Category: Pathfinder


Castruccio Irovetti

When the player’s found out about Irovetti, he was the newly appointed Lord of Pitax, the River Kingdoms and even Brevoy unsure of his intentions. However within a year of his reign he had arranged a repayment of loans owed to Brevoy, no small sum indeed. The Baron’s embarked on their diplomatic trail, partially in order to collect this sum and deliver it to New Stetven in time for the coronation.

Later the Baron’s found that Irovetti had won the throne in a particularly high stakes game of cards. A man of immeasurable personal Charisma, rivalling perhaps even Alexei, he reformed the depressed Pitax into the economic powerhouse it now is. He brought with him strange technologies from the lands of Numeria and forged a trade treaty with the mysterious nation, one that has been very beneficial to both nations.

Beyond his public presence, very little is known about him, preferring to keep himself shrouded in mystery. However he has successfully managed to engulf Mivon peacefully after it’s collapse in the wake of the fires in the Capitol, and even gain control of Galt in the wake of their remaining Duke’s demise. For what little is known of him, what is undoubtedly clear is that he represents a very real threat to the Dawnlands.

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Akiros joined the party fairly early on, formerly in the employ of the Stag Lord, he had lost his way as a man of few words. How he came into the Stag Lord’s service has yet to come to light, and likely never will, what he has shown however is unwavering loyalty to the now Baron’s whom he helped slay the Bandit King.

It came to light that Akiros was formerly a servant of Iomadae, a Childe of her Order of Paladins, meeting the Baron’s and the force of nature that they were he was caught up in their wake and he found his way back to Iomadae’s light. He renewed his vows and became their champion once again.

In more recent times, with his ancestral sword returned to him, he beseeched the Baron’s to grant him Knighthood, to formalise his service to them and the Dawnlands. Alexei went one step further, in his power as Earl, made Akiros the leader of their armies in a festival in Akiros’ honour, culminating in a ceremony that made it official.

In their crusade against the daemonic hordes of the Worldwound, he carried the banner of the Dawnlands and together they struck a mighty blow against the hordes of the North. Only time will tell if such efforts will be successful.

**Notes on the character**

Akiros along with a few other characters are from the original Kingmaker series, that have developed with the campaign and characters as they have grown in scope. (he is indeed mythic, hard not to be when engaging in the great acts the Earls/Queeny regularly perform)

For reference, he’s currently a 15th level Paladin and a 5th tier Champion/Guardian.

Chapter 4 – Part II

So we join our band heading North, to Pitax, with the intention to entreat Castruccio Irovetti. This involved travelling North through the Pitax countryside, specifically stopping at a vineyard, whose wines were sold across the Inner Sea.

The journey however was not uneventful, along the way, their caravan was beset by Bandits, who on further investigation were attempting feed their families through ill gotten gains. The families were formerly employed by a vineyard that had been bought out by the Liacenza family; one of the most powerful families in Pitax. So, being the kind-hearted sort they are, the Barons invited them to the Dawnlands, offering them homes and jobs.

With that they continued Northward towards the Liacenza Vineyard and Sarain, a town renowned throughout the Inner Sea as a font of the finest wines on offer. The town had sent a greeting party ahead of their arrival to greet them and guide them through the more scenic sections of the surrounding lands.

The Liacenza family extended their hospitality and invited the Barons to stay on the Estate and arranged for them to stay in a large guest house. They were given a tour of the expansive wine cellar where the rarer of the vintages were held for special occasions or even to sell as part of a special collection much later. Given the presence of the party’s resident brewer, and light fingered sorcerer, several bottles wouldn’t survive their stay; more on that later. Naturally, there was a banquet held in their honour, not every day one has a thought of Barons from a newly forged state visit. (a “thought of Barons” is a pretty weak collective noun in my opinion…)

During the tour and various meanderings throughout the estate, Alexei noticed they were being followed, which immediately set off alarm bells. Later that evening after much talk with Cesare Liacenza, the head of the household, along with some of the other staff throughout the day, the guests determined something was amiss. (as player’s are want to do) Of course, they intended to investigate later that evening. Having been left to his own devices in the drawing room after the Lord retired to his chambers, Alexei took the chance to steal into the private office. Once there, he rooted through the room, looking for anything that stood out, until he found a safe, summoning Svetlana they managed to get it open. Inside, they found a journal within which it told a tale of economic downturn in recent years owing to several poor quality crops, as such it appeared that Liacenza had accepted significant investment from Castruccio Irovetti, the new Lord of Pitax. After some further investigation they discovered the safe had a false back, here they found a small black box, along with both travel documents and deeds to a property in Absalom. Inside the box they found 13 small gems of varying type, each one had the same intricate cut, Svetlana was content to leave with the information. Something drew Alexei to the gems, with a little quick thinking he pocketed the gems and created illusory doubles without Svetlana’s knowledge, placing the fakes in the safe with her present and once again sealing it.

