"Lord GARRETT'S MANOR"
by Sypha Nadon
It was a sunny day in the City, a very rare thing indeed. Five months ago the Mechanists had vanished from the City, and peace reigned.
That morning Garrett sat in the living room of his tiny 3-room apartment, reading a book, wondering in the back of his mind what he'd do that night. Rob a lord? Pilfer some pockets? Raid a bank? Choices, choices, choices...
A knock at his door broke his train of thought. The thief sighed and rose from his sofa, placing down his book. He trodded over to his front door and called out "Who is it?"
"It's your landlord, Garrett, open up!" barked out a harsh voice.
Lucky Me thought Garrett. He pulled open his door and came face to face with his landlord, a short, squat little man whose face was always cast with a thin sheen of grubby perspiration.
"Rent's due tommorow, Garrett." said the landlord, voice grim. "If you don't pay up, I'll evict you."
Wouldn't that be a shame thought Garrett. "Don't worry, I'll have the money." he replied.
"I hope so." growled the landlord, rubbing his sweaty brow with an old hankerchief that was a faded yellow color. "One more disturbance related to you and you're outta here!"
(He was referring to the time that the City Watch had raided the apartment building under the now-deceased Sheriff Truart's orders, looking for Garrett).
"I'll have it, okay?" replied Garrett, a slight edge to his voice.
Then, at that moment, a small man appeared behind the landlord. He wore an expensive brown tweed suit and black tassaled shoes. His hair was short and black, slicked back, and bifocals were perched on the tip of his pointy nose. His eyes were bright blue and his skin had the look of pasty dough.
"Um, is this the residence of a Mr., um, that is, Mr. Garrett?" asked the man.
Before Garrett could reply, the landlord growled "Yeah, so what if it is? What do you want, shrimp?"
"Hmpph!" replied the man, voice indignant. "Mr. Garrett, my name is Edgar Cole, I'm a lawyer who works for the law firm of Baxter & Eidos."
A lawyer. Great, now what... "Um, how can I help you?" asked Garrett.
"Mr. Garrett, recently one of the City's most prominent lords passed away, Tarrel Kinyed." replied Edgar.
"Yeah, I read about that in the paper. So?" asked Garrett, wanting to go back to his book.
"Well, my firm represents Lord Kinyed." said Edgar. "Anyway, his will states that all of his possessions...His house and money, he means by that...Are to go to his illegitimate son, Garrett."
"WHAT?!?!" asked the landlord, mouth dropping open.
"Say that again?" asked Garrett, his heart pounding.
"It seems that before Lord Kinyed got married to his wife Lydia he had an illigitimate affair with a prostitute. She got pregnant but died giving birth, and Lord Kinyed refused to take the baby as his own, afraid it would ruin his marriage. So he left the baby to an orphanage. Garrett, you are his son!" exclaimed Edgar. "He put you in the will because he felt guilty!"
"I don't believe it." said Garrett, holding a hand to his head.
"It's true!" said Edgar. "Kinyed's mansion is located in Hightowne. If you want, you can move in today!"
Garrett paused, tried to collect his thoughts. So you're a Lord, Garrett....Well, well, well...You're rich now. No more rent, no more taffing... And you'll live in a big house...Maybe it'll even have a kitchen and a bathroom...
"Let's do it." grinned Garrett.
"But what about my rent?" moaned the landlord.
"You can take your rent and shove it up your fat ass." said Garrett. "Me, I've got a manor to move to."
Garrett relaxed in the back of the burrick-drawn carriage as it zoomed down the streets of the City. Garrett closed his eyes as he reflected on what he had been told just hours ago: That he was a lord, and would now live in a manor. No more taffing for him, that was for sure!
The carriage drove through Hightowne, finally stopping. "Here we are, Lord Garrett, at your manor." replied the driver.
Garrett looked out the window, saw the manor, and gasped.
The manor was beautiful, one of the largest that he had ever seen, easily more lavish then anyplace he had ever robbed. The manor was three stories tall and made of white brick, with elegant curtained windows, swooping blue-shingled roofs, and doors carved out of finely sculpted marble. A cobblestone path led to the massive front doors, and circle-shaped fountains lined the path on both sides, spraying the air with a fine mist. Small trees covered with leaves surrounded the house, leaves so lime-green they hurt the eyes to look at.
