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Pelwrath
May 28th, 2013, 03:42 PM
I taken the advice of the commenst and here I the beginning of the revamped version, hope it is also better that he original



It was a cool spring day when I saw the stranger entering via the Estavium gate. A mage for sure I thought. Yet other eyes also saw him and I watched as Philas ‘redeye’ began to stalk the mage. Philus is a shit head for doing him. If he was as rich a mark as his clothing and accessories suggested he was therefore smart, if smart then he’d be powerful and if powerful one not to try and steal from.
I watched, always good to keep up on the competitions capabilities, as Philus followed him for three sections before making his move, right as he entered a crowded intersection. This forced the mark to slow down and Philas made his move, a rather good one I thought and as Philus lifted the purse from the stranger’s waist, he then whirled around and grabbed Philus by the left arm. As Philus looked at him in surprise the stranger said something then let go leaving the purse with Philus. Yet, as he walked away, Philus let out a blood curdling scream as his arm began to change to wither to dust. Philus just continued screaming as he ran away.

Now THAT was impressive. I’ll need to find him later and find out what the mage said.
In the mean time I’ll follow our impressive stranger. He continues his journey, through the Craftman’s Bazzar, the crowds of people he basically ignored. Be they priest, merchant, warrior or noble. No, I take that back, the nobles he looked at, briefly but he did look. He stopped at a jewel smith’s stall, Ragock’s, where he purchased a ring.

His travel’s continued pausing to put some coins in the bowl of a priestess of Shadzar, she of the poor and suffering, his next stop was an alchemists shop, Sharina Loring’s place. I watched for a quarter of a candle, before he emerged. I began wondering what he was doing. I mean that he had just withered to dust the arm of a thief and it looked like he was taking a leisurely stroll about town as if nothing had happened and he left the erstwhile thief with the object of his desire, the purse of coin. He ended his stroll at the inn of the Pryo-Hydra. I waited a half candle to see if he would come out, he didn’t so I entered the place, one frequented by warriors and mercenaries. Food served fast and hot, just like the women who worked there. I asked about the stranger who had come in about an hour ago. It took more silver than I expected but he’d come right in and paid for a room, for two weeks, food brought to the room. As I was leaving, I saw two lower thieves, both less than half a year out of training, Grafton and Ikarus and told them to watch the place and take note of any who come to visit the stranger, who’s description they recognized.

I then began doubling back on his path. At Sharina Loring’s shop, I learned he’d purchased some supplies, mandrake root and aqua vitae. I went to the priestess of Shadzar and asked what coins he had placed in the bowl. “Well master Uxator, he placed two and half- silver and a half- platinum.” She told me
“Those are very unusual coins; I didn’t know they were still minted them so why use them?”
“Our temple uses them as they have significance to us. The half-silver is the cost for the Death Falcon to carry the soul across the Fields of Whren, to the Land of the Dead, what we call Jyhalar. The half-platinum is the cost for a living to go to the edge of those fields.”
“My thanks priestess.” I said as I left for Ragock’s
“Well if it isn’t Uxator and I really wish it wasn’t. Since I see you, I know you didn’t steal anything so to what do I owe the honor? Wait I know, the mage who was here and you want to know what he bought.”

“Careful Rag, sarcastic knowledge can lead to a shortened life. It so happens that that is the information I’m looking for and yes, I’ll pay.”
“The ring he bought cost 125 high silver pieces.”
“Okay, now give” as I took out my purse and placed 25 platinum on his counter.
“He bought a ring, a gold dragon eating its tail. This is sometimes called an ouroboros, but he wanted an inscription, in elvish and orcish. The elvish part was ‘All is one’ the orcish part was ‘One is all’ “
“Well thanks Rag.” Great he’s been doing mage stuff all over town but why? Oh well time to find Philus.

Jeko
May 29th, 2013, 04:45 PM
The opening few lines are unnecessary and take away fro the story, IMO.


The city of Khandar, the chief and largest city on the Lyell river.

This is a fragment, and not a very interesting fragment. It carries nothing to grip the reader.


Some would call her a jewel or a gem. Though those are valuable, like the city, they also imply a flawlessness or perfection. Others have used river pearl and again I disagree for pearls, though formed from a grain of sand. They are farmed, like gems are mined, harvested would be an appropriate term.

This tone doesn't seem to convey anything important, nor do I believe it is focused on what is important.


Khandar, Harvester of Fortunes, yes that's good, a place where one could make a fortune just so somebody else can make theirs taking it from them, everybody does it.

There are grammar issues here, and you've taken too long to present a simple and not very important idea. It also lacks character or a clear tone of conflict. It is also 'telling'.


The prince with tax collectors, fines and entry fees, the priests in their temples do it with tithes and donations and the mercenaries accomplish with their charges for protection of home and business from people like me, thieves. Those are deemed legal.

