The Haunting of St.Belen
2001 Scott McCarty

Private Texts of Lucas Wells
Second Chronicle of the Criminal Masterminds

The Tragedy of Kirtish

It was again night on the streets of Marketplace in the City. The hazy sky seemed to be enveloped with the light of the buildings that made up the town. The slick cobblestones were wet from the rain that had drenched the City for two days straight, causing many canals of over-flow and flood the lower parts of town. This didn't bother Natalie at all. Thinking that instead of taking the 'Thieves Highway' that she would take the city streets instead really showed that she was in a safer mood now and more low key about her actions as an Independent. Only yesterday, the Red Claw; one of the most secretive and most lethal guilds in the criminal underworld tried to kill her. Luckily, she wasn't home at the time but instead hit her cloak on the coat hanger next to her door. Fools, is what they were. Taking careful information from Garrett about staying as an Independent was harder then she thought. She was restless for the high life, and even though the Red Claw could save her the hassle of staying out of the hands of the City Watch, she still had to think about how the Wardens would take a cut of her profits.

Natalie leaned against the stone wall of a building that was one of many that circled the Market place. The stands closed down for the night, and only a Bulldog with his sword sheathed stood guard. Just waiting for someone to kill. Natalie walked past him, smiled. he gave her a crooked grin and went about his duties. She walked slowly around a bend and was suddenly pulled into a dark alley.

"What the hell?!" she cried. Her mouth was instantly covered with a hand. She struggled with her assailant who was backed by two men. Both in hoods, and a scar on their cheeks of the Red Claw.

"Kerkus gave you a chance to join our guild, missy. He doesn't like to be told to 'shove it' and we're here to take care of you; for good. So how do you like it, on top or on the bottom?!"

"Go to hell?" she growled. She felt a sword press against her throat. She just wanted it to get over with so that she could die quickly. The two men behind the leader, pulled her down to the wet cobblestone ground, and held her.

"Are they going to rape me?" thought Natalie. She moved slightly to one side until she grabbed a metal sphere. A Flash Bomb! A sign from the Watchmen himself. She grabbed it and pushed the activation button. It began to moan a little and she held it up above her head with her last bit of strength and shut her eyes, burying her face in her shoulder. The white light flashed, and the strong arms holding her down were let go. She was up in a second, with her blackjack in hand. She delivered two hits to her assailants, but the leader still remained. He drew his sword, and readied himself.

Natalie was an experienced swordsman, she was taught by the best and proud of it too, but this one seemed to be better looking then her. She drew her sword as well, and took the stance. He moved forward quickly, delivering powerful blows to her sword. Then several downward thrusts. Paring all of the attacks, Natalie finally found his weakness, his left side. She brought her sword to her left and sliced at him. It was blocked but she felt her sword nick at him. He howled in pain, and grasped at his shoulder, his sword clattering the ground. She brought out her blackjack and took him down with one hit. The three of them lay asleep on the stone ground. She dragged them into the shadows and searched them. One of them had about 50 gold on him. The other had a fine silver dagger, and the other had some potions. She relieved them of their equipment, and threw it into a nearby trash can. She smiled to herself, and walked out of the alley. Everything was still quite. She passed by Ramirez's place, the guard out front was one of her old friends named, Manny. He nodded to her:

"How goes it, Natalie?" he asked.

"Very well, and you?" she replied.

"Bored, need some action. The sir seems mighty agitated. Something about a build up in Mechanist and Hammerite power. Making alot of trouble towards his interests" he said as he walked over to her.

"Really? I thought that the Mechanist were all but gone?" she replied in shock. She adjusted herself, easily.

"No, Mechanist are starting to expand more, outside of the City. They have more support in Blackbrook, I think!" he said. He looked at her, his old flame from school back in the old days. "Why don't you come back. The sir would be glad to have you.." he muttered.

"Manny, I can't. Just wouldn't be right. Ramirez just isn't the type of boss that I was looking for. I'm on my own right now, and I'm doing pretty good."

