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To Catch a Thief (2009)

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Year: 2009
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18 pages
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From the Background:

You twiddle your fingers nervously as you sit back in the comfortable leather seat. On either side of you sit your two colleagues. On your left is Panian Fleetfoot, an elf who, true to his name, could outrun the swiftest stallion, while to your right sits Trokk, a massive troll with skin as hard as diamond and the strength of ten men. There was no seat large enough for him so he squats on the richly carpeted floor. All three of you are looking straight ahead where Baron Sukumvit, ruler of the province of Chiang Mai, is pacing nervously back and forth. You do not yet know why he summoned the three of you and you are beginning to wonder when he will reveal his purpose. Finally, the Baron takes a deep breath, then turns to face you.

'I have been looking for someone who could protect something very valuable of mine for some time now', begins the baron, stroking his chin repeatedly as he speaks, 'and you three are the ones who I hear are the best in the business.' You all breathe a sigh of relief. At least the Baron's motives are not as sinister as you were beginning to suspect. 'You heard right, your lordship', states Panian with a large grin on his face.

You can tell from the Baron's face that he does not altogether approve of the elf's overfamiliar tone, but he lets him continue.

'Me, Trokk and the boss can protect whatever you want.'

The Baron nods sombrely and speaks once more: 'I don't know if the three of you are aware of this, but I have recently been trying to start a new museum in Fang. The Deathtrap Dungeon brings in many people to the city, but when it is over, there is little to keep them here. So I have decided to open the Sukumvit Museum of the Weird, Wonderful and Splendid. Hopefully it will attract more people to this fair city and if all goes as planned they will be a bit more upmarket than the usual hoi polloi who come here for the Trial of Champions. Now, I have been acquiring various artefacts to display in the museum. I have made a huge investment in it and have already had to sell of my recently deceased brother's estates to finance it. But there is one item in particular I want protected - the Carensen Emerald.'

Trokk lets out a gasp at the mention of this fabled jewel. It is said to be unmatched by any other jewellery in the world.

'Just one question', you ask. 'Why can't you use your own guards to protect it?' Panian shoots a glance at you as if to say 'Why are you trying to talk him out of paying us for a simple job?', but he keeps silent. Meanwhile the Baron is shaking his head.

'Unfortunately I don't dare leave it in their hands', he continues. 'Not that I don't trust them, but one thief has made it known to me that she intends to steal the emerald: Shena Nightfinger - the greatest thief Allansia has ever seen.

'Dis mission gonna be tuffer dan we thought, boss', grates Trokk slowly and you are inclined to agree with him. Shena Nightfinger is world renowned for her fantastic heists and it seems that no amount of security can stop her. Still, a job is a job and they have been a bit thin on the ground recently. The three of you look at each other and nod. 'We accept', you all reply in unison.

Baron Sukumvit smiles for the first time in this interview.

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