“There has been talk among the guards that you are Dragonborn.” Adrianne said to Vilja the Thane.
“I am!” Vilja bounced up and down happily. “My best friend and this handsome devil,” She nudged Thrynn with her elbow. ‘Are going to take me to see the Greybeards at High Hrothgar plus the Eldergleam Sanctuary.”
Lurren almost got out of Whiterun without anyone noticing. Thrynn caught a glimpse of her jumping off the roof of the guard barracks and dart for the gate. She was out of the gate and almost down the path with him following at a rapid pace. His large hand clamped on her shoulder and yanked her back. “Not so fast, Agent Lurren. We need to talk.”
She agreed to his demand and pointed at the wall surrounding Whiterun. “Let’s go over there, so I can sit down.” Thrynn leaned against the wall while Lurren sat down on the wall dangling her feet. “So speak. I’m all ears.”
He just gave her a sideways glance, “Just want to clear up a few things. Are you really here to hunt these bandit lords?”
“What kind of a question is that?” She inquired while trying to check her freshest back wound.
“Sounded like a straight forward one to me. Just answer it.”
“That’s why I’m here.” She jumped down off the wall then was put back up there by Thrynn.
“Been working for OBIS for long?” He kept his questions coming.
She rubbed both eyes with the index finger and thumb, “What does it matter, Thrynn? I don’t question you like this though I probably should, after all fair is fair. You ask a question, I ask question, you answer, you ask a question, I ask question, you answer, and so on.” She laughed, “Reminds me of the old hermit who stole an acorn from an ancient tree that spoke only in riddles.”
“Obviously you took lessons from him.” Thrynn muttered while tossing a small pebble across the road.
Jumping off the wall for the second time, she faced him sideways. “Look, Thrynn, I honestly have tons of things to do. You can come with me or not, at this point of the game, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. Bring your wife if you want but the longer we stand here and force me to listen to your whining, the more these bandits get organized.” She stepped very close to him. “Truth is I’m an assassin. I am here to kill those bandits under a contract. Plain enough for you?”
He smiled for the first time at her. “You expect me to believe that? An assassin? Agent Lurren the assassin?” His laughter filled the night air. “You sure do know how to spin a tale. Lead on, killer.”
Vilja came skipping down the path wearing new shoes, the type that only thanes seem to wear. “I’m thinking of changing my hair color, what do you think of red?” She snuggled up to Thrynn while showing Lurren her new sparkly shoes. “Nice, yes?”
“Yeah, nice.” Lurren said as she started walking down the path. At least her To Do list was fairly cleared. She suddenly remembered the golden claw in her knapsack that she needed to sell. Maybe do that in Riverwood on the way to Orphan’s Rock. Vilja had made her a colorful map with butterflies and flowers along the border showing the way there, such a helpful follower.
“Wouldn’t it be exciting if we could build our own house?” Vilja was saying to Thrynn while Lurren was checking her notes.
“And I know just the person who can build it for us.” Thrynn smiled sweetly at Vilja.
“Here’s the plan.” Lurren was walking toward the intersection by the meadery. “We go to Riverwood then Orphan’s Rock.” She stopped and flipped around. “And do what with that weapon?”
“Return it to the priestess in Whiterun, of course.” Vilja informed Lurren.
“I’m going back to that city? No, no, I’m done there. You two can return it, I’m going to Markarth after that.”
Vilja put her arm around Lurren’s shoulder, “You poor thing, to get to Markarth you have to pass Whiterun so may as well stop in. Here let me know you on the map.”
Lurren snapped the map from Vilja’s reach. “Clever, you two are so clever.” She was furious at falling for their trap and stopped just outside of the meadery. Turning to face Thrynn and Vilja with a sugary sweet smile on her face, she just thought they should know about Nikolai. “I’m going to recruit him, you know, add him to group for added help with the bandits and all.” Her ice eyes were locked onto Thrynn who suddenly wasn’t too pleased about a male follower, female yes, male no.
Nikolai was standing at the mead keg, pouring drink after drink when the group came into the meadery. “Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes!” He greeted Lurren friendly and handed her a tankard filled with mead.
Vilja thought that was one handsome warrior and slithered right up next to him. “I’m Whiterun’s Thane and the Dragonborn. If my grandmother could see me now, wonder what she would tell my great-grandmother about me.”
“That’s nice.” Nikolai said then returned his attention to the first lady. “Glad you stopped in for a drink, was wondering if you would.”
Vilja pushed Lurren’s arm, “He was thinking about you. That’s so sweet. Don’t you think so?”
“Quite. Listen, Nikolai, you up for some adventure?” She wiggled her two index fingers side to side at him. “Could use help with tracking down some bandits.”
