Hickory Palk was born to a wealthy family in the Gravel Hill area of Port Knot on Blackrabbit Island. From an early age, he demonstrated a bright mind and curiosity about the world around him. He particularly enjoyed playing games of strategy, quickly growing tired of beating children his own age. He was often known to challenge — and beat — adults in games of chess. He was a sore loser, however, and prone to violent outbursts when he lost. He grew to be a physical powerful man, taller than most, and stronger, too. Bored of high society and its predictability, his insatiable curiosity led him to enter a life of crime. He saw it all as a game. Starting at the bottom, how high could he climb? Outwitting his opponents when he could, outclassing them in battle when he could not, he developed a fearsome reputation. He was considered a deep-thinker by his peers, quiet and collected unless riled. He found his ideal partner-in-crime in a man named Percy Penhallow. Penhallow liked the sound of his own voice and Palk was happy to stand quietly by and see what trouble Penhallow could get them into. The two made an effective pairing and together they rose through the ranks of the Port Knot gangs. The gangland boss at the time — Vince Knight — despised them, and they would likely have languished in the middle-tier of the gang structure if not for the hurricane of 1780. It made landfall on Blackrabbit Island and flattened one of the tenements in Gull’s Reach, burying Vince Knight and his closest allies. Only Vince survived. Forced to use Penhallow and Palk as his lieutenants, they relished the power of their new positions. In THE LION LIES WAITING, Hickory Palk will demonstrate just how far he’s willing to go to win.
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