The Thieves Guild IC: The Thieves Of Gondor

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

The Thieves Guild IC: The Thieves Of Gondor

Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Nov 14, 2004 10:57 pm

To start off, I'm going to repost most of Haun's post first, then start off the RP. Okeday? Okeday.

~~~~~

After the destruction of the One Ring and the beginning reign of King Elessar and Queen Arwen in Gondor the Thieves Guild was established in the White City itself. A new but profitable organization is now thriving in Minis Tirith’s underworld where even the lowliest of thieves to the most experienced and feared assassin can gain glory and gold. Come one come all and join the Guild, whether you see yourself a maid, a bartender, or a thief just trying to make his or her way in the world of ME, come and join.

I would like this thread to not focus around one particular story. I would like to see people join and create a life and reputation from scratch and make friends, alliances, and enemies. There could be many stories playing themselves out at once but I would like everything to start in the Guild HQ (maybe with time the Guild could expand to Rohan and other places or other Guilds could spring up and compete for the various jobs that are out there) where your character will first enter and join. A percentage of your earnings or findings will ultimately go to the Guild and you will get most of your jobs from there as well, but lets not get too technical here about the money and if you find that while your writing you may want to venture off into some other adventure (such as if your chasing someone who’s stolen your purse full of gold but hear rumors of an unbelievable treasure while your in a village then go right ahead and investigate if it takes you to Umbar or Rhun), please do so, but eventually come back to the Guild and tell us of your glorious deeds if indeed you live to tell the tales.

Rules:

1. One character per person.

2. When you start, your character can’t be “the best” assassin or thief but can have somewhat of a reputation whether good or bad. (I would like this to be an even playing field as much as possible when we start).

3. This isn’t a competition to see whose character can be the best or most revered by other characters, just try and make the stories lively and fun whether your character becomes the most feared and respected character or is the scoundrel no one trusts.

4. Normal Prancing Pony Guide lines such as not killing another character without permission, and that this is Role Play not a Role Play Game so there are no winners, ECT.

5. Have fun writing.

I hope this appeals to all of you out there and I hope many of you join and help me create a web of intertwining lives that could meet at any moment.

The Guild is located in an enormous white stoned building with eight pillars out front and a great stairway leading up to the two enormous wooden doors. The entrance the various thieves and people who have business with the Guild enter in a side door enclosed by trees and bushes in the garden. The entrance bypasses the lush furnishings and rich tapestry found in the main rooms of the building disguised as a home and instead the characters will travel down a winding old wooden staircase lightened by torches, and enter a large room in the likeness of an Inn’s common room. There are many other rooms like the one they first enter so feel free to create what you want in those but there is on more room I must tell about. It’s the one where the creator of the Guild resides and talks to those who have business with him. It's a plain room with a desk and chair in the middle of it and scrolls stuffed everywhere, and it’s where you’ll first make your way to join the Guild. The creator is in fact a woman, a beautiful creature in her middle ages. Quick to anger that makes her ivory skin burn red and green eyes flare with a live fire. Her hair is black like midnight and her body has all the right curves. Though she might seem weak and fragile, she is quick and deadly with almost any weapon, but daggers and short swords would be the weapons of her choice. She is revered and honored so if anyone harms her it would mean death at the hands of everyone else in the Guild. If the occasion calls for it then I will use her but feel free to write her in your posts but please make sure that when you post that she isn’t in Rohan on business or sleeping or something (likewise with every other character in the thread).

That’s about it, everyone’s welcome so come on in and post your character as soon as possible. I’ll post mine as soon as I create him.

Member ~ Character
atalantea ~ Kundiman
Volcanus ~ Volcanus
PatriotBlade ~ Haddie
Loopy ~ Minea
ladyofboxclocks ~ Cyllieth
corintur ~ Armo
Haun ~ Kreten
Monoceros ~ Miriam
narnensul ~ Reven
balrogthane ~ Halda


Loopy, we need your bio, or did I miss it?
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:29 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:34 am

In a large house situated in the dark side of the city, a raven haired woman sat behind her large desk, fingering her wine goblet as she stared into the flames that flickered in her fireplace-the only light in the sparcely furnished room. The orange light flickered across her face, making her soft ivory skin glow. The expression on her face should have detered anyone from disturbing her.
Should have. A large, bald man pushed the door aside and stood in the doorway.

"Why do you disturb me, Kreten?" the woman spoke, never taking her eyes from the flickering flames.
"The Gondorian Guards have taken out three more incopitant fools tonight." he snarled, his face twisting with contempt.
She looked at him now, her green eyes flashing with a fire of their own.
"Ours?"
"Yes, Milady."
She frowned. "They'll talk."
A hiddious smile further twisted his weathered face. "No, Milady. They will not." He fingered the hilt of his longknife, and the sharpened head of his over large battle axe glittered in the firelight. This was not a man you wanted to cross.
The woman set down her glass with a clink and calmly pressed her hands flat onto the desktop as she stood, then leaned on them as she looked him in his beady, frightening eyes.
"If you do not stop killing off my best members, so help me Kreten-"
"You'll what? Do you think that you can kill me?"
"I have my ways..." The coldness in her voice should have given anyone pause, but this wasn't just anyone she was dealing with. She glared at him. They were equals in many ways, except that she was the leader, not him. It was time that he was reminded of this. "You will use your skills to free them next time. If you can not, and we discover that they talk, you will kill them only when I give you the order. And since you have been the one doing most of the training of new recrutes, you will be releaved of said duty until I decide that you will train them effeciantly. No thanks to you're lousy training, nearly half of my origional group are incarserated or dead, because they got caught. I need new blood in the ranks. You may go. I want at least five new apprenices by the fortnight!"
"Yes, Milady," he growled then turned away, closing the door behind him.
She sank back into her chair with a regal grace, then picked up her wine gobblet. She swirled the red liquid in the glass before downing it in one unladylike gulp.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A pretty beggar girl hid in the shadows, watching for her next victim. She carefully wrapped a shawl over her long red hair and her bare shoulders. Her scam tonight would have to be executed perfectly or there would be hell to pay. Her brown eyes fell on a well dressed man comming down the street, looking for a pretty girl to misuse. She grinned and stepped out of her shoes. She had not worn stockings this night for a reason. She settled into a shadow, but where she could be seen if someone looked. She arranged her skirts so that her bare toes showed, then tucked her shoes into the small bag she had slung across her body.
None of his usual girls were out tonight as he roamed the streets. He didn't see her until he heard a soft voice.

"Please, Master? Spare a coin for a poor girl?" At that moment, she let a corner of the shawl slip, revealing a bare shoulder. She raised her sad brown eyes and held out her tin cup hopefuly.
His eyes got a wild glint and he crouched before her.
"What would you be willing to do for several coins, Little Lass?"
She made her voice quiver as she spoke. "Anything. It is cold tonight and I'm hungry."
His grin widened and she nearly got sick. "Come with me, Little Lass." He offered her a hand up then led her to an even darker alley. He suddenly tried to slip a loop of rope around her neck, but she slipped out of his grip and slamed her elbow into his solarplexis. When he doubled over, she brought her knee up into his face, hard. Dazed, he hit the stones. She used his own bit of rope to bind his hands behind his back, then with one of her hidden knives, slit the inside of both trouserlegs, using the loose fabric to bind his knees together. He started to yell and she cut a sleeve out of his shirt and used it for a gag. She quickly rifled through his pockets, tucking anything of value into her bag. When she was finished, she pulled out her shoes and stepped into them. As she stood over him, the man got his first real good look at her. A blue, off the shoulder dress, brown shawl which had slid compleatly off to reveal her long red hair. Black leather shoes and bag. She leaned in close to his face and grinned evilly. "Remember this night the next time you feel like looking for poor girls to abuse and stay home where you belong." She gigled like a school girl when his eyes widened with fear. She then turned on her heel and flounced away with all of his valuables.
As she exited the alley, she checked to be sure that no one was watching. Not seeing anyone, she slipped out and made her way through the darkened streets. Suddenly a large hand shot out of a shadow and grapped her arm. She let out a quiet yelp and tried to fight, but much larger, stronger hands held her fast.
"W-what do you want?" she asked.
The strange man flashed his teeth in a predator smile as he smelled her fear.[/i] "Just to invite you to a place that can help you do better than tricking men like that."
"Men like what? I'm not a prostitute!"
He chuckled. "No, you aren't, but you sure had him fooled." he caught her chin between his fingers. "Listen to me. There is a guild where you can be better trained, by a master. A percetage of your ernings goes to her, but you may keep the rest and you will have a warm place to live, food and protection."
"Protection from what?"
A clatter in the street drew their attention and he pulled her further into the shadows, against his solid body as a troup of Gondorian Guards trotted through the streets, looking for trouble. "From that." he hissed in her ear once they had passed. "Can you read, Girl?"
"Yes."
He pressed a rumpled piece of paper in her smaller palm, the released his grip on her and disapeared into the night.
Shaken, she tucked the paper away in her bag, wrapped herself tightly in her shawl, checked extra carefully for spies then dashed home-a rundown, collapsing pub, where her family had lived, until they were killed. Too tired to investigate her pickings, she rolled up in a blanket to ward off the cold and fell asleep.
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby atalantea » Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:40 am

Alan watched all that came and went and walked discreetly as his two companions were. It was dark and they had to reach Minas Tirith. They moved carefully, their footsteps a whiper in the night. A scream broke the silence that has decended unknowingly around them.
Briar moved forward but was blocked by Alan's strong hands.

"It is a woman, she might be in danger!"

"That is not our task," came Arlon.

"We are tasked to help the weak and besides, have you no trust in our training?" he countered as he rushed forward to the source of the sound. The two followed, unable to resist. The breath froze in their throats as they beheld.

"Beautiful," Alan whispered in awe.

They approached, unbelieving. She lay sprawled on the street, her glorious hair about her, a tendril curled at her chin. Black as the night, curly and thick, unquestionably silky. Her eyes were closed solemnly, lashes fanned her cheeks and eyebrows arched delicately. Her nose was straight and slender, leading to her full lips all but blood red and partly open as she breahted. Her cheekbones rode high and again, delicately. Her skin was white and pale but beautiful in the moonlight, breathtakingly so. She was beautiful. Virginal and pure she seemed.

They approached her. Arlon picked her up gently. She stirred and opened her eyes, another breath was stolen from them.

Her eyes were deep, deep green. One that makes spring pale when faced with it. Silver linings came and went, flecks that made her eyesmore intiguing. She sobbed.

"They stole my family's heirloom," she cried, pointing towards the direction of the alley.

Arlon and Briar were swallowed by fury they couldnot contain. Who would have the heart to hurt this woman? This beauty?

"I will kill them," Briar said simply.

"We will have the heirloom back, just you wait, Alan, keep watch of her," they stood and strode to the dark. Silence again decended.

"Sit beside me," she came and Alan swallowed before doing so but stopped to lay hisbag downso as not to damage the contents.

"No, just help me up please," she came and he did so. She fell on him as she stumbled, pushing him towards the other way. "I'm sorry, I just seem weak," she said thenheld on to his shoulders.

"I'm fine,"he squeecked. She was so near. She held his shoulders for support.

"You seem so strong," she said as her fingers trailed towards his nape.
"Thank you," he said huskily.

"Too bad your stupid," she came then with the expert move of her hand, rendered the man unconcious and sprawled on the floor. She smiled, stood straight, poicked up the bag and left.

Nothing like making themfools of themselves. She leaped to a roof and went towards her home. Nothing like a night out on a job.
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Postby balrogthane » Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:09 am

It was early. Too early for most of Minas Tirith's residents. The street was nearly silent; a single candle illuminated one window, but no other man-made light revealed the street. The moon cast a silvery light across the cobblestones, the newly-planted trees, and a single cloaked figure.

The figure stood motionless, waiting. By the time that one last candle went out, the moon had shifted 5 degrees in the sky. The figure shrugged its shoulders and slipped quickly across the street.

The building on the other side was a monolithic structure of white stone and terraced balconies, towering windows and stern metal filigree. The figure bypassed the wide steps and marble statues to duck into the gardens on the right, where he pushed aside a bush to find a simple closed wooden door. He rapped three times, hand muffled in a heavy glove, then pushed the door open and slipped inside.

Before and beneath him coiled an ancient wooden staircase, dimly lit by torches at long intervals. As he closed the door the torches guttered and flickered in the gust of air, one after another, dancing down the long stairwell. He started down the steps; the top few were oiled perfectly, allowing him to continue in silence, but as he made his first full cycle around the stairwell they began to creak-- nearly impossible to sneak into this room.

At the bottom was another small door. He pushed it open cautiously, ducking his head to enter, and found himself in a low-ceilinged common room, complete with benches, tables and greasy torches. But the room was empty, save for a single black cat eyeing him insolently from the bartop.

He glared back at the cat and crossed the room swiftly. This newest door opened onto a long hallway, almost a tunnel, hewn from the rock and roughly finished. Like a man returning to his own house, the figure strode down the hall, bypassing doors on his left and right till he reached the one he sought. This time, he knocked and waited.

