…Washington state, that is. On business, late at night.
The Doclopedia #13
Our penultimate knife could put Bags of Holding out of business.
Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Steals
Type of knife: Folding Pocket Knife
Magic level: High
One night, many decades ago, a thief crept through the window of a fourth story apartment with the express intent of stealing as much valuable merchandise as he could carry. You can imagine his surprise when the lights suddenly ignited and he found himself face to face with a very angry sorcerer. In a heartbeat, the thief was pinned against the wall by a spell. The sorcerer then began telling him how he would deal with a miscreant with the temerity to invade his home. Mostly, this was going to involve transferring the thief’s soul into a nearby statue, where it would remain, helpless for five thousand years.
The spell casting began, and was nearly completed, when the thief’s young apprentice leaped through the window and tackled the sorcerer just as he was getting ready to touch the statue and transfer the soul.
Falling backwards in a tangle, the two men crashed into a workbench and the sorcerer’s hand touched a common pocket knife. Instantly, the entire body of the thief vanished and the knife glowed white hot. Screaming and badly burned, the sorcerer flung it away. His momentary distraction was all the apprentice thief needed and he broke the man’s neck.
As he caught his breath, the young man heard his master calling to him. He looked around, unable to see him anywhere, until he realized that the voice was coming from an old pocket knife. Picking it up, he found himself being verbally berated in the harshest manner. It would seem that his master, now trapped body & soul inside the knife, was upset that he had killed the only person who might undo the spell. A very good reason to be angry, I’m sure you will agree.
When they heard the frantic knocking of the sorcerer’s servants on the door, both man and knife agreed it was time to get out…after looting the body and grabbing a few small items. In less than two minutes, they were out the window and gone.
Within the next few days they discovered several things about the older thief’s predicament.
1: He could transfer items from the real world into his world (a small cubical pocket universe about 250 feet on a side) and out again if the blade were touched to the item to be taken in or the spot to receive an item.
2: It works on living things, too.
3: There are size and weight restrictions, so nothing larger than a 5X5X5 cube or weighing more than about 400 pounds may be taken in.
4: Magical objects cannot be transferred in, but the knife can identify such items easily from up to 10 feet away.
5: The thief can do a total of 20 transfers a day.
Resolved to his fate and seeing the many profitable possibilities it offered, the thief and his apprentice decided to make the best of it. Within a year, they were very wealthy and living in high style. The trapped thief had workmen brought in to his little universe and had them build a 50′ by 50 ‘ four story home in the center. He then had them build a large storage building and assorted sheds. Next came gardens, poultry, a couple of goats and a dog and cat. The house if furnished in an expensive, yet totally comfortable style. Live in servants were hired to care for things. Eventually, the thief fell in love with a woman who came in to help him decorate for a party. They married and had children. Life was good.
Fifty years later, the thief was in his late 80’s and his apprentice, now High Lord of a massive Thieves Guild, was past 60. The older thief was a widower and his children were grown up and gone. One day, while sitting in his garden, he died quietly.
And was reborn in minutes as a young man of 20, healthy and strong. He also saw that there was, once again, nothing but himself and some grassy land with a spring in one corner near the barrier hedge. Obviously, he was getting a new start, so he had his apprentice give the knife to a young up and coming thief, then send that thief off to a far away city to start a new Guild.
And so it goes today, the one thief calling the shots, the other carrying them out and both living like kings.
This knife has a truename, but now that the original apprentice is dead, only the thief in the knife knows it. The knife itself is unremarkable looking, with a battered ironwood handle housing the five inch blade. If sold, it might fetch fifty cents.
Tomorrow: The Blade That Controls
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