The City of Cauldron
A high, scratchy wail blankets the smoldering ruins of a dirty campsite. Small crumpled bodies lay strewn about the wreckage. Some wolves wander through the mess scrounging for food; snapping up the meat from the tiny green legs and arms. One wolf, sensing fresh meat, pokes his nose through some grungy blankets looking for the source of the noise. The greasy fabric falls away to reveal a baby goblin: round, pinched face, wide mouth, howling for any kind of help. The wolf growls, low, anticipating a treat. Suddenly the wolf recoils with a whine as a rock comes whistling out of the air and cracks into its skull. The rest of the pack slinks away as two small figures make their way through the smoky air of the demolished camp. As they approach the crying infant their conversation can just be heard.
“We can’t just leave it here, Bibbford.”
“It’s a goblin, Neji, that’s exactly what we have to do.”
“Then why did you throw that stone?”
“Well, I couldn’t just…that is…wolves… Mother’s Moon, Neji, we’re not savages!”
“No, we’re not. And that’s why we’re not going to leave it here for those wolves to come back to after we leave.”
“No more, Bibbford. Hush.” She picks up the infant and begins to coo, calming its colic.
Theodocius was adopted by Neji and Bibbford while they were traveling from Cauldron peddling their gems. Bibbford wouldn’t let him take their last name, so he uses his slaughtered clan’s name— Grubfellow. For the firat half of his life he grew up on the road, seeing amazing sights as his parents expanded their trade. He learned all sorts of odd skills from his parents. The second half of his life was spent in the shadow of his adopted family’s wealth and power. They resettled in Cauldron after their business took off, and Bibbford was able to use their wealth to gain some political clout. Theodocius was outcasted in Cauldron. At best he was tolerated, at worst he was met with outright hostility. He mostly kept himself busy on his parents estate, tinkering, reading, practicing fighting. It wasn’t until his adopted cousin Bernadrad took him under his wing that Theodocius’s eyes were opened to all the adventures that the city had to offer.