Meanwhile, Chester performed his own investigation, following some suspicious farmers to a rendezvous where it was clear something malicious was being planned. Whilst his paranoia initially claimed the threat was pointed towards the travelling troupe, he discovered that it was directed at the local Lord, the workers had discovered his plans to abandon the vineyard to Pitax, much the way their competitors had. Weapons were drawn when Chester finally intruded upon the meeting, however with some honeyed words, they were sheathed once again. After much discussion, Chester managed to talk them into working for the Dawnlands instead, some of the workers suggested they even had a source for various types of vines to get them started. Deals struck, he returned to the guest house and awaited his companions’ return.

After relaying all they had learned, they set out once again, Pitax awaiting them.

** To be continued **

So that’s part two, this section of the diplomatic tour was initially written to give foreshadowing of what they were to expect when they arrived in Pitax. Essentially, I wanted the group to form some opinions on Irovetti before he would finally be introduced, as I have stated on his info page he is a potential rival to the Dawnlands and as such he has, and will continue to feature in the ongoing plot/subplot.

Liacenza however, served more as a temporary featured NPC, having fled to Absalom he is easily traceable and could feature once again in the future.

Major NPC’s

Mr Tiddles

Castruccio Irovetti

Lord Asher

Mayor Raston Selline

Chapter 4: Part One

So begins our next chapter following the intrepid adventurers, as hackneyed the phrase is.

We find them returned to the Dawnlands once again, somewhat adrift in the wake of their forgotten odyssey. They return to the fort, with scant more than a scar and a slight headache to show for their efforts, the team declared that nothing else of value was to be gleaned from the now quiet graveyard; it’s residents had since retired to their respective eternities.

Gregor Blackson, their advisor for all things diplomatic, had previously informed them of their duty to travel the neighbouring lands to make nice and rub shoulders with the leaders of those nations. Their tour would take them West to the River Kingdoms and steadily North, back to New Stetven in time for the soon-to-be King’s Coronation.

Business in New Stetven drew Svetlana away from their first stop, with the promise to meet them on the Southern border of Pitax to resume their journey together. So, Chester, Alexie, Gregor Blackson, the now Sir Akiros Ismort, and of course, Mr Tiddles set off to Mivon. The sizeable entourage made good time, inspecting the budding roads and the small riverside settlement of Tatzlford in the South Western reaches of their province.

What exactly they expected from a fringe nation in the River Kingdom collective, I’m unsure… However what they were met with, was a city in a state of depression, the image I remember describing was almost to imagine the place in monotones. Then lead by Mayor Raston Selline, the nation was gripped in the wake of oversaturation, causing flooding, even in the city. Given the geographical nature of the region, it was prone to forming bogs one time of year and drought the following year.

The box text description of the city included mention of some gang warfare in the slums. Naturally, being the Do-Gooders the heroes of our tale are, they “rode” into action.

What they discovered in the slums, was mud that you could nearly swim in. Indeed, they found the gangs in question with very little difficulty. They discovered that there was a dispute over territory, but in order to prove their loyalty to the gang they were to procure a vial of fresh blood from an inhabitant of the slums. Eschewing the options of simply killing a chicken, or supplying their own; Alexei and Chester opted to find a vagrant, offered him money to draw blood (way ahead of your time lads).

