I’ve always felt guilty for not being truthful to Delilah. She believes I make all my income from the shop, but the truth is Thom pays me very little – not because he doesn’t want to pay more, but because business has been slow. With Castegar taking over the forge without compensating Thom, whatever money can be made because of these expeditions is no longer an opportunity for him. While I hunt down my next potential whale, Roger of the Adventurer’s Guild is going to have to make do.
Roger inherited a healthy sum from the passing of his father, who had named him sole beneficiary to his entire estate. However, ever since his big day, he’s been a naughty boy with how he spends that money, opting for lust to be his primary medium of exchange. Roger would frequent the Market usually an hour or so after sunset and then travel down to Fiona’s where he always made sure to leave the tavern with a young lady by his side. Tonight was no different, and while he’s walking about the South End, I’ll make my self right at home in his absence.
First I needed to prepare. A thief is only as good as his tools, and if you leave those behind, it could be the difference between life and death. The obvious knickknacks – the lockpicks, the potions – those I always carry with me, but the coup de grace is my grappling hook. This I don’t carry as much, but it’s my ace in the hole. I can get almost any where I want to with it but practicing how to use it was a lot more of a pain than I was willing to admit. I would travel toward Terminus and climb the Vostok Massif and doing such turned me into quite the spelunker. Alas, I mastered the tool and it’s quite advantageous. Grab the hood, my crossbows (just in case), and of course, the hook.
I can usually make my way around Isledon without much fanfare, but with the current interest the Crown has with the town, there are soldiers just about everywhere. However, with it being so late into the evening, most of the soldiers that were on duty are now taking a break at Fiona’s tavern, which is good news for me. Potions come in handy in case I were to get caught. I have a variety of mixtures, so many in fact you’d think I was a seasoned alchemist. Truth is I dabble a bit, but far from an expert. Using herbs, I harvest in the Peacebloom whenever I have time, I can make potions that can cause smoke to get away if I were to get unwanted attention, and potions that can make people go to sleep. The latter is not that effective, and I have not figured out why. Like I said, I dabble.
Walking toward Roger will require me to make my way down from North End toward the Market. His home is in a small subdivision located just west of the Market, which is usually dead this time of night. As I’m walking toward the Market, I start feeling nervous, something that I never usually have to deal with and certainly not when I’m on the way to a job. Maybe it’s because I have so much riding on this. What happens if I lose my home here? How would I tell Lilah? I’d be another failure to another person who… I need to stop thinking so much.
Approaching the market I notice a pair of soldiers conversing just at the end of the path I need to take to get to Roger’s home. There are also some civilians sitting at a near by bench, making the use of any of my tools unnecessary. I walk toward them, say “good evening”, wave, and was on my way. Not everything requires swift violence. The market was a bit more robust tonight than usual nights considering most people work in the mornings and they would want to get sleep. There were two obvious lovebirds gazing at the stars, sharing memories together. That’s always nice to see.
“It’s nice out tonight,” I say to them.
“Oh it’s so lovely! I enjoy it here so much.” The woman responded. She was not from here; I can tell from the accent.
“Are you from Sifia?” I asked.
“Yes we are just passing by on our way to Oredae. This is a marvelous town.” The gentleman speaking a bit guardedly, which I understood.
“No need to be alarmed, I welcome Sifians. My father is actually mostly Sifian.” I ease the tension.
I’m standing closer to the gentleman who had one arm wrapped around his lady. Intrigued by my story, he asked me more about my past, but it was just a rouse. My father isn’t Sifian, or he might be, I just don’t care to know more about the subject. He was too guarded even after I tried to ease the tension that he didn’t feel as I grabbed his bag of coin from what seemed to be a sack of sorts. Not sure I’d be caught dead wearing that thing.
“I hope Isledon is to your liking. Have a good night.” At least the night wasn’t a total failure.
“That man sure was nice.” I heard the lady say as I walked away. You’d expect me to feel guilty, but I need this more than they do now.
Roger’s was completely empty, and no soldiers nor guards were near. One of the amenities this house has is a gate with a wall bordering the outside of the residence. Therefore, I always have my grappling hook. Sneaking quietly toward the back of the house, I move swiftly as I’m not sure how much time I lost stealing from the couple prior. I launch the hook over the wall, and it clings perfectly to the other side, making the climb a breeze. I jump over the wall without looking down below me, a mistake I shouldn’t have made. Landing on the damp floor beneath, I notice a dog who immediately perks up at my presence. Before he could start barking, I use one of my sleeping potions on the animal. He lets out a few barks but becomes immediately lethargic. Taking the opportunity, I run toward the door and examine the lock.
Lockpicking is still something I struggle with, as it’s not my area of expertise. As locks begin to get more sophisticated, my own abilities begin to lag. Roger invested in a heavy-duty lock, which is going to make it impossible for me to pick it. Damn. I start to hesitate. Another rookie move. What was wrong with me? In my hesitation, I decide the best course of action was to break through one of the windows, which would unfortunately alert Roger that he’s had an intruder in his residence, but it didn’t matter. He’d never know it was me. No one ever suspects the good blacksmith’s apprentice.
The house was unsurprisingly immaculate, and it was a lot bigger on the inside than it appeared from the outside. I remain quiet, not trying to alert anyone, or anything, that might be in the house. I make my way down the hallway and notice his living room is a bit out of order, which is unusual when compared to the rest of the house. I keep my eyes open for anything valuable, but the only thing on my mind is sol since I don’t have time to sell whatever I steal. The more time I spend in the living room, it begins to dawn on me that there’s no one else in the house, but because of paranoia, I remain quiet still. I move away from the living room, back into the hallway down toward the bedrooms. As I make my way down the hallway, I begin to hear a sort of scratching coming from below the home. Seems Roger’s house has a basement, and my curiosity gets the best of me.
I find the door to the basement. Honing in on my alacrity, I once again move quietly down the steps, but even the boards made noise with every step. There’s no light in the basement, but there’s a torch at the base of the steps. I light the torch and am immediately accosted by what I initially think is a dog.
“Ah! Damn!” I shouted, losing the torch, but not the light. Trying to get myself up, I look at the beast that attacked me and noticed it wasn’t a dog, but a fiend. Why the hell did Roger have a monster in his home? The beast lunged at me once more, but before it could reach me, I vaulted out of the way and began to fire my crossbows. The monster began to yelp, but I kept firing. He lunged once more and was able to latch itself to my ankle. The pain was immeasurable, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it. I fired my crossbow once more, aiming for the fiend’s head. One more scream, and down it went.
“Ahh... that’s going to hurt for a few days, but I can still walk on it.” I use another potion to cauterize the wound. A bit of a burn, and I’m good to go, leaving the basement. As I’m making my way out of the basement, I hear footsteps approaching the front door, and now my heart was really racing. I ran as best as I could the way I came. Struggling to get my grappling hook out, I remembered that I forgot to pick up my bolts after slaying the fiend. Everyone in town knows I use a crossbow. This wasn’t good, but I couldn’t go back in. It was Roger, with another muse. After getting the grappling hook to grip the end of the wall, I climb up, and I’m off.
I couldn’t believe I just made such an amateur mistake. Roger’s going to find those bolts and immediately know I was in his home. The question is doing he know he had a monster down there? I’ve heard stories of monsters that appear suddenly, and it was recently confirmed that these monsters are born of ether by the engineers at the Crossworks, so maybe I could come up with a story. I’ll have to think of something and hope that this injury isn’t too severe, because now I have no choice but to take Gamble up on his offer.