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I am by no means a writer, in fact I am horrible but figured I'd post a story I wrote on the Bethesda Forums here. I fully expect to be picked apart for my bad writing, this was also written about 2 years ago. I also like to include pictures to somewhat show what is going on since it kind of helps take away some of the burden of creating the scene through writing.

Chapter 1

"Oh wait, aren't you going to eat something before you go to work?"

"I can't I slept in, sorry mom." Jak said as he quickly rushed out the door to head to the Riften Docks.

Once at the docks Jak got to work quickly with the daily chores he was assigned when he got the job. Luckily he had been doing it for so long that even starting late he could get his work done in time, and after a few hours he took a break to relax watching the lake. It was peaceful for awhile until...

"Hey Jak! What are you doing?" The young Breton came up from behind and sat down beside Jak.

"Hello, Fina..." She stretched her legs out across his lap. "Alright then... well I am on my break, I got all my stuff done and before I get back to work I wanted to relax over the lake."

"Oh, that sounds like fun, I mean I can't imagine working here is all that fun."

"It isn't bad, it can get boring but it pays okay. Plus I get to rest here every now and then and take in the view and fresh air."

"It is beautiful, isn't it? "

"So what are you doing here, Fina?"

"I don't have anything to do since I haven't gotten any jobs from the Jarl or anyone, so I decided I would come see you today."

"Lucky me." Jak smirked and Fina smacked his arm.

Jak eventually stood up and explained he had to get back to work, so Fina hugged him and said good bye. Once the sun began set Jak finished up his remaining work, and headed home where his mother cooked a meal while he recovered from another day of working for the Riften Fishery.

As usual Jak worked a long day at the Riften Fishery and decided to go to the Bee and Barb for an afternoon drink. He sat the bar drinking several mugs of mead trying to take the edge off.

"By the gods, Fina? Is that you?"


"That's right. Wow it has been years, what are you doing in Riften?"

"I live here, in fact I just got back from a job the jarl gave me to go take care some smugglers. What about you?"

"I have been travelling Skyrim looking for potential patrons, and ended up here. It is great to see you, want to get a drink?"

"Umm, sure." Fina and Marcurio headed to the bar to order some mead when Fina noticed Jak sitting at the bar and walked up to him.

"Jak, how are you?" She stood beside him at the bar and Jak nodded his head as Marcurio walked up to the bar. "Marc, this is Jak... Jak this Marc, he is an old friend of mine."

Marcurio greeted Jak, but Jak gave a quick hand gesture and took another drink of his mead. "Jak are you drunk?" Fina asked.

"Not drunk enough." he replied.

"I'm going to change out of my armor. Marc watch him for me and make sure he doesn't get into trouble." Marcurio laughed and agreed to the request.

"She is great isn't she?" Marc gave a sigh, "It's been so long since I've seen her."

"Yeah, she is great..." Jak replied.

Marcurio leaned forward onto the bar, "So what's the story between you two? Are you?"

"We're just good friends." Jak explained.

"Oh. Interesting."

Marcurio began small talk with Jak and explained how he knew Fina from when they used to study magic in Cyrodiil when they were younger. Then he began to rant about how he was a master of the arcane and his skill in battle was unmatched. He also hinted that if Jak ever needed him he could be hired. Jak didn't pay much attention, he instead noticed the coin purse he had hanging from his belt. After a couple minutes Jak went to get up from the bar, but stumbled and Marcurio caught him before he fell.
"I think you have had enough to drink, at least until Fina gets back."

"Fine. Maybe you are right, I'll just go home now. Tell Fina I said bye." Jak made his way to the door, "Sucker." Jak smirked and put the coin purse in his pocket.
Wonderful to see a Skyrim tale, BB, and thanks for sharing Jaks story!

No worries about being picked apart. Folks here might offer some gentle and constructive criticism as it becomes more clear what your objectives are. Overall though, youll find readers at chorrol really get how important encouragement is. The main thing is that you enjoy creating and sharing your story.

The screenshots are welcome to give us a good look at Jak and Fina shes adorable by the way.

A fun and unexpected twist at the end but, given the storys title, not at all out of place. Jak seems to not only be an accomplished cutpurse but his willingness to steal from a master of the arcane demonstrates some stones that rival those of Shor. tongue.gif
Darkness Eternal
Don't worry BretonBlood. We all start at some point, and you are off to a great start. As Acadian said its good to see a Skyrim story. The screenshots is a creative way of telling a story, I enjoy it. Fina is cute. I like her hair. tongue.gif

Heh. Seems like Mercurio missplaced his coinpurse in the end.

As Acadian said, just enjoy the story you created. There are tons of stories here and yours is another awesome addition to the Chorrol Library hehe. Looking forward to more of Jak's escapades!
Acadian: Thanks for the support, it means a lot. I'm glad you like Fina, she is from a mod I installed.

And lol I think the mead gave Jak a little liquid courage to be able to pull such a stunt.

Darkness Eternal: Thank you, I'm glad my first start wasn't horrible. I'm glad you like Fina as well, her hair is one of my favorite things about her.

Just a note. I should have mentioned this in my first post, but this story is going to be somewhat awkward because I am taking little mini-updates that I did for it on the Bethesda forums and turning them into chapters. It's kind of hard to do because there are certain spots I would like to stop but if I did the chapters would be too short or too long. So bare with me on that. tongue.gif

Chapter 2

After the events of the previous night, Jak decided to not go to work the next morning and instead took his mother shopping to let her get something nice. They circled the market and stopped at the stands then Jak would wait quietly to see if she found anything she liked.

"You know Jak you don't have to follow me. Feel free to look around yourself."

"Okay mom. I'll just go wait over there." Jak left the market and leaned on the wall while his mother continued to shop.

"Well, well what happened to you last night? I left and when I came back you were gone." Fina leaned against the wall.

"Sorry about that." Jak said guiltily, "So what did you do last night then?"

"I just stayed and drank with Marcurio. It was fun, but I went there to see what you were doing since your mom told me you were there."

"Again I'm sorry, but at least it sounds like you had fun."

"It's okay. Marcurio got pretty drunk himself and started asking about my personal life, and then he got so rowdy that he lost his coin purse and was furious. Luckily Brynjolf calmed him down and gave him some coin."

"Oh really, that's crazy..."

"He actually thought you took it, but I told him you were too drunk to have done that, plus I know you would never do such a thing."

"Yeah. That sounds about right... I was pretty gone last night." Jak happened to look across the market and notice Brynjolf giving him a strange look like he wanted to talk. "I'll see you around Fina."

Jak crossed the market to Brynjolf's stand where he was talking about his Falmer blood elixir, that sounded too good to be true.

"Come into a bit of coin lately?"

"I..uh.. I don't know what you're talking about." Jak got nervous

"Don't worry lad. I won't tell anyone, in fact I was impressed with your little heist last night. You have talent."

"Thanks, I just wanted the coin for my mom, she deserves it."

"Understandable. How would you like to put that talent to good use?"

"What did you have in mind?"

"I want you to break into Madesi's stand and steal his ring. Once you have it, I want you to plant the ring in Brand-Shei's pocket that way the guards think he stole it."

"Why are we doing this to him?" Jak had to ask.

"Someone has paid to have Brand-Shei taken out of the picture since he has been sniffing around, but we aren't the Dark Brotherhood we just want him to learn a lesson by sending him to jail. When you're ready I'll create a distraction and you can get the ring."

Jak agreed and Brynjolf created a distraction by yelling for everyone to gather around to see his new merchandise. His distraction worked as everyone gathered around his stand to listen and Jak took the opportunity to sneak his way to Madesi's stand and began to lockpick. After a few moments he unlocked the stand and jewelry box and took the ring. Jak then made his way to Brand-Shei and hid behind his stand and some boxes and very carefully placed the ring in his pocket. As soon as Jak came from behind Brand-Shei's stand Brynjolf ended his speech and everyone went on their way.

"It seems I chose the right man for the job. And here is your payment. I'm surprised our plan went off without a hitch."

"Why is that?"

"Bah. My organization has run into a bit of bad luck, but that's just how it goes. But there is more gold in it for you if you're interested? My organization runs in the Ragged Flagon down in the Ratway, meet me there and we'll see if you have what it takes."

"I can handle it. See you there."

Once Jak finished speaking with Brynjolf he noticed a guard at Brand-Shei's stand interrogating him about the ring. Brand-Shei swore he had never seen it before, but the guard wouldn't hear it and threatened to take him to the keep as a lifeless body if he didn't come quietly. After meeting with Brynjolf in the plaza Jak decided it would be best to wait until nighttime to head to the Ratway. So once nighttime arrived he prepared himself.

"I'm just going to go for a walk mom. I'll be back soon."

"Please be careful, Jak. Remember not to go down to the lower level."

Jak didn't take his mother's advice as he made his way across the city and down to the entrance of the Ratway. He entered and side and overheard talking in the distance, so Jak decided to sneak up the source of the talking and found two men talking by a fire. One mentioned going to check the entrance so Jak quickly backed up and hid in one of the side passageways near the entrance. As the man passed by Jak jumped him and threw him into the other passageway and the man pulled out his bow while Jak hacked at him with his sword. When the archer eventually fell to Jak's blade, Jak decided to loot his body, and to sneak past the other one seeing as he had Jak beat in size. Unfortunately, the first two were not the only inhabitants in the Ratway Jak found out. He came to a dead end as the drawbridge was not lowered and below him was a Khajiit taunting him, the Khajiit turned to find a way up, but Jak put an arrow into him before he could do it.

Jak jumped down and noticed a locked gate to his left, and using his skill with a lockpick he picked it and made his way into the Ragged Flagon. It was not what he was expecting, but figured it could be worse. As he made his way closer he overheard talking.

"Give it up Brynjolf, those days are over. You, Vex, Mercer, you're a dying breed."

"Dying breed, eh? Well what do you call that?" Brynjolf said as Jak entered into the center of the Flagon. Brynjolf looked at the others and then approached Jak.

"Well colored me impressed lad. I wasn't certain I'd ever see you again."

"Getting here was easy." Jak lied trying not to disappoint Brynjolf.

"Reliable and headstrong? You are turning out to be quite the prize. Now that your hear though, how would you like to take care of some deadbeats for me?"

"Who are my targets?"

"Bersi, Keerava, and Haelga. The debt here is secondary, the real message we want to get across is that the we aren't to be ignored. But remember no killing, it's bad for business, so keep your blade clean."

"Okay got it, I'll handle the debts."

"Good, and if you need any information on your targets I'll be here."

Jak listened to Brynjolf on what we had to say about each of the targets and then made his way out of the Ragged Flagon and back home. The next day Jak awoke and left his house and went to collect the debt from Haelga first. Jak tried asking Haelga if she was going to pay the debt, but she refused, so he took Brynjolf's advice and used her Dibella statue against her by threatening to throw it down the well. Haelga agreed to pay the debt and Jak moved on to the Bee and Barb to talk with Keerava. Instead of going to Keerava knowing she would refuse like Haelga Jak decided to talk to Talen-Jei, who while disagreed with Jak's actions did not want to see Keerava get hurt and told him to mention her family back in Morrowind. With this information Jak was able to get Keerava to pay her debt and he left the Bee and Barb to pay Bersi a visit.

"Bersi, you and I need to talk."

"No, I know why you are here and I have the money. Here take it and tell Brynjolf he won't have any more trouble from me."

With the last debt in his possession Jak headed back to the Ragged Flagon to give it to Brynjolf. Jak sat down at the table with Brynjolf and placed the debts on the table, Brynjolf took the debts and was pleased with Jak's work.

The debts were collected and Brynjolf was impressed, "All the debts collected and you kept your blade clean. Well done, we could use more like you in our outfit."

"Word on the street is that your outfit isn't doing do well."

"We are running into a bit of a rough patch, but how about you keep doing your jobs and earning coin and I'll worry about the rest."

"If there is more coin to be made, then sign me up."

"Alright then, how about you follow me and I'll show you what we are really about."

Brynjolf stood up from the table and started walking away so Jak followed. After opening a secret passage in a cupboard he lead Jak through a door, and into a cistern. He followed Brynjolf to the center where a man was standing, Brynjolf introduced Jak and the man began talking about how much praise Brynjolf had been giving Jak and how he expected him to make them coin. He then began talking about Jak proving his skills by going to an estate, but Brynjolf objected to no avail. After his little speech Brynjolf reminded the man, named Mercer, and he welcomed Jak to the Thieves Guild. Mercer headed back to his desk while the other two began heading back to the Ragged Flagon, but Jak stopped.

"Brynjolf, I'm worried I'm not going to be able to go to Goldenglow estate and get what Mercer wants. I just started this whole new life of larceny."

"Don't worry about, lad. You don't have to it just yet, go talk with Delvin and Vex, they know their way around this place and can give you extra jobs to hone your skills. They can also train you as well. Just do a couple jobs and when your comfortable come talk to me about Goldenglow. Oh and one last thing, talk to Tonilia about your new armor."

With his mind at peace Jak took Brynjolf's advice and returned to the Flagon to talk to Vex, Delvin, and Tonilia. Vex made it abundantly clear that Jak was not there to replace her and that he needed to do what she said. Jak was pretty sure she was just trying to take advantage of him since he was new, but didn't say anything out of respect for her. He also picked up a job from her to steal an object from someone's house in Solitude. Jak then made his way to a man sitting at a table.

"Are you Delvin?"

"That's right. And let me guess, Brynjolf just plucked you up off the street and dropped you into the thick of things without telling you which way is up. Am I right?"

"Yeah, sort of. I guess I could use some advice."

"See, now that's the attitude of someone who wants to get rich and live long enough to enjoy it. We're going to get along nicely. Just remember to get jobs from me or Vex to help the guild get back on its feet."

"What do you mean back on its feet?"

"Look at this place, it's falling apart. A few decades ago this place was as busy as the Imperial City. The others think I'm daft for saying this, but I think we've been cursed."

"Cursed? By what?"

"The hell if I know. All I know is we need to spit in this curse's face and turn things around down here. So if you ever want to help get the guild back to the way things were and make some coin, come see me for a job."

After finishing talking to Delvin Jak asked which one was Tonilia, and Delvin walked him over to her. She introduced herself as the guild fence, lookout, and the watcher of Delvin's back. After introducing himself and selling some things to her Jak received his armor and left to change. With his new armor Jak left the cistern through the secret entrance ready to begin his new life.
It was funny how Marcurio never exactly figured out what had happened to his coin purse - thanks to Fina's unknowing help. So Jak graduates from private cutpurse to a full fledged member of the Thieves Guild. He does seem to have some talent for it.
Darkness Eternal
Sorry, Mr.Blood. Due to the temporary issue with the website itself I wasn't able to comment or read. But I have time today.

Okay, it's good to see that our young protagonist is recruited into the Thieves' Guild. Being a good pickpocket, I guess that destiny- or fate- was to be expected. Keep him away from the Nightingales!

Let's see what is in store for him from here on out. I don't think his mother would be proud tongue.gif
Acadian: I think he let it go since Brynjolf gave him some coin to make up for it... Otherwise Jak may not have gotten off so easy.

Darkness Eternal: No his mother would not be proud of him, but he is willing to do anything to give a better life to his mother, even if it means a life of thievery. They have scrapped by his whole life and he wants more.

Chapter 3

Jak returned home to rest before he would leave for Solitude.

"Jak, where have you been I've been worried sick about you? And where did you get that armor?"

"Oh... Brynjolf gave it to me as it's a gift, he wanted me to work for him and I agreed."

"What about your job at the Fishery?"

"This job will pay more than the Fishery ever did, mom. Trust me, it will be great for both of us."

After deceiving his mother about his new job Jak ate dinner and turned in for the night. He got up early the next morning and made his way to the carriage to catch a ride to Solitude. After finally arriving in Solitude very late in the night, almost morning, Jak entered the city to find a ceremony was being held for a man's execution. It was a lucky break because this would most likely keep the guards busy so he made his way through the city quickly, but silently and arrived at the house. Jak took a look around to make sure no one was around and then picked the lock. Once inside he crept slowly and quietly to find the golden horn he needed to steal. He was relieved when he found it, but petrified as the horn was next to its sleeping owner. Jak held his breath and time seemed to slow down as he moved as slow and stealthily as possible until he grabbed the item.

With the horn in his possession Jak left the house and made his way back through the city. He had never felt more alive in his life, but he also never felt more afraid as he walked past guards thinking they knew what he had done. As soon as he exited the city he took a sigh of relief and headed down the road to the carriage. Before reaching the carriage, Jak noticed a caravan of Khajiit and how they were staring at him with strange expressions until one motioned for him to come over. The others stared as he walked into their camp, and what looked like the leader began talking, "Come join us young one. You have nothing to fear from Khajiit, this one knows that armor very well."

Jak's nerves grew even worse and he almost made a break for the carriage, "I don't know what your talking about, my father gave me this armor."

"You can't fool this one, I know that armor when I see it. I too was once in the guild back in Elsweyr, granted our armor was a tad different. Sit with us Breton, this one can share stories and give advice."

Jak agreed and sat down to listen to the Khajiit's stories. He gave useful tips and tricks to being a good thief and even through in some lockpicks for free. Jak thanked the Khajiit and made his way to the carriage where he paid to head back to Riften.

Jak arrived in Riften early in the morning and immediately headed for the secret entrance to the guild, his confidence was through the roof after completing his first job so he walked with a certain arrogance as he arrived in the Ragged Flagon. He found Vex eating breakfast.

"I completed the job. Here is the drinking horn you asked for."

"Good job, now what do you want a prize? We're thieves, not children."

"I just thought I did a good job since it was my first burglary."

"You'll be amazed at what people just leave laying around, sometimes it won't be that easy though."

Jak's confidence had been lowered after talking with Vex and decided to instead take a job from Delvin. He offered him a bedlam job to go to Windhelm and steal 500 gold worth of items, and told him not to let Vex get to him she was once a beginner as well. So after taking the job Jak returned to the cistern and took a nap to get some rest after his long journey across Skyrim. He awoke a couple hours later and left the cistern to return home to see his mother. He made his way past the steps of the Temple of Mara, but was caught by an old friend.

"Jak? Where have you been, it's been days since I've seen you?" Fina ran down the stairs.

"Oh you know the usual, always busy. What are you doing outside of the Temple?"

"I was just relaxing thinking about Lady Mara because I have begun worshiping her." She showed Jak her amulet.

"Worshiping her? Why now?" Jak was perplexed.

"Because I believe in all that she stands for, love and compassion. We could use more of that around here. Anyways, I talked with your mom and she said you quit your job at the Riften Fishery?" She paused, " And I like the new armor where did you get it?"

"I did quit my job at the fishery, something better came along. And you like it? Brynjolf offered me a job and he gave me this armor."

"Brynjolf? I noticed you talking with him the other day in the market... the day Brand-Shei got arrested."

"Yeah that was when he offered me the job, with Brand-Shei out of business he asked me to be his assistant to help with his business since more people would likely buy his merchandise."

"Okay. Just be careful Jak, I've heard some things about Brynjolf... not good things, and I don't want you apart of it if they are true..." She stepped forward and hugged him.

"Me?Come on, I'd never do such a thing."

Jak returned home and spent the rest of the day with his mother. The next morning Jak got up early to leave for Windhelm, but was stopped on the way by Shadr who asked him for some help regarding Sapphire. He explained the situation how Sapphire conned him and now he didn't have the money to pay her. Jak agreed to help and headed to the Bee and Barb where Sapphire hung out.

"Hey Sapphire, I need to talk to you."

"Oh, if it isn't the new guild member. What do you want?"

"I want to you to drop Shadr's debt."

"Why would I do that? I have already made enough from him, anything else is just a bonus."

"Exactly, you made enough from him, so you don't need to extort him for more."

"I see what this is, you want a cut don't you? Or do you plan to rat me out?"

