Who is Shinytop?
Shinytop is the ghost of a thief imprisoned in a walking stick. The stick was carved from a branch of the hanging tree Shinytop was executed on.
By his own account, Shinytop (real name withheld on his request) was once the greatest thief in The City of Bones. He claims to have risen from the gutters too. But, considering he’s familiar with inside of the City Gaol and the Firwall Prison, he didn’t rise too high in society. Nor was he as good a thief as he boasts. Good thieves don’t get caught.
King of the Thieves, though, is probably a respectable title. Somewhere. (In a den of thieves perhaps.)
He claims he started thieving to get food. After a few beatings by angry shopkeepers, he found it easier to pick pockets and cut purses and buy food with the proceeds. From there he graduated to housebreaking and taking commissions to steal anything from anywhere.
His knowledge of thievery, trickery, espionage, house breaking, safe breaking, rought store breaking and other ‘ways of the thief’ are invaluable to Aisling and me when we’re out on jobs. Grumpy as he is, he’s become a friend.
He also advises the City Guards whenever a major theft stumps them. That’s why he doesn’t want his real name mentioned anywhere. He doesn’t want to be labelled a snitch.
Some skills, however, remain a secret. Apparently, when a dozen silver leaves disappeared from the Lady Mastigan’s subterranean garden, he was the prime suspect. Other thieves have laid claim to this feat. Shinytop, however, is the only person (apart from Lady Mastigan) that can describe details of the garden. When we tried to prise the truth from him, he just laughed and told us he ‘saw the garden in a dream’.
Shinytop’s downfall occurred when he tried to thieve from Ganhook. Nobody knows what he tried to steal. (And he won’t tell us.) Nor was anyone surprised when he received a death sentence. He’d breached the ‘ten strikes and you swing’ rule. And following his execution on the city hanging tree, his spirit was sentenced to a hundred years imprisonment in the tree.
He was free to drift through branch and root, and it wasn’t long before he discovered that a colony of fraget imps was living beneath the tree. Hoping for a reduced sentence, Shinytop alerted the authorities and spied on the little man-eaters. The imps poisoned the tree before they were rounded up. Before the tree died, Ganhook drove Shinytop into a branch, cut the branch, and had it fashioned into a walking stick. Now Shinytop is serving out his sentence in Ganhook’s compound.
He’s been trying to get out of that stick ever since.
Worst thing to happen to him: Being polished with wood oil.