Worming her way around the raging fight, she snagged the weapons and armor off of the dead bodies. She needed the coin so these items would be sold to fund her expedition since someone stole her coin purse during the Helgen incident.
“I think you may be in the wrong place, friend.” A voice behind her stated as she removed another set of armor off a dead Imperial.
Slowly standing up and turning around at the same time to see who spoke her. The faceless Stormcloak soldier stood towering over her while snowflakes floated freely around his body. “I probably am.” She replied. “Just heading to Riften.”
“Riften? Wasn’t expecting that.”
She tilted her head slightly at him, wondering what was it about Riften that warranted the same response from different people. The soldier walked off to catch up with the others who survived the battle before she could even ask. After many wolf attacks who believed Lurren was their morning, noon and evening meal, some crazy bandit ambushes and passing the occasional traveler, she finally made it to the gates of Riften.
“Hold and stand down, you aren’t entering in this way. Go to the north gate.”
“What’s wrong with this gate?”
“Not for use, go to the north gate.”
“If it’s not for use, why bother guarding it?”
“To keep the riff-raft like you out. Now go to the north gate.”
“How do you know if I am riff-raft or not?”
“I’m a guard. It’s our job to know who is riff-raft and who isn’t.”
The second guard tapped her on the shoulder with his sword and motioned for her to turn around and head the other way. She sighed then tossed them both a dirty look, wishing she could see through their helmet to see their faces. “Oh yes, lucky for them…” she thought while pivoting on one foot to spin around.
Now leaning against the city outer wall just out of view of the two guards who refused to let her enter the city gate, she growled to herself, ‘Good thing nothing else is going wrong,’ She thought about Indigoblade telling her to find someone in Riften that would help her with the mission. ‘That person better be here, Indigo or I’m coming back home.’ Pushing off the wall to try entering the city from the north gate, she decided this was the last attempt. If she can’t get into Riften or discovered no such person was there to help her, she was leaving Skyrim and never coming back.
She relished at the thought of walking up to Indigoblade, dropping the book into his lap then cheerfully informing him where he could stick it. Let him try to send her back. It won’t happen. Nylus and her would be long gone. Nylus…the man she loved and had been with for many years. They had met as teens while breaking into the home of a wealthy merchant. More like he was breaking in, she was already inside and coming back out when they met at the open window.
Nylus stumbled backward trying to maintain his balance when her head popped out of the open window. “Gads, woman!”
Lurren leaped from the window then stopped for a moment to look at him. “I’m not your woman and get out of my way.”
Nylus folded his arms across his chest; “By all means…don’t let me stop you from escaping with those stolen goods. Bet you can’t fence them.”
“Why would I build a fence with them?” She adjusted the sack slung over her shoulder filled with valuables.
He just stared at her, unable to come back with any type of remark and simply shook his head. “ Oh boy…”
She laughed remembering that first meeting, she knew full well what he meant by fencing the goods. Now, he seemed so very far away, his face just an image in her mind that brings peace and comfort within her. Just thinking about him allowed her to relax some, his kisses so sweet and those strong arms that held her tightly. He couldn’t come with her, his mission took him the opposite direction but he told her, “Once I’m done with this job, I will come to Skyrim.” His hands surrounded her face as her tears slid down showing her sadness at having to leave him. “I know you hate this but I promise I will find you.” Good enough for her. He was the only person she allowed promises from. He never broke them. Not once.
She worked her way around the length of wall, choosing this way over going through the water that nestled itself along the outer edge of the city. Planted just outside of the north gate were the city stables and a carriage with a bored driver waiting for anyone to ask for transportation. She made a mental note to talk with the stable master about purchasing a horse before heading toward the city gate.
“Hold up there, before I let you into Riften, you need to pay the visitor’s tax.”
Well, well, well…isn’t Riften just full of surprises and aren’t the guards just a lovely bunch of men and women. At least they were on the Stormcloak’s side, which became apparent when the two gate guards flew into a rage upon seeing a lone Imperial courier.
She tried the gate while those two were busy teaching the Imperial a lesson about coming near Riften. Probably because he failed to pay the visitor’s tax and was riff-raft. Finding the gate secured with no way to pick the lock, she kicked it out of frustration.
“Gate won’t open that way. It’s locked for a reason.”
One hand ran over the top of her hair as she sighed and turned around. “Let me guess, someone stole your sweet key.”
“If I wanted to be entertained, I would hire a jester. Now either pay up or get lost.”
“What exactly is the tax for?”
“For the privilege of entering the city, what does it matter? Pay up or leave.”
