"A Thief In Sheeps Clothing"
by Keeper of Legends

It was the end of the day. Night was slowly descending on The City. Now, only a lone servant, returning from Stone Market, walked down the empty cobbled street. He turned the corner and continued walking until he seemingly vanished into the shadows, as I have done so many countless times. I continued my errand to Farkus' shop. I needed some new lock picks. The other pair I had, wore out after looting a local noble. Every door in that blasted place had one of those new locks that the Mechanics keep making. As I started to enter the shop, I heard a noise coming from the other side of the wooden door.

"Thou art in trouble now Farkus! Thy self has broken the law. Thy shall spendeth your days in Cragscleft!" boomed a Hammerite Watchman.

I quickly rushed into the nearest shadow just in time for the Hammer to walk out with Farkus in his grasp.

Since Farkus wasn't going to be returning to his shop anytime soon, I decided I might as well pick up some new picks for myself.

I was surprised to see that most of his merchandise had been taken by the Hammerite. The only things that were left were a few water crystals, a flash bomb, a new pair of lock picks, and a healing potion, so I decided to pocket them all.

As I exited the shop, a simple servant, still dressed in his work clothes, left his quaint house, locked the door, and hurriedly walked down the street towards Bafford's place. Funny how little opportunities present themselves! I knew there wasn't going to be much, apart from a little food and maybe a few coins. But I decided it would be an easy way to test my new picks.

The lock seemingly took for ever. I guess the Mechanics had distributed the locks to the citizens as well as the nobles. Anyways, the lock finally clicked and the handle turned. As I opened the door, I was surprised to see that the servant's house was decently furnished, with carpeted floors, stone walls, and a wooden ceiling. There was a decent sized fire in the fireplace that gave a nice warmth to the room and lit up the few pictures and furniture that the humble servant had. As I was looking around the servant's dwelling, one chair kept catching my eye. It was gleaming and reflecting the light from the fire very well. In fact excellent! As I looked at it more closely, it was a highly decorated chair, with gold and silver linings with a plush fabric seat and back. This was obviously too expensive for a servant to have bought! It looked strangely similar to the chairs that I saw in Lord Bafford's Mansion. But why did this servant have a chair like this? Maybe a gift? Maybe, but then I noticed that he also possessed more elegant furniture. He had a couch and table that also looked like Bafford's! About this time I heard the door handle open, only to turn around to the servant who had so recently left.

"Who are you? What are you doing here?" he said.

Quickly I reached for my blackjack, not wanting to spill any blood on this furniture that would fetch a reasonable price. Then the servant reached in a pocket and produced a nicely decorated dagger that had jewels place around the handle. I could tell this because he kept thrusting it toward my face. He thrust the dagger again. Then I moved to his right, before he could draw back his weapon, and clubbed him on the head. He stumbled, but didn't fall. I then reached into my cloak and felt around for my flash bomb. While I was fiddling around for the blasted thing, the taffer sliced open my arm. Bleeding, I pulled out the flash bomb, threw it, and diverted my eyes. While he was blinded I moved in to hit him a second time. This time he would fall. Stupid idea. He started waving his dagger around and sliced through my chest. The pain was noticeable now, as I was bleeding from my arm and chest. With a few quick swings the servant fell into a crumpled heap on the floor. Apparently I beat him to death. I quickly picked up his body and searched around for a place to hide him. In the corner of his home, there was a cloth tapestry. There was something very strange about it. For one thing, there was a hole in it, and through the hole, I could just make out, to what appeared to be a wooden structure. It was a hidden door! I reached in my cloak and pulled out my sword. With a swift slash, the tapestry was cut in half, and sure enough, there was a small wooden door behind it. I tried to open it, but the blasted thing was locked. So, I kneeled down and proceeded to pick the lock. Fortunately, It wasn't one of those new locks, and only required one pick. As the handle turned, the door swung open to reveal a carpeted room, with all sorts of expensive furnishings. It had all sorts of expensive tapestries, wine, furniture, golden plates, and money. On one table there sat an unlit candle and a piece of parchment. After pocketing a few of the items I carefully strolled over to the table, being careful as that he might have some sort of a security system installed. I picked up the parchment and was astonished as to what I read.

Dear Cedric,

We are very grateful for your services. We are holding a meeting at the Guild tomorrow night. Since you so wisely informed us of Bafford's suspicions, we are going to discuss where we shall next place you. We are currently thinking about Ramirez's Mansion, but we are still undecided. Do not forget about the meeting.