"I guess you leave me no choice. I'm telling Brynjolf about this."

"Okay, let's not do anything rash like that. Just tell Shadr the debt is off and leave it at that."

With the good news Jak returned to Shadr at the Riften Stables. "You're no longer in debt to Sapphire." Jak held out his hand to shake Shadr's. He was ecstatic that he no longer had to pay Sapphire and rewarded Jak by giving him a horse that he had found wandering around Riften. Shadr brought the horse out saddled and Jak let her sniff his hand and he stroked her mane. And with his own horse Jak no longer needed to hire the carriage and left for Windhelm on horse. His journey was uneventful other than coming across another khajiit caravan and some Vigilants of Stendarr. Eventually, he arrived in Kynesgrove with Windhelm in the distance, so he stopped to rest a little and then continued to Windhelm where he stabled his horse and walked the bridge to the city.

Once inside Windhelm he came across a woman being harassed by two Nords, so Jak stepped in to defend her.
"Oh, look, our spy has a little protector."

"How about you leave her alone, and be on your way."

"Are you looking for trouble, Breton?"

"No, I just don't like your attitude."

The Nord bet Jak he could beat him in a fight for 100 gold and Jak accepted. He got a few good hits on in before Jak retaliated, but then the man pulled a dagger out. "You cheating bastard!" Jak yelled. The Nord would swing his dagger, but Jak was faster and would move and land a few punches. He sliced Jak once, but in the end the Nord took one wrong jab and Jak took the opportunity to grab his arm and pull him close while elbowing him in the face with all his strength causing the Nord to fall to the ground. Jak stood over him demanding he pay before he ended up in the river outside Windhelm. Afterwards, Jak approached the Dunmer woman to ask if she was okay.

"Yes I'm fine young man, but you are wounded."

"I'll be fine, it's just a scratch."

"Nonsense, here take this healing potion, I was going to sell it in the market, but I can always make another one. Please." She handed Jak the potion and he drank it.

Jak thanked the women and asked where the inn was. She directed him to the building behind her and he headed inside Candlehearth Hall to rest and wait for nightfall. It was the middle of the night when Jak left Candlehearth Hall. He stepped out into the cold night air of Windhelm, shivering he was surprised by how cold it had gotten. Jak began walking the streets of Windhelm to find a good house to rob, avoiding being seen by guards that patrolled. He finally came to a house and decided it was the one and within seconds he had picked the lock and entered. Jak was a little disappointed that the house looked so empty, but started his burglary by taking some potions he had found on the shelf, and next he went upstairs. He had hit the jackpot when he noticed a lone silver jeweled necklace sitting on a table, it was almost too easy, but Jak picked it up and knew it would be all he needed to sell for more than 500 gold.

So with the necklace Jak left the house and hurried through Windhelm. Staying in Windhelm would be too risky in case the owners of the house went to the guards about their missing necklace, so Jak left Windhelm and mounted his horse. He knew it was unwise to travel through the night back to Riften and since Kynesgrove was close enough to Windhelm, but far enough that guards might come looking he stopped there and rented a room. Although he had a room, sleep was hard to come by as Jak was nervous about the theft, he still had not adjusted completely to his new life of larceny. In the morning, he left Kynesgrove and on the way came across a strange Khajiit that talked nonsense and practiced his blade skills by killing wolves that attacked him on his way back.

Back in Riften Jak stabled his horse and then made his way into the city and to the secret entrance. Delvin was walking around the Flagon talking with Tonilia when Jak stopped him.

"So you're back. I suppose you have completed that bedlam job."

"I did complete it, here this necklace should be more than 500 gold, along with these potions." Jak handed over the necklace.

"I'd say you did a bloody good job, this necklace is worth about 800 gold. You keep this up and you'll be rich in no time."

"Thanks. If you have any more jobs I'll take one."

"Sorry Jak, I don't have any, but you might want to check with Vex."

"Alright, thanks Delvin."

Jak checked in with Vex who did have a job for him. Vex wanted him to go to Windhelm and place a stolen garnet in one of the residence's homes. Jak reluctantly accepted the job as he was not excited to go back to Windhelm so soon. After leaving the guild, Jak headed back home, and the next day got up to return to Windhelm. He saddled his horse, and prepared to leave when he heard someone clear their throat behind him.

"So, where are you off to today? And since when have you owned a horse?" Jak turned around.

"Just a job in Windhelm. You like her, Shadr gave her to me after I helped him out, but I still don't know what to name her." Jak paused, "I take it you got a job from the Jarl since you are all geared up." Marcurio walked up as Jak finished talking.

"I did get a job, and Marc is coming with me. We are actually going to Windhlem too. Do you want to travel with us?"

"Uh, no I'll be fine just riding there myself."

"But it will be fun, I'll pay for the carriage.."

"Fina, if he doesn't want to come with us he doesn't have to." Marcurio cut in.

"Shh!" Fina waved her hand at Marcurio, "Come on Jak, please."

He couldn't argue and instead agreed to ride with Fina and Marcurio to Windhelm so he unsaddled his horse and put her back into the stables while Fina paid for the trip. Jak let Fina get in the carriage first and then Marcurio stepped up and sat next to her, so Jak got in and sat across from Fina. The trip was awkward as Jak didn't have much to say and felt like a third wheel, even though Fina wanted him there. Marcurio talked with Fina most of the time and Jak would glance over, but would look away and watch the scenery, and Fina would try to include him in the conversation. After a long trip they arrived in Windhelm and they walked up to the gate where a guard told them not to make any trouble due to recent events in the city. Jak wanted to rent rooms at the inn that way they could rest, and so he could go complete his job, but Fina wanted to walk around the city and explore instead.

After walking around the Grey Quarter they walked across the plaza and came across a gruesome scene causing Fina to gasp.

"We should go to the inn now, we don't need to get involved in what is going on here."

"No, we should see what is going on, maybe we can help." Fina said stubbornly.

"I actually agree with Jak on this." Fina gave a quick look to Marcurio and Jak and then went down the stairs and the two looked at each other and then followed her.

"Hold it, this is a crime scene, just keep it moving."

"What happened here?" Fina asked.

"We had another murder, that's the third one. Poor Suzanna, she just served me a drink at Candlehearth Hall a few nights ago, but I can't say I knew her."

"This is the third murder? Aren't the guards doing something about this?" The guard explained how they were trying to investigate, but with the war they were spread thin and Fina continued to question him. Jak noticed an old man watching Fina who then looked at him so Jak looked back at Fina. The guard then told Fina if she wanted to help she should question the witnesses since he had to clean up the body before the rats got to it.

So after talking to the guard Fina went to each witness, and questioned them about what happened and what they saw. She returned to the guard who was not surprised they had not witnessed anything useful and told her that if she wanted to help any further she needed to talk to the Jarl's steward, Jorleif, in the Palace of the Kings. Fina gathered with Jak and Marcurio to tell them their next move, but Jak insisted that they go to the inn to rest, it had been a long trip and they hardly be any help if they were exhausted and could not think straight. Fina finally agreed and they all went to Candlehearth Hall and rented rooms and slept most of the day. Fina awoke before the others, much to Jak's displeasure as he wanted to finish his job without the other two around, and so they headed to the Palace of the Kings to talk with Jorleif. He was glad to accept Fina's help with finding the murderer since most of his guards were stretched thin, and with his approval Fina wanted to go back to tell the guard and investigate the crime scene.

"Fina, wait. We can't do this yet."

"What are you talking about, Jak?"

"I need to complete my job I was sent here for, but I don't want you investigating this murder alone. So while I go make my delivery can you go stay at the inn until I return."

"No way! There is a murderer on the loose here and we can't wait and hope he doesn't strike again. Besides I still have Marc with me. We can continue without you for now." Jak had a look of fear and disappointment on his face as he stared at Fina.

"Don't worry Jak, I'll take care of her. You go make your delivery, and I'll keep her safe." Marcurio smiled and put his arm around Fina.

"See, I'll be fine Jak, just go do your job and then meet back up with us, it shouldn't take you that long."

After a few moments Jak agreed to the plan, "Alright, just be careful."

Jak watched as the two of them headed off in the direction of the crime scene and then went his own way to the house he had to place the stolen garnet. He noticed one of the Thieves Guild symbols, from the book Shadowmarks, outside the house and then he began to pick the lock. Jak was nervous about breaking into the house in the afternoon as he was much more conspicuous, but he pushed the feeling aside since he wanted to finish as fast as possible and get back to Fina. So once he finally picked the lock and was inside he found a chest and placed the garnet inside and then made his way out without anyone noticing. Jak made his way to the crime scene, but Fina was not there, and upon asking the guard he said they had gone to talk to Helgrid in the Hall of the Dead. The guard pointed Jak in the direction of the Hall of the Dead and once there he only found Helgrid, who told them they had left a little while ago, so Jak was at a lost as he stepped back outside into the cold air of Windhelm. As he stood wondering where Fina had gone he noticed a blood splotch on the ground; Jak leaned down and examined it and noticed that there was a trail. He followed the trail carefully and as fast as he could not knowing whose it was, or where it ended up, because nightfall was coming quickly.

Eventually the trail ended outside of a home. Assuming that the source of the blood was taken inside the house Jak went to the door and was surprised to find it unlocked, so he quietly slipped inside, where he found even more blood. The feeling of dread was beginning to set in and Jak feared the worst when he heard a scream from the back of the house.
Gosh, Jak’s been a busy young thief, traipsing all over Skyrim! He’s got a horse though - woot!

Plenty of thiefy quests and now he’s involved in a Windhelm murder and possibly an awkwardly triangular thing with Fina and Marcurio. . . .

Frankly, this episode was too much of a good thing. At 3250 words and 60 screenshots, it was simply too much to do justice to in one presentation. My advice would be to break the story into smaller, more bite-sized pieces (still posted at about one per week). Too much at once invites skimming instead of savoring and you surely don’t want that. smile.gif
Darkness Eternal
Like Acadian said, Jak has been keeping himself occupied. To make septims, you have to hustle around, right? Good to see him coming along the way and managing to become a traveler. I like how casual Jak told everyone about the armor. I got a kick out of that. First his mother, and then the khajiit(there's no fooling those cats) and then his lady friend. Good that Jak had some pointers from the khajiit thief, and some free lockpicks too. They'll come in handy.

So we come to a mysterious murder scene. I don't know but I have a feeling Jak may come across some trouble here. Or trouble may find him.

At times when one tries to improve their life they often get caught up in trouble. Jak wants a more comfortable life for him and his mother, and is not above stealing to obtain that. It is the small things like these that set him or people like him in a greater destiny.

As Acadian said, 3000+ words is a lot. Hell, 2000+ words is a lot and I am guilty of writing over that. Still training to do so. It takes self control on our part, hehe. But truly, 1600- words are great for a chapter.
I'll probably respond to you two when I write the next chapter, ala the way I've learned from Darkness Eternal lol. But figured I'd mention that yeah I didn't plan for the chapter to run so long, in fact all the chapters after this one are in fact shorter. What I did was copy and paste the parts I wanted and then as I got like 80% done with linking the pictures I was like, "....this is too long... It's too late to turn back now!" Hahaha so I kept it all in. Don't worry though that is the only long chapter I believe. Sorry about that.

Also, just a note, as you guys say Jak has kept busy. Remember that these updates jump around and don't show all the travelling details he goes through. Like when he goes to Solitude and comes back that's at least 5 days he's gone from Riften. So he isn't really doing jobs like day after day because he is travelling.
Acadian: Again I am really sorry for the length, I kind of got more than 3/4 through it with the pictures and was like this is just too long but there is no going back now. The rest will all be shorter than the last one.

But yes Jak has been a busy thief, he has been to Windhelm and Solitude, so it's been a busy couple weeks for him as a new thief, but it's good for his learning experience. And yes now with his horse he can save some coin on carriage rides haha.

Darkness Eternal: Hahaha I am glad you liked him being upfront about his armor, but he is still lying to both his mother and Fina, neither of them know Brynjolf is part of the Thieves Guild. So while Jak is telling the truth that he got it from Brynjolf, he didn't tell them he is working for the Thieves Guild now, he is still lying because a lie of omission is still a lie.

No doubt, trouble will find Jak... and it may lead to a greater destiny. winkgrin.gif

Chapter 4

Jak ran to the back of the house, weapon drawn, ready for anything. He rounded the corner and found Fina on her hands and knees.

"Fina!" He carefully stepped into the room, "Are you all right? What happened?" He sheathed his dagger and helped her up.

"I'm fine. I just noticed that this wardrobe had a false back and when I tried to open it I slipped and fell in here."

"My heart stopped for a second, I thought the worse had happened. Why are you alone? Where's Marcurio?"

Jak got his answer when Marcurio came around the the corner spells ready but put them away once he saw the two of them. Jak, irritated, turned around and pushed Marcurio.

"Where the hell were you? Why weren't you watching her?"

"I was upstairs looking for clues!" Marcurio quickly replied.

"You should have been with Fina. For all you know the murderer could have been in there, and he could have killed her!"

"Jak, stop!" Fina came out of the room and got between him and Marcurio, "He was upstairs because I told him to look up there for clues."

"And what if the killer was in there waiting?He could have caught you off guard and killed you. Marcurio should have thought of that and stayed with you instead!"

"I can take care of myself." Fina rebutted, "In fact, I know how to use a blade better than both of you so there is no need to worry about me being in danger. And there is no reason for you to get angry at Marc when he was just listening to what I told him to do. I mean you're acting like I am useless, Jak."

"That's not it all, I am just trying to make sure you are safe. You are my best friend Fina, and I don't want anything bad to happen to you."

"Well, I'm glad you are worried about my safety Jak, I really do appreciate that... But you have been overprotective of me this whole trip and you don't need to be that way. We were investigating this murder just fine without you... I don't want you to get in the way of us investigating because you're worried about me or fighting with Marc.... maybe you should go." She glared at Jak, and he stood there for a moment.

"Fine.. But don't ever ask me to join you again. Enjoy each other's company." Jak turned and walked out of the house.

Jak was furious as he walked through Windhelm, and rather than stay the night in the inn he just paid the carriage to go back to Riften. Once he arrrived in Riften he went straight to the guild and turned his job in to Vex. He left without taking another job, much to Vex and Delvin's disapproval, but instead of working a job he wanted to get a drink. Jak went to the Bee and Barb and drank for the rest of the day trying not to think about Fina, but even after all his drinking and attempts to forget he still could not help but think about her safety.

Jak woke dazed from his drinking antics the night before confused as to how he got into the cistern of the guild. Looking around, he rubbed his face before getting up and checking in with Delvin and Vex. He was feeling overconfident now after successfully completing several jobs and wanted to test his skills by taking two jobs at once, so he talked to Delvin who gave him a numbers job in Solitude. After he got the job from Delvin he got some advice from him on how to sneak around better and then he went to Vex who gave him a sweep job in Windhelm. He was not excited to go back to Windhelm, especially after what happened with Fina, but he had also just gone there two times previously so Jak figured he would start with Solitude.

Walking through the cistern Jak noticed some of the other members nodding their head at him, so he took the time to meet them since he had not done so the last couple times he had been in the cistern. First, Jak met Cynric Endell, Rune, and Thrynn, who all congratulated Jak on his accomplishments so far and said if he needed anything just ask, they then went about their business and started talking about how Thrynn used to be a bandit. Moving on, Jak also met Vipir, who everyone referred to as Vipir the Fleet, and he congratulated Jak as well and told him if he needed pickpocket training to come see him. Knowing that he had guild mates that could help hone his skills made Jak a little more comfortable about future jobs, and so he moved on and found the last guild mate.

"Hello, there, I'm..."

"Jak. Pleased to meet you." The wood elf cut him off, "I'm Niruin, everyone has been talking about your success so far, it's astounding to say the least, keep it up. Oh, and if you ever need help with your archery skills I am happy to assist you."

Niruin shook Jak's hand then turned around to lay in his bed, so Jak left the cistern. With both jobs in progress, he wasted no time getting to his horse and saddling up for his long journey to Solitude, with a few stops along the way in Falkreath and Rorikstead Jak arrived in Solitude around mid day. Seeing as he could not pull of his numbers job while Angeline's Aromatics was open Jak headed to the Winking Skeever, and listened to the bard as she sang and played her instruments and smiled any time she looked at him. Night had fallen and with it Jak left the Winking Skeever and made his way towards Angeline's Aromatics. Guards patrolled the streets with torches so he hid until they walked by and then sneaked to the door of the shop and picked the lock. Once inside, Jak noticed an array of potions and ingredients; this was an opportunity he could not pass up, so he robbed the shop of all it's merchandise. Jak then quietly made his way up the stairs and found the book he needed to forge the numbers in. As quick as he went in, Jak was just as quickly getting out without any problems. He left Solitude and stopped by to see his caravan of Khajiit friends where he shared his success so far with the guild. After a quick chat Jak left the caravan and got back on his horse to make his way to Windhelm.

The journey was easy, and took a couple days with a stop in Whiterun along the way. Once in Windhlem, Jak felt a certain anguish towards the city after what had happened last time, and so he made his way through the city with hardly an upwards glance until he found the house he needed to rob. Of course, with it still late in the afternoon Jak had to wait, so he went to the Genesis Cornerclub since he had not been there yet, and once the time was right he made his way back to the Shatter-Shield home. He picked the lock, which seemed easier than other locks to Jak's surprise and made his way inside. It was a beautiful home, obviously of a rich family, so Jak had no qualms with robbing the place. He found the first item he needed to acquire in the bedroom to the left, it was challenging since one of the owners was sleeping the room, but it was nothing Jak couldn't handle. The second item was on top of a bookshelf, therefore making it trickier, but Jak carefully climbed on one of the shelves and grabbed the item from the top before stepping down quietly. Jak knew the third item had to be upstairs and so he made his way up there only to find a surprise...A woman was in the room immediately at the top of the stairs, and Jak's heart skipped a beat as he slid to the side to get behind the wall. His heart was pounding, not sure if she had seen him or heard him and so Jak quickly looked around the corner and found that she had not seen him, but noticed she was stealing the very item he needed to return to Vex. He thought fast and figured he would stop her by the front door and get the item back, as it would be too risky trying to get it in the room with the owner sleeping.

Jak waited downstairs and never heard her coming, but as soon as she walked around the corner he stepped forward.

"I need that golden candlestick..." Jak whispered trying to look intimidating. The woman quickly turned, surprised by Jak, and put her hand on the hilt of her blade.

Author's Note: Sorry that the Windhlem murder didn't end how you were expecting. I had planned to have something interesting happen when I was writing the story two years ago, but I was in the middle of moving back to school so I just decided to rush it and have Fina and Jak have a falling out and thus end Jak's involvement in that quest. Sorry if you were expecting some grand thing like the killer had Fina trapped and was about to kill her or something. But it opened up new doors when I continued Jak's story.
Heh, I see that Fina is teaching Jak what happens when one tries to hold/restrain a butterfly.

Some drink and another pair of jobs should help busy his mind and hands.

A smooth trip and job in Solitude. Gosh, I smile whenever Lisette looks at me too! happy.gif

Back to Windhelm again. . . and an unexpected turn of events.

The prime requisite here is that you enjoy what you are posting. My comments about post length were simply lessons learned for consideration. As far as how you dealt with the murder investigation in Windhelm, that was just fine. It was, after all, Fina’s ‘quest’ not Jak’s. How it relates to Jak is not in the details of the quest but how it affects the tense little trio of Jak, Marc and Fina – and you certainly did justice to that. smile.gif
Darkness Eternal
No problem in the murder scene. On the contrary to what you may think, it was unpredictable, which made it great. Jak is going well through the Thieves Guild . . . and is it only me that wants him to hook up with Vex?

Heh, I think anyone walking around Windhelm would feel some measure of anguish.

As Acadian said, the plot served well to show more of the three. Plenty of character development going along the way and this is good.

