Chapter 2 - Rouges

- Nightfall: A Stroll Through Town Square - Day 2: 6pm

Town square is an odd name for an area with an irregular octagonal shape, unless you decide that square means center. But then youíd still be wrong, seeing as the town square was located well off the center of the cityís layout. Then again, simply calling it TOWN square was erroneous as well, as this city was far too massive to be considered a town. Metropolis would be more accurate. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, the term Ďmetropolitan off-center octagoní never stuck. Having decided that, I idly walked though the marketplaces and shop-stalls of the town square. I quietly observed the people, taking note of the details. The city was quite busy today. People of all sorts were walking about in a rush, doing business, traveling, loitering, or keeping shop. I took a rare and precious moment to just relax and lose myself in the scenery, going with the flow. Though the vast majority of this city is rather bleak and dreary, this area was quite nice. This is of course attributed to the fact that the Hammeritesí Cathedral absolutely loomed over the place. Their influence was very strong here. A guard on every corner, and a decree on every lamppost.

The Hammers and the Pagans do have one thing in common, though theyíd both kill me if I said it, but they both seem to enjoy landscaping. They have utterly different philosophies about if, of course. The Pagans, or rather, whatís left of them, see it as the chaos and beauty of nature, and the Hammers see it as manís dominance and control over nature. Either way, the park in the center of town was a very nice place to walk around and do business, and that is just where it seemed I was headed.

I was strolling over the brick path, through gardens filled with perfectly manicured hedges, and a lawn so even it looked as if a machine had done it (which may be true, for the Hammers develop machines for everything. No doubt weíd soon see Hammers riding around on small mechanical beasts which roamed about eating grass and making a whole hell of a racket.) My thoughts were interrupted when a parchment, aloft on a breeze, hit me square in the face. It was carried by the wind Ė I had just turned my head, and smack, there it was. I donít like being taken by surprise, even if itís just by a bit of debris, so I was naturally quite annoyed. I was about to toss it in the nearby wastebasket (if a Hammerite saw me littering Iíd have an incident on my hands) when I chanced to see my name on the top of the page. I quickly smoothed it out, and read it. It was written in glyphs. Thankfully it was a variant which I knew well.

Master Nightfall,

I am only a old woman that lives in the northern woods. Yesterday, I heard that this boy Jyre needs information about that house of the Lady. Don't ask me how I heard of this rumor, I beg you. All I knew is that he and the Captain needed help, most urgently.

Once I was a thief, just like Jyre and the Captain. But nowadays the Order of the Hammer has grown in its power, and the City is not secure any more. And I myself am old now and weak... I feared the Order and so I fled into the woods, after they had broken my wrists. I have a small hut here, unknown by enemies, or friends.

I felt since a while already, that there is a great power around the house of the Lady, deep in the forest. And I heard rumors about strange things that happen there. Things that are too horrid to describe. I did not want that this boy and his Captain would go there, unwarned. Too many people have already been disappeared, captured and tortured by their enemies.

So, I decided that I could spy around the house, relying on my once great skills. I approached towards the house, I saw that there are guards, seemingly everywhere. And I saw strange, evil lights and noises in the windows of the deeper floors. Screaming, weeping, rattling of chains. It scared me.

The house itself has a huge outer wall, shaped like a pentragram. Every corner of the wall has a big tower on its top, with 2-3 guards inside. Also guards with arrows. The main gate is iron, and closed. Around the wall is a ditch, filled with foul water. I think there could be a hole, leading from the ditch into the inside. I saw and heard some indicating water movements in the western side of the house.

I hope that this small information could help Jyre and the Captain, when they decide indeed to break into that house.

I myself fear that the wood is not secure any more, and will leave now, heading towards a place where neither Hammers, nor the evil presence that I felt beneath that house, will find me.


"Jyre is a girl," I said under my breath, correcting her with a slight grin. Whoever her source was, that person wasnít too observant. I should have James warn his spies, I thought, hoping that it was not too late. I picked up my pace towards one of his pickup posts near the edge of the park. Most people would think it strange that a letter could be delivered to someone by the wind, but I had seen many things far stranger.

