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Thread: Correspondence of Thieves - Chapters 1 - 24 (Complete)

  1. #1
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon

    Correspondence of Thieves - Chapters 1 - 24 (Complete)

    Week 1: The Correspondence of Thieves rewrite is finished and ready to be read. I'll be posting one chapter per week, but for the first week I decided to post the first two chapters. Due to exhaustion and slight illness, I'll be making this initial post brief and to the point. Here they are, in PDF!

    Week 2: Chapter 3 is now online. This chapter picks up the Jyre/Nightfall storyline where things left off at the end of Chapter 1. The opening section may seem familiar to some - it was featured in the Mission X manual as an introduction to Nightfall and The Circle. I hope everyone enjoys it, shares their feedback, and lets me know if they see any grammatical or other issues that ought to be corrected before Book 1 goes to print. The chapter preview is here: Thanks!

    Week 3: Chapter 4 is now online, which wraps up book 1! What's more, I should have some news on the print edition of Book 1 soon! I really hope everyone is enjoying it, and keeps sending me thoughts and feedback.

    Week 4: Chapter 5. I am noticing a pattern, here!

    Week 22: Chapters 23 and 24. The novel is now complete!

    - Chapter 1: A Brief Intrusion
    - Chapter 2: Honest Jobs
    - Chapter 3: Religion and Crime
    - Chapter 4: Innocent Bystanders
    - Chapter 5: Trapped
    - Chapter 6: Tests of Fortitude
    - Chapter 7: On the Run
    - Chapter 8: Serious Distractions
    - Chapter 9: Blood is Spilled
    - Chapter 10: Revelations
    - Chapter 11: Reunions
    - Chapter 12: Higher Stations
    - Chapter 13: Building Bridges
    - Chapter 14: A Fine Mess
    - Chapter 15: Underworld
    - Chapter 16: Our Rightful Places
    - Chapter 17: Locks without Keys
    - Chapter 18: Guests in Alien Realms
    - Chapter 19: Hosts and Hospitality
    - Chapter 20: Alliances and Betrayals
    - Chapter 21: With Breaths Held
    - Chapter 22: No Name by the Tongue of Man
    - Chapter 23: The Pages of History
    - Chapter 24: Corrrespondence Persists

    Chapter 1 teaser:

    Thoughts on Delegates...

    I became obsessed with these individuals soon after I came to this land. Some
    unsubstantiated notion hidden deep within my clouded and damaged memories
    propelled me to pursue them, study them, and know them. In time I gave in
    completely to this desire, discarding all semblance of a life in the pursuit of this
    coveted knowledge.

    They called themselves delegates, and many pivotal events within the past
    century could be linked to them, with some historical figures being delegates
    themselves. In spite of my amassed discoveries, their numbers remained hidden
    as did their true intentions and origins. Though they all were perfectly unique,
    they held one important aspect in common. Their every action mirrored the
    duality of their nature, a subconscious schism between obedience and rebellion
    which divided one path into two, yet with the conscious illusion of being one.
    They believed that this was of their own free will; it was however a fact of their
    existence which ran deeper than they each could fathom, an aspect of themselves
    which they were all unable to escape.
    The home of the project is on the CoSaS site. If you'd like to know more about what all of this is about, please read the about page.

    The printed versions will be forthcoming. I hope to have news on that soon! Though we worked from June - April to proofread this work, my editor and I are not professionals! If you find any issues with the above work, please send me a PM so I can fix them right away and make sure that the print versions don't have these errors.

  2. #2
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    \O/ Congrats Digi!

  3. #3
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Wow, thanks Digi That must've been a lot of work.

    Hope you have a quick recovery btw.

  4. #4
    Registered: May 2009
    Location: Hurr Durr
    Thanks Digi

  5. #5
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Looks like there's some formatting issues with Chapter 2. Serves me right for doing this while I feel like crap. I can't fix it now because my computer is currently battling viruses as well. Never rains, but it pours...

    I am sure looking forward to hearing what you taffers think. I wrote this so anyone could enjoy it, but the heart and soul still belongs to the Thief fans.

  6. #6
    NewDark 64 Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Congratulations on getting this done. It must feel so damn good to finally have a finished product. It'll take me a couple days to read through it, but I'll definitely post my impressions of it.

  7. #7
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Both chapters have now been updated with a dozen or so tweaks and changes based on feedback I've been sent. All of it is grammatic or cosmetic, with a few instances of just a little but more description to clarify in some confusing sentences.

  8. #8
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: Damp cavern

  9. #9
    NewDark 64 Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Nightfall, I've finished reading the first chapter. I've found it interesting so far. Some of the descriptions and dialogue are pretty strong, and stand out quite well. I don't know how much feedback you're looking for at this point (since it’s essentially done.) I don’t even know if you’re interested, but I came up with a list; I guess both good and bad.

