Trilby: The Art of Theft is a stealth action game developed by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw starring Trilby. The canonical status of Art of Theft within the Chzo Mythos proper is debated; were it to be included, Art of Theft takes place two years before 5 Days a Stranger. Tired of robbing manors of the English countryside and wanting to become the greatest thief in the world, Trilby takes his thieving skills and trademark hat to the shores of America. He soon becomes the target of a mysterious organization known only as The Company, which tries to blackmail Trilby into working for them.
Art of Theft is set in fictional Chapow City, USA, in 1991. Trilby sets his sights on taking down corrupt businessmen Dominic Perota, owner of an equally corrupt company named Protocorp. Trilby raids Protocorp's records facility, where he discovers, among other secrets, Perota's entire financial record including his illict dealings. Trilby then steals several works of art which Perota purchased in order to launder his cash. After leaving the museum, however, Trilby is ambushed by a man who manages to photograph his face. The man (whose name is later discovered to be Threnody) leaves Trilby an address for him to visit within the week, lest the pictures be released to the authorities. Believing that Perota was behind this, Trilby tracks him down to his hotel room at the Golden Waters Health Resort, picking up a few valuables along the way. Trilby enters Perota's room to find a woman standing over his dead body, holding a knife. Trilby leaves the scene as quickly as he can.
Trilby decides that his best choice is to meet with the blackmailers, only to be captured and strapped to a chair. Threnody tells him that a group known as "The Company" wants Trilby to join. They allow him to keep his mask on as a sign of trust to convince him to join. Trilby is then shown a brainwashing video but is able to resist. Threnody sends Trilby to a holding cell and instructs the others to try the video again later. Trilby is able to break out of his cell and escape the building, and take some valubles on the way out, of course. Trilby assumes "The Company" won't be looking for him for a while and goes to a rich neighboorhood to get money to fund his next vacation. As he leaves, he runs into a woman who claims to be able to help him. He recognizes her as the woman he saw standing over Dominic's dead body.The woman (Ms.Perota) tells Trilby she found the body and picked up the bloody knife when Trilby showed up. Ms. Perota explains that her husband was a member of "The Company" and when a member stops being useful, they are killed and that Dominic's purpose was to help find Trilby. She says that for Trilby to be free of "The Company" he needs to find something known as the XJ unit and trade it for the photo. Trilby goes to a farm house that supposedly has this XJ unit. He finds a secret lab under the farm. He finds a black, glowing cylinder with the letters XJ on it. Trilby hides the XJ unit and decides to break into the building he was trapped in earlier to find the picture of himself. On his way he sees a giant spherical object. Trilby finds the photo and becomes irritated because he risked his life for a photo that was so bad even he couldn't recognize himself. He also gathers information on "The Company" and the Perotas. As he leaves he walks by the sphere again and sees a window open revealing Threnody. Threnody explains the sphere to be the new Battlesphere with " enough fire power to turn an elephant to ash", and it's aimed at Trilby. Trilby says that if he is killed, they will never find the XJ unit. Threnody says that Trilby won't be killed, but he will first be taught agony, then he will be sent to the chair for a week. Threnody attacks Trilby with three floating orbs. Trilby uses the tazer on his grolly (umbrella with grappling hook) to electrocute loose wires. After zapping all wires, Threnody yells at Trilby for killing them both. An explosion countdown begins while Trilby navigates through the building. The next day, Trilby meets with Ms. Perota and reads her dozier. He learns that she was also a member of "The Company" and was assigned to kill her husband,then was assigned to trick Trilby into being captured again. Being a gentleman, instead of harming her, Trilby tells her where he hid the XJ unit. He tells her to look through a telescope. She looks and sees a bag tied to a flag pole near the top of a building. She cuses at Trilby and learns that he already left. Trilby then decides to go back to being a Gentleman Thief in England.