UJON - Book Six, Part One - In Which A Shadow Passes

  • 28th Frostfall

     

    The less said about Rumarin’s Brilliant Giant Plan, the better. Suffice to say he had taken the wrong bits some ridiculous story that idiot Hjoromir told him last time we were in Riverwood for fancy, and for fact. We’ve spent the past few days haring around the province, and it seems I now have a once-drowned Bosmer wife. My eyes ache from rolling them constantly on the walk from the cavern to Rorikstead, although to be fair to him, Rumarin does have a good line in apology kisses. Oghma’s tits, I’m like a girl in her thirties… Lydia’s family were very kind about us showing up horribly late at night, although thankfully we caught up to Lydia on her way home from the tavern, so we didn’t have to wake anyone.

     

    We spent the night in what I believe are beds for hired hands at the farm, but the harvests are more or less finished, so it seems they’ve moved on to find work in the mines and other such labour. Actually rather interesting, never gave much thought to such things before. Not exactly a suitable subject for polite dinner conversation in Alinor society, of course.

     

    Lydia’s parents were very apologetic about not having a Proper Room for the two of us. Watching Rumarin trying to Defend My Honour without insulting or hurting either my feelings or those of our hosts was, I’ll admit, rather delightfully amusing. Perhaps I shall forgive him for throwing me at that half-Spriggan She-Elf…

     

    We’ve had a splendid breakfast, Rumarin and Lydia’s Da worked on it together. Da is now making us some food for the road. I did try to point out we were only going as far as Whiterun, but he wasn’t to be argued with. Said it was payment for demonstrating my Thu’um to the family. Though to be honest, and I’m surprised with myself for saying this, but the look on Lydia’s elderly grandfather’s face was more than enough. He didn’t seem to give a damn that I’m an Altmer, he was just overjoyed to actually really see and hear it. I think that’s the first time I’ve used it around, well, anyone who’s neither a Greybeard nor trying to kill me. We all went out into the field, as far from the neighbours’ goat as we could get, Rumarin and Lydia bickering over who got to be blasted with the full Unrelenting Force shout. Rumarin was, I suspect, not entirely unhappy that Lydia won.

     

    I’m sending Rumarin on the carriage to Windhelm, to fetch the last of his things from Ulundil and Arivanya’s, I hope they don’t think ill of me, although I suspect they’ll be glad to get the storage space back. Not that we’re exactly ‘shacking up’, as the Nords say, but, well, they’re bound to assume we are, and Rumarin probably won’t manage to convince them otherwise. In any case, Riverside has vast amounts of storage, and when Breezehome’s finished, it will, too. I’m not sure where he’ll sleep in Breezehome, though, there’s only the one extra bed, but obviously it belongs to Lydia. There’s a gentleman in the Bannered Mare who says he can do “special work” on homes, maybe I’ll see if he can come up with something.

     

     

    Morndas

     

    I know you won’t be able to resist checking the cache barrels, gel. It’s Morndas morning now, going to ask the new lad to leave this for you when he gets back to Whiterun, I figure your Thaneship probably don’t want Guild members showing up at her door, eh? Anyway, I need you to get to Windhelm, sharpish. Got another big job lined up for you, you know Torsten, farmer, big lad, usually goes to Candlehearth for a bottle or two of ale in the evening? Speak to him. Liking this “cipher” thing you taught me, you’ll be copying out the Shadowmarks book for the new lad when you’re next in Riften, you should stick a quick guide to ciphers in there, could come in very handy.

     

     

     

    29th Frostfall

     

    “Look, you might be able to talk your customers into thinking your enchantments are stronger than they are, but an… Altmer, like me, knows what to look for. You’re lying, and I’d rather not have to apply pressure to find out what you’re not telling me.”

     

    Fear and understanding flashed across Niranye’s face for a moment, before her usual blasé saleswoman demeanour returned. “Let’s discuss this like reasonable people, yes? But not here. The market closes soon, let’s meet in the New Gnisis.”

     

    Nerussa agreed, and left Lydia to keep an eye on the other Altmer while she traded with the other merchants and paid a brief visit to Wuunferth to enquire about new Destruction tomes. She had been given the merchant’s name by Torsten Cruel-Sea, who had recently lost his daughter under rather vague circumstances. The man claimed to have “dealt with” the murderer, but wanted the Guild’s help to track down a locket which was missing from his daughter’s body when it was found. He had beaten Niranye’s name out of the killer, but thankfully had realised he lacked the subtlety to get any information out of the She-Elf and had contacted Delvin for advice. She headed to the New Gnisis, where Niranye sat. Lydia took up a position against the far wall, quietly watching their interaction.

