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The Fables of Furdas

Gather round and this one will tell the tale of Furdas Dar, the greatest khajiit thief never known!

Furdas started his career as a young khajiit, just as most do, picking up small items here and there, things people had just left lying around and clearly had no use for, and stealing his meals from both suspecting and unsuspecting stallowners in the marketplace. He was a natural born thief from the start, so good that he never got caught, except for that one time when his paw got stuck in a pot of honey. But that's a tale for another time!

He then turned his hand to pickpocketing, which as we all know is a greater art than pilfering from stalls, yes yes! He thought he was being very careful, looking for the most likely prey, choosing for his first victim-to-be an elder gentleman khajiit. This khajiit looked very rich and prosperous, a heavy-looking coinpurse hanging from his belt.

Furdas stretched out his hand oh so quietly, knife at the ready. But woe! Furdas had not yet learned all the tricks of the trade! His knife was blunt! Remember this, kitlings, one of the first principles of any trade: keep your instruments in good order!

And so it was, that the elder khajiit gentleman felt the tug at his pursestring and with a speed surprising in one looking that age, grabbed young Furdas' wrist! Furdas struggled, but the grip was vice-like around his wrist. As Furdas stammered out an excuse, the elder gentleman, instead of calling the authorities, put a finger to his lips and told Furdas to follow. Furdas became curious and did follow quietly, until they ducked into an alley, at which Furdas feared for his life and started to struggle again, calling out for help. But the elder's fingers were like pincers around his wrist and he could not break free, no matter how hard he tried!

The elder khajiit told Furdas to be quiet and stop struggling, reassuring him that he was not about to kill him, which calmed Furdas a little, enough to make him curious again, so he did as he was told. It was then that the elder khajiit revealed his name to be Baan, claiming to be a con-artist and pickpocket extraordinaire! As if that was not enough, Baan explained that he was searching for a young apprentice to teach all he had learned of this fine art. Furdas was exactly what Baan was looking for.

Furdas could not believe his ears. Could this truly be the infamous Baan Dar? Furdas was a little suspicious at first, protesting it could not be true, but when Baan brought out Furdas' own coinpurse from a pocket inside his coat, Furdas' eyes bulged from their sockets and, spluttering, finally he accepted Baan's proposal. And that was the beginning of a long and fruitful career for the greatest thief never known. In time, Baan taught Furdas how to pickpocket, trick, lie, and con, and also how to enter into the most heavily guarded treasuries, including the Mane's own storehouse.

But that, my dear kits, is a story for another time!
PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!
  • Garish
    Gather round kitlings, and this one will tell a tale of an apprentice of Baan Dar; Furdas the Trickster! Also known as the Swindler. The Cutpurse. The Plunderer. The Charmer of Women and Misleader of Men. Furdas Dar, the greatest khajiit thief never known!

    When Furdas heard of the magnificent jewel, "the Dremora's Eye", locked in the highest tower of the merchant Ammed's palace and surrounded by guards, he knew he must steal it for his own. The jewel was the prized possession of Ammed, who only valued his own child, a beautiful girl of marriagable age, above the stone.

    Many suitors clamoured and bid for the hand of the merchant's daughter, whose name was Naahni, but was better known as Silky Down for her long, soft fur. Silky Down had sparkling yellow eyes that glowed like the new moons and a handmaiden specially tasked with keeping her fur in perfect fluffiness at all times.

    Ammed was a canny fellow who invited suitors to his palace for tea every afternoon. He let the suitors argue amongst themselves while he verified their claims of wealth and fame, wanting of course to make the very finest match for both himself and his daughter.

    Furdas disguised himself as a merchant seeking Silky's hand in marriage. He wore a bright red coat with a cream-coloured lining over his everyday, many-pocketed shirt and a large hat with feathers that dangled and hid most of his face. Then he joined the mass of suitors, old and young, that swarmed Ammed's palace gardens for the tea ceremony.

    While all were occupied with passing the teapots and plates of small sweetcakes, Furdas made excuse to visit the privy. He ducked into a small passage and looking out of a window, got his bearings.

    The luck of the Moons was with Furdas it seemed, the tower holding the jewel was not too far away, the passage he was in making a right turn straight towards it! He was halfway down the corridor when a pair of burly guards stepped in front of him, spears crossing to prevent him from continuing on his way. Furdas decided to try persuasion.

