Mourning and Lawlessness
Ah! The many little trinkets
that glimmer in the firelight.
Ah the many baubles our friends
run about with on their chest,
Always fast for liberation
always easy to make mine!
Coins will jingle and they’ll glitter
Not to mention fetch a meal.
Our friends keep them in their purses
as if begging us to steal!
Now what’s this;
A sheet of parchment
With a spell upon it writ?
Take and gather
all things like it
now we’re away, MAR-KET!
Oh look here,
a suit of armor!
This boy’s sold for quite the price.
Or rather if I
should say were it
not so bleeding full of lice!
Swords and axes
else our run shall be a dud.
So on friends
we keep a full pace;
never wet’m with halfling’s blood!
From our earliest days of youth
we learned our trades and we got bored,
those days are long behind us
But what is a dragon to have in his hoard?
—A halfling ditty attributed to the notorious thieves’ guild in Mourning, this is best known by the question in its last line.
Selection from the City Constable General†’s report on organized crime in Mourning:
There can be no mistaking it, Councillors, we have a larceny problem in the general quarter. Each night, Elven, Human, and Half-Elf merchants are likely to report as many as four break-ins. The descriptions are nearly always the same: a small and dexterous individual with a surprising amount of grace finds some sort of challenging route of entry into the storage facility. These aren’t lock-picking thieves, they’re flying acrobats, with lock-picking as a skill in reserve in case they’re ever apprehended. The precise timing of these acts of thuggery suggests an organized component, and we have an informant who has given us some key information.
De-identified, the knowledge he’s brought indicates that two prominent families—though not biological families, really, these are more likely to be free-floating associations which come and go quickly with time—have chosen Mourning as the ground on which to make a test of their skills and also to recover back by thieving means every copper of wealth extracted from the existing thief-taxes.
There are even rumors of a couple of them crafty Wyveran bein’ up here to keep an eye on their interests in these matters. Apparently something with the recent tail-tax set a few of ‘em into a frenzy back in that foresty region, and they have come to take back twelvefold the harm that they feel we’ve inflicted on their kin this past three-dozen years. Halflin’ gangs o’ thugs be bad ‘nuff, but we don’t want no Wyveran running about. Descened from the most capricious of Dragons, don’t ya know, they’ll bleed the honest merchants out i no time if we don’t stop ’em.
I move that we allocate a budget for the creation of a department o’ganized Crime.
†Who is, of course, a Dwarf.