Arriving, I recognized one of Jamesí men immediately. It was Schinler. I sighed in disgust, but it would take too much time to find another post with a man at it. Schinler had a history - of shattered nerves. At a glance, he appeared to be no more than a lordís servant who decided to stand around looking moronic by the edge of the park; and, in fact, that is exactly what he was. He once worked for Bafford, in the kitchen, a stockboy I believe. And let me tell you, getting whacked on the back of the skull by that ex-Keeper turned thief Garrett is enough to make any man fidgety. To make matters worse, he quit his job with Bafford and joined up with Ramirez, only to be assaulted again in the very same way by the very same person. Schinler is not quite convinced that Garrett is trying to kill him. That was two months ago - the poor man should have gotten over it by now. Sighing to myself, I walked up behind him casually and tapped his shoulder, an act which I knew I shouldn't have done, but did it anyway. He turned his head quickly and jumped half a foot into the air, spilling the contents of a mug of brown liquid all over himself. "Ma-ma-mas-s-ster Nightfall!" He explained with half excitement, half terror in his voice. He then jerked to attention and saluted me.

"At ease, Schinler," I said dryly "before a Hammerite notices you and makes a scene. Youíre lucky they donít pound you for spilling your drink on their sidewalk."

He shuffled around nervously trying to kick dirt over the spilled brown liquid, and didn't have much luck considering that he was standing on clean stone pavement. Realizing how stupid he looked, he quickly arranged himself into a pose of mock at-easiness. "He-he-hellllo sir, er, um, I mean, umm.."

"Schinler, you need to lay off the coffee, you understand me?"

He nodded sheepishly.

"And as much as I find it amusing, you donít have to be terrified of me. Just because Iím your bossí boss, doesnít mean I breath fire and eat fair maidens for breakfast. In fact, if you continue this show of spinelessness, I shall recommend that James immediately expel you from the payroll, do you understand me?"

He took a deep breath and nodded.

"Good." I handed him the letter from Lytha. "I need you to deliver this message to drop box 74f. I want you to make a copy and send it to me."

"Drop box 47f?" he said in confusion, taking and pocketing it without looking at it, just as James had trained him.

"No, 74, not 47, 74f. Got that? 74F!!" I raised my voice, growing impatient.

He nearly had a heart attack. "Y-y-y-y-eeees SIR! 74 e-e-effff!!!"

"This needs to be in Jamesís hand as soon as possible, do you understand me? The lives of your fellows depend on it. Clear?"

"Perfectly, s-s-sir!!"

"Good, and while you are on your way, I want you to make a copy of this letter," I re-iterated. "I want the copy in my hands as soon as you have come back from your delivery."

He nodded.

"What? Youíre not done yet? GO!" I commanded.

He nearly tripped over his feet as he dashed off; all the while I was wishing I had found another man to do the job.

It was getting late, and soon the Hammerite day-watch would retire to their barracks for the evening, and Hammerite night patrols and watches would begin. I spotted a Hammerite soldier standing at one corner by a street-post. I paused for a moment, as a sudden inspiration came to me. He looked as if he was carved from solid stone as he stood there, motionless, hammer gripped tightly in his hands, his eyes staring straight forward. Though he appeared inanimate, I knew his ears were sharply at work, listening for any sounds that seemed out of place. Even with the ruckus of the busy crowd which stirred about him, (keeping about 5 feet away, of course), I knew his ears were sharp enough to hear a dishonest footfall twenty yards away. Odd how they can train them like that. The training is good; very good, but unfortunately for them, not good enough.

"Greetings Mathews, Private 4th class." Few people have ever seen a Hammerite surprised before, and lived to tell about it. All the people on the streets who happened to glance in the right direction as I snuck up behind the guard and greeted him are counted among those lucky people. He quickly regained his bearings, and wiped away all traces of surprise or embarrassment.

