“It’s a simple job, in and out in ten minutes. You all know what to do, just wait for my signal. And whatever you do, don’t cause a fuss. If anyone gets killed or you make a racket, there’s a few Guard standing around downstairs – I’ve paid them off, but they’re not going to just sit there if you’re waving it in their faces. When you’re done, get out quiet like, and we’ll meet here in an hour.”
It’s commonly said that the Thieves’ Guild has two rules:
- Pay your dues
- Don’t hit people who’ve paid their dues
It has a lot more, but they’re all unspoken, and you only learn them once you’re in.
Like all protection rackets, Catarina’s Thieves’ Guild is less about protection and more about extortion. Many high profile businesses slip the Guild a small amount on a regular basis to make sure they won’t be the ones receiving the Guild’s attentions.
The Thieves’ Guild’s power comes at least in part from their aggressive practice of stamping down any non-guild criminality. This often puts them at odds with common thugs from the Docker’s Guild and the occasional merchant lining their pockets on the side as much as they are at odds with the Seneschal Guard. There is a very popular theory (never substantiated) that the Guard don’t actually try to deal with the Guild so much as try to appear to do so, mostly by going very aggressively after high profile murders and heists, because the Guild do an extremely good job at keeping down petty crime.
The Guild’s membership is diverse, including career thieves, con artists, hired killers, and those down-on-their-luck and needing a little extra cash to get by. It’s also a place that doesn’t shy away from taking people looked down on by the rest of society, whether because of their race, their background, or whatever else. The phrase “Honour Amongst Thieves” is a running joke, but the truth is that the Guild looks after its own, provided they do right by the Guild. It is a place to get a fresh start in life, and where anyone with talent can get ahead.