    But alas! Persuasion failed to move the guards, and so he tried cajoling, telling them they were fine guards, doing a wonderful job, but the spears stayed crossed. Furdas then tried bluffing, saying he was there to make sure that all was in order at the top of the tower and that the guards there were doing their jobs.

    Again, the guards failed to be moved. So Furdas tried indignation, holding his hatted head high and proclaiming that Ammed would hear of the guards' impertinence. When this too, failed, Furdas was forced to return the way he had come, with as much dignity as he could muster.

    The tea drinking was now finished, and guests were moving about the gardens, admiring the exotic and rare plants Ammed had managed to acquire. Furdas joined them, making smalltalk with a few, though his gaze kept turning and returning to the high tower in the center of the garden. Was it his imagination, or could he really see a glint of red from the tower?

    The beautiful Silky Down was making her way among the guests, politely greeting them, speaking a few words here and there and receiving many compliments in return. Many eyes followed her progress, including Furdas'. When she approached Furdas and their eyes met, he smiled at her, making a flourishing bow to which she curtseyed prettily in return.

    Furdas wondered out loud if it could be true that the Dremora's Eye was prettier than Silky Down. Now, Silky Down was rather vain, having been flattered and complimented her entire life, and to have this unknown merchant blurt such thing wounded her pride. She immediately clapped her hands and ordered Furdas to accompany her to the tower so she could once and for all prove she was indeed more beautiful.

    Without so much as a glance at them, Furdas passed the guards who had earlier stopped him, his head held high, face mostly hidden by his feathered headdress, as he accompanied the indignant female, enjoying the sway of her curves as she moved into the darkness of the tower staircase and gestured abruptly for Furdas to take a torch from a nearby sconce.

    They climbed the tower steps in near silence, Furdas holding the torch which cast wavering beams of light into the shadow. The top of the stairs opened into a tower room, inside of which there were five guards standing to attention, speartips upright as Furdas entered the tower, in the process of which he almost knocked over a barrel of kindlepitch. Once he was inside the tower room, the speartips were all pointed in his direction.

    The tower itself was quite dark, the only light coming from the torch and an opening in the ceiling that allowed the sun's rays to fall on a pedestal in the centre of the room. On the pedestal lay a cloth-of-gold cushion cradling a fist-sized jewel that glowed crimson as the sun's rays caressed it.

    Silky Down flounced herself next to the pedestal, exclaiming, "Now you will compare for yourself, yes!" Furdas made apologetic noises as he approached the woman and the jewel, the sun rays and torchlight making red, dancing beams of light sparkle off the ruby. "For a complete comparison, may this one lift the stone?" Furdas asked innocently. Silky Down gestured impatiently with her hand for him to do so, her chin high, her bosom heaving and her beautiful yellow eyes flashing expectantly.

    Furdas glanced around, noting the position of the guards before he took the jewel in his hand, a frisson of excitement going through him as he felt the smooth, sun-warmed stone. "Ah, Silky One, how can this one compare fairly in this dark tower? Surely outside in the sun is the only proper way?" he said, carrying the stone a few steps towards the tower stair and only stopping when the guards brandished their spears at him.

    Silky immediately shook her head, such a thing was not possible, her father would have Furdas killed should he even think of it! The jewel was to remain in the tower at all times!

    Now Furdas always had many different items about his person and his shirt had many pockets to hide these items. A lesson, kitlings! Better too many pockets than too few, yes yes!

    He pocketed the gem, and took out a parchment, muttering the words on the scroll and lo! A freeze spell took hold of the guards and Silky Down, holding them fast and silent for a time! Furdas blew the beautiful khajiit a kiss, saying, "Alas that I must go so soon my sweet! Truly, the Dremora's Eye is not as beautiful as Silky Down, but more valuable to Furdas it is!" And with that, he silently ran down the steps.

    At the bottom of the stairs, Furdas did not go down the hallway towards the next set of guards. Instead, he jumped through the nearest window and into the garden. Then he walked as fast as he could out of the gates.

    Another lesson, kitlings! Do not run, walk as if you have purpose! Then people will perhaps wonder, but they are far less likely to question you, yes yes!

