Thief: The Dark Project

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On the Last Day, there will be no words...and we will know the face of our betrayer... - Excerpt from the Keeper Book of Days”


There is nothing as promising as the opening of a book. There is nothing as final as its shutting. - Keeper Scribe Lessons, Part 4”


Imagine the City as a youth precariously balanced on the precipice of a deep ravine. We are the Keepers of that balance. - from The Eight Principles”


Choose your immortality wisely, whether it be the treasure you amass, or the family who succeed you. - Advice to a Patriarch, Baron Bresling”


Even to the casual observer, the seven great families have become neither great, nor, by most - from Historical Bloodlines”


Only the virtuous can withstand The Builder’s Trial by Fire...the sinful are consumed. - from a Hammerite Sermon”


Saids drinks of me, you wills not thirsts, Dids honeys sweet froms out Him burst. - Pagan Drinking song, origin unknown”


From each of us, the Glyphs will desire a different aspect. This is the balance we have struck. - Excerpt from The Interpreter’s Codex, Vol 8”


A rod of iron, in the flame, is transfigured and is no more. Thou canst never return unchanged from the forge. -Rite of ordination to MasterForger”


If thou hast eyes to see the glory of the Builder, but do not, then pluck them out. -Opening prayer, Ironwright Temple”


Be ever diligent, For thine enemies are a multitude, And sin never sleeps... - Excerpt from a Hammerite Hymn”


The Hammer is the most blessed of all the Builder’s works: ‘Tis both a tool for building, and a weapon against thy foes. - The Hammer Book of Lessons”


You shalt know thy enemies well, for they wield not the hammer, and forest dwellers be they. - From The Book of the Master Builder”


Manfools fleshes breaks and bleeds, And them Leafy Lord risers again... - unattributable, etching in tree bark”


Bes him many-named, Him that’s called the Woodsie One...The Leafy Lord...the Harvester... - fragmentary text on parchment”


We bes eatsy of the goodfruit, Bes we drinker of the bloodroot, Bes we singer at them moons. - Overheard ritual chanting”


To us Him bes the Trickster, sometimes the gillsweet, sometimes the bear, but to them that carries a hammer He bes them worming death... – unknown”


Drinks them meads and bes merried, Before them Harvester comers for you. - Pagan song, author unknown”


The struggles of the city mirror the ebb and flow of the great waters. No tide must ever be allowed to advance unchecked... - from The Eight Principles”


Beware, for even the simple act of desiring to become...can corrupt that which will be. - Excerpt from The Interpreter’s Codex, Vol 8”


To act out of anger risks needless destruction, but to act out of affection risks needless charity. - Guide of Balance”


History is written by the observer. Propaganda is written by the victor. - Keeper Book of Truths”


Sing a song of daffodils, Gray Lady choose the one to kill, And you are out! - Children’s game, origin unknown”


Him reachers downing to them abysses and pulls Him out them worming ones. - Origin unknown”


In summer times do Beesie flew, maple pines and grackles coo, The grassies sweet with nectars dew, til Harvest time when Him eat you. - Pagan chant”


I bes them honeysweet, I bes them breadmeat, Feeders you of me, til them times that I feeders of you. - Cave etching”


Two clicks for the Fall of the Kurshok, banished to abyss. No more favored by the Trickster Lord. No more see the sun or sky. - Kurshok Text”


One click for the brainsick ones...thinking the aboveworld is real place. - Kurshok Text”


All of the days in the full span of thy life, are but an hour of the Builder’s time. - Collected Sermons of MasterForger Keystone”


Make thou a fortress of thy heart, for thy most valuable treasures art those words given to thee by the Builder. - Words of the Sixth Forger”


Once sin hath entered thy heart, thy life’s work is at an end. - Precepts of the Smith-in-Exile”


Each moment of thy life hath a choice - accept the trial the Builder hath set for thee, or lay down thy burden and die. - Words of the Sixth Forger”


There are glyphs that can cause suffering and those that can end it...and precious few who know the difference. - Excerpt from the Forbidden Transcripts”


Ambition will usurp balance...The treacheries of the ignorant...The follies of the blind... - from Caduca’s notes on the Prophecies”


Fellow Keepers, we undo ourselves, our very fabric unravels - and as we fare, so fares the City... - Note left for the Keeper Council, author unknown”


Fed too much, the flame of knowledge will spread unchecked, to consume and destroy. - Fourth Warning of the Scribarium”


