"Lord Randall's Art Gallery"
by Thief in the Night

"I'll take ten broadhead arrows, five water arrows, and two rope arrows." "Sounds like a big job tonight, Garret." "Do you mind if I ask where?" "How many times have you asked me that?, because you know I won't tell you." "Fine then..." Garret looked around the shop while the man fetched his supplies, he only saw the usual tools of the trade, nothing new. "Here you go." Garret took the supplies, threw him a pouch with some gold coins, left the shop and disappeared into the shadows.

Tonight Garret did have a big job. As he made his way through the foggy moonlit cobble stone streets, he thought of why he was doing this. He usually works for himself. But this was different. Last night he was in his usual tavern, when a man introduced himself, he said he was Lord Kennar, and that he was familiar with Garrets work. He said that he needed his services, this is when Garret was about to to tell him to stop wasting his time, when Lord Kennar said that he would be paid very well. This cought Garrets attention, and he let Kennar sit down. Kennar told Garret of how he is an art collector, and how he has the largest collection in the city, but his collection is not complete. Recently there was an auction, at that auction was a painting that Kennar has been after for years, it was painted by some dead guy that Garret never even heard of, even though he had heard of the purchase. Kennar went to the auction, intending to buy the master piece, but was out bid by his rival art collector, Lord Randall. This now gave Randall the most sought after painting by Kennar, and he wanted it more than anything. Kennar didn't have a map of Randalls place, but he said that there is probably high security, because there is a lot of talk about the painting in the streets. "It will probably be in his main bedroom, hung on display for his eyes, and not his servants." "How much?" garret said. "One-hundred thousand gold pieces" replied Kennar. "Damn, must be some nice paint thrown on a canvas, I'll take it." Kennar reached out his hand with a grin on his face, Garret shook it, "Half now, half on delivery."

Garret finds himself uptown, where all the rich, fat, nobles live. He's across the street, in a shadow, looking up at Randalls house. It resembled more of a castle, with its cold gray stone walls, massive gate and high pointed roof. As always the front door approach is off, because of the lights, two visible guards, and the one up in the tower with a crossbow that only a thief would see, he probably has a security button up there just in case something happens. Garret decided to sneak his way silently through the shadows to the rear wall. There he found a shrub where he wouldn't be seen. As he sat there he counted the guards patrols. There were only two of them and they were each gone for thirty seconds. Their paths were set up so while one was watching the back yard, the other one was on the side, when he returned to watch the backyard, the other had already left to the side. How dumb could they be Garret thought to him self. If he takes one of them out, the other would never even know about it. Garret began to plan his way up. He could scale the wall, dash into a nearby nook that was a perfect shadow, and still have time not to be seen by either guard. The first guard was about to leave, so Garret reached into his black pouch, and pulled out his retractable grappling hook. With a push of a small button three sharp prongs shot out. The guard left, thirty... He hooked the top of the wall and started his ascent up the wall, twenty... He's halfway up and can just make out the guards whistles, ten... Grabbing the top of the wall he throws himself over and grabs his hook, five.. He reaches the safety of his shadow with a sigh, and two seconds left. The guard remains there, looks at the lawn, and goes on his way. Garret catches his breath, and waits for the return of the next guard. He hears footsteps, reaches into his dark cloak and pulls out his blackjack. He likes the way it feels in his hand, heavy, and solid. After the guard pauses, Garret moves in, he raises his hand, swings down, and strikes the guard in the perfect spot. The guard lets out a puff of air, before Garret grabs him and pulls him to his hideaway. He searches him and finds a coin purse with ten gold coins. He pockets them and waits for the next guard. He does the same with him, but along with the guards coin purse, he also finds a key, which looks like it fits in the door a few feet out of the shadow to Garrets right. He pulls his hood away from his ear, and listens to the door...nothing. The key fits, and the thief is in.

Garret moves to the corner and waits for any guards, or servants, who will walk by to interrupt him. In the mean time he looks around the hall that he's in, it's only lit by one torch, there are three doors on the left of the hall. He decides not to risk checking them, because someone might hear him enter, besides, he has to get to the main bedroom, which he suspects to be on the top floor. Just when he thinks it's safe, a guard passes at the end of the hall. He must be the only one. Garret pulls out his shortbow and readies an arrow. He waits for the guards return, he pulls back, and holds his breath. The targets in sight. The arrow releases with a whistle, and strikes the guard directly in the side of the throat. The guard is knocked against the far wall, and slides down with the gurgling sound of blood blocking his last breath. Garret goes down the hall and throws the guards body over his shoulder. At the end of the hall he sees the kitchen, but also notices the open pantry next to it. He goes to it and drops the body with a quiet thud, and shuts the door behind him. He moves past the kitchen and continues down the corridor where he finds a flight of stairs. At the top he notices that this floor is much different. Unlike the previous one, this one is elegantly carpeted, well lit, and has many tapestries. This must be the right floor. As he waits, he sees that there are two guards on patrol. The master bedroom must de down the hall and to the left. Like the last floor, it is set up like a square with a smaller square of rooms in the middle. This was turning out to be easier than expected, which is a good thing. Thinking about how to get past the guards, he notices that there are no ceilings, just fancy rafters. After the guard passes he pulls out his bow, and shoots a rope arrow into the rafters, the grappling hook might have been louder than an arrow penetrating the soft wood. He climbs up the rope, and then pulls it up after him. He then makes his way silently over the empty rooms to Randalls room. As he suspected, there it was. The room was lit by a warm fireplace, and everything glowed of gold trim. Randall was asleep in a chair infront of the fireplace, with an empty bottle of wine and a golden goblet knocked over next to him. The picture was hung over the large bed in a large frame. Garret took out his grappling hook, pushed the button, and slung it over the rafters. He lowered him self down, and inspected the frame. He gently moved it forward, and saw what he suspected. A thin wire was connected from the frame to the wall, no doubt hooked up to an alarm. "Nice security, he thinks he's so clever," Garret thought to himself. He pulled a dagger from his cloak, and cut the wire. He then removed the painting from the wall. He then used his dagger to cut the backing off and removed the painting. He rehung the frame, rolled up the painting and put it in his pouch, and left the way he came, into the darkness...."Easy money."

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