"I should mention I am likewise habitually drunk."
The gutter monk reeks of alcohol fumes, tobacco smoke, and hot pork dumplings. she gets the last of these fresh every morning from the same vendor, then walks across the city center to set up shop in the drain that abuts the curry house that sits on the corner of Termagant Street and Parson's Square.
The morning is cool for early summer. Misty. Calm. The churning cycle of city life has reached one of its dipping points, a slow bend in the current, a nadir. Where did everyone go? How did they get jobs with hours like that, the lucky bastards?
Questions for the workaday guildsman, not Ayo the gutter monk. She's never been beholden to another's schedule. Won't ever be. When the haruspexes in the House of Mortarus cut her open on the table, looking for whatever dark secret maintained her liver all these years of habitual drunkenness, her corpse will be delivered on her time.
Her pipe goes tok tok tok as she knocks out the ashes against the wooden block of her sandal and fills it up again. A studded iron club rests against the stone foundation wall of the curry house. A half-drunk bottle of mead dangles from a hand. The last of her old batch. She swigs of it, thinks for a moment of the careful placement of hives and flowerbeds and fruit trees in a garden she keeps putting off 'till next week.
A few coins clink into her begging bowl and the bottle lowers. She speaks, the first full sentence to break the quiet of morning:
"A proverb for you: should you find God upon the road, kill Him and steal His shit."
The charitable man, not expecting this on his morning walk to work, hurries on uncomfortable with a mumbled "Oh, ah, hmm."
Ayo grins at his back as he walks away. She doesn't need the money. Never has. That never was the point. She could always find work of some sort, especially if it was violent. She'd done a good job on some delves into the old dwarf ruins down south and toppling those Lady Lotus oozes selling hash down on the river. Begging was just a way to unwind, in a world of golden barges and Smiling Gods and furry, gun-toting mercenaries from beyond the stars. And a way to fuck around with people.
Nothing like some drunken mountain of a woman giving rich guildsmen passing by the option of a bowl of noodles or grievous bodily harm.
Her arm's gone stiff, the one she keeps in her sleeve. The one that's scarred and blackened with burns, when she took the ring with the amber eye. Her elbow clicks as she stretches. The inescapable aftereffect of living in the Weird Marches.
But she doesn't need to return to that just yet.
She blows a smoke ring, and as it drifts out over the cobbles of Parson's Square, she spits through it and hits a pigeon dead in the face.
Ayo "Meatpie" Paddasham grew up in the gutters of a demon-haunted slum, in the bowels of some grotty, overcrowded shithole of a city far, far away. Somewhere during those years of dodging gang toughs, street fights, and stealing meatpies, she picked up beekeeping and mead brewing. Some gambling debts and the associated intrigues of a life of undercity hedonism drove her to catch a ship across the sea, bound for the Weird Marches and well away from the underworld of the Commonwealth.
She is a follower of five-faced Ahuiateteo, god of gluttony, excess, and pleasure, whose precepts are five:
- Eat everything you can stuff in your face.
- Drink everything you can fit in a bottle.
- Fight anyone looking for a scrap.
- Fuck anyone interested.
- In any order, or all at once.
As an NPC, she will be an ear to the ground, an easily-acquired ally at the cost of booze and food.
I have a Patreon now! You can find it here! Ayo needs booze money! I also need booze money!
Oddsbod does a mean commission. You should commission him too!
And Michael Kennedy is to blame for letting Ayo become so powerful in the ways of booze and violence. She cannot be stopped now.