As I sat on the edge of the bed of my home in Whiterun I quickly reflected on what had brought me this far. I escaped a dragon attack at Helgen where I should have had my head lopped off. I took vengence upon my old band of thieves who betrayed me for a larger cut of the spoils. I found an old family heirloom for some shopkeeper in Riverwood, and unleashed an innate power within me at the same time. I paid the Jarl in Whiterun a visit to plead for help for Riverwood in case of a dragon attack. The Jarl then asked me to help his court wizard find some dragonstone, which I happened to already have from my search for the Golden Claw - how fortunate! I killed a dragon outside of Whiterun, a different one than that which attacked Helgen. That meant there were more dragons out there, most like. I learned that I might be something called the Dragonborn after I absorbed the power or life force or soul or something from the dragon I had just slain. I was granted the priveledge of purchasing the empty house in town. And now I'm sitting here in bed pondering over what all had happened.
I was just a simple Argonian a few days ago, a thief with an appointment at a chopping block. Now here I am, Dragonborn, Thane of Whiterun, escaped convict (even though nobody seems to care much about that one) ... I suppose that makes me special somehow. I'm supposed to go off and meet with the Greybeards now. They had summoned me from high atop the Throat of the World. I don't know if I was looking forward to the meeting or not, a bunch of old men shouting at one another just didn't sound all that appealing to me!
It was a bit early for me to be awake and moving, truly. My Housecarl, Lydia, wasn't even up yet. She was still asleep in the extra bed, it had to be somewhere around four in the morning, as the sun wasn't out and the moons were low. I decided to head out all the same, but not to climb a mountain ... not today, at least. I was off to Riften, I had heard rumors of the Thieves Guild being on some hard times and I was intrigued. I found the carraige driver and off we went, for a meager fee, of course.
Upon riding up to Riften I could tell the whole place looked shady and shifty...now this is a place I could call home! One of the gate guards stopped me and tried to pull some taxation line for entering the city. I threatened to call him on his shakedown and he left me be. After entering I get stopped again, this time by a citizen. Some Nord who seemed to know a lot about what was going on, so I offered him a little information taxes and got the skinny on the Thieves Guild. Apparently based in the sewers of the town, they have a little rat-hole they call the Ragged Flaggon, and this Nord's brother - Dirk, or Dour, or Doug ... eh, who cares? - worked as a sort of bouncer for them. Before I left he told me to find some bloke by the name of Brynjolf.
Off I go to find this man who can lead me to the Thieves Guild. Brynjolf offers me a little job before he tells me anything or shows me the way, it's obviously a test. I'm not worried though, not in the least! I, Nelfarion, evaded capture by the Shadowscales back home in Black Marsh! So I accept his "job" happily; I'm to steal a ring from one person's lockbox at the open market and slip into the pockets of another while Brynjolf creates some distraction to grab all their attention. The whole thing goes as smooth as silk! Nothing to it, not for me, anyway. Brynjolf seems surprised when I speak to him again, surprised and excited. Excited to show me off to his guild-mates down in the cisterns. So down the Ratway I went to meet up with everyone and see what I could do to help out this near-dying guild! The first thing Brynjolf has me do is collect some debts from around town, protection money owed the guild. I take care of that with a few leans of one sort another - a threat to toss a prized statue down a well, a broken 'priceless' urn - and then head back to the cistern. Next I meet the rest of the guild and get my first real gig with this band of misfits and such! Something about Mercer, the Guild Master, was upsetting to me...I'm not sure what it was.
My first job was Goldenglow Estates, some bee farm on an island in the lake near town. I was to make an example of the fool there for something he was doing that upset a very big client of the guild's. Apparently one of the other members attempted this job and got stung - no pun intended - so I figured I'd talk to her and see what went wrong. Vex was her name, pretty little thing, according to her there were too many mercenaries there skulking around, a lot of hired muscle for a simple bee farm! I got a complimentary set of guild armor, all enchanted to further increase what I'm already capable of, and off I went.
Vex told me about a sewer grate that would let me in, the most I should have to worry about there are some skeevers, so I opted to take it as my entrance. I swam around the island a ways out so as to not draw attention to myself until I found the sewer grate against the edge of the land mass. I dropped in and made my way through the passage until I found a ladder that took me up behind the manor. Just as I had suspected, a handful or rats and not much else. I take a quick look around the section of the island I came up on and see two mercs in front of the house, one chopping wood and the other staring off at the other side of the island. One quick glance over the rest of the area from where the dock I stood behind told me there were far too many mercs here to just waltz over and take care of business.
