What price a life? Specifically, what price a simian life? Specifically, what price a helper monkey trained in thievery?
I’m not being rhetorical: I have an answer for you. The price is 1000 gold and 5000 Glory. (Glory is what I get for defeating enemies and completing quests, and I can use it to increase my skills, in this case Influence. I need to be extremely influential in order to convince a monkey to nick stuff for me, you see).
But you must look beyond the numbers. I arrived at Taranis poor and inglorious, having spent everything on learning how to not be immediately killed the first time I got hit, and training in how to pull teeth and claws from animals.
In short, I was not a viable candidate for monkey adoption. Not unless I found a particularly gullible monkey who also shunned currency as a system of trade. There was no sign of one of those, so instead I hit the road in search of gold and glory. I found it at the end of my sword.
Here is what my pet monkey – I think I’ll call him Roberto – really cost.
The lives of:
- Five Hulk Chickens (‘Scavengers’, to use their real name)
- Eight Sand Devils
- Four Giant Crabs
- Six Dragon Snappers
- Two Cave Bats
- Two Giant Rats
- Three Warthogs
- One Leviathan (pictured above)
- Three Goblins
- One Shadow Guardian
- And one poor duck who got caught in the crossfire. Sorry, ducky.
All those souls, just for this one monkey. Just for gold and glory. So much blood. So much death. I’m… a monster.
A monster with a monkey. Don’t try to tell me it wasn’t worth it:
Tiny, hairy freedom. It’s a great, great feeling. Yessir, thievery is the only game in town so far as I’m concerned. Roberto might be a blessing to the light-fingered (not to mention that he seems to spread cheer wherever he goes), but he’s just the icing on an already well-baked cake. In theory, I’m on Taranis to gain the help of the mages in the battle against evil ghost pirates and the quest to reclaim my missing soul from hell, but so far I’ve been disinclined to chat with them. Which is partly because everyone I’ve spoken to so far is so damned rude, and partly because I immediately got on with the business of burglary.
I’m rather good at it, if I say so myself. For the most part it’s timing, waiting for guards to turn their backs then sneaking into an office or warehouse and swiping everything in sight (almost all of which I hoard, Just In Case), but every so often they’re too alert, or there’s no sufficient oversight in their patrol routes for me to take advantage of.
That’s when I Parrot Up. It doesn’t last long, but it’s long enough to reach a high window, and the guards are never bothered by a blue bird sniffing around their stuff.
My single greatest fear is running out of Parrot Juice. I’ve only got six shots of it left and have yet to locate a reliable source for resupplies. Parrot Juice is in fact a special kind of voodoo doll which grants me temporary Parrot Power when… used. I am unclear as to exactly how the doll is used, and whether some poor victim parrot somewhere finds itself temporarily transformed into a sweary pirate with a missing soul whenever I do use it. I do hope not. I’m sure that parrot’s family and friends would be severely traumatised were that the case.
In any case, witness the parrotness:
This world is full of small tunnels for monkeys and high windows for parrots. It’s almost as if everyone wants me to steal all their stuff. So I jolly well will.
There is, however, a big stormcloud around my the silver lining that is my menagerie of petty thieves. Bones has vanished. He’s been missing for hours. I’m heartbroken. I may have Roberto, but an adventure without Bones is no adventure at all. Where could he be?