He looked at her for a long moment, then nodded. He patted her on the shoulder then went back to the gate as the Captain came by to check on him.

Natalie quickly disappeared into the shadows as she passed Ramirez's Manor and down a small hill towards her part of town. Wayside. As she walked the deserted streets she thought she heard something, she turned around; hand on the hilt of her sword but saw nothing. She was walking in the shadows, so it was not sure that anyone could see her, but she had to be careful. Just then, someone was in front of her and grabbed her. Just her luck! He jumped back and revealed himself. It was Lucas Wells, the Society Burglar of the City's Upper Class. She hadn't seen him since they had dinner over two months ago.

"Lucas! Damnit, you scared the hell out of me. I thought it was the Red Claws coming for me again!" she cried. She gave him a hug and looked at him to see how he was. Over five months ago, Natalie, Lucas and Garrett were involved in the stealing of several valuable artifacts from the Lady Elena Valavictor of Northport, allowing them to steal a very small fortune.

"I was just wanted to surprise you thats all. I saw you with those Red Claws. I was about to come down from the roof but you had a flash bomb in hand so I let you go. How goes it?" he asked.

"Okay, I guess. Red Claws are giving me a hard time lately. I just got back from a job for Gervasuis. You?" she said.

"I'm good as ever, and I'm happy to say that I am hoping to come into collection of some very valuable artifacts of religious accent!" he chimed. He grinned as they walked arm in arm, toward Shalebridge.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Have you ever heard of the Amulet of St. Belen?"

Garrett jumped from roof-top to roof-top. His cloak whipping around in the winds, and the soles of his hard leather shoes making much noise. His home i admired the 'Thieves Highway' very much; it was the reason he was keeping in shape so much. His apartment in Shalebridge wasn't far by now after jumping from roof to roof from Dayport. He was getting some incriminating information of a high ranking official of the Baron's Council. Apparently, this Man was making trouble for someone. He loved blackmailing, it was by far one of his favorite types of jobs to do.

Garrett spotted his apartment building comfortable one that he acquired about a year ago during Karat's Reign of Terror. He jumped on the roof and slid down the water pipe to the second floor window and slipped inside. A torch was burning on one side of the wall, and the sound of someone snoring and someone talking a bath could be heard. He brought out his keys and un-locked his door and slipped inside. Walking over to a small sitting room, he got a fire going and poured his valuables from the job on to a small table to look them over/ He got a glass of brandy from a nearby stand, sipped it and overlooked his loot.

700 in gold and silver, 300 in goods and plus the incriminating evidence that would be given to his client. That would be about 2,000 total.

"Good nights work?" came a voice from somewhere. Garrett was up in a second, his sword drawn and ready to fight. He noticed a dark figure sitting in the corner with someone next to him.

"Damn you Lucas, what the hell are you doing here?" growled Garrett as he shook his friends hand. He kissed his companion, Natalie on the cheek; showing his affection. "What do you want?"

"Just came by to see how the 'Master Thief' was doing! It's been a while, so Natalie and I thought we would come by!"

"I saw you, a couple nights ago" Garrett smirked at Natalie. Natalie cast a wicked grin at him.

"How are you, Garrett?" asked Lucas as he admired the objects that Garrett had brought back from his job.

"No, you answer my question first. What do you want?" came the Master Thieves sharp reply.

Lucas looked at him a long moment and brought out a folder tied with yellow cord. He untied the cord and took out several contents including a map and several drawings. He laid them on the table in front of Garrett. Natalie had lit a candle and placed it on the table and took a seat next to Garrett.

"What is this?" he asked as he observed the drawings, notes and the map. Then his eyes glanced over the map, he took it up with his hands and observed it for several long moments before putting it down and starring at Lucas. "You've got to be out of your mind!"