I get back behind the manor and pick the lock at the back door, quietly I made my way inside to bedin surveying the layout. The owner of the land and manor, Aringoth, is upstairs most like. I would imagine hiding in what he considers safety ... "Let's start there!" I was told to get the safe key from him, but I don't much care for that method as I've always prized myself on cracking locks. I move easily forward down the hall, I hear a couple of the mercs inside to my right in a front room somewhere and decide to ignore them. I press on down the hallway and find two mercs around a corner, one sitting and one patrolling the next hallway. I wait for the one walking to leave and sneak up behind the first merc, I plant my steel dagger smoothly into the base of his skull; he never saw it coming, and never made a sound. The patrolling merc was moving to the end of the hallway and I knew he'd be turning around soon so I quickly sauntered down the hall behind him and slit his throat cooly from shoulder to shoulder. Maybe I should have talked to that orphan in Windhelm, afterall?!
I make my way upstairs to find two more mercs between me and that arrogant Altmer - like they all aren't, right? I dispose of them both in like manner of the ones before ... quiet and smooth. I look to the master bedroom and find Arringoth cowering in a corner...I quietly slide into the room and slither to the opposing wall. He never saw me, the candles light the room, but it's dim. I pick up a nice golden bee statue, that should be worth some coin, and relieve the room of a couple of small things before heading back downstairs.
Upon landing at the bottom of the stairwell I hear the two mercenaries I ignored talking about the other two dead bodies, perhaps passing them was a mistake after all. I quickly make my way across the hall to the celler stairwell and hide underneath it. They look around and move on either giving up or going upstairs, either way I'm happy with their decision. I continue downward into the celler and avoid the two mercenaries across the first room talking in a corner. The Divines only know why they aren't at a better post, probably tired of the employer! Maybe they'll kill him, maybe they'll rob him blind, who knows? I move through a hallway taking a couple of left turns and find another merc sitting in the next room, but I can't avoid this one. I take out my bow and plant an arrow sqaure in the middle of the chest, he slumps forward but doesn't fall. No noise, no muss, no fuss, just how I like it. Finally I find the safe and get to work on it. It's a little tougher than I had expected, given the physical security around here you wouldn't think he'd use such a high powered lock, I'd say he's paranoid - and apparently with good reason. I empty the safe of all coin and papers and look to make my escape, I was pondering how I couldn't go back up easily when I notice a drop into the sewers and take it to find my way to the outskirts of the island for a different approach to these bee hives.
Once back on the outer rim of the island I survey the rocks behind the bee hives, nothing an Argonian can't scale - again, no pun intended. So I make my way over to the ledge and inch my way up, I'm supposed to set three of the hives on fire to make the final message Loud and Clear. I take out a torch and light it, set three hives on fire and throw the torch off into the water - my brother taught me to leave as little evidence as possible. Seeing the fire alerts all the remaining mercenaries that something isn't right, so I quickly follow the torch and make my way across the lake to the shore.
Returning to the cistern under Riften I am welcomed with open arms by Brynjolf who informs me that the benefactor for this job wishes to speak with me. There was some nonesense in speaking to Mercer about the symbol used to sign some paperwork. Apparently Aringoth was selling Golden Glow without letting some woman named Maven Black-Briar in on the sell, or the plan altogether. Something larger seems to be going on here, but I don't have enough information to act on anything just yet. I'll just go meet with this Maven and see what she wants done. There's plenty of work around here, it seems most of these thieves are happy to rest on their laurels and leave everything well enough alone.
In speaking with a shifty fellow by the name of Delvin Mallory I learned that he believes there to be some kind of curse on the guild - he wasn't reluctant, however, to buy that golden bee statue from me! He and Vex offer me some small jobs on the side to help pass the time, it seems everyone else around here just wants to hang out. I'm all for making money and if they won't take the jobs, I certainly will! I'm not sure if I believe in curses, as I've said before I'm not a superstitious lizard, but I do believe in coin. There is certainly plenty of that to go around if you know how to get it.
I think I can rise up here quickly, what with my go-get-it attitude, the second in command Brynjolf liking me so much, and everyone else just moping about the guild hall crying about some curse or bad luck. I'm still not comforable with that Mercer Frey character, I'll have to wait and see if he slips up or if he's just that good of a thief that he makes me weary around him. I hope that the rest of my time spent in the guild will be as profitable as my last couple of jobs. It's only been a week or so since the dragon attack at Helgen and I'm already loving life as a "legitemate" thief ... ha! Even I had to laugh at that one a little.
If you enjoyed this, you can find links to each of my blog series on this forum thread.