Everybody Has A Price

By Ricky Temple

Theodora Snitch looked at her 'thieving kit' which was laid out on the pile of straw, pillows and blankets that acted as her bed in the small room of the Dungeon which she used as a home and base of operation. Laid out on the blanket where; a group of various lock picks, a bunch of skeleton keys, what appeared to be a small handheld drill, a coin bag full of silver (For bribing the guards on the Golden Galleon), a small dagger and three bottles one a Nightsight potion, one a fire proof potion and the last a bottle of Fireball Brandy, Theodora's preferred weapon of choice.

"Right looks like I has everything I'm going to need for this job." She said with a smile "Better get it all packed and get set out for the Port of Linghorn." However just as Theodora was getting her knapsack and carry belt she heard a voice calling her name, someone was coming down the corridor to her 'home' and she recognised the voice immediately.

"Theodora? I say Theodora are you in?" Theodora rolled her eyes and sighed "Oh great what dose she want I better get this stuff hidden" but before she could so this the figure of the 3rd level Warrior-Thief Stiletta appeared in her doorway so Theodora simply flung her knapsack onto them to try and obscure them from view.. The famous thief smiled at her. "Hello Theodora, I say are you busy? Just I've got a proposition for you. It seems dear old Aesandre has just acquired her self a whole big bunch of Platinum ingots. What's say you and me pop over to Winteria and jolly well take some of them off her hands."

Theodora smiled politely "Thanks for the offer Stiletta but I don't fancy it, Winteria's a bit too cold for me." Stiletta shrugged "Oh well suit yourself I'll see you when I get..." just then she noticed Theodora's thieving kit partially hidden on her bed. "Ohhh hoo! have you got a job of your own in the works then Theodora?" she asked with a smirk.

"Errr no, no I haven't" Theodora said quickly turning round and pushing her kit into her knapsack. "I was just...making sure my kit was in tip top condition. Don't want to be trying to break into somewhere and find out my lock picks ain't up to scratch do I?"

Stiletta smiled "Golly! No you do not" she playfully jabbed Theodora in the shoulder "I thought for a moment that maybe you were thinking of knocking over his Lordships strong room" she teased "What made you think that?" Theodora said a little too defensively. Stiletta's smile disappeared "I was pulling your leg Theo" she said before adding in a more serious tone "You're not thinking of breaking into Marblehead are you? Because that's place is a tall order for even Level 3 thieves like me." Theodora smiled nervously; even though Stiletta was a fellow thief she also had connections to The Powers That Be and other factions in the realm. So Theo didn't feel she could trust her to tell her the truth about her intentions.

She broadened her smile a little "No, no Stiletta, Theodora was just checking her equipment honestly. She knows better then to try and break into Old Bone heads pad." Stiletta looked at her unconvinced, she was sure Theodora was lying to her but smiled all the same and nodded "Okay then Theodora I'll see you when I get back from Winteria." She waved and left the room, though as she walked away she made a mental note to get in contact with the Powers That Be and tell them her suspicions she had a feeling Theodora was indeed up to something big and that could mean trouble especially if it had anything to do with The Opposition.

Theodora waited till she was sure Stiletta was gone, she then hurriedly packed up her equipment into her knapsack, slung it over her shoulder and quickly set out into the Dungeon making her way to the port of Linghorn.

Soon enough Theodora had arrived at her destination; she slinked and skulked around the Port looking for The Golden Galleon. It was the only ship that crossed the Great Mire to the port of Marblehead, only problem was that it was always guarded either by Miremen or by one of The Oppositions many paid goons. Theodora was hoping it was one of the latter on guard duty this time as it was often possible the bribe a guard where as Miremen were impossible to bribe and she would need to either sneak past them or fight her way past.

As she drew near the place where the galleon was often docked she smiled widely. She was very, very much in luck today the guard on duty was that loot obsessed Viking Olaf.

"No need for subtlety here" Theodora said to herself and brazenly walked forwards towards the Galleons gang plank.