"No, actually I'm far from it. Have you ever heard of the Amulet of St. Belen. The fabled jewel worn by the First Apprentice so the legends say, well that drawing was found by a friend of mine who just recently passed away. The Amulet is a very fabled and valuable item within the Hammer faith. I'll tell you the story so get comfortable.." he explained. He got up and poured a glass of wine for him and Natalie, and a plate of beef patsy and cheese on the table. He settled down into a comfortable couch looking over to them and began to his tale:

"The Cathedral of St. Belen is located in the village of Kirtish. A one day journey from the City. About 110 years ago, the Mages and the Hammerite's met to discuss many important agenda's. At this time, the Mages and Hammer's were not on the best of terms with each other and so met regularly to soothe the tensions between them. Since the Old Quarter Cathedral was already built, the Hammerites wished to expand their influence. And so they're leader at this time was an old Priest named Father Brisbane, now sainted. The Cathedral is the largest Hammerite Cathedral in existence, and at this time was a building of wonder. The Hammerite faith was expanding along with the reputation of St. Belen Cathedral as a Seminary and Cathedral to teach disciples and novices within the faith. The Mages and Hammer's met, and a large argument of something rather un-orthodox caused an uproar. One of the Mages cast a terrible spell that caused many people within the meeting hall to turn into the Undead. Only five made it out alive. Luckily, there was really no one in the Cathedral since it was a Saturday night and was relatively quite and un-crowded. After that no one even dared to go anywhere near St. Belen or its grounds. Many thieves, and fortune hunters have clambered over to Kirtish and ventured into the Cathedral, all of them never returning! And so, the Keepers and the Hammerites moved together to erect a large wall around the Cathedral and it's grounds. That was 105 years ago, and the wall has fallen into deep dis-repair, and no one ever venturing more then a couple miles towards the Cathedral grounds. The Cathedral sits on a moor-top slanted hill over-looking the town. If you look close enough from a window at night, you can see Haunts and Apparitions walking around the grounds. It is no longer a place of man, and is even more haunted then that of the Old Quarter Cathedral which is now restored."

Garrett sipped his drink and ate a piece of cheese, not seeing very interested in the history lesson. Lucas picked things up so his friend wouldn't fall asleep. "Well, you see Garrett! An Amulet of un-separable holiness was preserved in the Cathedral. The High Priest Virgule was killed by a Haunt's hammer coming down on his head, but this Amulet is suppose to foretell prophecies and is an ever lasting source of holy water. It's magical!" Lucas picked up a picture and handed it to Garrett. It was the picture of Amulet, the edges were so old that they crumbled in his hands. Garrett looked at it a few moments then set it down on the table.

"Why did you come here to ask me? You two are certainly a good enough team to get in, grab the thing and get out" came his low reply.

"We need your help in order to get the amulet. But first we need the Hammer Keys..." said Natalie.

"The Hammer Keys are like elemental talismans. Except these are easier to come by. You can find them in old attic trunks, mantle pieces and even at a local pawn shop. The Hammer Keys are four artifacts that unlock the Cathedrals main entrance. One made out of a different metal like Iron, Steel, Copper and Lead. That's why people don't take much notice of them. They look un-valuable to many! But they are the keys to getting us into that Cathedral, steal the Amulet and get out with our heads on our what do you think?"

"I think your insane. What do I get for coming on for this job?" asked Garrett. He ate a piece of cheese.

"A fortune...there is a basement full of precious hammer holy relics that could prove valuable in any other jobs that you might have" declared Natalie.

"But we need you to steal something first. You have experience with these people more then we do, thats why we need you on this job!" said Lucas as he leaned forward in his seat.

"The bad news about this is the fact that both the Mechanist and the Hammer's are rushing to get to the Cathedral. They want the Amulet just as much as we do, and most likely once activated by who knows how, will ward off the un-dead around you. But the Mechanist and the Hammerites are rushing not just for the Amulet, but for the treasury and an Archive in one of the buildings. It is said that an archive with the lost texts of the Builder are in St. Belen Cathedral. If we could get hold of just some of those texts, we could learn about important events and sell them off to the highest bidder!" exclaimed Natalie.

