Proper Thieves

Check out the first chapter!

Robbing a palace with enough wealth and power to fly won’t be easy.

ProperPalacePromo-01

But Devan, orphaned and handicapped from birth, is no stranger to doing things the hard way.

Backed by his misfit crew of mages, mentalists, and martialists, Devan could be the first to crack the impenetrable Palace.

Devan will need every ounce of cunning to navigate a world his cloistered past has ill-prepared him for. Because in the world of the Palace, proper thieves rarely prosper.

If you like fantasy heists with a dash of dismemberment, then join the crew of Proper Thieves!

What is it?

Proper Thieves is a serialized fantasy work in four parts. It was 7th Titan’s debut Patreon serial and will be available on Amazon mid 2017.


JoeRavataSquare-01

Meet the Author: Luke CJ Smith

As Luke CJ Smith writes this, he is unemployed and living in Maplewood, Missouri. He’s married to the most wonderful woman in the world. He’s been a professional writer, and is thrilled to be a professional writer again. He has three cats and one dog.

His previous works include an unpublished novel about the Catholic Church’s cybernetic super-army, an unfilmed comedic screenplay about AIDS, and a now-defunct webcomic series about boobs. His next work will be a novel about punching the pope in the face. It’s due out in 2018. All of the things in this paragraph (and the preceding paragraph) are true.


Meet the Thieves:


Nalan600-01

 


Nalan600-01

Nalan600-01

ZellaFin

BreighFIN

Nalan of the Fen
Mark: Machinist
Age: 18
Disciplinary Standing: Exemplary
Warning Flags: Lifelong friend of Devan of the Field
Notable Accomplishments: 1st in Class, Class 2 Machinism Trials; 3rd in Class: Class 3 Machinism Trials

Alpha Class Sponsor Evaluation:

Nalan is the kind of student every teacher wants to see in the front row of her classroom — quiet, respectful, and studious, but just socially awkward enough to provide entertaining stories for the teachers’ lounge. He is, by all accounts from his instructors in the Machine School, a brilliant student in his marked field, exemplifying the Machinists’ ability to intuitively understand how mechanical objects work.

The one thing that worries me is his lifelong association with Devan of the Field. Oftentimes when one student experiences an antisocial shift (as Devan has over the past year), he will drag his friends down with him. To date, that has not been the case, but further diligence is clearly called for on my part.

While it is often difficult to tear Nalan away from his engineering projects, lately he seems markedly more wistful and contemplative. This is hardly surprising behavior from a young man who is rapidly approaching his Unveiling Ceremony. I know the parents of his intended bride socially; the girl seems like a good match for Nalan. How quickly they’ve both grown up – Nalan has certainly come a long way since age 12 when I caught him in the janitor’s closet with a manuscript on stretching exercises for young women.

Reported by: Instructor Winselle


Nalan600-01

ZellaFin

BreighFIN

Devan of the Field
Mark: N/A
Age: 19.5
Disciplinary Standing: UNDER OBSERVATION
Warning Flags: Disrespectful attitude toward staff; suspected of multiple instances of burglary
Notable Accomplishments: Field Scrolls in Machinism, Magic, Mentalism, and General Studies.

Alpha Class Sponsor Evaluation:

It would be easy to feel sorry for Devan if he wasn’t such an imperious little shit. The mother died in childbirth. The father left him for the community to raise. And to top it off, he was left with a crippled leg. Because his father failed to mark him at birth, Devan was allowed to choose his own academic discipline when he reached the age of six.

Rather than choose membership in a single school, though, he petitioned Headmaster Parnick to allow him to pursue a broad range of classes across multiple disciplines. Only the War School forbade his participation in their classes due to his deformity, but even so, I’ve seen Devan carrying Martialist texts to class on more than one occasion.

Up until this past year, Devan had a reputation for being a brilliant student, if perhaps a bit too quiet for his own good. Since enrolling in my Alpha Class, however, he has experienced a significant change in attitude, and not for the better. More troubling still are the persistent rumors that Devan has been involved in a number of major incidents of burglary here on the school grounds. When I’ve confronted him about them, he’s met my inquiries with arrogance and rudeness. The boy has a tireless intellect and boundless curiosity; I only hope it isn’t getting him into trouble.

Reported by: Instructor Winselle

Save


ZellaFin-01

Nalan600-01

ZellaFin

BreighFIN

Zella of the Peak
Mark: Mentalist
Age: 19
Disciplinary Standing: Above Average
Warning Flags: Disrespectful attitude toward certain members of faculty
Notable Accomplishments: 1st in Class, Class 1 Mentalism Trials (record holder); 1st in Class, Class 2 Mentalism Trials; 1st in Class, Class 3 Mentalism Trials (record holder).

