Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Thief (book)

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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Thief

by Brometh Bathanes

Ah, being a thief, the most blessed guild among them all. To be a thief is to know camaraderie and to understand the whole meaning of a true guild. Sure, you can join another guild and throw spells around, or call yourself a weaponsmaster because you know how to use a couple blades, but the "true" meaning of a guild? What is the best way to define it but to say, to be a thief is to know unity.

As a thief you are not expected much, a few guild requirements and devotion. Thieves need devotion; there is nothing about being a thief that doesn't require it. Devotion to oneself in skill, devotion to the guild in keeping secrets safe even though you want so desperately to show your other friends the secrets we know, and most importantly of all, devotion to others. Without devotion to one another, we can not call ourselves one, for as our leader more or less put it (and aptly), "we are the only ones that understand one another."

We never turn one another in. Even if the thief next to you just dishonored your sister and emptied your pockets, there are more creative ways to seek revenge than to accuse him to the silly town guards. Surely a guild which boasts it's survival skills as much as we do can manage without running to some dandily-dressed town guards which claim to run this town. Claim, because everyone knows the town is run from it's underside.

So, you're an aspiring young thief wondering what in this big, wonderful, ripe-for-the-plucking -world to do. Well, first, that change you may still have in your pockets if you managed to get somehow past your experienced brethren should go in the bank. Just head on over to the southeastern side of town and deposit it all in the bank window.

So now you have a bit of booty in the bank, you're probably asking, alright; but what now? Kalag wants me to do so many things in order to move up in the world! Since you'll need boxes to pop and most people aren't going to want an inexperienced twirp messing with their prized boxes, you'll need to hunt for them. There is a perfect hunting ground for you: goblins.

But first you are going to want to procure yourself some armor and a couple weapons. Since most of us thieves tend to be a bit more agile and small than big and dumb, leather and light edged to be the popular armor and weapon of choice. You should be able to get everything you need with the meager amount of cash the city gave you to start with. First, you will want some free body armor. Just ask any of the kind travelers where the Northeastern gate is and make your way to it. This gate also leads to every major town to the north (Arthe Dale, Haven, Langenfirth, and the nefarious Therenborough, home of the paladins) as well as some nice hunting grounds.

One such hunting ground would be Rock Trolls near a place called Kaerna Village; to get here, just go out the Northeastern gate and head north till you hit the well in the Village. Go west twice here, and since you're a bit too young to climb that big barricade, ask one of the kind adventurers to go across and grab you a leather cuirbuilli coat.

Now, you can either head north some more till you come across a Forest Path and go there to grab some reinforced greaves to protect your legs (watch out for the wicked reavers!) or you can head back to the Crossing and buy them in the armor shop in Town Green. With your main body parts protected, get some of that cash from the bank and go to the General Store and buy yourself a backpack. After this, head north some more and go to the armor shop. Here you want to buy yourself some leather head gear, and some leather hand gear (and that leg protection if you didn't get some from reavers).

Now you are fully armored, and we come to the question of weapons. Do you want to be a big strapping thief with a huge sword to lay into anything or be a quick, agile thief wielding a dagger and slipping amongst your foes? It is totally up to you, but I suggest you go with light edged weapons and quick ranged weapons. As thieves we are expected to be versatile and able to wield two weapons almost equally well.

Most people choose a ranged weapon and a melee weapon. Commonly, thieves use light edge and light crossbow, though the light crossbow's long roundtime is sometimes better given up for the short round time of a quicker ranged weapon, such as short bow. In the weapons shop east of the armory, you should choose a ranged weapon and get some ammo, or, if you don't have enough money yet, go deposit what you've got and head out to goblins, to earn some cash.

To get to goblins, acquire directions to the west gate and go to the path once you pass the gate. Goblins leave short swords, target shields, and hooded robes (not good armor at all). The short sword is a fair light edged and even today, I find myself picking up one and amazing myself with its efficiency in killing.

As you move west, you'll notice hunters and critters in battle. Just walk into a room and kindly ask if you can have one of the short swords; never walk into a room and just take something, at least, unless you're hidden and just doing some liberal pocket inspecting. Once you've acquired a short sword, if you feel confident enough to handle some creatures by yourself, go into an empty room and wait for them to come to you, or go in search of them; but don't attack someone else or their critter without consent. This is very rude and will put you on the sharp end of a blade quickly. If you aren't confident enough to hunt alone, kindly ask someone if you can join them.

Well, now you are hunting. Skin every kill you make, and stuff the skins in your backpack in order to make some money off them later at the Tannery. You will want to gather every box you can off your kills and save them for later. Don't attempt to pop them out of town, because you don't get a bonus out there and probably don't have much skill yet. Save them in your backpack to do in town.

Once you've gotten your fill of boxes and hunting and experience, head into town, pop your boxes by "disarm my <boxname>" twice. Then get a lockpick (acquired from the Lockpick Store northwest of the bank) and "pick my <boxname> with my lockpick." This may take several tries and you are bound to injure yourself sometimes, but the rewards are great as you will see with the prizes inside the box. If you have poisoned/blown up/sprung an acid trap on yourself, you should make your way immediately to the Empath Guild and ask the kind experienced healers to heal you. I know you are young, but Empath's live on even worse wages than we do. Always be kind to them and tip generously, since this is their only source of income.

With the money you've made from the boxes, skins, and spare change from goblins, you should pick up a ranged weapon from the weapons shop in Town Green if you haven't already. I suggest the longbow or short bow from the weapons shop and some barbed arrows. And be sure to deposit your coins! You never want to carry too many coins with you and when you get enough, you want to take your coin to town hall and pay your fine off.

Now that you've discovered the hunting aspect of your life, you may want to experiment in the finer arts of being a thief. Seeing how you're new, you don't want to start on the streets of the Crossing; you will want to go to the Guild Haven and practice your arts on your fellow thieves. But don't ever steal from a fellow thief out in the middle of town -- that is, unless you're sure you can get away with it. You will want to hide and stalk people and practice stealing and hone your abilities. Once you feel as if you've gotten good enough, take yourself to the streets of the Crossing and "mark" every target possible so as not to try and grab some lightning-bolt-wielding- muddle-headed-mage's coins.

This can prove lethal, and should you find yourself in a situation like this, apologize fervently or run like Trothfang with an angry horde of Paladins is on your heels. You are always safe in your Guild. Fear no one there, and don't feel ashamed to ask questions. Many people would be more than glad to offer help.

As you find yourself getting better at popping your goblin boxes, go to more congested parts of town and offer your services to pop these, or head out to goblins and walk room to room, asking if anyone would like their boxes opened. As your skills get better and goblins become easier, head on to new and harder areas. The boxes and critters are more challenging and much more rewarding. Always remember the key to being a thief, devotion. Devotion to yourself, to your guild, and to your guildmates. Without any of these key parts, we can not call ourselves thieves and we will fall apart. May your fingers be as nimble as your blade and your lockpick and deft as your wits.

A Fellow Thief, Brometh Bathanes