"So you need me to spring a lock?" asked Garrett.

"No, we need you to grab one of the keys. The Mechanist have one of them and we have the other two. One is rumored to be somewhere in the village. We're just going to have to look for it" declared Lucas.

Garrett turned the idea over several times in his head. The crackling of the fire and the sounds of the night did not disturb his somber thoughts. He finally came up with his discussion:

"Fine, I'll join you. But I take what I get. NO cut in profits, nothing. I take what I get! And I steal the Hammer Key from the Mechanist..." he said.

Natalie and Lucas both smiled, seemingly both pleased with his decision. Natalie drank another glass of wine and Lucas gave Garrett a pat on the back for being such a good thief over it.

"How are we going to get to Kirtish?" asked Garrett.

"No carriage will go anywhere near Kirtish because of the Cathedral letting off evil waves of fury. We will have to travel via a dog-cart. They are cheap and easy to use. Plus we can steal one and get over to Kirtish more quickly by cart then by foot."

"When would it be best for us to set off?" asked Natalie.

"Tomorrow afternoon, the Hammers and Mechanists are both heading to Kirtish as well. They are taking back roads that will take them longer, hopefully thinking that they will beat each other. But once we get to Kirtish, we will not have much time to get supplies and other imports of use before the other parties arrive" explained Lucas.

"Then we will have to get supplies tomorrow morning, then leave as soon as possible. Most possibly by lunchtime" Natalie said with an eagerness to her tone.

"Agreed. Lucas, since you have the small fortune, get us supplies, I will arrange for a dog-cart and Natalie, get as much information about the village of Kirtish as you can. Winter Tunnels, old buildings, chapels, anything. Let us know tomorrow" Garrett ordered. They both nodded.

"Well if we are going to get off tomorrow, then I best be on my way. I have a carriage waiting outside. Natalie, would you like a ride home?" asked Lucas, he smiled at them.

"No, I'll be going home later. Thank you, I'll see you tomorrow!" replied Natalie. Lucas picked up his things into his folder and quickly slipped out. With only seconds later, the sound of horses hoofs hitting the cobble stoned road could be heard and it quickly diminished down the street.

"Mind if I stay here, it's just such a long way back to Wayside?!" Natalie interjected. Garrett smiled and led the way to the bed room.

The next morning was pale and clammy. The over-cast sky and the early morning refreshing rain gave the City a dull, dreary as well lucid look. The bells of the Hammerite and Mechanist Cathedrals told the hours of early morning, but slowly the hours of the morning slipped by, and it was nearly time for luncheon when the three met at Bernie Sanderlite Carriage Stables. Being the thieves that they were, Lucas rented the dog-cart carriage under the same of Lord Herald Bersley, a wealthy noble of some arrogance that apparently Lucas did not like. The carriage pulled up in front of Scoter Supply Depot in the South Quarter to pick up supplies for the dangerous job at hand.

Natalie came out with a large crate marked with sign symbol of the Hammers. Inside were mines, water arrows, flash bombs, fire arrows and a couple vials of holy water. The crate was heavy, so Lucas took it, while Garrett looked over a map of their trek through the desolate moors beyond the City, and the wood that they would have to get through before dark. Lucas hitched up sleeping mats, a box of rations, fresh water and blankets just in case they had to spend the night in St. Benel. He hoped that for his sake as well as Garrett and Natalie; that they wouldn't have to.

All of the supplies that they had, were stolen from the Supply Depot, under Lord Bersley's name. When they got back, they would sell the supplies but keep the weapons and other important materials for themselves. He was hoping that they would make it though this, carefully.

"Do you have a basic idea about which way we are going?" asked Natalie as she sat next to Garrett in the back-seat. The dog-cart had no roof and only two bench like seats. They would take turns driving the horse drawn cart for the three hour journey before them, four hours if they hit bad weather.

