If there is one thing that drives a rogue other than love of money, it's the love of the job. Few things in Norrath can match the adrenaline rush of slipping into some heavily guarded place and spiriting something away, either for themself or on a commission for others.
People who know me will be aware that I regularly travel with a fellow Northlander, a shaman called Jherek. He has a love of lore and strange tales, of the histories of this world and the people and events that have shaped it. He has collected copies of many books of history, from Wu's Chronicles to the writings of the Splitpaw Gnolls, and he is always on the lookout for more.
We were hunting Mammoths in the frozen wastes of Everfrost when he told me of a Leatherbound Journal he had heard of. Although it's contents were unknown he was sure that it would contain something of interest. There was just one small detail however, it was somewhere in the blighted castle of Mayong Mistmoore.
I immediately knew that it was a job which would require stealth and cunning to get in, lift the book and escape undetected. Just perfect for me and I'd been looking forward to returning to Mistmoore after I'd managed to get my blood spirits some months back.
After we had killed a couple more mammoths we decided that it was time to head back to Halas for the night, to sell the tusks we had collected and so we could rest. I would travel to Faydwer the next day to attempt the heist.
Before I left the next morning Jherek imbued me with the Spirit of the Wolf and gave me several Blood of the Wolf potions to speed my journey. That done, I set off for Mistmoore. It was a fairly uneventful journey, interrupted only by disposing of some highwaymen that had taken up residence in the towers on the ramp to Highhold Pass, and a short diversion while crossing the Ocean of Tears to help some guildmates hunt for the Ancient Cyclops.
I eventually found my way to the entrance of Mistmoore's estate and, slipping into the shadows, I made my way inside.
I passed many of the damned on my way to the castle gate, slipping past them quietly smiling to myself that they couldn't see me, but being cautious nonetheless. One mistake in this realm of vampires would mean near-instant death.
I crept into the castle looking around. Hmmm, perhaps a good place to find a book would be a first floor bedroom, I thought to myself, so I crept up the stairs and looked for the bedrooms. Turning a corner to get to the first door, I stopped.
Standing in such a way as to partially block the door was a leering gargoyle. I tried to fit my frame past it, but the gap wasn't quite large enough to let me through without barging into it and alerting it to my presence. Cursing silently, I decided I would have to use my Mask to change my form to that of a much slighter Dark Elf. To do that there would warn the creatures nearby of my presence and death would swiftly follow. That meant leaving the castle for a while to find a safe place. No matter, the job demanded it.
It took a while to get into a quiet spot near Lesser Fay, activate the mask and return, but I was not seen. The gargoyle hadn't moved but this time I was able to slip past it and through the door. Nothing in the antechamber. Through another door was the bedroom itself. A bed, a couple of creatures, nothing else. Time to try the next one.
Again, nothing in the antechamber. In the bedroom itself was the bed, a gargoyle, a couple of deathly ushers and, on the nightstand next to the bed, the book. It would be easy to pick it up but for the fact that one of the ushers was looking straight at it. I would have to give away my position for a few moments to pick the book up, and doing that would mean my death. I thought for a few minutes, pondering my options when all of a sudden, the Usher left the room and some variety of vampire took it's place. Better yet, the vampire was facing the door. This was my opportunity. My position would only be given away for scant seconds and my silence would cover that gap.
I reached out and grabbed the book. I stood stock-still for a few agonising heartbeats but none of the creatures in there gave any indication that they were aware of my presence. I was safe, I had the book and nothing could stop me from delivering it short of a major disaster. I smiled to myself, pleased that I had used my skills well.
Slipping out of the castle, I headed towards Butcherblock so I could catch the boat home to fulfil my commission and to have a couple of well-deserved drinks in Freeport.