Worlds, cities and rogues
I say world building builds characters.
Not character, characters.
Now, stay with me, you see, A world, a city, has life of itself. For example. A city will sometimes decide the fate of your story.
How come you say?
Say…there is a thief, she is jumping rooftop to rooftop, she knows every false step, every cranny, every corner where she can go if someone is chasing her, she trusts her knowledge of the city, she thinks the city is her lover, her confidant and will always protect her; well she is half right, but cities have not only one lover, a city is for everyone, and so this city has taken a liking to a certain man, father of three, the city has decided she will protect her and encourage his growth and that of his three little children so that they too can make her grow, just like her father who now is an architect and has decided to make this city more beautiful, thieves and rogues make her more interesting at times but also make her more insecure, in both senses of the word, they are like the bad boy that has come to take the city and love her roughly.
She hates corruption and finds that some of this rogues will find the people that actually hurt them and hurt them back. She makes sure it is so.
She helps them by giving them shadow where there was supposed to be public light, she gives them shelter where they can rest and sleep.
For the architect she made sure she always had the green lights when driving home from work, or pass from yellow to red a second sooner so that the guy that was about to crash with her would crash with the guy after her.
Cities are not just, they have their favourites, the ones that will tell her stories, the ones that will make her thrive the ones who will make her interesting.
And she pays them in kind.
This rogue had hurt one of the good guys, her lover that wanted her to be better.
The city did not like that, and for that, she turned on that rogue, the dark corner for her next hit, there was a new lightbulb and cameras in there, the rooftops now had dogs and were wet. Her work was getting harder to make.
Patrol cars were getting closer on her each day even with shortcuts and all that, even danger of rival gangs was getting awfully close. She was cursed, she did not want to believe it, but she knew so.
Rogues tend to know some of the last witches and wizards, they are taken as con-men, and rightly so, for most of the time that is how they earn their food. This shaman friend of her told her she was cursed by the city herself, she had hurt the wrong man, and left his child without a father. There was no way to make amends.
The rogue did not believe so. A child struggling without a father in life, she knew what that was, just her hard working mother, though in the rogue's case, it was alcoholic and violent the adjectives that fit.
The young rogue girl solved her problems the only way she knew how to do. Stealing and conning.
She first conned the boy into a friendship with an invisible friend. She would talk to him over walls dividing them and learn from him.
She would tell him jokes, teach him to talk his way in life, talk to girls, well that did not turn well with the girls he knew beside her, she would listen when he was sad.
She grew to love the little rascal as he grew. She was his imaginary friend.
She would get him stolen prizes, even games that he wanted and his mother could not afford. Never anything too fancy. And she even she hadn't paid attention to school, she helped him studying.
The city never forgave her but the rogue was never caught. But pain was always following her. And she made sure the rogue was never late to see the boy.
She would lie down after a beating and listen to him and from time to time, as love for his imaginative friend grew, she would open herself to him, talk about her pains, her adventures, misadventures more lately, she would even receive gifts from him from time to time.
As he grew the gifts became more focused, a laptop to study, expensive textbooks, and design tools.
The boy grew and so did she. The boy graduated an architect just like his father, and the city blessed him as well. The rogue knew she could not do much more for the boy, the curse would not break but at least she had helped him become a better man.
Graduation day for the boy had been the chosen day for the rogue to skip town, the curse had never been broken, spite of a lady may last a lifetime, the rogue saw him become a man, she had come to say her good byes from afar. The city gave her room for shadow and hiding, as lights began to fickle and wear, giving the rogue an spot from which to see.
The boy did not hear from her ever again, she left before he could guess which shadow or face in the crowd did not belong in there.
The rogue left the city, and found herself in a much better standing far away.
The boy also left the city, to further his knowledge and bring back better things to her mother and friend back home.
They chose the same city, maybe, with help of their new host, and whispers from the roads. They may meet in the new life of a woman who despite her new job-title, she would always be a rogue.