Online:Three Thieves, Part Two

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Three Thieves, Part Two
by Anonymous
Some thieves in Morrowind plan a heist

Galsiah brought out the map of the guildhouse, freshly stolen, and they began to detail out the strategy.

The last several hours had been a whirlwind to all. In less than a day, the three had met, formulated a plan, bought or stolen the necessary ingredients, and were about to execute it. Not one of the three were sure whether confidence or stupidity were driving the other two, but the fates were aligned. The guildhouse was going to be robbed.

When the sun set, Lledos, Galsiah, and Imalyn approached the Cobblers Guildhouse on the east end of town. Galsiah used her cachous of stoneflower to mask their scent from the guard wolves as the three passed over the parapets. She also acted as lead scout, and Lledos was impressed. For someone of relative inexperience, she knew her way through shadows.

Lledos's expertise was demonstrated a dozen times, and the guards were of such a diverse variety, he was able to demonstrate all the means of silent assassination he had developed over the years.

Imalyn opened the vault in his unique and systematic method. As the tumblers fell beneath his fingers, he softly sang an old dirty tavern song about the Ninety-Nine Loves of Boethiah. He said it helped him focus and organize difficult combinations. Within seconds, the vault was open and the gold was in hand.

They left the guildhouse an hour after they entered. No alarm had been raised, the gold was gone, and corpses lay pooling blood on the stone floors within.

"Well done, my friends, well done. You learned well." Lledos said as he poured the gold pieces into the specially designed compartments in his tunic's sleeves, where they held fast with no jingling or unusual bulges. "We'll meet back at the Plot and Plaster tomorrow morning and split up the bounty."

The group parted ways. The only person who knew the most covert route through the city's sewer system, Lledos, slipped in through a duct and vanished below. Galsiah threw on her shawl, muddied her face to resemble an old f'lah fortune-teller, and headed north. Imalyn headed east into the park, trusting his unnatural senses to keep him away from the city watch.

Now I teach them the greatest lesson of all, thought Lledos as he sloshed through the labyrinthine tunnels of sludge. His guar was waiting where he left it at the city gates, making a laconic lunch of the chokeweed shrub to which it had been leashed.

On the road to Vivec, he thought of Galsiah and Imalyn. Perhaps they had been caught and brought in for questioning already. It was a pity he couldn't see them undergoing interrogation. Who would break under pressure first? Imalyn was certainly the tougher of the two, but Galsiah doubtless had hidden reserves. It was merely intellectual curiosity: they thought his name was Lledos and he was meeting them at the Plot and Plaster. The authorities wouldn't therefore be looking for a Dunmer named Sathis celebrating his wealth miles and miles away in Vivec.

As he prodded his mount forward and the sun began rising, Sathis pictured Galsiah and Imalyn not undergoing interrogation, but sleeping the good deep sleep of the wicked, dreaming of how they would spend their share of the gold. Both would wake up early and rush to the Plot and Plaster. He could see them now, Imalyn laughing and carrying on, Galsiah hushing him to avoid bringing undue attention. They would take a couple flagons of greef, perhaps order a meal — a big one — and wait. Hours would pass, and so would their moods. The chain of reactions that every betrayed person exhibits: nervousness, doubt, bewilderment, anger.

The sun was fully risen when Sathis reached the stables of his house on the outskirts of Vivec. He reigned in his guar and filled its feed. The rest of the stalls were empty. It wouldn't be until that afternoon when his servants returned from the feast of St. Rilms in Gnisis. They were good people, and he treated them well, but from past experience he knew that servants talked. If they began to connect his absences with thefts in other towns, it was only a matter of time before they would go to the authorities or blackmail him. After all, they were human. It was best in the long run to give them a week off with pay whenever he was out of town on business.

He slipped the gold into the vault in his study, and went upstairs. The schedule had been tight, but Sathis had given himself a few hours to rest before his household returned. His own bed was wonderfully soft and warm compared to the dreadful mattress he had to use at the canton in Tel Aruhn.

Sathis woke up some time later from a nightmare. For a second after he opened his eyes, he thought he could still hear Imalyn's voice nearby, singing "The Ninety-Nine Loves of Boethiah." He lay still in his bed, waiting, but there was no sound except the usual creaks and groans of his old house. Afternoon sunlight came through his bedroom window in ribbons, catching dust. He closed his eyes.

The song returned, and Sathis heard the vault door in his study swing open. The smell of stoneflower filled his nose and he opened his eyes. Only a little of the afternoon sunlight could pierce the inside of the burlap sack.

A strong, feminine hand clamped over the mouth and a thumb jabbed under his chin. Just as his throat opened and his head was shoved to the side, he heard Galsiah say in her typical calm voice, "Thank you for the lesson, Sathis."