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Locke Lamora (not his true name) is the main protagonist of the series and a a young thief from Camorr and was the garrista of the Gentlemen Bastards for a time. He is a master thief, confidence artist and false-facer, having been trained from a very young age in the art of deception and thieving by Father Chains. He is known by the Camorri nobility as The Thorn of Camorr, a legendary thief who violates the Secret Peace of Camorr by bringing Camorri nobles into his confidence and duping them out of vast sums of their gold. He is also known by many other aliases, depending on what confidence games he and his associates are running at any given time.
A Catchfire Orphan
Locke's parentage is unknown, even to himself. He was born in the Therin city-state of Camorr in the Catchfire district. An orphan, he survived on the streets for a time before being taken in by the Thiefmaker, a garrista of Camorr's criminal underworld who specializes in the training of child thieves, following an outbreak of the Black Whisper plague.
Taken to Shade's Hill, the lair of the Thiefmaker's gang, which is a network of burrows beneath a disused graveyard, Locke quickly establishes a reputation for reckless skill as a thief. On the first night he is taken in, not understanding the rules of the Secret Peace, he lifts a purse from a Yellowjacket (city watchman), which is discovered by the Thiefmaker and returned, with apologies. New thieves under the hill are assigned to be Teasers, who are tasked with creating distractions that the older children take advantage of to perform their theft. Unlike most such children, even though he is already a skilled pickpocket, Locke prefers working as a teaser, designing and performing elaborate acts as distractions, to the point where his calling attention to himself is reprimanded by the Thiefmaker.
While the act of thieving gives him pleasure, he is miserable when actually at Shade's Hill, desultory and perpetually friendliess. The worst of the bullying comes from older children, specifically Veslin and Gregor.
After some time, Locke arranges what becomes the biggest score in Shade's Hill's history, instigating an exodus from a tavern by applying makeup approximating that of Black Whisper and walking into the common room. In the resultant chaos, several orphans loot the tavern under Locke's direction. However, the ensuing panic brings the City Watch, who burn the tavern to the ground and are on the cusp of burning down the entire Narrows district of Camorr before they realize there is no real Black Whisper outbreak. Because the owner of the tavern paid protection money to Capa Barsavi, which should have prevented any such mischief from the city's thieves, and because he was nearly responsible for having an entire city district burned to the ground, despite the profit from the score, the Thiefmaker punishes Locke harshly for his actions, making him drink Camorri fire oil.
While under the Hill, Locke briefly meets and becomes infatuated with Sabetha Belacoros, who he only knows as "Beth". An older girl, she is assigned as his Minder for a ritual in which the Shade's Hill orphans observe a hanging, and are tasked with stealing something from the crowd. Not long after, word spreads through Shade's Hill that Sabetha has suffered an accident and drowned to death. Locke is devastated by the news.
Some time after, miserable from the constant abuse from Gregor and Veslin, Locke arranges to steal a White Iron Crown from a Vadran merchant and plant it in the room his tormentors share, then spreading a rumor that Veslin was talking with a Yellowjacket. Upon hearing the rumor, the Thiefmaker searches the room and finds the coin. His action was far more drastic than Locke predicted: he kills the two if them immediately, likely believing that the vast sum of wealth represented by the White Iron Crown could only mean they were behind something very big that would mean trouble for the entire hill. Eventually, however, the Thiefmaker realizes that Locke was likely behind the scheme, and seeks permission to have Locke killed from Capa Barsavi. At the last minute he relents, reasoning that while Locke is far too much of a troublemaker to stay at Shade's Hill, he has profitable skills that could justify his being sold to a gang. That night he sells Locke to Father Chains, the leader of the Gentlemen Bastards, who takes Locke under his wing.
The Gentleman Bastards
Father Chains, who is known even to Locke as an eccentric and flamboyant blind priest of Perelando, takes Locke in, and Locke quickly discovers that Chains is not actually blind, not actually a priest of Perelando, and doesn't actually live in the bland temple but rather in an Elderglass burrow of apartments located just below the temple. There he leads the Gentleman Bastards, a specialized gang of thieves in training that Capa Barsavi believes to be sneak thieves. Already in the gang are Calo and Galdo Sanza, a pair of mischiveous twins, and Sabetha, who is away for several months at the start of Locke's time with the gang. He doesn't realize until she returns that Sabetha is the same girl as Beth, the girl he became infatuated with at Shade's Hill and who he believed to be dead.
Father Chains educates his wards on all topics imaginable, except actual theft. He teaches them languages, mathematics, cuisine, culture, and sees that they are made familiar with the basic rites of each of the temples of the twelve official Therin gods. He also reveals that he himself is a priest of the heretical nameless Thirteenth god, the patron of priests.
He takes Locke to meet Capa Barsavi. Locke impresses Barsavi at their meeting, and develops a friendship with Barsavi's daughter Nazca. Chains has explained to Locke the intricacies of the Secret Peace, through which the thieves of Barsavi's empire are forbidden from stealing from nobles, soldiers, or the city watch, in return for which, the Duke does not make any coordinated moves against Barsavi's gangs. After the meeting, Chains confesses to Locke that it should be obvious to Locke by now that he intends the Gentleman Bastards to be "Nothing less than a fucking ballista bolt right through the heart of Vencarlo Barsavi's precious secret peace."
Locke flourishes under Chains' tutelage, and outdoes himself when arranging the theft of a corpse, commanded by Chains as a means to repay a debt he owes a black alchemist, arranging an elaborate scheme involving a staged pickpocketing of Locke as a religious "Acolyte" to draw from a fountain of charity of the merchants of the prosperous Vedanza district.
Shortly after Jean Tannen joins the gang. After some initial tension, the two become fast friends.
The Don Salvara Game
War Between The Capa And The Grey King
Road To Tel Verrar
The Sinspire Game
Locke devices a plan to rob the wealthiest man in Tel Verrar, namely the master of the famous gamblinghouse The Sinspire, Requin. The preparations for the game takes two entire years during which Locke and Jean cement their false identities of Leocanto Kosta and Jerome de Ferra.
On The Sea Of Brass
Locke is a thief, a con man extraordinaire, a false facer; indulging in confidence games so proficient and discreet they evade detection from crime lords and noblemen alike. His daring, assertive nature – aided by cunning, wit and an infuriatingly silver tongue – are his most lethal weapons (his light build leaves him somewhat disadvantaged in combat). However, this audacity frequently blossoms into uninhibited arrogance that appears to peak during his early teens. This, combined with his stubbornness, leads him to make decisions that have a negative impact on anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in his line of fire.
Locke is fluent in several languages, he reads and writes like a scholar, has extensive knowledge of history, mathematics and literature and is more than proficient in the art of etiquette, including dining with any manner of company and preparing ornate cuisine. Yet this gentlemanly façade is quickly replaced with ruthlessly clever insults when Locke is provoked.
Locke views his fellow gang mates as brothers, a bond that transcends blood and oath. Chains is nothing short of a father to him.
- It is also known that Locke Lamora is not his real name; the truth of the matter is yet to be revealed. Lamora means shadow in Throne Therin.
- Locke Lamora’s character is loosely inspired by Locke Cole from Final Fantasy VI. He is a thief, but prefers to be called a "Treasure Hunter." Lynch said: ‘Locke's first name is a homage to a character in SquareSoft's Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III in the United States. This game had a huge influence on me when I was in my mid-teens; I think it's one of the most brilliant and heartbreaking console roleplaying games ever created, a real work of art.’