478 Symbols

    The back door to the Flaming Swan opened with an audible click as the door was unlocked and pushed open.  A stealthed figure stepped inside, his sharp eyes taking in everything as they glanced around the small back-room. There was one other visible exit in the closet-sized room that had been set up as an office.  It only took a few minutes to find a hidden trapdoor in front of the desk.  The Gemini Thief smiled behind his mask, "Could be a sewer entrance."

    /Alpha: Wind: Found an underground entrance in Mr. Scumbag's office.  It's located in the Flaming Swan Tavern's back office.

    /Alpha: Nix: Want some back-up?

    /Alpha: Wind: No, just giving you an update.  Do you get my recruits?

    /Alpha: Nix:  Safe and sound.  You know they'll still have to pass an entrance test.

    /Alpha: Wind: Give them the Nix special.  They'll be fine.

    /Alpha: Nix: I thought my special was breaking out of prison.

    /Alpha: Wind: And making OP gear for undeserving people. Am out.

    Nix laughed aloud and turned toward the small group. "On that, we can agree."

    Semmi nudged him with an elbow and pointed to the recruits.  They were huddled around Del, taking turns rubbing the soft black fur on her tummy.

    /Alpha: Semmi: You're actually an Ain'Dhassi ranger... Remember?

    /Alpha: Del: Right now I'm a big cat... Please don't bother me.

    /Alpha: Semmi: What do you know about the entry trial for the  Thieves Guild?

    /Alpha: Nix: Nothing, other than there is one.

    Semmi brought up her hud and accessed the Local auction house.  "What do you need?"

    Nix pursed his lips for a moment while considering his choices.  "A dozen copper rings, they need to have at least one enchantment slot. I'll make the rest from my own reserves."

    /Alpha: Del:  That's the camo cloth you invented?  It looks different than the one you used on Cora's gear.

    Nix showed her a small piece of the enhanced camo he designed when he was first marooned in Northern Titania.

    /Alpha: Nix: Upgraded it a bit using some new techniques.

    Camouflage Fabric V


    Complete Invisibility

    Sound Suppression: When applied to armor.

    Sound Amplification: When applied to weapons.

    Lightning Resistant: Extra protection against Lightning-based attacks.

    Bonus: Material is completely immune to fire.

    Del stared at the cloth for a few moments; the reds, browns, and greens seemed to be constantly shifting.  "They don't have any armor; what are you going to apply it to?"

    Nix shrugged slightly.  "Nothing.  Since it's a cloth and I'm a Tailor, it stands to reason that I don't have to apply it to anything.  I can use it as the base fabric."

    He brought up the pattern templates for different outfits.  "Perhaps a one-piece jumper with a zipper down the front."

    /Alpha: Semmi: What kind of benefit will it yield when used as the base fabric?

    /Alpha: Nix: We'll find out after the first attempt.  If it's crap, I'll think of something else.

    /Alpha: Del: These kids are poor and live in a fairly dangerous environment.  Should you give them something that will make others target them?

    /Alpha: Nix: You have a point.  I'll customize each one and bind it.  No one else will be able to use the gear, and they can't sell them later.

    Nix queued up the jumpsuit. Since he wasn't adding any enhancements, he could list all six outfits under the same task.  He merely had to change the custom target.  One by one, he added the group to his friend's list.

    [Custom Target: Token, Burr, Chozz, Scala, Forbes, Witchie] [Jumpsuit: Standard Pattern] [Fabric: Camouflage Fabric V] [Needle: Silver hooked][ Zipper: Ceramic] [Thread: Camel hair]

    [Create Customized Jumpsuit?]


    [Critical Crafting]

    "I love it when that happens."  Nix held up the first outfit, his keen eyes studying the results.  "I can live with this."

    Shadow Thief: Unique

    Customized Jumpsuit: Token

    Binds on Pick-up

    Description: A sturdy outfit created for work in the shadows.

    Enhancement: Complete Camouflage activated at will.

    Enhancement:  Sound suppression: All ambient sound within 3 meters is silenced.

    Bonus: Fire Immunity.

    Secondary Bonus: Hostility Reduction.

    Nix stood up and motioned for the group to come over.  "You can change in the next room.  I made one for each of you.  They should give you an advantage when you take the trial."

    Token grabbed his jumpsuit, tossing his old clothes on the floor.  "Trial?"

    Nix turned his back out of politeness; none of the kids bothered to leave the room.  "Pass the trial, and you become an apprentice in the Thieves Guild.  This ensures that you have a place to stay and something to eat.  It will also protect you; according to LuAnne, no one will dare provoke the guild."