"State thy need, citizen, or be off with you," he said, in that odd accent they all seem to have, as he looked down his nose at me, and tightened his grip on that solid iron hammer of his.

I lifted the brim of my hat slightly to allow him to see my face. The poor chap went slightly pale, as if a Hammerite could get any paler, and dropped to one knee, quivering. "Please pardon my ignorance and ineptitude, Master Nightfall, for did not recognize thee. I shall understand if thou wishes myself punished for such a display of blindness."

"A mistake may be mastered, but a lie lasteth forever on thy tongue. Rather than try to hide thy mistake, thou hast faced it, and in doing so, may now correct it. Next time thine ears shall be keener to my footsteps, and thine eyes keener to my features. Thou art forgiven, my son." I said, pulling off the Hammerite priest mimic with flying colors.

"I thank thee, master," he said, rising to his feet, and not at all groveling. "How may I be of service?"

"I wish an audience with the council, the High Priest included. It is of a matter of reasonably great importance," I told him, letting my accent slip slightly.

He nodded. "I shall, master. Is there any other way in which I canst serve?"

"No. If thou performs these tasks, then thou hast earned thy mettle for this day."

"I thanketh thee greatly, Master Nightfall. Dost thou wish that I perform this act now, or shalt I wait until my watch has come to a close?"

"Stay at thy post, my son, and may the Master Builder watch over thee, and guide thy hammer to righteousness." I admit, that last bit at the end was a bit of an ad-lib, but he took it as a great blessing anyway as he regained his steadfast stance.

Wanting closure to the day, I decided it was about time I get back to my tower and get some rest. Evening was now fully upon the city and a shady character like me needed to get off the streets before the heavy Hammerite patrols began. Undoubtedly they would attempt to arrest me, learn my true identity, and I would have to come up with another excuse to not turn them in and have them executed. As useful as the Hammers are when they think youíre a religious icon, they are such a bother. So I made haste, for night was the time for people like me to either get home, or get to the shadows and get to work. I chose the former.

- Ghost: A Day in the Life of the Dead - Day 2: 8pm

I was standing before the entrance to a place called the Bonehoard. I pondered the wisdom of going down into a place like this again. Too many times it's been a run for my life from burricks or zombies or worse. But this time, supposedly, it would be worth it. How many times have I heard that? Some times these jobs are just way too dangerous. How many times was I going to use the word time? I walked the fine line between bravery and sheer stupidity too often. So now I'm here, looking for what my fence called the Star of Alarus, and anything else not nailed down. I needed to make some money on this too.

Suddenly I was jogged back to reality. Something was shuffling around behind a nearby crypt. I quickly zipped into the hole that counts as a doorway to this place. "HmmÖ" I muttered to myself. How convenient it was for someone to leave this rope here. It couldn't possibly be a set-up now could it? If I get killed because this is a set-up, I'm going to haunt the guy who wants this star thing for all eternity. I tested the rope. It seemed solid enough even though it looked like it was older than I was. "Well, lets make this quick," I muttered to myself as I slid down the rope. Surprisingly, I got down safely -- so far so good. There was only one way to go. It looked well traveled. Now I was really paranoid. There's nothing worse than finding living people in a crypt. They can't be up to anything good. Does that make me a hypocrite? Yeah probably. But who cares? I'm just here to loot a little. No one should mind.

"Concentrate!" I always have to talk to keep myself focused. It was hardly a quality you look for in a thief. We're supposed to be quiet. Crawling down the roughly cut tunnel, I end up on a wooden platform. I found another rope. "Weird." I used my own this time. I doubted I'd be that lucky twice. Thunk! "Okay, here we go." I climbed down the rope. I noticed the body parts scattered around the floor. Boy, I hoped there weren't any zombies here. I checked my map, old as it was. The Alarus area shouldn't be too far in.