This is still 'telling'. You are describing a world; you are not starting a story.


Who am I?

Rhetorical questions are not best at this juncture.


I am Uxator

Cliche fantasy name, and there are far better ways to introduce it.


, the best thief, cut purse, second story man, entrepreneur, and half bread in the city.

Still telling. And since he's a thief, I'm not too partial to believing him.


Granted my features are subtle but they are there.

I really don't understand what you're trying to communicate here.


None of the above contributes to the story. None of the second paragraph does either. The third paragraph begins to tell the story, but it also starts with the weather. I'd start with this:


I saw the stranger entering via the Estavium gate. A mage for sure I thought. Yet other eyes also saw him and I watched as Philas ‘redeye’ began to stalk the mage. Philus is a shit head for doing him. If he was as rich a mark as his clothing and accessories suggested he was therefore smart, if smart then he’d be powerful and if powerful one not to try and steal from.

That has impact. And a more successful tone. And communicates everything from the first two paragraphs by showing ​it.

Pelwrath
May 29th, 2013, 07:42 PM
I repost this from lowprofile300 so I can better understand, if possible the extreme opinions of my intro paragraph.



Quote Originally Posted by Pelwrah View Post




I've rewritten the intro paragraph.

The city of Khandar, the chief and largest city on the Lyell river. Some would call her a jewel or a gem. Though those are valuable, like the city, they also imply a flawlessness or perfection. Others have used river pearl and again I disagree for pearls, though formed from a grain of sand. They are farmed, like gems are mined, harvested would be an appropriate term. Khandar, Harvester of Fortunes, yes that's good, a place where one could make a fortune just so somebody else can make theirs taking it from them, everybody does it. The prince with tax collectors, fines and entry fees. The priests in their temples do it with tithes and donations. The mercenaries accomplish with their charges for protection of home and business from people like me, thieves. Those are deemed legal. Who am I? I am Uxator, the best thief, cut purse, second story man, entrepreneur, and half bread in the city. Granted my features are subtle but they are there.
There are different names for him within the city. The constables called him thief and criminal, the mercenaries and guards called him dangerous, business owners called him a pestilence. The poor called him when they had a problem that needed solving.

@Pelwrah, now that's good writing. One hell of an intro for the first paragraph. It is said that the first few lines of any story makes or breaks it. You sir, are spot on! Nice flow and eloquent descriptions. It sure pays to edit Cheers "

Okay so is it a case of different people like different styles? To me these appear to be on opposite ends of the spectrum.

As for the fragments, people speak in fragments and though I didn't want it to boring.

As for believing him that was intentional as he is the on doing that telling, of the city and himself.

Describing the city in that way I was trying to sow that the city was the on that worked on those in it were as the other things were the ones worked on, in other words the city di the mining, harvesting, etc. So yes telling was my intent but an apparently very misguided thought.

If the name 'Uxator' is cliché, does it matter how it is introduced?

The subtle features was reference to his being of mix blood: half-orc

Again as grammar and proper English is not even on my radar as a skill, why is telling a story fine but telling a description not? Is not the cities description part of the story? Is this a case of stop the info dump and just price meal the info out during th story in small bites?

Now, Cadence, I am greatly appreciated of your opinion and the time you took to provide it. Thank you very much for doing such. Take my reply as just one who is very unfamiliar with what is good vs what is opinion.

Jeko
May 30th, 2013, 02:36 PM
Okay so is it a case of different people like different styles?

I'm unsure what lowprofile300 was meaning. Nor do I know how much experience he has. What I do know is that I read fantasy very widely, and most other genres wider, and while many books that I have read hooked me at the start, your opening does not hook me to any extent, as it lacks conflict.


As for the fragments, people speak in fragments and though I didn't want it to boring.

The fragments are not stylistic. They are, rather, at odds with the style you are trying to achieve. Yes, fragments are quite colloquial, but then so is proper English. They seem to be more errors of grammar than well-trimmed sentences.


As for believing him that was intentional as he is the on doing that telling, of the city and himself.

Not sure what you mean. If I don't believe the main character, I will find it very hard to garner any image of the world he lives in.


So yes telling was my intent

As a writer, and a storyteller, you can communicate your world through the events that unfold in it.


If the name 'Uxator' is cliché, does it matter how it is introduced?

Yes.


The subtle features was reference to his being of mix blood: half-orc

That is very unclear, as it stands.


why is telling a story fine but telling a description not?

Because you are a storyteller.


Is not the cities description part of the story?

No. The story begins when you stop describing the city:




I saw the stranger entering via the Estavium gate.

Here there is action, characters, and a setting to contain them.


A mage for sure I thought.

