“Thief” Dark Secrets, Part 4

The Loose Grip of the Dead. When you were a child, you were loaned out to the Hammers for fetch and carry service. They trusted and/or ignored you. Then the Mason of the local church died. You assisted with preparing the body for burial. When he was clad in his burial garb, and gifted with treasures, you were almost spellbound by a crimson ruby pendant. When no one was looking, you snatched it and hid it. The Hammers involved in the burial were desperate and distraught to see it missing, but dared not tell others; they decided to entomb the body without the ruby, none the wiser. You stopped going to the church after that, and fearful they made the connection, you avoid Hammers altogether. You didn’t dare to fence the gem, or to lose it. It is distinctive, and were it ever found and connected to you, the Hammers would not hesitate to punish your thieving, no matter how long ago or how young you were. But now, in your dreams, you see the old Mason. Guilt, or haunting?

Favor of the Woods. Your features are a bit odd; your eyes a bit off in color and placement and focus, your face a slightly unusual shape, your hair a bit different in texture. Pagans seem respectful of you, though they don’t appear to know why or even recognize it is happening. Your inner thigh has a strange crescent eye kind of birthmark that tingles when you touch it. Strange, that such small details are enough to get you killed should the Hammers learn of them.

Another’s Burdensome Secret. You were the only one there when the aged Hammer exorcist collapsed in an alley, struggling to breathe. He gripped you, terrifyingly strong, and glared at you out of rheumy eyes. He said you would be restless dead and damned forever if you did not help him, and he thrust into your hands a slender book sheathed in metal. He told you to hide it, to hide it well, and to tell no one where. Then he died. Something in his furious passion terrified you, so you hid the book. For weeks Hammer priests and agents combed the streets of the area, rough and angry, looking for the book but unwilling to admit what they were looking for. They finally gave up. You could not open the locked book, and weren’t sure you wanted to. You hid it. You have tried to forget about it.

The Fling. You met a charming person, and had a passionate fling over the course of a weekend. Your new paramour had business, and vanished. While you were coming back from an errand, you saw your trysting apartment being torn apart by the baron’s troops. Inquiring around, you found out an assassin tried to kill the baron, and anyone associated with the assassin was “wanted for questioning.” You knew what that meant, and made yourself scarce. Then your paramour showed up, dripping from the river and wounded, needing help. You hid your lover, provided food and clothes and a little money, and aided in escaping the city. You really hope no one ever connects you to that difficult and unpleasant week.

Poaching. As a child, you were hunting rabbits and birds in the forest, alone. As it was getting dark, you headed back and got lost. You saw a pagan ritual, and were caught; the stag-headed priest spared you, but marked you with a burn from a carved stone, and said someday you’d repay the gift of life.

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