As soon as he lowered his hand he went still again: no shuffling feet, no shifting arms. He waited for nearly a minute before the door swung slowly open to reveal a simple, almost Spartan room.

A single desk in the middle of the room, attended by a chair, was the sole furniture. All along the sides ran shelves overflowing with scrolls and books. At the desk sat the lord of the halls, a starkly beautiful woman with ivory skin and ebony hair, brilliant green eyes and immaculate dress sense. She was slightly flushed, as if she had been caught in the midst of something she wanted no-one to know about, but her eyes were calm as ice.

"Come in." He stepped across the threshold cautiously, unsure how to cope with this unexpected development. "You are...?"

"Halda," he replied quietly.

"Halda, yes," she answered, and steepled her fingers. "You have already gained something of a reputation. One of the best cutpurses... and the most inept breaker-and-enterer Minas Tirith has ever seen." Halda stiffened very slightly, and she smirked. "Yes, I know all about the incident with the Duchess and her dogs."

"Very well," he answered uncomfortably. "I suppose what I really want to know is-- why was I requested to come here?"

"You are a thief," the woman said simply. "This is the Thieves' Guild. It should be obvious."

Again, he felt stupid. Not something he was used to or enjoyed. "May I ask what is to be required of me?"

"Just the usual guild expectations. You'll owe us a portion of every take, you'll share tips like a decent member, and you'll obey any request made by me or my associates."

Obey? That wasn't a good word. Doing his best to keep his voice level, he answered, "And if I succumb to these requirements, what benefits do I receive?"

"We will watch your back; all Guild members are expected to protect one another if need be. We might even help you out of a prison cell, but don't count on it."

"And if I refuse?"

She shrugged. "You'll be competition for us."

"I'll think about it."

She made a motion as if to jerk upright, and when she spoke, the effort to remain calm was obvious. "You will not think about it. You have entered my guild halls, you will either submit or you will die. This is not an insurance policy, thief. This is your new life."

He thought briefly, very briefly, of pulling his dagger on her, but he knew that was pure suicide. Instead, he settled for glaring at her as she settled back down in her chair and calmed.

"Very well. I'm in."

"Excellent," she replied briskly, then pulled out a sealed roll of parchment. "This is yours. Guard it well."

He reached forward and took the scroll. "What is it?"

"Your membership. Now leave me."

"Very well, milady." He opened the door, stepped out, and-

"Oh, and one more thing..." she called. He stopped in the midst of shutting the door.

"Yes?"

"Don't make any of my associates angry." She smiled like a wolf scenting fresh meat. "And especially not Kreten. He has far less patience than I."

Halda nodded, mouth dry, and finished closing the door. What was he trapped in now?

-(----
Last edited by balrogthane on Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby corintur » Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:32 pm

Armo was walking down the street, humming to himself. To an untrained eye he is just a simple lad, walking and humming. But Armo was not a simple lad, Armo was a trained thief and right now he was in the middle of a job.

Armo looked around, plainly but actually looking for an observer, he didn't see anyone, what he missed to see was a tall bald man standing in the shadows. Armo was now looking for his prey, it was going to be a simple pick pocketing job tonight. He looked around and then he saw the perfect target, a man of about 40 was walking down the street, drunk. He had a small wallet tied to his waist belt. 'This should be an easy one' thought Armo to himself. He walked over still humming and looked down at his feet, he bent down to tie his shoe in the perfect time, the man tripped over him and collapsed to the floor, Armo quickly came rushing to the man and helped him to his feet, he straightened the man's clothes and in an instant took the wallet and shoved it into his pocket.

"I'm so sorry mister" Said Armo in a worried voice.

"It's O.K lad, forget about it..." Replied the man.

Armo nodded and turned to leave, he walked quickly as if ashamed at what he did. What he didn't see was the tall, bald man waiting in the shadows, a hand was sent and Armo was pulled into the shadows.

Armo panicked, he was sure it was a soldier and that he was on his way to jail, "Stop, I didn't do anything!" he squealed, "I don't belong in jail!"

"Calm down, I'm not a soldier" Replied the man, "Then who are you? What do you want?" asked Armo.

"I come with a job offer for you, I assume you could read, take." He gave Armo a scroll of paper and left.

Armo read the piece of paper carefully, 'this could be interesting' he thought...
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Postby narnensul » Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:35 pm

Where am I?

Reven sucked on her bloody lip as both sight and memory returned to her. The shouting guards...a lengthy chase through Minas Tirith...a barking dog...a pile crates...a stumble...a figure in the shadows...the hilt of a sword...pain...and then darkness...Her hand ran through a knotted mess of brown hair until she found the source of throbbing. The blood on her fingers was wet and the cut was only minor so she stood slowly and reluctantly. Wherever she was, Reven had been there for only a short while.

"How's your head?"

A man asked to the left of her, his figure obscured by metal bars. Reven scanned her room before answering his question. The room wasn't a room at all, a wall of bars to the right, left, and front with a stone wall behind her. With great horror, she slowly realized...

...Her midnight lodging was a prison cell...

"It's been better." Reven recovered quickly from the shock of the cage, her mind turned to other thoughts.

"You were brought in an hour ago, I thought you were dead."

"If not now, then I will be shortly."

The man did not reply, instead he disappeared into the darkness. She heard a clank of keys, creaking metal, and shuffling footsteps and soon found the stranger in front of her cell door with a ring of keys at his belt.

"You're a guard?" She asked, hiding her disbelief poorly.

"Thieves talk to thieves but never to Gondorian officials. The name's Famel. And your's?"

"I thought you were a thief." Reven blatantly ignored his inquiry for her name.

"I was." The man said, leaning against the railing with his keys an arm length away. "But I work for the King now. Insider work on the underground world of thieves, criminals, and assassins. But I will say this, you aren't like the usual ones that I drag in."

"How so?" Reven asked, she wasn't going anywhere soon so she might as well make conversation. She had never used her womanly charms and wasn't going to start now, but he was handsome nonetheless. His flaming red hair stood out in the gray cell, but the darkness did not reveal much more.

"They're magpies, they like anything shiny, glittery, and easy. They would have tried to take my keys right from under my nose. But you...you aren't like that. Tonight we caught you trying to take a two hundred year old book, dusty, bulky, and heavily guarded.You..." The official paused and studied her once more. "are a hunter."

The man flipped idly through his keys until he found the one he wanted. He opened her door and stepped aside...Reven could have walked out if she wanted.

"No questions this time. You'll just give me a false name anyway. If I see you in here again, I won't be so forgiving...Goodnight...Hunter."

Reven stared at him with her gold eyes, was it a trap? She considered him for a moment and then stepped warily out of the cell. The man still did nothing and said nothing. Reven wondered whether to thank him or not, but she checked herself quickly. He wasn't a thief anymore, he was a rat, nothing more. The woman smiled, punched him squarely in the face, turned on her heel, and disappeared into the foggy night.

She had had stranger nights than that one, but it still left her with questions. Why? And more importantly, who? Famel was not a name she recognized even though he seemed to be only a few years older. Reven shook her head and walked home, doubling back every so often as a precaution. Perhaps he went by an alias in his old days, as he had so quickly assigned a nickname to her. She had been called many things over the course of her life, a span of 22 years, but never once a hunter. The story of that night was worth investigating further...perhaps later...Reven thought as she rubbed her tired eyes.

The door to her apartment closed quietly and for a while, Reven stood surveying her room. Her part in the thieving world was far from lucrative. The room was in simplest terms, a six foot cube, sadly smaller than her prison cell. The golden eyed woman frowned and found with much dismay, a bruise forming across her cheek.

At least, she thought with a smile, the guards took the not-so rare book in her bag instead of the priceless, Second Age elvish bowstring tucked down her shirt. Her meeting with the perspective buyer of the string wasn't until the next market, until the she had plenty of leisure time for research...She was the Hunter...and a quite thirsty hunter at that. Reven looked longingly out her tiny window at the tavern across the street. Perhaps a drink or two before bed...
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Postby atalantea » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:37 am

Kundiman was bored to death. She stood by the door and waited for an answer. A gaurd opened the door and she smiled sweetly at him.

"I've something for the guild," she said and walked in. The place looked like a normal bar from below, the same as all the infrastructures everywhere down this alley.

"Very well then darling, go on ahead," the gaurd stepped back for her and she entered. She put the sack that contained a golden dagger, studded with large sapphires and the blade as sharp as anything. It was a beauty but blue did nothing spectacilar for her eyes... not that it wouldn't go with her, it's just that she didn't want to use anything less than perfect for her. She complemented everything she wore so she looked for things that complemented her instead. :D

"I got them from some gaurds up there," she smiled.

"I see, very well done," the woman smiled, unwrapping the dagger and studying it.

"Of course, it is me, after all," she flopped her haor subtly.

The woman shook her head in resignation. She was used to her being this was that she was not the least bit bothered. She smiled at her. "I need your help. by the way,"

"What kind of help?" her eyebrow shot up in question.

"We have on of our own in a cell,"

"You need me to help this one person escape?"

"Maybe, it os more of making sure she escapes,"

"Very well then, see you on the morning," she turned. "Too bad it ain't a guy, what does she look like?"

"You will know when you see her,"

Kundiman bowed and left the room woth a flourish and headed for the palace.
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Postby Volcanus » Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:45 am

It was a dark alleyway..............it always was and he was well known there. They knew he was good at his work..........

Darlon was new in town.he did not know his way around the streets and he made the mistake of going into that particualr alley where HE was.
with his pockets cliincking with gold,carlos slowly walked down the alley. And with a flash<volcanus jumped him tripped him,tied his legs and stole his pouch!

*CLAP CLAP*
a sound came from behind Volcanus....."You want money and i need talent."came a voice"Join my guild and be trained.You shall receive money."

"how can i trust you"said VOlcanus
the stranger then showed himself...."I can be trusted.....that you do not have to worry about....just come with me and i will show you"

Volcanus knew he could easily take on the man and any number of his aides so he decided to go with the man..after all there was MONEY involved
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Postby Monoceros » Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:41 pm

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t even watching where I’m going.” Said Miriam to a man she had just bumped in.

“Oh, no. Please, this is ME who must apologize.” Said he studying her with wide-open eyes. He was almost paralyzed by her beauty.

She gave him her most charming smile and said, “I’m really sorry. I’m so clumsy.” Miriam almost made one step when she felt his hand grasping tightly her elbow. She turned and saw his sharp eyes; he leaned to her ear and whispered, “Think I’m so stupid. You should work for your payment,” with this he lifted her right hand in which she was holding his purse. “Let me go,” she hissed not to attract attention of people that were sitting in the tavern. He pulled her outside.

It was dark already and few were walking in the street in such late hour. He pushed her into the side alley still watching over her and grinning. Miriam held her breath and used darkness to draw one of her daggers. “Such girls are rare here, you know.” He told while trying to kiss her. She was very quick: half of a second later she hold him with his arm almost twisted behind his back and her dagger near his throat.

“You thought I’m so stupid?” she said and before he could react she kicked him with all her might into the brick wall. He fell and didn’t move. She slipped back into the main street and silently ran away sticking to the wall. She spent night sleeping in someone’s cart she found in a yard. It was cold and uncomfortable night, and she woke up when it was still dawning.

Several hours later she noticed a blind beggar sitting next to the wall. She came to him and said, “Hey man, I heard there is a Thieves Guild here? Do you know where exactly?” He kept silence for several minutes and then said, “Why do you need this? This isn’t right place for a girl like you.”

“How do you know what kind of girl I’m? Why do you care? It’s none of your business, beggar.”

He laughed silently, showing her his toothless mouth. “You’re so furious. Do you really believe I’m blind?” And he laughed again.

Miriam said loosing her temper, “I don’t care how you earn your money. Just tell me where the Thieves Guild is.” She threw some coins on the dirty path. He sighed and said, “If you really need. Go down this street, turn right and then left. At the end of the street you’ll see large white building with eight pillars in its front. This is what you need.” And he started coughing. She turned away without thanking him and went off following his directions.

Miriam stopped at the feet of the great stairway that led to the entrance. The giant wooden doors looked like they hadn’t been operated for years. “Nasty old man, he lied.” Miriam growled and started inventing new and efficient way of torturing him. He would surely pay for that. She looked around and noticed a nice garden where lush bushes and trees grew on their own. Miriam grinned and headed there.
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Postby Ladyofboxclocks » Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:21 pm

The sun rose over the white city slowly. Cyllieth had been sleeping lightly the whole night, the first time in days she had felt somewhat safe. She was sitting upright against a building in a hidden courtyard. Now that it was day she knew she had to leave quickly or get caught by the owners.

She walked up an alley into a street that was starting to crowd with those who went to a respectable and honorable job. She smiled as she walked along the streets to the next gate as she looked for her next victim. She was not pretty in the classic sense, but had very undistinguished features except for large gray blue eyes. She did not mind that she was not pretty, she thought it helped her more in her work than if she was. Her clothes were plain and in colors of gray, white and blue and she resembled every other person in the street.