After obtaining the vial, they returned to the gang, at which point they discovered that the gang was more a vampire worshipping cult than a gang. They sought the territory in order to supply their masters with more sustenance. Even with the assistance from their loyal Paladin, Akiros, the cult would serve a challenge to the heroes. However, using Chester’s experience of hunting the undead, they formulated a plan… But first they needed Alchemist’s Fire, and naturally they needed an Alchemist. They found Ezekiel. An almost hermit-like alchemist who had set up shop in the shady part of the already dark slums. The store was filled with all manner of strange tinctures, elixirs and ingredients… It was a veritable treasure trove for all things alchemical. Ezekiel already knew why the heroes were there, and moreso he had already prepared a small vial of viscous alchemist’s fire. With the express warning to use just a drop, he sent them on their way. (they also managed to recruit him as their court alchemist too)

So the plan came together, Chester and Akiros would form the bulwark, and Alexei would deliver the cleansing flame to the vampire nest. They stormed the building and annihilated spawn and thralls where they stood. Soon, Alexei tossed the vial into the vampire’s chamber, ignited it with a cantrip and ran… They all ran out into the street as fast as they could, in an attempt to escape fast following cataclysm. Taking a moment to breathe and recover, it dawned on them what they had done.

They had thrown the whole vial.

Into a wooden room.

In the middle of the slums.

Where each building was built both close together and of wood.

The slums ignited, because of the haphazard layout and the numerous shanty-towns within the limits, it’s inhabitants struggled to escape, likely losing as many in the escape as they did in the fire itself. Not wanting to seem implicit the adventurers made their way to the palace with some haste before word spread. Later they would join the effort to put out the fires. With the combined efforts of the various local spellcasters they were at least able to contain the fires to the slums, stopping it spreading, eventually putting it out.

The next day, the Barons were back on the road, heading North to Pitax.

 

So… Firstly, I realise in hindsight I should have provided a pipette, or an adequate volume in the vial. If anything, it harkens back to WFRP, to a now hackneyed tale of burning down poor quarters and brassieres… You had to be there.

In all honesty, the mention of gangs in Mivon was originally intended to simply add flavour to the area, it was a mostly ad libbed session owing to us being a player down. I was trying to basically get across the idea that the country was circling the drain, and under corrupt leadership.

Will that have been resolved with the fire? I guess we’ll find out eventually.

Chapter 3

Major NPC’s

Mr Tiddles

Chapter 3

Ahhh… Chapter 3. (this was one of my favourite arcs for the campaign, you’re about to read why)

We join our heroes on their return from Restov to find a bustling Trading Post now named “Olegton”. Oleg greets them warmly and bemoans his new position but offers his services as the treasurer until they can find themselves more acclimated to their new roles, he also informs them that the former Stag Lord’s fort is currently being renovated.

On hearing this the group made their way south, within a few days ride they arrived at the fort to be greeted by the master builder Mister Stevens, who is overseeing the operation to renovate the fort into a new and formidable base for the soon-to-be Barons to use as a capital for the fledgling nation. After a brief run-down of the plans for the renovation, they decided to investigate the evil presence in the graveyard next to the fort.

They approached it to find restless dead, the group decided to lasso a nearby skeleton and pulled it out of the graveyard. It went berserk and became desperate to get back to the graveyard. The skeleton was quickly dispatched, ever curious, Alexei wandered into the graveyard amongst all the undead, who acted as if he wasn’t there at all… Previously the undead had attacked anyone who dared enter.

After this they returned to the keep to conduct more research, hearsay had informed them that the former Lord of the Fort had been executed and buried in the graveyard. When they consulted the burgeoning library it was revealed that the previous Lord Andrei Leveton was executed for sacrificing all the inhabitants of the fort in an effort to achieve lichdom, over a century and a half ago. Determined to dispel the evil within the tomb the Baron’s returned to the graveyard and one by one eradicated the undead. The tomb was protected by a number of powerful wards to keep an evil spirit in. The guards of the keep escorted them to the door of the mausoleum, armed with a large sledgehammer to break down the door.

Far too late to do anything about it, they reconsidered their plan as the hammer fell breaking the seal on the ancient tomb, light refused to flood the mausoleum, but ever curious they stepped through.

They opened their eyes to a darker world, one perpetually bathed in moonlight. Chester drew their attention to the second moon in the sky, on the face of the satellite was a skull glaring down. Turning their gaze to their new surroundings, the party found themselves in a dessicated forest, both land and creatures appeared experimented on, rabbits with the snout of a dog or a deer with a man’s legs were but a few of the strange sights they encountered. After wandering for a few hours they came across an abandoned village, it appeared old, centuries old. The single building that stood out from the others, radiated an evil aura that would serve as a beacon to any those inclined to support or fight evil. A church, once dedicated to Sarenrae it had long since been desecrated. Chester, a devoted member of the faith, attempted to purify the church, but the force came from somewhere below the ground. They investigated the source and discovered an ornate wooden box, one that they couldn’t seem to open, yet it was undoubtedly the source of the corruption.

