Born to a poor family barely eking out a living in the small settlement of Estuar on Akiton, Quig Dexel developed a fascination at an early age with the various water-purification plants that skirted the nearby polar ice caps. Spurred by this curiosity, he taught himself the basics of engineering by stealthily tinkering with valve-control mechanisms and reverse-osmosis regulators until he was old enough to work for one of the shady syndicates that controlled the flow of water out of town. Initially hired as a de-icer, he made sure that the storage tanks’ outflow lines didn’t freeze over during the cold nights. Though he worked odd hours, he was able to make friends by helping his coworkers when their shoddy flamers malfunctioned.
In his spare time, Quig began constructing the first iterations of what would become his drone companion, Scout, using spare parts he scrounged from Estuar’s junk heaps and alleys. One early morning after his shift, as Quig hunted for scraps that he could fashion into an actuator, he was winged by a stray laser blast from a passing firefight waged between a shobhad bounty hunter and her human quarry. Ignoring the pain, Quig dropped the hunk of metal he was holding and chased after the fracas. He arrived on the scene in time to see the bounty hunter tackle the fugitive and slap him in restraints. Flushed with adrenaline, Quig realized then and there that this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
That afternoon, after gathering up all of his belongings and mounting a pistol to Scout’s undercarriage, Quig said farewell to his family and set off into the wider world. He eventually made his way to the bustling streets of the Hivemarket, where he signed on as a caravan guard with a group of ikeshti traders. Quig spent the first few hours of the journey questioning the lizardfolk about their society, until several pointed stares gave him the hint that he should keep to himself. He proceeded to valiantly suppress his curiosity and tinker quietly on Scout for much of the trip, pausing only when a flock of hungry norkasa swooped too close to the caravan and gave him the chance to impress the ikeshti with the improvements he’d made to his trust de-icing flamer.
The journey ended in the ancient city of Arl, a haven for blood sports in the coliseum known as the Crimson Forum. After getting paid, Quig explored the city’s labyrinthine streets and was promptly ambushed by a gang of street thugs who not only took his money, but disabled and absconded with Scout. Enraged yet already streetwise enough to be suspicious of the city authorities, young Quig began asking around about other gangs or freelancers that could help him get his revenge.
It was there, in one of Arl’s seediest dive bars, that Quig ran into Dhareen the Vise, the same shobhad bounty hunter who inadvertently set him on his life’s path. As an awestruck Quig launched into his entire life story, Dhareen sighed wearily and told him to forget about his lost drone and head back to his backwater town. But at last Quig said the four words the shobhad lived to hear:
“I can pay you.”
Dhareen scoffed, but as the ysoki pointed out a dozen ways she could improve her gear, the bounty hunter reluctantly agreed, and the two planned a raid of the gang’s headquarters.
One week later, Quig and Scout had been reunited, and the ysoki was apprenticed to Dhareen, having impressed her with his quick thinking during the rescue of his drone. Quig learned much from the gruff shobhad over the next year as they traveled the system, and though they often butted heads over methods of tracking and capturing their quarries, the two enjoyed a relationship of mutual respect. Upon the completion of a sizable job where they collected five bounties simultaneously—right under the noses of several competing bounty hunters—Dhareen announced that she was ready to retire and travel with her clan once more. Quig was saddened about the dissolution of their partnership, but also felt ready to operate on his own. The shobhad returned to Akiton to live what she hoped would be a quieter life, while Quig continues to make a name for himself across the Pact Worlds.
Quig is personable and outgoing—often significantly chattier than his comrades would like—and his constant traveling for work has left him with friends and contacts across the Pact Worlds. He prides himself on being a good judge of character, and while he’s savvy enough to withhold actual trust until it’s been earned, he’s not above throwing himself into a fight on behalf of a near-stranger if he’s got a good feeling about them. Though fully capable of working alone, he tends to get bored easily without people to talk to, and thus prefers to sign on with teams of adventurers, where he can act as the group’s resident tracker and starship engineer. While he still keeps in touch with his family, he doesn’t speak about his hometown much, as he’s a bit embarrassed by his unglamorous upbringing—when he does mention it, it is with a liberal helping of humor. He’s a fan of both taking minor trophies from previous jobs and scavenging spare parts that he’s positive may come in handy someday, inevitably turning his cabin or bunk into a riotous nest of cherished junk.
Quig’s closest companion is his drone, Scout, and he spends the majority of his downtime puttering about in the robot’s systems. He often talks to Scout as way of thinking out loud or voicing his innermost thoughts, attributing them to the drone in a way that can make him seem a bit unbalanced to those who don’t know him well. (And in truth, sometimes to those who do.) When he’s captured a bounty and is feeling particularly mischievous, he often pretends to consult with the robot about the person’s fate, ultimately claiming that he sympathizes and would like to let the target go, but “the robot says otherwise.”