"Not in the slightest" declared Garrett gloomily said. He held his compass in one hand and the map in the other. Lucas got in the front seat and took up the reigns. Natalie and Garrett took the back seat.

"We're heading northwest, through a moor most of the way, then a patch of fur wood. Then we'll merge on to a small hill, leading to Kirtish. It's a good three hours, but we'll make it" came Lucas's cheery voice.

Garrett slumped in his chair moodily, as the dog-cart began to move on the cobblestone streets then on to a Avenue, then a dirt road leading away from the City. Garrett usually didn't leave the City for his own purpose, but the idea of getting a small fortune in valuables from an old Hammer Cathedral was too much. He was also wondering why Natalie was here.

"Why did you come along?" asked Garrett to Natalie. She looked at him, her grown hair drawn back behind her ears.

"Some very important documents which could do nicely for a client I have. Religious texts from the Master Builder along with the private correspondence of the late Father Brisbane along with a journal on important Hammer activities that were lost in the catastrophe, and some of that basement treasury that your after!" she said.

Garrett nodded as the cloudy ski's and the moor engulfed them; they were in for a long ride. Garrett got comfortable.

After three hours of riding, the trio came to a stop at the mouth of what must of been the dur wood. No sound came from the tree's, only the wind rustling the leaves and branches. Garrett was driving, and had stopped.

"You want to tell me where to go?!" barked Garrett at Lucas.

"We're at the Kirtish Forest of the Damned. It's reputed to be haunted by apparitions. There was a graveyard here of some old Hammer splinter group hundreds of years ago. But it vanished without a trace, but don't worry. The bad things only come out at night!" came his reply.

"Great, that makes me feel a whole lot better!" muttered Natalie. Garrett slapped the reigns and the horse began a gentle trot through the path. They rode for some time until suddenly Garrett pulled the horse to a stop, sharply. And peered over the side of the dog-cart.

Natalie looked over the edge and saw...wheel tracks. Deep ones, in the fresh earthy mud. Garrett jumped down onto a dry patch of grass and studied the marks in the mud.

"It was a large cart. With a very heavy load, pulled by some kind of metal workers by the look of it!" exclaimed Garrett. He could tell that it was fresh and that whoever it was, was not very far ahead.

How many different ways are there to Kirtish?" asked Natalie.

"A couple, many taking even more time then the way we're taking. But by the looks of it, whoever these people are, they are taking another path" said Lucas as he observed from his perch next to Natalie.

"I have a feeling that it was either the Hammers or Mechanist. Can't be sure because the Hammer's are using a newer version called the Iron Beast, and the tracks are almost the same as Mech-Guards" declared Natalie.

"Then we had better start moving again, so that we can beat them to Kirtish!" ordered Garrett. He got into the drivers seat and slapped the reigns. The horse began a brisk canter on a side path, that led onto a flat road with grass growing out in the middle up a hill, and then on a straight away. They seemed to be making progress. One time the trio thought that they heard a mechanical voice saying: Bless be the forge of the Builder, and thy hammer be strong to pound the un-pure to the gates for the judgment of the Builder.

This made Natalie shiver, she hated to deal with the Hammerites and the Mechanist, but with both of them racing to get to St. Benel, there would be fights and problems that marked their way. Soon, they saw the opening to the outside. Garrett slapped the reigns and the horse began a gallop for the opening and stopped.

The village of Kirtish dipped into a little hollow which jetted out on to a small seaport where traders and travel could meet. The village was quite and not really anyone stirred on the streets. Even from their perch above the town on that little hill of a forest, they could see no one stirring except an occasional dog crossing the street. The town was like a ghost town. And another road, leading from the very heart of Kirtish led away from the village with no houses near it. It led up , a lonely little hill to a wall, a long wall, that en-circled the monstrosity that seemed to steeple out of the tiny hill.

"Damn!" cried Lucas as he looked at the cathedral from their perch. The Cathedral St. Benel was enormous, with several buildings inside of it, along with its large rose window. Even though they couldn't see well from that distance, they could still see the eerie building in the distance.

