This is part 3 of 4 in our Going Rogue series.
Rogues, as a character archetype, get a bad reputation as the lone wolf of the group. The outsider. The redeemed from the criminal underbelly. The one desperate enough or skilled enough to do the dirty work for everyone else. Thieves can’t have community.
Or can they?
What is often missed is that the rogue IS part of a community.
Robinhood stole from the rich and gave back to the poor. Sometimes, a rogue might operate with a larger band of thieves roaming the land from heist to heist. And some simply know that one of the best ways they can serve their friends is by reminding them that some rules can afford to be bent or broken.
In some TTRPGs, rogues even share their own dialect of code words and symbols known as “thieves cant” so that those in their chosen circle can communicate in secret while still in the presence of public eyes and ears. Those that say “thieves can’t have community” clearly don’t speak thieves cant.
More importantly, it means that in real life, if we are part of a group that is marginalized, facing injustices by abuses of power, or otherwise trying to subvert the status quo - the rogue’s toolkit can become our own.
Secret languages and subversive tactics.
Blending in until it is safe to call out.
Breaking down doors designed to keep us out.
Redistributing resources in a way that is just.
Taking back what was stolen from us.
And we can do this all in community with each other. In fact, we have to.
Because when we exile the rogue, we exile our own capacity to subvert abusive systems of power.
So take a risk. Perhaps even do the illegal thing before those in power benefit from it being legal. See what happens when you live by your rules and teach others to do the same.
That’s how we build a future that isn’t here yet.
And remember, thieves can!
Autumn & Jerod