Garrett was shocked. Is this a dream? Could this really be my new home?
A moment later the driver opened up the passenger door, and Garrett exited the carriage. A tall, regal looking fellow with silver hair and a calm, peaceful face was there to greet him.
"Good day, Lord Garrett." said the man, bowing, his voice rich with a beautiful accent. "My name is Byron Quill, steward of your late father, bless his heart. I run this house."
"Pleased to meet you." replied Garrett, being more polite then usual.
"Would you like a tour of the grounds?" inquired Byron, raising a grey eyebrow.
"That would be great." nodded Garrett.
The tour took up to an hour. Garrett was impressed by the size of the house. The floors were polished wood and tile, the walls papered with baroque images and florid designs. Crystal glass chandeliers hung from the roof of every room, and bronze cherub faces decorated the mantlepieces. There was even a king-size bathroom and bedroom!
What really amazed Garrett, however, was the amount of gold in the mansion. It was everywhere he looked: gold cups, gold plates, gold coins, gold statues...gold everything. Heck, I shoulda robbed this place years ago, I woulda made a fortune thought Garrett to himself as he surveyed his wealth. As a man who had lived in poverty for most of his life, this was a culture shock. When Garrett had robbed the rich before, it wasn't just because he wanted to make a living...It was also out of spite, spite at the people who lived better then him while he had to resort to stealing for a living. And now he was one of those people that he used to hate so much.
"What do you think, my lord?" asked Byron.
"It looks great." said Garrett."But we'll need to hire some guards. Security is very important."
"Very good sir, I'll get on it tonight." remarked Byron, pleased Garrett liked the place. "I suggest you get a good night's sleep, sir. Tommorow evening you have to attend a ball in Lady Van Vernon's honor."
Great thought Garrett to himself. But it had to go with the job. "Byron, there's something you should know about me." he said.
"And what wouldst that be, my lord?" asked Byron.
"I'm a thief." said Garrett.
"Most rich people are, sir." smiled Byron.
"No, you don't understand." sighed Garrett, shaking his head. "I use to make a living robbing the rich."
"Well, I wouldn't worry about that too much longer, sir. After all, now you are the rich." grinned Byron.
"You have a point." Garrett grinned back.
"How do I look?" asked Garrett as he stood before the large oval-shaped mirror in his bedroom.
"Excellent, my lord!" exclaimed Byron.
"I don't know though...I'm not used to dressing like this." sighed Garrett, staring back at the reflection and wondering who this new guy was, this new Garrett: He was wearing exquisite velvet robes trimmed with fur over elaborate silk garments.
"Sir, we are going to a banquet tonight, remember? You can't show up in peasent clothes." remarked Byron wryly.
"I guess you're right." shrugged Garrett. "So, when do we leave?"
"Right now." said Byron, staring at an old grandfather clock.
* * * *
Lady Van Vernon's castle was located in the Dayport district, not too far from Hightowne. A carriage took Garrett and Byron there. As they rode to the castle Garrett looked out his window and watched the buildings rush by. Not too long ago, he recalled, he had used the rooftops as a means of transportation, to reach Angelwatch. Now Angelwatch was being torn down. A pity, really, as it was kind of a nice building.
"Byron, what was my father like?" asked Garrett, not looking at his steward.
"He was a nice man, kind to his employees, a bit of a prankster. He was a crafty fellow...His only dark side was that he was extremely greedy." replied Byron.
"I see." nodded Garrett.
The carriage arrived at Lady Van Vernon's estate a minute later. Garrett and Byron got out of the carriage and looked at the huge entrance gate patrolled by iron-clad guards.
"I don't like this." muttered Garrett.
"You'll do fine, sir." remarked Byron as they entered the castle."Just be polite, act like a phony, and don't steal the silverwear."
"Gotcha." nodded Garrett.
A few minutes later he found himself in a large ballroom, talking to some older guy in rich robes.