I'm eager in seeing where Jak will go next.

Jak trying to look intimidating made me laugh, and the woman's hand in her blade means there may be a fight coming. Time will tell. Maybe he can whack her with the candlestick and make a run for it biggrin.gif
Acadian: I'm glad you brought up the post length because I definitely took it into consideration as you guys would know more about that than I would. So thank you.

Yes, Jak definitely saw what happens when he tries to be overprotective of Fina, which is ironic because she truly could beat both Jak and Marcurio in a sword fight, she could take both at the same time and still win. Assuming Marcurio can't use magic of course. Fun fact, the creator of the mod for Fina made her so that she is deadly when dual wielding, so I kept that in the story, she actually kicks ass despite being so young.

Some drink and jobs is exactly what Jak needs, Fina is his only real friend as he was always a loner and they have known each other for years, she is his best friend. So naturally he cares about her and wants her safe, so her safety weighs on his mind. But nothing some good old fashioned jobs to keep his mind busy.

I'm glad you picked up on the murder being Fina's quest because that was what I was going for.

Darkness Eternal: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the unpredictability. I think Jak has awhile to go before he ends up getting in Vex's good graces, she's also a good 10 years older than he is so that doesn't help his case. tongue.gif

Jak is definitely knew to trying to look tough, I mean he has grown up working for the Riften Fishery how tough can he really be? Haha. He could use the candlestick, but Jak isn't much of a fighter, he prefers any form of resolution that isn't violence unless he knows he is in danger.

Chapter 5

The strange woman tightened her grip on the hilt of her sword and slowly started to unsheathe it as to not make much noise.

"Whoa whoa, you don't need to do that!" Jak whispered in a frantic tone.

"Why not?" The woman asked with her hand still on the hilt.

"I am not here to hurt you... I just need that golden candlestick you stole from upstairs."

"You're crazy if you think I'm going to give this to you. No way, I took it, go find something else of value to steal."

"Alright, we can settle this, but lets go outside first. Okay? I promise I am a friend, a fellow thief like you."

The woman nodded her head and followed Jak out of the house and around the corner where no one would see them. Jak turned around to make sure she wasn't making a run for it only to have the woman pull her blade out and point it at him.

"I don't trust you. So no funny business or your head will be rolling on the ground, got it?"

Jak agreed and pleaded his case, "Please, I really need that candlestick. I was sent here by the Thieves Guild to retrieve three items and that is one of them. I have been doing so well with the Guild so far, I don't want to disappoint them now."

The woman looked Jak over and thought for a moment, "What will you give me in return if I give it to you?"

Jak shook his head, "I don't really have anything of value to give you, but I'll make a deal with you. I'll give you half of what I make from this job if you give me the candlestick... And let you tag along with me on any jobs and give you half the gold I make."

The woman slowly lowered her sword and sheathed it, "You have yourself a deal... but don't think this makes us friends, we are business partners, nothing more... My name is Arissa."

Arissa handed over the golden candlestick and Jak introduced himself and shook her hand then the two made their way to the gate. While Jak wanted to leave Arissa wanted to stay and he didn't feel like arguing so they headed inside Candlehearth Hall. Jak went to pay for the rooms while Arissa looked around.

"Would you like to rent a room?" The innkeeper asked.

"Yes... make it two please." Jak walked back over to Arissa, "So you aren't going to try to kill me and take my stuff are you?" he asked jokingly.

"I'm not really the killing type..." Arissa replied sarcastically, "But I'll think about it." Arissa smiled and then the two headed off to their separate bedrooms.

After several hours of sleep the two met back up and left the city. Much to Jak's surprise Arissa had her own horse, but didn't want to ask how she got it, so the two set off for Riften. Along the way they came across a fellow thief who protected them from a wolf, they nodded at each other and went their separate ways. It was night time when they arrived in Riften, after stabling the horses they entered the city. Jak stopped to show Arissa his home, but she did not care and made fun of the fact that he lived with his mother, so they moved on towards the Guild secret entrance.

"I think you should wait out here while I turn in my jobs."

"I have friends in the guild you know, like Sapphire, so this place isn't a secret to me. Besides you don't get to tell me what to do in this business partnership." Jak just sighed and the two entered the cistern. Luckily Arissa saw Sapphire and the two of them began talking so Jak took the opportunity to head to the Ragged Flagon. He turned his jobs into Vex and Delvin, both praised him and suggested he talk with Brynjolf about Goldenglow. Jak knew it was time to tackle Goldenglow estate and so with a deep sigh he approached Brynjolf.

"Ready to do Goldenglow, lad?" Brynjolf paused and raised an eyebrow as if expecting a witty response, but none came, "Goldenglow is a bee farm owned by a wood elf named Aringoth. We have a very important client who wants to send him a message. It's a difficult task, are you sure you are up for it?"

"I'm ready, just tell me what I need to do, and I won't disappoint." With that Brynjolf gave Jak all he needed to know on Goldenglow and how he had to make sure to only burn down three of the hives, unless he wanted to end up on Maven Black-Briar's bad side. He also told Jak to check in with Vex who could give him some useful tips since she had previously gone to Goldenglow. Jak did as he was told and found Vex, she told him about a secret tunnel that she used and mentioned it should be unguarded. Arissa was waiting for Jak when he got back into the cistern and the two left; Jak took her to the Bee and Barb and paid for a room for her to stay in and then Talie-Jei escorted them to the room.

"Don't get any funny ideas now that we are alone..."

"What? No, that's not why I brought you in here...." Jak continued, "I have a very important task to do and I am going to need your help, so I got you this room so you have a place to stay tonight."

"Oh... Thanks." He then explained to her the whole situation with Goldenglow and how they would meet up tomorrow outside of Riften to go scout out the area and then sneak onto the island at night.

Arissa agreed to help saying it would be an easy job and Jak left to return home. He was welcomed by his mother who had not seen him in days and so he helped her cook dinner and the two sat down to enjoy their meal they cooked.

"This is wonderful mom, you are the best cook in all of Skyrim."

"Thank you, Jak. I'm glad you like it." Just then there was a knocking at the door and both looked at the door, then each other, so Jak got up and went to the door. He asked who the person and to his surprise it was Arissa. Jak muttered a few curse words under his breath and rolled his eyes.

"Jak, don't be rude let the person in, I raised you better than that." Jak opened the door and let Arissa in, who also surprised Jak's mother.

"I hope I am not interrupting anything." Arissa mused.

"We were just about to have dinner, so maybe you should come back tomorrow..." Jak replied.

"Jak hush! Show some manners to our guest. She didn't interrupt and she can join us if she likes. And who might you be?"

"She is just someone I met in Windhelm recently, she travels Skyrim and decided to come to Riften after I told her about some of the stuff going on here." Jak spoke up.

"Really? How come you didn't mention her to me earlier, she sounds so interesting. Please, join us for dinner, there is more than enough. And your name is?"

"Arissa, ma'am. Thank you for the invite, and can I say this is a lovely home you have." Jak stood there thinking to himself, By the gods, why is this happening?

"Why thank you, Arissa. I am Lanier, Jak's mother, now please come sit. You too, Jak."

They ate their meals and Arissa talked with Jak's mother about her travels and how she had seen most of Skyrim and threw in more compliments every now and then making Lanier blush.

"Jak, you should have her over more often, she is so delightful."

Jak looked up from staring at the table, "I wish I could mom, but she is only in town for a little while, it's unfortunate really." He gave Arissa a look telling her not to say anything so she didn't and once dinner was over Jak's mother said goodbye and Jak walked Arissa back to the Bee and Barb. He explained how he was impressed with her antics, but also asked for no more surprise visits in which she just laughed. The two eventually agreed to meet outside Riften the next day and then went their separate ways to get some sleep.

The next day Jak left the city in the afternoon to wait for Arissa, and about an hour passed before she finally showed up.

"What took you so long?" Jak grinned.

"You didn't tell me where to meet you outside the city. I had to walk along the wall of the city to find you, so you are lucky I even showed up at all." Jak laughed lightly and shrugged.

They headed for Goldenglow estate, and followed along the river bank until they were able to see the bridge leading to the island. Jak pointed to Goldenglow and said that was their target, but Arissa explained how she already knew where Goldenglow estate was.
"Well then, I hope you don't mind getting wet because we are going to have to swim over there to avoid being seen." Arissa was not happy about it, but she agreed to do it. They swam across the lake and ended up on a small island close to Goldenglow; Jak realized that Brynjolf and Vex were not exaggerating about Aringoth tripling his guards as mercenaries were all over the the island. Jak and Arissa continued around the island as the sunset and eventually found a sewer grate which they assumed was the one Vex had told Jak about it.

"Alright, I need you to wait here while I go burn the hives."

"No way! I'm not going to miss out on all the fun, I'm going too." Arissa whispered.

"Arissa, please. I need you here in case I get seen. I can make a quick getaway without them knowing about you."

"Fine." Arissa rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.

Jak continued onward until he found a spot where he could climb up the rocks easily to the hives. He snuck around the wooden wall guarding the hives and then quietly lit a torch. He moved quickly as he burned all the hives with his torch and it wasn't long before the mercenaries noticed the fire and smoke rising, but by the time they had arrived Jak was already gone. He met back up with Arissa and the two of them entered the sewer grate. It didn't take long for them to come across some skeever, but they dealt with them easily enough and moved on. Where there is one or two skeever, there are about a dozen more and as they continued through the sewers they came across more, but this time Jak noticed oil on the floor and a lantern that was hooked up to a tripwire. So he sliced the tripwire and backed up quickly with Arissa as the floor and the skeevers were set ablaze. Once the fire died down they continued and found a locked door with a chest inside, Jak showed off his lockpicking skill by picking both the lock on the door and the chest which impressed Arissa. They reached the end of a hallway and they entered another room with skeever and began to kill them. As Jak killed one skeever, Arissa killed the last one and without noticing the body broke a tripwire causing a flail to come hurling towards her.

"Look out!" Jak grabbed her and pulled her backwards causing the them to fall to the floor.

"Whoa, that was close. Thanks Jak, I owe you one...." She paused, "Jak?"

"I'm glad you're okay, but I'm going to need a minute..." Jak rolled onto his side holding his lower region after being at the receiving end of the hilt of Arissa's blade.

After Jak recovered, they continued through the sewer and found a ladder that led back up to the island, and luckily right next to the entrance to the manor. So while Jak picked the lock Arissa kept watch, and in no time they were inside Goldenglow estate. They both decided that rather than going and getting the key from Aringoth and risk having all the mercenaries on the island knowing where they were, they would instead just go straight for the safe and just pick the lock. They moved silently through the house and Jak picked a lock of a door that led to the basement while one of the mercenaries walked to the other end of the hall to talk to a group of mercenaries eating at a table. Once in the basement, Jak and Arissa sneaked by two more mercenaries, but came across another that could not be passed without him noticing, but just like in the sewer there was oil all over the floor so Jak lit a torch and quickly dropped it on the oil setting the mercenary on fire. With him dead it was a clear shot to the safe, and when they got to it Arissa wanted to show off her skill in lockpicking so while she unlocked the safe Jak unlocked the chest next to it.

Arissa handed Jak the content that was within the safe and the two left through a sewer grate that was in the basement. It was the same one they had used previously, so it brought them right back outside of the house and they snuck to the boat that was docked on the island and stood there looking at Riften in the distance.

"I think this is the start of a great partnership." Jak nudged Arissa.

Author Note: Sorry this one ran long again. I swear I had checked prior and it was only 1600 words but this ended up being 2300. Geez.. sorry your guys.
Darkness Eternal
The former fisherman was quite surprised when Arissa threatened him. Glad he didn't resort to violence. So, in agreeing with the share from the candlestick, they become buisiness partners. After getting some rest in seperate rooms, the two set off. Arissa struck me as quite dependent here, with her own horse and all. She really can hold her own, it seems.

Having Jak bring her over to mom was just hilarious. If his mother had any idea what was going on . . .

Quite the partnership indeed, having succesfully infiltrated the estate, set a mercenary alight. I see a lucrative future for these two cool.gif
This was a delightful introduction to Arissa. If she is from the mod of the same name, not only is she a great follower but you’ve captured her personality perfectly. It is great to see that Jak has someone to share his adventures without the triangular drama of Fina and Marcurio.

Let them burn – be they hives, skeevers or mercenaries! evillol.gif

Jak’s story is a pleasure to read and is coming along nicely. You may want to consider expanding your reading list to include more of the excellent fan fiction tales here in order to benefit from exposure to differing styles and techniques. Additionally, there is no better way to garner and maintain the support of other writers.
Darkness Eternal: Indeed Arissa is very independent. We will find out more about her in the next chapters.

Actually Arissa kind of just showed up, he had no intention of letting Arissa meet his mom... at first.

And you may be correct. Thanks for reading.

Acadian: Arissa is in fact from the Arissa the wandering rogue mod, she is easily one of my favorite followers. And thank you, I tried my best to learn her personality from how she acted and talked in the little time I had her with Jak when I was playing him.

And you know, for the last several weeks I really have been wanting to read some of the other fan fiction stories on here as they look very interesting, I just have been very busy because I am taking summer classes to catch back up. But I definitely agree, I would love to read others stories and see how they write and what not.

Chapter 6

After swimming back across the lake the two entered the city and made their way back to Brynjolf. Jak went ahead to talk to Brynjolf while Arissa hung back.

"Word on the street is Goldenglow got hit hard, and that you could see the fire from the city. Good job, lad."

"It was easy enough, and here is what was inside the safe." Jak handed over the note and gold. Brynjolf was surprised to find that Aringoth had sold Goldenglow to an unknown buyer with a strange symbol for their signature, and then explained how Maven didn't like being cut out off deals and her payments.

"Speaking of payments." Jak spoke up.

"Ah yes, smart as a whip. Here you go, lad. One more thing, Maven has asked to see you, she mentioned you by name."

"What does she want to see me for?"

"That's between you and Maven, and I prefer to keep it that way. Don't be worried though, it's just business most likely, just don't keep her waiting."

Jak left Brynjolf and returned to Arissa and gave her half of the payment from Brynjolf.

"Thanks... can I ask you something, Jak?" She paused for a second, "I need your help with something, and it's very important to me. I need your help finding the man responsible for ruining my family, and destroying my life."

"Arissa, what are you talking about?" Jak paused and noticed a melancholy look that had come over her face, "I don't know what to say, but sure I'll help it's the least I could do. Why now, though?"

"I have known where he is for some time now, but I didn't think I could face him alone, but now that you are here, we could. I trust you enough to ask for help."

"I'm glad to help you out. Where do we need to go?"

"He is hiding out in a cave in Haafingar, near a stormcloak camp, like the skeever he is..."

Jak agreed they could head out there next, but he didn't want to make the journey without getting a job first, so he got a bedlam job from Delvin in Solitude. Of course, having over heard he was heading to Solitude, Vex asked Jak to perform a job she had recently gotten to steal an item from someone's home in Solitude, so he gladly accepted. Jak and Arissa went their separate ways to get some rest and met each other the next day. Before leaving Riften Jak wanted to talk with Maven, so he wouldn't keep her waiting and Arissa wanted to acquire some new armor and decided to meet up afterwards. After asking around, Jak found out Maven was in the Bee and Barb so he went there and found her upstairs.

"So, you are the one Brynjolf has told me about? Not very impressive looking to me."

"I might say the same to you. Your name carries weight, and I expected more." Jak retorted.

"Watch what you say, boy. I could have you thrown in jail, or worse..."

Maven continued and explained her job for him and how she needed him to put her competitor out of business. She did not like how quickly he had set up his establishment and told Jak to talk with a man named Mallus Maccius because he would give the details on what he needed to do. So with one more final warning from Maven not to mess up this job, Jak was on his way and met Arissa at the bottom of the stairs. She had acquired her new armor and Jak was impressed with it, so after exchanging a compliment the two left the Bee and Barb and the city. They decided to take the carriage to Solitude and Jak took this time to ask Arissa about what happened in the past with the man they were looking for. She explained how he had betrayed her family and sold them to the Thalmor, so they arrested her family, stole their land, and destroyed her life and after that the Nord disappeared and she tried to find him.

They eventually reached Solitude on a beautiful day, and naturally Arissa spoke up, "My father used to bring me to Solitude sometimes. It is a nice city filled with snooty types and nobles. But you know what they say, with nobility comes more lootability."

Arissa told Jak the way and he lead as they walked along the road. They came to a little path that strayed from the road, Arissa said that was where they needed to go and so the two followed the path and after walking down the hill they eventually found the cave. They stood for a minute, while looking around Jak noticed that Arissa's anger was rising and could feel her tensing up. She began walking towards the cave when Jak grabbed her hand, "Arissa, don't do anything rash, okay? This isn't a suicide mission." She simply nodded and Jak headed into the cave first.

Once inside they followed along the narrow cave and came to a big open space; Arissa was awestruck by it, but Jak was more focused on the wolves that inhabited the cave. They crept as close as they could before charging the wolves and killing them one by one until all laid dead, and even more came running from deeper in the cave when they heard the commotion. They took on each of them as they came in what seemed like waves and then continued through the cave until they came to a fork in the cave passage. "I say we go left." Arissa chimed in and Jak agreed. It seemed going left was the right way as it led them further into the cave, but both Jak and Arissa thought that may not have been as great as they thought, as they entered a another big open area there were egg sacs everywhere, and as they slowly made their way into the room spiders began descending from the ceiling and walls. Arissa quickly started attacking the ones that had dropped down to her right nearby and so Jak carefully maneuvered around the poison they shot and took them out by circling around them and swinging at them as fast as he could. Once all the other spiders had been killed a giant one descended from an opening in the ceiling, Jak and Arissa tried to confuse it by attacking from opposite sides. The tactic worked until the arachnid spit poison at Arissa barely missing causing her to trip. The spider turned to attack her but Jak was quick enough to jump in front of the spider and stab in the eye killing it.

Jak helped her up and the two of them looked for a switch to open the gate to move forward. They could not find a lever and Arissa commented on how it may be a secret switch, and she was right as she pulled down one of the torches next to the gate causing it to open. It wasn't long after the gate that they ended up in another room, but this one did not have spiders or wolves, but instead a man standing on platform. He did not notice them enter the room and so they both slid to the side behind a wall. Jak looked at Arissa who was breathing heavily and noticed a crazed look in her eye, and shook his head telling her not to do anything, but she did not listen and ran out towards the Nord.

"Come down here and fight you coward! You will pay for what you did to my family!"

Jak ran out behind her as the man drew his battleaxe and ran down the ramp towards her. He was slow in his movements as he was older and so whenever he swung his giant battleaxe they would dodge and then begin their barrage of slashes against the old Nord and he eventually died by Arissa's blade. She smiled as she stood over his body, then as she looked up she noticed some journals sitting on a chest near his bed. She pointed it out and began walking towards the chest when suddenly the whole cave shook and part of the ceiling fell to the floor.

"Arissa we need to get out of here now! This place is coming down!"

"No! I need those journals to prove my families innocence!" She ran up to the chest and started grabbing the journals.

Jak ran up and grabbed her and they ran to a gate on the other side of the room. They opened the door with a key already in the gate and Jak ran forward looking back to make sure Arissa was following him. He turned at the last second to find the way they were going had ended and was instead just a ledge with a long drop into a dark pit. Jak suddenly stopped himself and slid right at the edge, but doing so caused the ledge give out making him fall but he grabbed little rock and held on for his life.

"Jak!" Arissa came to the ledge and tried to grab Jak's hand unsuccessfully before laying down and trying to reach a second time, "I can't reach you! You need to boost yourself up so I can grab your other hand."

"Alright..." He looked down into the abyss of the pit, his heart pounding out of his chest.

Arissa counted to three and Jak tried to boost himself up to grab her hand when the rock he was holding broke.

