Came out a bit longer than I hoped, but oh well.
This is a story about a cannon-fodder NPC I had in the last session of my campaign. He turned out to be a real hero, though, considering his 3 nonlethal damage caused a CR 4 half-orc barbarian to go unconscious (he had 2hp left). Had that not happened, the half-orc would have probably killed one of my players.
And of course... the players couldn't really give a damn about him, regardless of whether or not he saved them. :p
Anyway, here it is:
The Nameless Thief:
The Thief paces around the burial chambers, examining the old coffins from time to time. The events surrounding his current predicament weigh heavily on his mind. Where did it all go wrong?
There was a time when he and his fellow thieves were simple cutpurses. They'd steal at any opportunity they could and, yes, they'd rough up their victims occasionally. But murder them? That was hardly their style.
The old times, the better times, feel like a distant memory now. The Thief sighs heavily, but his musing is interrupted by a nearby door swinging open.
The Intruders stand before him, weapons drawn. He knows he is outnumbered, and immediately submits.
They take his weapons, they threaten his life. Fear washes over him; he begins to sweat. His family back home is probably worried sick. How will he afford to pay for his daughter's medicine if he's killed here?
"You will show us the way to the woman," a foreign-looking man orders.
The Thief feigns bravery, and he agrees reluctantly. He knows the woman of which they speak. The same woman his superior kidnapped, the same woman whose husband they murdered in cold blood. He wanted to help her - he was a good man - but how could he, outnumbered and weak as he was?
Biting his lower lip, The Thief takes his keys and unlocks the adjacent door. The Intruders motion for him to step inside.
He does so.
In the next room, several of his colleagues sit around a snuffed out fire pit. It was a stupid mistake to try and light a fire in these underground tombs, and they'd nearly choked to death from the smoke the day prior.
The Thief greets them; he tells them of The Intruders, and how it would be best to allow them through. His colleagues are shocked and disgusted with his sudden betrayal and a fight ensues. By the end, two of his fellow thieves are dead; one has surrendered, after dropping his weapon accidently in the heat of battle.
The man who surrendered tells of the half-orc behind the next door. Their leader's right hand. A man The Thief has seen before, a powerful creature more orc than man. The mere thought of him sends a chill down The Thief's spine, for he knows his betrayal will eventually reach the monster's ear.
The Thief moves to the door, his hands shaking. As he readies to turn the key in the keyhole, the door suddenly breaks from it's hinges. He's hit by the door, which knocks him clear off his feet and sends him tumbling across the room.
The room begins to spin. His vision becomes blurry. He can see The Intruders fighting the half-orc, but he feels helpless. They will die - he knows it.
Pulling himself to his feet, The Thief weighs his options. He decides to help The Intruders. They're his best chance to return to his little girl.
He bravely charges forward, pummeling the back of the half-orc's skull with his fists. Momentarily distracted, the half-orc turns and swings his club.
The Thief feels woozy. His head is in remarkable pain, and blood drips over his eyes. His knees buckle. It becomes harder to see.
He remembers his daughter. He remembers that she must get the money for her medicine. He tries to say her name, so The Intruders will know. They will help her - he's sure of it.
He opens his mouth but no words come out. There's a bright flash, and then nothing.