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Guilder Lily
Nationality Ashenite (by birth, presumed)
Spouse Unknown
Children None known
Race Human
Born bef. 530, Severikand, Ashenia
Died after 565

The Guilder Lily was an infamous thief who stole many precious and valuable artifacts during the mid-sixth century, and was noteworthy for the Guilder Lily flower he would leave in place of whatever he stole.

Family and Early LifeEdit

According to his own testimony, the Lily's great-grandfather was a cabin boy on the Carmine ship Avenge which took part in the raid on Maos and the half of the Titan being built there. In addition to the vandalizing of the Titan, the Carmine navy also captured several important points and made landfall in various coastal villages. It was in one of those villages his great grandfather met his great grandmother, the first Guilder Lily.

The girl had a green thumb, a real knack for flowers especially, and she kept a garden of Guilder Lilies in Maos despite the fact that any botanist would tell you they were unsuited for the climate. She had a secret to make them grow and she loved them so much she knew she had to have them. The young Carmine sailor felt the same about her and the two spent many weeks together during the Carmine occupation of their village. Eventually it came time for his fleet to leave and he set sail with them without her knowing he couldn’t protect the Guilderene girl on a ship full of Carmine sailors. Their daughter was born nine months later.

The girl possessed the same green thumb as her mother and learned the same trick to making Guilder Lilies grow in any climate. When her mother died, she left Maos to travel to the Kingdom of  the Carmine Sea to try and find her father. It was only a few years before it became illegal for a Guilderene to enter the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea that she arrived in Jarrland. She never found her father but she did find a husband.

He was an aspiring knight and member of the Burning Legion. The two had a single child before he was called to war in distant Calorum to put down the Ascensionist uprising. He didn’t come back.

The woman and her young daughter moved to Horbeach and opened a flower shop, hoping to make a living. The girl possessed the same green thumb as her mother and her mother before her. Times were tough though and a green thumb was not enough. The girl was recruited by less savory inhabitants of the Old Docks and became a thief and player in the black market there. Her mother died happy believing her daughter had found a wealthy buyer with a penchant for Guilder Lilies. Eventually she ran afoul of the Old Docks crew she had run with and was forced to flee. She stowed aboard a Carmine ship bound for Ashenia with a freshly graduated class of Scriveners.

The Lily had been living on the streets of Severikand for eight years when his "mother" found him. She took pity on him when I tried to pick her pocket and took him in. She raised me as her son, taught me what she knew on how to survive, on how to thieve, and how to grow the Guilder Lily.

ExploitsEdit

The Lily's first known crime was in 538, when the Golden Statue of Doge Humperdink was found missing by a local custodian. According to the custodian the statue "-was-a there-a yesterday! And now there's just-a this stupid-a flower!" The flower, a lily native to the fields of Guilder, was all that indicated foul play. How an entire statue could be stolen unseen in one night was unknown but all Guilderenes clutched their purses a little closer at the news.[1]

In 543, the Guilder Lily once again attained international attention as in Emerald City, Woodwind the Cane of Jonas Grant was found replaced with the signature flower used by the now-international thief to identify his crimes. Perhaps to accentuate the theft and the thief's skill, UJR and Confederate investigators found their files on the crime stolen the day after collecting them, replaced with a Guilder Lily.[2]

Outlandish rumours soon began in Guilder, including suggestions that the thief was a vampire, a dragon attempting to assemble a hoard, and even some kind of sentient lily creature. A half-million florin reward was offered for the Lily's capture.[3]

Six years later, in the Abyssian Sea, the magical sword River forged by Mularuhm decades prior and given to the Nix leader was found replaced with a Guilder Lily, this one secured with a weight to keep it from floating away in the currents. A discarded and ruptured lifeskin washed up on the shore of the Isles of Tepetl a few days after news of the theft was spread. It was now becoming clear this thief mastermind held no item too challenging nor no place too secure to be stolen from.[4]

The Hunt for the LilyEdit

Questioning in the region revealed that a human man, somewhat uncommon in the southern port towns, of distinguished dress and silver hair did in fact make several stops along the coast in a small black schooner to trade for supplies with a very fancy sword strapped to his waist. When shown a sketch of River it was confirmed that was indeed the sword the human man had carried. Residents mentioned the man had added a rough bronze coin bearing the term "Kellan Argulus" and the profile of a man with a shaved and scarred head on one side and a burning house on the other to every transaction he made. They reported having witnessed the ship sail south, they had expected he was headed to the Coldwell or if he was mad to the lands of the Kell.

In Nixadarum Praeclar investigators were permitted to inspect the casing and security that had protected the Sword of the Seven, River and they determined that the Lily could not have been operating alone to accomplish what was done. It was clear to the Makgrull that he must have possessed a small team capable of carrying out these heists. After meeting the the Isles investigators, both agreed that it seemed likely the Lily was headed to the Banished Kingdom, taking the militant isolation of the Kell as a challenge. A small fleet of Isles ships accompanied by a Makgrull pod headed south, the Isles ships careful to stop well outside the recognized coastal waters of the Kell and patrol the waters there with an eye out for the ship. The Makgrull, unbound by such an oath not to tread farther and as curious as a Makgrull dove down and headed in to the coast of Sovrassia, the Kell capital.