This, along with the name for the gate - 'Estavium' - defines your story as fantasy, and tells us we're in a city where fantasy is rife.


Yet other eyes also saw him and I watched as Philas ‘redeye’ began to stalk the mage.

This provides a nice sweeping gaze on the situation, showing the presence of more people before quickly focusing on what is important. That Philas has a nickname makes him more exciting, perhpas more notorious, the moment we read of him. 'Stalk' is a good verb - it defines Philas' character and role immediately. It also illudes to the MC, knowing Philas, being in a similar position.


Philus is a shit head for doing him.

Good use of present tense to convey thoughts, in both the moment and in retrospect. Good use of cursing too - makes the world already feel a little more modern and down-to-earth. Though I would put a language disclaimer at the top of your OP.


f he was as rich a mark as his clothing and accessories suggested he was therefore smart, if smart then he’d be powerful and if powerful one not to try and steal from.

And here you have presented conflict. I want to know what's going to happen to Philas - he's in danger, it seems. Hence, I read on.

The reason we have conflict in stories is to stop the reader from putting the book down. If everything's fine then they can stop reading and feel satisfied with what they've read. But if the story starts with conflict, they want that conflict to be resolved. So a story must start with conflict.

Pelwrath
May 30th, 2013, 06:04 PM
I read my 1st paragraph several times and as I still have it on my computer and based the commentary, eliminated it. Though it did its job in describing the city, the 'city' isn't a character in the story just the setting and that can and probably should be salted in during a story. Thanks for the perspective Cadence!

Pelwrath
June 2nd, 2013, 03:33 AM
Okay I'll be rewriting my 1st paragraph as nothing can be all bad and looking for comments as to either what to or not to do.


The city of Khandar, the chief and largest city on the Lyell river. Some would call her a jewel or a gem. Though those are valuable, like the city, they also imply a flawlessness or perfection. Others have used river pearl and again I disagree for pearls, though formed from a grain of sand. They are farmed, like gems are mined, harvested would be an appropriate term. Khandar, Harvester of Fortunes, yes that's good, a place where one could make a fortune just so somebody else can make theirs taking it from them, everybody does it. The prince with tax collectors, fines and entry fees. The priests in their temples do it with tithes and donations. The mercenaries accomplish with their charges for protection of home and business from people like me, thieves. Those are deemed legal. Who am I? I am Uxator, the best thief, cut purse, second story man, entrepreneur, and half bread in the city. Granted my features are subtle but they are there.
There are different names for him within the city. The constables called him thief and criminal, the mercenaries and guards called him dangerous, business owners called him a pestilence. The poor called him when they had a problem that needed solving.


Is this any beter?

The city of Khandar, the chief and largest city on the Lyell river. Some would call her a jewel or a gem but these imply a flawlessness or perfection, for which the city will never reach. Khandar, Harvester of Fortunes, yes that's good. So why would anyone in their right mind come to this city? Why for the game of course for that is what life is. Can I make my fortune before the city sucks it out of me. There are those who are convinced that gold is only mined, to them I say gold can grow on trees, the tree's of the hopeful and idealistic looking for their fortune in Khandar.

Pelwrath
June 9th, 2013, 08:09 PM
Here is a continuation of the story...


“Lord Commander, Lady Salevon please pardon the intrusion” Kadish said as he bowed after entering their bedroom, several guards behind him. “I’ve sad news. Lady Salevon, your guard dog Jet was found dead a quarter of a candle back. He was on the 3rd floor hall by the library, with this in him.” As Kadesh showed them the dagger; It was doubled edged, thinner than most with a small cross hilt. There were several small indentations down the middle of the balde, otherwise it was on common make.

“There is a thief in the tower, somehow and we are searching the entire tower.”
“Kadish, how could someone have gotten past the guards and other tower protections?” Galiel asked.

“Unknown my lord, I know it’s impossible yet I see no reason why any of the staff would kill Jet. Lady Salevon, please remain in the room. I’ll have two guards by the door; tell them if you need anything.”

“Kadish, I will not stay in my bedroom like a scared child. I will get ready and then head for the shrine and then temples in the city. My under priests will be very capable of defending me from a lone thief.” The lady Salevon said with a noticeable air of defiance.

“My Lady, we don’t know that it was a lone thief, yet perhaps you are correct, and the shrine might well be a safer place for you.” Kadish acknowledged.

“You say by the library, so let’s go there. Nothing of any value in the rooms on that level is there?” Galiel asked

“Nothing of exceptional value my lord. Some nice wines and candied fruits but what thief would risk all for such?”

“Okay, let’s head to the library and I’ll check the libraries guardians. Has Lazar be notified?”

“Yes my lord.”