"We'll get a room at the village inn, and map out our plan for tonight. And maybe get some sleep!" said Natalie.

They arrived in the center of the village, which was deader then the un-dead. Stores were closed up, shutters shut and an eerie wind that seemed to radiate from the Cathedral in the looming distance brushed against them. Lucas took the horse and buggy around back to a stable and supply house, to get the horse a warm stable for the night, and to store their equipment in a storage compartment until they needed it.

After settling his horse down and bringing the dog-cart into a small hole next to the horses stable, Lucas walked back the way he came. He stopped, and turned to see a small Hammerite Chapel. Very small in fact, must of only been one room, with it's door open. He even spotted one person in there praying. Lucas quickly made his way back to the door of what was the Fox and the Hammer. The only inn of Kirtish. Small, cramped but cheery in its inside appearance, the Fox and the Hammer was the perfect place to put up ones feet and relax for the time being. He walked in to expect no one there but actually it was crowded with people drinking, playing darts, cards and eating dinner. He could of gone for a hot meal. Garrett and Natalie had a room upstairs and waved to him to follow. The trio of thieves closed the door behind them to reveal a cheery two bed room with water basin, closet and a good view of the Cathedral. The dark building seemed to scare Lucas half to death, and he didn't want to think about what was in there....yet.

Natalie, Garrett and Lucas made they're way downstairs after an hour of planning and preparing for the final act. But when they opened the door, they heard silence downstairs. Curious, Natalie stuck her head over the banister and looked down. Hammers and Mechanists were there. Sitting across from each other, and what looked like a dreadful brawl would ensure. But the music started up again, and people started talking. They made their way down and got a table in a dark corner, with a lamp lit above their heads. They looked like thieves, because they were.

A waiter came over with a few glasses of beer, along with plates of some disgusting meat and vegetable. Seeing that it could be the very last meal that they would ever have, the three ate it, hungrily.

"Thou are a heretic, and may the Builder's hammer smite thee down!" came an angry voice from across the room. A Hammerite was standing, his chair on the floor. A bronze skinned Mechanist was standing also, mace in hand.

"Thy builder is a false prophet of sin and redemption! Thou shall rot in the disgusting pits of hell at the hands of the Master Builder!" came the Mechanist's harsh reply. Suddenly, the Hammerite had his hammer in his hand, and his brethren stood up. He smug his hammer with remarkable speed and destroyed a table by bringing it down, splitting the wooden piece in two.

Mace in hand, the Mechanist stood up and prepared for an attack against the Hammerite. He swung his mace, the sound of metal clashing against metal broke the rooms awful silence. The Hammerite swung his hammer from his side and hit the Mechanist on his out-stretched arm. The Mechanist fell to the floor, grasping his arm and howling in pain. The Hammerite was ready to finish him off when an arrow flew straight for the Hammerite's head. The Innkeeper, with two turrets behind his hard that seemed to be hidden behind a cupboard.

"Get out of my Inn, or I'll kill you all!" ordered the Innkeeper, his finger on the firing mechanism.

The Hammerite looked down at what could had been his victim, but put his Hammer away and walked out with his brethren close behind.

"The Builder shall guide me to thee in the future..." came his reply to the Mechanist.

Natalie glanced over at Lucas who was in the corner, showing a small smile to show that the Hammerites and the Mechanist would keep each other busy, for the moment at least. She glanced over at Garrett who was starring at her. He gestured for her to follow him. Natalie told Lucas they would be back in a little bit and followed Garrett outside into the cool night air.

Garrett and Natalie slipped into a tight alley between the Fox and the Hammer and a small pawn shop to see the Hammer's discussing something in front of a building across the street. It was The Trickster's Claw, an Inn and Pub. Garrett chucked as he remembered how the Trickster was the Hammerites enemy of in-purity and chaos. He leaned forward with Natalie next to him, sticking close to him for warmth.