Nothing to loot here. Damn, I hated it when that happened! I liked my loot in large quantities, and readily available. Yes, I really liked loot plenty. Loot -- I loved that word. Why is it never easy to find loot? "Ah ha!" I saw some steps, not very visible in the corner, leading to a downward slope. "Yes!" I said triumphantly when I saw the stone carved with the Alarus name. Unfortunately, rubble was everywhere, blocking the passage. It looked as if there had been an earthquake here. I almost decided this was a wasted trip; almost. I noticed a small hole way up by the roof in a dark corner of the room. From the looks of it, I may have been too late. The hole looked man-made, as if someone had recently gotten here before me. Some rocks were piled on a ledge under the hole, like a crude set of stairs. Maybe that was just a convenient coincidence. The rocks could have just fallen like that, and the hole was natural. Damn, I'm amusing. That's insane. Obviously I was too late. How could someone not have gotten in there? The path is so simple. I decided to go ahead with this anyway. Maybe they missed something? I climbed a post on one side of the room. From there, I jumped onto the large flat stone ledge dangling precariously from the roof. Then I slid to the edge and jumped off those stacked rocks into the hole. It was too easy. Something was obviously going to kill me at any moment. I laughed off the thought.

I followed my planned route. The only thing I really had a problem with was making it through the fallen floor section. As a result of my attempts, I can now add several scrapes and a brand new head wound to my list of credentials. If only the people who thought I was so great could see me now! "Hah! Dusty and bleeding, master thief I am!" No-one heard my remark. At least no-one told me to shut up. Finally, I made the necessary jumps without significant injury to myself. I peered over the ledge into the debris filled pit. "Okay Ghost, just whip those legs up over that ledge and try to land on your feet, and lets hope it's not a long drop." Aided by the skills acquired through many escapes, I slid up into the next hole. Hoping that I wasn't about to kill myself, I dropped.

I landed with a crash. "Ow! Damn! Who put those stairs there?" Falling down a flight of stairs, just when you were sure that you were about to make a death defying drop of magnificent heroism, tends to bruise your pride. What I landed on took my mind away from the pain in my ass. "Nice! A dead body!" It looked like he had only been there a week at the most. "Ew, still fresh." I hoped that this was the fellow I had been worried about. I was not the first to get in here, but planned to be the first to get out. After quickly frisking my new buddy I found a few coins, his map to the place (which looks surprisingly similar to mine), and much to my delight and dismay; no star! I lit my small lamp and then scurried down the hall. I made ready to hide the light source at the first hint of company.

And, to my surprise, at the end of the hallway I found a wall. No more hallway. "Damn." I spat at the bricks. I then realized there must be a secret door somewhere near here. A family as notorious as Alarus liked secret doors. Secret doors are fun. Funny, the entire family was dead, yet they choose to bury their valuables with them. Go figure. Angry at the greedy dead people, I felt around the walls looking for the secret panel. Maybe I would stumble on the button. That would be much easier. Just like I knew I would, I found the door. Now I needed to open it. It was amazing how well rich, dead people can blend two pieces of stone to look like one. After a little pushing and poking I discovered that I could not open the door with my hands. There had to be a button here somewhere. There needed to be a way in, just in case 2nd-cousin Alarus died choking on his silver spoon. I retraced several steps down the hall. With the light from the cracks in the ceiling back in the large room, I could see a little better. Luckily due to the quakes in the area over the years the stones shifted around a bit. By luck alone, I happened to glimpse a bit of metal inside a crack between two steps. This could either have been a trap, or a door knob. I decided it was a trap. Knowing nothing better to do, I shut my eyes and gave the cracked step a swift kick. To my surprise, I was still alive. No bottomless pits or falling rocks for this taffer. Sometimes I was amazed at how often I didn't die. The secret door was now open. "Wow! It gets better and better!"