As they went to the library, they passed guards at all intersections, with a guard dog. The sounds of leather boots running on the stone hallways, was joined by swords banging against chainmail. From outside the shouts of those searching and securing the grounds were heard. When they reached the library, Galiel stood in front of the two suits of amour and spoke
Num quis per vos transire fures?” their reply was No thief passed us by.

So, no thief entered the library, then who killed Jet? Galiel thought why or what else would a thief be after n this level?

“This is most disturbing Kadesh. It fully looks like someone broke into the tower, was spotted by Jet and then killed. Though it might have been a servant, they would have been recognized by Jet and not bothered. The guardian suits said that no thief passed by them. The library should be checked out to see if anything has been disturbed. Have Lazar and his apprentices check to see if any tomes or scrolls are missing.”

At that time a guard entered and saluted. Galiel returned the salute saying “Report.”

“Lord Commander, we discovered that the window down the hall was unlocked and not fully closed. The servants are being questioned to see if any of them opened or closed it. The grounds outside have been searched and secured, nobody was found."

The Lady Salevon came down the hall toward the library, wearing her robes of office, that being Head Matron for the Order of Ysil, who were responsible for the cities orphanages. “Dear, anything further to tell me?” she asked he husband.

“No dear. Someone broke into the tower and the guardians say that no thief passed them by.”

The lady Salevon looked at the blood stain on the stones from Jet, whicj brought a shiver to her.
They heard a loud tenor voice say “Galiel, Lady Salevon, good morning and my condolences on the loss of Jet.” as he bowed to them both. This was Lazar, Galiel’s best friend. He was sage, seer, librarian and diviner. Also, on principle not well like by Lady Salevon.

“Good morning master Lazar and our thanks for your condolences, I will leave now and visit our temples. I’ll be back for dinner dear.” with barely a glance at the wizard as she left.

Lazar and Galiel hugged as their friendship went back over 20 years. “Galiel, I heard what happened, I checked the magic wards and they are intact and also indicate that no thief passed by. What else is known?” he asked

“The window down the hall was unlocked and not fully closed. I want you to check on the tomes and scrolls to see if any are missing.”

“That would be impossible; no thief could take anything from the tower or the library without triggering the guards. That being the case then no thief entered the tower my good friend.”

“Then who killed Jet and with this?” as Galiel showed Lazar the dagger. He examined it, rubbed his thumb and index finger together, then smelled the dagger and touched his finger to his tongue. “Yes, most interesting. This blade was coated with blue frog poison, very effective and causes paralysis. Jet would have been awake but unable to do anything but bleed to death. Any of the staff would have been able to enter the library without drawing the attention of the guards; you do allow the staff to use the tomes and such in the library don’t you?”

“Yes.”
“So if they borrowed a tome then it wouldn’t be stealing, so no reason to kill Jet. I’ll get on doing an inventory if the library, though if anything is missing why the guards didn’t activate is a mystery.”

Back at the Wooden Copper, Uxator was reading the book he took from the library. The gods with this reading! Why can't a mage make a book that reads itself to you? There is no order or at least one that I can grasp. Who the hell cares who his 2nd uncle once removed was? He’s dead all that’s important. However, since the Lord Commander feels it’s important enough to have, then it’s important for me to know. Oh, what’s this; he has a step half-elvan nephew a Dingurth, lives in the Kingdom of Telperia, never heard of it. He kept reading for another half candle or so when something else of interest was found. My oh my. Our famed Lord Commander was an orphan, was taken from the Tri-Flame orphanage by Commander of the City Guard Orion Salevon when he was 4. That would be 30 or so years ago.
Hmmph, does explain his choice in wives, she’s a priestess of the Tri-Flame, those who run the orphanages. Now, to pay the orphanage a visit and see what records they have. There are many reasons to be an orphan some more related to parentage than circumstance.

Philus was the first to notice the difference. The city patrols had doubled in frequency, yet only in the ‘bad’ districts, those were thieves were known to frequent. Inn keeps and tavern owners were being squeezed to find out if they knew of any break-ins recently. Anyone who’s spending was unexpected or unusual coin recently, rumors of a big job. Many known information sources were taken into custody by the city guard, a few place were closed. The thieves were scared and pushing back, some patrols had been attacked, hit and run stuff but, that would only lead to more and Philus needed to find out what and why.

In an old mansion, a half days ride outside the city of Hyphia, Pelwrath was reviewing some old tomes and scrolls for reference to the tomb of Kadget the orc king. He had a bottle of Taurian wine, half full along with some sliced meats and cheese. He looked out the window over the old and small lake Amazing, how at times even I can feel small. As he saw the lakes surface reflecting the two moons, still with no ripples. A time almost forgotten to me, simpler and despite the challenges, hardships and other problems of being an orphan, there were some relaxing times, some good times. Oh well best not digress too much.

