Rogues Gallery (The Thieve's Game)

Kry's Thoughts
In Third Person

Krys lumbered along the dark path back to the house, now Luciado’s. Her smart-ass horse was killed, and she had been traveling for the last month constantly attacked by assassins. All she wanted was home. Now that everything was starting to come together, all she wanted was to hold her child, sleep in her own bed next to her husband. She looked at her oldest friends, and saw the exhaustion painted on their faces. Luciado’s new estate at least gave a few nights rest while they resupplied for the trip home. She realized how ironic it was that not so many decades ago this city was the home she would not have traded the world for, and now she wanted nothing more than to be on her way.

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Mugshot's Journal #118
Arrival

Almost the instant we exited the town gates, the heavens opened and a rain the likes we haven’t seen this season pounded us into the road. This leg of our journey should have been nearly a sprint, but we were forced to crawl, resting ourselves and our horses often. Eventually, we made it to the old forest, and set up our large tent, deciding to hunker down and wait out the worst of the storm.

By the time the rain had slacked off, our horses had stopped shivering and seemed ready (if not entirely enthused) to resume the journey. Our tent was far-too waterlogged for us to take with us, so we left it as is and set back into the rain. Now that the driving storm was over, we were able to make better time. Not much, we still had to stop regularly.

I lost my steed Keb during the first ambush. Chry’s Smartass also fell in the first volley, but Chrys and Luciatto easily handled their assassins. When I managed to extricate myself from beneath Keb, I heard a shout and saw someone attacking the Lady Nith. By the time I arrived, the assassin was dead. I kicked his corpse off of her, received her crossbow in my face as thanks. She didn’t kill the assassin, and I didn’t kill the assassin. That could mean only one thing:

Our Friend the Assassin saved her.

Not entirely certain how I felt about that.

As we stripped the bodies of weapons and useful gear, the assassin’s ponies came running up the road. Between Nith and I we were able to get them stopped, and wound up spending the next couple of hours shifting our gear around. Luciatto took Nith’s horse, I took Luciatto’s horse, and Chys and Nith each took a pony, while we rigged a make-shift pack-saddle to the remaining pony. Chrys, Lucy, and I each took one of the assassin’s cloaks and masks, which drastically improved our vision in the rain and helped keep us dry and warm through some minor enchantment.

The next interesting encounter occurred at one of the Xs on the map. Obviously a proper rest area built by the Empire, it was currently in use by a trade caravan, stopped for lunch. They were eating a hearty stew that smelled particularly amazing, and had apparently been given word of our approach by our friend Assassin.

I suspected it was simply a ploy to slow us down, so after a brief conversation, we continued on. The second ambush point was coming up, but instead of the expected assassins, we found a girl with an umbrella standing in the road, waiting for us. We followed her to her parents, both wounded, but tended to. Apparently, the assassins from this ambush point had attacked the girl and her parents.

Apparently, our Friend Assassin doesn’t take kindly to that sort of thing.

The men were hanging by their dislocated arms, with every bone of the legs and feet obviously broken.

Have I mentioned that I like this guy?

We took the assassin’s gear, and the farmer lent me his draft horse, an animal much more suited to me than even Luciatto’s beast. In exchange, I gave the farmer my plainsfolk talisman, and again we continued on our way.

The third ambush point we decided to screw subtlety and charge through, but as they say, no plan ever makes it beyond the first engagement. The assassins rose from camouflaged fox-holes, sending crossbow bolts into our midst. Had Luciatto not leaped from his horse to attack, and had Chrys not attempted the same only to end up on her own blade, the Lady Nith would have simply cast a wall of fire behind us while we charged through. Instead, both of our actual fighters were struck by poisoned blades.

The assassin nearest me caught a soul-charged crossbow bolt to the chest, while Nith used Hold Person on her attacker. The remaining two tried switching to blades, but caught vorpal daggers instead. Rather than waste time with the bodies or the held assassin, we hit them with water acorns and left.

As we broke through the woods and onto the final stretch to Dunbar, we were stopped by an army with our Assassin Friend at the forefront. Some discussion later and we found out that not only was the man behind our bounties dead, but that no one was paying for the job anymore. Instead, the assassin gave us riddle.

“I am felled by an ax. Your face is the last thing I see.”

