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Old December 8, 2019, 01:43 PM   #16
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Phaedra wandered and meandered. It turned out that discarded sacks were, in fact, not all too uncommon. At least, once she got out of the more affluent neighborhood she found herself in and re-inserted herself into the dingier parts of town. Then there would be plenty of refuse and junk, although she did have to strike a balance between "well off" and "slummy." The former just wouldn't have the junk she needed, the latter likely making any junk she found too dirty to use.

Eventually, she found herself a nice sack that was perhaps used to store grain at some point. There still seemed to be a few bits still stuck inside, although they were relatively easily removed. It was certainly of the size where a cat-sized object could be secreted within without issue, and it only had a single pinky-sized hole! Besides, you know, the main hole.

That was the important hole.
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Old December 12, 2019, 10:48 PM   #17
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Hooray! Phaedra always felt a tiny thrill of excitement or pride when she was able to find a useful object without having to pay for it, even if it was only a burlap sack.

Now, she would need a lantern. She decided she would try and find a store that sold used junky items. It was always a little dicey when you were a halfling buying a hooded lantern, which, if not exclusively a burglary accessory, was nonetheless a burglary kind of thingy. Phaedra hoped that the sort of people to run second hand shops might not be so fussy about the intentions of their clientele. Otherwise, she supposed she could lie.
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Old December 13, 2019, 04:24 PM   #18
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Any good store that sold used junky items was probably going to not care that much about the sort of clientele that it got, simply because of the dubious nature of the store itself. Don't ask, don't tell - as in, don't ask where these things came from, and don't tell on the people that came to your store.

Phaedra just had to choose the right store was all.

Sure, there were the "legit" places, and then there were the "other" places, and Phaedra was most likely to find herself in one of the second ones simply because they offered a wider variety of goods. It was more likely she'd find her lantern there as a result, and thus there would be no awkward questions, no need to lie, just choose the thing to buy and fork over the coins and be on your merry way.

And this is indeed what happened. Did it help that the proprietor of the dingy store was also a halfling? Maybe. The lantern was very cheap, due to it being just a little banged up (but fully functional!) and smelling overbearingly of rust (but fully functional!), and so Phaedra wouldn't have to part with too much money to get it. Did she need fuel? Fuel was also for sale. Also cheap. Recycled stuff, so hopefully Phaedra didn't want that lantern burning too bright...

...but fully functional otherwise!
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Old December 16, 2019, 09:08 PM   #19
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Phaedra was pleased with her new fully functional equipment. She bought a pint of lamp oil to go with her lantern, more happy than not if it was of poor quality and not likely to burn too brightly. Her goal here was mostly to avoid crashing into things and making a racket.

Now, the last thing she needed was something to feed the cat and win it's catly trust. Food usually worked for that sort of thing, and fish was especially good. She would try to find a small portion of fish from some grocer or another, then it would only be a matter of waiting for it to get dark so she could do her breaking and cat stealing.
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Old December 17, 2019, 12:17 AM   #20
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A pint of lamp oil it would be! Hmm. Was it supposed to have that shimmering layer of oily color on top? On the plus side, it didn't seem to exude any scent of its own, so it was just the rusty scent of the lantern itself. Which, Phaedra found, readily transferred itself to her hands upon handling it.

Fish? Fish. Plenty of fish to be found in a city that lay by the coast.

Plenty of cheap fish, certainly. How picky might the cat be, exactly? There were definitely felines belonging to more affluent households that ate better than some of the people on the streets. If Phaedra believed that her plan would succeed with a portion from a more common and boring variety of fish, however, that much was also easily obtained without much cost.

Heck, it was even fresh! You know, whatever that was worth.

Maybe less so by the time it was dark.
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Old December 20, 2019, 10:59 PM   #21
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Phaedra decided after very little thought that the cat would have to make do with some fairly inexpensive fish. Perhaps the cat wouldn’t approve, but then on the other hand perhaps it would find the fish to be a rare treat. Who knew what cats opinions of food were? Just because a human liked one thing and was willing to pay extra for it didn’t mean a cat agreed.

Phaedra kicked around the city until it grew dark. She had never had much trouble entertaining herself, the world was a strange and marvelous place to her, full of beauty, ugliness, and unexpected violence. If she could find a good place to wedge herself into she would try and get a nap in before the heist; she expected to be up late.

When it was good and dark, and in Phaedra’s opinion people were going to bed, she once again made her way back to the house where her target cat lived. She wondered idly if it would even be in the house of if it would be roaming around. She decided she would look the house from the front and back before going down the coal chute, just to make sure that it wasn’t sitting obviously outside. If she didn’t see it, she would, as quietly as possible, squeeze down the coal chute.
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Old December 21, 2019, 01:39 PM   #22
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Phaedra survived the day and even found a little place, out of the way, to nap in. She awoke to find herself having managed to survive the experience without something terrible having happened to her - and even better, all of her stuff was still there!

The good thing about her target living in a better part of town was that it meant most people were, indeed, not out and about at this time of night. A less savory area and there likely would have been plenty of activity. As it was, Phaedra only had to worry about a patrol of guardsmen potentially, and those weren't usually that difficult to avoid. Lanterns and torches, marching in step, they generated a decent amount of noise and were more a deterrent than actively searchers.

