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Friendly

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Shivers: What do the dice say?
Friendly: Dice say nothing. They are dice.
Shivers: Why roll ’em, then?
Friendly: They are dice. What else would I do with them?

–Friendly and Caul Shivers, Best Served Cold

Friendly is an ex-convict with a certain facility with numbers, who becomes part of Monza Murcatto’s misfit crew.

Appearance and Personality Edit

Friendly is a fearsome solid looking man, very broad and muscular, with a thick neck wider than his skull. He has a slack face and perpetually sad eyes.

Friendly clearly suffers from mental problems, probably autism. He struggles with social interaction, rarely expresses any kind of emotion, and often keeps to himself. He finds refuge from the world, which he finds mad, in a compulsive obsession with numbers. He's often seen roling a set of dice, and finds meaning their outcome. His fascination with numbers is almost to the point of a fetish; he appears to become terribly excited as Day counts the number of soldiers.

Although something of a psychopath and capable of deadpan violence (he will put up with a lot but don't accuse him of using loaded dice ... ever), he realizes he has a problem, tries not to maliciously hurt people. Friendly's nickname is meant to be ironic, however while he has little humour, he is usually polite, non confrontational, and loyal.

Friendly's preferred weapons are a knife and cleaver; he uses a sword only once, and finds it distasteful.

History Edit

Friendly committed his first crime when he was seven years old. Six years later, he was caught for robbery and given his first seven year prison sentence at Safety in Musselia. Some time after being released, he was arrested and imprisoned again on eighty-four counts, including fourteen murders. Friendly actually enjoyed prison, due to the structured rules and timekeeping; he finds the outside world chaos.

In Safety, he was befriended a convicted mobster called Sajaam for protection. Eventually, Sajaam made enough money from other convicts to buy his own freedom. Once freed himself, he returned and bought Friendly’s freedom too. Now, Friendly works for Sajaam in his gambling and smoke-house in Talins, as his personal bodyguard and the occasional bloody task.

Best Served Cold Edit

After the death of her brother, Sajaam gets a visit from Monza Murcatto. Monza announces that she intends to kill the seven men responsible for Benna’s death, including Grand Duke Orso of Talins. She wants the favours he owes her, and Sajaam reluctantly agrees, giving her Friendly.

While still in Tains, Monza tracks down Orso's bodyguard Gobba. Friendly kills his two companions, and with Caul Shivers drag him to a shed. Despite Gobba begging for his life for the sake of his children, Monza sets to work on him with a hammer, crushing his hands and legs, and eventually his head. Friendly and Shivers chop up Gobba's corpse and dump it in the sewers.

In Westport, where Monza plans to kill Duke Orso's banker Mauthis, under cover of night, Monza's crew infiltrate the bank. Shivers scales the bank, and uses a crossbow and rope to haul the poisoner Castor Morveer and his assistant Day onto the building's roof. Friendly then lowers them into the bank through the skylight, where they poison every ledger in order to be sure; Mauthis is killed, along with dozens of other banking staff and clients.

In Sipani, where King Jezal of The Union has arranged a peace conference between the factions in Styria, Monza sets a trap for Orso's son Prince Ario in Cardotti’s House of Leisure. Friendly is put in charge of one of the gambling tables. However, when a drunken gambler accuses Friendly of using loaded dice, he gets a teeny bit miffed, splitting his skull with his cleaver and then stabbing him repeatedly. In the ensuing chaos, Cardotti’s burns to the ground.

Monza's misfit crew head to Visserine, which is put to siege by Duke Orso’s army. Friendly and Nicomo Cosca go to the breach to steal Talinese uniforms, but Friendly has a panic-attack in the chaos. In the palace, they wait in the uniforms for General Ganmark to come to the art gallery, and then drop the portcullis, sealing them inside. With that chaos ensues. Friendly lays into the two dozen soldiers with his clever and dagger, as do the others. In the aftermath of the fight, Cosca is mortally wounded. Friendly offers to stay with him, but Cosca tells him to flee with the rest. The two had become friends; Cosca forgives his quirky behaviour, having plenty of quirks himself.

Cosca: How do I look?
Friendly: Like a pimp who lost his mind in a military tailor’s.

–Friendly and Nicomo Cosca, Best Served Cold

After Visserine, Friendly has had enough of Monza’s chaos and announces he’s going back to Talins. However, on his way back, he runs into Cosca who has miraculously survived Visserine. Cosca and Friendly make their way to The Thousand Swords mercenary company, where they find Monza has lured Faithful Carpi into a trap and killed him. Much to Monza's disgust, Cosca convinces the senior captains, to restore him as Captain General, with Friendly at his side as First Sergeant of the Brigade.

During the decisive battle between Duke Orso and Duke Rogont near Ospria, Cosca accepts money from the Gurkish agent Ishri to play no part. When Colonel Rigrat storms into the camp to demand he attack, Cosca lures him into his tent planning to ransom Rigrat back to his family. However, Friendly misunderstands and stabs him in the neck with his knife. Unruffled, Cosca just shrugs it off.

With Duke Orso's army defeated, The Thousand Swords put siege to Orso himself in the fortress of Fontezarmo in Talins. Before the final assault, Cosca asks Friendly to protect Monza. When Shivers turns on Monza, Friendly intervenes before he can finish her. Shivers and Friendly set on each other, with shield and axe, cleaver and dagger, but they are too well matched and neither can kill the other. Ultimately, Shenkt breaks the pair apart, and flings Shivers across the hall, where he crumples unconscious.

In the end, Friendly asks now Grand Duke Monza of Talins to let him be imprisoned in Safety again, tired of the outside world. However, they find that Safety has been abandoned in the anarchy that followed the sack of Musselia by Duke Orso. Friendly grudgingly agrees to join Cosca as he presses his claim for the Duchy of Visserine.

Red Country Edit

In the ten or so years between the books, Friendly has remained with Nicomo Cosca who now runs a small mercenary band called the Gracious Hand in Starikland.

Nicomo Cosca: What have you made of your time with me?
Friendly: I preferred prison.

Nicomo Cosca and Friendly, Red Country

Cosca and his mercenaries are employed by Superior Pike to track down Conthus who led a rebellion in Staikland. Pike insists on no entanglements with the Old Empire; the Union not wanting any more wars at the moment.

Cosca and his mercenaries wreak havoc on the towns of the Near Country, but Cosca eventually learns that a man named Grega Cantliss has some ancient gold. Cosca with Friendly tracks Cantliss to Crease in the Far Country, and they join Shy and Lamb’s journey into the mountains after Pit and Ro. In Ashranc, the city carved into the mountainside and home to the Dragon People, the mercenaries kill most of the people, sack the city, and steal the massive treasury. When Lamb almost kills Ro in his Bloody-Nine state, it takes Friendly, Savian and Sweet to hold him down.

On the way back to Crease, Shy and Temple steal the Dragon People’s gold from Cosca. Cosca tracks them to Crease. However, The Mayor signs a treaty with the Old Empire. Inquisitor Lorsen, not wanting to start a war between the Union and the Old Empire, has Cosca arrested, with Friendly. Friendly smiles as the manacles were snapped around his wrists.

On the journey back to Squaredeal, Shy and Lamb encounter Cosca, having escaped imprisonment, still looking to get his gold back. Cosca orders Friendly to kill one of the children, but he confesses that he would really rather not kill them. In the end, Cosca is knifed through the chest by one of his own men.

Illustrations Edit

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