Thursday, December 8, 2011

Skyrim Journal #6

Dragon encounters are becoming much more frequent, and I have become familiar enough with their tactics that only the most powerful give me any trouble, at least when they come at me one at a time. Just yesterday I spotted a green one in the distance sporadically diving at the group, probably roasting sheep and the shepherds for a meal. The green dragons are little more than bears with wings; a few unexpected shots from behind is all it takes to knock them out of the sky. I chased him for quite some time, waiting for him to get tired of torturing whatever it was chasing and settle in for a meal. When that didn't happen by arrogance finally overcame my patience and attacked it head on. The thing was so surprised by something not running away that it reared back from my first shot, made a hard right and crashed into a cliff that forgot was there.

The climb to finish the poor, stupid dragon off would have been bad enough, but he crashed directly into a blue dragons nest. Blue ones are must nastier than green, as their cold breath makes aiming a bow incredibly difficult. He actually put up a good fight in spite of the direct hit he took from his lesser cousin. I don't enjoy fighting dragons, but they seem to be attracted to me, and the treasure they leave behind, both monetary and soul based, makes them more than worth trouble.

This was not a dragon hunting trip, just a little side benefit to an errand I was running for the thieves guild in Riften. They recruited me almost as I arrived in town. It was not my reputation that they knew, I just looked the part and they were desperate for help. In was only after I joined their little band that I learned of their staunch no killing policy and that they had been slowly declining in power for many years. Still, they lacked the annoying machismo that the companions prided themselves on, so it was easier to deal with their little rules. To the contrary, emptying a house of all its valuables without murdering the inhabitants was quite a challenge. They certainly made it more difficult on themselves than they needed to.

Riften itself was corrupt to the very core, and it had nothing to do with the thieves guild that made its home in her sewers. The entire city was run by one family; even the jarl answered to them, so it was no surprise when I was sent on missions directly for the ruling house. One of my favorites was a the rather underhanded task of poisoning a competing ale producer's wares. Not enough to kill anyone, mind you, but more than enough to make everyone who consumed it terribly uncomfortable. I found the results much funnier than I should have and must remember the exact kind and dose of poison that I was told to use. It could definitely come in handy.

Shortly after receiving the blessing of the family that actually ran Riften and the guild I was made aware of the true plight of the thieves: their leader had been murdered by one of their own, and on top of that the deadric goddess Nocturne, who supplied every thief with their luck, had turned her back on them. No one bothered to explain why, they just tasked the newest thief in their midst with figuring out how to fix it. I should have seen the setup coming, it was as clear and painful as the poisoned arrow that nearly killed me a few days later. Of course there was a double cross coming, the new leader of the guild had killed the old, framed another, and over the passing years had emptied the uncrackable vault of all it held.

And he was,of course, the one who had angered Nocturne. 

I don't know why I fall into these things, as it is almost the exact same series of events that I was pulled into with the companions, only that time I ended up as a werewolf, and now my soul supposedly belongs to Nocturne after I die. The jokes on her, I will be called to the hunting grounds, if you believe in that sort of thing, before she can get her hands on me. Either way, I don't plan on dying any time soon, so they both have a long wait ahead of them.

After being indoctrinated into another secret organization we tracked down the old leader of the thieves. He was trying to land one last job and then disappear, a job that took him deep underground into a fulmer breeding ground. The first few didn't put up a fight, but the deeper we went the more powerful they became, eventually slinging spells equal to those I had seen above ground. When we finally killed the traitor and retrieved what he stole from Nocturne we were farther underground than I had ever been. With his dying gasp he set off a trap that began to flood the chamber, killing all the fulmer below and threatening to drown us as well. As the water rose it snuffed the torches first, hiding possible exists behind foam and darkness. I will admit to panicking when the cave filled to the top in spite of my mask allowing me to breath under water. I don't remember who or what I killed to get it, but it was certainly worth it.

The weight of the water broke down a cave wall and we were sucked out into an underground river as quickly as it filled. I was told that I needed to return what was a stolen, a skeleton key that can open any lock, to Nocturne if the thieves guild was to get its luck back. It sounds like a children's story to me, though I have seen more than my share of things that I cannot explain since arriving in Skyrim. I will most likely return it, but that does not mean I will not use it for a few things before accomplishing the task. There is very little any of them or their gods can do to me at this point. At the risk of my arrogance once again surpassing my abilities, there is very little that they could do to me if the tried.

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