They left the village promptly with the box and continue their wanderings. After an indeterminate amount of time later, they happened across a campsite with a number of cages containing humanoids. The camp was guarded by 4 creatures, who resembled zombies but retained intelligence and communicative abilities. The group quickly dispatched the creatures with the help of Mr Tiddles who appeared to be somewhat partial to the arcane, and freed the captives. They too had been experimented on, likely tortured amongst many other things, they had their larynx removed. Through diagrams they told their story to the group, that they had been captured by the Lord of the area and had been experimented on for untold amounts of time before being transported elsewhere, likely wherever the Lord would discard their expended research projects. They explained that to the South they had a small village and promised to lead the party there were they willing to listen to their elder. Obligingly the group ventured south.

When they came upon the village, sequestered in a series of rocky out-crops, the elder greeted them warmly and bade the rescuers inside. The party proceeded to share their story and after listening the elder told them theirs. He told them that long ago, before the shift, the liege lord Leveton had attempted to sacrifice many of his townspeople. However that sort of ritual required a great deal of magical components, the kind that attract a lot of attention when sought out, the attentions of one such Knight of Sarenrae in particular. Aeron Ismort, ventured to the then Issian borderlands and questioned the people, asked of their Lord and finally challenged the Mageling. They were locked in battle for hours until finally the Paladin wrestled the lich to a tomb that had been prepared to seal the creature for the rest of time, his companions and the village people sealed him in there with the lich, but it was too late… The magics that had been woven were triggered and night fell for the last time for those who lived there.

They had no concept of the passage of time here as the moons never moved, nor would the stars give any indication of the season, their aging had halted. However it was quickly worked out that they had been prisoners here for 342 years, and if the group didn’t find a way to escape, they would be too. The Elder recognised that they could have the power to end the eternal nightmare and told them that the Paladin might yet live, there were hard-won rumours of fighting in a cave far to the North. He told them of what to look for and how to gauge their heading by the stars, but he could not guarantee how long it would take, as time worked differently here. The group agreed and were given supplies enough for the journey, likely all the small village could spare.

So the party ventured North, days passed, they thought before they arrived to a cave set in the cliffside, they clambered up to find an illuminated cavern where sure enough an unmistakable paladin was in eternal combat with a never-ending supply of shade monsters. The group deducted their source was a corrupted shrine which they managed to destroy to stop their summoning, the paladin finally relieved of his battle gave his thanks to the party. They showed him the box, which he revealed was the Lich’s phylactery, he promptly brought his sword down upon it and destroyed it once and for all. They finally stood a chance in killing the creature and ending the nightmare. They ventured forth once more into the night and re-armed the paladin with a new weapon when they happened upon a hapless patrol of Zombies, he transformed the crude weapon into something more befitting a paladin as they made their way to the Lich’s lair.

On arrival they eschewed the main entrance, instead seeking a side entrance which Chester managed to discover and open for the group. They made their way through countless labs and experimentation chambers, all manner of failed experiments strewn about on tables, awaiting a servant to remove the remains. Finally they found the Lich in his chamber, poring over some hefty tome, conversation quickly turned to battle as the Paladin locked into combat, they found the stone that the Lich had used to create the demiplane, the source for the magic sustaining it. Svetlana tinkered with it while the remainder of the party fought desperately to keep the Lich at bay, finally after what must have seemed to her as an age, the stone started to react to her, she probed it with various spells and magics until the world around them began to warp. The battle reached a crescendo as the world began to collapse, she focused on the party and hoped that they would be delivered away from all this, so they could go back to the Dawnlands and forget this episode. Then… Everything went black.