It wasn't a big area. At least the map said it wasn't a big area. But then again, these maps are rarely accurate. The first area I found seemed to be the major family tomb. There were lots of uncles and cousins. No women were buried here, which I found weird. Must be some sort of male dominance thing in that family. No wonder they died out. Their wives killed them and remarried. I grabbed a few trinkets which were sitting around waiting for me. I found a gold cup here, and a ring there. There really wasn't much loot. Maybe their women inherited it all after they killed off the cheap bastards. I took it as a good sign that no one had looted the little things already,. It meant that I was the only one who had ever got this far. Now where oh where is grand-daddy Alarus? After a tiring search of the area, I came to the conclusion that I was in need of a break. A small snack and some water would pick me up. Maybe it would even clear my mind. No, not likely. I also needed to stop the bleeding caused by my earlier acrobatics. I sat down on the floor and leaned my back against the resting place of Entar Alarus. It didn't occur to me to be anything special until the sarcophagus slid back like it was on an oil slick, and I fell down another set of stairs. Yes, I fell down another set of stairs.

"Son of a..!" I cursed loudly as I nursed a new bruise on my knee and bump on my head. Maybe thatís what was wrong with me. I had too many hits to the head. Maybe I could get the Hammerites to make me a nice metal crash helmet for these jobs. Just then I heard a moan. I decided that it was just a subconscious moan of pain from myself. I didn't give it another thought. That is, until I heard something move. Injured, but not totally stupid, I closed the shutters on my lamp. Then I waited to see what came into view. I pulled a mine out of my pack just in case it was what I thought it was. If it really was zombie down there, this was my only defense. Why couldn't it just be a guard I could stab? Before I could answer my question, my host staggered into view. Sure enough, it was a big ugly zombie. "Bye bye Mr Alarus zombie!" I armed the mine and tossed it into a corner. As usual for a zombie, they have great hearing and not much sense. He dragged himself over to the corner where it landed. I ducked out of view just as the sound of a satisfying explosion and subsequent splattering of body parts on stone rang through the air. I hopped from my cover, careful to avoid slipping on the greasy blood, to look for the arms. It was quite disgusting really, but you never know if these zombies are wearing rings until you check!

Now the only shuffling of feet were my own. I scanned the room. It seemed there were only three coffins here. Unfortunately, none of them had names on the plaques. There were no dates or other types of identifying marks on any of them. I decided I needed to open each one to see what was inside. I took the crowbar from my pack. First I wondered why I didn't use it to open the secret door. Then I tried to pop the lid from the first coffin. I didn't find anything inside, other then the remains of a person. There was no loot! Obviously this part of the tomb has been here for a really long time, since all that was left were bones. Next I went to the one in the middle. It was a little bigger than the others. It seemed almost dumb that I didn't open this one first. The lid was heavier than anything I ever tried to open in my life. With a lot of luck, and no shortage of adrenaline flowing from excitement, it finally fell off. I found another coffin inside. "Oh man. Hope that one just flips off, 'cos there is no way I'll be able to lift it out of there." My luck had changed. The second lid opened and slid off without much trouble at all. What did I find? I found the mummy of a woman! Maybe this is grandma Alarus? There was one thing about this I didn't like -- there was nothing of value to be seen in the coffin. This meant one of two things -- either it was all a total lie, or it was under the bandages, or the good stuff was under the body."

Counting was never one of my strong points. I decided that as much as I hate dealing with the dead, I hated wasting time. I hated falling down stairs even more. Not wanting those two falls to go to waste, I pulled out my dagger and sliced the wrappings from groin to throat. Nothing was visible from there. "Damn. Hmmm." I did see a cut on the chest which I had not made. I heard that some mummies had their organs removed, for some reason or another. Maybe that was why the cut was there. Or maybe it was a treasure chest. I jammed my dagger into the body near the cut and heard a soft clank of metal on metal. My first thought was that I just marred a great artifact with a nice stab wound. "Good thinkin' Ghost," I told myself as I pried open the chest cavity. The act made me feel rather sick. This was a woman, after all. The sickness disappeared when I saw the glint of loot inside and forgot all about that. I reached in to fetch my prize. It was heavy. I pulled it out, covered with muck as it was, and held it up to my lamp. It was the star, without a doubt. The Alarus Star was a spectacular gold necklace trimmed with hundreds of gems, which all danced wildly in the lamp light. "Thanks Lady Alarus! This will pay the rent for quite a while." I chuckled as I grabbed my lamp and headed back out quickly before any curses could take effect on me.

