Honor Among Thieves
Throughout the world there is an unwritten 'code' among thieves, criminals, scoundrels, and those who would rebel against and set them selves aside from society. Unlawful as they are, they do have standards, and a way of governing their behavior. These are only generally understood, and specifics can vary within any unlawful organization. Those who uphold the 'Thieves Code' are Men of Honor or Women of Esteem.
A Thief Should…
- Have nothing to do with the authorities, not participate in political activities (i.e running for office, voting, backing a party), nor join government or religious organizations (this does not mean one may not have a belief in the gods, only that one does not serve the interests of a church or temple.)
- Not serve in the military or accept any offers from the government or prison authority.
- Not cooperate with authorities when detained or If another thief is under investigation or arrest, testify against them.
- Keep secret the information about the whereabouts of accomplices (i.e. dens, districts, hideouts, safe houses, aliases, etc).
- Make good on promises given to other thieves.
- Help other thieves in need, both by emotional and material support.
- Not lose their reasoning abilities when drunk. It is not an excuse for breaking any of the codes.
- Never gamble without being able to cover losses. (Unless these losses were to those who do not uphold the thieves' code.) It is acceptable and expected to cheat (being caught cheating is not).
- Never, under any circumstances, have a 'legitimate' job- live only on money obtained through gambling or theft (the word 'theft' as used here describes any respectable criminal activity), and relying on other thieves. (being a sellsword is 'legitimate' only if one does not accept payment from nor work for authorities)
- Cut ties with one's family: father, mother, brothers, sisters, etc.
- Never have a family of one's own: No marriage. No children; this does not however, preclude one from having an unlimited number of lovers nor 'adopting' youth to act as a mentor.
- Teach the criminal way of life to youth with potential.
- Act within underworld to protect basic needs of criminals' and prisoners according to the extents and priorities set by the community- be that a gang, guild, residents in a given prison or prison cell.
- Demand an inquiry and judgement by peers to resolve disputes in the event of a conflict between oneself and other thieves, or between thieves whenever possible.
- If necessary, participate in such inquiries if called upon.
- Punish any offending thief who breaks the thieves code as decided by the judgement of the community- be that a gang, guild, residents, in a given prison or prison cell.
- Not resist carrying out the decision of punishing the offending thief who is found guilty, of violating the code.