when his opponent, livid at his failure to someone who was so clearly beneath him, placed the hat containing the stakes on his head, made a comment suggesting that the money was his, if only he’d reach up and collect it, and stormed out of the bar.
Not long after he left, Sullivan excused himself as well, and quickly managed to locate his quarry. Filled with anger at having been bullied and excluded his whole life, it seems he had come to a turning point, because he found a stave from a broken barrel, followed his target as he entered an alley, and proceeded to immobilize his target, leaving with his money, and the knowledge that for the rest of his life, the young man would think of him when he looked at the crutches he would doubtlessly require.
Reason soon returned to Sullivan, though, and he knew he would never really be able to return to his old life. Even if the boy didn’t report the identity of his assailant, suspicion would grow. More importantly, though, he had learned some important things. First, that no matter what he did, he would never be able to rely on those around him to give him anything, even if he’d earned it. Second, that if the rules don’t allow you a path to victory, they should be ignored; failing that, one should simply play a different game.
Returning to the orphanage from whence he’d come, he sought advice from his mentor. He was told to go out to meet with another former associate of his, one who had recently asked for the names of anyone promising…

Notes:
Tactics- Sullivan is versatile, and intelligent, preferring the intellectual victory, but knows his way around a fight, and won’t find himself intimidated by the simple threat of violence. Street fighting has left him with a preference for hand-to-hand, with an affinity for improvised and environmental weapons. He prefers to avoid the actual conflict of a fight until he’s already set the conditions for victory into place, and often will take measures to prepare the battlefield in advance.

Skills- Sullivan relies heavily on his wit and intellect, street smarts, bluff, disguise, and forgery are all tools of his trade, and he can easily shift from one persona to the next as needs dictate.
Wants- Wealth and renown would probably suit Sullivan, and those might be his responses if asked, but what lies in his heart is a void where his family ought to have been, and acceptance from people who genuinely cared for him would certainly prove more important.
Quirks- Sullivan has an almost pathological need to do things for himself. Sullivan has had very few people in his life he could trust, and a lot of people have hurt him deeply. He might reflect this in ways that seem distrustful. He may well pay someone to follow a target, to learn their behavior, and turn around and repeat the task himself. On the other hand, he may well be called on to complete certain tasks because of just this quality of fastidious work. He also might perform behavior that seems untrusting, like asking a character to stow something in a pack a certain way, asking if they did, and then checking anyway, or making sure that a friend hasn’t forgotten to restock consumed equipment. At first, people might find this behavior domineering, untrusting, or both, but he really has no other way to show concern for people, not without sharing a part of himself he might not be able to.

Ties:
Positive- Sullivan identifies very closely with other orphans, and the orphanage in which he grew up often finds itself the recipient of donations from an unknown benefactor.
Books are a passion for Sullivan, and though he may spend more time producing false documents than leafing through old manuscripts, he loves libraries, and a person with a healthy respect for them may earn more respect from him.
Negative- Slavery in any incarnation, strikes Sullivan on a very personal level, wringing out memories no person should have to carry. His actions in relation to something of this nature could vary dramatically.
People of wealth or power who abuse those beneath them, which may range from royalty to slumlord apartment owners, will also anger Sullivan.
Racism- Despite all he went through, Sullivan holds no ill will to humans or Halflings, but does find these forms of prejudice intolerable.

Sullivan

The Fracturing Sullivan