 

They awake to yet another place, reactively they look to the sky and see the aberrant moon still there, yet closer than before. Furthermore on the backdrop of the stars, the nebulae appeared as a kaleidoscope of colour, bathing the otherwise grey and rocky ground in its light. They saw in the distance a strange haze, moving towards them, sensibly they decided to rush to take cover in a cave as the haze drew closer they realised it for what it is… Souls, falling from the sky, the objects darting about were demons seizing them and feasting where they could. More demons, and more varieties than they had ever seen in books, they noticed one in particular, a behemoth that would likely dwarf most mountains plucking souls from on high. They escaped into the mouth of a cave however it seemed small comfort, until they smelled ozone, the ground rumbled beneath them as an almighty blast of lightning felled the giant. A cloaked humanoid clambered into the cave and sealed the entrance with some sort of magic. He introduced himself as Kel’Thalres, a mage of some small talent. He told the group that they had tumbled out of the pan and into the fire for they were in Abaddon. He bestowed on the group, four coins, a hole had been made in the middle of them, told them that it would mask the group from the hordes of demons. He was going to guide them to the Drowned Court, a city where they could perhaps secure safe passage away from the plane. Furthermore their saviour explained that someone or something had hijacked the stone in order to bring them here, so if they survived for long enough whoever did, would likely make themselves known in short order.

They made their way to what he called a river, to the group it seemed more of an ocean. He warned them to keep their distance to never stray close to its shores, he seemed content to merely keep it within spotting distance, no doubt he would have preferred to be away from it entirely. In short order they were standing before the gates of a great sprawling citadel, the souls of the dead had been impaled on numerous spikes adorned over its walls. Two great humanoids requested their tokens, which the group willingly gave before entering. It was at this point Kel’Thalres bade his farewells and made his way out into the wastes of Abaddon. The party found themselves in a city filled with extra planar travellers and merchants looking to deal in what was essentially one of the multiverse’s biggest black markets, where they dealt in the most valuable of currencies, souls.

They found their way to a large manor, seated awkwardly near the top of the hill the citadel was perched. Here they were greeted and brought inside a large reception hall, had they not been in a Daemonic Hell-Plane it would appear just as any other noble’s home on the Material Plane. A young blonde man greeted them warmly and bade them into the parlour, offered them tea and refreshments, it was a plush room that had been richly decorated with objects familiar and others that were clearly not. What was immediately apparent was that they were not yet out of the proverbial fire.

After a brief conversation he made them an offer, he would send them home and help their budding Dawnlands flourish, by influencing people and seeding it with the greatest minds from across the Material Plane, in return for just one act on their part… “When the time comes, do the right thing.” He made it apparent that they would know when it would be time, it would be clear to any observer. They were tremendously reluctant, signing a contract to which they had little idea of what they were getting themselves involved with, Chester drew his weapon and attempted to attack the man who had introduced himself as Szuriel, the weapon melted in his hands leaving only the haft of the axe, he found himself sitting down once again; after this he stormed out of the mansion, leaving Svetlana, Alexie and Mr Tiddles in the room with their mysterious benefactor. He made it clear that he was the one who brought them here after tinkering with the stone (that had left a burn scar on Svetlana’s hand), he also claimed to have no ill intentions towards them, after all they could well have died at any given opportunity.

Finally they relented, agreeing that they were simply being asked to “do the right thing” and it would be something they would do anyway.

The moment they put the pen to paper and signed their names to it, including signing in absentia for Chester, they found themselves inside the empty tomb back in the Dawnlands, nothing but the desiccated remains of the Lich remained, and a single hilt of a sword, in the shape of Sarenrae lifting her arms to the sun above her head. Their memories of the events had been wiped and the only trace of their journey was Svetlana’s scarred hand and a small mundane piece of quartz looking crystal.

 

So that’s where we’ll leave Chapter 3, to me this is the start of the plot, where everything really began in earnest, I’ll return to this when the game is finished, after all I don’t want the player’s to get too many ideas. In many ways I was wondering how to do this part of the campaign as I’m sure many would be wary of trusting their players with not wanting to meta-game with the knowledge they gained on their planeswalking journey, it was a long road for me to decide whether to include the Abaddon section at this point or several arcs later into the story. However I trust the group absolutely and so far they’ve been amazing and true to their word, I am a blessed GM.

This was also the stage where Mr Tiddles began to show his arcane heritage, the story of why he has the power he does and what role he will play in the adventure is something that is still unfolding even now two or so years later. If I’m honest it’s the events in the second half of this chapter that I’ve been most keen to record, purely because I don’t want it to be lost in the mire of all the other threads of the story, like I’ve said previously there’s certain elements of the story I want to keep reiterating to the players, lest we forget where we have been.

