Vincent Tucat is the most talked-about Lord in all of Harael ... and that's not exactly a good thing.
His reputation as a thief is growing quickly, and for obvious reasons. Dozens of things have gone missing from his fellow Lords these past few months. Important stuff, irreplaceable heirlooms, and other things that a smart thief wouldn't dream of touching. Everyone seems to know who's to blame for it, too ...
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Repetition and Chaos are brothers. For proof, you need look no further than a satchel of rocks and an arm capable of throwing them. First, plant your feet firmly on the ground, take your first stone and hurl it away from you. Then, without moving your feet at all, take a second one and do the exact same thing.
Okay, there's actually a point to this . . . trust me.
Take a look at where the first stone has landed and compare it to the second. Barring divine intervention, they will come to rest in two completely different locations, both having followed different paths to get where they are. And yet you performed the exact same action, something called "throwing a rock" (or perhaps "breaking something valuable" if you lacked the foresight to choose an appro- priate spot for this demonstration) in each individual case. Same activity, same approach . . . two utterly different outcomes.
The act of writing a journal, something that is required of me as a Lord of Harael and a member of the aristocracy of thieves that governs this city, would be another good example of this concept. A ridiculously good example, really.
My first journal began with hours spent studying a blank page, wondering how to begin. Once I did start I could barely keep up with my hand, hardly requiring a break. In fact, the only substantial setback that I can recall involved getting a little too animated while describing a particular scene, and accidentally tipping the contents of my inkwell over the entire page I had been working on. I cursed, cleaned up the mess, tore out the offending page and continued to the next with hardly a pause.
And then there's this attempt to do the same thing - my second journal. At least, I can only assume that this particular leather-bound collection of paper will be my second, and that I won't have tossed it upon the floor in a fit of pique like the previous seven attempts that litter my study. This one is actually going much better than those others, the shortest of which saw me pen only the word 'Once' on the very first page before casting it aside with a snarl, frustrated beyond all measure. Even with how well this one seems to be going, I have stared at the previous sentences for far longer than I aught, wondering if that is how I wish to word my thoughts, how those thoughts might carry me to my next ones, or if those are even the thoughts I wish to share at all.
All the while I'm thinking to myself "I've done this! I'm capable of doing this again, surely!" I take up my quill, sit at my desk with some fresh ink and a full bowl of drying sand, and I vow to repeat the same activity I'd managed so effortlessly before. I stare, and I scowl, and I ponder . . . slowly eking out word after painful word in an attempt to coax my exhausted brain into telling the story I wish to share, wondering if I'll ever again be able to write at the speed that seemed so natural during my first attempt.
Same thing, yet so very different.