Sleuth Home - Detective Mnemophage

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  • Packages Delivered: 0
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  • Nemeses Captured: 0
  • Secret Plans Revealed: 0
  • Artifacts Unearthed: 0
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  • Brass Rings Won: 0

Detective Biography

There are two kinds of nicknames: the kind other people give you, and the kind you give yourself. Here's the story of how I got mine.

My real name is Laurel Petty, and I'm 22 years old. Young, for a dame in this business, but if you counted my age by experience rather than years I'd like be the equal of many lined and gray ancients. My story starts when I was 19, my eyes bright and my tail bushy, an intern at the City News Network and still working my way through school. It was my dream to be an investigative reporter - to go into varied unknown places and ferret out mad stories from those who dwelled there - but at the time I was little more than a gopher. My break came when my direct superior was found drunk in a brothel, encrusted with men, with an art theft having happened an hour before and no one else to do it; I was sent into the field with little more than a camera, notepad and head full of bad advice, and told to find the truth. I couldn't have been happier.

Lee Vaughan was young and talented - maybe as old then as I am now - a new darling of the art world who painted in old, dreamy style, fauns and nymphs and goddesses like some new old master. His gallery was smashed through the back door with a brick, and all his work was stolen - millions of dollars, overall, and me with little to work on but an inky bootprint, frantic artist and friends in the city archives. Lee had a few enemies, but none seemed the type to do this sort of thing - flimsy, artsy types all, people more content to criticize than commit. Lee himself was vaguely off-putting; something about him didn't seem right but I couldn't tell right off what it was. It wasn't until I did some digging in the public records that I found out why: his real surname was Zhiao. He discarded it when he disowned his father.

Zhiao Hei-Feng, compared to his young and vibrant son, was a poor man aged beyond his years with consuming bitterness. He lived in a vermin-infested flat stacked with newspapers and stinking of turpentine, and I knew right from when I saw him how to get to him. He sat me at his bare table and said nothing, only vitriol against his estranged son; when the fine catered dinner arrived I could almost see him soften. The whiskey loosened him further; he was still hateful and intense, though less crafty, and spoke often at how his ingrate son thought he was better than his father. When the man stumbled drunkenly to the bathroom, I made my move, and peered under each disheveled stack, past each half-blocked doorway until I found it: the crawlspace encrusted with artwork, each defaced in the delicate, inexpert hand of an old man trying to outdo a master.

Two months later, Lee Vaughan thanked me: the painting is still hanging in the City Gallery, and in it a slim, cruel young woman is seated on the chest of an old man, carving apart his skull with alien iron implements. It is named "The Mnemophage", and I am depicted quite well.


Order o Socrates:  Neutral(0)
Arcanum Brthrhd:  Poor(-2)
Cosa Nostra:  Fair(2)
Eastern Triads:  Neutral(0)
Circle of Light:  Neutral(0)
Green Hand:  Neutral(0)
The Tea Steepers:  Neutral(0)
Shangri La Tigers:  Neutral(0)



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