Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seven Deadly Sins

When I first joined the thieve's guild, I was almost certain it would kill me. I had no desire to steal from others. I knew it was wrong. I resisted and tried to appear no good at it. But the guildmaster beat the skill into me. I realized I would prefer to steal than feel the rod at my back. His wrath was a frightening thing to behold.

My apprenticeship lasted for years. I still resisted, of course. I would sometimes come back empty handed whenever we I was sent out to earn my pay. But the guildmaster learned to convince me with words, rather than violence. He appealed to my sense of envy, of greed in those more blessed by God.

Why should nobles have more than I have? What right do they have to own and keep things they did not earn through honest labor? Why should they have more than they knew what to do with. He whispered these things to me and I found myself agreeing with him. If I managed to steal something from those above my station, then it only shows they did not have the right to possess it.

In time, I mastered the trade. I could pilfer one's money pouch without the owner ever feeling anything but the sun on his face. I could enter towers and dungeons undetected, like a breeze wafting in. Guards would sooner hear a leaf fall than detect my movements. I began to take pride in my abilities.

At first, the guildmaster wanted me to steal objects: coins, jewelry and other treasures. Later, he wanted me to steal information to use against his enemies. He wished to remain a few steps ahead of them. He told me where to wait in the wings, like an owl watching for secrets as I listened to his enemies plot to gain the advantage over him.

His success over the years had made him lazy; he let others deal with the more mundane tasks while he sat comfortably enjoying the wealth from those who served him. He made the mistake of looking for the enemy without instead of the enemy within. Little by little, his influence eroded. It wasn't long before others decided he was expendable and that there would be more wealth to go around if he did not receive his share.

From stealing wealth and knowledge, was it too hard to imagine I would soon be stealing lives? The new guildmaster realized that there was money to be made in dealing death. He realized this when I accidentally killed a nobleman; the one who hired us to steal incriminating evidence to use against his rival found the nobleman's death to be a blessing. So, he rewarded us well.

I used to find it difficult to kill someone. I would change my mind several times before poisoning or slitting the throat of my victims. And I would always feel remorse later on. I convinced myself I was doing it because I did not want to cause trouble for myself or my father. In truth, however, there is nothing more potent a drug than holding someone's life in your hands. I realize that now.

Since the incident with the Giovanni, I have become accustomed to it. Killing to sate my thirst has always been my goal. I tried to resist it again, to drink only when necessary. But something inside me escaped; I went mad with the desire to feed. In the throes of hunger, I killed several innocents.

Claudius was right about one thing, consumption is indeed an act of murder. These last few years have showed me that my hunger, my lust for blood will always result in the death of another. God willing, it will be he and his sire soon.

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