She spotted her mark and walked calmly to place herself right behind the man. He was an older man in his late forties with graying hair and his sides beginning to grow wider and stouter. He was very well dressed but simply, with a satin tunic and a fancy fabric for his breeches, but she was not looking so much at his clothes as his belt. Before her eyes was a money purse that looked to be almost full to the brim with heavy coins. Her hands moved smoothly to her sides as she reached for her dagger at her waist and held it partially hidden in her hand except for the tip of the blade. Cyllieth began to walk faster and with more purpose as she tried to move past him and bumped into the man.

"Excuse me, sir," she murmered as she quickly tucked the bag away with ease so he did not notice her hand movements. He instantly forgot her as she faded into the masses and he continued to wherever he was going. She watched him with slitted eyes and kept her head down just in case as he stopped before a stall selling purfumes. Cyllieth mentally grinned as she heard his scream echo down the streets.

The pick pocket stopped in an alley way in the shadows and examined her prize. She could almost cry for joy at the amount of money in her greedy little hands; it was enough to buy food for two weeks. Or rent her a small apartment. Finally, enough to have a home, she thought gleefully. A figure moved toward her and she quickly stuffed the bag under her sash and pulled out a dagger.

"Don't bother," a voice said. A large man stepped out of the shadows and pointed his own weapon at her. He tossed her something and she caught it but her eyes never left him. "Go on," he urged her and grinned wickedly. "I won't hurt you while you read."

"An invitation?" This must be some sort of joke, Cyllieth thought. She glanced back down at it. "To something called a Thieves' Guild."

"I have been watching you for some time now and you are very good at disappearing," he said as his dark eyes watched her calmly. Obviously not good enough, she thought. "Your talents are needed. It would serve you well to join us." His eyes and posture held a threat of doom if she refused, and Cyllieth began to feel frightened but kept it hidden from her face.

"I shall consider it."
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Postby Monoceros » Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:19 pm

The house from inside didn’t match with outer sight of the building. It was dim, with tapestries and old solid furniture. And it looked more like a house of a rich Gondorian, than the Guild of thieves, as common people would think it had to look like.

A servant with stone face showed her into one of the rooms, on her way she was looking around and felt delighted watching scenes of battles and past events woven in the tapestries. The room was decorated much more that those along the hall. At the desk Miriam saw a beautiful woman talking to a bald man, who was so huge that Miriam felt herself being a hobbit. The woman looked at her and smiled. She had black hair that flickered every time it reflected the trembling light of small candle on the table. She was older than Miriam.

She whispered something to the bald man and he disappeared behind a painting. The woman studied Miriam for several seconds, but for the young girl it seemed to last for hours.
“Want to be a member?” asked she in a calm voice, but Miriam felt somewhat uncomfortable being in the sight of eyes, green like two emeralds.

“Yes, I think,” Miriam said and blushed feeling foolish.

Woman hid a smile and without any confirmation or negation said, “There are several rules in the Guild, breaking which you commit yourself to the “execution”. Saw Him? He is making sure violators are punished.” She enjoyed the effect of her words or was it giving time for Miriam to catch the meaning?
She then continued, ”The rules are: never break these rules; then, the Guild will have a part from the things you steal and sell; carry out my requests; never get caught by guards; if you happen to be thrown to the jail, don’t ever tell them where is the Guild and who are the members, we will try to get you out of there, but don’t hope for that too much. Understandable?”

“More than enough. What will happen if you don’t succeed with .. the jail?”

“We cannot risk too much, they can crack almost anyone.”

“So, you mean…?” asked Miriam and was frightened by the perspective of being murdered in the jail.

The Chief simply nodded, “You have to buy a membership card, it will certify that the Guild takes into responsibility to buy flowers for you grave every year, if you die. And of course you will get your own room here. The woman smiled and said, ”You have a talent, dear, all you need is to develop it.”

She took the money, wrote something in a large book and handed a quill to Miriam for her signature. After all procedures that were needed to add a member, she gave her certificate. It was, in fact, a parchment with the name and the rules of the Guild. Below was her name.

“I’m the owner of the Guild and its Chief. You can call me Milady. That’s it. Go downstairs and ask keys for your room from the porter.” She started to read something as if she had forgotten about Miriam’s presence.


So this was the beginning of her new life. Being a member of a Thieves Guild, with good reputation among those with this profession, was like an unbelievable happiness. No, this was not happiness, something other; like this was something she wanted most, but couldn’t repent in this desire to herself. Now she got some kind of status, a membership. She heard of this Guild from her old friends that dreamt to get here.

The porter was a nice guy, with wide smile. “Hi, newcomer! Welcome! I’m Kamil.” He grinned.

“Miriam. I need keys.”

“Sure, you do,” he laughed at his joke, “Number 13.” He handed her key ring, several ones hang from it.

“Why so “nice” number?” Miriam frowned, as she was superstitious.

“Err, it is free since its previous owner doesn’t need it anymore.” He laughed again.

“What happened?”

He leaned towards her, then looked around and whispered, ”They say, some thieves were caught this night, and by the look of Kreten, we understood they were cracked.” He weakly smiled and his face became pale.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:15 am

The little red-headed con artist was awoken the next morning by voices outside her tumbled down shack. She quickly slipped out of her dressAnd pulled on a robe. She ran a hand through her already tousled hair and put a smudge of dust on one side of her collarbone and another around one eye. Wiping her fingers on the back of the robe, she moved to a window. There were three Gondorian Guards and two well dressed, official looking men. She leaned out the window and called softly to them. Whenshe had their attention, her newest charade began. Tears filled her brown eyes as she pleaded with them. "Please be quiet and leave! He's starting to wake up! Please go!"
She tried to slip back inside, but one of the guards moved quickly and caught her wrist. "Madam, who is waking up?"
"Him! He's very jelous, so you'd better leave."
The young man saw the "bruses" and her apparent youth. His heart went out to her. No woman should have to live like that.
Something creaked deeper in the crumbling building and she panicked. She pushed him off, slammed the shutters and ran deeper into her home. She then let out a shriek and began an elaborite game with her voice. When she heard wood splinter, she grabbed her neck with both hands to make a red mark and threw herself against a wall with a gurgling cry. When the young guard came in, he knelt by her trembling, sobbing form as his companions followed the derection of her pointing hand, out the back way. He scooped her up into his arms and set her on the pallet.
"Look, we kame to make sure no one was living here because tomorrow it's going to be torn down. He's gone. If you want to get your things together, I can take you somewhere, a relative, a friend..."
She shook her head. She was alone.
"Well, there is another place I can take you. A home for abused women and children."
She quietly agreed. About this time, his companions came back to say that the man must have escaped.
"Can you guard the back door? I'll guard the front so that this lady can get dressed and gather her things. After that, I'll take her to the home."
They agreed and left. The young guard bowed and slipped out to guard the front door. She quickly dressed in a modest country dress and tied her hair under a kerchief. She slipped on her stockings and shoes then began throwing her few belongings into a large leather bag. She slung her smaller bag, still holding last night's pickings across her chest. She threw her other stash into the smaller bag to go to the Thieves Market later. With one last look around to say good-bye to her long time home, she went to the guards at the back door and sweetly asked for help with her big bag. Quite willing to be of assistance, one went back. When he bent over the bag, she hit him hard over the head with a piece of wood. He fell to the floor with a thud. She pulled him out of sight and went to clear away the other guard at the back door. She walked up to him coyily and said that his partner had sent her to fetch him to help. He moved from his post, but became confused when he didn't see his partner anywhere. "Wha-"
He never finished his sentance, for as he turned around, to ask her what was happening, he too was bashed over the head with her long piece of wood. She drug his unconcious form and dumped him on top of his fellow, then slung her bag over her shoulders and slipped out the back. She followed the directions on the invitation to the guildhouse. She had long since wiped the "bruses" away by the time she arrived. She almost thought she had come to the wrong place when she saw the tall, bald man who had spoken to her last night looking out a second story window. She took a deep breath and was about to walk up the steps when the man caught her attention again. He waved her around the side of the building. She obeyed and found a hidden door. The hallway beyond was dark, lit only by torches set into the walls. She hesitated.
"Come in, Little One."
The voice from last night drew her in. and directed her steps until she stood before a large wooden door. She knocked softly and was becconed inside by an icy female voice.
The strange woman's green eyes bored into the young red-head, seaming to read to her very soul.
"What is your name?"
"Haddie, Milady."
"Haddie... Very well, then." She proseeded to lay out the rules for membership and the fiesty girl informed her that the only reason she was joining was because her home was being torn down in the moring.
"And as for my dues..." Haddie dumped the contents of her pickings bag onto the woman's desk.
She nodded.
"Fine. You're in."
"Thank you, Milady." Haddie walked out of the office and went in search of her new accomidations.
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Postby corintur » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:43 am

Armo woke up the next day, robbing his eyes and yawning widely. A good night sleep! He slept indoors today, in a basement he broke into. 'It's time I get out of here' he thought, the window was right above his head just as he had left it, he went over to the door to check the stray of hair he left on the handle, it was still there, no one came in. He went over to the window and checked the area, it was empty. He jumped out of the window and headed towards the market for breakfast.

Going threw his pockets he found yesterday's lute and the parchment. He made up to go there after breakfast.

Armo arrived at the market and decided he wanted to actually pay for his breakfast, 'there's no point in risking getting caught when I have money' he thought. He went to a bread stand and bought himself a loaf of fresh bread, he then bought a few fresh vegetables and left. He found himself a nice place to sit and eat. In ten minutes he was done. It was a good breakfast.

Armo put his direction as ordered in the invitation to the big building. He new this building and never thought the Guild of Thieves would be there. He arrived and stared up the building, he went to the front doors and knocked, no answer, he tried the handle, locked. Armo went around the building to see if there was a different door. He found a hidden door in the garden. The door was unlocked and he entered. The steps lead downstairs and Armo so they were made of wood and probably would creak terribly, he on the other hand wanted to make a good impression and a quiet entrance. He put his hands on the railing and lifted himself from the floor he then "walked" forward on his hands not making a sound. It was a trick he learned a year back and he used it many times.

He reached to the bottom of the steps and landed quietly on the stone floor. He was satisfied. The room he was in was big but had only one door, so he headed towards the door in great stealth. He reached the door and knocked loudly. 'That should startle whoever is inside' he thought. But the only answer he got was an icy woman's voice saying: "Come in"

And so he did. He opened the door and was surprised to find sitting behind the table a stunningly beautiful woman with emeralds for eyes. Armo's jaw almost hit the floor but he recovered and entered the room.

"Hi, I'm Armo" He said in his best voice.

"I know, I've heard a lot about you and it was a nice stunt you did to try and come in quietly" She said "but I heard the knock on the front door and was ready for you" She answered before Armo got an opportunity to ask.

"So, you want to be a part of the Thieves Guild, am I right?" she asked.

"Yes Ma'am. I'm as good as a thief could be and I think I deserve it" he answered.

"Hmmmm, yes they say you are pretty good but the question is are you able to keep a secret, because the minute you turn to be a guild member you are never to talk about the guild, not even if you are tortured and if we suspect you are talking you will be eliminated, am I clear?" She asked with a chilling coolness in her voice.

"Yes Milady. What do I get?" He asked.

"You will get a place to sleep and protection and of course a payment for each job" She answered.

"O.K, were do I sign in?" He asked.

"Right here" she handed him a parchment and a quill and he signed.

"Go out this door" She said and pointed to her right side "and you should find a porter that will give you keys, then wait there until you are called."

He left and got his keys, he went to his room, it was pretty nice. 'This is a whole new level for me' he thought. 'Let's hope I can do my best here'.
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Postby atalantea » Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:10 am

She stood in the dark, by the great gates of the castle, watching, waiting. She was to aid someone but she thought she wouldn't be welcome. People just don't like being helped... from her expierience, people thought getting help was a sign of weakness, well, stupidity. Pride could get you killed. Only really proud and well, rather stupid men succumb to that... which was probably all of them, she smiled. She hoped this one was not stupid so as to refuse her help, but then again this was a woman. So perhaps she wasn't stupid.

She watched as two forms emerged. She didn't tell me the prisoner was to have other help. She shrugged, oh well, that helper looked like a man, perhaps this woman was smart and enticed this man. She wasn't needed here. She turned to leave.

She walked but kept an eye on the two and left them when she was sure she was alright. She snuck towards the bar to report. She opened the door to see a man walk down the stairs. Her eyes assesed him.

He was lean and obviously lithe. A thief. She knew the instant he turned and faced her direction.

She smiled. So, what will work on this man? The angelic or the not so angelic? Very intriguing. She approached him and the pub was as busy as ever. He scowled as he faced her and looked through her. Aha! Definitely a newbie! She giggled as he walked beside her. She deliberately fell towards him. He caught her.

"Sorry, my lady, I was not looking," he said absently.

"I noticed," she braced he hands on his chest as she stood and he righted her. He looked at her head to toe, his breath hitched at his throat as he saw her face. She couldn't help but smile.

"Give me back my dagger," he demanded.

"I beg your pardon!" her face showed disbelief as she was surprised he noticed but it came out as if she was insulted.