Following the frigid coastline, they navigated the jagged rocks that mark the Kell homeland seeking harbor where the Lily might be found. At last the Makgrull found the black schooner described by the Tepetl villagers though it is devoid of crew or cargo. They decided to wait, and. presuming the Lily was performing a heist and would need to return to his ship quickly where they could arrest him. they set up camp to await his return. Hours turned into days and the Makgrull sent an explorer north to rendezvous with the Isles ships to inform them of their discovery and plan. The explorer returned with surprising news: the Lily had already been reported to have stolen something of the Kells and reports of a similar looking man to the one described in Tepetl had been reported in the Kingdom Caramel. The Lily had escaped once again.[5]

While the isolationism of the Kell slowed down the travel of news through their lands it did not prevent it, and a few months after the failure of the Makgrull and Isles to capture the Guilder Lily, news began to filter out of the Kell lands that their most precious and prized artifact, to be touched by none but the wisest and worn by none but the returned hero Kellan, the Silver Crown of Kellan, had been stolen and a Guilder Lily left in its place.[6]

CaptureEdit

It did not come as a surprise to the Caramel Kingdom that just as the Answering Stone, Spirit's Focus, was brought into their realm, the infamous Guilder Lily was noted to be within the area. With the intention to finally put the thief behind bars, the Visionary Council set a trap to display their trademark creativity. Using a false Answering Stone as bait and regular celebrations within the capital, it was hoped that the "Guilder Lily" would finally be brought to justice.[7]

Caramel, Praeclarus, and Carmine investigators launched an intense and merciless investigation into the whereabouts, identity, and location of the Guilder Lily. While not unified as one task force all three national investigators shared the information they discover and with their unified efforts unearthed reports of a man matching the believed description of the Lily having made frequent appearances in the Serpent's Teeth. The investigators entered the former pirate den, turned Duchy, to investigate and spot who they believe to be the Lily making an exchange at one of the docks. The suspect fled at the sight of the investigators and they gave pursuit, eventually being cornered by the constables.

The Lily surrendered peacefully once it was clear escape was not an option, calmly and politely admitting defeat and congratulating them on his capture. He gave each of his arresting constables of the law a Guilder Lily a map to a sea cave in the Serpent's Teeth wherein they discovered the golden statue of Doge Humperdink with the sword River strapped to his waist, the Crown of Kellan upon his brow, and the Cane of Jonas Grant tied to the Doge's gesturing hand.

In a surprising twist, Duke Vermoosi of the Serpent's Teeth moved his navy in to prevent the removal of the artifacts, making a claim to the property for its placement on his land and noting a Letter of Marque signed between the Duke and the Lily for his basing in the Teeth. The validity of the Marque was questioned but the Lily confirms the Letter. However valid the thief's word may be the ships were not so easily questioned and the artifacts remained in the Duke's care until a proper response could be assembled.

In his captivity the Guilder Lily enticed one of the younger guards with the tale of his story as the Guilder Lily. The curious guard wrote the story the captive told which becomes quite a popular tale among the more romantic readers of Telluris.

Following negotiations the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea agreed to recognise Duke Vermoosi as a legitimate sovereign in exchange for the return of one of the artifacts. Due to a misunderstanding the three greatest prizes were all sent to the Qeyzer, who distributed them to their original owners.[8]

In 565, the day before his trial was due to begin, the Lily escaped from custody. A single Guilder Lily was found in his cell, along with a note that promises his personal retirement from the thieving business.[9]

SignatureEdit

The Guilder Lily believed his namesake flower to be the finest, most beautiful flower in the world and that no one should lament having one in the place of some paltry trinket. He claimed that if what he had done brought his mother and her mother and her mother before her to be known then he would have honored them all in a way he should have never thought possible.

ImitatorsEdit

In 553, a thief broke into the home of a wealthy Estglaz merchant and made off with a diadem that had been in their family for generations. A flower was left in its place, but a Salterri Imperial Orchid, not a Guilder Lily. Local law enforcements at first worried that another master thief had decided to copy the famed Guilder Lily and a spree that involved an item stolen every night for five consecutive nights despite their best efforts only added to their concerns. However their fears were laid to rest when the thief responsible was caught at another merchant's home just after replacing an antique necklace with an orchid.

It turns out the copycat was just the son of a local noble who had decided to emulate the Lily on a whim in the hopes of winning fame. As it happens, a single Imperial Orchid is worth about as much as everything he'd taken and that his mother was furious her prized orchids had been ruined.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19266852&postcount=1234
  2. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19329870&postcount=1273
  3. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19331544&postcount=1285
  4. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19398959&postcount=1310
  5. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19463128&postcount=1351
  6. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19463128&postcount=1351
  7. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19465972&postcount=1371
  8. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19523315&postcount=1388
  9. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19584845&postcount=1423
  10. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19463128&postcount=1351

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