((This is an open sl for any who care to post with us. It will be a long-term storyline, involving the current and shoddily run thieves guild of Rhydin, and the encroachment of another such guild, looking to muscle their way into the current guild's place. The story is open to twists and turns, feel free to join in and have fun!))
(First post is from rp between Gemethyst and Ezekiel Pearrce.))
While it may have been a dull duty it was, of late, a more busy one. Watching the fence, Keldrin, whom had been so completely taken down two years before by Eze and Gem may have started out as a quiet few hours of duty, but now it was changing. Whomever or whichever shadow might be out there watching, on this particular night they might put some things together. The recent run of visits to the fence, made by low-life characters, the frequent messages that started going out, these might alert the wary. And now, this night, as the new moon settled its faint light upon the slovenly shacks at the edge of the city, like a flock of crows other shadows came to play across the shanty that was being watched. Men skilled in hiding in shadows and moving silently, they were, and they gathered outside the decrepit building with silent hand gestures, before slinking within the building itself.
The orders from their boss were clear...shadow the fence and report back everything and anything he was up to. On most nights, it was an ordinary report. It mentioned the fence's comings and goings, his visitors and his dealings. Beyond that, it was business as usual for the fence. However, the reports started to note more visits and activity going on...more than usual. And this evening, there was a lot more activity than usual. The shadow singled to his partner and moved like black ink along the darkness toward the building where other silent shadow walkers were gathering.
It was a two story building, looking about ready to fall over. All the action, though, was happening on the ground floor. In a small room at one corner, bordered by three windows of filthy panes of glass, a single lantern lit the darkness of the room, barely lighting the faces that surrounded the fence where he sat on a stool. Keldrin was wringing his hat in his hands, and looking quite pathetic for someone who so enjoyed bullying others. ?I tell ya, I don't know who she is! Her name or nuthin?! She just come to me, like all t' others, seeking what I might give 'em fer their burgled goods! We had a working relationship, see, an?it were a good one! Least till she got uppity and wouldn?t be a little friendly-like, if ya know what I mean. After that she attacked me and ruined me business, spread the word I was untrustworthy. That kills a fence, it does! Now I'm just trying to find out, on the down-low, like, who she really be, so's I can get my own back on her. Her and her friends, that is.? Bitterness edged his last words there, while those that stood over him smirked. One strode closer, gripped a gloved hand into the lank hair on the fence's head, and yanked it back so he could look him in the eyes. ?Better fer yersel' if what you say is true, than if' yer tries to fool the guild. Gandorm wants to know who she is a helluva lot more than you does. That's if this jade you bleat about is even the same bird. What makes you think she might be?" This then, the reason the group of crows were there.
The shadow signaled to his partner, while another kept watch to make sure no one was getting near to the eavesdropper. It remained to be seen if this was going to be a problem or not. What they were talking about might or might not have anything to do with Eze's thief.
The fence, nearly gibbering now in his terror of the darkly cloaked figures looming over him, yanked a tattered notebook out of his shirt pocket, nervous fingers beginning to extend it towards the leader of the group. He jerked it back, though, before the other could touch it, and with a gulp, dared to demand. ?I gotta have my cut, you know? I were told I'd get paid fer this stuff! Paid good, I was told! She's the same one the guildmaster seeks, I's sure of it! How many can there be what steals such rich pickings and always come to me within a month after the job's been done, huh? Her mistake, I say, and her giveaway! It's the same bird, alright. Still, there?s no knowin?, though, who she be in her normal guise. I?m still workin? on that, same as ye and yer guildmaster! Now pay me and I gives you what you want to verify it.!? He sat there trembling, sweat dripping slowly down his face to his throat, soaking the neckline of his shirt a darker, dingier white than the rest of it. The figure closest to him reached out for the papers, but then stalled that motion as the fence pulled back. Thinking over the other's demand, he flicked a quick look at his compatriots as he considered.
The eavesdropping shadow caught sight of the notebook and he signaled it back to the others. They would need to get hold of that notebook or at least see the information in it. One of the others climbed off his perch and moved around the other side of the building.
The fence, seeing the hesitation in the other, pushed the notebook towards him suddenly, nearly jabbing it into the man's stomach. ?Fer the love of tits, it's Quicksilver, I tells ya! The thief what everyone knows the guildleader seeks! What he wants with her, I dunno, and I donnae care! It's her, it's gotta be. She brings in rich goods, better than the ordinairy pickings of a thief, and she's an elf, besides! With silver hair!" The leader of the group encircling Keldrin sneered at the man, and with an impatient tone in his voice, one hand taking the notebook and the other waving in the air dismissively, ?If I had a copper for every elf who happened to have silver hair, I'd be a rich man, yeah? Happens to be the most common color of hair fer the lot of em, and as to thieven' ways? Why, they come by it natural-like! Though I will give ya, most of the elves in the guild gave the city a slip-me-by, when their compatriots started showing up with their throats cut.? His free hand scratched idly at his chin. ?Hmm, we'll pay ya, sure, and if it turns out this be junk, we'll be callin' on ya again, old man.? There was an icecold grin given. ?An' we won't be listenin? to any bargain-beggin' then, right enough.?
Gandorm, Quicksilver, elf, silver hair...these were some of the key words that were shared by the eavesdropper to the others. One from the group peeled away and disappeared into the dark night. He was going to report this to Ezekiel. The others stayed at their post. If they could get hold of the notebook, that would be better.
