Edward 'Ned' Savage is an agent with the British Secret Service.
Of course, in the time that Savage was an 'operative', there was no real government organization that bore that title. In fact there was no real organization at all except as it pleased Savage's unofficial boss, Sir Robert Cecil.
The year we first meet Savage is 1603. The Virgin Queen, Elizabeth, was very old and ailing and soon to pass. The House of Tudor was ending and the chosen successor, the House of Stuart and its leader, James VI of Scotland, was ready to assume leadership.
Championing the desired peaceful transition of power was the short, bent-backed Privy Secretary, Cecil, a man who suffered much abuse for his physical form as well as for power that he held without seeming to possess it. Helping him maintain his perilous position was a small group of shadowy individuals who would never be allowed in the Court but who nevertheless got a lot done in the background.
One of those is Ned Savage. If one asked anyone in authority about Savage, it would be unanimously agreed that Savage was a thief. Some would say common. Others might use other words.
He would likely point out that he has a regular job working for the Revels Office (an interesting government agency at the time responsible for organizing entertainments and festivities) as a courier of documents as well as somewhat of a censor. That would be the truth, too, as far as it went but since such work pays very little (or just not enough to satisfy him), it is really a cover for his real non-thieving vocation, working for Sir Robert.
Savage is a man in his "twenty-somethings". He is persistently low on funds even though he has the aid of a young girl as his servant or, "if we were grander people, my ward", named Faith who keeps very careful track of their money. Their rooms are in the very low-rent district of London and not likely to get any better but Savage has his dreams.
In the meanwhile, Savage keeps his eyes and ears open for any tidbit that might prove interesting to his "master", a man that Savage strangely has a considerable amount of respect for. And when Cecil has a bit of work that requires the use of Savage's other line of work, Savage is never one to say no to a bit of thievery.
- Thought by Savage, "It is a rule of mine that the truth should only be told when no more entertaining lie can be thought of".
- Savage's comment about his age was that "I do not intend to ever be called older than twenty-three".
- About actors and playwrights, Savage opines, "Always performing and the rabble always listening. It was no wonder actors made the mistake of thinking themselves as interesting out of costume as in it."