"Look, I'm not in the mood to play right now, give it back or I'll make a scene," he threatened.

"Go ahead, I love attention," she tiltedhere head to the side. "And who will they believe, a beautiful woman like me, or a man like you?"

His eyes narrowed at her and she couldn't help but smile and laugh out loud. "Oh you are adorable!" She took his arm and led him to the bar. "Come and have a drink with me and talk, it will do you good,"

He blushed despite himself, although she didn't seem to notice. "Why should you?" he demanded.

"Oh, to celebrate, welcome to the guild," she whispered and leaned to plant a quick peck on his cheek, bracing her hands again.

He scowled but felt himself give in to her invitation for a drink. He needed it. He wanted to kill something.
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Postby balrogthane » Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:11 pm

Halda let his gaze drift around the smoky upstairs room one more time and sighed. The King's men had started cracking down on bars like this-- and that was a mixed blessing. It did cull out the near-penniless street scum that used to provide most of the business, and for that, Halda was grateful... but the number of reasonably well-off customers had no corresponding increase. Fewer bodies meant harder work, too. Then again, harder work meant only the best survived; only the ones like Halda.

He'd been here for an hour already, in his usual back corner. No King's Patrol tonight, another blessing; he hadn't had to duck out the back window and into the dirty alley below. But when he'd arrived, he'd managed to relieve all three worthwhile targets of a significant portion of their valuables, and spent the rest of the time nursing a cheap ale, hoping more good targets would show up, and thinking about the Thieves' Guild.

For perhaps the 50th time, he reached into his cloak and touched the document, thought about pulling it out, thought about the poor light, and decided against it. This time, though, he let his fingers rest, brushing the parchment, and reconsidered.

Nothing was happening, and it looked like it would continue to do so at the same breakneck pace. With a shrug, Halda pulled the scroll out and untied the ribbon around it. He'd only looked at it once, really; that, and listened to the Mistress down in the Guild itself. He shifted his mug aside, spread the parchment out on the table, and peered at the opening lines.

Fellow Laborer,

It is our inestimable pleasure to welcome you to our group. Rarely indeed do we have the opportunity to allow such a hard-working layman to our number. Joining us will confer many benefits upon both yourself and us, as well as responsibilities-- responsibility to our leader, to your new fellows, and most importantly, to yourself.

It continued in much the same wearisome, floury vein-- but rather than disgust Halda, he felt newfound respect for the Mistress. Her document read exactly like a court letter: he'd seen a few in his time, lifted from overburdened gentlemen, and the style matched perfectly. That didn't mean he wanted to read the same thing said 20 times over, though; he skipped down to the slightly less verbose portion marked 'Terms and Benefits.'

--Terms--
Every fellow shall share with us, and with his fellows, a fair portion of the fruits of his labor.
Every fellow shall obey, within reason, the requests of our leader.
Every fellow shall protect the secrecy of his fellows.
Every fellow shall guard his knowledge of us from those not fortunate enough to earn a special invitation.

--Benefits--
We shall see to it that every fellow receives a portion of those moneys entrusted to us.
We shall see to it that every fellow be provided with a place to rest and relax with our number.
We shall see to it that every fellow unfortunate enough to find himself in custody of the Law be aided.

Halda felt the sense of unease lessen slightly. The Terms seemed simple enough, and the Benefits worth surrendering a minor amount of his loot... whatever their idea of 'a fair portion of the fruits of his labor' was, he planned to see to it that they received significantly less.

He rolled the parchment back up and stood with a stretch. The barkeep glanced over pointedly.

"Nothing more," Halda assured him quietly. "I'm calling it a night."

"You do that," the barkeep answered, his eyes narrowed with suspicion.

Inwardly, Halda winced; seemed he hadn't put enough time between this visit and his last one. Outwardly, he gave a devil-may-care grin and headed for the stairs, mentally making a note to avoid this bar for a month at least.

He walked down the stairs into the lower, poorer, and busier level just as the door opened and a single girl came in. He froze, looked her over, and swiftly determined she was not of interest; very beautiful, extremely beautiful in fact, but that meant little to Halda. Just another pretty urchin.

Or she would have been were she not surveying him carefully. Slowly, deliberately, he continued down the stairs, but by the time he reached the last step she was looking away. He shrugged and made for the door. By chance his path coincided with hers.

Suddenly, he found himself catching her-- an instinct. The wench had toppled over towards him. "Sorry, my lady, I was not looking," he offered by way of apology, looking at her in annoyance.

"I noticed." She put her hands on his chest and pushed off, and Halda stiffened even as he helped her to stand.

He'd felt that-- the telltale slip of the hand just under his cloak, the phantom touch against his dagger handle. Surreptitiously he felt for it and, sure enough, it was gone. He glared into her eyes. "Give me back my dagger."

Her face, kept schooled by no doubt years of extralegal experience, showed no emotion, but her eyes betrayed her-- they dilated in surprise. "I beg your pardon!" Halda's mood got considerably worse.

"Look, I'm not in the mood to play right now, give it back or I'll make a scene," he threatened.

"Go ahead, I love attention," she anwered, smiling and tilting her head on one side. Under different circumstances Halda might have found it quite fetching; now he found it infantile and annoying. "And who will they believe," the brazen girl continued, "a beautiful woman like me, or a man like you?"

He growled. The infuriating girl laughed at him. "Oh, you are adorable!" Taking his arm, she pulled him over to the bar. "Come and have a drink with me and talk, it will do you good."

He blushed momentarily, then pulled his emotions under control. "Why should you? Want to talk with me, I mean."

"Oh, to celebrate, welcome to the Guild," she whispered. Before he could push her away, she leaned in for a quick peck on his cheek; her hands braced against his chest again. One of those hands threatened to search his belt on the other side, and with a growl he caught it tight. "Now, there's no need for that," she admonished, trying to pull her hand away.

"I think there certainly is," he answered tightly.

"Do you WANT me to scream?"

"Do you WANT me to break your wrist? I asked for my dagger."

The girl giggled-- again-- and pulled her hand away. "Just have a drink. I promise, you'll feel better."

"I just finished a drink." He jerked his head at the stairs. "Up there."

"Who says another one won't be better?" She grinned up at him. "I might even give you your dagger back..."

Against his better judgement, Halda actually considered it. "...no."

The girl stared into his eyes with her incredibly green ones. "Please?"

Halda groaned; something told him he was going to regret this tomorrow. Possibly even tonight. "Oh, very well." She laughed and leaned over the bar.

"Bartender!"

The barkeep looked over at her-- then looked again, much more closely. Halda smiled; the man was obviously dumbstruck. "My lady," he answered after a moment, leering.

"Your best ale," the girl ordered. Her eyes flashed teasingly to Halda. "Just one mug."

"Speak for yourself," Halda muttered, and asked for his own. He looked over at her. "You know, if you're interested in me for whatever reason, an introduction would be considered polite."

She looked back at him for a minute-- Halda guessed she was wondering if she should tell him and, if so, what alias to use. "Kundiman," she finally replied. Something in her eyes told him she had trusted him with her true name, and it was only right that he do the same-

No. That was ridiculous emotion. He looked down at the bar for a moment.

"Well?" she demanded. "Going to return the favor?"

Halda thought. Telling her his true name was out of the question; none in this city knew that. He was still reluctant to give out his normal use name; he frowned, and finally answered, "Call me Halda."

"Halda..." Kundiman rolled it across her tongue for a moment. "Not a very inspired name for one such as yourself..." She grinned impishly at him.

Halda fought down the liking he was beginning to feel for Kundiman and muttered something about upstart girls pretending to be thieves.

"'ere you are," the barkeep interrupted, slamming down two tankards. The thick, almost sludge-like ale sloshed over the tops, quite a feat considering the level of liquid reached only about halfway up. "Pay now."

"How?" Kundiman inquired, giving the barkeep an almost suggestive look. He was too thick to catch that, though, and stared stupidly.

"Money."

"My friend will pay," she replied sweetly, smiling at Halda again.

"And you'll pay later," he muttered, reaching into his inside pocket for an Elessar. The barkeep slapped one grimy hand down on the gold coin and slid it to himself.

Kundiman took a sip of the ale and formed a carefully neutral expression. Halda snorted and tried it himself; not as bad as it looked, but certainly nothing famous. Kundiman set the tankard down and looked over at him. "We are here to talk," she reminded him with a grin.

Just then, the door banged open, and a guardsman stepped in, followed by three others. Halda assumed a look of combined fear and indifference and hoped Kundiman would have the intelligence to do the same.

The guards weren't wearing the City's livery, though, so they weren't patrol. They took up position to either side of the door, and a heavily-robed man entered. He was balding, his hair was gray, and despite his voluminous clothing he looked very thin-- but he was obviously a noble. He scuffed his feet on the floor, looking around in unconcealed disgust, and walked to the stairs; a snap of his finger and the four guards followed.

Halda waited for them to disappear and looked back at Kundiman, a grin forming on his face. "Wanna have some fun?"

Kundiman's eyes were shining with anticipation. "You bet."

They stood, leaving their drinks, and casually walked towards the stairs.

-(----
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Postby atalantea » Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:41 am

The cold air washed through her and combed her hair as they rushed down the street, silently of course. They turned the curb and reached a dead end. They could hear footsteps coming towards their direction. She smiled. He cursed. She laughed. She held his arm and leaped for the roof and he followed. They entered an open terrace and stayed there.

"We could have been followed dammit! Why do you have to laugh!"

"Because that was fun and you were panicking," she walked to the room and turned on the lamp. A man was asleep on the bed.

"Turn that off! You wanna wake him up?" He rushed towards her.

"Don't worry, he wont freak out,"

"He is your friend?"

"No, but he may be," she leaned over the sleeping form. "If he wakes up,"

"You are so full of yourself! You couldn't even get a lousy drink free!" he said in whisper.

"For your information, I never, ever paid for anything full if any at all in my life, you were just there that is why he asked," she brought out the bag they stole from the old man. "You can have it," She threw it on the floor and it made so much noise the man steered.

"Be quiet dammit!" he shrieked.

"Why are you always mad? Is it just me or them whole freakin' population? What have you against women?" her eyes went round as saucers. Her mouth rounded in an O. "You're not a..."

He looked at her and slowly realization dawned but not before she could assume. "You are!" she gasped.

"I am-" he was cut off when the man woke. All he could do was duck because Kundim,an threw him another pouch.

"Who are you?" came the man's hoarse and perhaps slightly angry voice.

Halda was cursing silently, he didn't want to hurt anyone but he had no choice, he reached for his dagger but realized it was not there. What to do? What to do?

"I am Kundiman, a valar, I have come to visit you in your sleep, to see you," she said in that low, sultry voice of hers.

A valar! Now who on Middle-Earth is that stupid so as to believe that crap?

"A valar? I am honored," came the man. The man's voice held reverence.

"Now sleep, tomorrow, when dawn appears, you will be kind to all and be generous, then you will be blessed by the sea,"

"I never heard of a valar named Kundiman,"

"I appear only to those who are worthy, you will keep this a secret, I trust you," she covered the man's eyes and almost immidiately, the man was asleep.

Halda jumped to his feet and looked at her raise her arm. The candlelight had such an effect on her that she really looked like something of a valar.

"Now, we have to go, I need to do some other stuff, it was nice meeting you Halda," she grinned. "You can have your dagger back," she sighed. "I'll look for some other good looking men," she turned then stopped. "See you around," she jumped off the terrace.

Halda was too shocked to move. She thought I was...
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Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Dec 21, 2004 2:42 pm

The red haired thief stood in the window of her room, in her new home. She stared absently into the distance as the sun began to set. As if she had been fighting an inner battle with herself, the winning side nodded firmly and she quickly dressed and slipped out into the darkening street. She silently dashed through the streets to a terrace where she knew she would be able to see her old home.
Most of it had been torn down already and horses were dragging the largest pieces away. There was a large bonfire outside the city, in the Pelenor Fields. Judging from the darkness of the smoke, that was the destination of her home.
She sighed and turned away, but not before one of the supervising Gondorian soldiers spotted a female figure watching them. He spoke to someone and took off to try to find the mysterious woman.
Unaware of the shadow she had aquired, she moved through the streets, working her charms and applying her trade. She had been busy for nigh on a hour before she senced someone watching her. She cautiously looked around and spotted him. The same officer who had been so taken with her earlier in the day.

"Drat!" she muttered under her breath as she tried to slip into the diminishing crowds. She drew up her hood and the first chance she got, slipped down a darkened alley. She watched him pass her, then took off in the opposite direction. Her pickings were not up to her usual, but they were not bad. They would have to do tonight.
Being careful that no one was following or watching her, she mad her way to the large house she would now call home. After depositing her earnings for the night, she made her way up the stairs to her room and went to bed.
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Postby Monoceros » Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:46 am

The night was marvelous, clouds hid the moon and there were only lanterns that gave the light. Miriam closed the door of the Guild and quickly made for the corner to look out for the night-guards. There wasn’t any by that time. The streets were quiet except lone people coming back home. She walked away from the suburbs to the center avoiding patrolling squads.