Two answers popped into my mind: A Tree, and an criminal to be executed. Chrys answered first, offering ‘tree’ which turned out to be incorrect. Luciatto proclaimed a head, which the Assassin decided was good enough.

Long story short, Luciatto now owns several acres inside of Dunbar City, as well as a small, well-stocked and employed mansion. We ate, washed, and slept for an hour or three before being woken and lead to the Dunbar Thieve’s Guild. Inside, we met with Killian Salvatore Falconian, the head of Dunbarian Empire Thieve’s Guilds, to whom we delivered The Box as well as the Imperial coin press.

The box contained a gnomish device of some sort that Killian placed over Dunbar City on an impressive map. Two, impressive maps, actually. The first was a map of the world, and the world is a much larger place than I had ever suspected. The second was a highly detailed map of Dunbar city.

Deliveries made, were then taken to a party and inducted into the Dunbarian thieve’s guild.

The next day, I was given a big, ugly percheron by the name of Snotface. It is a very fitting name, and I am likely going to have to take him to our Tree to see if we cannot remedy his allergies. I also gifted my Vorpal Daggers of Sniping to Pip, who always manages to be where things are most interesting. The daggers were simply… Too powerful for one such as myself to carry. I hope Pip finds someone who needs them more, or at the very least finds some way to enjoy them.

Chrys and Nith both have received new horses as well, stronger horses well suited to a life of adventuring. I believe Nith’s is even properly armored, a step I will need to take when we return to Olympia. Speaking of Pip and Olympia, the Paiges Guild has expanded to Dunbar City, operating out of the Boar’s Head Inn and Luciatto’s estate. While I had not planned to expand that guild here yet, I am happy it has happened. Call it a test-run, to see how well the Paiges are able to blend into the new setting.

If they are as successful as I have every right to expect, then the rest of our plans will have an expansion model to work from.

As I write this, the draft horse has been returned, I have my necklace back, and my companions have all made their way home, but there is one more stop for me, a home I haven’t seen in far too long. I’ll be there by nightfall to return the last precious pieces of my Lady’s soul. In fact, I believe I hear her calling me now, so I will finish this journal now.

Go in peace, Keb. You were a damned fine horse, felled too soon by an assassin’s hand. I have avenged you, blood for blood, but you will always be missed.

~Mugshot Wolffang Dragontooth, Head of the Olympian Thieve’s Guild, Ranger of the Order of the Arches

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Mughshot's Journal #117
Riverock - Rock River on the Road to Dunbar

Some interesting developments in this journey. In the forest to the South of an Imperial training base… Really, THE Imperial training base, as this is the one founded by the hero, Lord Greggor… At any rate, in this forest, a contingent of trainees led by a scarred and remarkably slowly speaking Gnome joined our camp for the night. I have only two items of note from this interaction:

The first: This patrol of seven – Six trainees and their erstwhile instructor – has killed thirty-eight assassins they had found skulking about their forest patrol. This is excellent news in that we now have thirty-eight fewer people on our trail. Bad news in that there are a remarkable number of people after us, and while the bodies we leave in our wake — that we know of — are must be numbering close to a hundred now, there are still an untold number ahead trying to stop us.

The second: On account of the instructor not allowing his trainees to carry food with them, our stores have been replenished with venison. For a somewhat hurried journey fraught with danger as we try to reach Dunbar alive, we certainly are eating well.

After passing through Riverock (and finding a new contact who apparently knows Rolph), we made camp. As we set up our tents, a lone figure, keeping his hands visible, entered our camp site, introducing himself as one of the assassins who is out to stop us. He certainly does seem as honorable as he claims, and after some words were exchanged, he and I shook hands and he left our camp unmolested. An interesting fellow, to be certain, and if he wasn’t being paid to kill me and my companions, I might even find myself enjoying his company.

Yes, dear. That’s why you love me, of course! I get along with everyone!

At any rate, our usual watches were arranged, and we slept. Sometime during Second, we came under attack. Luciatto quickly joined the fray as Fuzzy kicked everyone awake. I’m sorry to say that Lucy was felled before I could be roused. As I rose, however, Chrys and Fuzzy seemed to have their fight well in hand, so I turned towards Luciatto’s unseen attackers, and charged. Once out of the clearing and into the brush, they became quite visible, and I fell upon my chosen target with a will and Roarx’s Daggers of Punching.