"No!" Arissa cried out as he plummeted into the pit.
Darkness Eternal
So, Arrisa has a favor for Jak, it seems. Vengeance upon the man who destroyed her family and sold them out to the Thalmor. And Maven Black-Briar, quite the person Jak got involved with. He's going places, and man is he brave to act snippy with Maven laugh.gif

And from wolves to spiders to the man himself. A daring battle, and how well that it ended with Arrisa delivering the kill blow. Vengeance is hers. I don't think Jak ever planned for an adventure like this.

Wow and we are left with cliffhanger as Jak fell.

Nit: "Before leaving Riten Jak wanted to talk with Maven, so he wouldn't keep her waiting and Arissa wanted to acquire some new armor and decided to meet up afterwards."

I think you meant to say Riften.
Sorry for the hold up. I planned to write a chapter last week on Tuesday because I was going to be leaving for the beach from Wednesday until Saturday, but I hurt my back Monday and was laying around trying to recover and I finally was able to set up my computer and get back on this.

Darkness Eternal: This is definitely more than Jak planned for when he teamed up with Arissa, but he is a nice person and is willing to help those in need. He doesn't like taking orders from a condescending Maven, he will have to be careful though. Lol

It couldn't have ended better for Arissa, getting the revenge she so long craved. Funny enough, when playing that part of her quest she actually did get the final blow as I tried to kill him with Jak so I went with it.

Fixed that nit.

Last time: After having decided to join up and become a team of thieves Jak and Arissa taken on Jak
s task of infiltrating Goldenglow Estate. After successfully returning the two recieve their reward and rest up. Despite only knowing Jak for a little while, Arissa slowly trusts Jak enough to share some of her past and ask for his help in seeking revenge against a man who wronged her family. The two find the man and kill him, and try to escape the collapsing cave the man was hiding in. However, Arissa was left watching Jak fall to his peril into an abyss after a ledge gave out...

Chapter 7

Jak awoke in a strange place as he slowly opened his eyes and his vision cleared. Having no clue where he was or what had happened after his fall he sat up and noticed he was in a tent when Arissa walked in surprised to find him awake.

"Arissa!" he jumped up excited to see her, "Where are we? What happened in the cave?"

"Jak, you should probably sit down and rest, you may not be fully healed." Jak objected and reassured her he was fine and so she continued, "Okay, well after you fell I didn't know what to do so I somewhat panicked and I didn't know what was at the bottom of that pit... and so I jumped. I figured it was the only way out and I wanted to make sure you were okay. I don't know what happened, but you must have hit the water head first because you were out cold when I landed in the water, so I grabbed you and pulled you out of the water. We were in a giant cave or something with a dwarven lift to the surface so I dragged you to the lift and when we got to the surface I had no idea what to do with you while you were out cold."

Jak nodded along as she continued, "I wanted to get help in case you were seriously injured, and this Stormcloak camp was nearby so I brought you here."

"But you are an Imperial, how did they let you into the camp?"

"I have a way with words." She smiled, "I told them we were attacked by Imperials and they believed me so here we are."

Jak was amazed by what he had missed and Arissa's courage in saving him, so after thanking her he decided they should leave the camp and head to Solitude, but not before thanking the Stormcloak general for his hospitality.

"Don't worry about it. We are not lawless brutes who act like animals as the Imperials would have you believe. Good luck in your journeys."

So with that the two left the camp and headed back to Solitude to complete the jobs they were given by Vex and Delvin. They arrived in Solitude late in the afternoon and headed to the Winking Skeever to wait for nightfall, they grabbed a table and ordered some food and drink.

"So how are you feeling? You know, after all that happened and killing the man who betrayed your family, are you alright?"

"I'm okay, it's good to know justice may finally prevail."

"That's good." Jak paused for a second, "Do you mind if I ask what happened in your past?"

"I guess I can tell you, it's the least I can do after all you have done for me. It's a long story though, are you sure you want to hear it?"

Jak nodded and Arissa began to explain her life long story of how her family owned a rich farm with a bunch of land and how her family would be paid for supplies for the Imperials and the Aldmeri Dominion. Then, after some time a Thalmor by the name Vidric came to their farms in hopes of buying the land, but her father refused and so Vidric sent the man they had just killed named Gunnher to pose as Stormcloaks who would protect them from the Thalmor.

"Of course, Gunnher and his men did nothing but cause trouble and one night I followed one of Gunnher's men to this farmer's house where he started demanding bread and ale. Then he tried to touch the farmer's wife and..."

"Things got ugly." Jak finished her thought.

"Yes, the farmer and his wife fought back, and I watched as Gunnher's lapdog killed both of them. I ran as fast as I could to hide as the rest of the people from our land gathered at the house demanding answers for what had happened. I couldn't let it go on any longer so I stepped forward and told the truth about my father accepting aid from the Stormcloaks so he could keep the land... but this was all part of Vidric's plan and he had Gunnher, his men, and my family arrested and then he seized our land claiming imperial right."

"I'm really sorry, Arissa. That sounds horrible. Why didn't they arrest you?"

"They tried, but I fled to Skyrim and became a wanderer from village to village. I was raised to be a nobleman's daughter, but ended up a cutpurse. I had lost everything that was dear to me and it was all my fault."

"You can't blame yourself for what happened."

"Tell that to my angry 18 year old self, I blamed myself plenty. I was angry, confused, and had no purpose, and all I did was wander Skyrim that was my life for the last ten years... until I met you."


"Yes, you have shown me what it is like to have a purpose again, and to help those who need it. So thank you, Jak."

"I'm glad I could help."

The two ate their food and drank their drinks and before they knew it night had fallen. They left the Winking Skeever and made their way to the house they needed to rob; Jak asked Arissa to wait outside and keep a look out while he went inside, so he picked the lock and entered the house. The golden ship was nowhere to be found downstairs so he quietly went up the stairs and found the ship on the end table next to the sleeping owner. He moved slowly and steadily eventually grabbing the ship and then made his way out of the house. With Vex's job done all they needed to do was steal 500 golds worth of items, and Arissa wanted to be risky and convinced Jak to go to the Blue Palace and steal what they needed there. They arrived at the Blue Palace and Arissa commented how she felt under dressed and felt she needed something more radiant. Guards were posted all along the entrance so Arissa distracted the guards with playful banter and Jak was able to sneak by. Inside, he went from room to room and stole potions and coin purses and eventually met his goal. He returned to Arissa and she said goodbye to the guards who appeared lovestruck by her and the two left without any trouble, and with all they needed they left the city to head to Whiterun for Maven's job she had given Jak.

They paid the carriage driver and hopped into the back for their journey to Whiterun.
"I have been to Whiterun quite a few times, I know just about every brick there is to know in this city... that may or may not include Dragonsreach's dungeon." Arissa said as they got off the carriage outside of Whiterun. Jak laughed and the two made their way up the hill into the city. It was mid afternoon when they entered the city, they watched some children running in the street as they made their way to the Bannered Mare where Jak was told to meet Mallus.

"Which one do you think is Mallus?" Jak said as they entered the Bannered Mare. They asked around and finally found him sitting in the room to the side, he was a pale man who looked sinister. Jak introduced himself and told him that Maven had sent him. Mallus gestured for him to sit and so he did.

"I was expecting you to come alone." Mallus looked at Arissa and then back at Jak.

"She can be trusted, she is with me."

"Fine." Mallus sighed and then began explaining his plan. He wanted them to go to the brewery and help Sabjorn with a skeever problem that he had caused, that way they could poison the mead for the tasting the captain of the guard had planned at the meadery. He then went on about how the clever part of the plan is Sabjorn was going to be giving them the poison to get rid of the skeevers, but they would also use it in the mead. "Sabjorn has already closed up the meadery today so he can prepare for tomorrow, so you will have to get there in the morning to perform the job, because the captain of the guard will be there in the afternoon." Mallus said before Jak got up and he and Arissa left the room.

The two of them wandered in the market a little while and then went to see the Gildergreen tree in the middle of Whiterun before returning to the Bannered Mare. They sat around the fire and drank mead, ate food, and listened to the bard as he sang his songs and played his instruments. It had gotten late and the two decided it was best to pay for their rooms and get some rest for tomorrow.

"I would like to rent two rooms for the night."

"I'm sorry, we only have one available, everything else is full."

"Really? Well..." Jak began to think.

"We'll take it." Arissa spoke up.

"We will?"

"Yes, we don't have any other choice." Arissa stepped forward and handed Hulda the gold and she showed them to their room, then left.

Jak looked around the room and then checked out the balcony while Arissa took off her armor. He then came back into the room and checked the side table for some gold just in case, and Arissa laughed at his greediness.

"So how do you want to do the sleeping arrangement? I can sleep on the floor and you can have the bed, I don't mind."

"Or.." Arissa pushed him onto the bed and removed his hood, "We could share the bed, I mean it's not like we are strangers anymore."

"Yeah, I guess we could... it's just, won't that be a little awkward?"

Arissa chuckled, "You don't get what I'm saying here do you?" She leaned in and kissed Jak.

"Wow... I don't know what to say, I mean I thought we were just business partners?"

"We are, but to be honest I find you physically attractive, I have since we first met in that house in Windhelm... I also feel like you have done so much for me like save my life, help clear my families name, and shown me what it's like to have a purpose again. And after all this you have asked for nothing in return."

"You don't need to pay me back in this way, you have done your fair share of helping me too."

"I am not doing this to pay you back, I am doing it because I want to. What I just said was some of the reasons I have become attracted to you even more, outside of your appearance."

"Okay. But what..."

"Shh." Arissa placed her finger on his mouth, "You are over thinking this, lets just have fun."

Darkness Eternal
Well, I hope you recover well, BB. Yikes!

To fall into blackness and wake up in a nice cozy bedroll. Hmm. Good to know they made it back in one piece. And man has Arissa been through some tough times. A Stormcloak sympathizer.

Mallus looks scary as hell. Not the type of man I'd want to bump into a night or find waiting for me in a dark alley. But while he's creepy, I think Jak will forget all about that once he's in a nice warm bed with his friend. Seriously, the dialogue had me smiling. The moment he was notified there was no room with a double bed available I saw at once what was going to happen smile.gif

hubbahubba.gif(Clickable emote)

So, Jak's buisiness partner wants to get busy. What a way to end the night, and the chapter!
What great fun catching up with Jak and Arissa!

It is nice that she has grown to trust him enough to ask for help. And good of him to indeed help. Efficient to pick up a job before the journey to Solitude. Nice teamwork fighting wolves, spiders and finally the battleaxe boss - even if his years did make him move a bit slower. Hee, I know all about that! Wow down into the pit with a cliffjumping ending!

Whew! Safe in a bedroll. Wow, Arissa really proved her stuff by jumping down after Jak and saving him. I figure that more than repays his help with her quest. And it doubtless forges a strong bond between them. So it was a welcome treat when Hulda only had one bed - which led to other things. Very nicely done - Jak and Arissa make for a great couple.

Your game looks very nice and it looks like you have some fun animation type mods in play. I also enjoyed the little 'in our previous episode' summary - it really snaps the reader right back into the story's moment. goodjob.gif

I join DE in hoping your back is all better now.
Darkness Eternal: Thank you Darkness Eternal, my back is better but still not 100%. But I appreciate the concern.

And yes, I think everyone could see where the situation was going once Hulda said there was only one bed, everyone except for Jak that is, he is very naive and doesn't know much when it comes to women. Arissa is his first companion who isn't just a friend.

Acadian: Arissa isn't a joke, she is tough, and could kick Jak's ass if she wanted to, she is one of the bravest people he has met.

Thank you, I had just found that ENB before starting Jak's story, I have of course switched since then because I had to do a completely new install of Skyrim, so I lost everything because it was all on a hard drive that got messed up.

And thank you, my back is better, but still recovering.

Chapter 8

Jak awoke in the morning with Arissa cuddled next to him. He woke her and they got dressed and left the the Bannered Mare, they moved through Whiterun passing by all the people who run stalls in the market and eventually they made it out of the city, down the hill, and to Honningbrew Meadery. They entered to find a man somewhat frantic as he cleaned some mugs before noticing them.

"Hello, is something wrong? You seem to be a little on edge." Jak asked

"Of course there is something wrong. I have a pest problem and I'm supposed to have the Captain of the Guard come do a tasting this afternoon. I have some of the best mead in Skyrim, but I will be in ruins if he finds out about my pest problem."

"Perhaps we could be of some assistance."

"I take it you wouldn't do this out of the kindness of your heart?"

"Well, payment isn't necessary, but we won't turn it down."Jak replied.

"Since my assistant Mallus has disappeared I suppose I don't have a choice but to accept your help, and I'll even pay you for your troubles. In fact, I'll give you half of the payment if you get the job done quickly right now."

Jak agreed and Sabjorn gave him half of the payment, the poison and the keys to the Brewery. The two of them left Sabjorn and entered the basement where they found an already dead skeever, and upon looking at the other end of the basement found another wandering around. They sneaked closer and closer and Jak killed it, and turned to find another caught in a trap so he put it out of its misery and they moved forward. They came across lots of skeever and even some spiders, much to Jak's displeasure as he had grown a dislike for spiders after his last encounter with them. Going deeper into the caverns they came to a room with several skeever and even a man, who the skeever seemed friendly with. Jak killed one of the skeever alerting the man and other skeever and a battle ensued. They killed the remaining skeever and the man hurled bolts of fire at them, Jak narrowly dodged the firebolts and moved in closer with Arissa until finally he was close enough to impale the man in the chest with his dagger.

Jak placed the poison in the skeever nest and the two headed up into the Boilery. Once inside Jak made his way to the second floor and opened the mead vat and poured the poison in, and so the two grabbed the key next to the door and let themselves out to return to Sabjorn. The Captain of the Guard had arrived already and so when Jak arrived he gave Sabjorn a nod letting him know the job was complete. Sabjorn had been stalling the Captain so with Jak's return he went ahead with the tasting, he went to the Boilery and got some mead and returned. Sabjorn eager to have the Captain taste his mead handed him a mug and allowed him to fill it. He took a sip and began coughing and demanding to know what Sabjorn was up to, much to his confusion, and after saying a few threats to Sabjorn the Captain approached Mallus and gave him ownership of Honningbrew Meadery and then hauled Sabjorn off to Dragonreach's dungeon.

Mallus thanked Jak for his assistance and told him to put in a good word with Maven, however, Jak was not finished and asked to have the key to Sabjorn's room to check for business transactions. With the keys they headed upstairs and unlocked the door. They looked around and found nothing until Jak checked the dresser, where he found a note to Sabjorn.

"Huh? This is strange. This is the same symbol that was on the Goldenglow estate deed. There is something going on here."

"Then we better get back to Riften." Arissa chimed in.

The two of them left the Meadery with the information they needed and headed straight for the carriage paying the driver to take them back to Riften. When they arrived they were greeted by an orc who was asking them to join a group of vampire hunters, they told him they weren't interested and he mocked them telling them not to come crying to him when a vampire is ripping their throat out. They moved on and went into the Bee and Barb to meet with Maven.

"I've completed the job you sent me on." Jak said as he handed over the note he had found in Sabjorn's desk. "Good, I was beginning to worry I had sent someone incapable of completing the task." Maven replied and then began studying the note. She became angry at what she read as she couldn't figure out who the symbol belonged to. Jak mentioned he had seen that same symbol before and Maven told him to check in with Brynjolf as he may have some knowledge. Jak and Arissa left Maven's company and headed to the Guild, selling loot to Tonilia was the first stopp and then Jak turned his jobs into Vex and Delvin. Both Vex and Delvin also gave Jak two more jobs, one in Solitude and one in Windhelm, it seemed they were adamant about Jak regaining the Guild's foothold in the capitals of the Imperials and Stormcloaks.

"Word on the street is poor Sabjorn has found himself in Whiterun's prison." Brynjolf gave a sly smile. Jak smirked and made a witty comment about how he may be responsible, but it was all good for business. Brynjolf agreed and when Jak asked him about the symbol he told him Mercer had actually asked to see him for that very reason. He also mentioned not to waste any time as he had never seen Mercer so angry before, so with that the two of them parted ways.

"You wanted to see me, Mercer?"

"Ah yes, there you are. I believe I may have found a clue that may help us identify our mystery buyer." Mercer went on to explain how he found an alias of an old Guild asset by name of Gulum-Ei. He talked about Gulum-Ei's backstory with the Guild and how he wanted him to go to Solitude to question him about this buyer. Mercer also mentioned that Brynjolf may be able to provide more details on Gulum-Ei. With his new assignment from Mercer, Jak went to Brynjolf again and asked about Gulum-Ei and shared how he wasn't sure if he was ready to go to Solitude and confront him.

"Don't worry, lad, just like with Goldenglow if you aren't ready for it just wait and do a couple more jobs until you're comfortable. However, you can't take too long because we need to know what is going on after all."

Jak was relieved to know he didn't have to rush to get the job done, so he and Arissa left and returned to his home. Lanier was surprised to see Arissa again, but was happy nonetheless and so the three of them cooked dinner and talked while they ate. After dinner Jak and Arissa went outside on their porch where he showed Arissa how he used to watch the stars at night on occasion after a long day of work at the Riften Fishery. He then explained how it was relaxing for him and it was always fun trying to find the constellations.

The two of them were laying on a rug on the porch staring up at the sky. "I like my idea of fun better." Arissa put her leg around Jak and kissed him.

"Oh really? Well, you are the guest I suppose." Jak smiled and the two began kissing.

They woke up late the next day, and Jak got ready so they could leave to complete the two jobs for Delvin and Vex.

"Jak, I don't want you leaving yet. You don't look so good, after all your travels you probably picked up something. Are you sick?" His mother asked.

"I do feel a little weak today, but I figured that was from my lack of sleep the last few days."

"You should go to the temple of Mara and see if Lady Mara will get rid of your sickness before you leave."

Jak began saying something before Arissa cut him off, "I agree with your mom. Why don't you go to the temple while I finish getting my stuff together and I'll meet you over there." Jak agreed, and so he was off to the temple. He felt out of place upon entering, but the priest and priestesses were welcoming, and so he stepped forward and prayed at the shrine of Mara. His prayer was answered as he felt as if a weight had been lifted off his chest and he was no longer weakened, so he got up and thanked the priest and left the temple.

"Jak?" he turned to find a surprised Fina, "I'm so glad I found you. We haven't talked in awhile and I really wanted to tell you something. I just wanted to say I'm sorry about what happened in Windhelm... I feel awful."

"I was a bit upset by what you did, I am not going to lie. I just wanted to make sure you were safe, and you treated me like the bad guy."

"I know, I overreacted because... well you know how I am." She gave a light laugh, "I'm really sorry, I just want us to be how we used to be. You're my closest friend Jak, and I don't know what I would do without you. Please forgive me."

Just then Arissa came from behind Jak, "Are you feeling better?" Arissa kissed Jak on the cheek and looked at Fina, "Who's this?"

"Arissa, this is Fina she's... a friend."

"Oh. Well, I'll just let the two of you catch up." Arissa could feel the tension between the two of them and walked away.

"That was Arissa." Jak paused and gestured back towards her, "We met in Windhelm, and are sort of in a business relationship."

"A business relationship? That seemed like more than just business."

"Well, I mean sort of... I guess we are more then that." Fina stepped forward and hugged him, "I'm...I'm happy for you Jak." As she pulled away Jak noticed a slight glisten in her eyes, and she walked away towards the temple of Mara.
Jak and Arissa continue to be busy! I thought it was the Fighters Guild that got rat quests. biggrin.gif

And no rest for the weary as Jak gets loaded up with more quests calling for plenty of travel it seems.