Anyway, long and short of it, that’s the conclusion for Chapter 3. Chapter 4 will likely be another long one as I’ll be doing the Diplomatic Tour in one large chunk. We’ll be following their journey across the River Kingdoms to all their neighbouring kingdoms to meet with various leaders and set up new relationships to strengthen both Brevoy and the Dawnlands, naturally with a healthy dose of intrigue and adventure along the way.

Watch Commander Lucas Nevin

Now Knight Commander Nevin, but we’re jumping the gun a little. He’s an honest man, refreshingly so, loved and respected by those loyal to him and loyal to their oaths. To those who have broken the law or are deserving of retribution, he is their worst nightmare, hounding them until they have been brought to justice to the letter of the law. It is clear from his demeanour that he treats all with a fair and even hand, for that is what is required of him in public, however when caught alone it is clear that he is a man who is haunted by the decisions he has been forced to make… Someone who has willingly accepted a burden that would crush most others. Can he bear it? Will he be able to stay true to the cause? The question he finds himself asking is… Can one man really change a corrupt system?

A woman who collected magical trinkets, some she sold, some she merely let the public see. She was an old friend and likely more to Silvestre Malliard as a graduate of the Arcanamirium of Absalom. In the years she and Malliard had spent apart, she had a family, lost her husband and her children had long-since moved on to other areas of the Inner Sea, some following in her footsteps as intrepid adventurers who would send back items of interest for her to study, her family in Absalom whittled down to a Brother she hadn’t seen for a number of years.

She was a font of arcane lore and wisdom for those smart enough to listen, she gave her advice sparingly and was careful enough when she gave it. The community respected the woman, and in return she swore to protect it, even if it did… And it would… at the cost of her life.

What remains is her legacy, will such legacy be enough to ignite the fire in the bellies of the citizens of Restov?

The first thing that comes to mind when Oleg is concerned, is that he is a mountain of a man, gruff and hard to get to know. He is protective of his lands and his hard-won life with Svetlana.

Their history is native to Brevoy, Oleg hailing from one of the wide-spread merchant houses whose guild house is in nearly every major port from Restov to Quantium. Svetlana was born to the house Lebeda in castle Silverfall, they met while Svetlana was pursuing her tuition in the capital, she was poised to be one of the heirs of the house and as such was being groomed to take on the role. For Oleg, it was love at first sight, Svetlana… Not so much, she took a great deal of pursuit before she noticed the behemoth, a story that would likely fill a novel. Suffice to say their relationship was of Shakespearian tragedy, near as one could tell, Svetlana abandoned her role to her sister Sarrona and left to live out a life on the frontier with her husband. Oleg has, abandoned all but his name in the move, deciding that the fresh start was better for everyone.

Now their child Vladimir has been born without any major issues, their family grows with the budding community of Olegton in the Northern reaches of the Dawnlands. Now they serve as the treasurer for the kingdom and the representatives for the people of the growing nation, so far, to great success.

Mr Tiddles is a cat, he’s also very fluffy. Normally, I wouldn’t need to say anymore… However Mr Tiddles isn’t just a cat, since his awakening at the hand of a pliable druid, he has displayed a talent for the arcane. Perhaps not the strangest thing to be witnessed by the plane, however he has, on more than one occasion rescued the party from a scrape that would have cost them more than they had bargained for.

He is protective of each of them, yet his motives are always shrouded, the party dismiss it as him just being a cat, acting on his whims; yet the question has to be asked, why does he follow the group?

In recent history, since the incident in Absalom, he has started to develop a white blaze on his chest, in stark contrast to his thick black fur. He has also cast a variable enlarge person on himself, so he can vary from ordinary house cat to a horse-sized, very fluffy, panther.

On a side note, he likes sea bass and casting electricity based spells.

Essentially Golarion’s Fagin, a man who looks after his own and ensures those in his community are looked after, loans money when they’re short for rent and never expects the money back. He is fiercely protective of his wards and ensures that they have somewhere safe and warm to sleep, with food in their bellies, from his own pay-check if needs be.

Allegedly Simon grew up with Alexei, usually getting in trouble for some jape or another, however the man was destined to be exactly what he is, a thiefmaster. Whether he will be successful going forth, is a question yet to be answered.