The assassin’s blades were sharp, but he lost much of his fight when his left femur became pulverized. That he was able to stand after that blow was impressive, that he managed to lunge back at me on his good leg after I spun him by his wounded, more impressive still, but he could not control his balance or momentum to stop my throw, much less the dagger to his ribs that helped him into the air.

As my assassin fell, I turned to see the Lady Nyth throat punch her own aggressor, and swiftly kick an explosive pot from his hand before he had a chance to use it upon us. With all four assassins down, Nyth moved to help Luciatto while Chrys, Fuzzy, and I took care of the bodies. In the morning, we retrieved their ponies, gathered their weapons, and continued on to the next town. We came in late in the evening, acquired rooms at a fairly nice inn, and enjoyed a night of excellent food and entertainment, followed by impressively locked doors.

The next morning, Fuzzy and myself went to the market to sell off the assassin’s gear and the extra ponies. When we returned, we ran into the Assassin again, and parted ways amicably enough. He seemed to be in a hurry, no doubt laying a trap for us on the road ahead. Luckily, the Lady Nyth appears to have secured a very nice map, so after a quick study, we will plot our course and make what will hopefully be our final run to Dunbar city.

We are two days out now, faster if we run the whole way, though I do not know that our horses would be able to handle that… Whatever the outcome, we are nearly at journey’s end.

Mask, you have guided me to this path, and I will run it through to whatever end lies ahead of me. Bless this party with your cunning and with your luck. I have a feeling we will need it.

Syllvanis, the Blue Lady thanks you, and asks that you might lend your blessings to our friends as we travel through your great forest around Dunbar. And for what it’s worth, keep an eye on my tiger?

~Mugshot Wolffang Dragontooth, Head of the Olympian Thieve’s Guild, Ranger of the Order of the Arches

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A Letter to Jaffa
Information Gathering

To my good friend Jaffa,

Our present situation has lead me to the conclusion that we are severely lacking reliable information sources. This lack of information, and worse, the misinformation, is extremely dangerous for those of us involved, as well as those we have left behind as we take care of the business at hand. As such, I feel there are a few steps that we can take to greatly improve our intelligence gathering capabilities.

First, we have excellent resources in and around our home. We already have some ties to the Bardic Collegium, perhaps the best information source in the empire. We need to strengthen these ties, and find an equitable working relationship. Inter-discipline training, information or item trading, immunity and protection to all members of the College, outright bribery, whatever it takes. We need their reach. The Bards can go places we often can’t, speak to those who wouldn’t dream of being near us, often have special privileges in high-places, and most importantly, have ears as sticky as Pip’s fingers.

Within our town, the Companions Guild is also an important asset that has been largely over-looked. Making inroads with them will take more time, but I believe we can, with help from the Bards, have a source of information that not even the Bards can quite claim. Our long-term goal here should be to open a very High-end, respectable (and expensive) establishment with combined training from all three of our guilds. These men and women would be privy to information likely unobtainable through any of our other methods, including torture, with the additional benefit of being renewable and reusable, as well as an additional source of income for the guilds involved.

We will see the greatest benefit here during the Games, but I believe as the reputation of our establishment grows, we will see further returns on our investment.

We also need to have a better relationship with our competitive guilds, as well as the Assassin’s guild. The… Careful sharing of resources and information can spread the reach of our information network. In combination, all three of these could lead to our information network stretching the entirety of the Empire and perhaps beyond.

Finally, we require a fast and secure method of transferring information. I do not have any solid ideas here, perhaps check with the Bards, the DoucheBag Mage, or Pip. As head of the Pages guild, he may have some notion for managing that. Perhaps an expansion of the Pages Guild is in order?

I am trusting you to take this advice and find the best people and methods to bring it to fruition, as well as to put in place any additional avenues or safeguards as you see fit. The Guild Resources are yours to command.

Sincerely,

Guildmaster Mugshot Dragonstooth Wolffang

P.S.

In the mean time, see what you can dig up on our Dwarf.

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Mugshot's Journal #116
Rockwall: Questioning and The Road

The questioning mentioned in my previous journal was conducted one person at a time by the Sheriff Deputy Officer Marshall Dylan, with myself as the leader being questioned first. The questions themselves were nothing more or less than I had expected, mainly wondering where were from and where we were going, until he brought up the spurious warrants for our arrest and insinuated that I was a thief.