- Ghost: Of Bruises and Butlers - Day 2: 10pm

I had done it. I had my prize. I had the loot. I was sittiní pretty. The trip to town was more or less uneventful. Thank the gods. Any more damage or excitement for me just might have killed me. I headed straight for Ragbert, my fence, to unload this tasty trinket and get my cash. I didn't even stop at my place to clean up. As I approached the building where Ragbert usually waits for me, I saw something most disturbing. He was being dragged out by a group of Hammerites, who were also carrying several large boxes! His unsold wares, I guessed. "Well, just throw me down a well! How am I going to unload this thing now?"

As I stood watching, someone grabbed my tunic and pulled me into an alley. For an instant I thought it was a Hammerite, so I spun around to strike back. Fortunately I stopped my swing dead when I saw her. Her face looked so delicate and innocent, I couldnít possibly pound her into a bloody mess. That wouldnít be right.

"You know what they are going to do to him in Cragscleft donít you?" She whispered, sending chills through me. They were good chills.

"What? Why? Who are you?" I suddenly felt very dizzy, unable to focus on anything but the sound of her voice.

"They will kill him, and get your name, and then youíll be next on their list. You cannot let this happen." Somehow she knew what was going on, even though I still had no idea. I hate it when people know more than I do about what Iím doing.

"What the hell are you talking about?" I whispered in the most hostile whisper I could muster, "Iím not going to get him out, it would be easier to kill them all right now, and Iím definitely not doing that!" She had to be nuts. She may have been right, but she was still nuts.

She lifted her hand and touched my cheek saying, "He is very important in the days to come. You will need his help. Close your eyes and you will see."

Thatís it! She is nuts! I closed my eyes anyway, keeping one open a crack to watch her, half expecting her to stick a knife in my gut. I sat there in silence for a minute, but no visions of the future hit me, though I did get the feeling that I wanted some nice split pea soup for dinner. All of a sudden she just vanished.

My perception of reality then snapped back into focus. The woman was nowhere to be seen. Well now I was confused, frustrated, without a fence, and still had the star in my pocket. Although I would have loved to go track down that mysterious whisper-woman, or go bloody those Hammerite burrick-farts, the main thing on my mind was getting this artifact exchanged for some cash. Then I could go get some soup. Oh, wait a second; I hate split pea soup!

"Who else can take something like this and pay me fair value?" I shouted to myself under my breath -- if thatís even possible. Just then it clicked. What was his name? Nighthawk? Nightowl...Nightfall? That was him, Nightfall! I hoped the Hammers weren't having a record-breaking night for arresting people who collect rare and hard-to-get items. It was late already, but for something like this I was sure he wouldn't mind being woke up. Also I sure as hell was not going to hand it to a servant to deliver! To Nightfallís place I went!

I jogged all the way there to minimize the chances of running into trouble. He lived a good distance away from the center of The City, so it was no easy run. Finally the place loomed into view. When I saw it I let out a cuss so dirty Iím surprised that the grass beneath my feet didnít wither and die. There were more stairs, and lots of them. It seemed as if this Nightfall guy was so cocky that he had to have his tower perched halfway up this huge-o hill, and have a nice fancy stairway up to the front door. I damned him and his architects to hell as I started up. Once up the stairway, down the walk, and onto the porch, I banged loudly on the door, hoping he didn't try to kill the dusty, bloody, sweating wheezing person waiting on his doorstep.

Just my luck, a servant answered. Or at least I think it was a servant. I know it couldnít have been Nightfall. Iíve seen drawings of the jerk, and heís not old, heís not skinny, and he doesnít wear a monkey suit or glasses. The stiff just looked me up and down for a few moments, as I stooped there, hands resting on my knees, still trying to catch my breath after that 7 mile stair climb that I enjoyed so much.

