This is your city. A black-caped lord, you survey your domain from the rooftops with pensive, cynical eyes. They are analytical eyes. Like camera shutters, they slice and assess every footfall on t... Read more
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This is your city. A black-caped lord, you survey your domain from the rooftops with pensive, cynical eyes. They are analytical eyes. Like camera shutters, they slice and assess every footfall on the midnight cobbles below. You time every pendulous swing of the lanterns and evaluate every fitful throw of shadow from one end of the street to the other. Your ears unconsciously decipher the sullen echoes of voices, machinery and wind. This is a city of metronomes where chimney pots sway to the ancient gurgle of pipes whose forlorn songs rise from throats of incurable decay. You gauge the lonely armored scrape of each city watchman as a matter of habit, for there is machination in thievery. And timing is everything. You have internalized the rhythm of movement and non-movement, the play of shadows, down to your very own pulse.
You chuckle sardonically, amused to find yourself thinking of the Keepers. But you have good reason tonight.
Mercedes was a hard minded, hard bodied acolyte who left the Keepers shortly after you. Though your relationship lasted longer than that of most thieves in the city, you're not exactly a family man. Besides, Mercedes started dabbling in sorcery and had her own agendas. But that's all in the past. And loneliness can be delicious in its own way . . . especially on the rooftops at night. Her letter arrived yesterday. You have it tucked in your breast pocket and it reminds you of the times you spent together as acolytes. It mentions a party, a job, strictly business it would seem . . . But you don't think so much about the letter's content as you do on the familiar handwriting. And then you decide that it is an interesting proposition after all. Not the money so much as the challenge of stealing something more abstract than lucre or relics. A theft of time and a little company to remind you of your fading youth. Such delicate and unpredictable prizes fall outside what you've memorized of this clockwork city. At the thieves' guild you once heard an old rogue say that the thief's burden is not his bag of loot but the endless desire to possess what he does not have. Tonight you meet an old friend . . . for you, a splinter of what might have been is gleaming like a jewel under museum glass . . . and opportunity makes the thief.
I know we agreed not to see each other, but there's a party tomorrow night and you're the only man thief-enough to be my escort. You've heard of the Weeping Angel Tavern? It's near my new apartment on the south side of town. I heard the owner, Lady Calendra, is closing the tavern early in order to throw a lavish party. An elite few are invited and among them, a count seeking payment for his delivery of a certain ill-gotten relic taken by crime from swamps in the utter south. I don't know much about it really, but as far as the party goes, we're 'invited.' I'll expect you in the Weeping Angel's wine cellar by midnight. I overheard there is a secret door there to the place the party is being held.
P.S. I think it's formal dress so...I'll be wearing black."
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