    Once outside the gates, Furdas ran into the nearest alley, pulled off his hat and hid it under a midden. Then he pulled off his coat and turned it inside out so he was now wearing a cream-coloured coat with red lining, leaving the alley the same way he entered it and crossed the road. At a sedate pace he passed opposite the merchant's gateway, noting they were now closed, with guards standing outside looking very distraught. He thought he could hear the faint though furious yelling of Ammed, who was by now informed of his loss.

    And what of Furdas? What did he do with the Dremora's Eye you wonder perhaps? This one does not know for sure, but she has heard rumours that it is held right here in Stormhaven, in the Wayrest Treasury! Whatever the truth, Furdas did not keep the jewel in his possession for very long. But that, my dear kitlings, is a story for another time!
    Edited by Garish on February 23, 2016 4:39PM
    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!
  • Garish
    Gather round kitlings, and this one will tell a tale of an apprentice of Baan Dar's; Furdas the Trickster! Also known as the Swindler. The Cutpurse. The Plunderer. The Charmer of Women and Misleader of Men. Furdas Dar, the greatest thief never known!

    Now governor Al Buhn Dee of a town in the province of Hammerfell was a rich and handsome man. He had many, many fine possessions, but his greatest love was for his horses. Horses to ride, horses to show, horses to watch and horses to race. And the horse he loved above all others was a beautiful stallion named Blackbolt.

    This horse was as black as Oblivion, its eyes shone like two dark stars and its mane and tail were long and full; it was a magnificent sight to see them streaming in the wind as Blackbolt was put through his paces or raced at one of the horse moots.

    One day, at the Amber Oasis, an inn in that very same town, Furdas was enjoying a cup of tea when he overheard two men, a Redguard and an Imperial, speaking of this horse and how the Imperial would give his right arm to own it.

    Once the Redguard had left, Furdas sidled over to the Imperial and started a conversation with him. After a few drinks, Furdas nonchalantly introduced the topic of Blackbolt and asked how much the man thought the horse would be worth. Latro Equorum, as the man called himself, mentioned a sum that made Furdas' ears prick up. He then asked the man if he was serious about wanting the horse.

    Latro thumped his ale mug on the table and swore to Prince Nocturnal that yes! He was serious! He was a horse breeder himself and had a grudge against the governer. Latro would be more than happy to relieve the governor of the apple of his eye; that, and the horse would be a goldmine for breeding. Furdas asked the man where he could be reached during the next few days and Latro answered that he was staying right there, at the Amber Oasis.

    Furdas then told Latro that he would be back in a day or two and that Latro should have saddlebags filled with gems to the amount mentioned earlier. Latro stared at Furdas, then thumped his mug on the table again, laughing uproariously and saying that if Furdas could pull this off, the gems would be his.

    Furdas left Latro and walked the streets for a while in deep thought. He pondered and plotted and finally came up with a plan. This plan would require Furdas to gain access to the governor's palace.

    Now, gaining access to the palace would not be so difficult, as the governor often had petitioners and dignitaries visiting, sometimes from as far away as Morrowind. And so Furdas spent the rest of the afternoon searching for a suitable outfit to wear.

    The next morning, Furdas joined the line of people seeking an audience with governor Dee. When his turn came, he gave his occupation as horse-breeder to the dignitaries whose job it was to make note of the governor's visitors.

    When asked for his reason to speak with the governor, he told the officials that he wished to discuss a business offer, concerning using Blackbolt as a stud. For a substantial fee, of course!

    The exact sum could be negotiated. Furdas would then be able to sell any offspring fathered by Blackbolt, giving the governor first choice of purchase at a reasonable price, naturally. After giving his explanation, Furdas was asked to join the impatient throng waiting in the antechambers.

    The Moons were shining brightly on Furdas, for after just an hour or two waiting, he was called by an attendant who brought Furdas not to the governor's audience chamber, but to a small room that turned out to be the stable manager's office, a fellow named Aysey Yu. After once again explaining his "business plan", the two went out to see Blackbolt.

    The stallion was standing quietly in his paddock, cropping the grass, so Aysey directed a stablehand to bring horse closer for inspection. Furdas looked very impressed with the horse, saying it would make the perfect stud, that the offspring would be famous far and wide, making governer Dee a widely known man.