We are none of us immune to the temptations of the Glyphs. To think so would be the worst of follies. - From the Forbidden Transcripts”


Then let this be our warning...that any man can be made monster...that any woman can become loathsome... - From the resignation speech of Keeper Sondheim (Historical Archives)”


Beware the Trickster’s Flame or the Fairy Spark; for they are ill wrought. Only the Builder’s Fire burns with righteousness. - The Book of Lessons”


If it is to close your eyes that you seek, to become deaf to the truth, to dismiss the obvious - then you have succeeded most thoroughly. –unknown”


Who are we? Who have we become? I no longer have the courage to answer. - Entry from the journal of Keeper Elan, two days before his disappearance.”


When the End of Words arrives, the fire will be driven from our hearts, and the efforts of the ages will be laid waste by the Betrayer. - surviving text fragment, Keeper Archives”


The earliest writings on the glyphs are indeed cautionary...yet remarkably, regrettably inadequate... - Final Journal Entry, Keeper Thackery”


What damage has been done, and worse, what more is to come? - Session of the Keeper Council”


Holding a key, you may infer the existence of a lock. But do not make the mistake of assuming that yours is the only key. - Handbook for Scribes”


Fiddle-dee dum and fiddle-dee dee, The old gray lady is after me... - children's rhyme, unknown origin”


The City increased quickly. The lack of planning evidences itself in the closeness of the structures...the strange twist of a street... - Keeper Archives”


Makers a sipping poison of fangrot and meadowscull for them cityhead fools to drinkers and weeps. - partial text recovered from abandoned Pagan camp”


A scribe must learn to control the Glyphs...lest they seek to control the scribe. - from The Keeper Handbook for Scribes”


A cell is only necessary if the prisoner in question can still walk. - Warden Stout, Pavelock Prison”


There will be no escapes. None. If a prisoner somehow does get away - make sure they don’t survive the return trip. - Warden Stout, Pavelock Prison”


Where doest thou wander, oh lady of the cinders? Upstairs and downstairs, and in thy nightly chambers... - Children’s Rhyme”


Beware the Age of Darkness / Light shall become shadow / Time shall become the enemy / Life shall become pain... - Excerpt from the Keeper Books of Prophecy”


...only we know the secrets of the Glyphs...only we know the truth... - Keeper Archives”


Beware the minions of the Trickster, for they revel in chaos. Seek they to undo thy works and subvert thy thoughts. - from the Sermon of St. Edgar”


Familiarizing yourself with his history and capabilities will prove essential should the time come when we no longer deem him...necessary. - Keeper Draco”


The choice is not only between one action or another. To refrain from action is always the third potential. - First Keeper Orland, Assembly Speech”


Imagine all that we have worked for...all we have created and all that we know...wiped out in the blink of an eye... - from A Discourse on the Dark Ages”


That references to the thief occur so frequently in the prophecies should be enough to warn you - to warn us all. - Council Meeting 128:LVIX, Section 40”


The incidents in the Scribarium are increasing...yet nothing is done. The Scribes are our future. Or do we all intend to live forever? - Keeper Staub”


Of the clocktower, I will say only this: That the prophecies are speaking to us...yet there is no one who will listen. - Keeper Artemus, journal entry”


The One will venture where none have tread...and the First shall follow the Last. - Excerpt from the Keeper Books of Prophecy”


Two giants, roused from slumber, two blades clashing. Each blames the other...for what the Thief has done. - From Caduca’s Notes on the Prophecies”


maker an offerings of manfoolsy fleshes - drinker a sippings of manfooled bloods - Pagan harvest song, author unknown”


Set thy bricks with the bones of heathens, and mix thy mortar with their blood. - Hammerite Book of Structure”


The Age of Darkness will be the child of two fathers...and their names are Ignorance and Fear. - from the journal of Keeper Artemus”


As Keepers, it is our duty to remain apart - secret - invisible. To become part of the City would exert influences. - From The Eight Principles (Amended)”


Then we sent Reggie on board...and he didn’t come back neither. - Witness account, City Watch records”


...ain’t nobody coulda steered that ship to port...there ain’t was nobody alive to steer. - overheard at a tavern”


May each Enforcer be remembered and scribed in the Book of the Names, that we may never speak their names again. - Excerpt from an Induction Speech”


Lay stone upon stone, pile foe upon foe, ‘til thy Builder’s work is done. - From the Builder’s Prayer”