"So, Garrett, what is it you do?" asked the man, sipping a glass of wine.
I'm a thief. Last year I robbed your estate and stole your rare china collection. "Oh. I'm in the, uh, retail business." replied Garrett.
Lady Van Vernon approached Garrett a moment later. "So, you're the new lord?" she purred.
"Uh, you could say that." remarked Garrett.
"I just have to say I find you incredibely handsome." she smiled. "would you like me to give you a tour of the stables?"
"Um...No." replied Garrett.
* * * *
The next day found Garrett interviewing guards for the security posts. So far today Garrett had hired a few guards, but he needed one more. At the moment he sat in his office, behind his oak desk. Sitting before him was the last applicant.
"Your name?" Garrett asked.
"Benny, sir." replied the guard.
Benny? Garrett thought, nearly dropping his quill pen. This is that idiot guard I always blackjacked. Now he wants to work for me? How ironic.
"Can I see your resume?" asked Garrett.
"Sure thing, sir!" nodded Benny, handing Garrett a sheet of paper.
Garrett's eyes scanned the paper. "Well, Benny, this is quite a resume. Says here you've worked at Lord Bafford's Manor, Ramirez' Mansion, The Mage Towers, the Opera House, Sheriff Truart's estate, Shoalsgate Station...This is a big list."
"Well, I'm always getting blackjacked on the job, so I always get fired." shrugged Benny.
poor guy thought Garrett. The least he could do was give him a job. "Benny, you're hired."
The dim-witted guard's eyes lit up. "Hired! That's great! I can't wait to tell my wife and kids! Thanks, Lord Garrett."
"Its no trouble." smiled Garrett.
* * * *
As Garrett fell to sleep that night, he rested easy knowing that security was in place. This new life was alien to him, but he supposed that he could get used to it, after awhile....
At the very least, he hoped...
The days slowly went by at Garrett's manor. He felt like he should be use to the life of an upper-class nobleman by now. Yet some small part of him still retained his thief blood.
Some days he would sneak into his kitchen and begin pilfering the gold candlesticks off of the table...until a servant would spot him and remind him that those were his own candlesticks he was stealing.
Whenever he saw the fire burning in his trophy room's fire place, he always felt the urge to dose it. At night, he would wander around the manor halls, putting out all of the torches with water arrows, even though his servants insisted they could do the task themselves.
One night, Garrett was plagued by a nightmare. He dreamt that he was at his old apartment, surrounded by his old tools. To make matters worse, his tools were talking to him.
The blackjack said "Hey Garrett, remember me?"
"My old blackjack!" said Garrett.
"Remember all of those good times we use to have?" asked the blackjack. "Bashing out guards, knocking out Burricks...Don't you ever yearn for those good old days?"
"That was the old me!" growled Garrett. "Now go away, I don't need you and more!"
"What about me, Garrett?" asked his sword. "Do you remember how many times I saved your life when your stealth skills failed? Remember when we killed those haunts at the Haunted Cathedrel? You owe me, taffer!"
"Leave me alone!" shouted Garrett.
Then he came face to face with his bow and arrow. "Don't tell me you've forgotten us already, Garrett. Don't you miss it? The joy you felt when an arrow flew through a guard's head?" asked the bow.
"Never again!" shouted Garrett.
Finally, he was confronted with a locked door and a lockpick.
"Oh no." sighed Garrett.
"Come on, Garrett, you know you want to." said the lockpick in a silky, seductive voice.
"Oh Garrett, open me!" cried out the locked door.
"NO!" shouted Garrett. "Never!"
"PLease Garrett, please!" breathed out the locked door.
Garrett, losing control, grabbed the lockpick and began picking the lock.
"Ohhh, yes!" said the door.
"Yes...yes..." said the lockpick.
Garrett, sweating, continued picking the lock, hearing it click back and forth, wanting to open it with his heart and soul.
"Yes..." said Garrett.
CLICK CLICK CLICK
"Yes!" exclaimed Garrett.
CLICK CLICK CLICK
"YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!" screamed Garrett.
And then the door flew open.
