The thick fog rolling off the lake made the dirty and uneven cobblestones slippery and treacherous that evening as I dashed past the Manor Hall. All the years of training with the Thieves' Guild were being tested at this point, and as I slipped from shadow to shadow, my feet made little sound.
I darted past the Mages' Guild hall and tried to ignore the misty and mysterious scents calling me in. Next door, I noticed the weapon smith peer through his window so I flashed my cloak his way, covering my face in the process.
Behind me, I could hear the sounds of pursuit as the Town Guard gathered in force. It seemed that a crowd of the local townsfolk, eager for excitement and the possibility of reward, had also joined in the chase much to the annoyance of the Captain of the Guard.
"He went that way!"
"Is there a reward for his capture?"
"He's stolen the Dagger of Morganna!"
"It was one of the Circle!"
So far, all was going to plan. The Circle of Aln would be implicated, and we of the Thieves' Guild would finally have the Dagger of Morganna~the magic item rivaled in power only by the Amulet of xylar. I was to meet The Black Fox behind the Alchemist's Shop where he would take the Circle's tabard from me and provide me with a new disguise and an alibi.
Behind me, I could hear the assembled mob becoming most unruly and arguing with the guards about which path I had chosen for my escape. I recognized the voices of many of my fellow guild members causing a majority of the distractions.
I smiled as I turned the corner. This was going to be easy! "Ah, here he is now!"
A trio of nasty looking longswords surrounded me as I wisely skidded to a halt. Before I could react, I heard a spell being cast and I felt the impact as my arms and legs refused to move. A Web!
The red tabards of my captors told me that they were some of the local knights. Were they going to arrest me? Their smiles held no clue.
The Baroness raised an eyebrow slyly as she advanced. I knew I had no chance to fight. I felt someone dig through my cloak and pull out the dagger. "Here it is, My liege."
I knew that voice. It was the Black Fox! That double-crosser!
"Thank you," the Baroness said to me as she took the weapon. "Now let's see if it works."
I screamed in pain as I felt the dagger enter my side. My life was being sucked out of me! There was no escape! Unless...
"Hold!" I yelled. "I need a rules marshal."
My captors blinked and looked around. Sometimes it takes a second or two to reorient yourself after being your character for so long. "I know where Bob is," said Dame Perisa-or rather Barbara, now. She ran off as we smiled at each other and waited.
Bob arrived and came to me. He's one of the marshals who can make interpretations of rules and can resolve disputes.
"Bob," I softly whispered, "Does the Dagger of Morganna actually drain my life if I have a Greater Shield spell?"
Bob smiled. "No, the dagger will only do damage if it gets into your Body Points. A Greater Shield spell counts as armor, not body."
I turned back to my captors, and as the marshal said "Lay on!" I slumped my head forward, pretending to have been drained.