Monday, January 19, 2015

Thorns In The Blood -- Episode Three: No Escape

"Thief" by idriu95
Xander did more than a simple look around. He made sure he took mental pictures of every single escape route he could find. The key to being a great thief is that nobody can catch you. What kind of thief would he be if he couldn't manage that simplest task. He definitely wouldn't be known as the world's greatest thief, that much was certain. In some ways having a photographic memory was a blessing and a curse. There were plenty of scenes he wished he could forget, and there were some that he embraced. For instance, there was the time in Raven's Port, one of the largest thieves conventions in all the realms, and Xander was surrounded by pirates and swashbucklers from here to kingdom come.

"The Shackles Elf Pirate" by Nagashizzar
He had angered one of the locals. Not that he much cared for what the locals thought, but it turned out this pirate was a navy captain under cover portraying himself as a deck hand. Of course this law abiding citizen saw one glimpse of Xander and instantly there was trouble. Xander couldn't go anywhere without trouble lurking in the shadows. So here he was, minding his own business, and this deck hand yells, “Look it here mates. If it isn't the greatest thief in all the realms! Xander Creed!” The guy had the nerve of pointing Xander out from the crowd, and the next thing you know Xander's head is nearly stripped from his neck. Rushing out of that place wasn't easy, but he managed to perform some amazing feats of escape. Till this day Xander hasn't returned to Raven's Port. Not even if he was offered the greatest jewel in the universe.

“Wait here,” the guard muttered as if his lips were having trouble opening to words escape.

“Sure thing Fat Lips. I don't mind dawdling around here for a bit.” Xander couldn't help but to mock the poor guy.
"Hallway" by Independently Conceal
The guard continued down the hall and knocked on one of the two doors just ahead. He seemed to be arguing with someone on the other side, but the doors opened none of the less. Xander loved to see it when thugs argued among themselves. It left him a reason to poke around in their heads. Distract them in some way, or set them aflame among one another. Most of the time it would work, but who knows how Lady Luck would work this day. The guard waved to him with his abnormally large hand. Note to self, don't let that guy grab you by the head. Guy looked like he could crush a watermelon with that thing.

Just as Xander walked through, the doors slammed shut behind him. So much for escaping out that way. He took a good look around the room he was in, and couldn't imagine any worse a place for a rogue. There were shiny trinkets of all kinds scattered in glass cases upon their respective pedestals. Paintings scattered across the walls as if it was an art museum. Xander's hair was pricking up just thinking about all the money he could make off from this stuff. Trying to keep his wits about him, Xander moved towards a plaque of one of the exhibits: 1645 – Benedict Adams, “Key to the Throne” from the Midwestern Plains of Fort Laird.”

“This piece belonged to the King of Laird nearly four hundred years ago,” Xander muttered among himself in silence as to not attract anymore attention to himself.

“It also belonged to his personal assistant,” a voice from behind Xander replied. It sent shivers down his spine. Nobody has ever sneaked up on him without his notice. Whoever this person was, was better than he'd thought. He turned around to face the shadow lurking behind him. “It is a shame that the assistant died delivering it to the new fort in Veranda.”
Standing before Xander was the one person he was dying to meet. The Black Hand. Except he wasn't expecting the delicate face that he saw.

“You're a woman,” he asked puzzled. She had long blonde hair that was braided up to a top knot. It looked like a whip in which to choke someone with. She had gray eyes that shimmered in the darkness, and a stern look was set upon Xander. He looked at her up and down both curious and intrigued.

"Female Warrior" found on Pinterest
“Yes. I am a woman. Does that bother you?” Her voice didn't reveal anything less than intimidation. Perhaps she was offended, but then again Xander highly doubted it.

“I was expecting...”

“A man. I know.” She crossed her arms as the leather suit she wore crumpled and made an awkward rubbing noise as she did. “Can we proceed with business, or are you here to just look at me like a baboon with a banana stuck in his mouth.” Oh how snappy this woman before Xander was. It nearly made him break a sensual sweat.

“Depends. What is it you are offering me?” He couldn't help but be sarcastic in a moment like this. It was in Xander's nature to do so.

She silently waved her hand towards a couple seats and a desk. Apparently offering Xander a seat to talk. “I prefer to stand if you don't mind.” She shrugged without a care and proceeded to her desk. Xander took a quick look around. For the first time in his life... 

There was no escape.


  1. How cool that they have a thieves convention.

    1. I wonder if there really is honor among thieves? What about you?

    2. I think that there might be honor among thieves who know each other and get to be friends. Or, perhaps, thieves who truly follow a code of ethics... but the latter is the mother of all oxymora, isn't it?

    3. All thieves have one common goal in mind: get what they want by any means necessary.


All comments would be appreciated.