A Thief's Journey

The Feelings Of A Thief (Part 3)* By- Xerczes.

2001 Xerczes

Where am I going? I cannot carry about my normal business whilst I have all these things on my mind.

Unsheathes sword, and gazes upon its splendour This is nice.

If only I knew what had just happened in the last few day's, what it all means. I just don't no......i am confused and not for the first time in my life smacks head and rubs forehead

Starts summarising what he has found out

The voice said that I used to live here a long time ago but I have forgotten, and that I have forgotten an epic past on a place called earth. They must be linked somehow...but how??

Maybe by Imogen...? This Imogen, I no her so well, yet no person of that name or fondness of me goes about these parts, so she must be on earth....?

Looks up at stars, a shooting star shoots across the plain dark sky I no that place exists...how can I find out more about this worlds past? ducks head between knees and bobs it up and down gently

The "Mages"!! they are an ancient order that spans back to ancient times, they are after all the founders of the great talismans..I must journey there and give there Mage Towers a good spring clean in the library department he he. I'm sure to find something out there.

The mysterious sword starts to glow and a ring like object disconnects from the gold handle, its glowing emittence showing two red dots, it flows from the sword onto xerczes finger

What the!!? What the hell is that!? Its ....Its a ring.

Admires the newly acquired ring, it is two snakes that eat each others tails, they are made out of gold and the eyes on the snakes are ruby's that emit an eerie glow

This ring...its called the "Aroboross Ring" I have seen it in a book in some mansion that I thieved, and had a snoop around, I remember because I wanted to have it one day, I wondered where I could snatch it from and low and behold it finds its way to me...but this ring signifies Eternal Life...

Flash of white light and xerczes is floating in a white nothingness

XERCZES YOU HAVE GAINED SOMETHING PRECIOUS......i...i know...it looks familiar on my finger...YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE XERCZES......chosen??...for what?..YOU WILL SEE XERCZES.......YOU WILL SEE..........

Back on rooftop overlooking the city, he takes a deep breath of cold air and jumps off the roof onto a small window ledge, then onto a porch roof..

This is it...this is the road the mage caravans use to travel through town to and from the market place, the market closed 3hrs ago, they will soon be trailing through this road back to the mage's homeland's, on the way they pass the "Mage Tower's" ill snatch a ride from one of the caravans.

After a few minutes of waiting the echoes of horse shoes are heard from down the cobbled street, the caravan nears the awaiting thief, xerczes fires a rope arrow onto the wagon and reels himself onto its pile of merchandise

Hmmm this caravan carry's fruit, he he he don't mind if I do thanks, just a bit of grub for the journey.

Reaches for an apple and bites into the thin skin and tastes the juicy under fruit

Ahh beautiful!! carry's on eating at the apple, the juices dribbling down his chin

So I'm on the caravan no need to do anything really just sit here and wait til' I pass the Mage Towers, then jump off and sneak in. Ive heard those mages are a force to be reckoned with I better be extra careful. Any ways I have brought all the items and accessories I own that aid in sneaking and thieving. I should be ok.....i hope.

Looks behind over his shoulder as the caravan pass's through the city gates, the city entrance grows larger in distance away as the caravan rolls through the empty fields through a small track leading through the mountains

Well good bye city....for now, ill be back though, very soon.

Looks around into the open rolling fields of the land outside the city, the mountains nearing as they stumble through rocks and rough tracks

Man this place is a baron land. Never knew it was so desolate.

Spies a female burrick leading her two smaller burricks into a tunnel which opens out into a field

Guess those damn burricks get everywhere....wonder where that tunnel leads? Back into the catacombs under the city I suppose...damn those catacombs give me the creeps, damn zombies and giant spiders, I'm not too much for that scene thank you very much. Ive heard many stories about that place. Too many people die down there, I bet its starting to look like the damn "Bonehoard". In fact they should include it on the "Bonehoard" map. Well any ways there are lots of riches to be had down there, that's why people go in.

