How The Thieves Guild Almost Stole the Day of Giving
It was a cold, snowy day in Meridell. Naturally, this meant one thing – the Day of Giving was growing ever closer! Naturally, this had Sir Hunter excited – not because of the presents, but because he loved the holiday itself. In fact, he loved winter in general – white snow, freezing temperatures and everything else. He just couldn't help being in a happy mood around this time of year, and everyone else knew it.
"Good morning, everyone!" Hunter walked into his home's dining room, already wearing his armor when everyone else was wearing their nightwear. Well, except Sirocco, who was already in his thieves' outfit. "Winter's here!"
"Yeah, I know." Miraja took a long sip of Shenkuuvian tea. "My tail was almost frozen off last night!" The Xweetok had a blanket huddled around her due to the cold.
"Meh." Sirocco rolled his eyes. "All I ever get is coal."
Ashlynne giggled as she read one of her spellbooks. "Perhaps it's because you steal most of your 'presents'?"
"Pfft, I only steal from people that deserve it." Sirocco frowned. "You know, thugs, evil mercenaries, corrupt officials, and other nasty people." Sirocco then pulled his hood over his head and jumped out the window. "Speaking of which, I heard that the Meridell Thieves' Guild has been up to something. I'll go check 'em out and come back if there's anything going on."
Hunter sighed, and sat down at the dining table. "I guess I'm the only one excited right now." Hunter took his sword down from the wall and left. "I'm going to go with Sirocco and make sure he doesn't hurt himself. Do you two want to come along?"
Miraja sneezed and shook her head. "Not when I'm sick..."
Ashlynne nodded. "I'll stay here and take care of Miraja. I do know quite a few healing spells, after all."
"All right, then." Hunter walked out the door. "I'll see you after Sirocco and I get back from our sting."
"All right, let's see... This entrance has a pit trap, this one traps you in a giant net, and this corridor has a hungry Gelatinous Non-Cube... Darn!" Sirocco muttered some Qasalan curses under his breath. "Is there any way into the guild?!"
"Well, we could always try the Meridell Sewer System."
"GAH!" Sirocco jumped, startled by Hunter's sudden appearance. "Don't scare me like that! I'm trying to conduct a stake-out!"
Hunter scratched the back of his head. "Sorry, but I had to go along with you. The best way in there's through the sewers."
"How would you know that?" Sirocco raised an eyebrow.
"Well, back when I was a squire, I had to clean up some parts of the sewers. It was... Unpleasant, to say the least." Hunter shuddered a bit – as a Lupe, bad smells were even worse thanks to his great sense of smell. "The Thieves' Guild used to have a trapdoor they could use to sneak around the sewer systems. We could listen from underneath the trap door, and then we go in and arrest them."
Sirocco smirked, twirling around his dagger – it glowed with a blue light as a small vortex of sand grains swirled around the blade. "And we'll have all the time in the world to pull it off."
"So, is the plan clear?" Heermeedjet gestured to the rest of the guild, while his brother paced around.
"It should be, since we stated everything about it. So..." Meerouladen turned to the rest of the guild. "Do you maroons get it?"
Some of the guild members nodded, while others shook their heads. One of them, a rather dim-looking Skeith, was among the second group. "Ey, how are we supposed to sneak into Meridell castle again if they locked up the sewer hatch on their side?"
Heermeedjet slapped his paw to his face. "Oi... First, we hide in some hay stacks in Meri Acres. Then, when we get to the Whinny kennels, we go through the castle and steel everything..."
"Including Skarl's presents!" Meerouladen smirked, rubbing his paws together. "Every year, that fat old palooka gets gifts from other rulers – gold statues, huge gemstones in shiny jewelry, priceless silverware, the works. And this year, we're gonna take ALL of it, ya got it?"
The Thieves cheered, completely unaware that Hunter and Sirocco were below the floorboards listening in on their scheme. "I told you they'd be up to something."
Hunter nodded. "So, what do we do? Report this to Skarl?"
Sirocco shook his head. "Where's the fun in that? I say we ambush THEM at Meri Acres. With your enchanted sword and my enchanted dagger of time, we could take them down and bring 'em right to Skarl!"
Hunter shook his head and shrugged. "I don't know, I think the simple solution would work better."
"Fine." Sirocco rolled his eyes. "Besides, I just had another idea."
"Oh, great. What is it this time?" Hunter sighed. "Are you planning to just barge in there from here and take them all on? We're outnumbered – they'd take us out too easily."
"No, no." Sirocco smirked again. "You tell Skarl, and I'll go in, grab their attention, and turn their traps against them while I'm escaping. Got it?"
Hunter nodded and smiled. "I'm with you on this one."
After Hunter left, Sirocco pried open the trap door to see thirty thieves staring him down. He confidently smirked, confident in his plan. "Wow, I'm amazed. Somehow, you meatheads plans get stupider and stupider every year!"
"What the – Sirocco?!" Heermeedjet visibly fumed, pointing his paw at the Zafara. "Get 'im, boys!"
"Yeah, sock it to 'em!" Meerouladen jumped up and down, shaking his fists. "We'll just be over here rootin' for ya!"
"Wow, you two really are Wibreths!" Sirocco dodged most of the thugs' attacks. "Come over here and bring the fight to me, if you're brave enough."
"Who are you to be talkin' 'bout bein' brave, maroon?" Heermeedjet huffed, still trying to get as far away from the Zafara as possible. "You're just dodging an' hanging out in the rafters!"
"So?" Sirocco ran along the rafters towards the twins, his dagger glowing with the power of time itself. "At least I'm actually chasing someone!" He jumped down and started gaining on Heermeedjet and Meerouladen. "So, you ready to give up?"
"No way!" Meerouladen stuck his tongue out at Sirocco. "Besides, our mooks are still gonna get you- What the-?" Meerouladen and his brother heard many of the thieves shouting and hollering as they were snagged by a giant net. "You idiots! How could you let him trick you into falling one of OUR traps?!
The remaining thieves still chased after Sirocco, but as he dashed around a turn, they came face to face with the Hungry Gelatinous Non-Cube. "RUN AWAY!" The thieves, including the Meerca twins themselves, rapidly turned around... And fell right into the pit trap.
"DARN IT!" Heermeedjet shook his fist at Sirocco as he and the remaining thieves tried to crawl out of the pit – although there weren't any spikes, it was certainly deep enough to be difficult to climb out of. "WE'LL GET YOU, SIROCCO!"
"YEAH!" Meerouladen shook his fist as well.
"Actually..." Sirocco smirked from above the pit. "I think you guys are the ones who're getting caught." The Zafara leaped out of the way as a ladder was dropped down the pit... Leading the thieves right into the clutches of a whole squadron of Meridell's knights, led by Sir Hunter.
Hunter drew his sword. "All right, do you lot want to be arrested peacefully, or do you want a fight?"
Heermeedjet and Meerouladen got on their knees. "We surrender!"
"Good." Hunter nodded. "Take them away to prepare them for a trial."
Sirocco leaped back over the pit. "Well, that was fun."
Hunter shrugged. "Not really. You wouldn't BELIEVE all of the forms I had to sign just to conduct this." He sighed, and placed his hand on Sirocco's shoulder. "We should really go home. I need a good rest."
"Me too, buddy." Sirocco chuckled. "Me too."