    I’m trying to give an honest response to what I read. Some of this feedback is just random questions that popped up while I read. I hope what I have to say doesn’t upset you in any way. I respect completely the work that you’ve put into this, and it’s meant only with the best intentions. Feel free to ignore everything I have to say, if I’m off base.

    (Obviously, this post is full of spoilers.)

    Neither Jyre or Lord Thresh or Els or any of the major characters are given descriptions beyond a few facial features. I don't recall a solid descrption of Jyre, and when Lord Thresh is described, it's already 25 pages or so into the story. Even then the reader never really gets intimate with him or his emotions. The best description was that of Jossimer, where the reader was given some sense of his character based on just a few words.

    Thresh is kind of like a superhero, which isn’t a bad thing, but he should have some sort of underlying fault. We see him raise a whole house up from nothing, sneak around like a thief, kill his assassins without much trouble, heal all his wounds, and separate his mind from his body. He reminds me of a Gandolf-type character. On the flip side, if Jyre is the main character, it doesn’t really come into play as much.

    I like the idea of the story unfolding in separate viewpoints, but when these change from Jyre's to Thresh's perspective, I think a little more effort could be put into making them really stand out so the reader is more aware a character-shift has just taken place. For example, take the one at the start of page 29, the voice of Jyre and the voice of Thresh is almost identical, so that it appears like no real change has taken place.

    The way that the story switches viewpoints really presents a good opportunity for how the main characters see each other, but this is never taken advantage of. It would be interesting to see the world from two totally different views, but instead they both basically see the world around them the same way.

    I think it could’ve been shown better early on how evil the Lady really is. Because even after reading about how she destroyed an entire village, it kind of had no effect on me. I didn’t really feel any loss or sadness or anger.

    The letter Jyre wrote should hold up on its own, so that when Thresh reads it over, the reader doesn’t have to read again what he is reading, but instead how it affects him as a person. I found it odd too that she would put an address on the letter, even though it’s a fake address. Would there be post office boxes on buildings?

    EDIT: I just wanted to clarify what I meant about the letter Jyre writes. We should be horrified enough about the contents of it, that when Thresh reads it we should get a glimpse of his character by how he reacts/or doesn't react to the disgusting things he reads. If a person reads about a girl getting abused and just shrugs it off (not saying he does this, just using this as an example,) that basically establishes everything we need to know about that person.

    I don’t know how, but I got the impression that she couldn’t speak, and that writing was her only method of communication. Also it seemed strange that she kind of lusted after Ranson so quickly, and lusted after Thresh, both after knowing them for a short amount of time, but her feelings for Els are never actually described until the end of Chapter 1. I get that he is like a father to her, but why then wouldn’t Ranson be? I also get that Ranson taking advantage of her would change Jyre’s outlook of men forever (truthfully beyond ways that someone not in that situation could ever realize,) but I would like to see more of her thought process on this. Theoretically, I can see that her quick love for Thresh may be caused by what happened earlier in her life, but probably most teenage girls might act the same way even without being abused. But I liked how you made her think and feel overall, she is immature enough to think that Thresh would have no problem with her breaking into his house.

    I was wondering too, if the servants of the house knew the manner in which it was ‘built’. If so, wouldn’t they be more accepting of doors in the house that are sealed off from them.

    If Els has an inauspicious marking on his hand, why couldn’t he just wear a glove?

    I thought a funny line was ‘How could he look at me the same way now that I was an intruder; worse a voyeur.’ My thought was, wouldn’t an intruder be worse than a voyeur?

    The part I enjoyed most, although it was fairly brief, was the first part of her dream where it appears as if she is recounting some of her earlier exploits. I’m not sure why, but that brief part made me finally feel as if I was right inside Jyre’s head.

    Most of the dialogue was done quite well. Quite witty. The descriptions of how the City looks from different views; the Lady’s painting and the frame; and the way that the magical door opens to the meditation chamber are really quite well done. I’m not sure why, but the character of Jossimer is probably the best described character and feels the most human. Although there is so much drama associated with Jyre, I guess I never really connected with her feelings. I like the way you show that even in the magical realm of the Circle, Thresh’s world is really just full of boring meetings and politics.

    The way that the three assassins are labeled Number One, Number Two, and Number Three I felt distracted from the action. I know it’s hard to label three unique characters that are basically only around for one scene, but perhaps giving them names based on more specific descriptions would make it more interesting, like if one was shorter call him Short-Goon. I know that’s not a very good example.

