Duelling Blade of a Master Thief
Welcome to Centros, aka King Schmin’s Folly, capital city of the human realm. Home to over 90million people, its districts range from The Skank, a muddy grounded, disease ridden whore-, disfigured beggar- and unapologetic murderer-filled slum, up to the golden paved-, gem-studded spire-, palaces with loads of windows-filled gated community The Best Quarter.
Literally all life is here, and the divide between rich and poor is huge and increasing (remind you of anywhere? Who says fantasy can’t be topical ;-p). It is a place where a man can make a lot of money, if he is smart, quick and a thief. Allow me to introduce to you master thief, Cloaken Dh’aghir.
Cloaken was born an orphan, in the slum district of Brown (near The Skank, but not as quite minky). His orphan master, Skugnacious, soon put him to work as a pickpocket (as all orphan masters do). He showed great aptitude, making over 10,000 kings’eads (the slang name for currency) by the time he was 5. He was Assistant Orphan Master at the age 13. However, there was a falling out between him and “Skug” over certain administrative issues in their Orphan Gang and to cut a long story short Cloaken was let go.
We move on 15 years, and now Cloaken has a nice apartment in the merchant’s quarter of Sumgold. Charismatic, handsome, charming, with shoulder length golden hair, by day he woos the ladies and by night he robs them (and sometimes fucks them). He has moved on from cutting purses from stupid, foul-mouthed market traders, and now plans elaborate heists. It usually starts in a tavern with his trusty manservant Chutney (who’s fat) and goes something like this:
(sitting, placing two pints of mead on the worn wooden table)
Say, Chutney, what know thee of the Guldmillar Estate?
By ‘ek m’lord! Tis one of the securest of all the estate’s north o’ the Great River! Why, ‘tis said ol’ Guldmillar has more guards than thar citee watch demselves!
(stroking his stubbly chin thoughtfully)
Hmm, interesting. (to himself) I wonder what he could have in there which needs to be so closely guarded
Whit de ye think m’lord! Tis bound tae be lots and lots o kings’eads methinks by moi reckonin’!
(finishing his mead) Well, there’s only one way to find out..
How, m’lord? Are thee gonna gae unt ask aul’ Master Guldmillar hisself whit he’s gon’ n hoarded duwn in hiz cellar? (lifts mead to his mouth)
(stands) No, Chutney my good man. (puts on his hat) I intend to rob him. (winks)
(spits out his mead) Christ!
However, his good looks and sharp tongue have got him into trouble on more than one occasion-trouble which he isn’t able to escape with a witticism or by jumping up and grabbing a candelabra then swinging out of a window and landing in a hay cart. He has been challenged to duel with many of the nobles and middle classes of the city. Whether because he robbed them or shagged their daughters or wives or milkmaids. And on such occasions he uses this sword.
A fine duelling weapon, the blade is two centimetres thick, and straight as an arrow. It may look fragile, but is made from the finest steel by the craftsmen of the warmer climes to the South. It wouldn’t snap if you landed on it (which is lucky because Dh’aghir has done it on more than one occasion as he leaps out of windows after swinging on candelabras). Its handle has one of those finger guards, and an uppy-downy crossguard which is probably more for decoration than actual use. It’s a Fencing weapon, so a crossguard is pretty useless. The tip curves upwards, which isn’t ideal for fencing, but makes it easier for Cloaken to whip the sword up and cut his opponents cheek, which is usually followed by a witticism about the man (or woman) being too old, fat, or that his daughter’s a right goer in the sack, followed by a wink. The blade itself was the result of one of my self-imposed Drawing Challenges. As an artist, it is important to test myself frequently and with hard things. Some previous challenges include: draw as many swords as you can in 20 seconds, draw a sword blindfolded, draw a sword naked. These help an artist learn his weakness and as thus improve upon them. This one was, obviously, draw the thinnest blade possible. Something which I don’t think I, or anyone else, will ever improve on.
Chutney has brought up the appropriateness of a full length sword when climbing ivy, sneaking through sewers, crawling across creaky floorboards etc and it’s true it has gotten caught on things and knocked over pots that then smash on more than one occasion, leading to more daring escapes. Besides he’s got a dagger that he uses to slit guards throats, stab kitchen staff that have stumbled upon him, slice up maids that come running to the sound of his latest smashed pot. But, as Cloaken retorts –“Why Chutney my good man, tis’ my lucky charm ;-p. I t’aint dead yet am I ;-p” before grabbing a candelabra and jumping out of a window (he doesn’t say the emoticons I just added them in).