"May you be helped with something, sir?" he said coldly.

I liked how he never mentioned that it would be he doing the helping. "Ummm, yeah, listen. I gotta speak to Nightfall, like, now," I told him when I had caught my breath enough to say the entire thing without gasping.

He replied quickly, undoubtedly having decided what to say before he even knew I was coming. "Master Nightfall is not in at the moment. A message could be taken for him."

"Dammit!" I shouted, and the poor sap seemed to jump a little. "Fine, already, ugh, damn, let me see. Okay, tell your MASTER Nightfall that Ghost, he may have heard of me, has a valuable artifact that he wants to sell to him. Got that?"

"That story is told daily. Perhaps if you left a note with a much more detailed description of what you have, and where you stole the artifact from, he would be much more likely to meet with you and discuss the purchasing of the object." The stiff was rattling this shit off like he had said it a hundred times, so I knew he must be right.

I just looked at him for several moments before I made up my mind. "Fine. You got a pad and pen? Iíll write him a note." He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a quill and pad of paper. "Damn, you keep a stockpile in that coat of yours, doncha. What else have you got in that thing, Jeeves?"

"The name is Jossimer, sir, and no, there is nothing else in the coat. If your intent is to rob the coat then I should inform you that I am well versed in over a half dozen forms of martial arts and --"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, sorry Jeeves! I wouldnít dream of mugging you, honest!" I smirked and sat down on the stone rail. He looked at me with a look that most men bleed for, but seeing as I really wanted Nightfall to buy this trinket, I decided against killing his doorman. Besides, I admire a man who can do a good bluff. Even if that frail stick of a person did know over five dozen ways to fight, he definitely wasnít any good at them. "Do ya mind if I sit here and write it?" I asked him, fully intending to sit here and write it regardless of what he said.

"Not at all. Please drop it into the slot when you are done." I almost wished he had refused. The creep then turned around and slammed the double doors behind him.

I invented a new name for him, not a very nice one, sat down, and wrote. Three and a half pages later I was pretty satisfied with my narrative, and hoped that Nightfall wasn't anal enough to have it sent back to me covered with red ink.

- Nightfall: A Letter From Ghost - Day 2: 11:45pm

By the time I got home, it was a quarter Ďtill midnight. I stepped through the double doors to my tower and into the huge foyer, where I found Jossimer waiting for me.

"Pardon, Master, but there is a note for you. It seems that --"

I cut him off by grabbing the collection of papers out of his hand. I made a beeline down the vaulted hallway to my study, where I sat and unfolded the note. Hopefully it would be from Jyre, or maybe even Lytha. It unfolded to reveal handwriting which I did not recognize.

Hey, Nightfall. Your doorman says that if I want to sell you this trinket I gained possession of, I need to supply you with lots of good information about it. I donít mind sharing the details, after all, these are the things legends are made of. Put yourself in my place and enjoy the ride!
My eyebrow was most definitely raised as I quickly read his account of the adventure, often being forced to re-read passages several times in order to figure out exactly what he was trying to convey. If I heard correctly, Garrett, the thief who killed the Trickster, was unable to find his way into the Alarus Chambers, and yet this Ghost was. Slowly, I pondered what use this skilled thief would be in the situation at hand.
And thatís it! So do you want this thing or not? I need to get it out of my hands fast before it burns me. Iím sure you know what I mean. The address where I want to meet with you to make the sale is written on the back of this paper. If you donít come alone, I wonít be there.

- Ghost

I yawned and placed the letter in the to-do box. I went to bed, not giving it a second thought.

- Chapter 1 - The Correspondence / Chapter 3 - The Hammerites

Correspondence of Thieves copyright, 2000, Steve Tremblay, Lytha, James Sterrett, Alexandria Thomson, and Daniel Todd.