Turns attention to the nearing mountain range. He sees the track lead up into a thin canyon that leads through the mountains.

Hmm I don't like this, smells like trouble to me. Its too damn constricted, I'm not gonna like this but I have to carry on going on this caravan. If we get ambushed ill just hide in this fruit. He he.

Starting to get bored as they enter the mountain range

Hmm what to do what to do.....i know.

Leans forward and peers over a ledge on the wagon seat. Below is the taffer manning the wagon

Hehe he...

Spies a purse on the man, reaches down and sneakily unties the purse from the mans belt, then reverts back to his spot in the fruit

He he he a little reward for my patience on this painfully slow wagon. Well I gotta make a living I am a thief after all.

Looks back over the ledge, spots a scroll sealed with wax which has an identity mark on it, reaches over and grabs the scroll

Hmm what's this I wonder??

The seal has an X on it

Hmmm....lets take a look

Breaks the seal and opens up the scroll

Wh...whats this ....???

The scroll reads { To Malik }

I have urgent news regarding the Xerczes mansion. The other night it seems like someone broke in. I'm not bothered about the mineral and art he thieved. What worries me is that the door to the Xerczes chamber had been breached. The problem is you see, is that we have never been inside that chamber, the only person that could have opened it is the chosen one, Xerczes. The Xerczes sword is missing too, if Xerczes now posses that sword, he could unknowingly chain react the process of the two world union. If that were to happen the circle of the high mages would not be pleased. Seen as we the mages only have knowledge about this matter we are the ones who have to stop it. If it were to happen balance would be lost and I fear a historic war would be set in motion. This Xerczes, we know little about him, but we do know he is an off-world inhabitant. A god if you will, and a warrior god at that. So the ancient scrolls read. I am in distress Malik, this is a terrible event and it must be stopped.......if it can.

- Juraem

I ...i don't no what to say or think....they are talking about me...why? How??, what are they talking about....? Warrior god, off world inhabitant? I arnt....

Well this is too confusing to me, the scroll talks about ancient texts that the mages have... that's just what I'm looking for, I will be sure to find them in the grand library at the mage towers. Well I better get some sleep. I have a trouble filled night and day ahead of me, I can feel it.

Lays down on the soft fruit, and cover himself in his silky cloak, then falls to sleep, the wagon chundelling along through the mountain pass

XERCZES.......XERCZES I AM AWAKENING XERCZES....awak...awakening??......YES..YOU ARE SETTING ME FREE XERCZES....THE DAY I AM REBORN WILL BE A MOMENTOUS OCCASION.....reborn? when?....who are you?.. tell me the truth.....BUT I AM YOU XERCZES...CANT YOU REMEMBER?...no...no I cant....i remember imogen...IMOGEN DOESNT MATTER...I AM HERE NOW...ALL YOU NEED IS ME....no I need imogen she....she loved me...and she is trying to tell me something in my dreams....imogen where are you!!!??......im here xerczes...but I am not free......i died a long time ago...when you was gone I had nothing left....then I saw it...before I died....i saw................saw what imogen??? talk to me!!!....SHE IS GONE .......AND NOW I TOO MUST GO.

Awakens, gets up and rubs his eyes and looks up at the night sky, the cold air flowing around his body, the sound of the wind winding through the canyon is daunting

I cant go to sleep....i hear voices...that voice who is it? I know imogens voice. But the other one....who is it?

Looks up and the track begins to open out into a wide and secluded part of the mountain, in the centre stands the vast and tall spires of the mage towers

Wow this place is huge....what a sight.

Hears echoes and bellowing voices from within the towers, the ground shakes, the air turns, the rain falls and fire spouts from one of the towers

Wow this place is just full of carnival tricks, well I'm slightly scared but I'm going in.

As xerczes readies to jump off the wagon, it turns and heads In the direction of the main gates leading into the mage towers

Hmmm...that letter must be for someone in this place....about me.

