Poetic Justice
or The Robbing of A Thief
Narrated by Tyr the Mage

'Twas a difficult winter, this last one, and, well, a lot of people just stayed inside their homes most of the day, sitting by the fire and telling stories of old times... I had the privilege of listening to one such story, and I thought it to be very entertaining, so I shall tell it to you now, so that you may laugh a little.

With the onset of winter, most everyone stored their supplies and wealth in their chests and baskets, and hid them in cellars and storage rooms, to prepare for the hard days to come. The only problem is, at the time, a burglar saw it fit to take advantage of all those piles of wealth, and he took it upon himself to pay visits every night to various homes and inn rooms, leaving with everything he could carry.
After a while, the news spread, as more and more were left dirt poor. Among all the wailing, yelling, and screaming for vengeance, a band of adventurers agreed to do whatever they could to find this thief, and stop him once and for all. Days passed, however, and the thieving continued, until even the band of adventurers had been robbed blind. And no one could find clues as to who the thief was.

Until one day, when Garkin Gnoll, the Enchanter, and member of the Enchanter's Guild, realized that the reknown master thief Vick always seemed to have for sale whatever ingots had disappeared from mines a few days earlier. Very strange. He waited a few days, and his theories were confirmed when he overheard Vick bragging which mine he was going to rob next...

So he decided to teach the thief a lesson. He asked the Black-Handed mage, Malhavoc, for a little help, and the two of them set out to implement their plan.

First, a transport rune was etched into the ground, right in front of the gates guarding Vick's castle. At the same time, Malhavoc, the black mage, traveled to a dimension very familiar to him: the Warp. There he waited, cloaked in invisibility, and watched the powerful creatures of the warp fight and growl at each other.

When the rune was set, Garkin discretely let a few of Vick's friends know that he thought he saw a fighter bashing on Vick's castle gates with a large iron sledge hammer, cursing, and wanting to get inside. Vick, upon hearing the news, hurried to his castle to confront the intruder.

He approached the gates, intent on getting inside to stop the fighter, and didn't even realize he had stepped on the rune of transport. Malhavoc, in the Warp, watched in glee as the creatures played with Vick for a while before totally ripping him into pieces, spraying blood everywhere...

Satisfied with the carnage, the black mage grinned, and with a simple motion he bent down to collect Vick's castle key from the mangled corpse. Then, with a flick of his hand, he vanished from the warp, to appear next to Garkin, who was waiting a few leagues east of Vick's castle gates.
The key exchanged hands, and while Vick was busy trying to find a way back to his own plane of existence, Garkin erased the transport rune at the castle gates and, using the key, happily strolled inside Vick's castle. He found the treasury room easily, as the thief had no castle guards or protection magic whatsoever... The chests and safes also were unlocked, for who was going to rob the Master Thief.
Grinning, Garkin set to work again... A hidden rune appeared on the floor among the chests, a rune, which would open the exit portal allowing Garkin instant access from his own castle to Vick's treasury room... Then, not willing to be caught inside by the thief, Garkin left, and waited patiently for a while.

The evening set and the moons appeared in the sky, lighting the rooftops with their majesty... the rooftops and a happily prowling thief, who jumped from house to house on his way to the next great burglary of the month... Little did the thief know that at the same time, Garkin was busily working on installing double sets of locks on various chests and safes in one poorly defended treasury room...

The work took a while, and, after a bit, Garkin wiped the sweat off his brow, and, with a smile, penned a few words on a piece of parchment, and put it inside the now empty chests. Then, he locked the chests and put the key in one of the magic bags nicely donated by Malhavoc. The little 'clink' made by the keys as they hit the pile of treasure inside the bags went unnoticed in the still night... And Garkin grabbed the bulging bags, doused the torches on the walls, and left the treasury room and Vick's castle, headed for his home.

Meanwhile, in another part of the plains, Malhavoc was busy collecting ingots from a mine chest, and placing them in another of those wonderful bags of holding. One by one, the ingots left the mine chest and were deposited in the bags, until none remained. Grinning, the Black Mage closed the bags and uttered a magical word of transport, disappearing from the mine.

As the moons descended towards the horizon and the first light of dawn started caressing the eastern sky, a tired Vick returned from a busy night of work spent trying to pick a stubborn lock. The few pickings of the night were certainly not worth the trouble he had with that darn lock, and all he wanted to do right now was just put them away and get some sleep.

So he entered the castle and ambled over to the treasury room, ready to store his newly attained treasure. Grabbing the lid of one of the chests, he pulled up... but the chest wouldn't budge. Dropping on his knees, Vick suddenly noticed the brand new lock installed on the chest... On all the chests! Nothing else in the room was disturbed, though.

Curious, intrigued, and angry, the Thief dropped the bag of loot and dropped on his knees, lockpick in hand, working on picking his own chests... The locks were masterfully crafted, and it took him three hours to get them picked. When they were finally all laying in pieces on the floor, he threw open the lids to all the chests in fury.

And discovered all chests empty... except for one, which contained a little piece of parchment with some scribbling on it... It read: "You've been robbed, Vick. Funny feeling, isn't it?"

Growling in rage, the Thief stormed out of the treasury room and ran to his mine. The little pet there greeted his master happily, attempting to lick his face to show its love. But Vick pushed it aside and stormed to the mine chest, opening it with a creak. It was empty; not even a trace of mineral was left in it. Turning around in rage, the thief's eyes fell on the first miner coming to work early, and stormed out screaming incoherently. The miner shrugged, and went to work, knowing the rest of his team would get there soon to help him.

Well, after that night, not many people were robbed. In fact, it was as if there were no thieves in the world at all... Which is fine by me, I must say. Heh, heh.