There was a chink of coin from the pouch that was suddenly flung towards the fence, a gleam of avarice in Keldrin?s eyes matching the flame in the lantern as he caught it. "Oh, thank ya, I thank ya. If the guildmaster need anything from the likes of me again, direct him to Keldrin, aye?? The leader of the group gave the man an amused and disgusted look, before hooking his foot around one of the stool's legs and yanking, thereby dumping the fence on his arse, dust rising up from the dirt floor, along with the foul odor of unwashed body. ?Rest assured that we knows who ya are, fool. And we know the way back to this den of vermin.? With that, he and the others melted out the front door, there to pause for direction from the leader. He gave a look about and then gestured with his head towards the city's heart. In silence, the five moved for the shadows, while inside the broken down building, the sounds of Keldrin's complaints and curses rose as he picked himself up off his filthy floor and began his plotting anew.
The shadows trailed after the group, leaving one behind to watch after the sputtering fence. They would have to see where this group that belongs to Gandorm went.
Like the professionals they were, the group blended with available shadow, moving with the speed and stealth one might expect of thieves. This particular group, though, were not high level thieves as much as they were high level thugs and assassins, and so their skill was not unbeatable, certainly. They did not know they were followed, for the skills of the followers were extreme. At length, the group neared a maze of alleyways, and here they took refuge, ducking into one in particular and making their way along it. It was jigged one way and then jigged back another, making little turns and angles that tended to throw off the easily lost. The carefully placed carcasses of dead animals, left to rot and exude an awful smell were nimbly avoided by the five men on their way to their guildhall. Finally they they came to a broken-seeming door at one end of a passageway. Knocking in a certain pattern, they awaited recognition and the door?s opening.
The two shadows stayed on the moving group. Skilled as they were, they were sloppy. They were unconcerned. There was confidence in numbers. This group was no doubt bolstered by the blathering fence giving in. But overconfidence was deadly. The pair waited, memorizing the signal pattern, inching closer to one that stood just a step too far from the pack. They waited and as they heard the door open, a gloved mouth went over the thief's mouth and a poisoned dart embedded into his neck.
The door didn't take very long to open, the code being well known by a chosen few. Yanked open, a brusque look was given to the five beyond the threshhold, though thick shadow seemed to cloak the one at the back, by the elder opening the portal. With a frown at their timing, he slunk back towards his interrupted dinner in his rooms off to the right. ?Get in' wi' ye, then, and lock up behind yerselves!? The elder was enveloped in the gloom within, and the others were following quickly behind him, but for one. That one, the last of the group, and a fool besides, tried to move forward, but there was suddenly a hand over his mouth, and another injecting poison into his carotid. It went right up into his brain, and he was falling before he could even call out, a black cloud closing over his eyes as his body began to jerk and convulse.
The shadow blanketed the one and pulled the dying man into the darkness, while the other slipped in through the door, leaving the door ajar for the other to follow.
Three had moved in smartly, eager for their own bellies to be filled, and eager, too, for the reward the delivery of the information they?d extracted from the used up fence might bring them. They followed the passage, secure in their knowledge of who was behind who, and headed up the stairs to the room where they were expected. The fourth, though, gave a casual look over his shoulder, when the door didn't close, expecting to see the last one following behind him attending to that. His irritated voice complained. ?Close the damn door, ye iggerant son of a whore!? Then he blinked, for he didn't see the other, only shadows making it hard to see. ?Grimsby?? The name of the newly dead and now newly missed.
It was too bad the man paused and blinked. The shadow was on him with a flash of silver cutting the man's throat before he could make another sound. By this time, the other shadow had snuck in through the door, as well.
The poor thief didn't have a chance to even pull his own weapons, of which there were many. He did, however, manage to let loose his bladder as he hung limp in the hold of Eze?s shadow man, the gaping wound in his throat spurting blood in an arc across the walls of the hallway, and so the heavy, acrid smell of urine filled the space along with the hot scent of vitae. The elder figure who had come and let them in soon enough was heading back, alerted by the door not yet having been closed. His nose wrinkling at the stench, he complained as he stepped into the hall, ?Damn and blast, ye dolts! Piss in the alley, not in the bowels of the guildhall, ye louts!
The shadow blew a sleep dart toward the elder heading back toward them, aiming it for the man's throat, while his partner dropped the dead man on to the ground.
The elder was no fool. He might be old, but staying around long enough to get old in the business he was in took some doing, and it wasn't done by being stupid. His reflexes were still faster than most, and was a quick thinker. Feeling the dart land in his throat, his eyes opened wide as he noted the shadowy figures before him, poised over the apparently dead body of one of his own. The sleep toxin was already taking effect, but he managed to do the single task he was entrusted with. His hand compressed the amulet he always wore, and thus a silent alarm went off. The guild was alerted to infiltration. The stairs beyond the hall were suddenly cut off by the falling of a heavy portcullis, the resounding thud it made audible upstairs and down below, too. A caustic querying came from the direction of the elder?s kitchen, where the odors of dinner were exuding from. It was laced with fear and yet resolve, along with the sound of a shotgun being cxxked. ?Donnell??
The falling portcullis meant an alarm was raised. The Shadows moved quickly. They pressed the bloodied knife that killed the other thief into the elder's hand and pressed another weapon off the young thief's arsenal into his own dead hand. Then the two shadows slipped out the front door and disappeared into the night.
The ensuing activity of discovery and search went on for many hours, as those in charge tried to figure out just what had happened. It caused quite a bit of confusion to the leaders of the guild, and not least to the elder who guarded the door, to find a bloodied weapon in his hand. It would take some figuring out, and in the meantime, guards were set up outside, above and below. One did not take an attempt at entry for granted, not in Rhydin.
In the meantime, one kept watch, while the other went back to make his report. The guildhall would now be under the shadows' watch.
((This sl has been finished and is no longer available.))