I wonder if Fina regrets not declaring her feelings for Jak earlier. Or perhaps it is actually seeing that she is not the only woman in Skyrim who can catch his eye that is causing her pause. I hope this doesn't create a challenge for Jak and Arissa - they really are a great couple! smile.gif
Darkness Eternal
Heh, I echo Acadian on that remark. The giant rats in Cyrodiil were something but skeever's look like rats on rabies; diseased and just vicious. The spiders there didn't help either but thankfully Jak had Arissa with him, making short work of the lil bastards.

Oh some mystery on the symbol on the note.

And I think I'm a little too excited to see the Orc Dawnguard hunter show up. With everything going around, I wonder if Jak might pick up on that at some point.

Fina should have done something for Jak. I could just see the pain in her eyes. Will she try to do something, I wonder? Arissa is beautiful, by the way . . . Jak should stay with her tongue.gif
Acadian: Always, Jak and Arissa have been travelling for a few weeks now because they are going all across Skyrim performing these jobs for the guild.

Jak wants as much work as he can get so he can make money.

Fina definitely regrets not telling Jak earlier how she felt about him. They have been friends since their early teens so she has feelings for him, and he won't admit it to himself, but he does have feelings for her too. And yes seeing Jak with another woman that makes her see now that she shouldn't have waited.

Darkness Eternal: Jak is fortunate to have Arissa with him, he has developed a slight phobia of spiders after his last encounter in the cave where they killed the man who framed Arissa's parents.

He might wink.gif ..... but Jak's main concern at the moment is making money so he can have a better life for his mom and him. Fighting vampires is at the bottom of his list of things to do. He couldn't care less about vampires and doesn't see them as a threat at this point because it's not like comes across them all the time.

Fina may be in pain seeing Jak with Arissa, but she would never do something to intentionally hurt Jak, like mess up his relationship with Arissa.

Chapter 9

Jak watched Fina enter the temple and then turned to meet up with Arissa, not being able to help but feel guilt towards Fina. He found her near the gate and the two left, and paid for a carriage to Solitude. Arissa questioned Jak on who Fina was as he had never mentioned her before, and he simply stated she was an old friend. Arissa knew there was more to it, but decided against pushing the subject as she felt it was not her business. A few days journey with few stops and they finally arrived in Solitude. The two of them approached Radiant Raiment and then went inside, Jak wanted to try something new so he had Arissa distract the two owners by asking questions about the merchandise and he quietly slipped upstairs and found the ledger and changed the numbers.

Returning downstairs without the owners noticing, and he gave Arissa a nod and she wrapped up her distraction and the two left. Jak was impressed with Arissa's silver tongue and how sly she was as he had seen her use that skill time and time again. The day was still early so they went ahead and booked a carriage to Windhelm to complete Vex's job. The carriage stopped in Rorikstead and Whiterun, so after a few days the two of them arrived in Windhelm. It was a simple job, and once inside the city they went to Candlehearth Hall and rented a room, and then later Jak went into the kitchen and stole the golden necklace he needed out of a jewelry box. He questioned why they kept such a valuable item in the kitchen, but didn't mind seeing as it made it an easy target. They got some rest in their room and left Windhelm the next day and made the journey back to Riften. Jak turned his jobs in and Delvin brought up a special job he had acquired from a man in Solitude, Jak was to talk to a man named Erikur, apparently Jak's actions had made the Guild more noticeable in Solitude and so the man contacted Delvin.

Leaving the Guild, Jak and Arissa returned home to take it easy. Arissa loved spending time with Lanier and so they stayed for the day and left in the morning. Once in Solitude they made their way through the city to find Erikur who apparently worked in the Blue Palace, however this visit to Solitude did not go as planned when they were stopped by a guard who was eyeing them as he walked by.

"Wait.. I know you."

"Excuse me? I think you have me mistaken for someone else?" Jak replied.

"No, there is no mistaking it. You are a wanted man, now you are coming with me!" The man grabbed Jak and pushed him against the wall, while Arissa backed up.

"Jak?!" Arissa was puzzled.

"Don't worry, just wait for me in the Winking Skeever..." The guard hauled him away to the dungeon. They took all of Jak's possessions and threw him in one of the cells, the imperial guard then came up and punched him in the stomach and threatened him before leaving. Jak couldn't do anything but wait and after a few days the guard came back and said that he was free to go; upon asking why the guard mentioned that someone had paid to have him released and it was none other than Arissa. She was waiting for him when he left Castle Dour and he thanked her and gave her a hug, "Now what do you say we finish this job and get out of here?" He whispered to her.

They went to Blue Palace, but one of the guards told them that Erikur had gone home already so the two of them went straight to his house. They knocked on the door and told him Delvin had sent them so he immediately let them in.

"So Delvin sent you did he? Good, I have a very important job for you. The Captain of the Dainty Sload and I had an agreement, but he has decided to break that agreement and so now I want him out of the picture. I want you two acquire some Balmora Blue, and plant it on the ship that way the Captain will be arrested and I no longer have to deal with him."

"Where do we get the Balmora Blue? That is illegal in Skyrim last I checked." Jak was curious.

"Ah yes. There is another ship docked here called the Red Wave, talk with Sabine Nytte she will be how you get it. And make this fast, Captain of the Dainty Sload is here in Soltidue and I want the guards waiting for him when he returns to his ship."

With all the information they needed Jak and Arissa headed down to the Solitude Docks and found Sabine on the Red Wave. When asked about the Balmora Blue she assured them she had it and that she was the only way they could get it and therefore wanted them to pay 1500 gold for it. Jak refused to pay that and Arissa pulled him aside and convinced him it was the only way and he agreed and reluctantly handed over the gold. Sabine gave Jak a key and told him it was to a chest that had the Balmora Blue.... but it was under the docks in the water. Jak was not happy, but the two left the ship and he took his armor off to jump in the water, Arissa enjoyed every minute as she found Jak cute when he was mad and teased him when he was practically naked. He jumped into the water and swam to the bottom and found the chest, he unlocked it and grabbed the Balmora Blue and came back up to the surface and got dressed. With the Balmora Blue in their possession they headed past Solitude along the road to find the Dainty Sload which was a good distance away near the Solitude Lighthouse.

They crept near the ship to find one crew member patrolling the deck while one sat drank away his misery, so they quickly sneaked by and into the ship. Jak suggested Arissa wait by the entrance so they wouldn't be as conspicuous, and she reluctantly agreed and waited by the door to be able to catch any crew members by surprise should they enter the ship. Jak made his way through the ship avoiding all the crew members that were walking around, until he came to the bottom of the ship and was forced to kill one of the crew to get by. He came up behind him and slit his throat and quietly laid his body on the floor as to not alert the other shipmates. A little further there was a chest that was the perfect place to put the Balmora Blue, so he picked the lock and placed it in and then turned around made his way back out. He was surprised by how oblivious the crew was, and when he told Arissa she joked about how they were most likely drunk. It was now early in the morning and Erikur had returned to the Blue Palace to start his early daily duties, he was glad to hear of Jak's success and said that the guards will most likely have the Captain in jail before lunch. He then told Jak if Delvin needed anything in Solitude he need only ask.

The special job was complete and the thief duo returned to Rfiten. Jak leaned against the bar and told Delvin of his success, and Delvin even cracked a smile and congratulated him. "You're doing a great job mate, we had a new merchant move into the Flagon while you were gone. If you keep this up we will be back to our glory days in no time." Jak patted Delvin on the back and then was called over by Vex who told him there were rumors that a special job request was on the table for Windhelm, but the person wanted to make sure the Guild was definitely making a comeback so she gave another job in Windhelm.

After finishing up his talk with Vex, Jak and Arissa returned home to celebrate their triumph with the Guild.
Jak and Arissa really do make a great pair of thieves. Arissa really shined as she distracted the Radiant Altmers, then later sprung Jak from jail.

I could really feel in this episode how Jak has progressed from a newb into a rather accomplished thief.

Nice job! goodjob.gif
Darkness Eternal
Right. The safest course would be for Jak to be away from potential danger. Battling the undead puts his life at considerable risk.

Jak and Arissa seemed to be made for each other, huh. The pair is making all kinds of gains tongue.gif

Balmora Blue! Illegal narcotic made in Morrowind. So they are tasked to incriminate the captain.

Quite the kill Jak made, too! He can make for an assassin in training. Perhaps.

As they end in triumph, the thieves prepare for a future celebration. This is just great. At this rate Jak will indeed be able to help out his mother.

Acadian: Thank you! Arissa very experienced in all things thievery like being charismatic, smart, stealthy, etc, I mean she has been doing this for 10 years so she is more there actually helping Jak more than anything, he has learned a lot from her. This is also why he much better than his newb days, he has been travelling with Arissa for several weeks, it doesn't seem like that since I kind of skip over the long travel times and what not, so she has definitely taught him some things.

Darkness Eternal: Indeed it does, he isn't ready to be fighting off vampires, he would be dead his first day on the job. He would rather be raking in the coin.

They do make a great duo, don't they? As stated to Acadian, Arissa has helped Jak significantly with his thief skills, she knows way more than him, so its only natural that with the both working together they would be completing jobs with ease. And after the last several weeks of them working together Jak has definitely made a decent amount of coin so that his mother and he don't have to scrape by anymore, but he is aiming for the bigger picture of getting his mother out of Riften and to a nice city like Solitude with a nice house. Ironically, Arissa comes from money, and she has the proof to clear her families name, in the journals she got from the man who framed her family, and get what she lost back....

Chapter 10

The next day, Jak and Arissa left early in the morning to head to Windhelm. Fog filled the air as they saddled their horses and began their journey. Not far from the city they came across some Vigilants of Stendarr who claimed there were rumors of Daedric creatures roaming the Rift and warned them to keep an eye out. Continuing on, their journey was rather uneventful other than the occasional wolf that they dispatched easily enough. They arrived in Windhelm, getting some rest after the ride from Riften, then searched the city for the right house finally finding it in the Grey Quarter. They broke in and searched the house where Jak found the item upstairs. He quickly grabbed the item and the two thieves made their way out of the house and the city, they did not want a repeat of what happened in Solitude where one of them ends up in jail, so they chose to make the long ride back to Riften.

After speaking with Vex and turning in his job, Jak found Delvin who told him that the special request was set in stone and that Jak needed to talk with Torsten Cruel-Sea who knew something about a rival guild starting up in Windhelm. After resting for a day Jak and Arissa set out for Windhelm again, and once there they found Torsten wandering around the plaza.

"Torsten, right? Delvin sent us, he said you had something for us."

The man was startled out of his dead stare,"Yes I do.... my daughter, poor Fjotli, she was murdered by an Altmer... and the way I see it it's an eye for an eye. I found the Altmer and well... you know."

"I'm sorry for your loss, but what does this have to do with the Guild?"

"Well you see after Fjolti was murdered her body was robbed... by a new group of Altmer thieves known as the Summerset Shadows. They stole a precious family heirloom, and I want it back. I know this all sounds like it isn't worth the Guild's time, but if you get back that heirloom I'll gladly help the Guild in any way I can here in Windhelm. And at the same time you get rid of a rival guild. Do we have a deal?"

"Deal. We will help you. Where do I begin?"

"Speak with that Altmer, Niryane, in the market.. I think she had something to with all of this."

Jak shook Torsten's hand assuring him he would not fail then they left Torsten and went to the market to find Niryane. She was talking with a customer so Jak walked up and pushed him aside to talk to Niryane.

"Hey! I was in the middle of a business transaction!"

"That's great. Tell me about Fjolti."

Niryane sounded sympathetic about Fjolti's death and tried to play it of like she didn't know anything about what happened, "Tell me everything or end up like Fjolti!" Jak yelled.

"Okay, okay... let's just discuss this like rational people. I swear I had nothing to do with Fjolti's death." She went on to explain how she had no choice and that the group the Summerset Shadows came to her and threatened to kill her if she didn't fence their goods. She mentioned they stole from the deceased and that is how they got Fjotli's necklace.

"Tell me where to find them."

"I'll tell you if you promise not to kill me." Niranye begged.

"I'm not going to kill you. That's not how our Guild works." Jak replied.

"Speak for yourself." Arissa chimed in from behind Jak with a stern look on her face.

Niryane mentioned they were held up in Uttering Hills Cave, and so the two of them set out at once. They traveled west from Windhelm and eventually found the entrance to the cave guarded by two of Summerset Shadow members. Arissa was uneasy at all of this, as it hit a little too close to home, so while Jak wanted to sneak and catch them by surprise Arissa went ahead and began firing away with arrows. She fired from the bushes and the members charged, Arissa killed one and as the other went to attack her Jak stepped up and stabbed him with his dagger. They entered the cave and found more members patrolling, but as soon as they turned Jak would come up from behind and slit their throat. Eventually they came to a bigger cavern with a fire where two of the members were warming themselves while talking about their next mark. Arissa charged in and Jak followed trying to makes sure she didn't get herself killed, but they charged in so quickly the Summerset Shadows didn't even know what hit them and they fell quickly. Jak looted a key off one of the bodies which unlocked a door which lead to what looked like a fort inside the cave.
They entered into the fort and killed one more patrolling member, but doing so alerted Linwe who came sprinting out of one of the rooms with his lackeys and they began to attack. It was an intense fight, but in the end Linwe fell to Arissa's rage and as his body laid at their feet she kicked it and spat on it. Jak decided to loot his armor as sort of a trophy. Then in one of the rooms they found the banner that the Summerset Shadows used, so Jak lit a torch and burned it until nothing remained. With all the members dead, and their banner burned, the two of them left the cave and returned to Torsten. They found him in the market and approached him.

"So did you do it?"

Jak handed him the necklace, "It's done."

Torsten's eyes began to water as he looked at the necklace, "Thank you. Seeing this necklace pains me, but it brings me joy knowing it is back where it belongs. Tell Delvin if he needs anything done for the Guild here in Windhelm, just contact me."

The two headed to the inn to tend to their wounds and rest before heading back to Riften. After a days journey they were back in Riften where Jak gave Delvin the news who was happy to hear it and even told Jak he was a natural unlike anything he had ever seen. He thanked Delvin and returned home with Arissa, and as always they spent time with his mother and ate dinner, afterwards Jak put Linwe's armor on one of the mannequins in the basement.

"You did a great thing, Jak." Arissa commented and put her head on his shoulder.

"I couldn't have done it if you weren't there. Granted you acted a bit rash, but you still did a great job." He leaned in and began kissing her.

Arissa pulled back with a look of sadness, "I'm not really in the mood tonight, Jak... I'm tired after everything we have been through."

Jak understood so the two of them went to bed. In the morning he woke up to an empty bed, so he put on his armor to begin his search of the house for Arissa, she was no where to be found in the basement so he went upstairs. As he came up the stairs he looked in the kitchen to find she was not there either, and he turned to find his mother sleeping and something else... a note on the end table. Jak quietly walked forward and picked up the note:

Dear Jak,

You are probably wondering what is going on, why I am not there, and there is no easy way to say this, but I have decided to leave. It had nothing to do with you... I just wanted to return to my home and see my family, it is something that has been weighing on my mind for some time now, ever since you helped me find the evidence to prove my families innocence this has been consistently on my mind. After spending so much time with you and your mother, it really made me miss my family more than ever, and I just wanted to be able to see them again and have a family again, like you and your mother. Then after thinking about how Torsten lost his daughter it made me realize how life is short, and that I was given a second chance to see my family again, a chance I can't pass up knowing that either my parents, or myself, could be gone tomorrow and never see each other again.... What we had was great and I enjoyed every minute of it, but this longing to see me family is too much, I hope you can understand. I didn't have the heart to tell you this in person, it would have been too hard for me as I care too much to see you get hurt like that. I'm really sorry Jak, I hope you and your mother can forgive me and hopefully one day we will see each other again, but until then I wish you the best of luck. Goodbye, Jak.

- Arissa

Another great bit of work in Windhelm. emot-ninja1.gif

Aww, what an unexpected surprise for poor Jak! Very poignant. I hope Arissa returns. kvright.gif

This is fun reading about all the Thieves Guild stuff since I've never done any of it in Skyrim. smile.gif
Darkness Eternal
It was good that Jak and Arissa weren't involved in any Daedric pacts or had any Daedric artifacts with them. The Vigilantes of Stendarr can smell those a mile away. Unpleasant people, those.

Interesting quest with the Summerset Shadows. You know I never heard about them before and I had done the Thieves Guild line . . . I wasn't paying much attention. what a fight. Arissa is a deadly one, and how fitting that they burned the flag at the end, symbolizing the end of the Summerset Shadows, at least in that particular area. Good riddance, I say.

The ending sort of caught me unawares. She dumped Jak? This was a surprising, unexpected and unfortunate for him. I can understand her position here. I liked how it ties in with Torsten's quest for them. The death of his daughter reminded her how fleeting life can be. Jak wasn't expecting this one, and him introducing her to his mother did not help one bit, but rather was a factor that caused her to leave him.

Acadian: I am glad you are enjoying the read as he goes through the Thieves Guild. You should definitely try it out.

But yes, poor Jak, he lost his love because she wanted to be with her own family and get them back. Maybe we will see her again...

Darkness Eternal: Indeed the Vigilantes of Stendarr aren't exactly the best group of people, although Jak doesn't know this, he has just heard stories that they hunt daedra and such.

You are correct, the very thing that Arissa loved about being with Jak was the sense of having a family, in the end was the driving force to make her leave so that she could regain her own family. So yes she "dumped" Jak, but it was more of a leaving in hopes of returning some day kind of situation. Jak, of course won't take it so well.

Last Time: Our thief Jak met a young woman while on a job in Windhelm, named Arissa, and the two became business partners. This relationship grew to become more after spending weeks upon weeks with each other doing jobs and traveling Skyrim. However, after having helped Arissa get revenge on the man who destroyed her family and find evidence that would clear her families name, Arissa began to miss her family more and more after spending so much time with Jak and his mother. Waking up in the morning after a long journey from Windhelm Jak found Arissa gone and a note she had written claiming she left to return to her home and clear her families name.

Chapter 11

After having read Arissa's note, Jak sulked around the house for hours and his mother tried to console him. Lanier too was sad at Arissa's departure, but she was mainly upset seeing Jak suffer. Having had enough sitting around his house Jak headed to the Bee and Barb where he ordered drink after drink and even challenged people to competitions but none accepted so he drank for them. He eventually stood up and started causing a ruckus stumbling around and insulting people, laughing as he went from person to person, and even picking up tankards and other objects and throwing them around. Talen-Jei and Keerava had enough of Jak's antics and so Talen-Jei grabbed Jak and threw him out of the Bee and Barb onto the street where he laid there laughing for a minute.

It was still relatively early in the afternoon and Jak was not done drinking, so he went to the only other place he could think of, the Ragged Flagon. He stumbled his way to the secret Guild entrance and made his way through the cistern and into the Flagon.

"Vekel... get a round for everyone... on me."

"Jak, are you sure that's the best thing? You seem pretty drunk as it is." Vekel replied looking Jak up and down.

"Hey, I am paying so what difference does it make!" Jak pointed at Vekel, and he reluctantly filled a mug of Black-Briar mead and handed it to him.

No one else in the Flagon partook in Jak's drinking and instead watched as he made a fool of himself as he made jokes that only he thought were funny. He then stood up on the table and raised a cup in the air.

"A toast... to all the dirty stinking women that roam Skyrim... who only use you." He took a swig of his drink, "Oh, except you Tonilia, you and your nice bottom." Jak began laughing hysterically and stumbled off the table.

Jak went to grab more mead, but just like in the Bee and Barb the residents of the Ragged Flagon were tired of his antics so while he filled his mug Dirge came up and grabbed the mug from him. "No! That's mine!" Jak yelled and tried to forcibly grab the mug back, but Dirge threw it on the ground and cracked Jak in the back of his head knocking him out cold. Dirge dragged Jak to his bed in the cistern and threw him on to let him recollect himself.

Jak slowly opened his eyes and his vision slowly came into focus and he rubbed the back of his head which was sore. He stood up to find Brynjolf standing next to his bed.