    I liked how the descriptions of statue-lined hallways, and crumbling towers and dark alleys gave an impression of not just the nuances of the Thief game and the Thief world, but of a world of mystery and dark intrigue. A world where these characters would actually exist inside buildings that are elaborately and purposely decorated and a city that is alive and vivid.
    Last edited by Xorak; 15th Apr 2010 at 02:57. Reason: Added a point, and fixed grammar

  10. #10
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Xorak, I really appreciate the in-depth feedback, and that's just the kind of criticism as aspiring writer should thrive on. I'd like to avoid spoilering-up this thread as much as possible, so when I get some time tomorrow I'll send a reply to your post in PM. It won't be a rebuttal. You made alot of good points, and I thank you for the praise as well!

  11. #11
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Okay, read 28 pages into chapter 1. Really like it, good remaking + adding new events. I agree with Xorak, the personalities could have had more personal description or emotions shown (mostly applying to D. Thresh). Just make the reader know him a little bit better, so he has a better image of how you imagined him to be. Or is he a professional all the way?

    Anyway... why read till page 28? Because somehow both the COT site and thread links don't give me more, while clearly Xorak mentioned events of a 29th page there (pretty lucky, huh?), plus a sentence was cut loose.
    Any idea how to fix this? I really wanna read more of this.

    Btw, didn't read ALL of Xorak's post, partially fearing spoilers, but I mostly agree with everything, except naming the assasins. It is how Thresh visualises them and it's just a matter of personality, really. And I think labeling them with numbers is fitting enough for his personality.

    Oh yes and the descriptions - I usually don't read that carefully, but this time I'm translating every word I don't understand and hardly let go even a more trivial sentence until I understand it completely. With that happening, I have a good time visualizing, imagining everything my way. It's really quite cool, sort of like a movie, but, you know, better and longer. ^^
    Last edited by Thor; 17th Apr 2010 at 17:12.

  12. #12
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Yikes, thanks Thor. It looks like I goofed the last time I uploaded an updated copy. It's fixed, now.

    Glad you're enjoying it.

  13. #13
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Great, thanks. Done with the 1st chapter, so... good stuff!
    I love the way how you referenced the original COT e-play thingy in Jyre's daydream. It felt just right and the moment where you most connect with the character.

    Anyway, I could open up and say more, but overall - had a few minor setbacks, mostly associated with Xorak's already mentioned connection with characters, but I'm assuming I'll grow into the characters later. It's not like I ever really manage that in the 1st.

    Love the attention to detail - not too much, not too less. Just about enough to give imagination enough boundaries and enough freedom. Dialogue is good too, somehow I especially liked Thresh's conversations with his guards & the complaining cook. Few bits of places to laugh in too, but not really that many. I realize this isn't the laughing kind of novel, in fact I rarely remember laughing at anything I read, so it isn't the big of a deal.

    Edit: Scratch that what I said about humor. The next chapter does the job nice, so I see it's just more character to the novel. This is so much fun.
    Last edited by Thor; 18th Apr 2010 at 09:05.

  14. #14
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Week 2: Chapter 3 is now online. This chapter picks up the Jyre/Nightfall storyline where things left off at the end of Chapter 1. The opening section may seem familiar to some - it was featured in the Mission X manual as an introduction to Nightfall and The Circle. Chapter 3 is the longest in the entire saga, with most chapters being somewhere between 1 and 2's length. I hope everyone enjoys it, shares their feedback, and lets me know if they see any grammatical or other issues that ought to be corrected before Book 1 goes to print. Thanks!

    - Chapter 1: A Brief Intrusion
    - Chapter 2: Honest Jobs
    - Chapter 3: Religion and Crime
    - Chapter 4: Innocent Bystanders (to be posted April 25th)

    Chapter 3 preview:

    I turned the artifact over in my hand as I studied it under the loupe. There were several imperfections which, while invisible to the average ignorant observer, were glaring to anyone who had knowledge about such things. I did not have this knowledge; I just knew where to look, because the person who made the fake was sitting before me, and I had the original in my other hand. The fake was simply designed to impress those who wished to be impressed. “Well done,” I said, looking up from it to the craftsman who had made it.

    I held the Chalice of Turama in one hand, and in the other a well made but obvious fake, which had been put together personally for me by a skilled craftsman named Knowles. It broke his heart to be forced into crafting such blatant imperfections into the replicas, but I wanted to be sure that anyone who had in mind a caper would understand that these were fakes they would be dealing with, and know not to bother. Yes, every artifact in The Circle was a replica, with the exception of the original artwork which would be considered worthless to any save the most open minded art lover. No one would want to steal a painting that cost two gold coins on the street.

    The Chalice of Turama had been purchased for a modest price about a week and a half ago from Lord Ursula, who had recently been hit by one or more burglars. They managed to steal just about everything he owned except for the chalice. Ursula was in great need of liquid assets, so it did not take much bargaining for me to convince him to part with the artifact, in spite of its spectacular nature. The burglars also were given payment for being so generous as to not steal the chalice. If I wanted to display the item in the museum, it had to have been bought legitimately, rather than stolen.

  15. #15
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    When I click on the Chapter 3 link, I get Chapter 2 - is it just me?