"Thy sword must be somewhere Master Builders Cathedral of St. Belen" came the first Hammerite as he leaned against the wall.

"Then why would thy Builder hide it from thee. The Builder's Sword of Light is certainly in the village or in thy holy Master Builder's Cathedral" came another voice from the four.

"Thou knows about the documents in which our father gave to us for this special mission to liberate the sword of light. Thy understands that we can not let the heretics find the artifact for those infidels would rage they're ignorant lies that they would be the religious power of the City. Father Yuril spoke of thine chest in thy room which contained important information on the 'Sword of Light.." The voices faded as the group of Hammerites entered the Inn.

Greed swept through Garrett as he leaned back, and felt Natalie lean against him. He gave a wicked smile, and walked over to the Tricksters Claw. The Inn was small and cramped, but the Hammers had no other place to go except the there because the Mechanist got to the Fox and the Hammer before them. Garrett peered through a window, and saw the Hammerites sit down before a roaring fire, and start talking. The moon made staying in the shadows difficult but he knew what he had to do. The wooden beams that made up the old inn, jetted out to provide a efficient target. Garrett armed his bow with a Vine Arrow and shot it into the beam. Natalie, who was at his side looked at him very perplexed but held spotted him as he climbed the vine and looked into a nearby window. The window looked into a clean room, with a few Hammer artifacts and a large chest in the corner. He knew that it was what he needed. He opened the window and crawled in, grabbing the arrow and throwing it down to Natalie.

The room was dimmed, and only the moon shown in from its perch. He looked out to see the Cathedral hang in the distance, despite himself and to his shock; Garrett shivered. He sneaked over to the chest and picked the lock. It sprung easily, and he instantly began to riffle through whatever was there, making sure not to make a big mess. Then as he was about to give-up, Garrett's foot struck a hollow piece of wood in the chest. He pulled the loose piece off to show a metal box. He opened it, containing notes, maps and even correspondence between the Hammerite Priesthood and the leader of the exhibition.

He slipped the metal box into one of his pockets, then quickly made his way to the window and dropped down with ever surpassing ease. Natalie stood waiting for him, and she eagerly looked at the box as they crossed the dirt road and entered the Fox and the Hammer. Lucas was sipping a glass of ale as they came in, and Garrett motioned for him to follow them upstairs to the room.

Once in the safety of their own room, Garrett picked the lock of the metal box and opened it. It was filled with pieces of paper, very old and some new. He carefully took the pieces out and observed them.

"Look over that paper while you look over this!" ordered Garrett as he observed what looked like a map of St. Benel. Natalie began to read out loud:

"The Master Builders first follower, known as the First Apprentice forged two swords of holiness in the name of the Master Builder. One sword forged within holy water with a blade like silver and the other forged in darkness and it's blade like a shade so it could move unseen."

Lucas jumped and picked up Garrett's sword from the table. He un-sheathed it and observed the dark blade. It had to be the sword in which the document was speaking of.

"The Sword of Darkness can be observed from the dark stone as the bottom of the hilt, and its dark blade. The metal hilt is made of a fine dark silver, making it a fine gripping type of metal. It can be confirmed that the sword is by the observation of the dark stone" continued Natalie. Lucas brought the sword up and observed the hilt. The bottom of the hilt showed a dark gem sticking out, they had never noticed it until now.

"The Sword of Light, is a sword of power and purity. It can be confirmed by the blue sapphire gem at the bottom of the hilt and its fine gold type metal hilt. The blade is forged in holy water, making it an excellent defense against the un-dead. The blade glistens like silver, seeming to blind whoever looks at it without notice!" Natalie read. Then her eyes grew wide, as she read on.

"When these two swords are merged with the connection of the gems, then the Sword of the First Apprentice be made. With this transformation, the two swords shall become one. By day the blade will glisten like silver and by night it will be like a shade so that it can move un-seen. The blade is the repelled of the undead, and so is forged in holy water. A blow to the damned figure will result in havoc upon them. When in groups, the sword will release a flash of white light, blinding the live and destroying the undead. The affect of the blinding lasts only a few minuets."

