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I'm wondering what people think of Garrett, his connection to the Keepers, and his elemental arrows. I've played 1-3, and watched an LP of 4.

1st intro

In the intro to 1, teen Garrett sees a man that everybody else is avoiding. It's not clear as to WHY they avoid him. Since the game was called Thief, I assumed the man was sneaking through the street, although it could also be that he seemed "important" or dangerous, so people just kept out of his way.

However in 3, we see the Keepers have runes doing all kinds of magical things, including a form of invisibility. Not invisibility per se, but more a case of "aware but not really registering". As such, I imagine the Keeper in 1 was wearing a rune giving him that "ignore me" cloak, so people would get out of his way and not bump into him (as they might with invisibility), but nobody would remember seeing him either.

You could say the training tutorial at the start of 1 was meant for the player and not Garrett, but I wonder what you think. The basic training seems something one would do for an "adventurer" or some form of physical profession, yet the Keepers in all the games seem nothing more than bookish, scholarly mage-types. I can't recall any of them doing anything physical at all. So why would the Keeper in the street even WANT a thief in their order? What could he "bring" to the group?

If the street Keeper was indeed cloaked by a rune, I imagine that Garrett possesses some kind of latent talent to see through it. Just like green eyes or left-handedness are uncommon, I imagine the natural talent to see through a Keeper's runes is uncommon, and it is THAT which interested the Keeper in Garrett, not his thieving skills at all. What do you think?

After joining, I think they thought to make him a proper rune-user like the rest of them, due to his natural gift. However, you couldn't take the thief out of the boy, so Garrett only saw the runes as a means to make him a better thief, not a new way of life allowing him to abandon his old skills. His desperation and near-deaths from living on the street, his need for these survival skills, had ingrained themselves into him too deeply. He WAS a thief... it was the only way he'd survived thus far, and the only thing he knew. To abandon that would be to abandon himself.

I thus imagine that during his years of training he kept his eye out for runes that would make him a better thief, not runes to help him understand abstract prophecy. I think he found runes that let him capture elemental "essence" from natural sites. Perhaps this essence is useful in some minor magics, but he found a use by putting these essences in arrows.

I reject the idea that you can wander around the City and find elemental arrows in odd places (fireplaces, pools, gardens, etc). Nobody would leave them there, people would take them if they found them, and they'd likely be destroyed if left in any case. Garrett only ever finds these arrows in areas of matching appropriate nature (fire in a fire, water in a pool, etc). So my interpretation is that Garrett uses a Keeper trick to extract essences from these elemental sites and transfer them into pre-made arrows with crystal heads. He thus "acquires" a fire arrow, a water arrow, or whatever. IIRC there's a moment in one of the games where Keepers indicate they have water crystals, so it is a rune-trick the Keepers know.

With all this I see Garrett less as a master thief. I think he wears a Keeper cloak rune, making him seem better at stealth than he really is, and his elemental arrows let him do things ordinary thieves can't (put out torches, muffle tile floors, destroy machines, etc). All these benefits give him a distinct edge over other thieves. And because nobody ever observes him on his missions, only hears of his successes, they never know of his advantages.

I suppose in D&D terms he might be a thief with a few levels of mage... a little bit of magic to aid his night work.

As to why he's no longer a Keeper, I imagine that he kept thieving while in "school", and his mentors knew about it. They kept telling him to stop, and either they finally kicked him out or he left on his own. I imagine this is where his negative attitude towards them stems from. He couldn't be a good little scribe, sitting at a desk all day every day, and he got tired of their constant bitching.

In short, despite his dislike of the Keeper Order, I think Garrett uses some rune magic to help him, making him stealthier than he'd otherwise be, and to make elemental arrows. I think his attitude towards the Keepers comes from them not tolerating his thieving on the side while training.

What do you think of his relation to the Keepers, and the explanation for all the arrows he finds?
I think that the intro to the first game pretty much agrees with your interpretation of Garret and that first Keeper: said Keeper says something to the effect that "it's not easy to see a Keeper who doesn't want to be seen". Indeed, I recall that this is bookended in the outro to Thief 3, in which Garrett, now a Keeper himself, encounters a young girl who similarly spots him, and to whom he says a similar line.