The wagon is entering the towering gates, that cast a shadow across the fields behind me, I see a lot of mages, 20 or so, frolicking about inside the grounds, practising the arts. About 5 are waiting to welcome the wagon, one mage in particular bares all the elemental signs....who is he? The high mage? a representative from the circle maybe? Well anyhow he looks important I better get off this wagon somehow before they spot me.

Looks around for any escape options, as the wagon passes under a large banner, draping down from the towers entrance I grab it and haul myself to a good grip, then I slowly scale the huge banner

Ahh what luck, this is just the thing, I see a window up there above a ledge which the banner hangs from, if only I can get there and through that window ill be safe and sound, and deep into the towers as a special bonus.

Scales the banner, its bottom half flapping about and the wind rushing past his ears .He nears the ledge and grabs onto its old stone surface, pulls himself up onto it and rests leaning against the wall to avoid falling off the thin ledge

God damn that was scary!! I'm no acrobat I can tell you. Now I need to get into that window, its an open window, and its big enough for me to fit through.

Crouches down and crawls up to the window, slowly rising his head to spy through it for any inhabitants, a mage dressed in white robes can be seen writing at a desk, and a mage in red robes can be seen sorting out documents in front of the desk, otherwise the room is quite large, rectagonal in shape, there are a few chairs a few desks and cabinets holding paperwork, the door is straight in front, only one exit, which the mages are in close proximity to

Well..well this is going to be slightly hard, I'm hanging from a damn ledge in a gusty area and there are 2 mages in front of me in the room. How can I get in? I don't want to cause any alarm so that the mages would know someone was here I just need to create a diversion...hmmm but how?

Looks around the area for any options...then he spots a few loose stones around on the ledge crumbled from the stone

Ah ha just what I need!

Picks a few stones up from the ledge aims at the door and throws one, then another in sequence, then quickly ducks back under the window out of view

Mage White Robes:- I here a disturbance in the winds balance...

Mage In Red Robes:- Me too brother, I shall go investigate. The fire flickers on the torches this is not good.

--The mage in red robes looks at the door from where the sound originated then opens it and walks out, the other mage looks in eagerness at the boldness of his colleague-

Ah ha that did it nows my chance.

Xerczes puts one leg through the window followed by his shoulders and head, then the next leg follows, no sound is made on the carpeted floor and he ducks behind a cabinet around 7 ft in height

I'm in, but I need to know where abouts I am in this damn place, I can see the mages they are still searching, the other mage stationary in the room though. I see a number of torches around the door and a candle on the desk, there are two nearer me that I shall extinguish first.

--Muffles the torches close to him with a snuffer, and readies his water arrows ready to extinguish the two torches that light the front half of the room, fires and hits one, then hits another with another water arrow-

Mage In White Robes:- Wha...what was that? Is someone there? I can hear your breath on the wind sneaksie, the air tells me your presence is close.

Damn these mages are good. He's mine though whether he likes it or not, hell not last long around me, this is my forum now.

Xerczes reveals from the cabinet and sneaks up behind the mage and knocks him out with the blackjack, as the mage falls the nearing footsteps of the other mage is growing closer, the unconscious mage is quickly dragged behind the cabinet from where the thief resided.

There we go, now for smoky Jo over there...but he's facing my way and the light from the corridor that the door opens out on to is lighting my area, that's all I ne.....

The mage in a flash lights back all the torches in the room and nears the cabinet where the thief and the rather incriminating unconscious mage lays

Damn he's coming my way!!! think think xerczes, well there is no......unless. Well ill just have to play the hard game with this damn mage, sorry mate but I'm gonna have to hurt you.

As the mage approaches the cabinet and arrives in front of it, xerczes pushes over the cabinet squashing the unlucky mage that was unlucky enough to be standing there, the sound of the cabinet landing was muffled by the cushioning of the mage, though the mage let out a rather loud cry

Hmm that was ok, it could have gone worse. That guy isn't dead just unconscious, hey I'm not a killer, a proper thief doesn't kill, so I don't, I have morals you know!

