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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Jamie64, Dec 17, 2014.
Let us begin
It was a cold and windy night as Ak'dar stepped into the bee and barb inn in Riften. The merchants and the dock workers had just closed shop and the place was filled with people. Only instead of the merry making and happy conversion you'd hear in other inns throughout skyrim, there was only hushed whispers as everyone did their best to mind their own business. "Talen-Jei," he called to the Argonian helping serve drinks, "one wonders if you are still making that special brew," he asked, his voice still possessing a thick Elswyr accent he never bothered to lose. "You have some nerve showing up here," the Argonian hissed back, indicating he wasn't welcome here after the last incident in which he extorted Keerava, the owner, in order to get her to pay her debt to the guild. "Here on business, Maven sent for me," he responded. Talen-Jei's fave contorted into a weird hiss, which Ak'dar assumed was an Argonian frown. "She's upstairs. Do your business and get out. Don't need scum like you polluting the place." Ak'dar made a mock smile and bowed his head slightly, walking upstairs to greet the unofficial leader of Riften, and the most influential family in skyrim. "Maven Black-briar. It is good to see you," he remarked as he stepped inside. "Sit and wait. I'm expecting one more person and I don't feel like explaining the situation twice," she snapped, gesturing to a chair near the corner of the room. "The other one should be here shortly."
The night was, as the day had been, windy and chilled. Clouds had blown in from the north yet refused to let loose rain or snow, leaving in its stead a miserable dry touch of ice that seeped to Neladrie's bones. Worse still, her feet ached and she lacked the energy (and the motivation) to run the rest of the way to Riften. Even with her eyesight, the city was barely within sight despite the torchlight that flickered atop towers and in the hands of guards marching the walls. She wagered that within the hour she would arrive at the gates, though from there Neladrie would find no rest, first having to officially accept the job that had been offered a week previous by word of mouth. The messenger, winded and bearing the crest of the Briars, had called for a Neladrie Findelye to arrive in Riften for a job offering her 'valuable and essential skills.' That had drawn a laugh.
At last, a good half hour or so later, she arrived within earshot of the guard standing by the massive wooden gates. He hadn't seen her yet, either sleeping on duty or inattentive from boredom. Whatever the case, it was for the better that he was unaware of the elf standing but thirty paces from him. Now it is time for a little bit of fun. Sliding her quiver to her side with a change of the straps, Neladrie quickly dashed to a nearby patch of undergrowth and pulled the hood of her cloak over her head. Nothing stirred. Cautiously creeping out from the foliage, she headed towards the nearest wall, grabbing onto the stone with a deft hand and testing the strength - stable enough for her brief climb. Within moments she had shimmied her way to the very edge of the parapets, hands grasping for the closest handhold: there were none within reach.
Stifling a curse, Neladrie dug her feet into the largest gaps between bricks readily available and readied herself for a lunge. Crouching down as low as she dare without exerting too much pressure on her arms, she gave one great kick and shoved upwards with her arms, propelling her up to the wall's very edge. With little to no time to spare, her hands shot outwards, grasping the edge of the parapet with the very edge of her fingers, leaving her body to slam against the wall with a low thud. The breath drove from her lungs and she hung there limply for a moment before pulling herself up with a low grunt of exertion. For a while all Neladrie could do was stand and glance around, waiting for air to return. Luckily no guards currently faced her direction, though one looked to be finished with chatting to someone below.
With no time to spare, she took a quick slide over the side of the parapet, landing roughly below, nearly twisting an ankle on her descent. Over all, a frivolous waste of time, as she now wagered her little game had landed her late upon her arrival. Wasting no further time, Neladrie rushed to the Bee and Barb, avoiding guards along the way. This caused more delays, but then, better she arrive on sociable terms and not with an army of slightly corrupt, yet still armed, guards at her back. What a long evening that would be.
Ak'dar sat in the corner, trying his best to remain inconspicuous. He had done a few jobs in the past for the Black-briars but being this close to Maven for long periods of time was hazardous to anyone's health. A Nordic traveler had walked in to the room about ten minutes ago, apparently to have rented it for the night but took one look at the present occupants and went back downstairs for a drink.
It was getting to be late and Ak'dar was just about to call it night and claim he needed to go on "guild business" when the guest of honor stepped through the door. It was a Breton, a rather pretty one Ak'dar had to admit. "You are late," Maven snapped.
Though not the most pristine or homely of inns, the Bee and Barb was at the very least warm. Ignoring a subdued and hollow greeting from the bartender, Neladrie headed straight for the stairs leading to the second floor, wishing not to waste any more time. From there it was a simple matter of checking the rooms, finally stumbling on the correct one and stepping in. Inside sat the striking and imposing figure of Maven and a Khajiit she didn't recognize from any of the big names around Skyrim, but then they all looked the same to her.
"You are late." The voice cracked like a whip in the silence, drawing the slightest wince from the elf as she stood in the doorway.
Neladrie's mouth opened to reply that the guards had refused to let her in upon showing him the letter, but that would be too easy to check and then she would be in for trouble. Instead, she thought of a quick and simple lie that was not entirely offset from the truth. If Maven felt the need to check with the city watch, then there would be nothing Neladrie could do to avoid a reprimand.
"There need not be a tax instilled upon visitors to the city, my lady of house Briar." The elf's voice was a low melody, barely above a whisper but clear enough to be heard atop the din of the tavern below. "Apologies for my lateness, regardless. I was required to find other means into the city."
Ak'dar stifled a chuckle, making an odd sound he had once heard from one of his beastly cousins who was coughing up a fur ball. The look he got from Maven as a result could turn the warmest hearth fire as cold as an ice wraith's breath. "Apologies. The city entrance tax goes to the guild," he muttered, more to Maven than the Breton who had actually had to get past it. "Tell your boss I want a piece," Maven snapped, still keeping the death look plastered across her face. "Of course," Ak'dar chimed with a cunning and mischievous smile his kind was famous for. "Good, now let us get down to business. Close the door and have a seat," she ordered, taking a sip of mead from the jeweled goblet in her hands.
Neldarie did as the woman commanded, shutting the door quietly and moving to the nearest chair, taking a seat and sliding the chair to lean against a wall, her boot-clad feet propping themselves atop a small round table with a thud of iron studs. She pulled her head back, revealing a face lined with intricate red ink work over her brow and across her cheeks, pointed ears, and lightly-hued brown eyes that had no other interest than Maven. Her hand drew a dagger and began to roll it around her fingertips, the blade catching and reflecting the firelight of torches, throwing it dancing across her arm and torso. Her overall expression could be described as bored and impatient, particularly once her head had been propped up on her arm.