Tommen strolled through Hargeon Town. His unequal shoes splashed through pools of water which had formed in the wake of a night of rain. The clouds above still heralded the threat of another downpour, every inch of the sky was covered in grim clouds. Tommen was hulled up within his teal overcoat, patched up with dozens of different colour laps of fabric. His grey pantaloon did not fare much better, showing even a hole on his left leg that still had to be repaired. He had not given himself the time for that, he was on a mission. The newspapers reported a recent streek of break-ins which left the victims poor of their jewellery and silver utensils. It did arise any suspicion in Tommen’s mind when he glanced over those articles until a couple of days ago. That day’s article mentioned a failed burglary, the thief had managed to enter the house but left in a hurry which the owner attributed to the cat. This fiercely feline supposedly was very territorial and chased away the crook. It did not sit well with Tommen, why would someone be scared away by a cat? There are numerous ways to avoid the cat. It was not a human thief, but a magical creature that committed the robberies. The mage had tried to find out if the other victims had owned cats, it was not easy to get this information. He asked the newspapers, the Rune Knights and tried to look for the victims themselves. The newspapers were clueless, saying they got their knowledge from the Rune Knights. The Rune Knights, in turn, were simply annoyed by his questions and even interrogated him, suspecting him to be the thief in question. But they let him go. One of the victims, that he could get a hold off, were upset by his questions and called the Rune Knights on him. He has gotten away with a warning. His efforts, however, were not in vain as he learned that at least two of the households did not have a cat; the others remained a mystery to him. It was a Niffler. Tommen had tried to convince the Rune Knights of his findings, but they kicked him out, urged him to let them do their job. If he would walk in their way, he would be arrested for impeding an active investigation.
A Niffler is a creature from Fiore, similar to a mole but with keen eyes and bigger, between the size of a mole and a cat. Their fur was black and had the same particularities of mole fur. Its feet and hands were roughly the same size and were accustomed to burrowing but were also capable of climbing. The biggest differences would be in the head, which looked like a duck’s beak-like the platypus. It also had a magical pouch, in which things could be stored; it can find items that are larger as the Niffler, and its weight is reduced by at least 98%. They store their young in this pouch but if the creature is without young, it fills it with shiny objects it finds. The shiny objects are taken back to its burrow in a special cavity, the treasury as it were. It is unknown why they hoard shiny object, perhaps for mate selection which if true would mean the selective pressure comes from both the female and the male as both sexes exhibit this behaviour. The amassing of shiny objects could signal good health, good eyes, intelligence, or strength. Their natural enemies are birds of prey, cats and foxes.
Tommen was convinced that it would be a Niffler, and if the Rune Knights were looking for a man, then they would never find the thief. Tommen felt sorry for the victims who lost their precious items. And the Niffler was sure to hit again now that it had learned about the treasure troves it could find within the residences. He did wonder how it ended up in the town, they often live in rural spaces as they prefer to burrow in the ground for their nests. They were also quite rare nowadays as they had been hunted in the past, both for the retrieval of stolen goods, prevent farther thefts or to steel the stolen goods. Their pelts, just like moles, were favourable for gloves. It was in the best interest to save the creature before it would be eaten by a cat or killed by a human. The mage had been looking for the Niffler but thus far was unable to find it. He had looked at every park, particularly near the crime scenes to look for burrows but if he found one the inhabitants were of the mundane. It was time for additional help, someone who was perhaps keener in finding the lost. Tommen learned about an investigator, a detective called Kotomi, in the newspaper, through an advertisement. He had torn the page out of the newspaper and stored it in his coat.
Tommen looked at the torn newspaper page. ”It should be here,” he whispered to himself. It was the correct street, the correct number, but he found a bookstore instead of a detective agency. Ancient Treasures was the name of the bookstore, was the universe taunting him? He was about to walk away when he looked up. The building had more stories, and the second story looked promising. He picked up his suitcase, which he always carried with him, and made his way to the door. He knocked four times, in rapid succession like a woodpecker.