    Aysey suggested that Furdas ride Blackbolt, to put him through his paces. Furdas at first declined, saying he was a breeder, not a rider, but after being asked twice, he agreed, this being secretly what he was hoping for. Blackbolt was duly saddled and Furdas lithely leapt onto the horses back.

    After giving the horse a furtive prick with a fingernail, Blackbolt reared up on its hind legs with a distressed whinny before galloping across the paddock. Furdas laughed and waved cheekily at Aysey, while bouncing around in the saddle rather clumsily and almost falling off in the process.

    A lesson kitlings! Do not be overconfident when you succeed! Overconfidence has been the downfall of many and many a would-be trickster, yes yes! Celebrate when you have gotten to safe haven and all pursuit has disappeared!

    Furdas only just managed to pull himself into the saddle properly, clinging to the reins and stirrups for dear life as the pair sailed over the paddock railing and onto the road on the other side! With shouts of consternation, Aysey and his retinue pursued the horse on foot.

    But the cries of dismay soon faded behind Furdas and Blackbolt as they gallopped down the road towards the heart of the town, though more shouts were heard as Furdas rode pellmell towards the market place, causing people to dive left and right out of Blackbolts way.

    In a very short time they were through the marketplace, leaving behind them a trail of collapsed stalls, bewildered townspeople and irate merchants shaking their fists and shouting complaints about their broken wares.

    It did not take long before Furdas hauled on the reins and Blackbolt pulled up at the Amber Oasis in a cloud of dust. Latro was sitting outside, enjoying a mug of ale. When he saw the horse, he immediately went into the inn, coming out a few moments later with saddlebags. Furdas dismounted, keeping hold of Blackbolt's reins as he inspected the contents of the bags.

    Once he had established that the gems were inside, Furdas nodded his thanks and threw the saddlebags over his shoulder before leaping into Blackbolt's saddle again! Another fingernail prick, laughter from Furdas and the horse reared and was off again before Latro realised he had been tricked!

    Another lesson my kits! Do not hand over payment until you have your goods well and truly in your possession!

    Yelling loudly, Latro waved his arms, joined by the throng of irate stall-owners just arriving. It was not long before the guards of the town were rallied and rode out after Furdas but alas! Their armour was heavy and the horses, too, were covered by metal-plating to protect them from arrows and spears.

    All this weight slowed the guards' mounts considerably and it did not take long for them to give up in frustration, as Furdas had already gained a substantial lead.

    A third lesson, my dear kitlings! Travel light, travel swift! Do not burden yourself with many goods or you may find yourself caught when you least wish it!

    Furdas travelled far and wide with Blackbolt and the pair had several adventures together. But exactly how long they were together and where Blackbolt ended up? Well, that, my dear kits, that is a tale for another time!
    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!
  • Garish
    Gather round kitlings, and this one will tell a tale of an apprentice of Baan Dar; Furdas the Trickster! Also known as the Swindler. The Cutpurse. The Plunderer. The Charmer of Women and Misleader of Men. Furdas Dar, the greatest thief never known!

    Before Furdas became the greatest thief never known and the hero of legends, he stole purses and committed other acts of petty misappropriation. In this way, Furdas came by many talismans, amulets and other objects that their owners believed would favour them in some way. Of course, he continued these practices even after he needed such things no longer, just to keep his fingers nimble!

    Most of the objects found this way were worthless and had nothing magickal about them at all. Furdas sold them for the few drakes he could get for them. Others were enchanted and had special properties, and these he could get a better price for.

    One item in particular that Furdas came by in this fashion was a curious copper casting of a shrivelled, severed hand, the fingers of which were jointed and could be bent, as if to hold something. The casting was so precise, as to almost mistake the hand for a real one, except for the hardness and the copper colour. A grisly object, you perhaps are thinking, but Furdas found it fascinating, marvelling at the workmanship and the jointed fingers, so finely crafted it was almost impossible to see the joints when the hand was flat.

    Now, the lady or gentleman who had owned this item before had, of course, no opportunity to explain to Furdas the purpose of this object, and for a long while, Furdas did not know what it was for, or that it had any purpose at all. After unsuccessfully trying to trade it to various fences, he gave up and left it in one of his many pockets, occasionally taking it out to marvel at the workmanship, but otherwise the item was forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until one day he was in the shop of a mage, there to purchase a scroll of invisibility in preparation for the stealing of- well, what heist Furdas was planning is better told in another story, yes?

