CELEBRATION CHOKED THE STREETS of Haven.
The One had come at last to save the world. No more would the people of Gund need live in fear.
It was said that he met now with the Triumvirate at the Central Palace to legitimize his standing as the One spoken of in the Prophecies. But the people didn’t need to wait for all that. It was all just bureaucratic nonsense as far as they were concerned. They had all heard the tales the soldiers had told of the One on the field of battle. How he had weilded the Sword of Power. How he had called down thunder and lightning, and how the army of the Dread Lord Hob had fled before him.
He was the One, what more was there to know?
And so, the good citizens of Haven set their fears aside and got down to the serious business of letting loose. Never had there been a party the likes of which had begun that day. Not since the Beard That Walks had such a good time been had, but that’s another story.
There was dancing and singing in most corners of the city. People cheered, they laughed, some even cried they were so overcome by emotions.
But most of all, the people drank.
The wine, beer, and other alcoholic concoctions flowed like the great river Trent.
The river Trent, not to be confused by the third longest river in the United Kingdom, divided the continent of Yarl nearly in two. Named so for the wizard, Trent the Adequately Powerful, for it was he that fell into it and drowned over four hundred years ago due in part to poor planning and the slight miscalculation of a teleportation spell.
But there was one in Haven who was in no mood to party. Someone other than Dominick, that is. And, of course, Vivian too when it comes down to it.
She was known only as Jade, her given name having long been forgotten by even herself. And while she did have reason to celebrate,—she’d been able to acquire that which she’d been hired to—her temper was working overtime as she attempted to navigate through the streets congested with revelers, all of whom were well within their cups.
Her only possession, a long, fur-wrapped bundle about the size of a sword (for that is was it was), she used to poke and beat at the inebriated masses that stood in her way. Eventually, following a few heated words, more than one shouting match, and no less than twenty-seven black eyes and eight broken noses, Jade broke through the crowd and found herself alone.
She’d made it to Willow’s Meadow, a small and affluent suburb of Haven which was known far and wide by another name.
No one partied in Thieves Town.
For one thing, Thieves Town had a reputation.
Willow’s Meadow had begun as just that, a meadow to the west of the city. That was until two hundred years ago when a woman by the name of Gilda Hartstone bought a parcel of land in the meadow and built what, at the time, had been the largest house in all of Haven. The house still stands, though is dwarfed by the homes that have since been built around it.
The entire city had been abuzz when Gilda had built her home. See, it had been rumored for years that Gilda had also been the renowned thief known only as the Willow and that she’d used her ill-gotten gains to purchase the land and build the grand house. This had never been proven to be true, but it hadn’t stopped other successful thieves from following suit. Soon the community of Willow’s Meadow had sprung up, populated by only the most cunning of thieves. Those that have never been caught, and had amassed for themselves a personal fortune
Thieves Town also had the reputation for being completely free of crime, because no one, after all, likes to bring their work home with them.
There were other thieves in Haven; pick pockets, cutpurses, confidence tricksters, and the like. But even the lowliest, most desperate, down on their luck miscreant knows that Thieves Town is off limits.
Some years ago, a burglar from the East traveled to Haven, seduced by the tales of wealth known to lie in Willow's Meadow. This burglar held himself in very high regard, calling himself the Night Raven. His actual name, however, was Cravel Dropworth.
When he was caught by the resident of Thieves Town climbing into the bedroom window of a house large enough to rival the palace, (and caught he was, for no one is better than catching a thief than another thief, even a world class burglar as Cravel thought himself to be) the would-be Night Raven was subjected to punishment so brutal, so cruel, it would be impolite to speak of.
Needless to say, yet still the narrative moves forward, news got out of Cravel’s fate (which again, is too gruesome to repeat, it really is) and thieves from around Gund understood that Thieves Town was out of bounds.
To be continued . . .