”You know what Papa. I must admit that orcs actually do have a history. It’s crude, gothic in nature yet almost worthy of being considered a culture. This Kadget for example was, by their standards worthy of respect and emulation. He knew the value of magic, yet was no were near intellectually capable of properly using such, even though he tried. His claim to fame is that he fought the city of Khandar to a standstill for 4 years. He died on the night of his greatest triumph the battle of Zeras Hills and was placed in a tomb with the loot, spoils and battle trophies of his enemies. His empire fell quickly and eight months later his city was sacked and his son Trazir killed in the battle. Now, why would a thief? Oh, I guess the potential for undiscovered wealth has its allure yet he is a half bread. Well time to find some more direct sources of information.” as he went to the book shelf and began searching.

BobtailCon
June 21st, 2013, 10:06 AM
Well written, though the way you view a mage amuses me.

Pelwrath
June 21st, 2013, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the read Bobtail, if you coul let me know, in what way did you find the mage amusing?

Pelwrath
June 22nd, 2013, 10:22 PM
Okay, this is the second section. it follows the first entry. My apologies for doing it this way.



“Well Papa, how many followed us?” the mage asked of the bat was on his shoulder

“Of the guard, but two and only until you put coins in the ladies bowl. Of thieves, three at various times but easily spotted, then there was a fourth who followed from the place of the disarmament. I almost lost him, twice.”

“Almost lost him? Could you find him if you had to?” the mage queried
“Probably, when haven’t I been able to?”
“Good, now go amuse yourself for a few hours. Eat some insects, fly into some ladies hair or bite some people on the neck to scare them about vampires.”


The Wooden Copper tavern would be where Philus would go. I saw Drack as he saw me. “Well Drack, how’s business?” I inquired of the half dwarf behind the bar. “Well if it ain’t Uxator, a man after my own purse.” Drack replied.

“Which just happens to be where you keep your heart, I’m looking for Philus, you wouldn’t happen to know where he is would you?”

“Probably enjoying his new found sex life, be that as it may I do know where he is. Check on him at Matthias’s shop and he’ll be there for a while, so, what’ll ya have? A muddy water or a Goblin ale?”

“I’ll have the goblin ale and some fried fingers as well.” those being the sliced red-purple root that was grown in the area, boiled in oil.

As the food was served Drack asked “What’s up Ux? You didn’t have anything to do with his arm did ya?"

“Nope, but I did see it happen and all I can say is that Philius was baited, so before I decide about getting payback, I want to talk with him.” I said while munching on the fried root slices.

“Baited?! Why would anyone bait a thief?” Drack said in disbelief

“Drack, come on now. Think about it. You’re a stranger in town. You’re dressed in fine clothes and some jewelry, yet you walk through the bazaar with no apparent care or concerns. Why? You want to be noticed, by a certain type or group. Not the nobles or rich merchants, not the way to approach them. By dress, he was no sell sword, assassin or peasant. What does that leave? Why just us thieves. Therefore a trap and as with all traps they are specific. The trapper sets for an intended target, otter, wolf or fox. A trap has two purposes, to capture or to kill so was that just a trap to stop thieves or capture thieves? Messing with a mage is never easy so one should always have back up. He didn’t, so I just need to find out why he did and what happened. Like any good fellow brother in skullduggery would do. Can’t have anyone just doing stuff like that to a thief and not get even.”

“But Ux, two things, this mage didn’t capture or kill Philus, so it wasn’t a very good trap, just because you want to see one doesn’t mean it’s there. Second, you never get even you always get better. So, is it smart to go after a wizard?”

“Drack, it may not be wise to go after a wizard; smart is how I’ll do it.”

It took me about a quarter of a candle to reach Matthias’s Apothecary. The rain had turned the streets into a semblance of chocolate pudding, yet the solid pieces floating in it weren’t raisins. The half-elf, Rhylana Matthias was well known for her knowledge of herbs, molds and fungi. She was also one of the guilds best healers. Her husband didn’t like me, probably something to do with her and I being former lovers. I entered her place via the back door, to be greeted by his icy stares. Her pet dog Angus, a wolfhound, the emphasis being on wolf, as in dire, not hound, was lying on the floor next to her husband, snarled and growled as I came in. Rhylana came into the workshop a briefly after that.

“Dear, please take Angus for a walk, I’ve business to conduct.” Her husband just nodded, looked at Angus and said “Follow” and they both left through the back door.

“Okay, Uxator, for what do I owe the visit, Philus perhaps?” she queried.

“Yes Rhylana, I need to talk with him about what happened and just what did happen?” I responded

“Dear, his arm withered away to dust. I’ve only seen one other instance of this and it was the result of a poor fool’s encounter with a mummy. Now, I’ve not heard of any mummies arriving in town or that Philus ever liked grave robbing.”