    A lesson kitlings! Never give more information than is strictly necessary, no no! Keep your mouth shut and your ears open! For many cannot endure silence and speak merely to fill the air with the comforting sound of their own voice. In this way, you will hear much more than you expect or another is intending to reveal, oh yes!

    Now, this mage, whose name has alas been forgotten in the telling and retelling of this tale, gave Furdas a penetrating stare and raised his staff at Furdas. "What is it I sense upon you, young khajiit?" he quavered, for he was an old, old man. So old was this man, that no one knew exactly how many years he had been in the lands of Tamriel. His shop had been open for decades. There were great-grandfathers who remembered pressing their noses against the window pane of this mage's shop, who back then already was an old man. Perhaps the mage had somehow found longevity through magicka, this one does not know, though she would not be surprised.

    Furdas stared back at the mage in bewilderment. "Old man senses enchanted scrolls perhaps, yes?" he replied in his honeyed voice. For Furdas had the most beautiful, winsome voice imaginable. Later, through years of practice, Furdas discovered the right inflections and voice modulation to be very persuasive indeed and manged to convince-

    But no! Another tale for another time! To continue with -this- story... The old man waved his hand impatiently. "Bah, no!" He said, "No, I sense something different than an enchanted scroll... though it is definitely something magickal! Something that influences the mind." Furdas became impatient with the old fellow and indicated that he wished to finish his purchases and leave, but the old man gripped his lapel with his wrinkled, liverspotted hand and would not let go until Furdas agreed to show the old man the contents of his pockets.

    Furdas decided he might easily be able to shake off his coat and escape, but he did not wish to lose the various items he had stowed in his many pockets unless absolutely necessary. Indulging the old man's whim would only cost him some time and so he curbed his impatience.

    Another two lessons kitlings! For the first; practice patience and you may reap rewards never imagined! For the second; do not become too attached to your possessions, for who knows when you may need to leave them behind at a moment's notice?

    Reluctantly, Furdas started to empty his pockets onto the shop counter for the mage, who still held his lapel tightly, though his hand shook with the palsy. The emptying of pockets took some time, for Furdas had a great many in his coat. He had only emptied about half of them when he removed the copper hand from the pocket he had put it in and placed it on the table next to scrolls, bits of metal and string and various other objects that only a thief may know the purpose of.

    Furdas was just reaching for a small pot of kindlepitch from another pocket when the mage tugged hard on Furdas' lapel. "There! That's it!" the mage spoke, suddenly letting go of Furdas' lapel and pouncing on the copper hand. He cackled with glee as he raised the withered hand into the light to look at it more closely. Furdas looked at the mage as if the man had gone insane. "What? That old thing? Cleverly made it may be, but it does nothing!"

    The old man scowled and drew the hand closer to himself, as if protecting it from Furdas. "Ignorant khajiit! On the contrary, this is a very special hand, this one!" He brought the hand out to look at it again. "Just take a look! See the exquisite details! The jointed fingers! The shrivelling of the skin, so detailed as if it were cast from a real hand! Ah, such craftsmanship!"

    "Yes yes!" Furdas replied impatiently, busily stowing away all the items he had removed from his pockets and being rather annoyed at being called ignorant, "but what does it -do- then? How does it work?" The old man gently placed the hand next to a strange, twisted loop of wire; another of Furdas' devices, and passed his hands over the copper hand, closing his eyes and mumbling incomprehensibly for a few moments. This went on for so long that Furdas once again gave into his impatience and asked the old man what the purpose of the hand was.

    The old man opened his eyes and fixed Furdas with such a steely gaze that Furdas almost grew afraid. He closed his mouth and waited until the old man spoke again. "A hand such as this is is known as a 'Glory Hand'. Some work differently, but for this one, bend the fingers, place in them a candle made from certain ingredients."

    "Light the candle and the power imbued in the hand goes to work. The power to open any lock in the vicinity while the inhabitants of the house are lulled into a magickal sleep, from which they may only be awakened once the candle held by the hand has been extinguished!"

