Friday 19 April 2019

ROGUE - For Eldritch Foundry

(These got stranger as I went on.)


So, over here is the law.

Lets say it’s this dot .

And over here, on the other side, is organised crime. (This is largely terrorising and abusing the weak), lets say that’s this comma here  ,


You see the space between the dot and the comma?

That space is not large.

In fact, it’s the exact width between one of your shoulders and the other. And it's shrinking.

Yes, it was hard growing up without parents, and with the farm repossessed, and an Ogre eating your families final pig, supporting seven siblings on your own - that's what you tell everyone.

It's ok though, you've got things under control. You are already looking for an angle. An unseen exit (the roof?), an unguarded treasure (that cotton merchant takes his ring off to eat chicken with his fingers), an unexpected vulnerability (will you ever really forget the smell of your one true lov.. wait not yours, theirs! Get back on track!)

Actually, your precise address is in another city, and was lost in a fire [TEARS], so you threw yourself on the mercy of the church, and that’s how you became a Priest of Ark-the-Father (reformed), which explains the vestments in your pack, officer (my son).

Anything. All you need is one slim chance and you can still turn it all around. One throw of the dice, that's all, you can still survive this. They are depending on you after all.

Really, statistically, you should already be dead. No spells, no shield, no armour and a vague disinterest in the sword. (You do have about ninety-nine knives, (you can never have enough knives) and an I.O.U from a card sharp in South Sinter (they still owe you!)), but otherwise you are underpowered, underpaid (definitely!), arguably over-equipped, and running out of time.

It's fine though, really, you counted the exits on the way in. You know who's wearing mail under their shirt, who has shoes poorer than they should be (always check the shoes), who is richer than they seem. You can climb a wall in evening-wear without a stain. It's fine. Things are going to be fine.

The world is webbed with little cracks. Gaps. Gaps in behaviour, gaps in preparation, (sometimes literal physical gaps like in a wall), gaps in thought.

It's not that you ever wanted to actually break the law, to do anything wrong. It's just, look at all these little gaps. Everywhere! They're everywhere. And everyone just strolls past them.

You just couldn't resist it. (Still can't).

Just taking one finger and sliiiding it into one of these gaps, just to see what happens.

To see what you could make happen.

To see if you could get away with it.

And you did! You got away with it. You walked away like nothing happened at all. You always get away with it. Always.

Except for that one time.

Wait, rope. Did you remember to bring rope? Not the hemp, the silk, its lighter, stronger and silent. (May the gods bless silence!).

Of course you did. As if you would forget the basics!

It's nice up here at night, you can see the whole city.

Curious point - three drops of sweat from the Lesser Grey-Ghoul Toad will incapacitate a normal man. This guy is a fatty though (you can hear him moving, heavy feet) so maybe use five. And he left his food out on the sill to cool! Handy!

It was the lesser toad wasn't it? because the sweat (is it really sweat? It’s more like ooze), of the Greater Grey-Ghoul Toad, is deadly.

No. You definitely would have noticed that. They are differently-sized toads for goodness sake.

And there are rules. Well, guidelines...

Never steal from the poor, (unless they are really irritating, of have the wrong politics), or from... orphans? Widows? It was something like that.

Don't set fire to any more bakeries. Definitely not. Just... try to set fire to less places in total. Zero would be good. (But don't forget your naptha and matches, just in case).

Be kind to.. animals? unless they're ugly or weird. You're pretty sure that was a rule at one point.

There's definitely no law against robbing monsters, you are certain of that (perhaps there should be?), well, you didn't shape the world, or screw it up, you just live in it.

See, he's asleep now, and not dead. So it was definitely the lesser toad.

Admittedly, this guy is not a monster, but he's not an orphan either, and you're not taking money (onyx ring left hand middle finger - NO, he has to wake up with nothing missing) he just has information your friends need.

Is just reading (and carefully copying) stealing? Of course not, don't be crazy!

Look, if a situation comes up and you have a rule for it, the rule will come to mind, till then, you have stuff to do. (Hid his papers in the curtain rod, sloppy).

Wait, you could put the merchants ring on his finger, just to freak him out when he wakes up.

No no no no, that's stupid, wait, did you steal the merchants ring?

Ok you have it now so looks like you did. Ok. Why did you do that?

How long will it take that merchant to finish their chicken?

You put a goddamn chicken timer on your break-in didn't you. (They'll just be frantic in the dining room, it’s nothing to worry about. It'll be fine. Fine).

Well you have the map copied and he's still asleep..

Ok, lets do it. May as well right?

What's this? A key!

And its Deoth work, curled like a leaf, making it impossible to take a wax pressing. Clearling indicating MAXIMUM SECURITY.


No-one should ever use that word around you.


  1. This is excellent, seriously. I mean everything you do is excellent but something about this just works, on like a higher level. Despite the ubiquity of the rogue in literature and entertainment, it's rare that people get the rogue right, and this feels like a quintessential take on the rogue if I've ever seen one.

    Incidentally, I think you could write an excellent spider-man. Particulars of their rogueishness aside, the humor and tone of this character kinda gives me a spider-man vibe.

  2. To me the text implies that rogues is able to read memories or to have a such developed instinct for 'gaps'it works like one.
    I rely like all of it.

  3. Rad as hell. It flows real good. You get the sensation of their thoughts flip-flip-flipping between different tracks.

  4. Rouges: for when you need to take everything

  5. Really cool. I love the internal dialogue.