Phaedra arrived at the house and nothing in particular had changed. Front? Looked the same. Back? Coal chute was still there. And no cat to be seen anywhere. Down the coal chute? Right. Bit of a squeeze, and Phaedra was perhaps a little sore. But she plopped down onto a generous pile of coal - well, it felt like coal. It was pitch black down here, after all.

Silence all around.
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Old December 26, 2019, 10:45 PM   #23
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Phaedra held herself still for a moment on the pile of coal, listening carefully for any sounds that might be happening around her. Presumably the owners of the house weren’t lurking in the pitch black basement, but it was worth pausing to listen if they might be near by.

If all seemed clear, or reasonably so, Phaedra brought out her flint and steel and struck a light to her new lantern. She then swung the shutter so that it only exposed a relatively narrow beam of light, and played it around the basement.
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Old December 27, 2019, 01:19 PM   #24
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A few moments of waiting, and Phaedra had yet to hear anything. So unless the owner of the house was a paranoid sort who lurked in the darkness of their basement in utter silence, waiting for somebody to come down the coal chute, then Phaedra did seem to be in the clear.

Strike a light, and there was a bit of sputtering from the oil as it ignited. Not particularly loud, but in the previously deafening silence, it was the sort of thing to make one's heart beat a little faster when attempting to be stealthy. Nevertheless, it provided the light Phaedra wished for, a sickly and unsteady yellow. The lantern was configured to her liking, and she took a look around.

Lots and lots of shelves, with lots and lots of jars. The basement was in fact quite crowded, as far as Phaedra could tell. It seemed to be... pickled vegetables? Very pragmatic.

The light of the lantern was rather dim, and the shelves packed in quite thick. However, Phaedra thought she could see the stairs ascending out of here on the other side of the room.
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Old January 1, 2020, 10:53 PM   #25
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Phaedra sat still for a time, making a thorough survey of the room before she moved on. The main point of doing so was that her eyes would be given a chance to adapt to the dim light rather than any particular fondness for pickled vegetables. Still, she thought perhaps on the way out she might borrow a jar or so. It was always good to have emergency food, and it seemed unlikely that t he owners would miss any.

Phaedra climbed carefully off the coal pile, doing her best not to dislodge any coal to rattle about on the floor. She then moved quietly towards what she believed were the stairs, and if that’s what they turned out to be she would ascend them quietly, putting a foot carefully on each stair and then shifting her weight to it by degrees to test if it would creek. She would also choose to hold close to one side of the stair case, feeling that putting her weight were the stair was attached rather than in the middle would lead to less creakage.
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Old January 2, 2020, 12:37 PM   #26
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Crossing over to the other side of the room, Phaedra found that these were indeed the stairs, ascending along the side of the wall to a door that presumably led to the rest of the house. Some of them turned out to be a little creaky, and so there was a bit of maneuvering needed to avoid them - luckily, there never seemed to be two in a row that creaked, making it fairly easy to skip the ones that did. She managed to ascend without making any (hopefully) notable amount of noise.

Soon enough she was at the door itself. Phaedra couldn't hear anything from the other side of it, nor did she see any sort of light coming from around the edges. A quick try at the knob would let her know that it was unlocked, and there didn't seem to be anything otherwise barring her from opening it.
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Old January 6, 2020, 06:15 PM   #27
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Grasping the doorknob carefully, Phaedra slid the door open an inch or so, peering out into the dark house beyond. She was prepared to not see much due to darkness, but wanted to make sure there wasn’t anyone about for certain. Perhaps someone was sitting at a distance reading by candlelight or some such thing. It had been known to happen.

Where would the cat be anyway? Phaedra had never had a cat that wasn’t hollow. She hoped it wouldn’t be sleeping in bed with its owners.
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Old January 8, 2020, 11:49 AM   #28
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Phaedra didn't notice any indication that there was anybody nearby at the moment. All darkness, all stillness - and while that didn't eliminate the possibility that somebody was up in the middle of the night, lurking in the shadows, keeping an eye on the basement door, at least they weren't being obvious about it and nobody would blame Phaedra for being caught by such a weirdo.

On the plus side, she found the door to be not squeaky at all, and so slipping past it was a comfortable exercise in sneaking around. Thus far Phaedra had yet to find any indication as to where the cat would be, but it was a large(ish) house after all.

Immediately beyond the door was the hallway that it opened up into, going towards the left and the right, each with respective rooms that they eventually led to.
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Old January 11, 2020, 11:16 PM   #29
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Phaedra paused a moment with the door open, listening for new sounds and thinking. She really had no idea where the cat was. She would have to search at random until she found it, if it even was indoors at all.

So, which way to go? Silence was too necessary for Eenie Meenies. She decided to start by going left. Left was said to be less lucky than right, but then if she figured that finding the cat would be more bad luck for it than it would be good luck for her, and so left it was.
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Old January 13, 2020, 01:43 AM   #30
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Left it would be.

Phaedra soon enough found herself in what seemed to be a dining room. There was a nice long elegant table with a spread upon it, a few chairs scattered about. In the corner was proof that perhaps there was in fact a cat that lived in here - bowls for food and water. The former was empty, whereas the latter wasn't quite full. A cabinet for dishes, cups, and other such things along the wall.

To the left, what seemed to be the kitchen. To the right, a hallway into what seemed to be a living room or lounge. And thus far, no sign yet of the cat.
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