     

    “So, we’re away from the market. I’m listening.”

     

    “Look, I had no choice, they’re crazy, I could be killed!” Niranye blurted.

     

    “Who are you talking about?”

     

    “The Summerset Shadows, you must have heard of them? Well, a Mer named Linwe apparently decided things were getting too difficult back in Ali…” a furtive glance around the room, “In Summerset, so he brought a few fellows here, and they’ve set up an operation nearby. He’s vile, likes to steal from the dead.”

     

    “You mean he kills, like a bandit? That doesn’t sound like the Shadows…”

     

    “No! I mean he likes to steal from the dead – digs up bodies, creeps into Halls of the Dead, that sort of thing. Ghastly Mer, but my market stall, well, it’s not as lucrative as I was promised by my predecessor, and, you know how it is, I used to have certain dealings with the Shadows back home… I wasn’t sure where his stock came from until I recognised that locket, girl used to wear low cut dresses, you know how these Nords are. I’d had my suspicions, he brought me one or two things that looked… familiar, when the Butcher was… well, you know. You stopped him. But it was mostly fairly plain stuff, nothing too personal. That locket, though, well, it was quite distinctive.”

     

    “So you were stuck with a piece of merchandise you couldn’t shift? Where is it now?”

     

    “If I tell you, you have to promise not to hurt me. I’ve got good contacts already, I can shift most things, I could be quite an asset…”

     

    Nerussa nodded, and Niranye pulled a piece of paper from her apron pocket. A brief note from Linwe, mentioning plans to “secure the locket” in Uttering Hills Cave. “It’s uphill from the road, just before the bridge back across the river to Anga’s Mill. Look, I said Linwe doesn’t kill his marks, but like I said, they’re crazy – if they think you’re a threat, I don’t know what they’ll do.”

     

    “I’d rather avoid violence if I can help it, but I’ve fought worse than a few scruffy grave-robbing Mer in a cave, I think I’ll survive.”

     

     

    30th Frostfall

     

    Unsure how to feel about what happened in Uttering Hills. A list might help.

     

    1. It was a Guild job, and those are not meant to include killing.
    2. This Linwe fellow’s name rang a bell. Fairly certain he was actually exiled for unsanctioned behaviour while under official Shadows contract from one of my colleagues.
    3. In either case, he was on what should be Guild turf, and was clearly… if not involved in that girl’s death, suspiciously well-placed to know where to find and loot her corpse.
    4. He was also, and I’ll admit this is more a matter of injured pride, given my people’s reputation in Skyrim, bringing Alinor, and the real Shadows, into disrepute.
    5. I am fairly certain his group will not be a problem any more.
    6. I found a set of armour that fits Rumarin astonishingly well, and still allows him a full range of arm movement, in Linwe’s quarters.
    7. I’m not sure why, but my Frightening Orb spell appears to be becoming far more effective if I am in close proximity to the target, although some of the things they say are… unsettling.
    8. I’ve figured out how to maintain invisibility while moving more quickly, even running! This could be fun…

     

    In any case, heading back to Riften this morning, currently in Winterhold, had to bring something to that Olivia woman, and wanted to see if Tolfdir had managed to bring back that bloody Orb thing yet. Apparently they’re still trying to figure out how to move it, I have a bad feeling about that idea, but I must admit it’s intriguing.

     

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Comments

2 Comments   |   The Lorc of Flowers and 1 other like this.
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  April 20
    I always liked this quest, but the Shadows themselves let me...torn. I mean, on one side, it´s really interesting to see guild of thieves digging up bodies for loot, but on the other hand...guild of grave robbers from Summerset? Really?
    They got wh...  more
    • Gnewna
      Gnewna
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      I always liked this quest, but the Shadows themselves let me...torn. I mean, on one side, it´s really interesting to see guild of thieves digging up bodies for loot, but on the other hand...guild of grave robbers from Summerset? Really?
      They got what the...  more
        ·  April 20
      I've actually never played it before, I think Nerussa's my second to complete the Guild questline and my first Guildmaster! (I've never completed the MQ or Dragonborn, either...)  


       Yeah, it definitely seems... odd, hen...  more