"Take it easy, lad."

"No... I'm good, thanks."

"Want to explain what is going on? First I hear you make a ruckus in the Bee and Barb and get thrown out from there, and then you come down here and cause more trouble?"

"I'm sorry... I had something come up and I just needed to forget about it."

"Uhuh... well after your antics Mercer is furious, he is even considering throwing you out of the Guild. I may be able to talk him out of it, but you are going to have show him a good reason not to."

"What about all I have done for the Guild so far? Is that not enough?"

"You would think, but Mercer is a hard man to bargain with." Brynjolf put his hand on Jak's shoulder, "Look lad, why don't you go to Solitude and figure out this Gulum-Ei situation. That would surely put you back in Mercer's good graces, and it may help you get away from whatever this problem you are having is. Besides, I think you are ready, you have more than proven your skill as a thief, and in the mean time I'll talk with Mercer."

"Thanks Brynjolf, I really appreciate it."

After finishing talking with Brynjolf, Jak headed over to Mercer to let him know he was heading to Solitude to talk with Gulum-Ei. It was obvious Mercer was not happy, but he still needed someone to go to Solitude so he simply nodded and Jak left the cistern. Upon arriving in Solitude Jak asked a guard if he knew of an Argonian named Gulum-Ei, he didn't know who he was, but directed Jak to the Winking Skeever where he said an Argonian was staying.

"Hmm, what have we here? By your scent I would say you're with the Guild... but that can't be true because I told Mercer we were done working together."

"Good, I can skip the introductions then and get straight to business. I want to know about Goldenglow Estate." He played dumb and assured Jak he did not deal with properties, "You can drop the act, Gajul-Lei."

"Oh, did you say Goldenglow Estate? My apologies, it must have slipped my mind, you know what with all the deals that we make."

"What will it take to get you to tell me who the buyer is?" Jak asked and Gulum-Ei began to explain how he had a deal going that required him to get a case of Firebrand wine, if Jak went and retrieved a case of it that was currently in the Blue Palace he would give him some answers. With the cover of nightfall it was easy to make it into the castle, and luckily the guards were in the middle of their rotations so Jak essentially walked in found the wine and left with it. He returned to Gulum-Ei who was delighted to have the wine and then tried to "prolong his life" with a bribe.

"A woman approached me and flashed me some gold and said all I had to do was by Goldenglow. I accepted the job, simple as that."

"Did she say what she was doing?"

"Not at all, and in this business it is wise not to ask too many questions, although she did seem rather angry and it was directed at Mercer... that's all I know."

"She never gave you a name?"

"In this line of work we don't go by names, but more by the amount of coin we have."

"I think you are lying to me."

"Look, I didn't say I would have all the answers. Now, our transaction is done, I'll be on my way." Gulum-Ei stood up and pushed Jak out of the way and began leaving in a hurry.

Knowing Gulum-Ei was lying, Jak began to tail him. He slid down some rocks and watched as Gulum-Ei made his way to the docks. Upon following him further Gulum-Ei entered into a warehouse and so Jak too entered. The inside of the warehouse was huge and was stuffed with tons of items. Gulum-Ei made his way through the warehouse and past the wardens that patrolled the area, and after a close call with one of the wardens Jak decided to follow Gulum-Ei by swimming through the water as he walked along the warehouse. Eventually, Gulum-Ei went through a secret door that led to a cave, however this cave was inhabited by bandits. Jak sneaked past the first two bandits near the entrance and continued through the grotto, he then found two more bandits who were arguing as one was swimming in the water when they were supposed to be patrolling. Using a bow he found at the entrance of the grotto, Jak killed the bandit yelling, this alerted the bandit in the water who quickly got out of the water, but he quickly was pelted with arrows and laid dead. Instead of fighting the remaining bandits in the cave, Jak took a smarter route and swam in the water to the end of the grotto where he then climbed out of the water and killed a khajiit bandit who was loading a boat with cargo.

All that remained was Gulum-Ei and one last bandit, they were talking by the fire in the center of the room and so Jak took this opportunity to charge in. The bandit could not react quick enough and Jak plunged his dagger into his chest as Gulum-Ei watched in fear and began to back up.

"Please... there's no reason to do anything rash."

Jak grabbed Gulum-Ei by his shirt and pulled him closer, "Tell me what I want to know, now."

"Alright, alright. Karliah, the buyer was Karliah." Gulum-Ei said as if he was expecting him to know who Karliah was. Jak explained he didn't know who she was, much to Gulum-Ei's surprise and so then told the story of how Karliah had killed the previous Guild master, Gallus, and now was after Mercer. He then pleaded that Jak not tell Mercer anything about this.

"I won't tell Mercer, but you owe me."

"Now you are speaking my language." Gulum-Ei smiled, "Consider me your new friend in the north, if you ever have any items you need fenced come see me."

With that Gulum-Ei showed the way out by pulling a lever which opened a secret passage way. Jak left the grotto ready to give Mercer the news.
Not surprising that Jak went on a bit of an alcohol-augmented pity party. kvright.gif Losing Arissa was a very hard blow. I think he was wise to jump back into his work to keep him focused on something productive for a time. goodjob.gif

Looks like some more good thiefy work up in Solitude! Heh, I thought he was going to get himself a new pair of lizard-skin boots. . . .
Darkness Eternal
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this chapter. Seeing Jak going around causing a mess in the bars was tough to read, considering all he's been through. Understandable as many of us would have done the same in light of the circumstances. Some parts were funny, though. Especially this one:

"A toast... to all the dirty stinking women that roam Skyrim... who only use you." He took a swig of his drink, "Oh, except you Tonilia, you and your nice bottom." Jak began laughing hysterically and stumbled off the table.

Hahaha laugh.gif

Good that he's back at work . . .
Acadian: Losing Arissa was a hard blow for him, she was his first girlfriend and all. Luckily for him he has Brynolf to support him like a mentor, and help keep him on track by doing work for the guild as that will help keep his mind off of Arissa.

Indeed, if not for Gulum-Ei's offer, then Jak most definitely would have walked out of their with a new pair of lizard skin boots. He is a little bit more testy and angry after Arissa left so he isn't as lenient.

Darkness Eternal: It was meant to be read as either, you laugh at him causing a ruckus, but at the same time feel sorry for him knowing he is only acting that way from pain.

And yes... he was lucky Tonilia wasn't the one to knock him out, or kill him, instead of Dirge after that comment.

But yes, him being back to work is the best way to keep his mind focused and not on Arissa's sudden departure.

Chapter 12

After a long journey from Solitude back to Riften, Jak headed to the Guild to tell Mercer about what he discovered.

"So, did you find out anything from Gulum-Ei?"

"He said the buyer was a woman named Karliah." Jak replied and saw Mercer's face instantly go white.

"Karliah... I haven't heard that name in decades." Mercer was quite disturbed by this finding and explained how Karliah had killed Gallus and then disappeared, "Did you find out where she is?"

"Uhh." Jak had to think for a moment, "Gulum-Ei said she said something about 'where the end began', whatever that means."

"I know exactly what she means, she is at Snow Veil Sanctum. We can't let her get away, we may never find her again... however, she is smart, we can't go there without a plan. Give me a week and I'll think up something and then we are going after her. In the meantime do some more jobs and earn us some more gold."

Jak was confused as to why he had to go, but he did not want to question Mercer since he was still worried that he might be kicked out of the Guild. So after leaving Mercer to think he went to the Flagon to get a job from Delvin and Vex, both gave him a job in Markarth. With his jobs accepted, he returned home where he caught up on some reading while his mother prepared dinner.

"Jak, I don't like that you are going to Markarth, the Reach is a dangerous place with those barbaric Forsworn. Can't you go anywhere else?"

"I will be fine mom, I'll be sure to stick to the roads so I shouldn't have any problems." Suddenly Lanier winced in pain and dropped her ladle, "Mom, are you okay?"

"Yes yes, I am fine. I just burnt my hand, I'll be okay."

"Why don't you let me take over so you can rest? I can finish dinner."

"Jak, I said I am fine."

"Okay..." Jak sat back down and began reading his book again.

The next day Jak got up and left for Markarth, he saddled his horse and made his way west. He made his way through the Rift and then up through the passage leading to Falkreath. Along the way he came across Helgen, where he was almost thrown off his horse when a large black dragon flew out of the fort... a dragon, something Jak had only heard legends and stories about. He snapped himself out of his awe and continued his journey not knowing what to think of seeing a dragon. After a few hours he arrived in Falkreath at dusk, he decided it was best to stop as it would be unwise to travel through the Reach at night once he got there. He headed to the Dead Man's Drink and rented a room for the night, then ordered a couple drinks and warmed himself by the fire. Jak squatted by the fire and warmed his hands when he looked up from the fire towards the bard. "Arissa?" Jak saw her standing behind the bard. He quickly stood up and bumped into a man walking behind him,apologizing and then turning around, though as he turned around Narri walked in front of where Arissa stood and she was gone. I have had too much to drink, I am seeing things, Jak thought to himself so he retired to his room and slept until the morning.

He gathered his things and left the inn, but before making his way out of Falkreath heading west one of the guards told him to keep a look out for a dog that the blacksmith was looking for. He did not see a dog anywhere as he traveled through Falkreath hold, and eventually he made his way into the Reach. Jak was cautious as he rode through the Reach as it was intimidating with the high mountains, not knowing if he was being watched as he traveled the road, and the thick fog that hovered over the area. He moved as fast as he could along the road, and luckily only came across a Khajiit caravan that startled him. Eventually he made it to Markarth and as he approached the city he had an uneasy feeling about it, even though it was his first time there he felt unwelcome.

Jak entered Markarth, it was a grand looking city and unlike anything he had ever seen. Luckily the two places he needed to go for his job were right on top of each other, so with his targets scoped out he headed to the local inn to wait for nightfall. The inn was owned by a family known as the Silver-Bloods, they bickered while Jak sat by the fire and talked to a mercenary who told him of his many adventures. Once night had fallen Jak left and waited outside of Arnleif and Sons Trading Company where he needed to change some of their numbers in their book. He waited and watched the guards patrolling paths unnoticed and when the time was right quickly picked the lock and entered. The book was easy enough to find as the owners left it out in the open, he quickly changed the numbers and made his way out as fast as possible; Jak couldn't help but feel a cold chill run up his spine being inside the shop, as if something was off about the place...

Back outside Jak headed to the upper level of the city where he quietly slipped into Ogmund's house to steal the three items Vex requested. As soon as he entered, he noticed the house was rather small, as well as disorganized, and so after quickly grabbing the items he left. Upon stepping out into the night a guard came walking by and looked directly at Jak causing his heart to stop as he thought he was caught, but the guard nodded and walked away. Jak had the sneaking suspicion that the guard knew he was a thief yet he let him go, Jak also was beginning to get a strange feeling about Markarth and he didn't like it, so he stayed the night and got up early the following morning to leave.

Jak was happy to leave Markarth behind him, and as he traveled the Reach he came across an interesting scene, an Orc standing on the side of the road with two dead sabre cats, Jak stopped and asked the Orc if he was okay or needed any assistance but the Orc only mentioned how he wanted to have a good death. When Jak refused to give him a good death the Orc told him to leave and so he olbiged and got back on his horse and continued on. As he rode Jak couldn't help but take in the beauty of the Reach. The journey was uneventful until Jak reached Falkreath hold, as he rode along the road he was ambushed by a lone assassin who jumped off the cliff and tackled him off his horse. Jak kicked the assassin off him and drew his dagger, the assassin stood up and charged, and the fight began. "You will die here, Jak!" The assassin hissed as she slashed her swords trying to slice Jak's stomach. However, The assassin missed one too many times and tired herself so Jak took the opportunity to stab the assassin in the chest. With the assassin dead, Jak searched the body for any clues as to who the assassin was and why they were after him, unfortunately all he found was a note that said someone wanted him dead, but not who the person was.

Who ever it was, they must of hired a cheap or novice assassin, Jak thought to himself, why would the assassin make herself known rather than kill me when I least expect it? Either way luck is on my side as I am no fighter so I fight with a skilled assassin would have ended differently.

While Jak won the fight it was not without sustaining wounds of his own, and without any healing potions he needed to find help as soon as possible. Not far from where he was attacked was a mill, so he stopped there to ask for assistance. The owner of the mill saw him approach on his horse and instantly ran across the bridge to see what Jak wanted.

"Excuse me, I was attacked down the road and I don't have a healing potion, could you help?" Jak held his side where he could feel blood starting to wet his armor.

"Oh, certainly." The woman smiled, "We don't get many visitors these days, and we would love for you to stay awhile. We will patch you right up."

She lead Jak to the house and told him to wait outside as she needed to make sure her husband wasn't sleeping, she entered the house and Jak leaned against the wall as he was now starting to feel the aftermath of the attack. While waiting for the woman to return Jak overheard a conversation inside the house, it was muffled but he heard slight yelling and mention of easy prey since they had not eaten in weeks. Jak didn't like what he heard and didn't want to find out what they were talking about so he walked as fast as he was able back to his horse and hopped on to continue to Falkreath. He finally arrived with his strength draining, he went to the general goods store and asked the owner if he had any healing potions. The owner handed over his best potion as he could see Jak was injured and needed it, he sympathized with Jak as he said he used to be a Stormcloak and saw his comrades suffer from wounds all the time. He thanked the owner and drank the potion; the effects were felt almost immediate, and so after selling some of his extra goods Jak left the store to continue his journey back to Riften.
Jak certainly had an eventful journey to the Reach and back.

An Alduin sighting at Helgen and an Arissa sighting at Falkreath!

Glad his two jobs at Markarth went well. It was fun to get his take on some of the things in game we see all the time like the old orc looking for a good death and the random assassin attack.

Glad he didn’t end up as dinner for that pair of vampires at the mill! ohmy.gif
Darkness Eternal
I'm loving the screens as the story goes on.

So she burnt her hand, did she? Is that what really happened? Why do I get the feeling something is up. Maybe I'm looking too much into it . . .

Wow, first sighting of Alduin! How great that this story doesn't follow the main quest(yet?), but Jak is actually present in the time period in which it happens. And Jak maybe seeing things or maybe Arissa is too fast for his own eyes to follow?

Shadowscale!! Jak was lucky enough to survive this initiate's attempt. Imagine if it was a skilled assassin?

After the cutthroat's attempt, Jak was almost nosferatu chow. Hern and Herte, I remember them! Good people . . . . tongue.gif

Acadian: Eventful indeed. Yeah one of the things I tried to do when coming up with his story was basically make it be what happens in the game is what happens in his story and then write how he reacts to it.

He did get lucky he wasn't a snack for them, of course he had no idea what they were talking about, he didn't even connect the dots that they were vampires.

Darkness Eternal: I'm glad you like them.

She did in fact just burn her hand, although when originally written it was planned to be setting up her having a disease. I changed it.

Yes I wanted to show the time period in which Jak's story takes place and it does coincide with the main quest time period, however Jak has no plans to do the main quest. He is in fact seeing things, he had one too many drinks and saw what he wanted to see. Although fun fact, Arissa was actually there when playing the game because when she is dismissed that is where she hangs out.

Indeed he was lucky he was fighting an initiate. Had it been a skilled assassin lets just say Jak's story would have been done and over with biggrin.gif .

Chapter 13

After the effects of the healing potion wore off, Jak left the General Goods store and got back on his horse. He left Falkreath and made his way back up the passage that cut through the mountain, he rode into the Rift where a storm had come in, the rain pelted his face as he rode along, and he thought about stopping to find shelter but instead decided to press on. As he traveled along the road he came across a fellow thief who gave him a gift and told him to keep his eyes on the lookout, and then he ran away to find his next target. The storm did not let up the whole way, but eventually Jak made it back to Riften, he rode around the city to the other side to stable his horse. He was just glad he did not have to ride in the rain anymore as he entered the city, but as he walked he noticed guards standing outside of his home.

"What's going on here? Why are you outside my house?" Jak asked as he approached the guards.

"We have your house under guard, your mother has fallen ill and we believe foul play was involved, possibly even the Dark Brotherhood. She was found lying on the floor earlier today with a suspicious bottle we suspect had poison in it.... I'm sorry to be telling you this." Jak's heart sank in his chest.

"Move!" He pushed the guards aside and ran into the house where he found his mother lying on the bed with Fina next to her.

As he stepped into the room Fina stood up, she explained how she heard a loud noise as she walked by the house in the morning and when she went in she found his mother lying on the floor convulsing. She then said that his mother had gotten worse and grown weaker since the morning.

"Hey mom, how are you doing?" He grabbed her hand as she slowly turned her head to face him, "You're going to be okay."

She coughed, "Jak... I-I need to tell you something..."

"No, you can tell me when you are better. You need to rest."

"No, you listen to me... I love you, I always have and always will..."

"I know you do, mom." Her eyes started to slowly close, "No no no, mom stay with me, okay."

"Jak.... I... I'm not...." She let out her last breath as Jak and Fina could only stand by watch. He stared as he took in what just happened.

"She's gone." Jak let go off her hand and slowly sat down on the floor as he stared at his mother, until he couldn't hold it in anymore and began to cry.

"Oh Jak. I'm so sorry." Fina leaned down and tried to console him.

Fina eventually calmed Jak down and alerted the guards of Lanier's death. The guards went to the temple where they got Maramal; he came to the house and gave his prayers for Lanier, the guards then came in and removed the body where it was taken to the cemetery to be buried. Jak and Fina watched as they dug the hole and carefully placed Lanier's coffin into the ground, by now morning had come and everyone but Jak and Fina had left. Jak gave one last goodbye to his mother.

"I'm sorry about your loss, lad?"

"Brynjolf? What are you doing here?"

"Could you give us a moment?" Brynjolf said to Fina, she looked at Jak who nodded so she walked back towards the Temple of the Mara,"We heard about what happened and I wanted to see you, lad. It's a tough situation losing ones parents, I know how you feel."

"Thanks, Brynjolf."

"No problem... but I also wanted to tell you that Mercer has finished coming up with a plan, and he asked to see you. Chances are you are leaving for Snow Veil Sanctum, I wish you didn't have to, but it is for the safety of the Guild. We need to put a stop to Karliah."

"I'll go talk to Mercer, I need to get out of Riften for a little bit anyways." Jak responded with a melancholy tone.

"Alright then. Good luck, lad." Brynjolf turned and began walking away, "Thank you, Brynjolf." Jak said and Brynjolf nodded his head then returned to the Guild through the secret entrance.

Jak found Fina near the stairs leading up to the Temple of Mara and told her how he needed to leave Riften. She objected saying she did not like the idea of him leaving in his current mental state, but he assured her that it was for the best and that it would help him grieve. Fina reluctantly agreed. He asked her to watch his home while he was gone and then they parted ways as he went to speak with Mercer.

"Good you're here. I'm sorry about your mother, but we need to move fast if we want to keep the Guild safe, you can grieve for your mother today and leave first thing tomorrow morning. I will meet you at Snow Veil Sanctum, there we will find Karliah and kill her."

"I'm ready to leave now."

"No, your head won't be in it all the way and you will only be dead weight. I need you to be ready physically and mentally. Go rest and grieve and meet me at Snow Veil Sanctum." Mercer took Jak's map and marked the location.

Jak then left Mercer and went into the Ragged Flagon to turn in his jobs. Delvin gave Jak his condolences and told him he could pass on the jobs he had available, and so Jak went Vex. Even she gave her condolences and congratulated him on how well he had been doing. It made Jak feel better knowing he essentially had another family with the Thieves Guild, so after selling a few things to Tonilia he left.

