Tueor Pectoris

One Step Closer

Krifo looks around nervously. Assured that no one is around to see his secret entrance, he lifts the manhole cover and quickly drops onto the ladder below him and seals the cover above him once more. He goes downward, sliding more than climbing down, and reaches the sewer floor. He turns to the left and proceeds while whistling “There’s no place like home.”

After a short minute, he rounds a corner in the tunnel and reaches the alcove that Krifo calls home. The decorations are modest, but certainly impressive in the fact that one would not even be able to tell that this was nothing more than a long forgotten storage area in the sewers below Stony Cross. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the skeleton key that unlocks the gate that bars his living quarters from the rest of the tunnel.

Pausing a moment to listen for signs of…”activity”, Krifo scurries to the back wall, where a small bed converted from a baby’s crib lies. Pulling it out from the wall, Krifo pushes against the side of the cornerstone, and it easily comes free from the rest of the wall. Krifo pulls out a chest from the hollowed out wall and opens it onto his bed.

“Yes! It’s still all here!” krifo thinks to himself as he pours out the contents. Several pieces of jewelry and some small art objects clink together as they hit the bed. Krifo reaches for his pouch and retrieves his new found gains.

“Shame old whatshisface was so careless with it, but a dragon needs a hoard, you know? Hmm, 19gp all together, plus this stuff to pawn off soon. Not bad.”

Living in the sewers might not be an optimal choice, but it allows Krifo to come and go unseen. It keeps expenses low, too for now. “Sauveli and Ilyana can have their apartment.”, Krifo thinks. “But soon enough I’ll be able to open my locksmith shop, and I can safely abandon these sewers.”

Krifo puts the chest away, and secures the cornerstone back into the wall. He then picks up a lock mechanism and begins fiddling with it with a tool from his kit. It opens after a quick twist. He repeats the exercise several times until he grows bored and lies on the bed staring at the ceiling.

“Yes…a locksmith shop of my own. Selling all those locks, and me having all those pretty keys!”

Krifo lets loose a little whoop out of excitement.

“That’s when things will get REALLY fun! Won’t Bartlesby Sourtooth be proud of me then!”

Krifo drifts off to sleep, dreaming of locks, keys, and the treasures that they guard.

Just before he falls asleep, his brain kicks in. Just a little. What was that on the ceiling? He opens his eyes and looks up.

A piece of parchment is stuck on the ceiling. He can’t quite make out what is on the paper. He knows one thing for certain. He didn’t put it there.

He jumps up and down a few times cursing his small dragon stature. Then krifo gets and idea, and stacks some of the deorations onto a chair and climbs up the wobbling pile of objects. The paper, just within his reach, peels off the ceiling. He carefully climbs back down to the ground, just in time as the tower of objects falls and sactters accross the floor. Krifo cringes but turns back to the paper. The sticky substance that had kept it to the ceiling gets stuck between his fingers as he attempts to free the paper from his hand. His other hand gets stuck. He gets it off that hand but it is now stuck to the first again. he gives up and twists his hand around so that he can read the message.

Krifo takes a nap then wanders over to the alley at dusk. He waits a while, then a read-headed halfling steps up to greet him.

“Hello, Krifo. I am glad you came. Please, come with me…”

He opens a very nondescript door in the wall, Krifo could have sworn it wasn’t there a moment ago, and shuts the door behind them. They make their way down the stairs winding back and forth until they enter a small chamber. It has books and a desk and a few chairs, rather nondescript compared to some of the places Krifo has seen in the last year.

“I am Traynor, you may remember me from last year, we met once in the street. I took notice of you then, but you disappeared in the exchange program and so here we are a year later.”

Traynor sits at the desk and invites Krifo to a chair. Krifo tries to focus but scans the room looking for interesting objects or clues as to why he was brought here. Traynor continues, watching Krifo closely.

“I see you have wandering eyes of a thief.”

“NO, no, no, I was just admiring your,um, place. Many nice things here.”

“Don’t worry Krifo, it is not a shame to be aware of your surroundings. Too many people walk through their lives unaware of the smaller things around them; they miss so many opportunities and adventures.”