An overwhelming amount of greed swept through Garrett. If he had that sword, then his life as a thief would be made ten times more easy, plus an infinitive amount of blindness towards any foe, simply caught his eye. Now, he really needed to find that Hammer Key. He was outside in a flash, grabbing two flash bombs, one gas arrow and some water arrows just in case he had to. He sneak outside without anyone noticing him gone and around the back of the inn to a wooden ladder. He climbed up, his robes making a gust in the wind. He climbed the work ladder and observed the windows. He saw a man and woman doing their business. He scooted farther over to reveal a Mechanist room, with a Mechanist bow guard and a Priest talking.

"The Hammerites are becoming more and more troublesome by the day, friend. The Builder desires that we smite down the un-worthy with thy maces in thine hands!" said the priest as he looked over something. It was the key. The lead key was worn but its hammer shape still stood. He looked it over and put it down on a nearby table.

"The heretics are but a test to the Builders just and noble spirit. They no nothing about the sword or the Amulet. All they are after, friend is the thy treasury and thy secure records vault inside the front most tower of the scum Hammerites Cathedral!"

"Very well, ensure that they run into trouble, dear friend. As the Master Builder shall guide us to a new life in his world of machines. May thy gears run smoothly, friend!" said the Priest.

"And thine.." came the guards reply. She bowed slightly to the statue of the builder and excited the room. The priest began to talk to himself, most likely speaking memorized scriptures of the religion.

Garrett wanted nothing more then to toss a bomb into that room right then and there, but he had to wait. Such an act, would destroy all chances of him being able to steal the key. He waited another second to formulate his plan. He worked it out. First he would crack the window open enough for the priest not to notice, then Garrett would aim his bow just enough and deliver a gas attack to his head. The priest would go down, then across the room, grab the key and dive through the window before anything else happens.

Silently, like a snake in the dark; Garrett opened the window enough for him to fit his arrow in. The Mechanist priest sat at his desk, working busily, speaking Mechanist words under his breath and going over boring paper work. Garrett drew his bow, the green crystal containing the knock out gas which would put this guy into a deep sleep for a good couple of hours. Garrett drew back the string and then: thwack! The arrow impacted right at his temple. The crystal shattered releasing the green gas into the room. The priest slumped down in his chair, his head against the papers on his desk. Garrett bolted for the desk and grabbed the key, he had pocket it and was about to make it to the window when the door opened. There stood the female guard who looked at him a moment then fired her cross-bow. Garrett performed a flip in the air and soared through the room and through the window and landing on the ground. He felt his left leg crunch under the strain and he knew that he had dislocated it. He grabbed Natalie by the arm and rushed her across the street, pocketing the key and gulping down a Healing potion which felt great if not tasted terrible.

Two Mechanist with maces drawn were at the door of the Fox and the Hammer, they caught a glimpse of Natalie and Garrett in the moonlight and charged after, yelling: "For Karrus and the Builder!"

Garrett pulled Natalie down a small path between two shops and into the Hammerite Chapel. The room was cold of stone, and stain glass windows showing saints and the Master Builder seemed to glow. On a pedestal was a Hammerite shrine, and wooden rafters supporting the ancient chapel. Natalie bolted for the wall, and using her acrobatics skill kicked at the stone and pushed herself on a rafter. Garrett followed, and they laid on the rafters, blending in with the dim light of the chapel where only a few candles were a light.

Natalie heard the pounding of the Mechanist's on the cobblestones then stop in front of chapel entrance. She was laying on top of Garrett trying to blend with the shadows as best she could. Her cloak wrapped tightly around her.

"I shall lift every stone until I thee, salamander!" came a voice directly below them. And they didn't know, that the Mechanist were preparing to bring the beams down!

Chapter 2
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