    "Blowing on the candle is futile, as is throwing ordinary liquids on it. The candle will continue to burn even when submerged completely in water! To extinguish the candle, new milk or blood must be used, at which time the occupants of the house will awaken normally."

    Furdas was most pleased with the mage. "This one knew there was something special about the hand, yes yes!" he said, taking out a small, heavy looking pouch. "Now, if mage can tell Furdas exactly what sort of candle is needed, how this one can make them, or if mage will make some for Furdas, then this will be the reward!" Furdas loosened the strings of the pouch and let a stream of gemstones fall from it.

    "Oh no!" the mage cried out. "I could never agree to such a thing!" "But why not?" Furdas asked irritably. "This one has gold, gemstones, and can perhaps get hold of other things not so easily attainable..." "There is a penalty to be paid to use such a thing. I cannot, in good conscience help you without first revealing this information!" Furdas laid his ears back, almost snarling. This was not to his liking. "What penalty is this?"

    "Whoever holds the Hand of Glory in his or her possession will never find true love with another person!" The mage peered at Furdas almost triumphantly. "Now you are not interested in it any more, are you khajiit?" Furdas merely laughed in reply. "This one already has his found his true love... his love of excitement! His mistress is lust. Lust for gold, for pretty women. If that is the only penalty, then this one cannot see how the hand could be bad for Furdas in any way!"

    The mage hummed and hawed, then. He tapped his fingers on the table, hobbled around the small shop, darting sharp glances at Furdas all the while. Then, finally, unwilling to reveal the exact ingredients, he agreed to make several candles for Furdas, in return for a favour. Furdas quickly agreed, eager as he was to have his candles.

    Another lesson my dear kitlings! Always know exactly the price of that which you are buying beforehand! This way you will avoid any unpleasant surprises, oh yes!

    So when Furdas asked what favour he would have to do for the mage, the mage replied, "A lock of the hair of Fair Hylissa, the daughter of the local lord." Furdas saw no harm in this until he was preparing to leave, at which he caught the mage muttering to himself. "Yes, once I have the lock, she will no longer be able to refuse my wooing! Ah, but she is a clever one. And beautiful as well! A fitting wife for me!"

    But this one senses that the time has come for another to stand here and tell a tale! So, did Furdas manage to get the lock of hair and his candles? Did he win a wife for the mage? Well, that, my dear kits, is a tale for another time!
    Edited by Garish on April 19, 2016 5:19PM
    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!
  • Garish
    Furdas and the Fair Hylissa

    Gather round kitlings, and this one will continue the tale of Furdas and the Fair Hylissa. Furdas the Trickster, also known as the Swindler, the Cutpurse and the Plunderer. The Charmer of Women and Misleader of Men. Furdas Dar, the greatest thief never known!

    As heedful kitlings may remember, Furdas has been instructed to get a lock of hair from the Fair Hylissa in exchange for the magickal candles that would activate his cast-copper hand. So, what happened next?

    As Furdas left the mage, he was filled with a faint sense of misgiving, since the mage was so old and, going by the mage's description of her, Fair Hylissa was young and beautiful. But, eager as he was to get his candles, Furdas shook the feeling off as not so important and made preparations to visit the home of the young lady.

    Now, the Fair Hylissa was the third daughter of a lord. Lord Al Koho-lik's first two daughters, Nessalanta and Hepzibah, were each beautiful and accomplished in their own way, but the rumours said that Fair Hylissa stood out with her almond-shaped eyes and golden hair, her clever mind and her kind and generous ways. Rumour also said that Fair Hylissa had a talent for magicka!

    Furdas made arrangements to meet the Fair Hylissa's father, lord Al Koho-Lik, posing as a- yes, you guessed it, a merchant. But alas! Even though the conversation with Al Koho-Lik was very entertaining and informative, Furdas did not catch the tiniest glimpse of any of the merchants daughters.

    As Furdas left, he gave the servant that showed him to the door a generous tip. The servant was grateful to Furdas and told Furdas that the lord's three daughters were out, giving to the poor and feeding the hungry, for the nobleman was a generous fellow and shared of the wealth he had been given by the Divines.

    A lesson kitlings! Be generous! Always give a bigger tip than you think necessary! Better to over-tip and have the gratitude of (and perhaps learn something from) the receiver, than to under-tip and bring scorn and contempt upon yourself!