He returned home, much to Fina's pleasure as she wanted him to rest some, and then Jak left the next morning. His journey was uneventful to Windhelm, after passing the city he came across a shrine to Arkay where he had to wonder where the worshipers had gone. Eventually he arrived Snow Veil Sanctum and found a camp nearby with a dead horse, Jak could only assume it belonged to Karliah and that Mercer had already arrived and killed it. As he continued past the camp he found Mercer outside of the ruins, he explained how he knew Karliah was still in the ruin and that he made sure she would not be escaping by killing her horse. He then ordered Jak to lead, much to his surprise, but Jak didn't want to question Mercer's orders. When they came to the entrance it was sealed shut and Mercer bragged about how a person just needed to have a little know how and a lot of skill to open these doors, he then picked the lock and the two entered.

As they walked down the stairs into the first room Mercer complained about the smell, and Jak tried to hide his fear as he didn't know what to expect since he had never been in a nordic ruin before.

Aww, first Arissa leaves, then his mother dies. Poor Jak. sad.gif

I'm glad that Fina was there for him, and his TG pals are of some comfort as well.

Perhaps it is best that he get back to work quickly.

I know nothing about the Skyrim TG, but I don't like this horse-mudering Mercer fellow. My elven danger senses are tingling.
Darkness Eternal
Well then blink.gif indifferent.gif

I wasn't expecting that at all. Very tragic. May his mother rest in peace. Tragic moreso, considering she had an important revelation to give but fell short of life. Additionally, it was because of her he started this path.

Its great that there are people there with Jak that support him and help him out in his time of need. The Thieves Guild had become a family for him.

Hmm. There are mysteries to be had. The Nordic ruins, to me, smells like death.
Acadian: Indeed Jak is going through a rough time in his life. He is lucky that Fina is such a close friend and cares about him, she only wants him to be happy.

And yes, the best thing for him to keep his mind off of his mother's death is to keep himself busy. For me personally when I experience something sad like a death I find keeping busy helps cope.

And you haven't done the whole Thieves Guild questline, so you don't know anything hahaha.... let's just say Mercer is not my favorite.

Darkness Eternal: Lol I'm glad to have caught you off guard. I was hoping that maybe after Jak was attacked you wouldn't pick up on the fact that his mother may have also been a target.

And indeed she did have some crucial information to tell Jak, alas she couldn't muster the strength to tell him... She also was the reason he began this life, but now that he has almost formed a new family with the Guild he won't feel so alone and he now has another reason to continue his life of thievery.

Author's Note: Sorry this was a little longer, about 2000 words. The remaining chapters won't be this long, it's just this section was hard to find a good break point without it being too short.

Chapter 14

With Jak leading the two made their way deeper into the ruin, they came to a room with a chest and as Jak opened the chest Draugrs burst from their coffins and began to attack. As they continued through the ruins they came across more Draugr and traps, they entered a room and Mercer told Jak to pull the chain and watch out for the spike trap, so he pulled the chain and backed up quickly as the trap sprung. Draugr slept along the walls and as they went by they would kill them to make sure they would not wake up and attack them later.

They entered a hallway and Mercer commented on how there were two more Draugr ahead, Jak happened to notice a trap with an oil lantern, so he cut the string and the lantern fell causing an explosion which killed one of the Draugr. Unfortunately the explosion woke more, and so the two of them charged in and killed the remaining. Jak would let Mercer do most of the fighting and would sneak attack the Draugr while they were focused on Mercer until eventually they all laid dead at their feet. They passed through several more rooms with Draugr and traps, one room even impressed Mercer as Karliah had left bone chimes hanging so that the Draugr would wake up if either of them hit the chimes, but the two of them sneaked through the room easy enough.

Eventually, they reached an odd door.

"Hmm, looks like one of those ancient nord doors that requires a claw," Mercer began talking, "Karliah has most likely gotten rid of the claw by now, so we're on our own. However, these doors have a weakness and if you know how you can exploit it...." Mercer then opened the door and stepped back.

"After you..."

Jak looked at Mercer and then began walking slowly into the room, he took only a few steps into the room when he was struck with an arrow, he immediately felt the effects of a highly concentrated poison and fell to his knees and then to the floor where he blacked out black out for a few moments. When he came to he could barely see two figures in the room, but he could tell it was Mercer and Karliah, they were arguing and Mercer drew his weapons. Karliah knew it was best not to fight Mercer directly and drank a potion making her disappear, so Mercer walked over to Jak.

"Well well, it seems history is repeating itself. I'm afraid you have heard too much and I can't have you going back to Guild and running your mouth. I'll give Brynjolf your regards... Look at the bright side, now you can be with your mother." Mercer then stabbed his sword through Jak's chest and his vision went black....

Jak slowly opened his eyes and his vision started to clear so he stood up.

"Easy, easy. Don't get up to quickly. How are you feeling?" Karliah stood before him.

"What's going on?" Jak looked around dazed, "Wait.. I should kill you for shooting me and trying to kill me!"

"Ha! I saved your life. That arrow had a unique paralytic poison on it, it took me a year to perfect it. That arrow kept you from bleeding out, you should be thanking me."

Jak was speechless, but asked her why she didn't shoot Mercer instead, Karliah then explained how she never had a clear shot and the best decision was to get Jak out of the way. She then said how she had hoped to catch him alive to make him pay for his crimes against the Guild and for killing Gallus. Jak reluctantly believed her since Mercer had tried to kill him and he had no other option but to trust her, so he asked her what she would do next. She told him how she had a Gallus' journal, but she couldn't translate it, but as she explained it dawned on her, "Enthir, of course!" Jak stood by confused and she told him Enthir was one of Gallus' closest friends and that he would be able to translate the journal. Karliah asked Jak to take the journal to Enthir and he agreed as he knew he couldn't return to Riften without proof that Mercer was a traitor.

Jak got on his horse and headed in the direction of Winterhold, he traveled through the snowy landscape looking for the road and until he eventually found it. On the way he came across a fight between two Vigilants of Stendarr and a vampire.

"Help me please!!!" The vampire cried as Jak rode by... he could hear the fear in her voice and it drew Jak in like a moth to a flame and he began to slow down.

"Don't listen to it!! It is trying to deceive you, get out of here!" One of the Vigilants shouted in response.

Jak realized there was nothing he could do and he was not about to risk fighting a vampire so he sped back up and rode off as fast as he could as one of the Vigilants was killed. He arrived in Winterhold and headed for the inn as it was too late to head up to the College and find Enthir, but as luck would have it while Jak sat a table after having finished a meal a mage came up and sat next to him to chat. The mage was Enthir himself, so Jak explained that Karliah needed his help to translate the journal, but he said he could not do it as it was written in Falmer language. However, Enthir told Jak that a Court Wizard named Calcelmo in Markarth could as he had been researching the Falmer and the Dwemer.

In the morning, Jak left and made his long journey of a few days to Markarth, once in the city he entered Understone Keep and found Calcelmo at his workstation. The elf was irritated and yelled at Jak for just approaching him, he then apologized as blamed it on his excitement for his work and Jak asked him about his work and if he could see it. The elf refused so Jak got serious and tried to intimidate Calcemo, but he simply laughed and mocked Jak by saying he could have him thrown in jail with the snap of his fingers. Knowing he was not going to get Calcelmo to give him his work, Jak decided he would just break into the museum and look at it himself, so after sneaking past the guard he picked the lock and entered the museum. Guards were everywhere, but they were easy to sneak by after Jak figured out their patrolling route.

In the next area Jak found a strange rod and upon picking it up it caused a dwemer spider to start following him, he soon found out the spider was under his control and had it attack the mercenaries hired to guard the place. The spider killed most of the mercenaries, but was eventually overpowered by one, as it died the spider sent out an explosive shock wounding the mercenary so Jak came in and finished the job. He eventually came to a room with a wizard who was studying, so while he was entranced by his work Jak easily sneaked by and went through a door leading him outside to a balcony overlooking Markarth, it was a beautiful sight. Continuing along the balcony, he found the room he was looking for, he walked to the top of the tower and found a stone tablet with the Falmer language on it. Thinking fast he grabbed some charcoal and rolled up paper that was laying around and began writing down what was on the tablet. Suddenly the wizard and some mercenaries came into the tower, "I'm telling you I heard something in here. Check every inch of this place, for anything suspicious." The wizard said as Jak noticed a ledge that went around the room straight to the entrance, so he climbed on the ledge and made his way out.

He then found a hidden path that lead him to the waterfall, and he had to make a decision to jump or risk getting caught by going back through the museum. Jak wasn't about to get caught so he closed his eyes and jumped, he couldn't believe how lucky he was when he saw a skeleton in the water as he assumed that person had made the same jump with a different result. With the translation in his possession all he needed to do was return to Enthir.

Upon arriving in Winterhold, Jak returned to the Frozen Hearth and asked the owner about Enthir, he said a woman had shown up and they headed to the cellar. He entered the cellar and found the two standing at the end talking. After exchanging a few words Jak handed over the translation and Enthir went around the table and began to translate, "This is interesting... but highly disturbing." Enthir said as he continued and then Karliah asked about Mercer and the Twilight Sepulcher. Enthir said he had just got to the part and that Gallus had found out about Mercer's deeds and was about to inform the Guild. Karliah was relieved to know that they had all the evidence they needed to clear her name and reveal the truth about Mercer, she turned to Jak and said they needed to make haste to the Ragged Flagon before Mercer could do anymore damage to the Guild. Before she left she gave Jak Gallus' sword as a gift saying Gallus would be proud, Jak accepted the sword and looked it over as Karliah left.

Jak got some rest and left the next day to return to Riften, and once there he knew he would not be able to go in the Guild's secret entrance so he made his way to the Ratway and into the Flagon. Karliah approached him after entering, "We should hurry, I think some of the members here are starting to catch on to who I am." Jak nodded and the two headed to the Cistern.

"Jak? Mercer said you were dead? What are you doing here with that traitor? You better have a good reason for this." Brynjolf, Vex, and Delvin all glared at Karliah.

"Please, lower your weapons, I have proof that I am innocent and that Mercer is the traitor." Karliah retorted.

Brynjolf reluctantly lowered his weapon, as did Delvin and Vex, and she handed Gallus' journal to him. He began to read and couldn't believe what he saw, but Karliah reassured him that it was all true. Brynjolf wanted further proof so he wanted to look into the vault. Delvin used his key, then Brynjolf used his and as he opened the doors to the vault he couldn't believe his eyes, "Everyone get in here now! It's all gone!" They all entered the vault to find it completely empty and Brynjolf knew Karliah was telling the truth. Vex got angry and wanted to go after Mercer, but Delvin and Brynjolf calmed her down and said they needed a careful plan. Brynjolf approached Jak and said he wanted to talk with him.

"I'm sorry, Jak. I'm sorry I even doubted you, when Mercer told me that you had attacked him at Snow Veil Sanctum and that you were working with Karliah the whole time I didn't want to believe it, but I've known Mercer for so long I trusted him."

"It's alright Brynjolf... What are we going to do now though?"

"Well, I am going to talk with all our contacts and see if we can find where Mercer might have went, and I want you to go to his house here in Riften. Maybe you can find something on where he might have gone." Brynjolf sighed, "And believe me when I say this lad, this is the last place in Skyrim I want to be sending you, so be careful."

He then told Jak about a way to get into his house my using a ramp that Mercer had installed, all Jak had to do was shoot it with an arrow and it would lower. When Jak left the Guild it was night so he took the opportunity to break into Mercer's house, he did as
Brynjolf instructed and shot the ramp and then entered the house. Jak killed the first guard, with his new blade Karliah had given him, and continued to the downstairs where he didn't come across anymore guards and he found a suspicious cabinet. Upon examining it he found it had a false back which led him to the cellar of the house. The house soon turned into a series of tunnels that Mercer had put in underneath the house and it was loaded with traps. Jak made his way carefully through the tunnels avoiding all of Mercer's traps and eventually he found a room with Mercer's plans, a note, and a strange bust. There was also a display case with a unique sword that almost looked like ice, as he approached it he noticed a label on the display that said Chillrend, so Jak unlicked it and took the sword for himself. Jak to the Guild to tell Brnjolf what he found, and lucky enough the tunnels under Mercer's house led right to the Ragged Flagon. He placed the bust on the desk and handed Brynjolf Mercer's plans. Brynjolf looked them over and was shocked to find out that Mercer was going after the Eyes of the Falmer, one of Gallus' pet projects. Brynjolf stated that Mercer going after the Eyes of the Falmer was just an insult to the Guild after everything he had done, he then informed Jak that Karliah needed to speak with them...

Darkness Eternal
Jak versus the Walking Blue-Eyed Dead! Seemed that when he killed one, more came. For each dead Draugr, others came out of the woodwork.

Mercer . . . what an asshole. I mistrusted him from the start. No honor among thieves, huh. Jak learned a valuable lesson here. One I hope he takes to heart later in his travels. Good thing Karliah saved his life. He owes her.

Great thing that Mercer was revealed to be a traitor to the group.

So with Chillrend in hand, it is time to go after the Eyes of the Falmer!!
Ahah! Horse murdering Mercer is a bad guy as I suspected! Just can't trust a horse murderer.

This is fun seeing how the TG stuff plays out. Glad Jak is back in tight with his thiefy buds. tongue.gif
Darkness Eternal: Indeed Mercer is an asshole. He is in Jak's sights now, and with the Guild now on Jak/Karliah's side we will have to see how they want to handle Mercer.

Acadian: Hahahaha Buffy would not get along with Mercer.

And I'm glad you are enjoying it so far.

Chapter 15

Jak and Brynjolf met Karliah at the center of the cistern and Karliah began to speak,"Brynjolf it's time to decide Mercer's fate." Brynjolf agreed and declared that Mercer needed to die for everything he had done. Karliah was happy to hear that Brynjolf's decision and told them to meet her southeast of Riften near a standing stone where there is a path cut up the mountain side. Both Karliah and Brynjolf said they had some preparations they need to make before heading out, so Jak took this time to try and get some sleep, but that proved harder than he thought as his mind overflowed with thoughts of what was going to happen.

In the morning Jak left Riften and made his way southeast, he found the path and followed it up the mountain where he found the two of them already waiting for him.

"I'm glad you're here. This is the Nightingale headquarters, cut into the moutain by the first of our kind. We will hopefully get the edge we need to defeat Mercer."

"What kind of an edge?" Jak asked.

"If you follow me, I'll try to explain on the way." Karliah walked past the two of them and they looked at each other and then followed her. She opened a secret entrance and they all entered a cave, Brynjolf commented on how he had always heard stories of Nightingale Hall but he never believed them, which Karliah says was done on purpose. Brynjolf then questioned why he was there in the first place as he was not religious.

"This isn't about religion Brynjolf... it's business. Now follow me to the armory so we can don our armor and begin the Oath."

They followed her to the armory and she told them to touch one of the three stones to get their armor; Jak watched as both of them obtained their armor.

"What's wrong Jak? Are you nervous to take the Oath?"

He shook his head at Karliah and proceeded to the stone while the two went ahead. He slowly placed his hand on the stone...suddenly a black substance ran up Jak's arm and eventually all over his body forming the Nighingale armor, it was as if the armor was some kind of magical creature bonding itself to him.

"Whoa this armor, it feels good. Magical almost..." Jak said as he joined the other two.

"That's because it is. This armor can take on the shape of any armor or clothing you wish, that way you can disguise your identity as a Nightingale, it also enhances your abilities. Now if you are ready let's begin." Karliah explained.

The three of them proceeded into the main chamber and stood on their respective circle, Karliah then summoned Nocturnal. Nocturnal sounded disappointed with Karliah and asked what she had to offer in order to gain her favor. Karliah then offered Jak and Brynjolf to Nocturnal and said they would be willing to serve her in life and in death; Nocturnal was pleased with Karliah's terms and gave her blessing, making all three of them official Nightingales. They all met back in the center of the room where Karliah explained that they now had an edge over Mercer and that his true crime was stealing the Skeleton Key from the Twilight Sepulcher, she said without the key they had lost their connection to Nocturnal and could not use her gifts. Both Jak and Brynjolf agreed they needed to get to Mercer as soon as possible to get the key back.

"Before we leave lad, we need to talk about the Guild, and its leadership." Brynjolf began, "Once this is all over we will need a new leader, Karliah and I were talking about it before you arrived and we think you should be the new guildmaster."

"Me?" Jak couldn't believe what he was hearing, "What about you Brynjolf?"

"I'm a skilled thief, maybe one of the best, but I am no leader. I have never been in a leading position and never want to be in that kind of position so we figured we should give it to you after everything you have done for the Guild."

"I don't know what to say."

"Don't worry about it yet, lad. We still have some business to take care of and we won't make it official until I have heard from all of Delvin's sources that we have returned to our former glory."

Jak reluctantly agreed to take the position as he was skeptical about his ability to lead the Guild, and so the three of them made their plan to travel to Irkngthand to stop Mercer.

Karliah let them to Irkngthand, and up on arriving found it to be similar to Markarth as it was built into the mountain as well. The three of them sneaked inside and found a group of dead bandits, they assumed it was Mercer's doing, and continued on where they found destroyed dwemer creatures. It wasn't far into the ruins before they came across traps, the first being a room with pillars that revolved shooting fire, they each went through one at a time and made it across the room safely.

They came across the first trap set by Mercer when Jak opened a door and a flail came hurling at him, but he dodged it easy enough. They moved on and came to a balcony overlooking a giant room.

"Look there's Mercer!" Karliah pointed and they watched as he sneaked up behind two Falmer and killed them, "He is toying with us." she said and looked at the other two.

"Let's get a move on then we don't want him to get to the eyes and get away." Brynjolf said.

The three Nightingales continued forward and found themselves in a room where they had two choices, taking the high road or the low road, Brynjolf commented saying he didn't care which one they took as long as they got through quickly so Jak decided on the higher path to avoid most of the Falmer, they did come across one but Jak stabbed him as he got close. The Falmer let out a deafening scream as it died and they knew they needed to get moving before the rest showed up to investigate; luckily the cry from the Falmer drew all the others to its location allowing Jak, Brynjolf, and Karliah to easily navigate through the room and continue onward without a fight. They found a message left by Mercer saying one step ahead.

"He is really trying to get to us, to mess with our heads." Karliah said before they moved on.

In the next large room there was a Centurion Guardian, and Jak had a plan to turn it on and let it fight the Falmer that patrolled the room and they would sneak by during the commotion, his plan was successful as the Guardian quickly dispatched all the Falmer and they were able slip by unseen.

After passing the Centurion and entering the next area they noticed they had found what seemed to be the Falmer's hive, as there were numerous Falmer everywhere, they had to be extremely careful sneaking by because while the Falmer couldn't see they had exceptional hearing and smell. Eventually they found a room with several huts and Falmer walking around the camp, Karliah did not want to fight them and risk alerting all the other Falmer so they began to sneak around them. Jak could have sworn he heard one of the Falmer talking about its precious as they sneaked by, but he brushed it off as he had to stay focused. They did everything they could to avoid the Falmer and even traversed the pipes that ran above through the cave. They finally reached the end of the ruins.

"Are you ready? This is it, Mercer has to be beyond this door." Karliah looked at both of them and they nodded, Jak then put his hand on the door and slowly pushed it open.
Darkness Eternal
The verdict is known. Mercer must die. I find no argument here. I'm sure neither will Acadian laugh.gif

Jak couldn't get much sleep. And undertstandably. There's much at stake and there so much that is going on that sleep right now was the last thing in his mind. When Karliah mentioned the edge they need . . . it had me wondering. Fearfully. On what's about to go down. I have an inkling.

Well, that's quite an opportunity for Jak here to become the new guildmaster. Taking a glance at his humble beginnings, I say that's an enormous feat for him. Too bad his mother had to pass before success. Uhh. Being guildmaster must mean less sleep. tongue.gif

That's some beautiful armor. I love it. And if I were Jak, I'd also feel uneasy about taking an oath. Even more so when I discover a Daedric Prince is involved, but the situation demanded it.