Where are you, where are you, little Miss Ann? I’m in the pot boiling with Seamus and Sam. - Children’s Rhyme”


A most promising acolyte, yes...but that was long ago. Now he is other...a thief...and probably worse... - Letter to Keeper Orland, author unknown”


Seek thou not blood from the stone, but only from thine enemies. And if they bleedeth sap, then seek it doubly so. - The Book of the Stone”


After the plagues, the City needed the room afforded by moving the dead underground. This is how the first catacombs came to be. - Historica, Vol. 29”


The undead are most abhorrent to us. Their flesh is putrid, and the mark of the Trickster is upon them. - from the Mass of Saint Aaron”


Be without sin in life, for after death, the sinful doth walk without rest, ne’r welcomed into the House of the Builder. - The Builder’s Way”


The First Keeper is merely a surrogate for the One True Keeper, whose eventual arrival we await with dread. - From the Collected Essays of D’Aberon”


If the Artifacts were created for some purpose, then the pertinent texts must be found before they too are...irrevocably misplaced. - Author Unknown”


...the skin hast been cleanly removed, as if by surgery or magics...’twas much suffering, methinks... - From the notebook of Hammerite Inspector Drept”


...the thief in our midst...invited - but unwelcome...present always in the prophecies...even when not in flesh... - Notes in book margin, author unknown”


No, it wasn’t a woman...ain’t no woman could do that. Rippin’ at him. His skin is gone...all gone... - Statement given to City Watch Official”


If there is a betrayer within...then he will not appear as a villain...but as a trusted friend...even a leader among us. - former First Keeper Xavier”


We played at a hiding game, when all at once the hag was upon us. T'was naught I could do - frozen with fear. - Recollection of the Hammerite Inspector”


The Artifacts are sometimes called Sentients, as they posses (sic) a will of their own, and the ability to act upon their desires. - Keeper Annals”


Fiddle-dee dum and fiddle-dee dee, The old gray lady is after me... - children's rhyme, unknown origin”


The City increased quickly. The lack of planning evidences itself in the closeness of the structures...the strange twist of a street... - Keeper Archives”


Makers a sipping poison of fangrot and meadowscull for them cityhead fools to drinkers and weeps. - partial text recovered from abandoned Pagan camp”


A scribe must learn to control the Glyphs...lest they seek to control the scribe. - from The Keeper Handbook for Scribes”


Cry, Brethren, for the Betrayer is Come. Your Hands will be Crippled, and you will Perish as the Wretched Outcast in the Bleak Unwritten. And you will know the face of the Destroyer. - Recovered text from The Prophecitus, missing for 132 years”


"This is Auldale, one of the richest districts of the City. Where high society types take strolls in the park or visit the museum with all their...leisure time. Every thief in town knows there's plenty of wealth and baubles to be stolen among the opulence...only a few know how to get at it. But I've got other things on my mind. It's not enough that every Keeper in the city is trying to kill me, but now there's a mysterious old woman after me as well. So I've come to Auldale to find Inspector Drept. From what I've heard, he's obsessed with the fable of a murderous hag, and I'm sure there's a connection. I hope he has a lead for me...because if he doesn't...then I'm at a dead end."


"I had my fence take a look at Lord Julian's medallion. Perry says the crest belongs to the Rutherfords, one of the oldest so-called Great Families, with a castle in South Quarter and a street named after them. They've got a lot of wealth, and a nasty reputation for turning on each other. Based on that conversation I overheard, Julian is definitely carrying on the family tradition. Lord Ember, Julian's cousin, currently resides in the castle, and Julian wants revenge. Julian had a good plan--hide inside a supply cart and ride in after dark. Then signal the cook to open the side door by putting out the lion's-head torch in the courtyard. A good enough plan for me to use myself. That 'Bloodline Opal' sounds valuable, and it's better off with me than sitting around in their vault. But I can't get lazy--Ember will have his personal guard, and doubtless a few other family tricks in store for anyone who comes after the opal."


"The Keepers are waiting for time to stop on its own. But I think their prophecy needs a little push. The Stonemarket Clocktower is so tall you can see it all the way from Auldale. If there's a way to stop time, then this is it. I made it inside the tower, now I just have to figure out how to sabotage it. It's centuries old and they say its gears have killed more men than the City's guillotine. It'll be full of Hammerites, too--some of them spend their whole lives here maintaining it. They're not going to let me throw a wrench in their clockworks, not without a fight. I'll be making my way down from the top – with a little luck, along the way I can figure out how to turn the thing off. Let's just hope my way of dealing with the prophecies is more...productive...than the Keepers', or this could be a big waste of time."


