Curse of Strahd

1 - Better Lucky than Good - A memoir

Introduction

Hello readers. I know why you are reading this; and don’t worry all the excitement, entertainment, and the wisdom you seek is going to be found in these pages I can assure you. But before we get to all of your interests, let me address the “lucky” individual who happens to be the first person reading this (to those who are re-reading this you will see what I did there).

You are indeed a lucky soul, for I am sure you have been gifted this manuscript by a handsome man of some years. That was I who passed this tome on to you, spreading even more good fortune in my wake. In your hands rests a collection of epic tales teaming with boundless providence and great fortune. For you hold my journal. Doubtless you will seize the opportunity to publish this book and make both your name and your bank account grow. But be mindful of this first lesson that I impart (to both you and the readership as a whole):

1: If you are blessed with bountiful luck, share it with others.

At first this might seem altruistic, philanthropic even, but let me be clear. Great personal luck breeds jealously. And if you find yourself surrounded by those who are constantly jealous of you, then you may need that great luck more and more often. Perhaps later I will regale you with the detailed story of where I came from and why I have arrived at this point in my life. But for now, suffice it to say that I came from meager beginnings on the streets of Baldur’s Gate where I was a member of a local thieves guild. I had a knack for getting my way and doing what needed to be done. But I also had a reputation for getting more than my fair share of “lucky breaks.”

For example: I once was needed to procure a certain book from a local library, it was of those rare and expensive kind. I determined that I should have use of an accomplice in this case. I chose a quiet and unassuming friend. As my own force of personality tended to draw attention, I thought it wise to bring someone more non-descript, and she certainly fit the bill. Since I was not a member of their library, there was a fee to be paid and a short interview with an old codger who seemed to take his job way too seriously. He was tall and thin. The hair on his head was grey. The hair of his beard was grey. Even the hair coming out of his ears, was grey. But he was not so far past his prime as to be addled. No it took quite a bit of cunning to convince him that we should be allowed in with the precious books. Even after gaining entry it was obvious that he was watching us carefully. I devised a threefold plan. I was sure he would be looking for me to steal something, so I would make sure not to disappoint. I hid one small book, easily detectable, in my pocket to give him something to “foil” me with. Then I found another light tome I might be able to sell for a bit more profit and hid it to medium effect on my friend. Thus giving us more wealth or giving him a sense of accomplishment if he were to find it. And lastly my target manuscript was stashed away most effectively, again on my female friend.

Upon attempting to leave he stopped us, as I knew he would, and began a simple search. He quickly found my pocketed book. He seemed proud he had caught me, but did not accept this as a completed transaction. He seemed to double his efforts, the tenacious old coot. Of course there was nothing more on me, but he eventually found my light tome on my friend’s person. Not only was he taking our profit, but it did not seem to have the desired effect of giving him a sense of accomplishment. He found us each with a book, he stopped our thieving, we should be done here. But no, it seemed to only encourage him more. I was beginning to worry about a more “thorough” search as he looked to wave over assistance, when lady luck shone her face upon me. With the light tome still in his hand and an accusatory look upon his face, I saw a larger than expected flicker of light gleaming off of his eyes. I first mistook it as his excitement, but then a curse pierced the silence. Behind me a little way one of the younger members who, in an attempt to make out some faded writing on one of the older scrolls, had leaned in a little too close to an open flamed candle. The one thing a librarian fears more than a book thief…

FIRE

The details of his reaction and the following extinguishing of the flame were not nearly as important as our hasty retreat. He had even been so kind as to drop my light tome in his rush to save the library. So I continued on to complete my mission. This was but one of many instances that would eventually earn me the name-

Lucky

Would I have such a willing and inconspicuous friend if I were to keep all the bounty to myself? Not for long. So she was rewarded for her troubles…

But that is yet another tale.

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