Mark Greaves, Assassin Hobo
One bad moment left him permanently destitute. Down on his luck, Mark Greaves learns that necessity sometimes brings you to work you never realized you could be good at.
At first glance, he appeared to be like all the other homeless: layers of odd clothing cobbled together for warmth and protection; hiker's pack and bedroll on his back; long, scraggly, salt-and-pepper beard; thick hair pulled back into a ponytail; dusty hat perched upon his head. On that first glance, he was easy to ignore, for he did not smell like the other homeless, and thus was easy to dismiss.
He also didn't panhandle, and often paid for food by doing odd jobs for folks. He had a simple, easy-going manner that people found disarming and did a fine job of turning their expectations upside down. Even seeing his missing grill, fully exposed in a heart-felt laugh, did not evoke the kind of wariness one reserved for tweakers.
That was, of course, until he beat his marks to death with calm, professional skill. After that, he would wander off, vanishing from easy sight and on his way to the next town and the next paying gig.
Mark Greaves was once a normal, middle class man with a normal, middle class job in sales. Until the day he offended one of the fey folk and was cursed with a life of destitution. The curse was very simple: Any money he received would never last more than a day, for all sorts of mundane-seeming reasons.
His first days on the streets were rough ones. His cozy life had not prepared him for the raw necessities of survival on the streets.
And yet he eventually found his niche in assassinations. From rich billionaires seeking to avoid legally troubling divorces and business partners acing each other out, to revenge for thefts or outlaw justice for brutalities overlooked by the law, Mark Greaves will take on any and all jobs with the same kind of dispassionate professionalism belied by his unkempt appearence. And he'll do it for a burger, fries, and a shake.
Mark has a way of surreptitiously running into his future clients, a fact that makes him wonder about the full nature of his curse.
PCs may run into Mark in any location, rural or urban. They may even see him more than once, as he rarely stops traveling for more than a week at a time.
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? Responses (14)
oH I get to go first! I think what would fix. this a lot is maybe a short paragraph more abou the fey encounter, Its a little too important to gloss over, you could take some of the word count out of the intro, as it is its ok but not anything very special. You Drosus and I have all made the same mistake w/ these. We over focused to much on one aspect(all of us did this different)
Do you feel the Fey details are important to the use of the NPC in a game? I thought about including it, along with some other details (like his transition from unlucky homeless to assassin hobo) but I left those details out because it didn't feel immediately useful. So, I get what you're saying, but I don't know that I'm convinced it's utterly critical to the nature of the piece (I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, though...).
I hate to cannibalize from the intro because it is the hook (well, that and the name) for getting eyeballs to read the sub.
If you've got magic in your modern setting the fey details become very important ,along w/ the nature of the curse
The fey angle doesn't need much more coverage than it already has, a fairie curse is a fairie curse, just like a deal with the devil is a deal with the devil. If you can already use a fae crossed assassin in your setting, you can already fill in the details, and as mentioned above, they aren't really needed for running the NPC in a game.
Solid character, useful and useable, and the fey angle is interesting because it gives the DM leeway to do things he shouldn't otherwise do, and can hand wave it as part of the fey curse.
A fun assassin, and one most players will completely overlook as just filler by the GM and gravely underestimate. Perfect for shadowrun, I can see him being a useful distraction as well for a group that needs their enemies attention elsewhere dealing with an unexpected problem.
I think rather highly of this one.
Did you ever see Amos Perros, with the street urchin hit man with all the stray dogs? He was the best part of an overly ponderous movie about dogs.
That movie doesn't sound at all familiar.
The truth is that I based this on a real guy I met last week while walking in the wee hours of the morning. He was pretty much everything I used to describe this guy, except that he never murdered me nor offered any murdering services. I also don't think he ever worked in sales or was cursed by Fey, although you never really can tell with those things. But of course, an amiable hobo is not as interesting as a cold-blooded killer, so...
As stew on this one more, I grow more fond of it.
The idea of a cheap and effective assassin is so ripe with story telling potential. Imagine if while in a bad mood you run across this guy. For a coke and a bag of chips this guy will go kill the object of your aggression. But once you calm down, how do you take it back? He is homeless after all you can't just call him up or wait outside his house. Do you even take this homeless guy seriously when he says
'I will kill the guy the guys that took your parking space.'?
The devil could not ask for better servant than one that empowers or lowest instincts.
Imagine if this guy had the power to off those that offended you on the internet?
I like the way you think, axle
Creepy good!! It reeks of the 'real' because this guy is scarier than ten fancy, flowery assassins put together.
I picture his mind ravaged over time. Maybe he slowly turns from assassin to wanton murderer. He shares a train with some other destitute hobo, and just kills him, because he can. And enjoys himself. Dumps the body from the train. Never makes the police reports. No one cares about a dead hobo on the side of the tracks. Mark moves on to the next town.
Well done, Myst!
Hmm one more thought. This guy is scarier without the 'fey' angle to me. Why can't he just be a true human monster, like hh holmes or gacy or someone like that. Maybe he was just a curse-less hobo.
But at that point isn't he just another PC?
jk. That actually makes him way scarier. Love it.
A fairly good setup on how one becomes an unwilling assassin and I like the bit about how the curse seems to make him run into future clients.
Lots of potential with this one - so long as he keeps a low profile, and homeless is good at that.