    Token nodded slightly.  It was well-known that no one stood above the guild.  Uncle had been allowed to operate because he supplied the Guild with intel.  They were strictly small-time and didn't garner much interest from the real operatives.  "I know three people who attempted the trial; they were all former leaders of my group."

    Witchie was pulling the jumpsuit over her narrow hips.  "Did they pass?"

    Token shrugged.  "No.  They failed and were given passage to Free Trader City."

    /Alpha: Semmi: Um... Nix?

    /Alpha: Nix: What?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Witchie's shoulder is glowing.

    Semmi placed a hand on the young girl's arm.  "Can I see your shoulder?"

    Witchie shook her head and started zipping up the front of her jumpsuit.  "No."

    Semmi glanced at Nix, who was hiding a smile behind his hand.  "What if I let you play with my companion?"

    Witchie's multi-colored eyes stared at the Gemini thief for a moment.  "Is your companion that gecko?"

    Semmi shook her head.  "No."

    The disappointment in her eyes was obvious.  "Maybe that big cat?"

    Semmi shook her head.  "No."

    [Summons: Tilde]

    A moment later, a white fox appeared on the floor in front of them.  It hopped effortlessly into the blonde officer's arms.

    A wide smile, minus two front teeth, showed itself as Witchie nodded vigorously.  "Deal."  She unzipped the top of her jumpsuit and eased out her shoulder while holding one arm out for the fox.

    "Tilde, please watch out for this girl."  Semmi handed the furry fox to the girl and motioned for Nix to come closer.  The cause of the glow was immediately apparent.  "Perhaps it was activated by the enhancements on the jumper?"

    Nix stared at the symbol for a moment.  "Hexagram or Pentacle?  I always get them confused."

    Semmi smiled at the Inferno Leader.  "Neither.  A hexagram has six points, like the Star of David.  A Pentacle is a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle.  Traditionally it's used in witchcraft and sorcery."

    Nix gave her a blank stare.  Semmi's pool of knowledge extended to just about everything.  "What is it?"

    "Not sure; it's a variant of the Star of Solomon."  Semmi brought up her hud and checked Ronnie's location; she was in Haven.

    [Whisper: Semmi to Ronnie]  Are you in your library by any chance?"

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Semmi]  Sure.  What do you need?  It's somewhat late for work.

    Semmi felt her face redden; she always struggled to handle the dark archer.

    [Whisper: Semmi to Ronne] Could you look up a symbol for me?  Uploading it to your hud."

    Ronnie waited for a moment until the symbol appeared on her hud.

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Semmi]  I'll see if I can match it with anything.  Looks like witchcraft.

    [Whisper: Semmi to Ronnie] Thanks, let me know when you have something.

    Semmi pulled the jumpsuit back over Witchie's shoulder and then helped her zip it up.  "You can hold onto her for a while."

    "Really?"  Witchie stroked the soft fur on Tilde's back, dimples showing on both of her grimy cheeks.

    /Alpha: Nix: You concerned about the symbol?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Not overly so.  Are we starting the first job tomorrow?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep, we basically have to earn 36 years.  Inuit \u0026 Jargon is with give us 25 years; we can save those for last.

    /Alpha: Semmi: The journal is 10 years, and the city scroll is 5.  That will give us enough.

    /Alpha: Nix: Let's just clear the first 5 jobs; that's 45 years.  Then we can pick out what we want to keep.

    /Alpha: Semmi: I like it.


    Wind gently lifted the trapdoor and set it quietly on the floor.  A wooden ladder descended into the darkness.  The Gemini Thief nodded happily to himself.  "I love ** like this."

    At the bottom of the ladder was an unlit hall; the Gemini's night vision worked well enough to enable him to navigate.  He focused on his senses and drew his void blade.  A slight glimmer in the darkness ahead caused him to slow his steps and proceed cautiously.  Sensing no traps, he approached the symbol drawn onto the stone wall.

    /Alpha: Wind: I see a peculiar symbol.  Going to send you a copy, Sem.

    Group, Guild, and Personal messaging have been disabled.

    Wind smiled in the darkness. According to Nix, that meant cool ** was about to happen.

    [Summons: King Lubo]

    The gecko appeared in front of him a moment later; without stopping, Wind scooped up the tiny lizard and placed it on his shoulder.  "We should find a few more companions to keep you company."

    The gecko curled up behind his collar and closed his eyes.
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