"The Docks...the poor part of town...full of cramped tenements and surly residents. I wouldn’t come here looking for a helping hand, but it’s the right place to hire a few murderous thugs. Or for those who’re in the market for something rare and exotic, precious imports from ships are stored here until they’re moved to more wealthy districts. So the Docks can be a good place to long as you keep an eye out for fishy characters and, of course, the City Watch. The quarantine still has the Docks cut off from the other districts, but the Keeper Door Glyph got me past the gates. Working with the Keepers isn’t all bad, I guess. And I have a hunch I’m in the right place to return the favor. If the Keepers are right, and there’s a dark age coming...then Docks is where to start searching for it. It’s about as dark as this city gets."


"Looks like I've found the entrance to the 'sunken citadel' Keeper Rafe talked about in his journal. According to him, the Glyph Key disappeared underground some time too long ago to think about. Rafe also mentioned caverns

swarming with strange creatures--guess that's why the Keepers put a glyph lock on the entrance. It would be nice to know what sort of creatures, but the Keepers have never been much for useful detail. Turns out, not only did the Glyph Key disappear down here, but so did Rafe. The Keepers never sent anyone after him--but I don't expect he's still exploring the place. I don't have any good leads on where to look for the Key, but I can start by looking for Rafe's remains."

"St. Edgar's Church. This is where the Hammerite fanatics keep the Chalice, a so-called holy relic. It's what the Keepers are asking me to steal, if I want to see their prophecies for myself. The Chalice might not be worth much on the street, but every Hammer church has a nice pile of wealth stashed away--no reason not to fill my pockets while I'm here. This particular temple holds the crypt of some long-ago Hammerite hero: St. Edgar. Today was his holy day, so there's an all-night service. That might work in my favor, if they're all sitting down praying instead of looking for sinners to smite. Chances are, they'll have anything they think is holy locked up pretty tight. I'll have to make sure they don't do the same to me--I'm not interested in the Hammerite brand of justice."


"The Shalebridge Cradle. It used to be an insane asylum, and before that it was an orphanage. One night a fire started, no one knows how, and after that they left the place abandoned. If there's a way to cram more misery into one building's history, I can't think of it. I'm here to learn about the old woman who attacked me in the Keeper Compound. Drept said he saw the hag here at the orphanage long ago, when his childhood friend was murdered. He's never dared to come back, but I don't think I have much choice. It's a thin lead, but it's all I have left. I've never robbed an orphanage before, and I can't say I'm looking forward to this visit. There's no telling what I'll find inside. I'm used to the dark, but this feels like a house with bad dreams."


"I got a tip last night from my fence, Heartless Perry. A nobleman named Lord Julian had some sort of quarrel and showed up at a local inn well after nightfall and in a foul mood. He's carrying a velvet bag, about the size of a man's fist, and it never leaves his sight. Sounds likely to be valuable, but I'll know for sure when I steal it from him. Perry sent over a floor plan of the place, the Blue Heron Inn. Finding His Lordship won't be hard, his room number will be in the guest register, if I can get to the front desk to read it. The inn will have guards, but not as many as a private estate. That should make things easy – which is one of the reasons I'm willing to try it without knowing for sure what the take will be. Lord Julian is so protective of that bag, there's got to be something of value in it."


"Orland's tunnel was right where I was told it would be. I haven't been in the Keeper Compound since my trial. It's a sprawling complex, right in the heart of the city, hidden by Glyphs. Orland has the Compound on alert, so they'll be armed and ready for intruders... ME that is. So much for working together. I know I didn't kill Caduca, but someone did, and my money's on Orland. He fixed the trial and sent the assassins after me, and the fallen clocktower points right to his office.... 'Brethren and Betrayer' suddenly makes sense. But suspicions aren't enough, so tonight I'll do some snooping. And if a little Keeper wealth ends up in my pockets...all the better. Orland's place is on the top floor--no surprise, he's always liked looking down on people. Artemus has a room near the dormitories; I should search there, too. And I'd better check the scene of Caduca's murder. One last thing--the Keeper Council meets tonight. If I can stay awake, I might learn something."

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