Savage Worlds Conan: Tower of the Ape
The tide of humanity that flows through the streets of Zamora’s City of Thieves has rolled over famous warriors, celebrated courtesans, and many a less consequent soul. However, for eleven years, Lalika the child thief, of Yanko’s gang, managed to keep her head above the flood and survive. She suffered the early deaths of her mother, of murder; then of the brothel madam who adopted her, of a wasting disease. She lived most of a year alone on the streets before she lost her milk teeth.
A gang of feral children accepted her into their ranks when they came across her eating the raw flesh of a dog she had killed. She swallowed her mouthful and stepped back to let them strip the bones clean. They left the feast together.
In the City of Thieves, some retired thieves with no resources will train and house a group of children in order to live off their work. At the end of the first cold winter that young Lalika slept on the street, the gang she had joined fell into the hands of Yanko. Though he was once a notorious womanizer and daring rogue, Lalika soon learned that her thief master was a mean, clever man, his body deformed by hard living, years of punishing imprisonment, and swollen joints.
Yanko sold the older girls in his new gang to prostitution and the slow-witted boys to the slave pens. The rest, he trained in his profession, but without beating them too often, and sent them out from his shanty-town hut to pick the pockets of the trusting and unwary.
Bright and nimble, Lalika’s talents surpassed the rest of the crew. Yanko chose her as his favorite and taught her all the skills he had mastered in his youth: how to escape the eyes of unobservant guards, to climb walls, spot traps, disarm complex mechanisms, and to take only what she could carry and then use or resell.
While he introduced ever more children into his gang and counted his little hoard, Yanko trusted Lalika to roam the streets and relay back news and gossip. For her part, the young thief parlayed her confidence and frank demeanor, as well as the little coin she pocketed for herself, into relationships around the city. She befriended whores and beggars, innkeepers and city guards.
After years of keeping her head above the water, Lalika approached a dangerous age. Yanko had sold on to the brothels every other girl who reaches adolescence in his gang. Although she had been fortunate to retain the body of a child, she was bare months away from a change, and thereafter, shortly, sexual slavery when she met her savior… Kai’shuran.
The smooth talking, exotically beautiful man took an interest in Lalika after she attempted to con him out of a meal. He took her into his confidence and paid her to report on the activities of Yanko.
She soon learned that in his youth Yanko had stolen from the king of Turan and that Kai’shuran was an agent of the crown.
She helped the Turanian set up Yanko.
In exchange for her assistance, Kai’shuran took her to the noble district where she was given to the consort of a Turanian prince to act as companion and confidant, all the while reporting to Kai’shuran.
Months after she helped in the downfall of Yanko and taken in by Nykafor, the Turanian prince, Lalika awoke to a strange noise. She witnessed a dark shape scuttle out the apartment window bearing Nadya with it. A second shape came for her from the shadows but did not suspect her cunning. She fled the apartment, followed the nightmare shape that took Nadya and then sought help.
It was in the seedy drinking den where she sought help that she met Loviisa.