After some confrontations with the Falmer, Karliah did well to want to sneak around them. Now we wait for what will become of our heroes and the horse-murdering Mercer.
I'm very much enjoying your telling of the TG questline. Buffy's heard of and is intrigued by the Nightingales. She has also dealt with Nocturnal in the past and has no real problems with her. That all said, she really is not a thief and would never do that questline. That is why it is so nice to read about others doing it.

Cool new armor that Jak has and it seems like the three Nightingales are using good tactics and teamwork to get through that ruin. I hope they catch and kill that horse-murdering Mercer. Very clever to let that big Dwemer Centurian do some of their dirty work.

'Jak could have sworn he heard one of the Falmer talking about its precious as they sneaked by, ...' laugh.gif
Darkness Eternal: The verdict is out, and Mercer must die. Now the question is can it be done. We shall see.

It is quite the accomplishment for Jak, one that he definitely isn't ready for, despite Brynjolf thinking so, considering he has only been with the guild for a couple months now. It is a shame that his mother passed before Jak achieving such a grand goal, even though she probably wouldn't have approved, it still would have made him happy knowing he would have been making good money for her.

Jak isn't particularly a religious man, he doesn't care much about the gods or Daedra so he was more than willing to take the oath since it meant stopping Mercer.

Acadian: I'm glad you are enjoying it. Buffy can live vicariously through Jak then since she is a good person and would never stoop to thievery.

The three of them do make a good pair, they couldn't have made it through to confront Mercer if one of them was missing.

And hahahaha I had to throw that little tid bit in there because I always thought the Falmer were like Gollum. biggrin.gif

Chapter 16

The three of them entered the room where they found Mercer on a giant statue grabbing one of the Eyes of the Falmer. "He hasn't noticed us, Brynjolf guard the door." Karliah said to which he agreed and stated nothing would be getting by him. Just then Mercer jumped down and said he knew they would show up soon, he then used the Skeleton Key to emit some kind of blast causing the platform Jak was standing on to break and the ceiling to break causing water to begin filling the room.

"When Brynjolf brought you to me I felt a shift in the wind and knew it would only be a matter of time before I had to get rid of you. But at least I got some wealth out of you."

"Give me the key, Mercer!" Jak yelled.

Mercer laughed, "You think you can beat me? How about this, if you beat me I'll give you the key. Then you can take me in and bring me before the Guild and Nocturnal for my crimes... but when YOU lose I'll be sure to display your body for Nocturnal and all the Guild to see."

"I will not lose!" Jak drew his sword and Mercer shot a strange aura at Brynjolf. Mercer turned invisible and so Jak took this opportunity to get to higher ground to get a better vantage point and get away from the floor where the water was rising. "I can't stop myself!" Brynjolf yelled as he began to attack Karliah, and she parried his blows, "Please forgive me, lass!" Jak wanted to help Karliah but there was nothing he could do to get back up to her and she couldn't escape as Brynjolf had her cornered. Mercer then showed himself and charged, Jak swung at him when he saw an opening and tried to avoid Mercer's blades as best he could. When he got a hit on Mercer he would disappear and then reappear and charge again. Mercer was fast, but with the Nightingale armor Jak's reflexes were enhanced making it easier for him to dodge. Mercer reappeared once again and was able slice Jak on his side barely breaking through his armor, Jak fought the pain and took the opporunity to stab Mercer in his side making him fall to his knees for a second. "How do you like the chill of your own blade Mercer?" Jak shouted as the blade Chillrend he found in Mercer's house took its effect on him. Like before Mercer turned invisible, but this time Jak could see a slight distortion in the area where Mercer was not completely invisible so he ran after him up towards the top of the statue. He swung his sword killing Mercer from behind and he watched as he reappeared and his corpse fell to the floor of the room.

Mercer's spell on Brynjolf wore off and the ceiling finally gave out and the room quickly began filling with water. Jak dove into the water and looted Mercer of everything he had on his possession, but most importantly the Skeleton Key. Karliah said they needed to get out of there quickly, but when Brynjolf tried the door it was blocked from the other side. The three of them tried there best to stay above the water and were losing hope as the water was nearly at the top of the cave when suddenly a rock fell from the ceiling revealing an exit. They swam to the exit and walked through the cave the exit lead to.

"I can't believe it, twenty-five years of exile and just like that it is done." Brynjolf patted her on the shoulder, "Now all that's left is to return the Skeleton Key to the Twilight Sepulcher."

"Aye, but I need to get back to the Guild, we don't need the place to go into panic." Brynjolf said.

"Well what are we waiting for, lets return the Key." Jak spoke up

"It isn't that simple I'm afraid. When the key was stolen we lost our entry to the inner sanctum of the Sepulcher, the only way back in is through the Pilgrim's Pass. And I'm afraid I can't go with you... after my failure to protect the Key I don't think I can face Nocturnal."

"Fine I guess I'll return the Key myself, how hard can it really be?"

"I feel bad for making you undergo this task alone, so I want you to have this." She handed Jak her bow, "I have used this bow most of my life, but you deserve it."

They left the cave and found themselves at Lake Yorgrim near Windhelm.

Jak, Brynjolf, and Karliah made their way back to Windhelm and hired a carriage to Riften. Brynjolf returned to the Guild, Karliah to the Nightingale Hall, and Jak headed to the Twilight Sepulcher in Falkreath Hold following Karliah's instructions, and eventually he found the temple in a secluded cave in the mountains . He entered and was approached by a ghost of a Nightingale, he soon found out that the Nightingale was none other than Gallus. He told Jak he would have to face the tests to get to the inner sanctum, there he would have to return the Skeleton Key.

Jak continued on to face his first test, it was a room with the exit at the bottom of the staircase, but he needed to find the button to activate the gate. He found the button and opened the gate, but was then attacked from the shadows by a Nightingale Sentinel who believed Jak was intruding on the Sepulcher, it was a difficult fight as it was like fighting invisible shadows, but Jak won in the end. Upon continuing, Jak faced his second test, it was a room in almost complete darkness, but with several areas with basins lighting them, he knew to avoid the light as he saw a corpse, and being a thief he knew the shadows were his ally not the light. He eventually made it through the second test and came to the third one, a room with a statue of Nocturnal and a dead bandit. It looked as he was supposed to leave an offering, but Jak knew it couldn't be that simple and thought to himself, What is the only thing Nocturnal would want? Darkness. He then found two chains that put out the fires leaving the room in darkness, this opened the doorway and he continued further into the Twilight Sepulcher Inner Sanctum.

He finally made it to the Inner Sanctum and came to a dead end with nothing but a well so he jumped down. After a few moments the well disappeared and Jak fell into the inner sanctum. In the middle of the room was the Ebonmere, the portal between Evergloam and Tamriel, Jak kneeled down and placed the Skeleton Key and backed away. The Ebonmere opened and Nocturnal appeared within a shroud of crows, she addressed Jak and told him she was pleased with his efforts even if they were part of his deal. Nocturnal gave Jak her blessing and returned to Evergloam. Karliah then entered the inner sanctum through the portal connecting the Inner Sanctum and Nightingale Hall and Jak approached her.

"Nocturnal seemed pleased with you." Karliah stated, but Jak didn't agree. "Believe me, if she was displeased with you we wouldn't be having this conversation." Karliah then went on to explain how Jak could select one of three powers given to Nighingales and so he chose the Agent of Strife. After choosing his power Gallus appeared, much to Karliah's surprise and the two began to talk. They said their goodbyes and Gallus walked to the Ebonmere and entered Evergloam to become one with the shadows.

Jak and Karliah left the Twilight Sepulcher, Jak returned to Riften to talk to Brynjolf. He told him what happened and that they now had Nocturnal's favor once again, Brynjolf was happy to hear it and thanked Jak for all he had done for the Guild and said he saw a bright future for the Guild.
A tough fight with Mercer. That he pulled both Brynjolf and Karliah effectively out of the fight is demonstrative of the awesome power of illusion magic.

Good that Jak prevailed and returned the key.

Sounds like some leadership changes at the guild may be in order?
Darkness Eternal
Mercer certainly got what he deserved. Jak must have been irritated at Mercer's comment about how he used him. It bothered me, to be honest. It was a very tough fight but Jak prevailed. The nightingale armor was put to great use in this confrontation. Mercer was always a slippery one but even his magical powers did not help him.

After the return of the key, the future of the Guild seems brighter but I can't help but realize that Jak's future is darker than ever. The cost of this victory was pretty high . . . the currency being his soul and all. I do wonder if Jak will ever stop to truly ponder this.

And how appropiate that he chose Agent of Strife! Haha.

Great write!!
Acadian: If I am not mistaken, and you wouldn't know this if you have never done the Thieves Guild quest, I believe that the power he used on Brynjolf was one of the Nightingale powers you can choose but I am not sure which one.

The Guild is for sure in need of new leadership, and Brynjolf seems to think Jak is deserving of the title... we shall see if he is up for it.

Darkness Eternal: Mercer did get what he deserved. This was by far the most challenging fight Jak has ever had, if he did not have the Nightingale armor he surely would have lost since it's power to enhance a person's reflexes, speed, and strength were what allowed him to keep up with Mercer and eventually beat him.

Jak was never truly a religious man so he never thought about the afterlife and where his soul will go, that's one of the reasons he didn't mind taking the oath and giving his soul to Nocturnal. However, now that things have settled down maybe it is something he will stop to think about.


Chapter 17

Jak left Brynjolf in the Cistern and returned to the Flagon where he got two jobs from Vex and Delvin. both of which were in Markarth as the Guild's reputation was growing in the Reach and Delvin and Vex wanted to make sure to keep it that way. With his jobs, Jak left the Guild and decided it would be best to return home as Fina had not seen him in awhile and he feared she probably thought he was dead. When he entered the house Fina almost instantly ran up the stairs and had the biggest smile when she saw it was Jak, she ran up and hugged him and explained how she was worried something horrible had happened. He told Fina a story of what happened but changed details to make it sound like a bad business deal occurred and he had to fix it, and Fina simply nodded along but she only cared he was okay. After talking some more the two eventually made dinner and Jak finally got a moments rest and enjoyed his meal while talking with Fina some more.

"Fina, I really don't know what I would without you. I'm glad you have been here for me since my mother passed."

"It's why I am here Jak, don't worry about it. We have known each other for a long time, I wouldn't let you go through everything that has happened alone."

In the morning Jak left for Markarth, much to Fina's displeasure since he had just got back, to complete his jobs. Once he arrived in Markarth a couple days later Jak waited for nightfall and then began to make his way through the city, it felt right being back to his old ways after everything that had happened with Mercer, he missed good old fashioned burglary. He entered the house of the mark and sneaked around until he found the Golden Urn and took it. With his business done in Markarth, Jak returned to Riften and turned in the jobs. Delvin was more excited than Jak had ever seen and explained how there was a new client that needed their help; in return for their help this client would then back the Guild in Markarth solidifying their grip on the hold again. Jak couldn't refuse the job so he accepted and told Delvin he would return as soon as possible with the news of how it went.


Meanwhile in Solitude.

"Kath, what's the rush? "

"We need to get to the Rift, that's where I live. I am about to show you a whole new life you could never imagine. There are adventures to be had, Vivienne." Kath responded as she continued to walk.

The two of them left Solitude and began their journey to the Rift. They passed Dragon Bridge and continued southeast towards Whiterun, where they eventually came to Rorikstead, a small little village that Kath said didn't have much going for it. They went to the outskirts of town, sitting on a giant rock, to look on into the distance and think about their journey to the Rift.

"So what is so special about the Rift?" Vivienne was curious.

"Have you ever been there?"

"No. I have lived in Solitude my whole life with my aunt... " Vivienne paused and looked up to the sky for a moment, "I'm going to miss her, but at least you helped her get some closure about my cousin Fura."

"Don't worry, that feeling of missing your aunt will pass in time, especially with the new life I am about to show you. But anyways... if you've never been to the Rift then you wouldn't understand, while Solitude is a great and beautiful city, nothing beats the beauty of the Rift."

"I'll have to take your word for it." Vivienne sighed.

"Now, I'm getting hungry, lets find something to eat."


With his special job from Delvin, Jak left for Markarth. Once there he made his way to the Silver-Blood Inn, the owner and his wife bickered and she eventually came up to Jak to ask if he needed a drink but he declined the offer. He found Endon sitting by the fire and joined him, he filled Jak in on why he contacted the Guild, he had ordered a special mold but the shipment was robbed by bandits and he wanted Jak to get it back.

Jak had all he needed from Endon and left Markarth to made his way to Pinewatch in Falkreath Hold. A couple days later he arrived to find it unguarded on the outside so he picked his way into the house. The house seemed ordinary until he noticed a button on the wall, he pressed it and the bookshelf on the wall slung open revealing a passageway into a cave. Jak moved carefully as he didn't know how many bandits inhabited the cave, and he wanted to avoid a big confrontation, as he made his way into the cave he found a spiked pit with corpses of poor travelers who crossed paths with these bandits and Jak knew these were worse than the average bandit. He continued on sticking to the shadows, taking down any torches he saw, and eventually one bandit came walking towards Jak unaware he was there until Jak jumped him and choked him to death. Jak was not going to show them any mercy and he even got the chance to try out his new power from Nocturnal as he drained the life from a bandit and killed him.

Further into the cave was a storage room with a few bandits sitting around a table talking about the leader of the group, Jak wasn't going to take them all on so he sneaked around the boxes and chests and passed them unnoticed. Finally, Jak came to the end of the cave where the leader, Rigel Strong-Arm, laid in her bed asleep. Jak was not going to let her live so he quietly approached the bed then grabbed her head, waking her, and slitting her throat leaving her to die. He took the keys to the treasure room off her person and continued, after avoiding a few traps he unlocked the door to the treasure room. He entered the room and was in awe at all the treasure on the table, he had never seen anything like it. His Nightingale Hood retracted letting him get a better look at all the loot, he grabbed the mold first and then the rest of the gold, jewels, and ores before he made his way out of Pinewatch.

After traveling back to Markarth, Endon was pleased have the mold and assured Jak that if the Guild ever needed any help in Markarth he would be more than happy to do it. With his job complete Jak rested for a day in Markarth, however despite needing rest he found it hard to come by as just as he always has he ahd a bad feeling in Markarth. The following morning Jak left and in a few days returned to Riften to give Delvin the good news. He found that another merchant had moved into the Flagon as a result of hearing the Guild was making a comeback, then Delvin mentioned a new recruit so Jak took the time to meet him. His name was Garthar, and he claimed he joined because he helped Vex fight off some wolves before she tried to rob him and it ended in a stalemate, he then made it obvious he had a thing for Vex and Jak wished him luck in trying to get her.

Over the course of the next few weeks Jak completed more jobs for the Guild to help get it back on its feet, mainly in Whiterun as that was the last major city the Guild needed to regain its foothold in Skyrim. Of course in that time Fina had grown restless so Jak brought her along every so often to Whiterun, he would wait until night when she was asleep and then complete the job. Jak would sneak through the town unnoticed, watching the guards patrol to learn their routes, then he would break into the houses of his marks once he knew they were all going to be asleep. Jak had really honed his skills since he first started his career as a thief and now moved like a shadow, unseen in the darkness.

After turning a job in to Vex Tonilia came up to Jak and asked for his help; she wanted the Guild to form a partnership with the Khajiit Caravans so she asked Jak to speak with Ri'saad their leader and give him some Moon Sugar to convince him. Jak accepted Tonilia's request and then found Delvin who said they had enough jobs in Whiterun so he received a special job there and he recommended Jak. Once in Whiterun, Jak was to speak with Olfrid Battle-Born, one of the head families in Whiterun, and upon meeting Olfrid Jak had to try not to smirk as he found it ironic he was helping a man he had stolen from in the previous weeks. Olfrid explained he had an old friend that had been arrested, but he was a wanted man in Solitude and knew if the guards in Whiterun figured out who he was they would kill him. He wanted Jak to go into Dragonsreach and change Arn's name and take the letter that the Jarl had received notifying him to keep a lookout for Arn.

The job was easy enough so Jak accepted. He found the prison ledger in a room in the Jarl's Private Quarters and changed the name, and then as the guards changed shifts he sneaked into the Jarl's room and found his office where he took the note off the desk and put it in his pocket. Jak waited until morning before returning to Olfrid, and he found him in The Drunken Huntsman, he told him the job was finished and Olfrid thanked Jak saying he will forever be in the Guild's debt. As Jak left Whiterun he was lucky enough to run into Ri'saad and his caravan as they had setup their camp, he told Ri'saad Tonilia's offer and gave him the Moon Sugar and he gladly accepted, "This one thinks this will be a great partnership, give Tonilia our regards."

With both Tonilia's request and the special job done Jak returned to Riften. He gave Tonilia the news and she was pleased. He then looked around to find no one in the Ragged Flagon.

"Where is everyone, Tonilia?" Jak asked.

"Brynjolf needs to talk to you about the Guild's leadership. Congratulations...boss." She gave slight smile before standing up to lead Jak to the Cistern.

They entered the Cistern and saw everyone gathered around the center, Brynjolf was missing and when Jak asked where he was Vex pointed in the direction of the training room.

"Well, are you ready to make this official, lad. You have come a long way."

"I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Jak gave a worried sigh.

He followed Brynjolf back to the center of the Cistern and was surprised when he saw Maven was attending the ceremony. I guess she wants to be in the know when it comes to who is running the Guild and who she will be working with now. Jak thought to himself.

"I'm going to keep this short and simple." Brynjolf started of saying, he then explained how Jak had been a great boon to the Guild and he didn't think anyone else deserved the title of Guild Master more than him. He then turned to Vex, Delvin, and Karliah and asked each of them if they agreed to making Jak the new leader to which they all agreed thus making it official; Jak was the new Guild Master to the Thieves Guild. Everyone clapped and then eventually went back to their business and Jak approached Brynjolf.

"Brynjolf, I know I said I am ready to do this, but I don't know how well I can do it. I have never handled all the numbers, the contacts, and doing jobs all at once."

"How about this, lad. I will take care of our contacts for now and worry about our numbers, and you keep doing what you do best until you get used to being in this position."

"Sounds good, thanks Brynjolf. I'll catch on pretty quick, but until then I'll ask you if I have any questions."

" Good. And... I didn't want to say this and embarrass either of us in front of everyone, but I'm personally proud of you, lad. You've been like my own pupil. In a way I feel like a father who has watched his son grow up to become successful... But anyways go see Tonilia. She will give you your new Guild Master armor."

Jak held out his hand and shook Brynjolf's and then went to the Ragged Flagon and asked Tonilia for his armor which she gladly handed over. Jak put his new armor on and let his Nighingale armor get a feel for it so it could copy its look when needed. Jak returned to the Cistern where he saw the new recruit wandering around, and so he went to introduce himself.

"Hello." The recruit turned around and looked Jak up and down, "So you're the one everyone has been talking about? The one that was just promoted to Guild Master, you don't look like much to me."

"Hmm." Jak nodded his head, "I like you. You have a certain character to you, I think you will fit in well here. We need more people like you to keep Delvin and Vex in check." Jak gave a light laugh. He then found out the Dark Elf was named Ravyn Imyan, who was formerly a Morag Tong assassin and made a slight threat saying Jak better not tell his secret unless he wanted to end up dead from the Dark Brotherhood. Jak simply shook his head and noticed Brynjolf behind Ravyn laughing.

Jak returned to the Guild desk to see the new responsibilities he would eventually have to deal with and began his work as the Guild Master.
Aww, nice that he's taking Fina with him sometimes.

Ahah! Buffy used to routinely clear Pinewatch. Now we know what that 'unusual mold' in the treasure pile is for! tongue.gif

Wow, Jak is now the guildmaster! Well-done!

Ooh, a mystery? Who are Kath and Viv? Maybe we'll find out more about them.
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