So, Elves are supposed to be lucky, yeah? Well, I would still be in Greyhawk City if I had my share. Maybe it turned when I ran into Simon, er Mizraith, recently — that poor sod is sorely due for an upturn. It was some kind of luck to run into him 25 years after he piked it out of Greyhawk with some lady. Twenty-five springs is nothing to an Elf, but humans get OLD. I figured he’d either be some Blood mage or blood dead by now, but an old dirt digger? Bar that.
Me, I haven’t changed much all that time. I met Simon — I’m calling him Simon — back when he was some berk poking around the public section of the Mages Guild trying to learn a few tricks. Just mummers’ stuff. I was poking around too, for a few items I could pocket — I was new to my trade, and my high-up man sent me to their library to learn to steal. When you are new, you don’t get the choice cuts, and the cutters in the Thieves Guild had a big laugh on me, because apprentices have no biznai stealing from mages who ward everything, even the cheap stuff.
After getting scragged a few times and paying the music, I came up with a new plan: Help addle-coved wizards break into the better sections of the libraries, for a price, of course. Simon wasn’t sure he was interested in that, but he wasn’t sure he wasn’t, and while we talked about it the strangest thing happened — I actually came to like the berk. He knew a lot about the history of Elves, and I don’t even know where I came from. He was a lot better company then, before some Orcs put his family in the Dead Book.
I never got to sneak him into the forbidden sections of the library, because he got noticed by that high-up sorceress, Shagra, and they just invited him to join their school! Easy as that! She was a peery one, though, and she caught me trying to peel a few other magic hopefuls in her library. She pressed the constable to give me the rope this time, and you know what the loyal Thieves Guild of Greyhawk did for its man? Nothing! Maybe they paid a little garnish to keep me off the Leafless Tree, but I sat in a cell for nine years, forgotten!
When they let me out, my high-up man was dead. Because I never turned stag, Guild code says they gotta take me back — but it doesn’t say they have to treat me right. Your high-up man gets a cut, and half the time my own mates would steal the rest of my winnings. I had more success in that guild serving as the cook (my old profession) than any of my nightwork.
Without much on, I looked up my old friend Simon, who gave me my best jobs before his lady took his heart, and him away, a year later. Simon was a tinkerer, and he like to tinker with hard-to-find plants and magic powders not found in the Mages Guild stores, which I could “find.”
After Simon left, I went back to peeling bobs on the street, but I wasn’t very good at it and spent most of the next 24 years in and out of the Greyhawk birdcage. Every time I did a stint, I came out feeling like I lost all my skills and had to start from scratch. Anyway, in the birdcage, there isn’t much to do but listen to bubbers, leatherheads, barmies, and other sods rattle their bone-boxes. But one thing they said makes sense — outside the cities, there are all sorts of unsavory types with mountains of gold, and if you can find a few spry cutters to help, you might be able to just take it and divide it up fair. That sounds a lot better than the Greyhawk cross-trade, which hasn’t been good to me.
Last year, has been the hardest, though, even worse than a cell. See, my high-up men have a habit of dying easily, no fault of mine, but soon the chant was that Haldamir was unlucky. There’s no worse tag in our trade, because luck is everything to a peeler. They don’t even want you around to cook their meals if you have the stink of unlucky. I knew that from then on, I wasn’t going to make it in a thieves guild here or anywhere else.
Things got really bad the last few months. See, there have been a lot of disagreements between the Knights of the Cross-Trade (that’s what we call our high-up men) over what biznai our Guild should be in. The powers tolerate the cross-trade if we don’t overstep, but some berks just don’t know where the line is. I tried to stay out of it, but I went through three high-up men in three months, and now the chant is that I’m the problem. Unlucky.
So I gave them all the laugh and piked it out of Greyhawk. Once I was away from Greyhawk, I realized I am a right spiv, and I felt like my luck was looking up. I decided to try to offer my skills to a few bashers looking to liberate some jink from some other bashers, or however that works.
Then I ran into Simon. Traveling on the road to Hommlet, with the night coming, I saw a destroyed farmhouse that could serve as my kip for the night. As I approached the house in the twilight, a robed figure came out and glared at me. I wanted none of that, but right before I piked it, I noticed he was wearing old robes from the Greyhawk Mages Guild, and I recognized a little pendant around his neck I had given him 25 years ago. It wasn’t worth much, but Simon never recognized the value of things.
Could that be my old mate, Simon? My only real friend in all my 75 years? He called himself Mizraith and seemed a hard old man, but I knew it was him. I stayed with him for a few days, cooked him a few good meals, and cautiously tried to tease out my youthful friend, but all I learned was that if Orcs have jink, I’m going to be rich!