It’s hard to put aside the habits of a lifetime.

I’ve made a good living for myself largely by taking advantage of the habits of others, but even my own habits make themselves felt. I try to guard against them, to avoid being outwitted in my own trade; sometimes, though, it seems safe enough to indulge.

Not personally, not this time. But there was a certain nostalgic thrill in sending a group of juniors to raid one particular warehouse, where certain goods from one specific formerly-wealthy home had wound up. The prize was certainly unusual for us, but it had sentimental value for me, and besides, sometimes it does the junior thieves good to shake up their expectations a little.


It was supposed to be a nice, straightforward job. Go in, get the prize, get out.

Anyone who tells you it was simple doesn’t know a blasted thing. That place had a small army of guards, the best locks money could by, and despite our best efforts, nobody was sure what other tricks might be there. But that’s why they sent me. Maybe some others can open those fancy locks a little faster, or know a bit more about this or that sort of trap, but I had the softest step in the Silken Glove bar Tarvenarr herself, and she’s no locksplitter. I haven’t met a lock yet that I couldn’t open in time or a trap that I couldn’t figure out, and I’ve got just enough magic that even those traps I can deal with. And it isn’t all that long ago that I was lifting purses in the market, and doing quite a good job of it.

So, while the Chancellor was out of the city on business, I went in – ideally to get the job done, since it was the best opportunity we had, but failing that, to case the place. With the Chancellor gone, the guards gone complacent, and the Festival pouring a little more booze into them than normal, if I couldn’t pull it off now, it just might be impossible.