Onslow, determined to escape the trap of poverty, eventually became a Lycian merchant. Nothing extraordinary. His business was average; it paid bills, but provided nothing more. With the birth of his son, Onslow resolved to create something worth passing on.
Discontent with the life of an ordinary merchant, Onslow began to explore other avenues for profit. This led him into his first dealings with criminals; he specialized in distributing black market goods to ordinary sellers. What good is theft, after all, if it doesn't translate into gold?
Unable to keep these secrets from his wife, she soon left him outright. At first Onslow despaired, but eventually he found solace by investing himself further in his criminal career. He maneuvered himself from selling the goods to stealing them himself. Bandits aren't typically an intellectual lot, and Onslow, although no genius himself, was smarter than the average brigand. He drew up the plans, his gang carried them out. His right-hand man, Warner, was in charge of the muscle.
A relatively sophisticated operation set Onslow's crew apart from their barbarous brethren. Contacts in the merchant world allowed him essentially to turn stolen goods into gold. Although very successful, "content" was simply an emotion that Onslow never felt. His gaze always fixed on something grander. As he enjoyed the fruits of his labor, Onslow began recalling his childhood fantasies of princedom. What if, he thought, the Bolm Mountain Bandits were capable of stealing an entire march?
Fun fact/Correction: The territory of a marquess is called a march. A duchie, the term I used in a previous version, would refer to the territory of a duke, the rank above a marquess. BwdYeti pointed this out.
|Sure, buddy. Whatever you say.|
However, the Pheraens fought back and successfully defended their castle. Onslow left command of the battle in Warner's hands. When news came of the Pheraeans' victory, he unhappily retreated.
Although he'd escaped with his life, Onslow immediately began plotting revenge. Defeat had somewhat unhinged the boss, and his retaliation was a relatively sloppy plan. Pherae's militia would soon begin a reconstruction effort; the Bolm Mountain Bandits would at least sabotage the reconstruction. With a duchie out of his reach, Onslow would settle for mere torment. Pride wouldn't allow Onslow to walk away; he attacked, and the militia won.
Aspiring to leave his son an empire, Onslow had failed. The young Damas was raised by Onslow's surviving comrades, trapped by a criminal upbringing. Years later, Damas would rally those survivors and revive his father's gang.