She found the house she noticed on her way to the Guild the day before. It looked like a house of rich merchant. Miriam stopped to listen and heard some noise at the distance, probably music, and neighbors seemed to celebrate something.

She quickly crossed the street and walked the house around noticing every weak place and ways of escaping. There was slight light in the window on the first floor, and all windows above were dark. Miriam returned the smile to her fortune and searched for the “entrance”.

The whole house was silent, only some sounds were heard from the servants’ rooms. Miriam quickly climbed up to the rightmost window. She kneeled on the windowsill trying to find way to open the window. It was locked from the inside. She frowned and started examining it and wall around the window. After several minutes she found a hidden spring and pushed it. The pane slid silently up. She slipped inside and lit small lantern.

A quick look out hinted what to search. It seemed to be the bedroom of young maiden. Miriam hastily stealthed to the small table where she saw an open box, something inside flickered catching the light of thief’s lantern. Miriam grabbed all the jewelry and walked to the bed. Her intuition pointed to the corner at the head of the bed. The girl carefully lifted mattresses one by one and finally almost at the bottom she found a golden ring with large sapphire. She smiled and made up the bed; she stood up to leave, when she heard someone opening the door. She was so stupid to miss it! No time to hide was left and she rushed to the open window. The door opened and behind it was a young maid. Her eyes grew bigger when she saw Miriam, then she took a deep breath and screamed as loud as she could. In one jump the thief was on the sill but, unfortunately, she was so discouraged that she failed to grasp anything and fell down.

The landing was painful, though she tried to take less harmful position. The fear made her get up on her knees, and she crawled away. The whole house woke up in several seconds. Miriam heard sounds of people running and barking of dogs, and they all were chasing her. The pain stepped away for a while, and she jumped on her feet and rushed toward the suburbs.
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...

Postby Son_of_Legolas » Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:03 pm

Finding sanctity within the white city was always a task which was difficult for the man who currenlty walked along the city streets. It was easy for the men to admit him safe passage through the gates, and he felt no need for sneaking in. He still wore the garments of a noblemen from days long past, but could not remember being in this city before.

For days, the young man walked, stumbling through the forested lands of the Easterlings and around the festering scapes of the Dead Marshes. His eyes glowed with a red hue, but deep within settled a gentle green. The brightness of those emerald eyes had been tinged and forgotten. He could feel the remnants of some long-ago happiness, some heart-fullfilling adventures....but no longer. His memory remains a blank. He can only remember how to walk, speak, and eat. Because of a wiped memory, the ways of stealing and hiding became imperitive to his own survival. It was in this hiding in which he stumbled upon a little grovel inside the city.

Having meant to elude some oncoming stewards, the young man ducked under a nearby street bush and fell right through into a dirty and arid little hole. He had easily managed to land on his toes, an instinct that came to him naturally, and he could not explain it. He brushed his long blonde hair back out of his face so that he could look around in the small hole to see where he was. All that was there was a miniature table, covered with small armor and many pouches. Also in the room was a little bed, where the young man could make out a heavily-breathing little bundle of blankets.

Must be the secret little home of one of those small, bearded people. He whispered to himself.

Crouching and walking through the grovel, the young man moved to the table and snatched up the pouches and wiggled them. One had a good handful of coins. Pocketing the full pouch, he left the useless one and moved to climb out of the hole again. Just as he did, the little bearded man woke and hollared.

"You blasted elf, get back here. I'll make yah into tomorrow morning's stew! Nobody steals from me and gets away with it. C'mere, yah damned thief!"

The young man lept from the hole and shot off down the street. He could here the shouts of "hault there, elf" and "stop the beblaggered wretch!" The young man caught sight of an extremely tall white building and he took to the garden near it and dived headlong through the seven foot clear-cut bush.

Thorns, branches and the thickest boughs the young man had every felt scraped his scin and tore parts of his clothing. Rolling to his feet again he looked around for a place to hide, and once again decided on ducking beneath a pair of trees. As luck would have it, he felt something give way again, this time at his back and he careened and tumbled painfully down a long flight of rugged wooden stairs.

With a loud crunch he felt his cheekbone strike the solid floor of a dank and sweet-smelling room. It reminded him of the many inns he had slept at in the recent past. He made to heave himself up, but pain struck in his wrist and he knew that it had to be broken. Before rolling himself to sit up again, th young man heard the wind slam shut the door at the top of the stairway.

Leaning on the wall and clutching his wrist he felt slightly delirious, not being able to make out if he was the only one in the room. He banged the back of his head against the wall in frustration, and tried to bring up memories of his past. His name was what bothered him the most, he could not figure out his blasted name. Pulling his legs close him him he strained to think, and hoped, beyond all measure that he would eventually remember.

Keeping his eyes closed he leaned back again and spoke to his unfamiliar surroundings.

What is this place?

##------->
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Postby Monoceros » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:27 pm

Head was blasting and her eyesight started to leave her, she couldn’t stop her eyes at anything particular, couldn’t concentrate on a thing. Miriam walked slowly towards the Guild, guided by her sixth sense. When her way was about to be crossed by night guards, she ducked into side alleys and waited there.

The white building showed up in a blur somewhere ahead. Somehow she managed to reach it without loosing conscience. Struggling with pain she made herself go around the House to the windows of residents’ apartments. Her inner voice was telling her to go to the Guild’s tavern and ask for help. But she stubbornly looked up to find the window that lead to her room. She didn’t want anyone see she failed such an easy task.

The sky spun above her, then once again, and one more time. Then it went very fast until everything merged into one black spot, and reality started fading and slipping from her mind…

…Miriam slowly opened eyes; everything seemed unreal. A figure leaned over her and greeted, “How are you feeling?”
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Postby balrogthane » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:51 am

Halda peered out from the shadowed archway, waiting. The Mistress of Thieves’ comment had stung him-- “most inept breaker-and-enterer in Minas Tirith”-- and now he meant to prove her wrong.

(C) was almost entirely a stereotypical spoiled noble: never done as much as an hour’s work in his life, probably never suffered any more pain than a stubbed toe. Unfortunately, he did have one departure from normality-- he was a very accomplished, very dishonest gambler. His underhanded skill at the table was supposedly impossible to detect, but an opponent who had gotten ripped off a few too many times decided to do away with him. Halda was a friend of a friend and ended up with the job.

While he waited, watching the balcony on (C)’s expansive manor house, he reflected on his meeting with Kundiman. Peculiar, he decided, was a good word for the entire sequence of events: the sudden meeting, the way she’d behaved after robbing the noble, and, most of all, the abrupt way she’d departed.

“You’re not a–” Then the shocked eyes, hand rushed to the face, the cheeks flushed in astonishment and, oddly enough, embarrassment in those eyes.

“You are!”

And what did she think he was?

“What have you got against women...

“...another good-looking man...”

He understood suddenly, and shook his head, bemused. For whatever reason, Kundiman now imagined him to be a man-lover... he rolled his eyes. Perhaps he should go and attempt to prove to her that, in fact, he was nothing of the sort, and could well appreciate a beautiful woman such as her. He smiled to himself, thinking of her incredibly green eyes, the way she had looked with the candlelight flowing up from underneath her, almost as if she were one of the Great come to-

The curtain on the balcony shifted, and Halda’s attention snapped back to it. Silently, he reached for an arrow, found it, and left his hand resting on the fletching.

Lord (C) had just stepped out, as he did every night, to take a breath of the cool air. Halda observed him carefully. Nightgown, check; glass of brandy, check; the thief-turned-assassin pulled the arrow-

Complication. A woman, half-clothed in a sleazy dress, had just stepped out onto the balcony. Halda froze, arrow nocked but not drawn. None of his observations or sources indicated that (C) was married, and that was unlikely anyway. No, this was some other wench; whether bought or attracted by the scent of wealth, she was no wife. (C) was playing quite the fool for her, and Halda rolled his eyes. This would make it much more difficult, however. He didn’t want to kill her, if he could help it...

The woman was now pressing up against (C) in a suggestive manner. Halda suppressed a groan, hoping against hope that (C) would push her away and give him a good shot, rather than simply moving inside. If they didn’t separate, he was going to have to just wait until tomorrow night, and he really didn’t want that.

Aha! In the midst of his woman’s ministrations, (C) lost his grip on his brandy, and the glass fell to the balcony and shattered. He cursed explosively and shoved her away, making himself a clear mark. Halda grinned and drew the bow taught, aimed at (C)’s head, and let go the arrow.

Time slowed. Even as his gloved fingers released the wooden shaft, as the fletching accelerated forward, the woman bent down-- Valar knew what for-- to the dropped glass. Halda snatched abortively at the arrow, hands moving as if through syrup, missed... he could do nothing, only watch helplessly as the arrow flew straight and true.

It hit the woman right in her back, just below the neck, severing the spinal cord. She tried to scream, but the sound died into a failing moan, and she collapsed forwards onto (C). The noble cursed again and stood, pushing her aside as if annoyed. Then he noticed the arrow.

He froze, and Halda noted with satisfaction that there was none of the sorrow of love in his face, only that of a man robbed of a possession. Then, realizing his chance, he grabbed belatedly for another arrow-- perhaps he could end this right now--

No. (C) leapt through the curtain, and Halda plunged the arrow back into his quiver, growling an imprecation.

Now what? Go home? The job, or at least this particular approach, was ruined: (C) would hardly venture onto that balcony again. And yet... “Minas Tirith’s most inept breaker-and-enterer...” Halda squared his shoulders and looked for a way to get over to that balcony via the intervening rooftops.

He had just settled on a possible route when he heard a gate being thrown open. The men who guarded the courtyard in (C)’s mansion, no doubt. A moment later proved him right: five-- no, ten-- no, fifteen guards came around the corner. They paused, the captain no doubt issuing orders, then spread out through the streets towards Halda and his hiding place. Rather than frighten him away, this steeled his resolve; unless (C) kept two score guardsmen, the job had just gotten a lot easier.

Halda swung over the edge, dropped to the steep roof below him, and landed in a silent crouch. A street away and two houses down, a light moved-- a guard bearing a torch. This roof was too exposed, far too exposed, the full moon stared right down at him; he ran, staying low, for the roof’s edge. For a moment he saw the street, three stories below, a single guard creeping down it. Then he leaped, ten feet forward and eight feet down, hit the roof in a roll and came up, still in a crouch.

A shout from below told him the guard had not missed his leap. Halda cursed quietly and looked forward at (C)’s mansion. The balcony (C) had recently vacated, Halda’s goal, stood nearly15 feet above him-- far too high. There was a window a few feet below it, though, thick-paned and thick-framed. Halda imagined that, with a running leap, he might be able to dive through it, but didn’t relish the thought. Those bars of wood looked far too substantial-

“Ho! Hands on your head! Stand where you are!”

Halda turned slowly to his left. In the building he’d just jumped from, there was a window, in the window was a guard, and in the guard’s hands there was a bow, complete with arrow nocked and pointed straight at his heart. Wonderful.

He obeyed carefully, slowly, trying to think of a way, any way, out of this predicament. Just then, a light appeared behind the guard: a lamp, in the hand of one of the house’s occupants. “‘Ere now, ‘oo be ye?” The woman didn’t sound too pleased with the guard’s presence, and Halda concentrated everything on watching the tip of the guard’s arrow.

Sure enough, as the guard scrambled to explain himself, the arrow tip wavered, then sunk. Halda snapped into action like a tightly-wound spring: threw his arms over his head, ran for the roof’s edge, dove for the window.

A startled shout from the guard behind him, a twang from his bow, a clean miss-- and Halda smashed into the window in an explosion of glass and splinters.

He lay for a moment, stunned. Something, it could only be blood, dripped down the left side of his head; he could feel a searing gash on his right hand; his arms were bruised, torn, and sore. He stood shakily and felt his ear. A shard of glass had nicked it: no great harm done. His hand, though...

The back of his glove was slit up to the base of the index finger, and likewise for the hand beneath. He winced and flexed his fingers.

"No sword fighting, that's for sure," he whispered through gritted teeth. Using his left hand and his teeth, he tore a strip from the rag he carried for just this eventuality and bound his hand tightly.

To finish his self-examination, he ran through all his paraphernalia: scroll from the Guild, bow, quiver, dagger, sword, sharpening stone, healing herbs, small pouch of coins...

A minute later, finally satisfied, he looked more closely at where he was. He stood in the middle of, not a room, but a corridor: doors at either end, thick carpet on the floor, an intricate painting on the ceiling, a single piece of furniture against the opposite wall. Halda moved toward the nearer door but, as he was about to grab the handle, he heard steps moving towards him.

He sunk back against the wall, now in deep shadow, and waited, dagger in hand. The door swung open towards him; he caught it and flung it back, hard. There was a sickening crack, and he dashed around to the doorway.

The figure of a young serving girl lay sprawled across the floor. One hand was against her forehead, which was bleeding profusely; the other hand stretched out towards a candle, fallen wick-down on the floor. Halda dropped to one knee next to her head, after first drawing his cloak across his face.

