(shyly) umm, hello, silver thorns here. you may/may not already know me, but i write stories. like this one. right here. which happens to be MINE. not yours. i get to rant and scream if you steal it. this is only the prologue, so forgive if it's a bit slow...it's my firstest ever original LONG story, so be gentle. kid gloves, people. KID GLOVES. i hope you like it!


Prologue

Once upon a time, in a land far, far, far…far…f…a…r…oh, what's the point. You're not even listening! All you hear is blah, blah, this is going to be boring, blah, blah. Can't blame you, really. You're probably thinking that this is one of those boring stories about looking deep into your heart to find that good 'quiet place' inside. Oh no, you think, not one of those horrible stories with a…moral! Don't worry. Trust me; the main-ish character of this story is probably the most corrupt man you'll ever meet. And his name is Sirius. No last name, just plain, young Sirius. Right.

Now, just before we start describing Sirius, it must be said that any who are finding trouble trying to be good and fair, when compared with this particular guy, even the devil seems saintly. I'm not even sure if our thief has morality or anything at all resembling honour.

Sirius is cheerful and talkative, and sometimes he says things that can get him into trouble. He's witty, slightly intelligent and very good at being annoying. He's also a liar, cheat, braggart, glutton, assassin and a rather heavy drinker, but hey, nobody's perfect. Now you know where all you're past sins go once you've redeemed yourself - straight to Sirius. Anyway, the best beloved thief of ours thinks himself funny, which, by the way, he isn't. He can talk fast, though, and can leave many an innocent soul baffled and bewildered simply by saying 'hello'. But, although most of their brains are flustered, the bit that concerns money always tells the hand to immediately protect the purse, as Sirius is always looking out for opportunities to become slightly richer.

Things often 'mysteriously' end up in his purse such as coins, jewels and other things that, in his mind, no one really needs. They can afford to donate a few valuables. The usual excuse is "I'm just taking your coins out into the light to polish them," or "That's a nice cloak, may I try it on?" This is often followed by "Are you feeling tired?" (THUNK!) "Well, you are now. Let me relieve you of all that unnecessary weight."

So far as Sirius could remember, he had always been a thief. He never knew his mother, and his father died of natural causes. After all, a wire wrapped round the throat quite naturally ends one's life. Poor Sirius was beaten on a regular basis by his father, and Sirius decided that something had to be done. He waited for the right moment, building up his strength, and when he was ten he strangled his father, screaming over and over "I hate you." This done, he became a minor thief, only stealing necessities like bread. But one gloomy day he found a coin and stuffed it in his pocket, looking forward to a proper meal, instead of a few crumbs. But a fellow thief stole it, and Sirius followed the example and stole it back, along with several other coins and trinkets. For now we'll ignore all the mistakes he made. And thus did Sirius' career begin.

His mind was (surprisingly) quick enough to realise the limits of other thieves' techniques. Some were huge brutes with peas for brains and took what they want by flattening the owner. Others were mousy men that wriggled through teeny tiny gaps to find interesting things. But Sirius knew that he'd never be a big bear man, or tiny and mouse-like and able to wriggle through small fascinating gaps where fascinating things were hiding. He would be a slightly smaller than medium, and take things not by the power of strength, or power of stealth, but by the power of the mind. He would be the best, he would be famous. He would go far.

And he did. Loving to travel, and having to run from some of the people who catch him, (which is of course very rare as he is the 'best thief in the Kingdoms' - his words not mine) he has been almost everywhere in the Eastern Kingdom. He's seen the elves of Avar perform the Ceremony of the Moon, attended the meeting at the Gypsies Gathering, seen the fair city of Feather Wind, done business in Sadihr, the capital (a complete lie, as he hadn't even set foot in it), had tea with the dragon at the bottom of Calish Lake (don't ask) and fought the trolls in the dreaded Troll Marsh. At least, that's what he says he's done. Most likely, he's listened to other stories, twisted and changed them, and butted out the main character to replace it with himself.

But no matter how far he's gone, or how many purses he's emptied, Dakahn has been, and always will be, his true home. And, would you believe, that's exactly where this story begins.

But before we start, there is another warning. Sirius thinks that he's the main character, so beware when he tells you his version of the story. It will most likely be as accurate as a mole's description of the sunrise. Exactly. If you want a proper account then listen to me. He'll say he did all the running about and saving the world. I'll say he did absolutely nothing and was as helpful as a sponge in the desert.

Enough warnings, and on with the story.