- "I have my own ways of taking up a collection."
- —Brother Gerrardus Hondschoen[1a]
Brother Gerardus Hondschoen has always enjoyed a challenge - ever since he was a lad in Suiddock, stealing to support his mother, he's relished going into places he shouldn't, taking things that weren't his and doing his best to embarrass the rich and powerful. A locked safe is like tossing down the glove to him, a duel between him and the locksmith. A greedy landlord is someone just begging to have a chamber pot emptied on his head.[1a]
With a balding pate surrounded by a ring of graying brown hair and sporting a goatee, he looks more like a scholar or an artist than a master thief. He is also extremely superstitious, taking all sorts of omens seriously. He is fascinated with palmistry, and is very good at it. Many locals come to him for readings, and anyone seeking his trust will have to submit to his analysis.[1a]
A priest of Ranald noticed him early on and initiated him into the faith. Since then he has become a devotee of the god's 'Night Prowler' aspect, an arch-connoisseur of stealthy theft. Violence sickens him - a thief who prefers force is little more than a thug. A daring theft only discovered hours after a clean getaway is the Raven's way. Because of his aversion to violence, Brother Gerardus has always had mixed feelings about his membership in the League. On the one hand, it is an article of faith for him that thieves should stick together. On the other, he can't help but fear that the Guild's trade in violence will be its downfall - someday someone will accept the wrong contract and that will be the end of the game. He has always preached the way of the 'Night Prowler', showing how to get a piece of the pie without cutting yourself on the knife. He's popular among the Gentlemen and has converted a few, but many more prefer the easier way of a brick through a window and the blackjack to the head. He's clashed with Henschmann more than once over the years, and some in the League wonder when Adalbert will finally rid himself of this troublesome priest.[1a]
Brother Gerardus is an excellent contact for stealthy types in Marienburg: he can teach most skills, and if he can't then he can easily find someone who can. He takes a special interest in priests and initiates of Ranald, and the devout can seek him as a mentor. He is an excellent source of leads and clues to all sorts of information - "You'd be amazed what you can find out poking around people's studies", he says. He is on good terms with Trancas Quendalmanliye and Hieronymous Deecksburg, the artist.[1a]
He will help friends who've run afoul of the League or the Watch, especially if they have refused to commit some murderous act for one of the Guild bosses. He has several bolt-holes and safe houses in Marienburg, and will share these with deserving characters who need a place to hide till the heat is off or they can flee Marienburg. He will, however, never, ever, get involved with any plan that involves co-operating with the authorities. That is the worst sin in Ranald's eyes.[1a]