“Well Rhylana, you’re correct on both counts, yet he did have an encounter with a stranger who came to town today and he was probably a mage and based on your opinion, which I highly value, he is a necromancer. Now, please take me to him.”

Rhylana led me down to the flag stone and brick walled cellar, pressed a button on a sconce and a section of wall lowered. We then entered a small room that had three beds, one with Philus in it. I went over, sat on a stool and talked to him. “Philus, Uxator here, sorry about what happened, now before I pay him an official visit, what did the mage tell you?”
Philus groaned and turned his head toward me and said “Forgive me for not shaking your hand Ux. As for what he said it was a message; keep the purse for sending me the best thief in this city, I’ll take the arm for your ineptitude.”
“So he wants a thief and how would he know who the best thief in the city is? Wonder if he said anything else? I said, more to myself than Philus

“Well yes he did. He said ‘Is the hand quicker than the eye or the mind quicker than hand?’

Well, I’ll add philosopher to his title. He asks is it better to be a quick thief or a smart thief.

“Friend Philus, I will indeed pay this mage a visit and then determine what to do. It sounds like he has issued an invitation and that means he wants something.” As I stood up and went to the opening in the wall. “I’ll keep you informed. Thanks for taking care of him Rhylana.”

Pelwrath
June 23rd, 2013, 05:39 AM
This is the 3rd section of the story.




As I returned to the Pro-Hydra and checked with those I left behind.“Well Grafton and Ikarus tell me what you saw.”
“Master Uxator.” Grafton began “We did as you asked. I was in the common room and Ikarus watched the outside. He met withnobody who was inside after he entered and the only one to go to his room was the serving girl who brought him a meal, hunk of ham, some wine and corn.”

“Good, Ikarus?”

“Nobody entered or left from his room via awindow, which was never opened.” Ikarus reported

“How did you know what room was his?” I asked

“Grafton sent word to me through via scamperrat, room 305.”

“Good. Continue watching. I’ll go pay him avisit. Also send word for a few more eyes.”

Sharina Loring’s place was respectable. Sheallowed no thievery inside and she with her two brothers, Rhob and Vekes keep the peace. Good food, honest entertainment and companionship.

As I entered, Rhob looked at me then glancedto Sharina. That’s the trouble with notoriety, hard for any man to move faster than his reputation. I went up to Sharina. “Good evening Sharina. What will you tell me about the stranger in room 305?” I asked as I put a small purse on the counter.

She looked at the purse, opened it and countedout 20 coins, returning the purse to me, half empty.

“Uxator, as thieves go you’re on the honest side, sorry didn’t mean to insult you…no fair is a better description. His name is Pelwrath, means nothing to me. Not from here, but based on his accent, he’s from south, near the city of Hyphia. That’s all I know. Take care with him though master of shadows or that might be all you’ll be, a shadow.”

I proceeded up the stairs to the room thisPelwrath was in. His name was only vaguely familiar, it was known as a mage, an evil one and again this was just the reputation associated with the name. I knocked on the door. “Master Pelwrath, I am Uxator may I enter?”

“Yes.” Was the reply

As I entered I saw him sitting at a desk astaff leaning against the wall, writing on some scrolls. He looked up saying“Master Uxator, not what I expected, a half breed that is, nothing wrong with that just, unexpected. I am the Necromancer Pelwrath, how may I be of service?”

“It was you who sent the invitation; send you the best thief in the city. I’m here. What did you want?’

“You! The best thief? By whose account?”

“Mine and that I’m the first to come see you,everyone else is too scared."

“Valid point, okay I’ll accept that you’re the best or at least the best with courage. I have a job for you. I want you to get into the Tower of the Centaur for me, interested?”

“Probably not, everyone knows that the tower is enchanted against thieves; nobody breaks in to it and lives. Besides even if it was done, the Lord Commander Galiel would have the militia tear the city apart looking for what was taken and who did it. So, sorry but no amount of coin or gems will get me to do that.” And I started to walk out.

“That’s the problem and blessing of magic, it does exactly what the caster made it for…to stop anyone from stealing from the tower. You my fine thief will not be stealing, you’ll be taking something inside for me. However, you are still by practice a thief and such thoughts would be in your mind. I’ve crafted a ring that will shield your thoughts fromthe magic guardians” Pelwrath said

“Uhhh? I won’t be stealing? Yet you need me to break into it? Doesn’t that mean I’ll be stealing?”

“That is partially correct my umbrea specialist. You see magic is great but for all its power it is still limited bythe minds of us mortals.
Think of magic as a lock and my ring as a key, which will unlock the wards. A primitive description at best but one you can grasp. The guards are a different matter, they still patrol the tower and its grounds, yet even they have come to rely on the towers magical protections and have become a bit less attentive. So, you will still need to be unseen and that is why I need you. What would you charge for such master Uxator? I can give you much.” Hesaid as he stood.