Alpha Class Sponsor Evaluation:

Too often over my 30 years as an instructor, I’ve encountered young people who are exceptionally talented in their chosen field to the detriment of all else. For them, any implication that they would be served by a more well-rounded education is met with scoffs and derision. Zella of the Peak most certainly falls into this category.

I doubt there’s an instructor in The Tower who hasn’t heard of Zella’s once-in-a-generation performance on the Mind School trials. I also doubt there’s an instructor outside the Mind School who understands why the chief instructors there haven’t nominated the girl for early graduation to the Sisterhood. But politics can be an ugly game, and I can’t help but sympathize with Zella for being dealt a losing hand.

Ever since getting the news that she would not be accepted to the Upper Spans, Zella’s attitude has entered a downward spiral. Too often, I’ve seen brilliant students become frustrated with the system and take up all manner of unsavory behaviors. When you’re talking about a student with the ability to read minds, cloud perceptions, transfer her thoughts to others, and who knows what else, the options available to her in the “unsavory behaviors” department are considerable indeed.

Reported by: Instructor Winselle


Nalan600-01

ZellaFin

BreighFINAllisterFinal

Allister of Targe’s Rock
Mark: Mage
Age: 19
Disciplinary Standing: Average
Warning Flags: Three instances of OUT AFTER CURFEW
Notable Accomplishments: Winner of last year’s Fireball competition.

Alpha Class Sponsor Evaluation:

I imagine Allister’s evaluations have read very much the same since he was in primary school: he fidgets, he mouths off, he refuses to sit still, and he’s loud. The only difference, I would wager, is his nearly constant flirting with members of the opposite sex, especially the female students from the War School. It would be quite funny — in the way of a miniature terrier trying to mate with a mastiff — if it weren’t for the fact that his intended bride is in the same class. Zella of the Peak doesn’t seem to pay it any attention, but given that she’s a Mentalist, I doubt there’s little about her intended that escapes her notice.

Allister relishes his role as the class cut-up; he never misses an opportunity to riff or poke or cajole his classmates. He never turns his acid tongue to me, however — at least not when I’m within earshot. I can only assume that’s his father’s influence. Being the son of the famously stern Chair of Mystical Studies can’t be easy, especially when you’re such a thoroughly lackluster student. It’s an old teachers’ cliché, but if Allister would spend less time with his friends and more time in the library, he might just make his old man proud.

Which is not to say the boy doesn’t study; a week doesn’t go by without him asking me a question about a rare bit of esoteric knowledge or a spell I’ve never even heard of. He has a tremendous curiosity and love for the Art of Magic; however, his priorities lie in places other than the classroom. It seems as though he’s waiting for a chance to prove himself; I can’t help but wonder what he thinks that form that chance is going to take.

Reported by: Instructor Winselle


Breigh width=

Nalan600-01

ZellaFin

BreighFIN

Breigh of Fold and Fael
Mark: Martialist
Age: 18

Disciplinary Standing: Average (adjusted for enrollment in War School)
Warning Flags: Fourteen instances of aggravated assault, six instances of public nudity
Notable Accomplishments: Youngest-ever Captain of the Field on the Pit Fighting Team. 44 straight victories in the arena. Once hit an opponent so hard he coughed up a rib bone.

Alpha Class Sponsor Evaluation:

As an instructor, I try to have an even hand for all my students, regardless of which school they come from. That said, I have a hard time relating to my War Schoolers, and Breigh is the most martial Martialist I’ve had in an Alpha Class in many, many years.

When Breigh encounters something new, she seems to ask herself two questions: can I kill it, or can I conquer it? If the answer to either is yes, then that’s what she does, and she does so with an infectious, almost terrifying glee. If the answer to both is no, then she shuts down almost entirely and waits for the next new thing to come along. The girl is possessed by both gigantic mirth and gigantic melancholies, which makes her disruptive in the classroom on even the best of days.

Still, when channeled properly, her full-bodied enthusiasm makes her a force to be reckoned with. I still remember a day last term when she stayed late after class so I could help her understand third-stage divination. The moment it became clear to her, she threw her head back and let out this loud, bellowing laugh, then she nailed her paper to the wall with a dagger she kept in her boot. She shouted, “Vex me no more, bastard term paper!” and ran from the room like she’d just won the Founders Day Tournament.

May the gods help the world should Breigh of Fold and Fael ever make her way out of The Collegium.

                                                                                                Reported by: Instructor Winselle

 

SaveSaveSave

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments are closed