Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
It had been a long tense night. I had spent most of it in the Wizard’s Walk but I had finally found what I was looking for. Jasmine said she was going to be busy on a complex project so I was on my own for a few days. I glanced at the two cats as they slipped out of the shadows. They had the trick of being able to remain unseen when they wanted.
They also seemed to love eating porridge. I held the door open for them as the drakes flew through. Dragon hummed as she rubbed against my neck and we walked into the tavern. Only a few people were up as I crossed to my table against the back wall. Young Teresa came in and smiled before turning to tell her mother I was here.
I sat as the cats jumped onto the table and the drakes landed. Griffin slipped through a window and across the room to land on the table in front of me. He folded his wings and nodded to the Emerald cat before sitting. I smiled and reached out to take the tiny message scroll from under his right paw.
I opened it as Teresa brought three large bowls of porridge. She slipped them off the tray and onto the table before pulling a wrapped piece of beef out of her apron. She held it out and Dragon jumped off my shoulder and landed on her arm to take it. I shook my head as I looked at the message, “You spoil them Teresa.”
She grinned as she sat and started petting each of them. I sat back and slipped the message into my shirt. Her mother appeared with my mug of hot spiced cider. She set it on the table with the two thick slices of toast covered with melted cheese. I smiled and slipped her two silver pieces which was a lot more than the meal.
She smiled as she left and I sipped my tea and started eating. When I was almost done the front door opened. Silver walked in looking tired and a little strained. He glanced around before crossing to sit. Teresa blushed and stood to collect the now empty bowls. I smiled at Silver, “It looks like you had a night worse then mine.”
The cats were laid out purring with all the drakes draped over them. Griffin was cleaning his claws and Dragon was curled up around my warm cup of cider. Silver smiled, “I don’t know why you insist on feeding them.”
I looked at my friends and smiled, “They may not need it but they do enjoy it.”
I looked at him, “So what do you need?”
He sighed and turned to accept a cup of hot cider from Teresa. After she left he took a sip and sighed before glancing around, “In Duke Thomas’s treasure room is a shield. On the back by the buckle is three large rubies. I need you to switch the rubies and bring the ones from the shield to me.”
I lifted Dragon to my shoulder before drinking the cider down as I thought. I looked at Silver, “what do the rubies look like?”
He smiled as he slipped a small pouch across to me, “Like these.”
I opened the pouch and then closed it, “You want me to replace the other rubies with these?”
He nodded, “yes, these have simple warding spells on them.”
I finally nodded, “I won’t be able to get in until tonight.”
Silver smiled, “Tonight will be fine.”
I grinned, “what is my payment?”
He grinned, “Well, you have been reading that book on the essence of transhifting objects I could perhaps enspell something for you.”
I thought about it and grinned, “A rope, one that can lengthen at least three times its length and then shorten.”
Silver nodded, “done.”
I nodded and stood, “Jasmine has a project so I am on my own for a coupe of days. I’ll bring the stones to your shop once I have them.”
He nodded and stood, “tomorrow morning.”
I glanced at the table, “come on you.”
I started walking and a moment later the drakes and Griffin flew through the door when I opened it. I knew the cats would find their own way and left. I woke to Dragon patting my cheek and the others all draped over me. I moved them before getting up and washing. I dressed carefully before leaving.
I stopped to eat before heading towards the richer side of the city. Duke Thomas’s estate was one of the larger and better protected ones. It had high walls around it and guards walking around. I stopped in the shadows to look along the wall. There were street lamps every hundred feet and a guard that patrolled as well as city guards that walked the streets.
I glanced down at one of the cats rubbing on my leg. It looked towards one corner and I stepped back into the alley. There was several loud and belligerent nobles arguing with two guards. I watched as more guards arrived and finally slipped back and walked quickly. I headed down the alley and turned to head away before finally turning towards the estate.
I crossed at a corner and ignored the light from the street lamp as I jumped and climbed up the wall. At the top I laid flat and carefully looked around but all the inner guards were together up where the nobles were gathered. I dropped over and crouched when I landed. Dragon landed on my shoulder and patted my cheek before pointing.
I smiled when I saw the open window and nodded before standing and walking towards it. Griffin was sitting on the window sill when I reached it. He moved as I jumped and caught the frame before pulling myself in. I found myself in the duke’s study and glanced around before moving towards the door.