Olaf saw her approaching "Oh stop! Stoppings! No one gets past Olaf. You not try to get aboard this ship or Olaf give you a Bonking-a-tonking upon your head. Sorry but orders is the orders you know." Olaf brandished his club, Theodora smiled "What if Theodora has some lootings for you?" "Lootings?" Olaf said his greedy eyes lighting up "You has a Lootings for Olaf?" Theodora smiled and nodded. "Yep I sure do horn head" she held up the coin purse "Some silver." "Ohhhh Silver for Olaf!" The Viking said reach out to take the purse, Theodora pulled it back "First you got agree to let me on this ship" she said.

Olaf thought about this for a few seconds "Very well you give Olaf the silver and Olaf let you get on the ship." Theodora smiled "Here you go bacon features" she tossed him the coin purse. Olaf caught it and stepped aside to let her on "Welcome aboard Golden Galleon Olaf glad to be looting you and hopes you has a nice voyage. Olaf goner use this silver to buy him some eggs for tea."

Theodora smiled and hurried up the gangplank and then down into the hold of the ship. She found herself a hiding place and hid herself away soon enough the Galleon upped anchor and set sail.

While Theodora was ferried towards Marblehead two different Spy Glass conversations were being held in regards to her.

"Master Tregaurd, another communication" Daisy called out as the communication pool fizzed and buzzed again "and its one of ours" she added.

Tregaurd came over to the pool "We hear you caller please identify yourself" he said the water fizzed and the image of Stiletta appeared within it. "Ahhh greetings Stiletta, how goes your little jaunt to Winteria?" Tregaurd said cordially "and what may we do for you this day noble Warrior-Thief?" Stiletta smiled and bowed her head slightly "My 'jaunt' is going jolly well Dungeon Master. I am calling merely to see if you or anyone in the Powers That Be had retained the services of my fellow thief Theodora Snitch for anything recently?" Tregaurd frowned slightly "No Stiletta we have not. Why do you ask?"

Stiletta got a concerned look on her face "Well you see Dungeon Master before I set out for Winteria I asked Theodora if she'd like to join me in this little endeavour...you know code of the thieves and whatnot. Well she said no but while I was there in her current place of residence it looked to me like she was planning a job of her own and a jolly big one. Then when I teased her asking if she was going to try and break into Marblehead or something she got really defensive." Tregaurd got a serious and worried look on his face as he listened.

"And I thought to myself Golly she really is thinking of something along those lines! Well she said she was just checking her equipment so I let it lay at that but when I just tried to contact her, her spyglass went unanswered but my signal was being picked up by her spyglass only when I checked to see where her spyglass was receiving from...it was from within The Great Mire. So I got worried that she really had gone to Marblehead but then I thought that perhaps she was working for you and the Powers That Be on something and just couldn't tell me you know hush, hush and top secret and all that rot. But I thought I better check with you..." she swallowed slightly "So...if she's not working for you...what is she ruddy well playing at?"

"I'm not sure Stiletta" Tregaurd said "But I have some very nasty suspicions. Thank you for the information" Stiletta suddenly felt a sickening worry in her stomach "Do you want me to head back Sir Tregaurd? I can get to The Great Mire using the elf paths." "That might be an idea Stiletta" Tregaurd said "I'll see about sending some more help. Find Theodora and bring her back before she causes any trouble." Stiletta nodded and discontinued the communication. Daisy looked at Tregaurd "What's going on?" she asked Tregaurd looked at her "The turmoil seems to have started" he said Daisy looked at him confused for a moment then his meaning hit her and she gasped.

"You mean...you think Theodora is working for Baron Goldcoin and is after The Hand of Midas?" Tregaurd nodded "It seems to be a very real possibility." "What do we do?" Daisy asked "Do..." Tregaurd said "We try and prevent this situation getting worse" he turned to the pool "Gretel Vesta your attention please this is an emergency!"

Meanwhile in Marblehead another much more sinister communication was taking place.

