I'm a thief. Now, don't get me wrong. I ain't
saying this out of pride, but I ain't ashamed of my occupation
neither. Thieves got a perfect right to exist in the Empire.
People say we're dishonest. Of course, those people are usually
either merchants or priests, which really slays me. Sort of
the snake calling the worm legless.
Rulers like us. Crime in moderation is good
for the economy. The trick is to keep it at a good even pace,
with a well timed lull and a minor wave to keep the fat bottoms
from becoming compacent. Of course, stupid, but talented thieves
will keep stealing, empty their pockets, and steal some more.
This ain't good for no one. That's where the guilds come in.
A thieves guild is what they call a crime
regulator. We protect each other and punish the clumsy and
greedy. The kings depend on us to keep the amateurs out of
Yeah, occasionally, a king will come down
on us. I've even seen my Thieves Guildmaster get himself stuck
in prison once or twice. Some cohort of mine said her first
Guildmaster got himself hanged. Then the Thieves Guild has
to get foul on the king, and, let someone who knows tell you,
the results ain't pretty.
I got into the guild, the way I've seen most
thieves do it. It was a few years back, when that bully Jagar
Tharn was sitting on the throne only everyone thought he was
the Emperor. My parents farm turned into eight acres of dust
and rock, and they threw me and my brothers out. I was always
a skinny thing, but by the time I made it to the closest town,
I was a good deal more skinnier.
Just cause the town had some dirt that plants
could grow on didn't make them that much richer than my folks
were. I tried to get all kinds of jobs, but the hungrier and
more raggedier I got, the quicker anyone who might have work
would kick me out. When the rainy season finally came, it
came like a sea, and I didn't have nowhere to stay. Lucky
I found the unlocked cellar door.
Turns out that the owners of the house slept
like old dogs, cause I robbed them blind (and tripped into
things like I was the blind one) and they never woke up. I
sold all the stuff at a dirty pawners I knew and spent the
next two days living like a potentate. Then I got my first
visit from the local thieves guild.
I remember what the guy looked like, but not
exactly what he said. Something like, "Hey, kid, if you
want to steal in these parts, you're going to have to join
the Guild. Otherwise, I or someone like me is going to break
your skinny arms so you can't steal."
I've know some people who've refused membership
in the Guild and kept on stealing anyhow.
I've broken someone of their arms. As for
me, this was the first offer I'd had for a career since my
pa told me that if I didn't milk the cow, he'd rip my head
off. In comparison, this guy at the tavern was almost a gentleman.
I agreed right away.
Sure, I had to prove my worth to the Guild
before I could join and even now. But having two working arms
is only part of the benefit. They trained me, taught me, and
kept me out of prison. How many other guilds can boast a forgery
expert on the premises?
So the next time you're calling some swindling
merchant or usurious priest a thief, think about it. There
is honor among thieves -- I should know
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