An Exclusive Look at The Thieves Guild
The Thieves Guild. Everyone's heard of them, especially with the war on. They lurk in the shadows, just out of sight, and you don't realize they've been around until they're gone... and your pockets are lighter. But not too much is known about this sneaky group of alleyway renegades. I was able to get an inside look at how this band of thieves go about their daily lives.
While the tavern where Kanrik is often spotted is a popular spot for them to frequent, everyone needs a place to sleep at night. Up in the mountains, there's a large cave system that they spend their free time. It's a jolly place, if not a bit smelly. There's coffee always brewing, and as long as you don't mind emptying your pockets of valuables at the door and swearing up and down you'll keep the location of the hideout a secret, almost anyone is welcome to stay. Most of the time, visitors end up joining up with the band of rouges instead of just leaving.
"The atmosphere is infectious," comments a Lutari, who wishes to remain unnamed. "I found them by accident, adventuring and whatnot. At first I was apprehensive. I mean, thieves are supposed to be bad guys, right? But there's something different about these thieves. It's hard to dislike a group that's so welcoming and cheerful. And we all have to make a living somehow, don't we?"
This seems to be the general consensus among the bandits. "We don't steal anything we can't afford ourselves," an Aisha named Midnight told me. She then admitted that they don't steal neopoints that often, and only Kanrik is allowed to sell things, it turns out that they can't afford much. "But it's mainly socks!" she added defensively.
That's another thing about the Guild. They have an interesting obsession with socks, specifically used socks.
"It used to be a challenge," A Uni named Sophie shared with us. "You know, steal them off of people while they were wearing them. That was the ultimate test. At one point it was how you were initiated into the Guild. But now we're all so good at it that it's not really a test anymore, and sometimes we even give a pair of socks to new recruits. It's more of an addiction now."
And it shows. The cave is a minefield of used socks, punctuated by large sock piles that seem to be more popular to laze around in than the chairs that have been bolted to the cave floor. ("We've had chairs stolen from the common room and found in the bedrooms," Sophie says. "Even the beanbag chairs have to be bolted.") They're used for naps, hiding places, and monster feed. Yes, you read right. The Guild keeps their very own sock monster in the caves.
"We've decided to call him Socky," Midnight told me as Socky and I got acquainted. "He's only mean when he's hungry, so on the days the war gets really tough, we're gonna cut back on his feed and unleash him upon our enemies." Socky is a bit like the Snowager, except he is made entirely out of socks. It seems that the more socks he eats, the bigger he gets. "He used to be a really little thing. I think someone brought him in, thinking he was just a stray sock. He got put in one of the piles and started eating them, and before we knew it, we were the proud owners of our own sock monster." All the thieves seem very proud of Socky, and when he's sleepy, you can often find many thieves curled up beside him, snuggling with him.
The other common theme among the thieves seems to be coffee. While a few select members can be lured out with glitter or tea, you'll find many thieves drinking coffee by the gallon. Even when it's cold, weak, or flavored by socks, it makes very little difference to any of them. They drink it as though it was water.
"A sleepy thief is a slow thief. And, as Kanrik says, a slow thief is a poor thief."
The coffee pot is bolted down too, though, which makes making a new pot very difficult at times. Apparently they make do though, because the only time I've seen a tired thief is when they snuggle into one of the piles of smelly socks.
So then what of the war, and the other factions? How do the thieves feel about them?
"Oh, we're not worried," Midnight told us. "We've sized up the competition. While a lot of them excel in one particular category, we're the jacks-of-all-trades. It also helps that we've stolen a few things from each faction, too. For example, the reason The Sway drinks cocoa now is because we stole their reserved stash of tea for the few of us who drink it. They won't admit it, though, of course. 'Nothing escapes the Sway' and all that."
"We've been training pretty hard," Sophie adds, showing her collection of sharpened daggers. "Kanrik told us to be ready for anything, so between coffee breaks, we've been sharpening our skills. Fighting, stealing, sneaking around in the dark... we've even nabbed some of the Seeker's books. Most of us can't make heads or tails of them, but they'll be good to throw at people, right?"
Overall, the thieves seem to be very different from their outward appearance. After all, who would have expected a group of shifty-eyed kleptomaniacs to be such a cheery bunch? While I've yet to learn very much about the other factions, it seems to me that the thieves are the most deceiving. Which is, in fact, fitting for thieves to be.
I'd recommend a trip to the thieves' cave if you ever get a chance. You'll be liberated of your socks and your watch, but it's more than worth it to spend a little time lounging in the sock piles and chatting over cups of coffee with a couple bandits.