To say the Marshall has an excellent poker face would be an understatement. And he claims to not have a sense of humor! He also let me know that, “…a young rapscallion by the name of Pip…” had ridden into town on a tiger that had leapt over the 40ft wall, and was looking for us. Dryffa was being held in magical stasis until such time as we left with her.

After everyone was questioned, we were allowed to return to our rooms, but ran into Pip on the way. We discussed current events in our town, the state of the Guild, and he passed on a warning with information we did not have before. Some of these assassins are actually Master / High Assassins. I don’t know who we pissed off, or more likely, what the hell is in the box that we are carrying, but someone wants us very, very dead.

As it stands, I feel like we are depopulating part of the world, somewhat.

As a parting shot, Pip mentioned that he would be playing poker with Oblivion that night. Krys put up some money, asking him to double it, and then we went to our rooms to sleep.

In the morning, her winnings were on her pillow. We went out to watch a pissed off Oblivion ride through the closed gate, burning with an aura of horrible brimstone-y things and leaving a path of ice in wake. We spoke briefly with the Marshal and Pip where we learned that this town is an Order of the Arches stronghold.

It was about this time that Dryffa broke out of the stasis and her cell. And the building she was being held in, to greet me with a body slam. Being tackled by a four-hundred pound tiger is an experience I don’t know that I would often want to repeat, but I let it pass I have missed her so much.

She has grown! No longer the lanky katten, she’s a solid mass of fuzz, teeth, and claws who by all accounts I’ve heard has been just as active in protecting the town as the guard or the Thieve’s Guild. We rough-housed for a little but sadly we had to part ways as I feel she is probably safer in Olympia, and I have no want to have anyone die for me.

With my armor retrieved , and a message of a debt of favor for Alazar, we returned to the road, finding it trecherous and icy after Oblivion’s burning passage. We picked our way carefully, until we came across the words “OBLIVION WAS HERE” drawn in blood and gore across the landscape with the remains of several assassins.

We admired his penmanship before returning to the road, and making our way to a decent campsite. Lucy put up a blind while I built a few wilderness specific traps ,watches were assigned, and we all tried to rest.

Sometime during the first half of second watch, while Krys and Lucy were up together, assassins struck. They were handled easily by the pair, with the rest of the camp only waking up after the action as the two yelled at each other for whatever reason. We tracked down the assassin’s ponies, brought them back to our camp, looted the bodies, and then went back to sleep.

The rest of the night was uneventful.

The next day, we again made good time and reached our next destination, a town I cannot remember at this time, but as soon as someone tells me I will add here. A blizzard has blown in again, so we will wait for it to pass before we decide how to cross the river.

We are only a week or so from Dunbar, I believe. I hope my planned path is as secure as it looks…

~Mugshot Wolffang Dragontooth, Head of the Olympian Thieve’s Guild, Ranger of the Order of the Arches

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A Letter to Rolf
On the Road Again

Der Roly,

Wee ar on tha rod agan. I got yor piktur. Thank you. Pip shod up on tha tigar. It skard Marshall alot. O yah, Marshall sas hi. Plees mak sur thatt Dahlia iz wel. I luv yu booth.

Luv,
Krys

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Mugshot's Journal: #115
Arbitrarily numbered Journal of the passage to Rockwall

With some regret, we parted ways with Danny and Liad and returned to the road. After visiting the gift shop, of course. An interesting idea, that. A place to buy souvenirs and keepsakes of the places that you have been. Luckily for me, they provide transport at no additional fee and I was able to inflict my sense of humor upon Jaffa.

I am also out of gold now, on account of Lucciatto’s indecisiveness. When Lord Liad asked him what he wanted from the Gift Shop, he couldn’t think of anything, so I told him he wanted a dagger. In fact, he wanted Dagger #5. I had no idea if there were five daggers, but to my amusement not only did there happen to be a dagger, it was a powerful magic one. That I know the full extent of, and he is only now coming to realise. The joys of Liad telling me exactly what the dagger does, and not telling Lucy.

Good times.

