"Yeeah!" the old man shouted as he made a dramatic flurry with his chalk - the mounted knight now bearing a stylized lance as it bore down on the many-headed dragon before it.
A crowd had gathered, for Shevourus’s screeving was as much a performance as it was artwork. The spectacle of the long bearded old man prancing about while creating his chalk masterpieces always attracted onlookers. The occasional coin tossed towards the old man was deftly caught before it hit the pavement.
None noticed the other old man carefully watching the display with what appeared an almost academic interest. After a few more whoops accompanied by wild scrawls - white flames now emerged from one of the heads, the man tossed a battered copper and turned away.
A man who draws with coloured chalks on the pavement huge, grandiose figures of storms, ships on fire, great beasts, and scenes of legend, and is paid a pittance by admirers and passers-by. Some of the career screevers are true masters of their art, but disrespected by all other artists.
Shevourus appears as a typical street person - ragged clothing, though once of very good quality. His hands are stained white from the chalk he uses. He is perpetually stooped, partly by age and partly by his crouching to practice his art, and his eyes are milky with age. The only other significant feature is his belly-length ragged beard.
As with many spies, Shevourus has a fairly unremarkable past, little of interest and little that foreshadowed his career as a spy. He is a patriot and has forsaken wealth, fame and family for service to his home country. He is his job.
Shevourus is not a native to the kingdom, but an operative from one of the kingdom’s enemies. He receives his orders very infrequently - he is an experienced and skilled spy whose job it is to coordinate the others in his city. Interestingly enough, he does not know many of his fellow spies - his role is to relay orders to them and not to collect information himself.
Shevourus’s pictures contain hidden messages that he uses to transmit information and orders to his fellow cell members. Coins carefully marked with ‘wear patterns’ are then paid to him to indicate receipt of the message- he does not know his cell members, though has a pretty good idea of them.
Shrevourus appears alternately a buffoon and a scholar in casual conversation, apparently irretrievably mad. He can be engaged in conversation that will often end in silliness or even aggressive shouting.
This fellow should be woven into the background of the campaign well before his use in ernest, as his sudden appearance would telegraph his involvement. Ideally the PCs should interact with him enough that they build some rapport and perhaps trust.
It could well pass that the PCs never learn this fellow’s secret, not knowing that some of their recent troubles were orchestrated by him, perhaps even with them watching.
Alternately, the PCs could very well be the spies that receive direction from this mad scribbler.
This is another sub inspired by the wonderful Ye Olde English, the Archaic Word Challenge submission.
Since this person has no special magical or technical powers, he can in fact be used in pretty much any genre. In a modern setting, he could easily be the director for a terrorist cell, sending out his orders with special graffiti.