April 22, 2016

The Thief in the Snow - Entry XVII: Kindness of the Nords

The Thief in the Snow
Entry XVII: Kindness of the Nords
Location: Riften, The Rift
Date: Turdas, 28th of Last Seed, 4E 201

The moon had risen over Lake Honrich when I ventured outside the walls of Riften and into the night air. My destination was the Riften Stables, just outside the main gate, to speak to Shadr about the deal I had struck with Sapphire of the Thieves Guild. A quick jaunt down the stone road brought the stables within view. Being so close to Riften, I let my guard down, thinking no bandit had the gall to attack travelers where Rift guards were posted. I was wrong in my assumption as I suddenly heard yelling and was ambushed by four Hired Thugs. They ran at me with weapons drawn, screaming that I did not belong in Skyrim for this was the land of the Nords. I did not have time to draw my bow or my daggers and instead, resorted to using a Khajiit’s true weapons; my claws. I dug into the chest of the first Hired Thug that approached me, using his momentum to propel him over my shoulder and send him crashing into the dirt behind me. My second attacker held his axe high above his head, ready to land a crushing blow. I dove straight towards his legs, with my claws extended, and tore into his calves. He cried out in pain and fell to the ground. Before his friends could attack me, I quickly picked up the Hired Thug’s axe and cut off his head. The next two Hired Thugs charged me at the same time but I deftly dodged their attacks and dispatched them with ease.

I knew about these sorts of people all too well for I had spent time in the same line of work as they; hiring out my skills as a fighter to any who would pay my fee. They did not attack me randomly; they had but hired to hunt me but who would pay money to sign a contract with them? I searched the thugs’ bodies until I found a crumpled piece of parchment. The Contract was paid for by a Solitude guard, and identified me as the target. ‘Solitude?’ I thought to myself, ‘I do not recall upsetting anyone there. I did not even steal anything from the Blue Palace.’ I continued reading the Contract; it stated that I was not to be killed but punished for defiling the grave of Roggvir. I had to pause a moment to remember who this ‘Roggvir’ was… and then it came back to me. He was the man that was executed when I first arrived in Solitude. His family requested that I bring back his Amulet of Talos, which required me to go into Solitude Catacombs, kill a few re-animated skeletons, and open his coffin. I would not call the ‘defiling’ so to speak at least not enough to hire thugs to rough me up. No matter, I now had more armor and weapons to sell when I returned to Riften.

As I was picking up the last of the valuables from the thugs I had defeated, a Nord warrior ran up to me. He waved his hands to show that he meant no harm and asked what had happened. I introduced myself and told him that bandits had set on me to try and steal my money but that I was able to handle them. The Nord was impressed and told me that he was Hofgrir Horse-Crusher from the Riften Stables. I told him that was where I was headed with good news for Shadr. As we walked towards the stables, Hofgrir informed me that the Redguard was his assistant and he had been worried about the difficulties Shadr was having with the Thieves Guild. The Nord spotted Shadr in the distance and waved his assistant over to us.

Hofgrir quizzed his assistant and asked if the Redguard knew a cat, pointing his well-worn fingers at me. Shadr flashed me a smile and relayed to the Nord how we met. He then turned to me and asked if I had any news and how he hoped it would be good. I nodded my head vigorously and reported that I was able to convince Sapphire to forgive his debts. Shadr thanked the Divines and then thanked me. He was astonished to hear that not only had I talked to her but that I was able to change her mind. He also added that he never thought anyone in Riften would ever care what happened to him, outside of Hofgrir. He reached into his satchel, handed me a bottle, and informed me that he was saving it in case he needed to run from Sapphire. I turned the glass flask in my hands until I realized what it was, it was a Potion of Invisibility. I thanked Shadr for the gift and bid him and Hofgrir a good night before returning to Riften.

While it was late by Whiterun standards, Riften was still buzzing with activity. I wanted to sell the armor and weapons I had procured from the thugs so I sauntered over to the Scorched Hammer and found Balimund the Blacksmith. As I sold my items, he told me how he was running low on Fire Salts to keep his forge burning. I told him that I would keep an eye out for them if he would allow me to use his forge when I was in Riften. Balimund happily agreed and told me he would even give me a good deal on metal ore as well. The other merchants were just closing their shops as I strode past the main marketplace. Grelka the Nord, who sells weapons and armor, was making fun of Madesi, the Argonian jeweler. She was also being especially cruel to a homeless Argonian. After she had left, I talked to Madesi a bit and offered to help him find some rare stones for his crafting. I also talked to the homeless Argonian, Wujeeta, and learned she was a Skooma addict. I gave her a Potion of Healing to help with the side effects of her affliction and told her to try and get help.

My last stop was Honorhall Orphanage to inquire about a home for Lucia and Blais. I was greeted by Constance Michel, the assistant to the headmistress. She came across as a genuinely caring person which was the complete opposite of her employer. Grelod the Kind, headmistress of Honorhall, was anything but kind. I could hear her yelling at the children, threatening to beat them if they did not finish their chores in a timely manner. Constance warned me that I should not be here, telling me that Grelod did not like visitors. I asked Constance why and she stated that Grelod would never allow anyone to adopt the children here. I could not believe what I was hearing. I was about to ask Constance why Grelod would do that when a little girl came up to me and told me about her friend Aventus Aretino. He had run away from Honorhall and returned to Windhelm. She told me that he was planning on summoning the Dark Brotherhood to kill Grelod. Then she pleaded with me to take her away from this place, telling me that she was a good worker and that she would be quiet. I left saddened and dismayed. This was not a place for children to grow up, especially someone as sweet as Lucia or as inquisitive as Blais. I had to find another place for them to live; someplace they could truly call home.