“For me to come into too much wealth would be suspicious as the constables would not have word of any major thefts, so here is what I want to consider your request. Restore Philus’s arm; that he lost it was his fault but if I survive he’ll owe me.
Next 500 high silver stags and if I do the job another 1000 and lastly, a map of the location of a place, the tomb of Kadget the orc king.”

“What, you don’t want to know what you’ll beplacing in the tower?” Pelwrath asked

“Sure, why not.” I replied

“Okay then I agree. Return tomorrow and I’ll have the coin, have fixed Philus’s arm and provide you with the book and were it’ll be placed as well as a map of the tower.” Pelwrath told me

“A book! You want me to break into the Lord Commanders tower just to place a book on a shelf? Oh, and you just happen to have a map! How’d you get a map of the tower? There are none.” I said

“Oh you are correct, no written copy exists but there are such things as architect’s plans and architects make an excellent source for maps. Besides I do have access to other sources of information. In this case the architect himself told me.” The necromancer told me.

"That is the thief I almost lost master." Papa said after he had left.

"Interesting and my thanks for telling me."

As I spent the next several hours thinking on what he said and offered. What was known about Pelwrath? Is what he said true?Is it possible? Okay, I’ll take his word as true, for now. Why break into thetower? To place a book that will easily be noticed without any negotiation. Yet if I do this job, the satisfaction of knowing I did what couldn’t be done and that could never be undone or taken away.
Later I checked on Philus and his arm had grown back. Upon my return, Pelwrath, he looked at me and I couldn’t escape thefeeling that his weren’t the only eyes watching me. “Well master Uxator have wean agreement?” he asked

“I’ll do this job for you necromancer. Whenwould you like it done by?” I asked

Pelwrath
June 23rd, 2013, 05:59 AM
This is the 4th section and I comes before what is in the second post.


“The end of this ten day will be fine. Here is a crude map with the location. It’s a room on the third floor. Guards are one man sentries, a few doubles at important intersections and some dogs at night. Here are the 500 high silver stags, I’ve restored the man’s arm but you already knew that, the map to the tomb I’ll have within three ten days, after your completion of the task.” Pelwrath said and gestured to a table with a small chest, satchel bag a scroll tube and a ring. I checked the ring; a dragon eating its tail, the dragon was gold and had the same inscription Rag had told me about.

“My thanks, necromancer and a pleasure doing business with you.” And I left.

“Master, why?”

“Why what my good friend?” Pelwrath replied

“Why such a risk you take? If or actually when it is discovered it will be known what happened, that you live and represent a danger to them. Lord high and mighty will not take kindly to this.” Said the voice as Papa came to rest on Pelwrath’s shoulder.

“You are wrong little one. Though I am a danger, to none in the tower am I such. As for them finding out, so what, they’ll be vexed and confused. More concerned about how it was done and who got by their precious wards. They will want that information contained as fast as possible and that means they’ll be distracted and I’ll be able to move on to the third stage of my plan. They won’t think of me as a source just the poor thief who did it. Come Papa, time to head home and watch to see if the second stage of my plan pans out.” Pelwrath chanted a few phrases and tapped his staff on the floor twice and he was wrapped in a black cloud the just floated out the window.



I spent the next day checking the streets for information about Lord Galiel and the Centaur Tower. Much was as I already knew, yet some interesting information was gathered, that the countess of the tower liked a rose-persimmon perfume. I bought two vials; never know when it’ll take more than coin to impress a lady. I planned on doing it in three days, no moon and the feel of rain was said to be coming, that from the sailors in port.
When the night arrived, I was well rested and it was a cloudy night, so no moon to worry about and it started to rain about sunset. Many would not like this as the rain makes climbing harder, you leave tracks an open window is an invitation to breeze that could alert guards. The rain didn’t bother me, the cloak I wore was oil coated and I had on me the towers ladies perfume, to not attract the dog’s suspicion. I took few weapons, for fight if discovered wasn’t in my plans, my throwing daggers “Pain and Suffering” along with my sword “Hawk Wing”.

Getting to the tower wasn’t any problem, by staying in the shadows it was child’s play to avoid the eyes of all whom I passed. Let none see me going this way and it makes finding out information much harder when the job is discovered after the fact. I reached the tower base and new that I had ten minutes before the patrol returned on its circuit. The climb would be as difficult as I thought. Vines were growing on the tower and none would hold my weight, should I need it, but they would also serve as a guide as they were trimmed by the windows and also provided camouflage any noise that I might make would be muffled by the sound of the rain and attributed to any wind making it. The target of my climb was a window on the third floor. The room was or should be but two doors down from my destination, though a straight line didn’t always mean the shortest trip, at least in my business.