Her eyes fluttered open, then tried to focus on his face. "I'm so very sorry," he whispered. "Here, let me-"

She succeeded in focusing, then tried to scream. Tried, and failed, because not only did she lack the strength, but Halda's hand was covering her mouth.

"Shh... now, this will stem the flow." He pressed one of his clotting leaves against the gash, and she began to calm. When he was sure she wouldn't shriek, he removed his hand. "Better?"

"Yes," she murmured. Halda's hand moved along her shoulder and brushed her shirt down slightly: he'd noticed something. He could feel her heart beating, very fast now; she shied away, but he hushed her again.

"What's this?" On her shoulder, in royal blue and yellow, was an enormous bruise. Halda's right fist clenched painfully, and he eased it open. "Did your master do this to you?" he whispered.

"Of course," she whispered back. Halda growled. If there was one thing that could awaken righteous anger in him, it was abuse of the helpless by the powerful.

"I'll kill him," he snarled. She said nothing. Halda rose swiftly; somewhere, several rooms away, feet were moving. "Will you help me?"

She nodded silently, then put her own finger to her lips.

"Thank you. Where is he?"
"My master?"

"Yes, he's the only one I care about."

"Follow me." The girl walked across the room to the middle of three doors, Halda close behind. "He sleeps on the top floor. This way." She pushed the door open, revealing a narrow winding stairway lit by candlelight.

At the top of the stairs, they found themselves in a small chamber, with a great ornate wooden door. "The guardroom," she explained, at Halda's raised eyebrow.

"Gone? Or hiding?"

"Pardon?"

"Are the guards gone," he explained impatiently, "or are they-"

"Oh, yes! Sorry... gone, all looking for someone outside." She acted suddenly shy, not meeting his eyes. "That was..."

"Me, yes." Halda was unfazed at the realization of his identity. "Come then, girl, where would he be?"

"You may call me Istë," she replied with a touch of annoyance.

"Very well-- where would he be, Istë?"

"In the basement, but doing what I don't know-"

"Are there more guards there?"

"I'm never allowed into the basement."

That was enough for Halda; he turned and started to run back down the steps. "That's where he is, then." He paused midway. "Are you coming?"

"I- I don't think I should," she faltered. Halda's eyes narrowed.

"You're coming with me. There is nothing to be afraid of."

She managed a soft laugh at that. "You try to kill my master, break into his house, crack my head open-" she touched the wound gingerly- "and tell me there's nothing to be afraid of?"

"You will be safer with me, come on!"

She began to make some reply, but Halda turned and continued down. A few moments later, she followed. "Which way to the basement?"

She led him back through the rooms they had just passed through. Just as they reached that narrow corridor, however, someone threw the door open in front of them.

It was one of the guards. His eyes snapped wide at the sight of Halda standing there, and his hand had reached the hilt of his sword before he noticed Istë. "And who's he?" he growled, glaring at her.

"Just one of master's... contacts," she replied cooly.

He relaxed his hand from his sword hilt and grunted something akin to an apology to Halda. Halda nodded and followed Istë through the door, covering his astonishment with difficulty.

When the door had closed behind them he breathed out a sigh of relief. "Thank you very much," he whispered. "Had you wished to turn me in..."

"But I do not," she answered with a smile. "Come, we are almost to the basement." The next door but one was larger and heavier than all the others, crisscrossed with bands of cleverly-tooled iron. "This is it," she stated, somewhat unnecessarily.

"Thank you, again," Halda replied. "Would you mind keeping watch?"

She looked at him in some confusion. "...for?"

"I'm going to need to pick the lock," he explained, feeling impatience rise in him again, "and it would be much easier for me if I don't have to look over my shoulder the whole time."

"It may not be locked," she replied simply.

Halda looked back at the monstrous door. "Are you telling me you really think that door would ever be left unlocked?"

"Just try it."

Halda grabbed the handle and pulled.

He had felt a fool trying the door, but that sense of embarrassment was nothing compared to the way he felt when the door swung smoothly open.

"See how much time you just saved? Go ahead, I'm not coming with you down there."

Halda grumbled something and headed down the stairs...

-(----
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Postby Erutanie_Litsos » Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:26 am

Raucous roars of approval erupted from the far side of the ale house. Rana slapped the empty shot glass down and smiled defiantly at her opponent, a slouching figure in a chair across from her. Fifteen other tumblers filled the old-fashioned table, divided into two barely distinguishable piles. In the middle was an ever-increasing mound of coins, trinkets, and baubles. Another roar rose as he motioned for the bartender. Money was swiftly passed between spectators and bets raised as the bartender brought glass number seventeen, then turned around and hurried away, shaking his head. He would normally not allow such ruffians in his tavern, but 'twas a holiday and they had all paid. Save for that girl, he reminded himself, staring with distrust at Rana sitting among the men. Perhaps hoping some kind gentleman will cover her debt, he thought with a sniff. 'Twasn't right. A woman drinking and carousing like a man. Cries for service from the other parts of the room grabbed his attention and he hurried away, resolving not giving her another thought 'till came time to extract payment.

Slowly, Rana's opponent had raised the glass to his lips, his bloodshot eyes fixed on her in surly concentration. She grinned and raised an eyebrow, nothing in her manner attributing to the amount of drink she had consumed. Her behavior produced the desired affect as his hand paused in mid-fling. Several close bodies called his name and smacked his shoulders, asking what he was waiting for.

"Yes," the maiden finally spoke, steepling her fingers on the table before her. "What are you waiting for?"

He gave what she thought was supposed to be a derisive laugh, but it only leaked out as a subdued gurgle in the back of his throat. The sound seemed to say “Curséd if I'd be beaten by an obstinate wench”. With a decisive flick he emptied the tumbler and smashed it down on the table. He underestimated his force and consequently sent it crashing in a shower of shards.

“All right!” the bartender hurried over, face heaving and red. “That does it! I'll not take such behavior in my inn! Needless breaking of private property is what that is, and you'll pay for it!”

Rana stood up and clapped him good-naturally on the shoulder. “Easy, sir. You will be paid by the end of the night. Remember that for the price of one broken tumbler, you have had the benefit of all the business you see here,” she spoke soothingly, yet with a slight slur, and motioned to those gathered around her table. “They would not take lightly the spoiling of their fun,” she added in a low murmur. He glanced around the group, who were beginning to look rather sullen and indignant at his interruption. He huffed and puffed for a few minutes longer before moving off, grumbling that “he would get his due” and “never before was such conduct ever tolerated, at least not in his inn”.

Rana turned around with a satisfied grin. “Shall we continue, gentlemen?” she questioned with an intoxicated wave of her hands, drawing some guffaws and effectively breaking the silence.

She plopped down where the chair should have been, and instead found herself on the floor amid a chorus of laughter.

“Had a bit too much now, m'lady?” one of the spectators asked, grasping her beneath the arms and pulling her to her feet. As soon as she regained her feet, she dizzily fell against him, then pushed away with annoyance.

“I,” she began, waving a finger in his face, “never have too much, sir. And I'll kindly thank you to remember it.”

He smiled and proffered her chair. Rana carefully sat down and banged on the table. “Another round!”

As soon as another pair of tumblers were brought, she grasped one and expertly threw the contents down her throat. In the meantime, a few of the spectators were attempting to wake her opponent, who had taken the opportunity during the bartender's uproar to catch a few winks.

“Wha-, whadda you want?” he slurred angrily, swinging his fists. Rana joined in the laughter as someone took the tumbler, closed his fingers around it, and pushed it towards his mouth. He automatically tipped the liquid into his mouth, receiving a chorus of applause. His lips slowly spread into a grin as his head drooped to the side, followed by the rest of his body.

Rana rose and began collecting the booty as his friends attended to his now completely unconscious form. The spectators completed their business among each other and soon dispersed, some heading to the counter for another drink while others took their leave. She slowly scanned the room for the bartender and withdrew a few coins from the purse she had purloined from the man who had helped her up from her feigned fall. She needed to make a quick exit, before he discovered his loss. Right now he was at the counter, slowly sipping a beer and staring thoughtfully at her. She quickly averted her head and headed for the bartender and the exit.

“For the glass and the drinks,” she said, pressing the coins into his hand.

“Thank ye,” he muttered, pocketing the payment and moving on.

She turned and found herself face to face with her victim. “May I buy you a drink, m'lady?” he asked with a smile.

Rana gave a smirk and replied with her fake slur, “You don't suppose I've had enough drink here tonight, sir?”

With a slight bow of her head, she walked past him and out the door. “Pardon me, sir,” she murmured as she bumped into a man on the way out. She stopped but a moment to breathe in the cool night air and clear the few remaining cobwebs from her head. A few more drinks, and she might have had trouble pulling off those jobs. Thankfully, her opponent's pride had outweighed his capacity for drink.

“Good work tonight,” she whispered to herself, jingling the second heavy purse she'd stolen that night.

“For a girl.”

Rana spun towards the dark alley she had just passed. “Who said that?” she demanded, surreptitiously drawing a knife from beneath her cloak. A large, dark figure with a bald head stepped out from the shadows. “And what do you mean by that, sir?” she asked.

He laughed. A sound full of power and ruthlessness. This was not a man to trifle with. “Your somewhat unique services are requested,” he spoke without answering her question, and tossed a rolled up scroll towards her. She caught it with her free hand, keeping her eyes on him. Suddenly, from the tavern she heard a screeching yell, and she instinctively looked towards the sound. She was discovered. She looked back towards the alley. Empty. Tucking the scroll into her cloak, she turned and ran, soon fading into the darkness.
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Postby Erutanie_Litsos » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:13 pm

Rana looked up dubiously at the massive white building before glancing back down at the scroll in her hand. The directions were precise. This was the place. Her new home. If they would have her. She sighed, feeling the pains of the past all too clearly. She would need another drink before long to drown them. But right now she was tired. Tired of so many things she could not even begin to give them proper names at the moment. At the moment, she thought, all I need is a room with a lock and a bed. She trudged around the corner of the building, clearly hoping she was right in her presumption that a Thieves Guild would not have a front door. Only after walking three-quarters the way around the structure did she find the door obscured by some low-lying bushes and trees. With an annoyed growl she banged open the door and stalked down the wooden stairs, glaring ferociously at the torches on her way down. The stairs ended in a common-room of sorts filled with scattered tables and chairs and lined with closed doors leading to Valar knows where. Rana mentally reviewed the instructions on the scroll and headed for the third door to the left.

She raised her hand to bang on the door, but stopped. This was a potential job, she reminded herself harshly, and she was in no condition to be courteous to her next potential employer. Turning and placing her back to the wall, she balled her fists up on either side of her chest and breathed in deeply. Exhaling slowly, she brought her hands together and opened them up, palms facing outward, first fingers and thumbs touching in a triangular shape. Deliberately pushing her arms away from her, as if she were struggling with a massive wall before her, she concentrated on her breathing, slowly commanding her heart rate to slow and her mind to focus on the task at hand. She repeated the exercise several times before she became satisfied.

Her spirits calmed once more, she again approached the door and knocked softly.

“Enter.”

The room was small and bare, save for a desk and chair in the middle of the room and countless scrolls overflowing the shelves covering the walls. In the chair sat a lady of exquisite beauty with a fine-featured face framed by dark flowing locks. There was ruthlessness in her eyes and a hidden strength in her limbs. This Rana could sense and she bowed her head respectfully. A slight upturning of the corner of the lady's mouth was all she received in acknowledgement.

“If you would have more carefully read the instructions you received, you would not have had that rather unbecoming jaunt around this establishment,” she spoke.

Rana detected a slight taunt in her voice, but made no reply.

“Or perhaps,” the lady paused, her eyes glittering slightly. “your slight inclination to the drink has slowed your senses? I am not fond of thieves with a drinking problem...”

This was an insult she could not take. “I do not have a drinking problem,” she cut in, keeping her voice level and low. “'Tis my manner of work. If you do not like it, then I shall be not seeing you again.” She turned to go, regretting her decision to hope for even a moment that she would be accepted with no questions asked.

“Walk out that door and you shall never see anything again.” Her voice, sweet as honey yet full of a dark malice, stayed her retreat and made Rana turn back.

The lady's eyes now flickered with green fire and her skin glowed. Rana stared silently into her eyes, weighing her options. Her fingers had found the cold comfort of her daggers beneath her cloak and she discovered she had already calculated the distance between them, how long it would take to leap over the desk, and how much force would be needed to slip the cold steel between the lady's ribs. Her stomach turned and she clasped her hands together, dropping her eyes. Something within her, something she could not explain, made it impossible for her to commit this act. To kill with no apparent gain, neither with any immediate danger to her life. It was because of this “weakness” that she had never been able to accept the work of an assassin. She was a thief, not a cold-blooded killer. Not only this aversion to murder, but also her inner sense warned her that this woman was powerful and influential. Even if she managed to overpower and kill her, her dutiful followers would make her a fugitive for the rest of her days. The society of the criminal was the only one she had been able to meld into thusfar, and she meant to keep it that way.

Had she continued to meet her gaze, Rana would have seen a momentary smile of satisfaction cross the lady's face before she rose and spoke once more.