  16. #16
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    It's not just you. Clearly I am really bad at this. Fixed.

    Edit: I finally took the time to give COT a proper website design, and here's the result: The javascript on the PDF files should let you toggle between them without closing the window or hitting the back button.

  17. #17
    Registered: May 2009
    Location: Hurr Durr
    Thanks Digi

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2008


    Goodies to read!

    Just thought I'd pop in, say hello, and mysteriously vanish into the shadows for another year or three

  19. #19
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Chapter 4 is now online, which wraps up book 1! What's more, I should have some news on the print edition of Book 1 soon! I really hope everyone is enjoying it, and keeps sending me thoughts and feedback.

    - Chapter 4: Innocent Bystanders

    Chapter 4 preview:

    Thalia hung limp on my arms. “I’m going to get you out of here,” I told her, unsure if she could hear me, or even recognize my voice. I on the other hand barely recognized her face. The years she had spent inside that Hammerite prison had clearly taken its toll. She was disfigured, broken, and barely alive. I turned the keys in the lock; keys covered in the blood of the guard, and pulled her free of her shackles. Once free I held her body tightly, weeping over her, finally letting my rage melt into sorrow. Suddenly, she stirred. I studied her face, feeling sick with the sight of how life in the dungeon had aged her. Finally her eyes opened, and they met mine. I was drawn inside.

    Immediately we were somewhere else, and Thalia was no longer in my arms. Men dressed in red and silver had her in chains, wrists to the ceiling, ankles to the floor, so that she hung with her face to the floor, draped out over a bed of spikes. The way that her wrists and ankles were twisted in the shackles...they had to be broken. Behind her stood a large man, dressed in blood red and black leather, whipping her. Before her was another man, a Hammerite priest, dressed in clean white, draped in red satin, obscenely clean in a room of filth and blood. He was counting off as the brute whipped Thalia.

    I wanted to run to them, destroy the torturer, and break Thalia free, but I was held back. All around me were arms, holding me, preventing me from moving forward. Faces surrounded mine, woodsie faces, pagan faces, painted and marked. The markings moved over their faces as if the ink were alive.

    “Let me go!” I screamed to them, “I have to save her!”

    “No, you cannot,” they all chanted in unison. Damn the pagans, they left her to this fate, and refused to save her. I screamed, cursed their gods and goddesses, cursed them, and cursed their children. \

  20. #20
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Interesting read so far. And it looks very professional. I like the mysterious introduction to the story, and the references to Thief and CoSaS.
    My progress is pretty slow as I have to consult a distionary many times. But hey, it's improving my english.

  21. #21
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Indeed, I agree with Phantom. Good read, lookin' professional, everyone's character differs the type of writing. Ghost is funniest to read, Sheam cares about every bit of detail and has that soft feel to it, Lytha likes some deeper thoughts occasionally etc.

    I also resort to dictionary, though I'm overdoing it sometimes. Well, I'm not a native speaker, so it's good for my English.

    Done with Chapter 2 btw. Hardly ever have a good enough mood to go through it in mondays to fridays.

  22. #22
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: UK
    Hey Digi, thanks for releasing it, it all looks good. I'd definitely still be interested in a book version when you've done it all

  23. #23
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Chapter 5, the first part of Book 2, is now online.

    Chapter 5: Trapped


    A heavy knock echoed through my chambers. I was jolted violently from my sleep, sitting bolt upright with a startled breath. My eyes quickly went to the door. I pushed myself from my bed, the wood creaking as I shifted my weight quickly and rose to my feet. My bedside candle flickered as I moved quickly by, making everything in the room seem to move with me.

    I grabbed the brass handle of my door and yanked it quickly open. Light from another candle struck me in the face. Outside the door, framed in pitch blackness, stood two men; Jossimer and James’s agent Othello whom I had met the other day on the stairs of Soulforge Cathedral. Jossimer stood behind him, holding aloft a large dripping candlestick, and the agent stood before him in silhouette against the light. Both were silent as I was handed a large bound scroll, bearing a broken Hammerite seal. I unrolled it quickly and ran my eyes over the page.

    “Our scouts have returned from investigating the structure,” I whispered as I read, leaving the doorway and bidding the gentleman and my butler to enter. Jossimer went into my chamber and quickly busied himself tiding up some of my discarded clothing, and then moving to shut the windows before assuming a statue-like stillness by them, watching me. “Human remains beneath the floorboards,” I continued, “accursed work of evil...”

  24. #24
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: Bulgaria
    Oh yes! Its finally out A big "heart" to all involved!!! I will print this so I can read it on my terrace.

  25. #25
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Thanks, Dan, Brian, Thor, and Phantom. I hope you all are enjoying it, along with anyone who isn't posting.

    It sounds like most people are still back on around Chapter 3?

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