I need to hide these two now.

A few minutes later the mages lay behind the cabinet which has been re- erected

and xerczes stands at the door lulling over his next move

Hmm which way left or right, this corridor is dimly lit, it shouldn't be too hard exploring it.

After a number of rooms revealed nothing and held only mages doing work, xerczes arrives upon a door which is larger than the others, above it, it lists a number of locations in the towers, one of them is the Central library the direction arrow points up the nearby stairs

Looks like that's the place, well I guess ill head up those stairs, as I walk up the stairs I can hear deep bellowing voices coming from behind a large wall which a door is an entry to at the top of the stairs. Hmm a plaque, it reads :CENTRAL LIBRARY 1st FLOOR:

Aha this is it, but it sound like a busy place to me a lot of noise is coming from in there, well ill just have to brave it and look in.

Trys the door, its locked, gets lock picks out and shuffles the square headed head around inside the lock, the last tumbler is dropped and the latches move away and the door lock springs

None is safe from me he he....I'm going in. Peers around the door


Spots two mages dressed in blue robes walking away from the door and down some stairs leading underneath the first floor

Hmm that's all the guards I can see for now but I can hear quite a racket coming from that room in there, seems to be a holy place, a worshipping chamber maybe.

Any ways I cant's be wastin time, I gotta go for it, I can see a good hiding place from here.

Runs through door way closing it quietly behind him and flees across the room in and out bookcases and desks to a small alcove that the bookcases make in the corner, it is dark and the alcove acts as a good vantage point to look over the library

Well those mages are gone and the only voices I hear are the ones coming from the room to my left its dark in there though I can see the glow of a few candles, maybe 3 or so mages in there. Ill take a look.

Checks the area , all clear, then shuffles out of the alcove along the bookcase and peers around the side of the entrance to the small chamber, xerczes sees 5 mages, four of which stand dormant chanting quietly now and again rasing there voice's, they sit around an altar in a circular formation, the high priest or whatever from the circle (I guess) is standing in the centre of the mages in front of the altar holding some kind of trinket, its gold and has diamonds inset, the trinket is a X in shape but has a handle that shoots from the bottom

Wow I have no idea what they are doing, the altar has a statue of the devil man on it surrounded by the four elemental signs and mages, the two red orbs from that room along with the pedestals stand either side of the altar, they must have brought them here.

All of a sudden four bolts of lightening flash from he statue and disintegrate the four mages earth, fire, wind, and water, the mage In the centre is unharmed, but the trinket he holds is desolated into thin air by some unknown force

WHAT the!!! whoa that was amazing the power unleashed by that statue was radical, those mages are toast! Only fit for spreading on the crops as fertiliser.

High Mage:- Damn!!! Damn it all to hell, if I cant stop the transformation of xercezs then we are all doomed!!! doomed! The union of the two worlds is inevitable if this happens then the holy war will begin and without our god the trickster to help us then...then all is lost. The trickster may have not liked us humans but he would never allow his precious forests to become one with another world.

--The mage begins to approach the door, xerczes ducks back into the alcove and the mage exits the chamber and goes down the flight of stairs which the other two mages went down earlier-

What the hell was that guy talking about?? he keeps saying my name, is he going on bout me or someone else, well I'm no god so he must mean that devil guy, at first I though the devil guy was me but depicted differently, stupid thought I know, but nothing seems stupid anymore, this is all very real, if the mages are worried then I'm worried those guys never seem to bothered about anything, but this... this matter they are most worried about. Well time for my own investigation, but first let me take a loom in that chamber.

