Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Loredas, 7th of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201
I had many reasons to come to Riften and some of them have come to fruit already today. I needed to find Esbern in the Ratway. To do this I needed to find Brynjolf. In addition, Aventus in Windhelm had said that the woman he wanted killed, Grelod the Kind, lived at Honorhall Orphanage. Nearby was Fort Dawnguard where the vampire hunters wanted recruits. As I rolled across my fingers the unusual gem I had found in the troll cave below the Thalmor Embassy, I couldn’t help think that the home of the Thieves Guild in Skyrim might be able to give me more information about it. I had also heard rumors about a Face Sculptor in Riften and I have to admit as I look at my scar on my cheek in a looking-glass that I received from the Imperial Captain in Helgen, I wonder if she could remove it? Finally, Riften was home to the Temple of Mara, for my mother’s sake, I wanted to visit.
I woke this morning in Riverwood at the Sleeping Giant. I went back to Breezehome, did some sorting, business and a little smithing. I then took the carriage to Riften. I arrived late afternoon and, after questioning the carriage driver about Riften, was stopped by one of the guards demanding a visitor tax. Once I pointed out that this was an obvious shakedown, he let me through. Once inside the gate, Riften hits you in the nose before the eyes. Fish and corruption is what I would call it. I passed by a couple having a conversation about the Thieves Guild only to be stopped by a burly tough named Maul. He questioned me about why I was in Riften. Once I held up the unusual gem I had, he came right around saying I would probably fit in better than he originally thought. I asked him what it was worth and he told me the only one who might know was Vex in the Thieves Guild. He filled me in about the Black-Briar family and in particular Maven (who I had just met yesterday at the Thalmor Embassy) who was the real power of Riften and that if I wanted Brynjolf, I could find him in the market.
Brynjolf approached me as I neared the market. I informed him that I was looking for an old guy hiding out in the Ratway, but he returned that information has a price. His price was that I help him out with a job he was about to do. He wanted me to steal a ring from one person in the market and put it in the pocket of another without them knowing. I told him I needed to think about it. I went and talked to the victim, a Brand-Shei who is a dark elf with an Argonian name. I asked him about it and his story came remarkable close to a journal I had kept in my pack ever since I had found it near the shipwreck of the The Pride of Tel Vos. I handed him the journal and once he read it he exclaimed it proves he was a member of House Telvanni. He game me a key to his strong-box and I was allowed to take all that was inside. House Telvanni was believed to be lost for some time. If Brand-Shei was right he might be last member. A house whose only rule is “There are no rules” and slavers for centuries. I went back to Brynjolf and agreed to the task.
I am no sneak expert, but I have learned to pick a lock adventuring and looking through my potions I found two that would help me. Brynjolf distracted everyone with his sales pitch for Falmer Blood Elixir. I cast my muffle spell and drank a potion to make me even quieter. I then picked the lock on Madesi’s strong-box and then lifted the ring. I then took and invisibility potion and maneuvered around Brand-Shei and dropped it in his pocket. Once it was finished I met Brynjolf who was impressed and thanked me with some gold and an offer. He told me that If I could get to the Ragged Flagon, not only would he tell me where the old man was, but he would give me and opportunity to join the Thieves guild.
I now knew I could find out what I needed to know and at that moment I watched Brand-Shei arrested. I felt a strange sense of satisfied irony that the possible last of House Telvanni, who had just learned who he was, found himself to be arrested under a false crime. I did feel bad enough to visit the Temple of Mara and talk to a priestess. Dinya Balu told me that the blessing of Mara involved helping people love so she gave me the task of finding a girl near Iverstead do just that.
Love. I guess I am the worst person to ask about it. I never knew love other than a childhood crush of a guy who went after some other girl. My parents loved me but when I did actually have relationship with men it was against my will and completely devoid of any concern for me. My viewpoint about men is that they need to be kept and arms length (preferable with my sword between them and me) and the possibility of loving them buried in my heart. The priest told me about marriage in Skyrim but even that seems rushed and short sighted. Is it possible for me to love? Hopefully helping others find it may open my eyes (or close them).
I left the Temple and headed to Honorhall Orphanage. I wanted to see how bad things really were. It was worse than i imagined. Grelod the Kind was promising extra beatings and telling the children no one would ever want them. Despite Grelod’s objections I looked around and talked to the children. I found a small room with shackles that were children sized. I found out that the children were regularly beaten. Grelod’s assistant Constance Michel confirmed all this. Grelod was standing in the middle of the main room when I confronted her. I told her Aventus said hello. She went ballistic and told me that if she ever caught him she would give him the beating of his life. I calmly drew my sword, beheaded her, and walked out. The cries of relief from the children echoed in my ears. No tears would be shed for Grelod. I wasn’t surprised when neither the children nor Constance called for the town guard.
I headed to the Bee and Barb. Before I rented a room, I was in a conversation with Vulwulf Snow-Shod. His story of his family losing his daughter reminded me of my own. Being a healer and still being killed by the Empire, her loss was causing deep mourning. I felt his words resonate with my own heart. Damn the Empire!
I now am about to sleep and in the morning I will brave the Ratway. There is still much to do.
Next: ‘A Cornered Rat’