- The Downwind Thieve's Guild Committee

Cedric, a thief! No wonder the guards kept complaining about Cedric being lax on the job! He was too busy stealing from Lord Bafford! I never would of thought that he had connections with the Downwinder's. Too bad he wasn't going to show up for that meeting the next day!

I packed what few other things I could into my cloak, and shut the door behind me, not forgetting to get the house key from Cedric so I wouldn't have to pick my way in again, if I ever needed to pawn those furnishings he has, or HAD. I then quietly snuck out the front door, and locked it. Good thing it was night. I accidentally shut the door on my finger, which made me drop my sword. If those shadows weren't there, the man who rushed to his window to see what made the noise, would have surely seen me. As he closed his window, I heard heavy footsteps. The Hammerite Watchman that had arrested Farkus was now walking toward me. His huge hammer swinging from side to side. Strangely he had a very inquisitive look on his face. As he got nearer, he readied his hammer for attack and begain to search the streets. Every so often, coming closer to where I was hidden. At this point, I usually find a way to escape, especially with so many places to hide in the street, but then another Hammerite watchman started searching.

"The Builder shall find thee!" shouted one of the Hammerites.

Great. They were looking for me. If I hadn't had dropped my sword, they would have never started looking for me. All of a sudden, they stop searching, and started staring down, towards my feet. But why? I looked down and saw the reason. A steady stream of blood was rushing out my leg and making a pool onto the street. Apparently, Cedric cut my leg too during the confusion. Then one of the Hammerite spoke up.

"Brother, why doth the shadows bleed?" he asked.

"Because the villain doth risideth there!" the other boomed.

I quickly fumbled for my sword, and drew it out. The Hammers rushed towards me. I kept trying to move around hoping that their mighty hammers would miss. Luckily they did. I quickly moved to the other side of them and struck them with my sword. They whipped around and one of them caught me in the jaw with his hammer. Then the other hammer struck my leg. I collapsed to the ground. I reached for my last remaining flash bomb, and threw it. I got up as quickly as I could, and started down the street a ways. Then I heard the Hammerite's footsteps behind me. Finally, I ran into nice guard house with a wooden roof. I pulled out a rope arrow from my quiver, notched it in my bow, and let it fly towards the roof. Unfortunately in my hast, I grabbed the wrong arrow. As the arrow hit the guard house roof, it produced a large boom, and the roof caught fire. I had grabbed my last fire arrow.

"Oh my god! The guard house is on fire! Run!" yelled a guard from inside.

"Lay thyself on my anvil villain!" yelled one of the Hammerites.

Now the Hammerites had caught up with me, and the guards from the guard house were running out, some chasing after me. Most stayed behind to try and douse the fire. The pain in my leg was gradually increasing with each step. I reached in my cloak for the healing potion that I had gotten from Farkus' shop. I never really liked those things. They taste like sweat. But despite the hateful taste, I downed it quickly. I rushed around the corner, too see that a fellow thief's house was up ahead. So, I decided to pay him a little visit. I ran as fast as I could. After knocking on the door, which seemed to take forever, it finally creaked open. I rushed in, and Marcus shut the door and locked it. He tried to ask me what I was doing, but I quietly told him keep quiet. Then I heard the voices of guards and Hammerites.

"I know your around here somewhere, taffer!" said one of the guards.

I quietly motioned to Marcus and said, "Sssshhh, their after me. Keep quiet"

As we both listened we heard some of the guards giving up, and returning back to the guardhouse. The Hammerites remained however. They seem to have a little bit more patience. They didn't have too much though, because a few minutes later, they too, forgot about me, and continued their patrol of the streets. I thanked Marcus for saving me, and then I left, after having to tell my whole story to him.

As I walked home, the sky was getting brighter. Dawn was upon The City now, and dangerous for a thief like me to be out. Too many snitches and petty thieves. As I walked up to my apartment door, I found a note attached to it.

Dear Garrett,

I have a new job for you. The Baron is holding a feast for the Hammerites. Word is, that the Builder's Hammer is going to be there, along with the Baron's new scepter. It is gold with silver lining, and expensive and rare jewels placed throughout the staff. I will, as always, give you a fair price for them. Are you up to the challenge? I knew you would be!

- Cutty

Cutty knew me all too good. Of course I would be up to the challenge!

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