I started my climb and about 6 feet up encountered my first obstacle. The vines covered small pieces of metal and glass hidden behind or on top of small bricks and stones that would serve as logical hand holds. Though not deadly, the blood they could draw could make grabbing a bit slippery and the possible concern about what waits further up comes to mind. The rain would negate any slippery doubt as it was already such and it would remove any blood that the dogs might smell.

So the ivy wasn’t just decorative it was also camouflage for other tower defenses. I’ll give credit to the designer or who ever came up with that idea. As I continued my climb I placed my foot on the edge of a small stone ledge, just to have it crumble and my foot slipped. Fortune smiled on me as I hadn’t let go of my hand hold yet. I decided to lower myself down and inspect what I had thought was a safe location. It took me a minute but as I looked I saw that the ledge was a cleverly made hollow shell of clay pottery. It had become weak over time but was well placed to cause a thief to fall and or make a noise that could well be heard.

As I was approaching my targeted window, I felt the rock under my hand tremble and then a gust of wind swept past me, slightly shaking my whole body and I swear I heard voices saying something but it was faint and I couldn’t make out the language. I pulled myself onto the narrow ledge and began checking the closed window. Closed shutters it took but a few seconds to deal with them then came the window itself.

Nicely made stained glass, besides the art work they represented, breaking them was not an option as I couldn’t tell if there was a rug on the other side and broken glass makes a lot of noise. It was locked of course buy a rather smart method, one on each side of the window requiring that both be unlocked at the same time or the one which is unlocked becomes locked when the second is unlocked. Being ambidextrous was a noticeable advantage here and it took but a couple of minutes to unlock them. I stepped inside and felt a wave pass over me. I closed the shitters and window and took out a small scallop shell with a wick and some oil it would burn for a quarter of a candle.

My half bred heritage gives me the ability to see rather well in the dark but sight doesn’t detect drafts or the presence of clear or odorless gasses, which a flame can reveal. After that I sprayed a vial of the countesses’ perfume on the inside of my cloak and proceeded slowly and in the shadows down the hallway. Like most castles there were suits of armor, all with weapons along both sides of the hallway, it almost felt that they were looking at me even though their heads didn’t turn.
Then I saw two sets of crossed swords behind a shield. Trophies as one of the shield bore the sigil of the former gnoll king Grandichzykle. I then saw one of the guard dogs. Northern bread it was though its name escaped me. I remembered it because they are part wolf.

Animals have a better sense of smell than humans and I extinguished the light as it was sleeping or at least laying down. I watched for a minute and no response from it. I continued onward and as I had just past it, he raised his head, sniffing the air. Smelling the perfume it looked around for a little then a slight growl came from its throat as it looked in my direction.

It was confused as it smelled the mistress of the towers perfume but yet didn’t see or hear her. I had a little time so I hurled ‘suffering’ at the dog and it struck well as a small yelp coming from it. Yet the poison did its job the dog slumped to the floor, paralyzed. Yet that yelp might have been heard so I moved faster and a little farther past was the room I was seeking. Two suits of armor both with those two handed pig stickers knights like to use and I then froze as they turned their helmets toward me yet didn’t move. Now, I don’t usually sweat yet I did now as I heard or my mind heard may pass and I waited for several minutes to see if another response would come from the suits of armor. None did so I entered through the archway it had some writing above it: A familia locum legere et pro omnibus familia uti

I recognized it as one of the mage languages and it basically identified the room as a library. I looked around and saw books, shelves of books. There were also tables with lamps for people to read. I took off the satchel and opened it and inside was a book an old one but in good shape.

It was titled ‘Orc kingdoms of the Realms’ why would a necromancer want to have a book, this book, placed in this library? Oh well I was paid for my skill to do a job so just be done with it. I began looking for a logical place for it and found a rather well used section, the book not being neatly lined up, implying repeated use. I placed the book there and I saw another book and its title ‘The Family history of the Lord Commander Galiel Salevon’ in my line of work the information in here could be priceless. I took it off the shelf and placed it in the satchel and began my retreat. Again as I passed by those two suits they again turned their helmets toward me and this time followed me as I walked away. Getting down was much easier than getting up, much like a maze is easier when starting from the exit. Now, time for me to do some reading and wait for a mage to provide the payment he agreed to.

BobtailCon
June 25th, 2013, 08:31 PM
I found it amusing because you showed the mage as very showy and almost flaunting, when in real life mages try to disguise themselves like others, trying to look like the average Joe. But of course this is your story and I like how how you portrayed him, quite interesting ;)

Pelwrath
June 25th, 2013, 11:55 PM
Ahhhh okay my thanks as now I understand. Yes, Pelwrath is haughty, elitist and vain, these being his good qualities.