First Runner-Up in the 2011 Nexus Design-A-Villain Contest
Name: Robyn Snowbird
Other Names: The dealer, The man with a thousand eyes.
Birth Date: Leafplay 381 AC
Distinguishing Features and Mannerisms: Robyn Snowbird is a male afflicted kender. He has pale white skin, blue eyes, reddish brown hair and a short athletic stature. He stands about 4′ tall and weighs approximately 90 pounds. He has a clever and devious demeanor, so devious in fact that most folks that come across him naturally assume he is a true kender.
Wealth and Social Status: Robyn is a very wealthy kender. He has bought up numerous estates in Palanthus as well as small holdings throughout Solamnia. He keeps a low profile though, so most people that see him would assume he has the wealth of a typical commoner.
Robyn Snowbird was born shortly before the Chaos war to a pair of loving parents in Kendermore. The arrival of Malys after the summer of Chaos brought Robyn’s happy childhood to a swift end. He experienced a series of traumatic events that began with the death of his parents and siblings. Alone and unable to care for himself, a passing band of hobgoblins "took pity" on the helpless youth and enslaved him. After years of mistreatment, he was sold to a Nerakian merchant named Oruck Norum. Oruck continued mistreating Robyn, but saw great potential in the lad and educated him. Robyn learned much during his time with Oruck, mainly that there is great power available to those with wealth. His most important lesson, however, was that the world underestimates kender. He takes advantage of this and puts an incredible amount of effort into maintaining the guise of a "typical happy kender."
After learning all he could from Oruck, he poisoned his master, liquidated all of his assets and set off for Palanthus a much richer and finally free kender. Robyn set up shop soon after his arrival and initially involved himself in legitimate business activities. He realized the real money could be found selling contraband and illegal services. To insure that he succeeded and to prevent himself from getting caught, he created an elaborate network of associates, along with a series of secret warehouses throughout the city. Indeed, many an upstanding merchant would be horrified to know that there is a secret compartment filled with all manner of vile things, hidden within their own shop.
Robyn’s business is predominately illegal, though he uses his network of smugglers to undercut legitimate merchants on a few popular items. He also provides services to those who can afford them. These services include assassination, prostitution, smuggling, kidnapping, general thuggery (such as intimidating or threatening a rival), and magical services. The most popular contraband for sale generally is poisons and alchemical substances for necromantic work, though he is known to work extensively with slavers out of Neraka.
Robyn Snowbird’s business dealings have spread from Palanthus to Gwynned, where he has a small contingent of loyal henchmen, to a few other cities scattered throughout Solamnia. He partners with other merchants of ill-repute, though these merchants know nothing of Robyn himself. Most people know him as the dealer, but the authorities in Palanthus have taken to calling him "the man with a thousand eyes," due to Robyn’s uncanny ability to know far in advance when the town guards are likely to show up.
Robyn’s most trusted henchmen are an Aurak sorcerer named Kenboch and a Daewar thief named Drogar Cinnabar. Only Drogar knows Robyn’s true nature, while Kenboch thinks Robyn is an important captain in the organization. Drogar handles most of the day to day operations of Snowbird’s criminal enterprise, while Kenboch uses his sorcery to help hide the activities of the organization as well as scry on rivals. Kenboch has a well protected laboratory and living quarters in the "undercity" (Kenbochs euphemism for the Palanthus sewers).
Much of Robyn’s day is spent wandering the city, watching his employees (who assume he’s just a pesky handler) and making sure transactions are handled smoothly. He also spies on his workers to ferret out any traitors. His methods are particularly nasty and always result in death. His employees are aware of these brutal enforcements, but have no idea they are carried out by the smiling kender.
The Palanthus city guards are aware of some of the racketeering that goes on in the city, including Robyn Snowbird’s enterprise. They don’t know who runs the operation, however, and believe that it is likely run by a Nerakian merchant lord or a cleric of Hiddukel. The Knights of Solamnia are also aware of "the man with a thousand eyes" and seek to bring him to justice. The Palanthus city thieves guild would also like to see the "man with a thousand eyes" at the end of a hangman’s noose. They consider his activities a dishonorable stain against those who practice "proper thievery."
Robyn Snowbird spent years building up his business empire, as well as his true kender persona. So far, no one’s seen through his ruse, and Robyn aims to keep it that way. He has a paranoid mindset that helps him elude capture. He wears a cape of the mountebank, a ring of mind shielding and a medallion of thoughts at all times. He also has spies in the Palanthus city guard that alert him to potential raids and lucrative shipments from rival merchants. Robyn also studied the tactics of the Knights of Nerakia and the Legion of Steel, particularly those involving clandestine activity, and implemented them into his business structure.
Robyn puts a lot of effort into keeping his customers happy. City miscreants know that products from the dealer will arrive promptly and in excellent condition. They also know that they can not cheat the dealer with out terrible consequences. Robyn has an elite set of goons who handle all of these little problems that creep up over time, rarely intervening personally.