    Furdas left the nobleman's house, feeling disappointed and thwarted. He went to a tavern to drink in some inspiration, in the form of, yes a glass of qhalua. Or was it wine? Perhaps it was ale... this one does not remember, but no matter! What is important, is that inspiration found him, though he was not aware of it just then, while he was watching the patrons in the tavern!

    Two very pretty women were among the patrons at this particular tavern; lively, laughing and most lovely. Eventually, they noticed Furdas and after much exchange of alluring glances and beguiliing smiles, the two ladies came to Furdas' table, curious of this new face, asking who he was and what he was doing there. The three easily fell into conversation after Furdas bought a round of drinks, though Furdas kept his tongue on light and entertaining subjects, speaking of some of his more daring exploits, while saying nothing of his commission to get a lock of the Fair Hylissa's hair.

    The ladies were most impressed and one round became several rounds and then several more until, at some point, the three were walking down the streets, singing to the Moons and laughing hysterically at each other falling over themselves while exchanging kisses.

    Some time later, Furdas found himself in a soft bed filled with cushions and the two women and wound up spending all night with them... but that is a tale for only Furdas and the two ladies, yes yes!

    A lesson in discretion, my kits! A gentleman does not kiss and tell! Only braggarts that need to inflate their self-importance boast about their conquests, yes yes!

    It was very early in the morning when Furdas was woken by the sisters, the two women urgently pulling at him to get up, get dressed and leave before their father found out he was there! As the trio furtively crept down a hallway, Furdas realised to his great surprise, though he tried very hard not to show it, that he was once again in the house of lord Al Koho-Lik... the two lovely ladies of the night before must be none other than Nessalanta and Hepzibah, the two sisters of Hylissa!

    At the gateway, the sisters blew farewell kisses to Furdas, but before he returned their farewell, Furdas asked the two if he might meet them again. They agreed and arranged to meet Furdas at the same tavern that evening, giggling and whispering to each other as they closed the gate and went back inside.

    Furdas found himself a quiet spot under a tree until the shops opened, then spent the day asking about the Fair Hylissa, hoping to find some clue or vice that he might exploit, expecting to hear at least one bad word about her, but instead he heard only praise and admiration for this beauty from the townsfolk. One shopkeeper's son had almost died of fever, but Hylissa had stayed by the boy's bedside until he was fully recovered. Another townsperson's wife had become ill and not been able to take care of her five children after her husband had run off with a dairymaid. Hylissa had persuaded the husband to return and take up his duties once again. And so, on and on, one after the other, the townspeople sang her praises.

    By the time evening came, Furdas finally gave up his investigation, found himself a meal then went to meet Nessalanta and Hepzibah at the tavern. The sisters were already at the tavern when he arrived, making themselves agreeable to other patrons. Finally, they came to Furdas' table and they drank and talked. Furdas asked them why they were at a tavern and why Hylissa was not with them, to which the sisters giggled, stroking his fur and saying that girls just want to have fun.

    When speaking of Hylissa, the sisters turned up their noses, pouting. According to them, Hylissa was a terrible bore, never drank, never went out with them, did all that their father asked of them. Furdas felt this Hylissa must be a terribly dull woman and could not understand the mage's fascination with her. He said as much to the sisters who agreed heartily. Furdas then explained that he had become fascinated by this Hylissa and wished to meet him for himself.

    At first, the sisters became offended, they having just spent an entire night with Furdas and were preparing to spend another. Was he already tired of them, preferring to move on to their prim and proper sister?! Furdas smiled apologetically, and with his honeyed voice reassured them that he was not in the least tired of them, they were too much fun to discard so quickly. He merely saw Hylissa as a challenge. Would it not be satisfying for Nessalanta and Hepzibah to have their sister fall off her high horse for once, and so prove that she was no better after all?

    A lesson kitlings! Be mindful how you speak, choose your words with care, for people can be easily offended and it can sometimes be very difficult to smooth things over again! Also beware of how you speak of someone else, for your words may be carried by others to the subject of your speech.

