Savage Lankhmar - Knowledge Unbound

Vera's Tale

Reflections, Revelations

Vera finished tying the adorable ribbon into a cute little bow atop the gift package, slipped the envelope bearing the title of the recipient in her best, flowing calligraphy securely into place, and then passed the package to the waiting courier. She repeated the instructions to the young man – he was to deliver the package to the open door of the thieves guild on cheap street, and leave it on the step. The people there would make sure it got where it needed to go; the package was addressed to the Night Master of the Thieves Guild; only a fool would cross him directly. The bright and flowery presentation was a stark contrast to the likely result of that package; in addition to dismembered body parts, it contained descriptions of two of the three individuals who had violated thieves’ guild rules on operating outside of guild consent, which they would likely deal with… harshly.

Vera didn’t care. She turned deeper into her own guilds hallways, heading toward a room in the back where she could get some rest. As she thought of the young woman – Leela – falling desperately back from the advance of those thieves guild thugs, the fierce anger flashed inside her again. The fact that they had coerced another young sister of the whore’s guild into helping drove the flame of that anger into an inferno. Why had they been allowed to do that? Why were those abuses allowed to continue?

She found a room, and then flopped tiredly onto a worn out mattress. She cast her gaze around the room, and reflected on the day’s events. The guild hadn’t been terrible to her, had it? It had given her shelter, income, and protection – all of which were valuable. But you can’t leave, Vera thought. To the Guild, you’re an investment – a tool. She grimaced. But if there was no guild, what then? It’d just be whichever pimp was powerful, dangerous, or threatening enough to control as many women as possible, and they’d have nothing at all to protect them. Vera wasn’t sure Relocks was right there, but…

But it should be different. The Guild’s should exist to protect their members, to offer them shelter and support as people, and allow them to pursue their dreams and find their way in the world. Now, they just used their members the fill the pockets of whoever was on top; in many cases, the larger guilds used the smaller ones in the same way, like how the Thieves Guild was using her sisters. It was unacceptable; it had to stop. Someone should do something, she should do…

Vera groaned suddenly, as if in pain. She got to her feet, and walked over to the wall, and then slowly and deliberately hit her head against it. She had just thought it, clearly and stupidly. She whispered to no ears but her own, “I should do something.”

She cursed softly, again and again as she walked back to the mattress. She thought it over in her head, examined her feelings on the matter, just to make sure she hadn’t gone temporarily insane. After a minute she was sure; she had just resolved to do something far more disgusting and reprehensible than anyone thought whoring was; she had just resolved to enter into guild politics. But she remembered her sisters, those who had been abused and died because no one had been there to stand up to the Thieves Guild spending their lives carelessly, no one had lobbied for better training and information to help them make better decisions, and the fact that no one had cared to think that maybe someday she might like to do something else with her life and stood up for her.

Vera sat up, and started thinking it through. She’d need allies first, then influence. Good gods, she’d probably need to consider trying to gain control of the guild. Could she even do that? But if she could… that would be an incredible position to try and battle for the sort of reform that Relocks probably wanted, if he had the vision for it. The Guilds didn’t need to run the city; they needed to look after their members. That fit, didn’t it? But the influence she’d gain there…

She considered also that the thief Karm now owed their compatriots a couple of favors; she needed to know more about him. If he were ambitious enough, he may be amenable to a change in the status quo, if it ended with him in a better position than he started; that was path that would need to be tread carefully.

Vera forced herself to her feet, and shook off her tiredness. She’d need to find something to help with that, but for now there was work to be done; she needed to start by finding out who her allies were and gaining their support; despite Leela’s inane comment, she was not old, and that wasn’t necessarily an advantage here. She wasn’t senior in the guild, so would start by seeking support from some of the more senior membership, which for her meant talking to Kiana and gaining her support. She’d also need to make sure to stick close to Guy, as she had no doubt that this path would contain some level of personal danger and that man was dangerous. She’d need to look into seeing if there was any way to cement a working relationship. The freelance thief, Felix also had skills – he had been disparaging, but damn if he hadn’t produced results. Marshalling herself, Vera headed for the door…

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