"Your quite sure of that are you Olaf?" Lord Fear asked his Viking minion. "Oh yah Your Bony faceness, It was that little thief Theodora Snitch yah she went aboard the Galleon and down into the hold." Olaf said nodding "I would ask just how she got on board Olaf" Lord Fear said with a raised eyebrow "But I'm sure I already know, she must have had some 'Lootings and a Pillagings'." He said mimicking Olaf's voice Olaf got a sheepish look on his face "I should by rights have you clapped into the Goblins Pens" Lord Fear said menacingly "However you did at least remember where your loyalties lay enough to report it to me even after you took her bribe…I must say I rather admire that kind of duplicity so I'll over look it…this once." Olaf gulped and nodded "Thank a you kindly you're Lordship." Lord Fear smirked "Think nothing of it my loot obsessed Scandinavian lackey" he said with a voice dripping with sarcasm and malice "Now clear the channel I have to make preparations for Miss Snitch's arrival dismissed."

Olaf bowed as Lord Fear waved his hand and his image faded from the view screen. "Now then" he mused "Whom shall I assign the task of dealing with this sticky fingered interloper to…hmmmmmm. Hands perhaps..errrr no, no the little whelp would run rings around him. I could send Raptor and a squad of his Mireman…no the stench would alert her before they got within a mile of her. Hmmm Bhal-Sheba maybe…no no no I want her alive to interrogate and that schizoid Lizard would probably barbecue her." Lord Fear pondered and thought on this matter as he paced the floor of his throne room.

Suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks and smirked evilly "Ah I know!" he turned back to the view screen "SKARKILL!" he yelled "Come In Skarkill!" The screen began to buzz as Skarkill answered his master's call. Lord Fear smirked and followed this up with another yell "SINSTAR! Your Attention also, if you please!" The buzzing intensified as a second signal also started to respond.

Lord Fear watched with satisfaction as the images of two of his minions appeared in the view screen. The Opposition's Brother and Sister act of the sadistic Goblin Master Skarkill and his younger sister the sinister Techno-Sorceress Sinstar "Yes your Fearship errrr Lordship?" Skarkill said "You wished to speak with us?" Sinstar followed up with. Her voice more velvety then her brothers but it held just as much menaces and evil within it.

"Yes I did" Lord Fear said "I've just been informed that we are expecting an uninvited guest in the form of Theodora Snitch. She's arriving on The Golden Galleon, locate and capture her understood?"

The evil siblings both smiled with wicked glee "Right yer are yer Fearship…errr Lordship we'll get the little perisher don't you worries." "It will be a pleasure My Lord. Little Miss Snitch will soon be your 'house guest' you have my word." Sinstar said and the two discontinued their communication.

"Right I'll go gets me Irons and then fetch Grippa & Rhark from the pens and go down to the docks of Marblehead port" Skarkill said "I'll nabs her soon as she sets foot of the galleon and claps the Irons on her hehehehehehehe…Lovely!" Sinstar sighed and rolled her eyes "Really? That old chestnut again?" "What yer mean Sis?" Skarkill asked confused.

"I mean that that's your tactic for any capture job and how many times has it worked exactly?" "Once…" Skarkill said sheepishly Sinstar nodded "Yes…my point exactly. We need something more tactical and subtle for this endeavour" she said and she began to think. Soon a smile began forming on her face. On any other girl it would have looked charming and endearing and to be fair on Sinstar it did look rather sweet...it just had an obvious and glairing evil to it also. It was a smile that Skarkill instantly recognised, it was the one Sinstar got when she had thought of a plan.

"You got an idea ain't yer Sis" Skarkill said smirking "Yes dear brother" Sinstar said "I do and one that will allow us to both capture Miss Snitch, you to satisfy your desire to clap someone in Irons and also allow me to acquire something I have desired for a time...go get your two charges and let us head to the docks and set our little trap for Miss Theodora Snitch."

Meanwhile as the two evil siblings accompanied by the Goblin Brothers Grippa & Rhark set out to the docks, The Golden Galleon was continuing its voyage towards Marblehead carrying its stowaway passenger, a frantic Stiletta was hurrying as fast as she could through the various elf paths trying to get to Marblehead before anything bad happened and back in Dunselhelm Tregaurd & Daisy where still trying to contact Gretel Vesta the Greenwarden.