As to the arrows, I don't recall offhand whether there's any lore to back this up--it's been a while--but I had the impression that Garrett wasn't finding arrows, as such, but rather the elemental crystals that he attaches to his arrows to create various effects. Further, my feeling was that in Garrett's setting these crystals naturally form in areas in which their element is concentrated: fire crystals grow in fireplaces; water crystals form underwater; moss crystals crystalise from plant-life; and so on. But again, I don't recall whether there's lore to support one view or another here.

As to the Keepers actually doing anything, I think that the intention was that they did take an actual hand, but that we just never saw this "on-screen". Perhaps they took a more subtle hand than Garrett's destructive role when such subtlety was effective--nudging the Hammerites one way, the Pagans another, and so on, all to keep the balance. But as with the above, this may or may not have support from the lore--I don't know.
Crystals are naturally occurring and can be picked up by non-Keepers: you can often buy elemental arrows in the pre-mission shop, and assassins can shoot fire arrows.

The Keepers do send out expeditions, as seen (deceased) in the Lost City and the Kurshok Citadel. (And TDS has the Enforcers of course.) Though Orland had been a bureaucrat long enough [url=]to be unsure[/url] whether he still remembered 'the art of the unseen'.

The Glyph magic for temporary invisibility in TDS is cast only by Keeper Elders. By the time Garrett encounters the girl at the end of TDS, Glyph magic no longer exists, so if it's not an easy thing to see him when he doesn't want to be seen, it's because he really is that skilful. (Unless he was using one of the invisibility potions from T2 at that exact moment.)
VanishedOne: By the time Garrett encounters the girl at the end of TDS, Glyph magic no longer exists, so if it's not an easy thing to see him when he doesn't want to be seen, it's because he really is that skilful. (Unless he was using one of the invisibility potions from T2 at that exact moment.)
Alternatively, it may be that the Glyph Magic isn't gone entirely, but that only its previous incarnation has been wiped out. Perhaps it has been born anew in Garrett, possibly by virtue of his being the One True Keeper. Who knows, with the girl he might go on to found a new Glyph Magic, a new Keeper Order.
Don't forget that Garrett mostly like is the one who has seen the most. Stood face to face with the Trickster and many other creatures, so it would not surprise me that Garrett might actually be the last little flame left where Glyphs might exist still.

He is one of the few individuals who goes places others dares not, not always something he wants to, but he still does.

In TDS he more or less kills himself, and yet he does not. And somehow gets out of the event untouched by death.
It's not just that the Cradle could no longer see him or that it thought him dead. But clearly there is something inherent to Garrett there isn't fully explained. something a proper 4th game might explain.

But as far as i read here, it's clear to me that you people seem to miss one small thing:
The keepers might make heavy use of Glyphs, but aren't reliant on them.
Their skill and training at subterfuge means that even without the Glyphs, they still are largely hidden.
And considering the size of the libraries they got, it would not surprise me if the Keepers have access to some other kind of magic.
The Pagens hardly use Glyphs and even the Hammerites use them less, but both have been seen using Glyphs.

So even with the end events of TDS, Glyphs arn't the end all be all.

Maybe with the Glyphs gone, the Trickster might get free again.
I remember reading to the effect of Keeper and Hammerite working together, using Glyphs to hold the Trickster in his cell.

So maybe the 4th game has the lass in the end vid in TDS face off against the Trickster. And thus the circle is complete?
Could be fun to revisit Constantine's mansion's ruins. Maybe little to no full access, but enough to be able to go "Oh cool, that's that twisty hall way" or "That is where the sword was" etc. Maybe as a side mission. But I digress.

(On partial off-topic: I would not mind playing a proper Thief 4 game, where you play as a student of Garrett, Garrett has gotten old, and most likely tired. So playing the student of Garrett would actually be cool, and TDS gives that opportunity to a lass.)
3+ suck and aren't canon anyway, thus a moot point
I haven't played 4, but 3 was pretty good, as I recall. At the very least it had the Shalebridge Cradle, but I recall liking the rest of it, too!

(And I'm not sure of why 3 at least wouldn't be canon.)
coz it sucks for one.

only fun thing about it was the pagans' speaksies. still it didn't debut in 3, just expanded on.

shalebridge is overrated af.
Eh, I disagree on all counts (Shalebridge included), but each to their own after all!

As to it being canon, quality isn't terribly relevant for canonicity, I feel.
Post edited November 27, 2020 by Thaumaturge