Krifo nods his head enthusiastically, “I like adventures.”

Traynor smiles and looks down at the desk in front of him.

“That is why you are here. Where are you from, Krifo?”

“Stony Cross.”

“Well, yes, but where did you live with your family before moving here?”

Krifo looks at Traynor from under his dragony brows.

“My family clan is in Fakenham Magna, but I call Stony Cross my home now.”

“Yes, why is that Krifo?”

Krifo shifts uncomfortably in his seat and looks at Traynor, trying to judge how much he should tell.

“I was caught in an, um, exchange of sorts and found myself exported to the, um, current location with some other goods. Yes, that’s it.”

“Were you or have you ever been a part of a thieve’s guild?” Traynor smiles encouragingly at Krifo, who looks rather pale for someone of his green coloring.

“Um, no. Definitely not.”

Traynor looks slightly confused. He leans back in his chair, places his elbows on the sides, and clasps his hand together under his chin.

“You have chosen an interesting profession for yourself. Locksmith? And those gloves you are wearing. Those look familiar. Have you ever been interested in joining such a group of like-minded individuals?”

Krifo notices an open drawer next to him, his eyes dart back and forth, back and forth, until finally them come to rest on what looks like a large pile of pouches. Different colors, different sizes, different materials, each holding some items peaking out from the purse strings or fromt the leather ties. Krifo wipes the drool form his chin and clamps his mouth shut. He turns to Traynor who is staring intently at him.

“I have never been in a guild before. What do they do?”

We apply our natural born skills to tasks that were made for us. We have some simple rules we follow, and a code of sorts. There is much power to be had on this side of the coin.”

Krifo begins to smile, “What are you saying?”

Traynor stands and makes his way to stand beside Krifo. As much as possible, the halfling towers intimidatingly over the seated kobold.

“What I am saying, Krifo, is that you are cordially invited to join the Stony Cross chapter of the Thieve’s Guild. You will have many connections in town, and many opportunities to work you skills and grow in the art. What say you?”

“Do I have to do anything to get in?”

“Yes, we will put you through a series of trials and ask you to accomplish tasks for us. Also, we watch to make sure you can follow our rules and code. One of our more simple rules is that you may not steal from another member. Another is that you only steal items that you can use immediatley, can be easily , or that won’t be recognized by the former owner.”

Traynor walks over to a door that Krifo, again, hadn’t noticed when he came in.

Krifo stares in awe at the piles of treasure in the small storage space.

“So much treasure! We get that treasure?”

Traynor frowns and points to a goblet. “These are the mistakes. That goblet there was stolen by a young member. It lies in this pile of useless junk because it has inscribed in the base the name of the husband and wife who commissioned it for their wedding. That makes it unsellable in this region. Eventually, these metals will have to be reclaimed and melted down by our members with such skills, but for now, they were wasted efforts and only serve to upset local citizens and draw their attention to the crime. Stealing coins, ‘lost’ pouches, items of food out of carts, shop items, and mundane objects are the safest. We are not limited, of course, for often we are asked to liberate important items that have been separated form their rightful owner, or that are causing grief to people. we ahve many special missions that balance out the nature of our art form. As a guild, we help each other learn the ways and become more skilled. We have watched you develop, and we have had reports form Hoxston Harbour that you were a promising student. All we require is that you keep the guild a secret, and that you uphold the rules and code. Can you do that?”

Krifo nods his head excitedly. “Yes, yes, I can do that!”

Traynor smiles and shows Krifo back up to the stairs and out the door. They walk down the alley behind SKEETka taVAAR.

“Yuri works with us, he hasn’t been here long but he understnads the benefits of such a relationship. He is extremely selective of his wares, and prefers to stay above line, but occasionally we can get him to transport something or other out of the area via the hands of a traveling stranger. I must go now.”

“What do I do now? Where are the meetings? When do I get to meet everyone else?”

“We will contact you regarding your first mission. As you gain our trust,you will learn more of the guild and its members. I will be in contact.”

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muddy_sneakers

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