Oblivion / Книги
~ Thief of Virtue ~
Let me tell the tale of the Thief of Virtue. In the land of Hammerfell in the city of Sutch there lived a Baron who was quite wealthy. He was a noted collector of rare coins. The Baroness Veronique found the whole thing quite tedious. However, she did appreciate the lifestyle that the Baron's wealth provided.
Ravius Terinus was a noted thief. He claimed to be a master thief in the mythical guild of thieves. However, that was most like just braggadocio. The only known Thieves Guild was wiped out over 450 years ago.
Ravius decided that the Baron should share his wealth. Specifically he should share it with Ravius. The wily thief crept into the Baron's castle one night intending to do just that.
The walls of the castle were noted for their height and unscalability. Ravius cleverly used an Arrow of Penetration to affix a rope to the top of the battlements. Once on the battlements, he had to evade the Baron's guards. By hiding in the shadows of the crenelations, he was able to work his way to the keep undetected.
Entering the keep was child's play for a thief of his caliber. However, a cunning lock with no less than 13 pins protected the private quarters of the Baron. Ravius broke only 9 lockpicks to open it. Using only a fork, a bit of string, and a wineskin, he disabled the seven traps guarding the Baron's coin collection. Truly Ravius was a master among thieves.
With the coins safely in his grasp, Ravius began his escape only to find the way blocked. The Baron had found the opened door and was raising the guard to scour the castle. Ravius fled deeper into the castle, one step ahead of the questing guards.
His only way out led through the boudoir of Baroness Veronique. He entered to find the lady preparing for bed. Now it should be said at this point that Ravius was noted for his handsome looks, while the Baroness was noted for her plainness. Both of these facts were immediately recognized by each of the pair.
"Doest thou come to plunder my virtue?" asked the lady, all a tremble.
"Nay, fair lady," Ravius said, thinking quickly. "Plunder be a harsh term to ply upon such a delicate flower as your virtue."
"I see thou hast made off with mine husbands precious coins."
Ravius looked deeply into her eyes and saw the only path by which he would escape this night with his life. It would require a double sacrifice.
"Though these coins are of rarest value, I have now found a treasure that is beyond all value," Ravius said smoothly. "Tell me, oh beauteous one, why doest thy husband set seven deadly traps around these tawdry coins, but only a simple lock upon the door of his virtuous wife?"
"Ignace protects those things that are dearest to him," Veronique replied with ire.
"I would give all the gold in my possession to spend but a moment basking in your radiance."
With that Ravius set down the coins he had worked so hard to steal. The Baroness swooned into his arms. When the captain of the guard asked to search her quarters, she hid Ravius most skillfully. She turned over the coins, claiming the thief dropped them when he fled out the window.
With that sacrifice made, Ravius steeled himself for the second. He robbed the lady Veronique of her virtue that night. He robbed her of it several times, lasting well into the wee hours of the morning. Exhausted, yet sated, he stole away in the pre-dawn hours.