Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Fredas, 6th of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201
I woke up today in the early morning with a lot of excitement in my heart. After eating and checking my gear I headed downstairs to Melborn. The wood elf was pretty typical for his race and very nervous. After a short conversation in handed him my essential gear which was my armor, The Ebony Blade (Melborn didn’t actually touch it as He wrapped it in cloth) and anything else that I felt I would need. The rest I would give to Delphine at the stables. Melborn told me he would have everything waiting and my main job was to get into the party without being fingered as a spy.
I headed down to the stables. I had a pair of common shoes and clothes on and it made me feel naked out there in the open. Delphine was waiting for me and she gave me some fine party clothes to wear and my invitation. I had to basically strip down to my skin right there and change leaving all my remaining possessions with Delphine. I had the fine clothes and an invitation. I hopped on the back of a carriage, Delphine wished me luck and we drove the short distance up the mountain to the Thalmor embassy.
I met a man named Razelan who complimented me on my arrival by carriage and insisted I go first. I presented my invitation to the guard and he let me in. Once inside I was immediately greeted by Elenwen, the Thalmor Ambassador. She wanted to know who I was and what had brought me to Skyrim. I deflected the question by saying I was glad to finally meet her and that I had heard so much about her. Melborn, who was serving wine, then distracted her so I never had to reveal my name. I then received a drink from Melborn and He said I under his breath that he would be waiting for me to cause a distraction.
The party guests were an odd assortment. The first one I talked to was Erikur and immediately disliked him. People who sacrifice all honor for money seem to annoy me, but worst of all he seemed more interested in getting my clothes off than actual conversation. After I disengaged myself, he then went after the serving girl who was a wood elf. I talked to Idgrod Ravencrone, Jarl of Hjallmarch who warned me that the Thalmor were adept at all the languages of diplomacy and intrigue both spoken and unspoken and I should watch myself. Finally, there was Maven Black-Briar who didn’t recognize me and that had aroused her suspicions. She told me that she did not want to speak to me again or she would blow my cover.
With that I returned to Razelan who was complaining about where to get a drink. I had heard an offhand comment while walking through the room that he was from the East Empire Company. I got him a drink and he was immediately thankful, I then asked him if it was possible for him to cause a scene. He said he was happy to repay my kindness. He got up proposed a toast and things immediately looked up for me and Melborn as he had everyone’s attention with his insults of Elenwen. Melborn and I ducked out through a side door into the kitchens. Melborn got us past the cook and then into a small storage room where he gave me back my gear.
It felt good to be back in my armor and hold the Ebony Blade again. As I went through another door, Melborn shut it behind me and locked it. I walked only a couple of steps and heard a conversation between two guards. The content of which simply illustrated the rivalry that exists among the Thalmor between their soldiers and wizards but what stuck me is they seemed as worried about the dragons as I was. I charged into the room where they were and between the Ebony Blade and uses of my Time Slow shout I was ably to kill both guards and a wizard who came to help them. Thankfully, the embassy walls are thick so no sound of the battle was heard. I searched the rooms but found no information that was helpful.
I left the first building and ran into the courtyard where I found more opposition in the form of two more foot soldiers and a wizard. It took a bit but I killed all of them as well. The then entered the separate building and immediately had to fight another guard, a man in plain clothes and a wizard who was very powerful. I killed all three of them. This wizard was probably Elenwen’s second Rulindil and the civilian probably one of their spies. A search of both floors of this building was much more enlightening as I found a report that basically said that the Thalmor were basically ignorant about the dragons. I also found dossiers on Delphine, Ulfric Stormcloak and Viarmo. I tucked them all into my backpack as I had no time to look at them at that moment. I headed to the basement, killed another guard and found another dossier in a chest about a Blade named Esbern. The Thalmor were looking for him too because of his knowledge of dragons.
I had no time to look beyond that basic piece of information before two more guards showed up with Melborn in tow. I struck quickly before they had a chance to react and both guards went down. Melborn was free but he bemoaned the fact the Thalmor would be hunting him the rest of his life, he hoped it was worth it. I found the prisoner some of the documents mentioned – Etienne Rarnis, He told me the Thalmor were looking for Esbern and he knew he was in Riften. We were trapped but Etienne said the guards would get rid of bodies through a trapdoor. It was our only option so we opened it and dropped own through. I followed the cave until it opened up on a ledge, I could smell and fee fresh are but then I saw down in the cave below the ledge that this was a Frost Troll den.
I tried to get both Melborn and Etienne to stay put but either through bravado or fear they both bolted, dropping into the cave and heading for the exit to Skyrim. The troll destroyed both of them in two swipes before I even had a chance to react. I dropped down and using a combination of Fire Breath, a Fire Rune and some Fire Bolts brought the Troll to battle. The Ebony Blade finished him off. Looking around I found the body of a dark elf, next to him as a book and a very unusual gem which I took and then after making sure Melborn and Etienne were dead, I headed outside into cold. I found my way back to the stables without trouble and took a carriage to Whiterun. While riding I used the last daylight to read the dossiers in my possession.
The dossier on Delphine was enlightening as it showed how skilled and lucky she was. The Thalmor believed her to be working alone as most of the Blades were dead. She had escaped the Thalmor purge before the Great War by being recalled to Cyrodiil. She was considered to be extremely dangerous and no action would be planned against her without overwhelming force.
Ulfric Stormcloak was considered by the Thalmor to be an asset. As long as the Civil War in Skyrim continued it weakened the Empire and gave the Thalmor time to prepare. The incident at Helgen had given them pause but there was a thankfulness for the dragon attack but they were also alarmed by it as they didn’t know where the dragon came from. The fact the Thalmor consider this war a good thing is disturbing to me. It may mean I may need to rethink my strategy into something that moves the war to conclusion as quickly as possible.
Viarmo’s dossier indicated that the Thalmor were trying to get him to be an asset as far as information. I will have to look at this later and into it with Viarmo. In any case, I joined the college for its information potential and Viarmo could be an asset to me as well.
The last dossier was on the Blade Esbern. The main thrust was that the Thalmor has let him slip though their fingers as he was an old man they didn’t really see as a threat. It reminded them that no one should be looked at as not a threat if they are a member of the Blades. The Thalmor wanted him because he was probably one of the leading authorities on dragonlore. Based on what they knew they felt he was in Riften somewhere.
I headed to Breezehome to drop off some things and used the last remaining daylight to run back to Riverwood and meet Delphine. She took me report and at first was skeptical until I mentioned Esbern and then she became giddy. The fact that another Blade was alive made he seem very happy. She told me that if he was in Riften then he would probably be in the Ratway. I should meet a man named Brynjolf in Riften If I wanted to know more.
I decided not to head home in the dark but spend the night at the Sleeping Giant. Once I get home tomorrow, I plan on doing some research, business and other work, then it will be off to Riften.