Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End

Her head had finally stopped bleeding. The throbbing was slowly starting to lessen. She struggled to sit up, causing a jolt of pain to shoot through her. Groaning, she laid back down. Feeling as though she was thrown out of a window, she mentally reviewed what had happened.

Riana was trying to find an easy mark, skulking around the marketplace. Thinking she'd found one, she made her way over to the woman. She was in a conversation with another woman. "Jarrod bought me it."

"Bought what?"

"This necklace." She showed the other woman a beautiful pearl necklace. "He came back with so much for me. All highly expensive."

"I wish my husband would do something like that for me," the other woman sighed.

"Doesn't everyone? Look at this town, for instance. There's so many thieves, beggars, and the gods know what else. If only everyone could live like we do."

"Do you plan on doing something about it?"

"What? Me? Of course not! That's what the king's for." Riana had to hold herself back from stabbing the women in the neck. "Anyway, come on. Let me show what else Jarrod bought for me. We're going out tonight, a night on the town, he says. His first night out, and he wants to get wasted with me, how quaint, right?"

"Yes, it is. Do you think it's wise to announce this in public?"

"Oh, it's quite alright, let me tell you. Nothing to worry about," she said with a slick smile. Riana just happened to miss this.

Riana followed the two women to the Rich Quarter. They disappeared into a house, while Riana scoped out the area. She wanted to do this right, and if she did, she wouldn't have to worry about money for a very, very long time. About an hour later, the other woman left the house, presumably walking toward her own house. A half hour later, the man named Jarrod and his wife also left the house. Riana grinned to herself and waited until nightfall.

Night came swiftly, and Riana slinked toward the dark house. Checking around for any sign of life on the outside of the house, she made her way to a back door. Taking out some tools, she picked the lock and walked inside. She found herself in the kitchen.

Now, I wonder where all the goodies are? she thought. She searched around downstairs, but found nothing of real value. She crept upstairs, and into the master bedroom. On the counter, was the pearl necklace, as well as a few other pieces of jewelry. Jackpot! She walked over to the counter and promptly fell over something. What a time to get clumsy... This could get me killed someday. She struggled to get up, slicing her hand on something in the process. Glass! What the hell is glass doing on the floor? Looking around as she got up, she found the answer to her question.

"Ah ha! So someone tried breaking in again, huh? Well, guess ol' Fallor should take care of ya." Riana realized her mistake. What she tripped over was a type of alarm system, that called Fallor to the room. The glass was to prevent the thief from getting away too fast.

Fallor walked calmly over to Riana, who was trying to find something to fight back with. He came up to her and started laughing. "Why, it's only a lil girl! Ha ha ha! This will be too easy!" He tried to grab at her, but she ducked under and to the left. "Huh? Fast one, ain't ya? Well, no matter. I'll make quick work of ya, don't ya worry." Fallor went to punch Riana who saw this slow move coming. She sprung back and his punch easily missed her. This time, he kicked out at her. She tried to leap over his foot, but it still caught her. She tripped over it and slammed on the floor. Fallor stood over her, grinning. "Looks like yer down, lil girl. Too bad, yer a lotta fun, ya know?" He reached down for her and picked her up, securing her arms and legs with his beefy hands. He walked over to an open window and started laughing. "Usually, I'd close the window first, but you gave ol' Fallor here some fun! Bye bye, lil girl!" He then threw her out of the window.

Riana thought she was dead for sure. As she was falling, all sorts of thoughts floated through her head. I KNEW I should've brought my dagger! How stupid can I be? Thinking I wasn't gonna run into anyone! His fat ass woulda been MINE! But now, I'm done for. Gods, this is a long way down. She the hit the road below, smacking her head on the hard ground. Her head split open, bleeding on the floor, not enough to kill her, but enough to knock her out.

Remembering this caused her head to start pounding again. She got out of the pool of blood that had settled around her and looked up at the house with hatred in her eye. Fat tub of lardass thinks he can defeat me. I don't think so. I'll be back, asshole, and your ass will be mine! She struggled to sit up, clutching at her head as the effort made it throb again. Waiting a few minutes until her head stopped hurting, she got up, slowly. She walked to the Thieves Quarter. Getting to an abandoned warehouse, she knocked the secret code and was let in.

"Shit! Looks like you got the crap kicked outta ya, kid!"

Riana looked up at the voice. "Gavdor, I'm in no mood to joke."