Treasure rooms are either on an upper floor or in a basement. The duke was more open about things so after I peeked out the door I headed towards the stairs. I went up and followed the torches. At one end of the third floor was a bright lantern with a guard standing beside a narrow set of stairs.
From the position I knew they went up into the top of the tower. I moved back into the stairs and went up to the small narrow door at the very top of the stairs. I checked and then opened the door before climbing a few more steps. I pulled the tiny dark lantern I carried and looked around at the huge attic.
I smiled as I started towards the end with the tower. A tiny sparkle caught my eye and Dragon slapped my cheek. I glanced at her as she suddenly dropped off my shoulder. She flew to the side where an old moth eaten velvet cloth draped over a cage. I followed and knelt to pull the cloth away. In the cage staring back at me was a set of miniatures.
A set is like chest pieces. They are small with, four tiny wolves and four lions, they are the pawns. Two rainbow eagles, two drakes, two griffins and two dragons. I shook my head, I couldn’t believe they had been brought up here and abandoned. I slipped my pack off and opened the cage, “Inside and be quiet.”
They swarmed out of the cage and into my small pack. I closed the pack and put it on before lifting Dragon back to my shoulder, “Stupid nobles.”
I silently made my way to the end of the attic. Through the vents I could see the top of the tower. I unlatched the vent and pushed it open before carefully slipping out. I had to be careful because the roof had slates that had been on for a long time and were very slick. I moved down slowly until I was against the tower wall.
I put cat claws on and started to climb and move sideways. The closest window was ten feet up and five feet over and took me a couple of minutes to reach. One look and I knew I would have to go higher. The window was more of a narrow slit than a window. I climbed another ten feet before reaching up and out.
I grasped the roof beam and swung away from the wall. I pulled myself up and careful climbed onto the tower roof. The drakes were already working on the vents at the tower peak. I climbs up the steep roof and nodded to the drakes that had pulled several vent slats out. I crawled through the hole and looked down as I moved onto a thick beam.
I hung from the beam before dropping into a crouch. Chests were lining the walls and treasure was everywhere. There were several shields and I moved to the closest. I found the one I wanted on the third try and went to work. I used small jeweler tools to remove the rubies and replace them with the ones I had been given.
When I was done I used a chest to stand on and leap for the beam. I went out the way I had come in. I placed a grapple hook in the frame of the vent and whispered to the drakes. Dragon dropped off my shoulder as I used the rope tied to the grapple and climbed down off the tower and onto the roof of the manor.
A minute later Dragon and the drakes dropped the grapple. I knew Dragon and the drakes were now replacing the vents as I carefully climbed the manor roof to the open vent. I waited until Dragon flew across and took her perch before closing the vent and locking it. I used my dark lantern to make my way back to the stairs.
It was simple to climb down the stairs to the first floor and get back to the study. One look out the open window and I knew the distraction from the nobles was over. I squatted and watched the guards for several minutes before I had the pattern down. I slipped out and moved to a thick flower bush and knelt.
A minute later a guard walked past less then five feet away. Once he was past I moved again, this time kneeling beside a wide tall fountain. After another guard went by I headed straight to the wall and started up. I lay along the top and watched the street as two city guards walked by followed a few moments later by a duke’s guard.
I dropped off the wall as soon as they went around the corner. As soon as I landed I was walking across the street and into the shadows of an alley. I took my time and used the shadows to leave that part of the city. I walked into the Grinning Cat and glanced around before crossing to my table.
There were a few late night revelers that murmured as my friends swirled around before landing on the table. I saw a sleepy Teresa stand up from her pile of blankets by the fire and grinned as I had an idea. I took my pack off as she walked to the table, “you got stuck attending the fire tonight?”
She smiled and absently reached out to pet Griffin, “yeah.”
I opened my pack, “You can come out now.”
Teresa’s eyes went wide as the set of miniatures emerged, “you got more?”
I grinned, “Actually, I was thinking they might need a young lady like you to care for them.”
She looked at me stunned and then at the tiny creatures, “for real?”
I reached out to caress her face, “For real. They have been neglected for a long time and need a lot of attention and love.”
She nodded and sat, “I’ll take real good care of them.”
She started touching and caressing each of the tiny creatures with an angel’s smile on her face. I smiled and stood, “See you for breakfast?”
Teresa nodded absently and I scooped up Dragon before heading towards the door, “I think I’ll ask Jasmine if she can make a few more of those miniatures to give to the street kids.”
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