“I assume you know of Guilds. You know what is expected of you and you seem to know what to expect from me. For that I give you credit. The specifics are in your quarters, along with your room key, bedding, and a set of clothes. Second floor. Room number three. You may leave.” Without another glance the lady sat back down and returned her attention to the papers on her desk.

“Do I possess the only key to my quarters?” Rana could not help but ask. She raised her head and stared at Rana, her eyes glimmering.

“This is a Thieves Guild,” was her only reply.

Rana bowed and left.

Her quarters was all she could have asked for. 'Twas small enough to be devoid of any hiding places for predators, yet large enough for comfort. The bed was placed up against a wall and faced the only window that looked out on the alley from two stories up. After examining every corner of her room, she found a trap door in the ceiling that led to a partitioned area of the roof. 'Twas only six by six feet, but was surrounded by a high wall with a full view of the skies. Back in the room, she continued her exploration. A water basin and pitcher perched on an old wooden stand with a cabinet. When opened, she discovered that it possessed a false panel, behind which was a small flask of...Rana blinked in surprise and delight. Whiskey by the look of it. She uncapped it and took a whiff. Ai, whiskey it was, and pretty strong at that. She glanced around the room in bewilderment. She felt extremely uncomfortable that this woman would know so much about her and her preferred lifestyle. She had taken such pains to remain anonymous, yet this mysterious stranger had found a way to make her feel at home and comfortable.

Tossing her cloak and boots aside, she securely locked the door, tucked the bottle in her tunic, and climbed back up to the roof. Spreading out some of the blankets purloined from her bed, she stretched out and watched the sunlight fade from the sky, taking an occasional swig from her flask.

She awoke some hours later to distinct yelling in the streets below. Although her cubicle was protected from the rest of the roof, the wall fell to only a few feet high on the street side, providing a clear view of the alleyway. Rana cautiously poked her head over in time to see a pair of boots disappear into the bushes below. Seconds later there was a crack as the door fell in, followed by a few dim thuds that soon faded. Her curiousity piqued, she fell lightly down to her floor and, not bothering to throw her cloak around her shoulders, made her way down to the common room.
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Postby Cerridwen » Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:10 am

Chase watched her leave the tavern with that artful little wobble she'd put on to disguise her intent. She was a clever girl, and a skilled one. If he hadn't been watching for her deft fingers upon his purse, he might have missed it.
He offered her a drink, expecting her to refuse. Of course she wouldn't want him to be buying, since she now had a convincing enough sum of his money not to be suspicious of a game of cat and mouse.
He hadn't been the mouse in a long time, and he didn't plan on being the mouse in this hunt. He didn't care for it much.
He waited a suitable amount of time before attempting to pay his tab, and then made a convincing enough fuss over it that nobody in the tavern would suspect him of being anything more than another daft man who'd had a wench pull the wool over his eyes. He stormed out of the place in a convincing enough rage that proprieter and patrons alike felt satisfied that he would find his quarry and return with his purse and their payment.
Or not.
It meant of course, that his dinner for the evening and his drinks were free. He sighed ruefully, and promised to make it up somehow. It entered his mind that he yet had a lot to make up for, and that thought got in the way of his tracking.
Now little lightfingered lass, which way did you go?
He was a few moments picking out her tracks from amongst the wheel-ruts, shod hooves and booted feet that had come this way. Hers were smaller though, and they were on top.
Well, they were mostly on top. After awhile he came upon a much larger set of tracks. Someone had stood here with the girl, it seemed. The tracks were toe-to-toe as much as he'd ever seen a pair of tracks. They were sizeable tracks... possibly an accomplice. He'd come from another direction, and had returned from whence he'd come. Her tracks continued on a ways, as far as Chase could tell.
Chase stood and scratched at his grizzled beard. He wasn't as young anymore as he used to be, but he hadn't lived this long by playing the fool. If Big-foot was going to be a problem...
Then again, if they were working together, the tracks would lead to the same place. Not wanting to incur the wrath of a probable accomplice with bigger feet, Chase decided to follow her tracks rather than Big-foot's. It was a bit more comforting to him to think of having only a wily and talented girl to deal with than a probable monster of a man. He'd play friendly with them anyhow. Freelance thieves sometimes worked together, but it was more common for guild thieves to do so. There was the code for guild thieves, and it served to keep them from one another's throats.
Well, most of the time.
After a few false turns and losing her trail more than once, Chase ended up standing before a rather large edifice that was peculiar in that it seemed not to have a front entrance. Chase stood and looked at it and scratched his beard. A large building without a door...
He saw that her tracks led off around the corner of the thing, and he'd follow them shortly enough, but it intrigued him that any building would make itself so conspicuous by painting itself white. It looked more like a target than anything in the now-dark of the hour.
Or a graveyard, he reminded himself, as he followed her tracks around, all senses on the alert for the owner of those rather large tracks. It was not for nothing that mothers told their children that there was no such thing as an old thief. One lost one's edge, or one's nerve, and that could be as bad for one's health as it was for one's business. 'Retired' was a status few career thieves aspired to anyhow, and fewer still actually realized it.
He snorted upon seeing the door. There wasn't even a lock. Strange for a thief's den, but there might at least be a guard. Something...
For a moment, and only a moment, he wondered if he was even in the right place.
One way to find out, old campaigner, he told himself, and in the door he went.
He was greeted by a torchlit decent into the particular den this coven of thieves apparently called home. He readied his knife in it's sheath and started down them with all the care he might have when on a job. The circle had taught him to be light on his feet. Necessity had taught him to move as though he weighed nothing, but it was not so easy a thing for a man of his bulk to simply glide down a flight of wooden stairs.
Walls might indeed have ears, but stairs are the worst of confidantes. One of them gave a little as he placed his weight on it, so that he actually felt the squeak before he could halt his progress enough to keep from hearing it.
At that point he froze, and simply stopped breathing for the space of several moments.
Footfalls. Big, heavy footfalls... Chase's mind raced. Best to behave as though he belonged here, rather than as some fool target who'd followed his pilfered purse out into the howling night...
Voices... he caught voices at the bottom of the stairwell, a woman's and a man's. A door opened and closed, and the voices faded rather abruptly after that.
So they went into a room down there... or a hallway.
He quickly descended the remainder of the stairs and found himself in an open space, where he had his choice of doors.
Well, he wanted the one with the voices behind it, and this he soon found. Being a thief, he also employed himself at eavesdropping on occasion, and this he did, to be sure of what he was getting himself into.
Her tone had all the right edges, even if he still could not make out her words. By this he knew that she was definitely not the girl from earlier in the evening, and this boded well. It appeared that he had happened on a conclave of some sort. Big-foot confirmed this for him by deferring to the hard-voiced woman. He allowed the conversation to spin out a bit more, then he drew himself back to a respectful distance from the door, and rapped sharply on the wood.
The conversation halted with a speed that told him he now had the full attention of at least one much larger fellow, and one she-wolf woman who was a lady to be reckoned with indeed if she could jerk Big-foot's chain.
It occurred to Chase, somewhat belatedly, that the evening could go very well for him, or it could go very ill.
He cleared his throat and rapped on the door again. He had business with these people. Coming after his purse was merely a ruse.
"Enter," she answered him cooly.
He did so, and was only a little surprised that it was not the well-muscled bear of a man who had his immediate attention, but the dark-haired snake with the glittering eyes. His business, it seemed, would be primarily with her; unless she decided he needed squashing, in which case his business would be with Big-foot.
"State your business," she offered cooly, in a tone that told him he was not quite expected, and therefore not quite welcome. Chase decided to come straight to the point.
"I'm new to the city. I'm looking for work. I let one of your hirelings lift some of my worldly goods, and I followed her here." He spread his hands, then shifted his weight and folded his arms.
"Indeed," she returned, nodding her head slightly. "You're quite the tracker to have followed her here. Unless it was this one that you followed," she said, glancing briefly at her companion.
Chase did not offer more than a batted eyelash to her assessment of his tracking skills. "He isn't the sort one follows into the dark of night if one wants to keep one's head."
She nodded, and Chase found her smile to be less than comforting. That she was bewitchingly beautiful only complicated matters for him. She looked at him as though she meant either to find fault or to decide upon the best place to bite.
"We are not in the habit of entertaining unsolicited offers such as yours," she informed him.
He shrugged. "I'm new to the city," he repeated. "Every great city has a Guild. Some have more than one."
She knew three things about Chase, as far as Chase knew. That he could finger another thief when he saw one, arrange to have her steal somethng of his, and then track that thief down a dark road out of a tavern to her front door... without her, or her sidekick or that thief being the least aware.
If Chase had to weigh it, he'd have called it even and let himself in. Or he'd have killed himself. He hoped the woman would think of profit before she thought of pride. He sincerely hoped she wasn't the sort that could arrange to entertain both, but he wasn't about to put money on that... Even if he could have stolen it back.
She appeared to have come to a decision.
"Kreten, show our guest to his quarters. We will discuss the terms of your employment in the morning, Master...?"
"Rhenferry, Mistress. Chase Rhenferry."
She favored him with one of those cold smiles of hers, and he willed himself to return her gaze evenly. She was obviously in charge here, and he was fine with that. A strong pack leader kept the pack from tearing itself to shreds with infighting and jockeying and the inevitable politics that went on in any organized group of people. But in such packs, the weak link has a tendency to become dog food.
Chase didn't plan on offering her that option.
He followed Kreten out the door, and into his new den. He could guess and imagine what waited for him, but the morning would tell for sure.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:49 pm

Haddie did her best to slink in, despite the pronounced limp that had not been present when she had left the evening before. Neither had there been a gash in her shoulder, though the dried blood gave evidence of it's presence now. She was usually in by midnight, but it was nearly eight in the morning and broad daylight.
The mistress was not pleased.
"And you are sure no one followed you?!"
"Yes." The girl was feeling light headed and her ankle was throbbing. She dumped her loot haphazardly across the cold eyed woman's desk and turned to leave. "I'll not be going out for a few days."
"To say the least you won't!" Madame stalked angrily around the desk and grabbed Haddie by both elbows, forcing her to face her, her voice as calm and cold as ice. "And if I see one Gondorian guard anywhere near here, We're gone and they'll find your bloody carcas in the foryer."
The girl looked at her with dull eyes and nodded her understanding before she was allowed to leave.
Madame set about aranging the office and stashing Haddie's loot before her morning appointment.
Haddie stumbled toward her room, nearly nocking someone down as they passed on the stairs. She gripped the railing until her knuckles turned white, and nearly passed out from the pain in her ankle and shoulder. She tried to mumble an appology once she regained her ballance, but she didn't know if they heard her and she pushed herself forward. She gained the top step and switched sides to lean against the wall. She didn't make it far, she finally succumbed to the blissful nothingness, collapsing in a slight, curtained alcove, her swolen foot sticking out into the hallway was the only evidence she was even there.
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Postby Cerridwen » Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:48 am

It had been a surprisingly restful night for Chase. He'd found his quarters to be clean and comfortable, and reasonably well furnished. He had brought with him only what he had left the tavern with, and all of that was still in his pack. The morning was bright as it came through the window in his room. He washed, took out and polished his sword, unrolled his gleaming set of lockpicks, and sat thinking for a long time.
He was fully prepared to find honest trade, either as a hiresword or as a scribe. He had only to get those slavering hounds off of his back once and for all. How he'd do that permanently, he had no idea.
Out of the frying pan...
He sighed, and rolled up his lockpicks again, stowing them in his pack.
He thought of his promise to his old friend, and of the twists of fate that had brought him to the necessary breaking of that promise. He'd kept his life, had wrested it out of the mouths of those jackals and kept himself reasonably out of trouble for a long time.
Fate, it seemed, was bent on making him a criminal. He was only happy that the King's Guard hadn't caught him in all of his checkered career. It would probably have prevented him from being hired in any of the reputable guilds anywhere in Gondor for the rest of his life.
Perhaps when this was over, he'd find work around Rohan. He might even travel out and see his friend again. He wondered if the old priest would grant him a full absolution if he asked for it, as a favor.
The venerable old fellow would likely give him an earful, at the very least.
His horse was still stabled with the proprieter of the tavern he had left the night before, and the coin he had paid would keep the old girl comfortable for what remained of the week. He'd ask around whether this house kept stabling for beasts, because he'd have preferred to keep his horse closer to his base of operations. It wouldn't do to have her halfway across town if he ever required haste.
He had no doubt he would require it somewhere, one way or the other.
After making himself as presentable as he could, he donned his sword and headed out of his rooms to his morning appointment.
Halfway down the stairs, he brushed past what appeared to be another of his packmates. She'd obviously had a hard night, and he had a pang for a girl so obviously young plying such a dangerous trade.
He'd been that young himself, once, and that foolhardy. He shook his head at the hard consequences one's choices brought and continued on down the stairs.
At the base, he paused in surprise as he heard the distinct swish of someone sliding down a wall, and the soft thunk of a slight form hitting the floor.
He dithered for a moment where he was. Thieves were thieves, he knew. He'd charmed a number of his targets himself, in order to complete a job, and was no stranger to the wiles of the she-wolves he had known in his other den.