"Geez, that looks painful. What happened?" Riana told him what had happened to her that night. When she was done, he burst out laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"Fallor, huh? Ha ha ha! Fallor's one tough mofo, that's fer sure, but I didn't think he'd work fer some rich snobs. Gotta have a chat with 'im."

"You KNOW him?"

"Of course! We go way back! Used to guard caravans runnin' from Cardyn to here. Few years back, I decided to stay here. Benvale's not such a bad place, I've heard of worse. Take Rhozelgin for instance. Place is real nasty."

"Should be. Gods like Torvald and Cyril live there. Liches and necromancers and all. I wouldn't wanna go there."

"See? Benvale's not too bad compared to a place like that!" He beamed a smile at her. She shook her head and started walking away. "Oh! Before I ferget, the Guildmaster wants to see ya. Says it's real important."

"Gotcha. I'll check in with her." Riana walked toward the Guildmaster's office, wondering why she wanted to see her. Master Tailynn, rather, Mistress, had "inherited" the guild from her father. He was killed by an assassin, and in the turmoil, she rose to the occasion. She provided the guild with the strong leader it needed, surpassing her father in the process. She had found the culprit, and brought to justice. Thieves justice, of course, but it was still justice. Some of the higher members of the guild had hired him, so that they could advance in the guild. Tailynn found this out and dispensed some more thief justice. The whole guild then united under her, whether it was from loyalty or out of fear is anyone's guess.


While Riana was heading toward the Guildmistress' office, she was having a heated conversation with a man. "What the hell do you mean!? She's one of the best!"

"I know, but this is important, for her as well as myself. She is key to..."

"I don't care WHAT she's key to! Without her, money's scarce."

"I'm sure that one girl can't make that much money, thieving or otherwise, to support a whole guild."

"You have a point, but she does make a large amount of it."

"All by herself?"

"Most of the time, yes."

"Honestly, would it make that much of a difference? If you only knew the importance of my journey. She plays a key part, and I've been looking for years for her. Now I've found her, only to find out her Guildmaster..."

"Mistress," Tailynn interrupted the mysterious talker.

"...Guildmistress won't let her leave. Is she an apprentice?"

"N-no... she's almost up to master rank."

"Ah, I know a bit of the Thieves Guild, I now understand your reluctance. What if I were to pay you for her?"

"No. I'm a thief, not a slave master! Or the owner of a brothel!" Tailynn's anger was at a boiling point.

"I'm sorry to have angered you. I didn't mean for you to sell her to me, for any purpose, but merely compensate you for losses you may incur while she is with me."

"And how long will that be?"

"That is hard to say, a year, maybe more, maybe less..."

"A YEAR?! A year without her? I-I, no! I won't let it happen."

"Guildmistress, if you do not let her leave with me today, you will come to regret it, maybe not today, or next month, but you will."

"Are you threatening me?"

"No. Only making you aware of something much bigger than you or me. Believe me, if I cannot complete this quest, the whole world will never be the same."

"The fate of the world rests on her and this... quest of yours? Ha ha ha! The fate of the world goes to a wizard and a thief! That's funny!"

"This a serious matter, mistress. That girl holds within her powers unseen by mere mortals. She needs proper guidance, as well as a journey for the soul."

"Whoa, hold on, she's just a thief, not some extraordinarily powered... demigod or anything! She's just an ordinary looking human!"

"Looks can be deceiving."

"I guess you would know that."

"Yes. Just think of this as a favor for your dear father. He was a good man, and I'm proud that he called me friend."

"I still don't see why he ever bothered with your type."

"He was wise. Help comes in all shapes and sizes."

"I don't need your help."

"Just like your mother..."

"Don't talk about her. You have no right to!"

"I suppose you're right. I know you hate me for whatever reason, but you need to understand. She can help this world, including Benvale. She has the power to change the fate of the world. I'll explain some more to you, if needs be."

"No, that won't be necessary. I can tell it's important. I don't know HOW I know, I just do. She should be coming here soon. I'll leave the decision up to her. Now, if you don't mind, I'll have someone show you to your room."

"Thank you for understanding, but you changed your mind awfully quick."

"Just drop it. I'll send someone to get you when she makes her decision." She waved her hand, and the man left the office. She sat back in her chair and sighed heavily. Brushing a wisp of dark brown hair from her face, she was thoroughly confused. Just what the hell is this all about? He just comes back here out of nowhere, wanting to take Riana just like that! She's been like a sister since the day my father found her. Could it have been him who left her? Is he her father? No, he'd never do something like that. This is all just so strange... Could she be the one they used to talk about? The daughter of... Oh gods, no. If that's true, she'd be the most... just like he said... But which god is it? Does he even know? My father didn't, does Unc... Blacwin know?