The door then asked "Was that sa good for you as it was for me?"
And then Garrett woke up.
"I need a vacation." he thought out loud.
"I'm thinking of taking a vacation." Garrett told Byron over breakfast the next morning.
"Excellent idea, sir." said Byron, eating some eggs. "Perhaps a small trip would do you some good. Where to?"
"Someplace far away from the CIty, hopefully." said Garrett, finishing his breakfast. "You can come with me, along with the Captain of the Guards."
"Good." nodded Byron. "So, will tommorow be okay?"
"Sure." replied Garrett.
* * * *
Garrett was working in his study that night when he heard a knock on his door.
"It's open!" called out Garrett.
The door opened and in came Benny, holding up a scrawny little thief by the neck. The thief, Garrett saw, was barely 20.
"Caught him taffing about the grounds, sir." said Benny.
"Really." said Garrett. "put him down."
Benny let go of the thief.
"What's your name, kid?" asked Garrett.
"Will." said the thief, voice defiant. "And I'm not a kid."
"I assume you were trying to rob me?" asked Garrett, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah." nodded Will.
"I see...Look, Will, I'm gonna let you go. But next time, be more careful. I mean, come on... You didn't bring enough water arrows, you don't have any flashbombs or rope arrows, and your blackjack is just a sock filled with coins. If you're gonna rob someone, do it with class." scowled Garrett.
"Thanks." said Will.
"Don't mention it." said Garrett. "Benny, escort him out."
"Will do, sir!" said Benny. "Alright, you taffer, follow me."
"The kids are just so sloppy these days." sighed Garrett. "No respect for tradition at all."
* * * *
The next day, Garrett, Byron, and the Chief of Guards set out of the city to go on vacation.
That night at the manor, while Garrett was away...
Lord Bafford, hiding in bushes outside of the manor, spied on the house. The lord was dressed in black and equipped with a sword, blackjack, bow and arrow, and other equipment. Tonight, he would get his revenge on Garrett!
A guard walked by. Bafford snuck out of the bushes and blackjacked the guard. He then grabbed a rope arrow and fired it at a wooden beam above his head. He missed. It took him ten arrows to hit it. He then climbed up the rope, wheezing as he did so.
He snuck through a window, entering Garrett's study. On the desk were a few gold coins.
"Well, as long as I'm in here I might as well take something for myself." mused Bafford, pocketing the coins. Hey, being a thief was fun!
He snuck into the hall, doused the torch with a water arrow. A guard walked by, Benny, whistling. Bafford hid in the shadows, then blackjacked Benny as he walked by.
"Not again!" groaned Benny as he blacked out.
Bafford hid the body in the shadows, then advanced onward, being careful to not make noise. However, he soon bumped into another guard.
"You've had it taffer!" roared the guard, rushing at Bafford with his sword raised.
Bafford threw down a flashbomb, blinding the guard. He then knocked the guard out.
He knocked out every guard and servant in the manor, then proceeded to rob the place blind.
As he left the manor, he gloated to himself "Oh, how SWEET revenge is!"
* * * *
Garrett arrived back at the manor the next morning. To his and Byron's surprise, the entire manor had been ransacked!
"MY WORD!" exclaimed Byron.
"I've been robbed!" groaned Garrett. How ironic...
Then Edgar Cole entered the manor.
"Mr. Garrett, there's been a mistake!" cried the lawyer. "You weren't Tarrel Kinyed's son... It was actually some guy called Barrett!"
"Shit!" said Garrett.
Edgar looked around. "What the hell happened here?" he yelled.
"There's been a robbery." sighed Garrett. He walked over to Benny, who was just waking up.
"You're fired!" yelled Garrett.
"Not the first time I've heard that." muttered Benny, rubbing the back of his sore head.
* * * *
That afternoon, Garrett moved back to his old apartment. It was just as dumpy as he remembered... But he still loved it anyway.
"You know, you still owe me rent." growled his landlord.
"I'll get it to you tommorow." Garrett assured him.
That night, Garrett dressed in black, grabbed his tools, and headed down to the docks.
He was back to doing what he loved most.
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