Theif Extraordinare

Work to be completed. A boy goes on an adventure to find his clans prize possession and along the way meets people with similar possesions but something unexpected happens and he has to make the final decision after several life times of thinking.

I'm looking out over my former domain, from the rugged, grey, Haick mountain range all the way looking down at the seemingly endless army-green Taine forest that leads to the crystal-blue Tyrul ocean. I turn around to see the wide waterfall which hides my former cave palace and the shadows within. Carefully, I walk to the edge of the waterfall and nervously jump off the cliff straight into the cold, deep, fast-flowing river and swim quickly to the hiding spot underneath the first tree of the Granik forest on the right bank-side. This is half an hours walk from my former domain. The sun had set when I reached this so-called home.

I swim through this hole and emerge into the cave, where nature and man built it equally, that has become my home for a year or so now since the Rin'ul has taken the palace and all the palace women and servents for their own use of pleasure. my father, the king, is dead of course. As is custom with all the new leaderships to cut down on rebellion. He was killed by his own animals after he was thrown into their cage. I look around at my mundane surroundings. Seeing the dirt ceiling held up by pillars of wood and limestone intertwined into each other like two snakes coiling around each other and large boulders smoothed-out on the top with carpets upon them pushed up against the dirt walls. These were our beds. The center of the room was taken up by a constant blazing fire that keeps us fed and keeps out the chill of the night.

I sense the remains of my family, only the men were exiled. It feels like they are staring at me from the shadows with contempt as I entered, dripping wet in my shabby clothes. They didn't say anything until I took a bowl of soup and sat down beside the fire to dry myself. "Where have you been?" says Daught, with an air of looking for a fight. He's my younger 'brother', not as good looking or as intelligent, of course. "Looking for a secret hunting ground so we can look for some meat." I said. "Hah! As if such a thing exists!" said Gert with a tone of contempt and loathe. He was one of the palace guardsmen. We don't get along well. He thinks I'm arrogant. "They've taken all the land for themselves, there's not a place left for our people to live in peace, apart from here. Remember...."

Here we go again, telling the same story for the umpteenth time. I need to get out of here and start again. I've been reincarnated into the same person so many times, it almost feels like I'm immortal. Almost, but not quite. The ancient Pokhat's saw to that all those years ago.

I tune Gert's story-telling out and think about my past. Over 2 millenia ago, there was a great war between the Pokhat's and the Dansk. The war raged on for several years with many weapons left abandoned on the battlefield by the warriors, the deceased and the deserters.

I was part of the Giyent, a neighbouring tribe famed for scavaging and salvaging. We were treated as commong thieves by the other tribes and were marked with a thumbless hand tattoo on the left cheek of our faces. Both the Pokhat's and the Dansk used us to retrieve valuable blades from the battlefield and we could take whatever weapons that were there that were unimportant. This was at night, when the wounded were tended to, when no one dared to come out from under their shelters. The two sides were both superstitious and believed in the 12 gods of Kaytop. So we were safe to run back and forth carrying valuables across the battlefield. We did not believe in supertition or religion so we were believed to hold no fear against the Kaytop gods. Well, we believe that, until I came along.

I was sent out to find a Pokhat sword for a cheiftain who dropped it during a fight with a Dansk chieftain which ended up being a fist fight from what I heard. I walked calmly over the immense no-mans-land and used my keen sight to try and find the missing blade in the darkness. I lit a torch using a handful of dry hay, putting it into a cone--shaped iron holder or a stolen torch and struck flint to a discarded sword blade, and after a few unsuccessful attempts, sparks flew into the holder and ignited with the dry hay to start a fire. I held this up beside me so the glow of the fire could stretch further. I walked on a little bit more, past the dead, smiling faces, the fierce rage and excitement of the battle swept off their faces forever, past all the broken weapons and the broken bodies, these people will not be saved and any left alive will be killed as they are thought to be the undead. Something glinted in the fire-light. I edged to the right to see what it was. I recognized is as the cheiftain's description of the blade. From the long double-edged blade to the black and red tanned hilt with the coloured diamond embedded into the hilt.

I gasped in surprise. This was the missing gem stone from the Chask Ture. The Chask Ture my tribe owned. The was rightfully mine! I grabbed the nearest unbroken blade and went to work on carefully extracting the gem stone. Luckily, my tribe were masters at this and in no time at all I successfully extracted the stone unmarked and put it into a secret pocket on the inside of my jacket. In picked up the chieftain's blade and half-ran back to the Pokhats campsite thinking of a story to tell the chieftain about the 'missing' gem stone.

I barged into the cheiftains tent with the guards hounding me, tryign to catch the skinny, agile theif that was me. "Cheiftain! I have recovered your blade!" I said breathlessly while presenting the sword balanced between my outstretched hands. The cheiftain looked at the sword for a split second and then his eyes flickered to the doorway where the guards were ready to pounce on me.

The cheiftain waved at the dismissively. One of the guards started to protest in disbelief. "But sir! He just barged into your campsite without permission and...." The cheiftain cut him short with a sharp, booming voice that only a leader could have. "Enough! He is one of the Giyent tribe members, a lowlife. What would he know of manners and formalities? Now be gone! All of you! I wish to speak to him alone. Make sure no one disturbs us." The guardsmen all scurried away, back to their posts.

"So.... You brought my best blade back, with a missing gem stone I see?" The cheiftain began with a careful tone and guarded eyes, but I could see past those guards and see the accusation in his eyes. This man was not a fool, I have to be careful with my words or I will forfeit my life. "Yes" I said with an unsuspecting tone. "Now that you mention it, there is a large hole in the handle where a gem stone could be placed. Are you sure there was a gem stone on the handle? I did not see anything in the fire-glow of my torch when I discovered your great blade on the ground." I looked at him with sincere eyes to make my story that much more believeable while carefully scrutinizing his reaction. He probably has more sense than to answer my question as any answer to that question will bring about self-doubt which gives me new powers of manipulation over the cheiftain.

As I had presumed, he asked the most obvious question. "How could you not have seen the hole the missing gem stone had created in the fire light?" This is going well, I gave enough information to make my story plausible but not enough to make it seem planned. "When I found the blade, it was turned upside-down and when I rushed back to camp, I ran without looking, therefore, I could not see anything." I said simply. The cheiftain seemed convinced with my story. "Hmmmm.... Very well. You seem to be becoming influenced by the people around you. You are starting to speak like a noble such as myself. We can't have that, it's like letting a commoner sit in the kings throne at the banqueting hall. Therefore, I give you permission to return to your clans homeland for a fortnight with good food sent to your tribe for your excellent services. Come back to us after that. I shall await your return." I thanked the cheiftain and left his tent. This is going better than I expected. Now I shall return home and become to hero of my tribe.

"Teyra! Teyra! Are you even listening to me?" says Gert. "What?" I said. "I said are you listening to me?" said Gert. "God! You young ones are so ignorant! Learn some manners!" I laughed inwardly at the irony of this. Another soldier came into view, "Right guys, it's time to sleep. nothing out there but plants and animals anyway." He doused the fire with water and we all climbed the moss carpeted rocks and drew our coats around our bodies and went to sleep. I immitated them but stayed awake and waited until they were all fast asleep. When they were all snoring softly, I climbed down from my perch and slipped out into the lonely night off on my travels once again. "Time to move on" I thought out loud. That memory was from long ago. Something must be calling for me again. I must answer or my 'immortality' will be lengthened. I gave one last look at the hidden cave and disappeared among the trees and into the wildereness.

The End

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