We also received further news on the assassins, in that they have magic users among their numbers. It is a thought I believe we were all aware of to a degree, the scrying spell we found and have since foiled being a pretty fairly clear indicator. Still, all information is useful. Especially our line of work…

This winter is bitterly cold, and the road beyond the Tower is no different. Our first night out was especially cold, with a blizzard blowing through over night. The next morning found our camp surrounded by nearly four feet of snow. More troubling were the tracks that surrounded it. I… embarrassingly was unable to identify them, but someone else pointed out that they were like a giant wolf. Something a bit unnerving about a giant wolf being close enough to sniff your tent without managing to alert any of those on watch.

After some discussion, we decided to stay in camp rather than attempt to fight the snow. The wolves would be more likely to strike when we were tired. Instead, we spent the day building up a snow blind around the camp. If nothing else, it would help shield our location from the aassassins, should they be braving the road.

That night, all was quiet until my watch. I was blindsided by one of the wolves who had entered our camp as I walked the perimeter. I tried talking it down, and ended up having my leg chewed instead while Fuzzy and Lucy killed the poor beast. Direwolf it may be, but it was obviously starved and wounded, else it would likely not have come so far as to hunt us. It was here that Lucy found out his dagger causes the target to levitate, which was very useful for moving the corpse out of the camp.

At some point, we watched two wolves, one much healthier and larger, drag the corpse of their brother into the woods, but we were not molested further.

We made it back onto the road the third day, and though driving through the snow was harsh, we at last made it to Rockwall. The town is highly militarized, and we will be questioned at their first convenience, but we are safe, for now. My armour is being repaired by a leathersmith, for free thankfully, as a favor to Alazar. I have also sold my Deathknight’s dagger. I was painfully strapped for gold, and frankly was getting a little overburdened.

I believe I hear the guard captain coming now, so I will leave this here. We are only a week or two from Dunbar now, should everything fall into place.

~Mugshot Wolffang Dragontooth, Head of the Olympian Thieve’s Guild, Ranger of the Order of the Arches

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To Rock River... or River Rock
According to Crys

Aftar leeving tha towar, it beecam vary cold. No not vary cold, f*cking cold! So f*cking cold tha halfins’ sno glob-thingy startad frostin. And theeen Lucky mad a wolv levi… levi… float damit! With ’is daggar! Boss cals it Daggar Nombar 5. Whatevar that meens… Aneeway wee mad it to Rok Rivar… or Rivar Rok… whatevar… an I got a flamey sord…

Did I menshon thar wer wolvs?

-Crys

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Journal From Liad's Tower
The Second Part

Picking up where I left off, Wyvern Rock turned out to be… Enlightening. And enrichening. Hell, we even found some interesting weapons, and traps. Fuzzy definitely deserves the extra 10% share after what happened… And while I know Vyl and I are about the only people in this realm that can read these journals, I will still not put on paper what happened there to protect the pride of all involved.

The Dwarf, Mondar, managed to almost catch up with us, but ran afoul of a lone assassin. Near as we could tell after the assassin entered our camp and died, is that the Dwarf was ambushed, had his horse shot out from under him, and succumbed to the poison the Assassins are using. We found him near to death, but Nyth’s ever-useful (and occasionally over-taxed) healing powers brought him back.

I’ll… Get back to you on whether that’s a good thing or not, and don’t ya chew me out for not trustin’ my companions dear! You know what’s in my head, and you know I’m right in bein’ cautious!

By Mask! Er… Sylvannis! You know what? All the gods! Besides, I’m the one writing this, and it’s MY hand that is getting sore, so would you stop arguing with me so I can get back to the journal?

At any rate, we decided at this point to split up. We knew the assassins were looking for a group of six, so some disguises were put into play and Fuzzy, Lucy, Crys, and Nith took the long road, heading back to the road through the plains, while Mondar and I cut straight through to the next town that was our destination.

I forgot to mention, we were not travelling across the plains as the Plainsfolk had given us tokens showing our right to travel off the road, something none of the assassins had.

Mondar and I had a relatively easy trip, he upon the Asssassin’s pony after his own steed was shot from beneath him, until we reached a logical camping place. Turns out it was already occupied by four riders with shaggy ponies, quite remarkably like the one our own Mondar was now astride. The battle began, but was short lived. It lasted long enough for an assassin to stoned, for myself to dismount and get stabbed in the back, and then a rain of plainsfolk arrows ended further resistance. Corpses were looted, we all ate together, and then the plainsfolk went one way and we took our two new ponies the other.

