The Dark Pursuit
© 2001 Paul Holland

Loosely based on events and characters in the Thief Series created by Eidos Entertainment

Locke Raleigh III

Many stories had been circulating around the City lately about the man they call the Master Thief. Some said that he was invincible, a Spirit sent to destroy the Hammerites. Some said he was a survivor from the Lost City. A few dared to say that he was the Builder in mortal form, setting foot on the earth to punish a select few of the Hammerites for corruption or defeat. I thought the idea was absurd, for I believe in the Great Builder myself. Nobody alive had ever caught a glimpse of Garrett’s face.

Rumors have it that a certain individual a month or two ago named Constatine had actually conversed with the Master Thief. I myself remember when Constatine built a large castle-like home for himself. It was considered among the most bizarre, if not the most bizarre, structures ever created. However, nobody has seen or heard of Constatine for a long while.

You may have heard of the honorable Lord Raleigh, whose manor and stables are located north of The City. I am Locke Raleigh III, grandson of Locke Raleigh. I left the manor long ago. I became disgusted with the lifestyle there. My father, along with everyone else, favored my younger brother, Avin over me. I was viewed as a renegade, a rebel. I was the troublemaker brother who thought without being told what to think about. I did not dwell on orders. I wanted to be free. I was tired of having all the decisions made for me.

So, I left, leaving all I had known behind. I wandered the streets of The City, picking pockets and stealing from shops like so many other, not unlike the legendary Garrett.

Then one day, I accidentally stumbled onto a conversation between a strangely dressed man and a commoner. I eavesdropped, and learned that the man was a Mage, and the commoner was giving him information about some illegal business going on in The City. I really can’t remember.

I followed the Mage to a large, tall structure, which was called the Mage Towers. It looked like it might hold something of value, so, like an amateur thief, I tried to sneak in. I was no contest to the Mages. They easily found me. I didn’t know what they would do to me, so I quickly blurted out that I was there to become a Mage.

Somehow, that act worked. They trained me for two years, and I became a Novice Level Mage. I have the limited ability to manipulate and use water elements when I need them.

I left the Mage Towers to go on my own once again. As you can probably tell, I didn’t have the patience or mind for having others govern me and my actions.

I came across a fellow who called himself a “Keeper” or some sort. He taught me how to become an expert thief through a few more years of training. I was definitely more suited to the thief’s line of work than that of a Mage.

Those Keeper men were extremely mysterious. They seemed to know much about the future, even more about the past. They knew about some things that I had never told anyone. I did not know how and I did not ask.

Then, by a long story, I became connected with the Hammerites. I studied about the Builder, and their beliefs, and anyone was a taffer for sure if they did not follow these beliefs. A name came to my attention, of a man who went by Garrett.

I heard the stories and rumors of his deeds, and I became obsessed with the idea of me capturing him for the Hammerites. I would definitely be known throughout the land, and the Builder would be thankful.

But, with the inner thief inside of me, I thought of how I could get promoted, maybe to a castle, manor, or best of all, a Hammerite Temple. I could be free to take what I pleased, abandon the Temple and the Hammerites, and put the riches to good use.

First, though, I had to catch the Master Thief. I’m not sure if it was greed or the pride of a personal accomplishment…but I knew I had to catch up with him sometime.

I’ve been after him for seven years.

Chapter 2

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