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Episode 231: One year, two months, and twelve days.
(Part 3 of 12)

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Hail friends,

3 days pass. I should really know better, but I just can't help myself. There was loot to be had and a guild of loot-carrying-blues who had what I wanted.

In each of the previous two mornings I settled into a routine. The goal was not to engage the loot-carrying-blues, but to watch and wait and observe. The group and the individual each had a routine and I wanted to burn into memory every move they made. I wanted to know locations, times, and tendancies. I wanted to know who carried the dice, who gathered the gold, and who brought the dragons. I wanted to know skills, proficiencies, and faults. I wanted to know who lead the groups, who were the regulars, and who were less polished than the rest. I wanted to watch their non-verbal gestures and pick up on their verbal clues. I wanted to know everything because if I did this right and stuck to the plan, I'd be in this for the long haul. 6 months was just the beginning.

(It's here that I begin taking notes on each and every one of them.)

Today wasn't an ambush attempt at the Abbey. Today was just a scouting expedition at the alter, but first I had to catch them in the act.

(At least this time I had a rough schedule etched in my head.)

I get up at 3:00am.

--But first!

The new recruit, Jackal, wanted to see me at Minoc bank. He had something for me and I gladly accept what he had to offer.

I don't know where the 120 stealing came from and I don't ask. But a newly stolen scroll of transcendence from the bank?

(This one was a keeper.)

I had plans of my own in a few hours, but I take the time to give him the grand tour of all the best Barter Town housing locations. And before we go our separate ways to deal our own brand of chaos and destruction upon the lands, there was one thing he absolutely must know.


(Come closer.)

(A little closer.)

('Tis a secret.)


(Welcome to the guild!)


(Now where was I?)

Today was the big day and by this time I had their time table almost down to the minute. They always gather at Yew Abbey when the clock approachs 4:00. My clock was reading 3:20, so I scout ahead.

Everything was as it should be and this time their guildmistress, Hoffs, accompanied the party.

But why waste my effort at the alter?

They may not be an extremely offensive bunch, but you can bet they know how to protect their scrolls... but still, I can't help myself.

Barraccoon was up...

...and then he was down.

(3:45, right on schedule.)

With no early morning raiders, they take their time in collecting the gold... and I take a closer look.


Ah, not bad. But not good either.

Just a ground scroll, not worthy of their pockets.

(I help myself anyway and move on to the next.)


And why do I take the chance of my less-than-honorable intentions being revealed?

Because I was still at the spawn, of course. Fool me here and the spawn is no longer secure. Fool me here and the Abbey is just as secure as it was the day before. They jump through the gate on the alter and leave me in the dust.

I should know better. The plan was not to approach them; not just yet. But if my instincts were right (and with a little luck), I wouldn't be the only gating in. I break my own self-imposed protocol because I just can't help myself.

(I didn't get up at 3:00am for nothing.)

I open a gate right in the middle of their gathering and they don't even blink. Their guild was so huge with so many people arriving and departing -- what's suspicious about one additional gate?


The rats gather... and so do I.


Something worth fighting for.


Something worth dying for...?


I still only had 102.7 skill in stealing... and it showed.

Aluxes has a good laugh.


--And so do I.

(Aurora should be more careful when looting me.)

And still, in my moment of shame, she feels the need to spread lies to my face.

Hettar Dargaard: He's a thief.
Aurora: I have heard you are a great one.

The 115 Magery (and even the 115 Resist) are stripped of my body. More than that, the element of surprise is no longer on my side and the glory that was promised to me is in question once again.

How determined were they to use the Abbey as a meeting place? Why certain were they that I'd give up and go home? Did they even know I had a rune of my own or did they think I took a ride of one of their gates? Why don't they just use someone's secure house? Would they use one for a while and become complacent again in time? Is the convenience of the bank worth so much to them?

I wonder what Hoffs looks like naked?

(Too many questions.)

...it would be another month before I'd attempt a stunt like that again.

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