We had no more trouble, reaching Jirunstown quickly and setting up in the most expensive (and secure!) inn. We had no uses for the fancy riding saddles the Assassins used, so had a stable boy sell them for 10% of the profit. From there, we paid up for three days at the inn, and waited.

The rest of the party came in on the third day, got some supplies, and met up with us. On the fourth, Nyth went to temple of Mishalkal where she left a sample of the poison the assassins are using on us. We ended up staying another day to get the antidote, but apparently pushed our luck a little too far.

On the fifth day, I was called to the town keep before Lady Jirun. Our Dwarf had gone and got himself in bit of trouble, and I will not go repeat his actions here. He instead wound up in the Gaol. Jirun explained what happened, and gave us warning, as a fellow thief about the assassins and fake writs, and sent us on our way.

Our next goal was to be Liad’s mage tower and school. None of us could imagine a safer location, though it did take some convincing before everyone agreed. This trip was longer, but completely uneventful. The road we traveled was heavily guarded, even the campsites. The night we spent on the road, the camp was guarded by a Warforged, a strange sight to behold. A soul bound to a mechanical suit of armour.

As a way to rebuild the supplies our stay would deplenish, I took Fuzzy out for hunting lesson. Her boots mean I did not have to worry about her city-breeding preventing her from walking quietly. I successfully brought down a wild sheep, which was shared among all who passed through the camp that night. We did not keep a watch in the night, so we were a little surprised at the additional tent that cropped up in the night, or more specifically, of the now very familiar pony and saddle that were outside it.

After some discussion, we checked our snares, found nothing, and returned to the road. Again, we had a largely trouble-free journey, finally arriving at Liad’s Mage School. It turns out they have a guest center, specifically to handle visitors for the school, so we were able to get lodgings for the night. Crys remembered that Danny was a student here, and when asked, the man at the front desk let us know that he was getting along excellently in his studies. He even offered us the chance to eat with the students, and we jumped at the opportunity.

We washed up, and then went to dinner. I wasn’t sure I would be able to find Danny easily in the crowd, but it turned out I did not need to. The boy has grown! It was great to see him again, and we all exchanged greetings and stories through out dinner. We even ran into Liad again, who invited us to his library after dinner.

The library was an amazing place, even Vylwinalli was impressed by the number of books. We all made ourselves comfortable as Liad relayed news of our home. The assassins and mercenaries have attempted to put it to siege, to strike at our families, and I am shaking with frustration and rage as I write these words. My only solace is that they are failing miserably. Between the Pages and Thieve’s guilds, the extremely competent Town Guard, and the Imperial Guard Regiment under the command of Lord General Dar’s own Captain Reggie, there is little the town has to fear.

Still, some threats are getting through. Sarah, my neice, managed to dent her best skillet, so I have sent word to commission the Dwarves who made my Punch Dagger of Roarx to make her a pair of skillets or pans (at her discretion) at least as awesome, from my personal accounts in Olympia.

Only the best for my family.

Dryffa is doing well, and it sounds like Pip has found a way to draw the town’s attention from the killers about them. This is a service I could never thank him enough for…

As the rest of the party wandered to bed after our briefing, I remained behind, asking Liad for maps of the forest around Dunbar. These forests are going to be the most dangerous part of our journey, but thanks to the maps that Liad was able to provide for our viewing, I am confident I have planned out the safest route through. especially now that the Scrying spell they were using to track us has been confused.

I can do no more tonight, so with this good news and hopeful tidings, I will finish this journal.

We still live. We have faced down demons, thieves, monsters, and a Goddess. The gods as my witness, we will thrive through this job, and we will return to our home and our loved ones once again.

~Mugshot WolfFang Dragontooth, the Guild Leader of the Olympian Thieves, Ranger of the Order of the Arches

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Quest Update
Crys's Log

Thay attakked tha famly. Thay went after tha baybe. Liad sas that tha duke is takin cair of it. But I wood rathar bee hom takin care of it. Tha soonar that we tak cair of thees asas… asas… asses with nives and delever tha box tha beter.

Crys

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