Riana had reached the Guildmaster's office. She knocked on the door and waited patiently for an answer. What she got, she hadn't expected. Tailynn had opened the door for her. "I've been expecting you," she said with a smile.

"Sorry to have kept you waiting, mistress, but I..."

That's when Tailynn had gotten a good look a Riana. The blood from her head had dried up, and smeared down on whole side of her face. Her lip was busted and other cuts and bruises were scattered on her face and arms. "What in Anketil's nine hell's happened to you?" Riana explained again the events that led up to her being in this state. "Gods, thrown out of a window? That must've hurt."

"It did mistress. A lot."

"Riana, how many times do I have to tell you? You can call me Tailynn when we're alone. You grew up with me. You're like a sister, no need for formalities."

"I'm sorry, I forgot. Must be my head. It still hurts."

"Sit down. I'll get that cleaned for you." Tailynn smiled at Riana and left the room. Riana tried to brush her hand through her hair, but the blood had caused massive knots. She cursed silently, brushing tears that came unbidden to her eyes. Her deep red hair was usually brushed and neat- looking, but bow she knew it was a mess. Her eyes were usually a clear crystal green, but now they were clouded, from hitting her head to hard. She was envious of Tailynn then. Her dark brown hair was wavy and thick, her eyes a chocolate color, seemingly filled with a wisdom beyond her years. After she had become Guildmistress, Tailynn didn't have to go out to get money. She was always up in her office, never had to worry about whether or not she could get away from some angry mark. She was safe, only worrying about whether or not she'd receive enough money for the usual guild taxes. Riana was angry, blood boiling, head pounding. She could only see red, whether it was blood or rage was different story. She gripped the arms of her chair so hard, her knuckles threatened to rip out of her skin.

Tailynn returned to was Riana's wound out. She saw the anger on Riana's face and felt fear creep over her. "Ria? W-what's wrong?"

"I hate you..." she replied, in a barely audible whisper.

"What? I couldn't hear you."

"I hate you! I HATE YOU!" Riana screamed it at the top of her lungs.

Tailynn was taken aback by her statement. "W-why? I didn't even do anything!"

"Exactly! You sit up in here surrounded by these walls, safe behind your bodyguards while the rest of us are out their risking our ASSES for you! And for what? So that this piece of crap building won't be taken over? So that we have a place to stay, that's rat infested among other things. What's the point? You get everything handed to you from us. Now that you're our leader, you haven't even hit the streets once!"

"I don't have to! That's what you, you, you maggots are for!"

"Oh, we're maggots now, huh? Maggots, that's how you see your lifeblood. Funny. If anyone but me just heard you say that, the whole guild would strike. Is that what you want? Then you would have to go out and get dirty and beat up like the rest of us. YOU'D come back looking like me, and I'd sit here, laughing my ASS off!"

"I can't believe you, you ungrateful bi..."

"I'm not ungrateful. I'm glad your father took me in. I paid him back for it too..." Riana touched her side lightly and sighed to herself.

"How? He never mentioned anything to me about it."

"What, you think you're the center of the universe? That everything revolves around you? You don't need to know everything that happens in the whole world, ya know. You're just stuck up, I don't think I ever saw you out on the streets with the rest of us. You're just a fake, not a real thief. Had everything handed to you on a silver platter."

At that, Tailynn slapped Riana hard. "How DARE you! I helped teach you everything you know, and this is how you repay me?"

"You taught me? Ha ha ha! I don't think so. Your father did, as well as the rest of the masters. You, you didn't even show up to class half the time. Thinking you were too good for the rest of us. Well, guess what? I'm done with your crap. I'm leaving."

"Good. And don't EVER come back!"

"I wasn't planning on it." Riana stormed out of the office, slamming the door shut. Her hands curled up into fists involuntarily as she walked toward her room. Grabbing what little possessions she had, she left the guild forever. Not knowing what to do or where to go, she was totally lost.

What she didn't know was that the man called Blacwin had followed her out of the guild. She didn't know what her fight with Tailynn had really started and what impact her actions would have on the rest of her life. She had just started the fight of her life.

A/N: This is a rewrite. My writing style has changed and I decided to update this story. I'll hopefully be posting every week or so. Please review, constructive criticism welcome, but hold back on the flames. I'll only throw you in them.