Saul Van Kasken

Saul Van Kasken is the owner of the Golden Goblin Gambling Hall in the city of Varistan, known around town both for his missing hand and his storied history with Clegg Zincher.

Almost thirty years ago, Saul founded the Golden Goblin Gambling Hall and soon became one of the wealthiest merchants in Varistan. No one else wanted the land the casino was built on because it was considered haunted. The area was called the “Caverns of Munro,” named for an old pirate captain who, according to legend, once had a hideout there.

Soon After the Hall opened, Saul married a beautiful woman named Bella, they had a son named Orik, and were happy for many years. Seven years ago, trouble came to the Van Kasken family. Saul’s son had become infatuated with a serving maid called Jena, who was already involved with a local thug named Falk.

This seedy love triangle ended tragically with Falk floating face-down in the Velskar River, and Orik was the prime suspect. Unfortunately for Saul and his son, Falk was the nephew of Clegg Zincher, a powerful crime lord here in town. Saul knew if his son stayed in Varistan, his life was forfeit. So, he used his wealth and influence to quickly sneak both his son and Jena out of the city before they could fall into Zincher’s clutches.

Zincher was outraged that Saul had thwarted his revenge, and Saul and his wife were the only targets left for his wrath. A few weeks later, there was a mysterious fire at the Goblin, and tragically, Bella was killed. Saul knew it was Zincher’s thugs who had set that fire. He loudly and publicly swore he would get revenge on Zincher for Bella, but he never got the chance.

A few days later, Saul himself was arrested on the orders of Baron Avery Kromar, for suspected arson and “stealing justice,” which really meant the "crime" of saving his son from Zincher. Most locals were well aware that the Baron was just as corrupt as Zincher and had always gotten hefty kickbacks from him; but few people thought the Baron would punish Saul as cruelly as he did. The arson charge was dropped, and Saul was spared execution. But, Kromar ordered his property confiscated; worse, he lost his left hand for “theft.”

After his maiming, Saul left the city as a broken, pitiful figure. The Goblin was abandoned, fell into decay, and the property came up at public auction. Because of Zincher, nobody would buy it and the building remained abandoned for a decade.

About three years ago, to the surprise of everyone, Saul returned to Varistan, sporting a new, golden hand shaped like a key. He also seemed to have plenty of new-found money and used those funds to buy back the Goblin. Saul then spent even more restoring his run-down gambling hall.

Everyone wondered where Saul got the money to buy back the Goblin, but he never told a soul. Ever since it re-opened, the Goblin and Saul have become a constant source of irritation for Zincher.

Stranger still, Saul lives quite modestly, even though the Goblin is more successful than ever. Rumor has it; Saul has saved all his money in a secret vault, which can only be opened with the key attached to his stump.

Today, Saul is well-liked. He gives to charity, and never has an unkind word for anybody.