This time her patience ran out and the guard felt it. “I could say you are a thief and I kill thieves but you would not believe that. I could say here is some gold to bribe my way in but I’m broke so that can’t happen. I could say step aside or die where you stand but your partner might not like that option. So, let’s just say you are trying to shake me down for some cheap coin.” This time she smiled sweetly at the guard who stood with his arms crossed and that faceless face staring at her.
“All right, all right, I’ll let you in. Just pipe down, will you? Want everyone to hear you!” He brushed past the stubborn woman and unlocked the gate. “There, it’s unlocked. Go inside whenever you are ready.”
Whenever she was ready…she was ready on the other side of this stupid town and now she was more than ready. Her eyes followed the guard from his post to the gate and back again as she snarled mentally at the whenever you are ready statement.
Testing the gate to confirm it was unlocked, she pushed opened the gates and entered into Riften.
“I had another run-in with the Thieves Guild.”
“Careful, Mjoll. The thieves guild has Maven Black-Briar watching their back.”
Lurren listened briefly to two persons talking by some barrels when she first entered Riften. That explains why the city was locked up so tight, they didn’t want to lose their black raven named Briar. Must be some important bird to get that type of treatment except when she finds that bird it will be nevermore.
“Psst…over here.” A small arm was waving to her from behind the building where the two others were talking.
Lurren slipped past the painted woman whose face looked like it had been ran over by a wagon wheel with the size of the war paint stripe on it. She was suddenly looking down at the two small faces staring back up at her.
“We don’t know you. You in Riften looking for trouble?” The taller of the two asked.
Lurren wondered silently, ‘Why me?’ and replied to the boy. “No, I’m here to see someone.”
The little girl gave a stern warning. “Make it quick.”
The boy pushed her slightly with his forearm, “Hush, now, let’s hear what she has to say. This is Lil Ma and I’m Nevam Mlack-Beyer. We watch the streets for our organization.”
“Organization?” Lurren questioned and realized there was no black raven, just some spunky kid looking to run Riften and that painted lady has run-ins with them.
Lil Ma looked around to ensure no one was listening then motioned Lurren closer. “Underground Little Feet.” She whispered.
Lurren’s eyes moved from Lil Ma to Nevam then back again. “What?”
“What are you? Deaf or something?” Lil Ma crossed her arms and glared at Lurren. “You heard me…Underground Little Feet.”
“Okay, Indigo, if the person I need is from this short group of humans and like age 8, we are going to have a real problem here.” Lurren thought as she backed up from the two little kids.
“Fine, I’ll bite…what is your organization about?”
Nevam was walking around Lurren inspecting her figure and sizing her up. “Underground business dealings…like picking fights, picking up shiny trinkets, picking up coin, pick…”
She was watching the small boy doing circles around her, “In other words, you are picking some guild to takeover?”
Lil Ma’s eyes glowed brightly at Lurren’s observation; “We could use someone like you in our organization. You are a quick thinker, I like that.”
Nevam’s hand went up in the air to stop Lil Ma from getting carried away. “Not so fast, Ma. She needs to prove herself first.” He was tapping one finger on his chin while thinking.
Lurren lifted one hand to signal a hold on a moment gesture when Nevam shook his head and she was out of the organization before even joining.
“Sorry, won’t work.” He pulled out a small journal and was reviewing it with Lil Ma. “See, here is the problem.” Tapping at one page, he let his assistant read the passage before pulling it away and apologizing to Lurren.
Lurren was trying to see what was written in their book when they both glared up at her. “You are too tall.”
Stunned, Lurren blinked twice quickly at them. “What?”
“Your height, you are too tall and your feet are too big.” Lil Ma pointed at Lurren’s head then her feet. “We are called Little Feet for a reason and those definitely are not little feet.”
Lurren rubbed her forehead that seemed to beat with painful throbs at every turn she took in Skyrim. “Well, that is a shame. If you have no more need of me, I will take my leave.” All she wanted was to find that stranger Indigo referred her to then high tail it out of Riften. She had her own agenda to deal with and little feet people were not part of it.
“OK, you are free to go. May want to talk to that big brute over there, fair warning though he’s a meanie.” Lil Ma was motioning to the other side of the building. “If you steal something, he will talk to you for free.”
Lurren arched her head to try and see this brute but couldn’t due to the building blocking her view. “Very well then, off I go. Thanks for the tip.”
Nevam offered his last bit of advice, “Go get something out the keep, jarl won’t miss it and give it to him. Ma is right, he gives up information freely especially with unusual gems or jewelry.” He took hold of Lil Ma’s arm and opened up the gate next to them. “Be seeing you around.”
Lurren watched them disappear around the corner after going through the gate then turned her attention back to the tasks at hand.