Xerczes enters the chamber and stands before the altar, snatching the valuable elemental signs that surround the statue

He he just a little something for my trouble..... now this statue its the same large golden one that stood in that mansion, ah the sword, .................a white flash and xerczes is floating in nothingness again

wh...what the hell, not again.....i cant go 24 hrs without going on a rip into dream land....XERCZES.....I AM HERE XERCZES....THEY ARE TRYING KILL ME XERCZES.....THEY ARE IN DESPERATION TO STOP ME BUT THEY WILL NOT BECAUSE I AM HIDING...IM HIDING XERCZES....who are you!!! tell me....i need to no...THE TIME WILL COME WHEN ALL WILL BE REVEALED....THAT TIME IS NEARING ......AND I FORSEE GREAT THINGS.....THE UNION...THE UNION XERCZES.....ITS GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL....reunion???....what that mean? the reunion of the two worlds...?tell me!!!....hello..??.....ALL WILL BE.......AND CEASE TO BE.....EVERYTHING YOU NO WILL BECOME ONE...THEN YOU XERCZES WILL BECOME.....become what?? hello?

Awakes from slumber and finds himself sprawled out on the chamber floor in front of the statue

Urrghhhh I feel like I just got ran over by something... these dreams feel like they are effecting me in some way.. but what way?

HUH!!!!???I .....I cant control my...body....... what's happening??

All of a sudden a strange power flows through xerczes body his muscles seem no longer under his control, his mind is blank and his limp body is carried forward up to the altar, the statue is different somehow and the sword on xerczes back lifts out and the talons on the devil man re-grip it, the ring around xerczes finger comes off and slips onto the devils centre horn on its forehead, and then xerczes having been lifted about 6 inches off the ground now falls down and he falls into a slump on the floor, his body now under his own control

Ouch!! Shit what was that?? I ...I couldn't do anything, horrible thoughts ran through my head, it was a war, a battle of some kind... but what war was it?? It didn't look familiar with anything I have read or heard about. And the damn sword and ring are attached to that damn statue they wont come off.

The mage towers start to shake and large pulse like waves of energy emanate from the statue, cracking walls and breaking glass, the whole mage complex starts to shake and there is loud crashes and bangs, what seems to be like 40 mages run out from the bottom half of the library and rush down the stairs to which xerczes had entered the library. There was a lot of noise for a few minutes and then silence came as the shouting mages ran off down the stairs.

Whoa what the hell was that? Those pulses came from the statue, but it seems no different, apart from the ring and the sword reclaimed by it. Damn it! This is weird I'm going to look for more information about this thing.

Now the bottom part of the library seemed to be important enough, ill go down there.

Cautiously starts down the stairs, the stairs is poorly lit and only one torch lights the bottom part of the stairs, as he approaches the bottom, he turns a corner to the left and looks around, only book cases and desks, what seem to have been raided are only in there, papyrus's, scrolls, books, notes were strewn about the room, candles burning near there wax ends and torches that had long ago expired. The place was a tip

Well the mages are not very good housekeepers the servants must have had a holiday or sumthin he he. This place is chaotic, they look like they have been searching for something, maybe the same thing as I'm looking for.

Xerczes walks through the piles of paper, crunching underfoot, and swishing about, the books laid out on the tables are all chant and spell books, exorcism and ancient spells, worshipping books and references to past battles and gods. Then one table caught his eye, it was a large metal desk neatly arranged with books and papers, on the desk were a few golden holy trinkets, they were quickly banished from the table into xerczes loot bag. Then his attention turned to the books and papers

Hmmm what's this then, the front cover reads ":The Xerczes Legacy:"

Well I guess that devil guy is xerczes, hmm strange that we hold the same name. This book is old the paper is browned by age and fox marked by damp, the edges are crumbly and the cover is made out of what looks like some kind of skin woven to a hardboard backing. Well its definitely old.

Hmm better get reading it....it has no page number or reference just words....

The Devil man "Xerczes" hath started a hatred ridden war, spurred by holy arguments that span back farther than I can remember, his name hath ridden fear into the hearts of many, his followers hath slain countless numbers...........................

Geez sounds like a fun guy....NOT!

