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"Look, you only asked me to redo the letter you shown me. You didn't say nuffink about no watermark. Course I saw it on it, but you didn't say nuffink about it, so I didn't fink it was important. Now where's my mon-argh! Gerroff! Watch! WATCH!"
—Sander van Okker[1a]
Sander van Okker

Sander van Okker

In a city like Marienburg, where so much depends on paperwork, bills of sale, promissory notes and letters of introduction, there's a lot of money to be made if you're a man with top-class skills at forging and duplicating documents. Sander van Okker likes to think he's that man. And he's wrong.[1a]

Van Okker is a short, thin man who dresses in a garish mix of fashions that he thinks is daring, but is really just poor taste. A day's worth of stubble dirties his cheeks and weak chin, while a thin brown moustache struggles to survive on his upper lip. He looks thoroughly out of place among the merchants and diplomats in the taverns and drinking houses he frequents around the edges of Paleisbuurt and Suiddock.[1a]

He relies on an increasingly thin network of friends and contacts who recommend him, or who need work done on the cheap, but as they disappear or lose faith in him, he's increasingly being driven to tout for business for himself.[1a]

Van Okker's prices vary depend on how he's feeling and whether his rent is due, but he'll usually start his haggling at at 5 Gu for a simple signature and go up from there. He refuses to do work anywhere except for in his own home, a scruffy flat at the east end of Suiddock, which means that even the smallest piece of work can take two or three hours, and a longer piece may take days or even weeks, depending how dilligent he's feeling and whether he's fallen in love recently. He falls in love quite often.[1a]

The trouble with Van Okker is that he could be the first-rate forger he imagines himself, if he put some effort into his work. His technique is excellent, but he has a tendency to overlook inconvenient details in the copying: he may use the wrong sort of paper, or misspell a name, and will then try to blame his error or carelessness on the client not having briefed him properly. This puts him very low on the list of favoured forgers among the city's underworld, which is why he relies so much on new business: he doesn't get a lot of repeat customers.[1a]

He has three other failings: he lacks focus, he's greedy and he can't keep a secret. The combination means that he is always scheming and scamming, looking for other ways of earning money, searching for the big strike that will make him rich with the least effort possible - and meanwhile he doesn't give enough attention to the work which pays his bills and which might, one day, make his reputation.[1a]

Van Okker is the sort of person who'll copy a bill of transportation for a dubious trader, and will then sell the information that was on the bill to a friend of his in the Gentlemen Entrepreneurs. Then, when the trader inevitably works out how the shipment was stolen, or when any other of his pigeons come home to roost, Van Okker will be surprised that anyone worked out his scam. When it happens, which is often, he usually goes to stay with his aunt in Aarnau for a few days.[1a]

He's had run-ins with the Watch, and enough of his former clients have been landed in Rijkers for him to dread the possibility of being sent there. But his lust for glory won't let him stop his low-life lifestyle. He knows he'll end up a big player one day or die trying, but he still hasn't realised how likely it is to be the latter.[1a]

SourceEdit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Marienburg: Sold Down the River
    • 1a: pg. 124

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