But that girl had smelled of blood, and had moved as though it was her own. He'd keep his appointment with plenty of time to spare.
Chase started up the stairs, taking them two at the time. He discovered a badly swollen ankle that might otherwise have been delicate sticking out from an alclove at a strange angle. He pushed the curtain aside with care, and it revealed the girl who'd brushed past him on the stairs. Upon further inspection, she was quite unconscious.
Knowing that he would probably not find her keys unless he gave her a thorough going over, and knowing that he would probably be late to see his new Mistress if he did, he decided to put her in his own room and let her recover her senses there.
He scooped her up as gently as he could, carried her slight form down the hall, and was some moments fiddling the latch open before it cooperated fully.
He arranged her on the little cot and quickly wiped off and wrapped her ankle, so it wouldn't swell further. After that he could do nothing more to make her waking comfortable, so he took himself back out.
It occurred to him as he took himself down the stairs, that she might pick him clean, but the prospect didn't bother him. He'd return the favor with interest, and leave her nothing to wear but her stockings if she tried to cross him.
In years gone by, it was fairly common for the younger ones to prank one another in that way, and he'd landed in the middle of one of their little skirmishes once, as the target of both sides. He'd taught the young rascals not to involve him again.
He smirked to himself before he rapped on the door. That had been one of the more amusing memories he'd had. It had taught the cubs some respect, and they'd consequently not involved themselves in their elders' darker dealings with Chase.
"Enter," the Misress called crisply, and Chase did.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:44 pm

Pain. Haddie opened her eyes and gasped with the pain. She suddenly realised through the haze in her muddled brain that she wasn't in her room and that her last memory was of her trying to get there. She didn't recognise where she was and she didn't remember ever reaching her room. She numbly desided that her life may hinge on getting out of a stranger's room when living in a den of thieves. She struggled to get up, only managing to turn to her stomach before passing out again. The next time she woke up, she tried to get off the bed feet first but her anklecollapsed under her and it took all her will power to stay concious and not scream, kneeling at the side of the bed. She finally moved for the the door with a three legged crawl, holding her left arm to her side, easing some of the pain in her shoulder. In ten minute's time, she had only made it half way to the door. Exausted, she lay down on the cool wood floor to rest, but she found that once ready, her muscles refused to coperate and an uneasy sleep settled over her as she fervently wished for a good, stiff drink.
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...

Postby Son_of_Legolas » Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:31 pm

The young elf heaved himself from the dirty, hardwood floor. It must have been a great number of hours since he passed out upon first entering the strange and hidden den. There was a tavern-like area ahead of him, but he felt ill at the very thought of tasting the stuff again. Looking around, he spotted a long hallway, where more and more junctioned off within. He decided to explore, seeing as nobody in the main room was protesting his presense. Just as he stepped into the hall he overheard a group of them. On stating "This is the Thieves Guild..."

Now he felt that he should watch his step. He wouldn't want to turn his back to a band of untrustworthy rabble. He stepped through the hallway and peered into the odd room. Strange, he thought, many were simply unnocupied.

Continuing down the hall he came upon a room where, inside, a young female was passed out on the floor. A short tug of his heart told him to see what was the matter, but looking around he made sure to be cautious. A tall, burly man was coming down the hall to his left. He stepped into the room and ducked beneath a desk. The heavy footsteps approached and paused in the doorway. The man muttered something, then moved along. The young elf breathed a sigh and crawled out to where the young one lay.

Psst, excuse me, are you alright? He asked softly into her ear. When he heard nothing he decided to search her to see what was the matter. A quick frisk and he found one ankle to be a lot bulkier than the other, so he didn't touch it. By the way she had passed out, it looked as if something was wrong with her one arm. As he reached up to reajust her, he grunted. Her eyes shot open and a fist collided with the young elf's temple. The young elf rolled on his side and sprung to his feet. The girl was passed out again.

He quirked an eyebrow and got down on all fours to try and see if she was still awake.

I'm Not here to hurt you...I just want to help. The elf put up both arms this time, but the girl never stirred. He heard her whisper and mutter something, but he couln't hear it. What was that?, suddenly the work came a little clearer..."drink."

Covering up his obvious disgust for the thought of ale at all, the young elf got to his feet and made his way to the tavern and purchased a drink, not quite in the mood to steel one in a Thieves Guild. He brought the drink back to the room and left it by the girl's head, moving on to see if he could find out who was in charge of the place.

##------->Nevon Greenleaf
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Postby Erutanie_Litsos » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:22 pm

Rana paused when she came to the head of the stairs. Her senses told her that there was quite a lot of activity going on downstairs, activity she would rather not get involved in at the present.

Several pairs of boots moved up and down the hallway below her, both pausing at the same spot, what she guessed was a room. She waited for silence to resume before beginning her descent. The stairwell was enclosed on both sides. Rana took a cursory glance before darting around the corner and beginning her descent down the second flight of stairs.

Her mind barely registered the figure of a slim man moving down the hallway away from her but instead stored it away for future speculation. The stairs soon opened suddenly into the hallway opposite the Mistress's quarters, giving a full view of the common room. Just as her feet hit the floor, she heard a knock on a wooden door. Swinging her head around, she blanched as she saw a familiar figure at the Mistress's door, his back to her: the man she had purloined the purse from last night.

Seeking to conceal herself, yet wanting to keep him in her sights, she ducked under a nearby table. It was only a few moments before the door opened and he stepped through, closing it solidly behind him. Rana breathed a soft sigh and settled back on her heels. Had he tracked her here? She could not remember the last time someone had succeeded in deciphering her tracks. He was probably in with the Mistress right now, demanding the return of his purse. She felt sick at the thought. She knew enough of Guilds to realize that her mistake would probably cost her life.

Sweeping her eyes irritably around the room, she only wished that she had brought her flask with her. She could use a drink right about now. Perhaps he would not recognize me, she thought. It was rather smokey in the tavern. No. He had approached her later on her way out, she remembered. He must have gotten a clear look at her face, and then followed her tracks after voicing the yell of rage she had heard. Well, now was the time to return the favour. He would learn the meaning of a shadow, as well as the cost for attempting to steal away her new-found security.

The common room was still empty, and she wasted no time in creeping to the Mistress's door and pressing her ear against the wood.
Last edited by Erutanie_Litsos on Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cerridwen » Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:48 pm

Once the door was closed behind him Chase had not taken more than two steps into the Mistress' office before she began tearing into him like a pack on a not-quite-slain raebuck.
"You're aware you might be a member of the Guard, and that in such case your life is forfeit?" she accused cooly, from behind her rather large desk. Kreten was standing beside it, and was visibly not impaired by its bulk. There was nothing between him and Chase, and this was not lost on the thief.
Chase would have backstepped, had he not had a solid oak door between him and his freedom. This was not the way he had planned this interview to go. Not at all...
"I informed you of what I was last night. That hasn't changed, Mistress."
"You said you followed one of our own home. Please explain."
Chase spread his hands as his mind reeled. "If she was Guard, she was here already."
"So that makes you Guard, then," the woman sneered. "I'm afraid you have the burden of proof, good sir."
Chase suppressed a hiss of exasperation. "Then it was your folly not to kill me last night, Mistress. As it is, if you're right, you'll have killed one of the King's Men, and His Majesty favours that less than he favours the rest of our ilk. If you're wrong, your profits suffer terribly."
"And you are still dead. It doesn't vex you, the thought of being dead?" she asked, the corners of her mouth twisting into what might otherwise have been a smile. Her over-large cohort shifted in Chase's periphery.
"It vexes me a great deal!" he returned passionately, his gaze flicking over to the big fellow. She was more deadly, of that he was certain. The other fellow would be harder to dodge, however. That amount of man-flesh taking up space would be hard to get out of the way of.
She chuckled, pleased to have finally gotten a rise out of him.
"So tell me again what your credentials are, other than being a man of the Watch," she cooed icily, steepling her long fingers and smiling that serpent's smile.
This interview was not going at all the way he had hoped for. He composed himself with an effort and repeated some of what he had said last night. He ticked them off on his fingers. "I am a solitary theif seeking Guild privileges: house, hearth, pack's sworn oaths. For whatever fee you charge in payment, as I can more than live on my take. I am new to your city, and it is safer not infringing on Guild territory as a lone wolf. That would be the second reason I sought you out."
"That isn't, however, how you came to actually finding us," she interjected cooly. "Our location is not... public knowledge, so to speak."
He made another effort to compose himself. His temper was fraying, and he feared misplacing it. That would leave him on the street, either whole or in pieces, but still rather dead. Chase didn't care for that.
"Your location may not be for the taking in polite society, but those are not the circles one goes to with such questions. As I said before, I followed one of your own back here. I let her steal my purse and I took the chance she'd come home to a den," he finished. "That tells you a few things about me, and you're well aware you can take them any way you like. If I'm a theif and can track two such people, I must be a bloody good one. I can assure you I'm not followed because someone who can track that well knows how to hide his own trail, and I did. I have my own reasons not to want being followed, as I dislike having the Guard breathing down my neck as much as the next man, honest or not."
"Could you describe this theif you followed home? I believe you referred to it as 'her'?"
Chase shrugged, held a hand up. "Leggy girl, tall. Auburn hair. Drinks like a fish and holds her liquor better than most men I've seen. I'll hand it to her, if I hadn't been looking for her to snatch my coin, I might not have caught her doing it. She made off quick enough when I offered to buy her a drink." He grinned. "Didn't want to lose her in the crowd, and didn't want to stay there all night either, so I flushed your bird out. She left, I gave everyone a good show, and I didn't have to pay my tab." He shrugged, and folded his arms across his chest. The next move would be the lady wolf's, and he was going to let her take her time.
She did.
"Your story does not appear to have altered, at any rate. You're either very shrewd, or you're the rare honest criminal." There was a slight pause, in which she regarded him in cool silence, and Kreten continued to look as though he was going to have him for lunch.
"I am not sure," she concluded softly, "which I am more afraid of."
Chase spread his hands. "I don't want the Guild breathing down my neck either, and I'm not fit for polite society."
Her mouth twisted again. "Indeed. Kreten," she said crisply, "give Master Rhenferry his papers to go with his keys."
Kreten shuffled in place, and started off to do his Mistress' bidding. Chase turned his head just so, having heard something from without the door. He grinned, lifted an eyebrow at the lady, and put his hand softly on the latch.
"I'm pleased you've chosen to keep me around, for the moment," he told her. "Any small favor I can do for you, I will more than gladly perform."
She lifted a coolly delicate eyebrow. "Be profitable, Master Rhenferry, and we may decide to keep you."
He nodded, lifting a finger of his other hand. "Ah yes, there is that. I have a proposal for you, if you don't mind. You have something that belongs to me."
She actually laughed. "Chase, Chase, look around you. We are thieves here. What can you possibly mean?"
He grinned. "I'll give you your fee and fifty percent on my first contract in return for my purse."
This time both eyebrows went up, and there was no hiding her surprise. "Fee plus?"
"Fee plus," he returned amiably. "And I can tell you exactly which of yours cubs it was."
Without warning, he yanked the door open. There stood the tall, auburn haired theif he'd run into last night. She sprang back and settled into a fair approximation of a defensive posture, a dagger coming to her hand from he knew not where. He opened the door wide and sketched a bow to her, hoping she didn't react enough to kill him.
"And you, lassie, will get whatever's left after m'Lady has her fees, less what you'll spend buying me a drink."
"You must be fond of your purse, Master Rhenferry," the lady said quietly. She had been too far from the door to have heard anything. Indeed, this Chase fellow would be a profitable one, if he didn't let himself get too honest about things. Rana looked to want to bite something. The lady spared a pitying thought for Chase if that redhead got her teeth into him.
"Your proposal is quite satisfactory to me, though it makes me wonder what there is about your property that you so treasure. I counted it out last night, and found nothing terribly out of the ordinary about it."
Chase shrugged. "Perhaps it was my father's, given to me by my mother when I was a lad, a week before brigands came tearing through the countryside and burned everything to the ground. In any case, I'd like to have it back."
The lady placed a hand over her breast and did an admirable facsimile of a broken heart. "Ai me... how very tragic..."
"In any case, it's mine. I'd hate to begin our relationship by stealing it back." He grinned.
She offered a smile in return, and chills went shivering down his spine. "I offer you the cut I'd have taken, and the purse itself. You'll have to work the rest out with our Rana there. I wish you luck with that."
Rana did not appear to have moved in the time it had taken for Chase tear his attention away from her in order to attend to his Mistress, and then return it to Rana and her blade. It went against his basic sense of propriety to ignore anyone at his back who had a dagger.
"I'd take you dining so we could discuss this more civilly, but you still have the bulk of my coin," he told her amiably. She glared at him, apparently not impressed.
Kreten appeared at the door with his papers and his purse. It was much lighter than it had been.
"The pair of you can discuss this elsewhere," the big fellow grated. He glanced pointedly at Rana. "Don't leave a mess," he told her, favoring Chase with a cruel smile.
Then he closed the door, leaving Chase alone before the business end of a very sharp knife.
Chase scowled and glanced down. "You can put that away now, if you don't mind."

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OOC: Have fun Rana! :P
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Cerridwen
Rider of the Mark

 
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