--flips through more pages--

These are dark times, xerczes hath started to get a hold of the world, he hath many followers and has slain many................... --skips a few more-- A man namely xerczes hath arrived this mysterious man is said to be the mortal brother of xerczes the god, he hath challenged the great god xerczes and there battle is said to be raging at this point in time....... --skips more pages-- The battle hath ceased for now....the two sides hath retreated back to they're homelands the great god xerczes and the mortal xerczes seem to be at a stalemate, how the mortal hath held off xerczes is beyond me. The mortal has returned back to his beloved Imogen who awaits his victory and the defeat of the god....

Imogen?? this book talks about Imogen. She must be connected to all of this....Imogen you were my love....were we both there when that war was happening?

--Looks further into the books scripture-

It hath been done, but not without consequence. The great god xerczes hath fallen by the hand of his mortal brother xerczes. The god hath been returned from wenst he came, though our saviour the mortal hath been possessed by the demon in its last attempt to live, the valiant mortal xerczes sacrificed his life and killed himself upon this day and his beloved Imogen faded and passed away from broken heart . This day indeed is momentous, and his sacrifice will never be forgotten.

- Daniel

I....its all back now...I know who I am, where I came from. That book is correct that damn brother of mine xerczes possessed me after I fairly beat him in battle....so I killed my self, but left behind someone dearer than life itself, my fair Imogen...who I loved dearly. I feel sick with sorrow and love now....I wish I could turn back the hands of time and see her one last time...but she herself died because of me...my damned brother isn't going to win this time.

But how come we were alive here on another world? Reincarnation as the prophecy told back then on earth.....that the death of a god would result in a reincarnation on another world, that world would suffer a similar fate than the last....but my brother xerczes the god must hate earth so much because of his failure that he wants to unite the two worlds to create another where he rules, where death and destruction cannot be banished and pain and suffering cannot be forgotten.

By my hand he shall not succeed, for I am....Xerczes his brother I beat him last time and this time he isn't going to get a foothold like he did on earth. I will stop him.

On this world I must have been reborn and along with xerczes soul inside me along with my own, but I had forgotten who I was naturally and became a thief on this world....then when that mansion I visited.......the mansion!!! How come that place was mine??or maybe it wasn't, the mages owned it and called it the xerczes mansion...a place sealed generations ago, by an unknown force, probably where I got reincarnated and the site known as the xerczes chamber had been forged to commemorate the gods death and my rebirth, though the terrible thing was I brought the god xerczes with me. But how did this world know about such matters on another world?? Probably by the ancient circle of the mages and gods that lived here, they can foresee events and see events from other worlds, many of such matters the population on this world have no knowledge of such happenings and observations into other worlds. The demise of the trickster brought about xerczes place here. But where is here??

To the right of the desk holding the legacy book is a wallboard with constellation and astronomical maps on. Astronomy must be the key to the finding of earth

Hmm many planets are not labelled only earth one side of this big sun and then a planet called Gaia which is on the other side of the sun. Must be where I am.

I know it all now, I see it.....the control of which he had over me tricked me into releasing him into this world from his bonds in my body. His soul went into the statue when the ring and sword were taken off me, they were his belongings and me holding them was the only way he could escape into their magical power, so when I handed them back to his statue his real physical form they transferred his soul to it, and the pulses of energy released him into the world. He's out there, but he needs time to grow strong. Ill find him soon enough, and end it all, him and me for good.

Runs back up stairs and down the other flight of stairs to which he entered the library, then back through the room and out the window he entered the mage towers from, as he got out the window he heard many voices and cries that echoed through The halls and gardens of the complex, as he looked around over the walls to the towers all four towers had been destroyed, struck down by the force that come from the xerczes statue, of course they were intentionally destroyed so that xerczes could grow stonger without the mages pestering him, so with there powers now diminished he is free to grow and conquer

Damn it!!! that bastard xerczes..... I'll get you brother do you hear me!!!!! I'll get you xerczes!!!!!

*To Be Continued* Part 2 / Part 4

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