    And so the sisters forgave Furdas and mulled over his suggestion, before agreeing to help him trick Hylissa into what they thought would be an inappropriate situation. To celebrate, the sisters and Furdas had many drinks, toasting to the success of their deception and the downfall of their sister, before finally leaving the tavern in the early hours of the morning. With much bungling and giggling, Furdas' outfit was disarranged and muddied, along with his fur, (which displeased him greatly to do). Then chicken blood was poured on his head to make it look as if he had been attacked. Lastly, the sisters showed Furdas an alley that Fair Hylissa was sure to pass through on her way to tending the poor and sick.

    Furdas gave Nessalanta and Hepzibah farewell kisses each, then after they were gone, he sat down and waited for morning. Unfortunately, Furdas fell asleep in the alley. He woke up with grasping hands seeking through his pockets!

    Another lesson my dear kits! Only sleep in alleys or other public places when you have nothing of value to take!

    Furdas tried to sit up and ward off the hands, but then something crashed against his head and he knew no more.

    When Furdas woke once more, he had lain in the alley for several hours, since the sun was up, getting higher and higher. His head was pounding from both his hangover and his sore head, so he closed his eyes again and groaned. His heart was heavy at the thought of how bedraggled he must look, not the splendid, groomed Furdas he usually was! He patted down his coat and became even heavier of heart when he discovered that he had lost many items of value when he was bumped on the head, not least his coinpouch. But the copper hand was still there, hidden in a secret pocket in the lining. Furdas could not help but wonder if a few magickal candles were really worth all this trouble? He groaned louder as he heard footsteps approach, thinking this must be another attacker.

    Then a soft, gentle voice asked if he was well. Furdas opened his eyes and immediately shut them again, blinded as he was by the beauty of the woman standing over him. Or perhaps it was merely the sun, for it was now directly overhead. Then a shadow fell over Furdas and a cool hand gently touched his sore head. He blinked blearily, dazzled at the sight of blonde tresses filtering the light of the sun, giving the woman a bright corona of light around her face, such as a saint might have in a painting.

    Murmuring sympathetically, the woman helped Furdas get to his feet and unsteadily, they walked to the home of Al Koho-Lik, where Furdas was cleaned, given cool drinks and a soft bed to lie in, while the Fair Hylissa tended his wounded head. For of course it was she who had come to Furdas' rescue. When he was almost recovered, Furdas asked Hylissa for a lock of her hair, for, he said, he wished to have a reminder of his beautiful and kind saviour. Hylissa merely smiled, then got a small pair of scissors and cut off a lock, tying it with a ribbon and handing it to Furdas.

    Furdas immediately felt strange. What was this feeling of sorrow and unease that filled him? He did not understand, until he realised that what he was feeling was regret, and perhaps some guilt. With these unknown emotions coursing through him, Furdas explained to the Fair Hylissa that he had come to her under false pretences. Yes, he had been hit on the head and robbed, but that had happened because he was trying to trick her into taking him in, which is just what she had done!

    The Fair Hylissa sat by Furdas' bed and listened to his explanation of how he meant to give a lock of her hair to the mage that wished to marry her. Then she patted his hand and smiled, making the room seem to light up. She told Furdas that she would meet with the mage, and so Furdas brought her to the mage's shop, though it was with a heavy heart.

    The mage was very surprised when Furdas showed up with Hylissa, then delighted. Overjoyed at Furdas' apparent success, the mage immediately handed over the candles to him. But then Hylissa made it clear to the mage that she was not there to marry him, no no. Instead, she would be his apprentice and learn all he could teach her. If this arrangement was not acceptable, then she would return home and continue learning by herself. (For in those days, there was no mages guild where all and sundry can enroll to learn).

    The mage seemed displeased at this arrangement at first, darting evil glances at Furdas, but then a sly smile crept onto his face and he nodded, accepting the terms. He said he would be delighted to teach Hylissa all he knew and so Furdas left the two, though not before Hylissa made him promise that Furdas would come to see her before he left town. To this, Furdas agreed readily and so it was that a few days later, on the day of his departure, Furdas once again visited the mage's shop.

    And what did he find there, my dear kitlings? Did the mage manage to persuade Fair Hylissa to marry him after all? Did Fair Hylissa outwit the mage and learn all she could from him?

    Well that, my dear kits, is a tale for another time!
    Edited by Garish on May 24, 2016 5:32PM
    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!
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