Online:Chance's Folly, Part 1

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Up Chance's Folly
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Collection Tales of Tamriel
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Chance's Folly, Part 1
The folly of a double-crosser

By the time she was sixteen, Minevah Iolos had been an unwelcome guest in every shop and manor in Balmora. Sometimes, she would take everything of value within; other times, it was enough to experience the pure pleasure of finding a way past the locks and traps. In either situation, she would leave a pair of dice in a prominent location as her calling card to let the owners know who had burgled them. The mysterious ghost became known to the locals as Chance.

A typical conversation in Balmora at this time:

"My dear, whatever happened to that marvelous necklace of yours?"

"My dear, it was taken by Chance."

The only time when Chance disliked her hobby was when she miscalculated, and she came upon an owner or a guard. So far, she had never been caught, or even seen, but dozens of times she had uncomfortably close encounters. There came a day when she felt it was time to expand her reach. She considered going to Vivec or Gnisis, but one night at the Eight Plates, she heard a tale of the Heran Ancestral Tomb, an ancient tomb filled with traps and possessing hundreds of years of the Heran family treasures.

The idea of breaking the spell of the Heran Tomb and gaining the fortune within appealed to Chance, but facing the guardians was outside of her experience. While she was considering her options, she saw Ulstyr Moresby sitting at a table nearby, by himself as usual. He was huge brute of a Breton who had a reputation as a gentle eccentric, a great warrior who had gone mad and paid more attention to the voices in his head than to the world around him.

If she must have a partner in this enterprise, Chance decided, this man would be perfect. He would not demand or understand the concept of getting an equal share of the booty. If worse came to worse, he would not be missed if the inhabitants of the Heran Tomb were too much for him. Or if Chance found his company tiresome and elected to leave him behind.

"Ulstyr, I don't think we've ever met, but my name is Minevah," she said, approaching the table. "I'm fancying a trip to the Heran Ancestral Tomb. If you think you could handle the monsters, I could take care of unlocking doors and popping traps. What do you think?"

The Breton took a moment to reply, as if considering the counsel of the voices in his head. Finally he nodded his head in the affirmative, mumbling, "Yes, yes, yes, prop a rock, hot steel. Chitin. Walls beyond doors. Fifty-three. Two months and back."

"Splendid," said Chance, not the least put off by his rambling. "We'll leave early tomorrow."