“Yeah, the organized ones.” Thrynn offered in a low tone that was dripping with sarcasm.
Nikolai sized up her companions and determined she could really use a true fighter and agreed to help.
Lurren patted him on the chest under one shoulder, “You won’t regret it. Let’s go.”
Thrynn had been leaning against the wall by the door when Lurren came near to leave, “Oh yes he will.”
“What’s the plan?” Nikolai asked when they got outside.
“She doesn’t have one.” Thrynn offered. “She memorizes everything without reading and uses a To-Do list as a planner.”
Vilja nodded in agreement, “All in all, things have been going smoothly with me in charge, of course. Being the thane of Whiterun, it’s quite the job. Luckily I have my very best friend here,” She patted Thrynn’s massive chest. “To help me out and travel with me to Eldergleam Sanctuary. Would you like to come with us there?”
“You sure are a nice person. I would be honored to travel you and your best friend to the Eldergleam Sanctuary.” Nikolai was walking with Vilja and Thrynn while Lurren walked alone ahead.
“I would love to tell you more but I don’t know you well enough. But I will tell you this much, I’m teaching Thrynn how to sing.”
“Noble cause indeed. Skyrim lacks bards, that’s for sure.” Nikolai was considering signing up for those singing lessons, too. Hopefully she provides private lessons.
“Thrynny has a few notes he fails to hit but in time, he will sing like a Felsaad Tern.” Her arms were interlocked with the men walking side by side with her. “I’m from Solstheim, we have those birds there and where table dancing is all the rage. Why is Skyrim so strict about not allowing that here?”
“No idea but I will help get that changed.” Nikolai offered.
“Count me in.” Thrynn tossed in his support.
“Puzzling question. If Lurren cannot blink, could she table dance?” Vilja gave the team something to ponder on their way to Riverwood.
“Nah, I don’t think so.” Thrynn quickly determined.
Lurren could hear their mindless socializing behind her without hearing the actual conversation. Again, another beautifully developed thought out, on the spur of the moment plan went straight to the slaughterfish. She was going to use him to help break Vilja and Thrynn apart. He was hers and she stole him! Of course, she knew that she couldn’t have him since she loved another. However, Thrynn was still hers and saw him first. Lurren was young with all the same desires and urges like any other young adult. She missed those nights spent in Nylus’s arms, waking to the morning light nestled next to him. Just to have his arms around her, she needed those arms. She needed to feel Thrynn’s arms around her.
“Where you from, Thrynn?” Nikolai asked since Vilja was Solstheim and he was curious.
“Pale originally but Riften the last few years.”
“Ah, I got a brother in Riften.” Nikolai also had another brother in Morthal named Marcus. Nikolai was from Cyrodiil originally, and had come to Skyrim with his beautiful bride to start a new life together. They had a little boy, a small farm when one day his whole world shattered. His wife and son were killed on the road to Rorikstead by a pack of wolves. She was returning with fresh food and supplies from Whiterun when they overwhelmed her. Nikolai collapsed at her side, her arms still clinging to their son when he found them. He now spends his days at the meadery, drowning his sorrows away, waiting for his turn to join his family.
“That is so wonderful. We should go visit him. I was alone in Skyrim until my new friends came along. They even helped me get back my bottle that was stolen.” Vilja was telling them as they entered into Riverwood and saw Lurren disappear into the Riverwood Trader.
A prudish woman was fighting with the merchant when Lurren walked in. “Well one of us has to do something!”
The hoarse sounding man barked back. “We are done talking about this.”
It appeared to Lurren that he may have been done with it but she wasn’t. “Well what are you going to do then, huh? Let’s hear it!”
“I said no! No adventures, no theatrics, no thief chasing!” The man told the young woman before turning to Lurren. “Oh, a customer. Sorry you had to hear that.”
Vilja, Thrynn and Nikolai entered the store and the girl who was arguing beamed brightly at the two handsome Nords. “You are some strapping young men. Don’t be strangers now.” She offered her observations to the men.
Lucan Valerius leaned on the counter, “I don’t know what you heard but the Riverwood Trader still has plenty to sell, feel free to shop.”
Lurren glared at the young woman for getting too close to her male finds and turned to the merchant. “What do you have for sale?”
“Oh a bit of this and a bit of that. Wait!” He pointed at Thrynn. “He’s a thief and stole from me.”
“He is and did?” Lurren asked surprised to find this information differs from what she learned about him.
“Huh?” Thrynn responded.
“Whatever you stole, Thrynn, give it back. Now about our transactions, I need to sell some items. The divines know I could use the coin.” Lurren tried to get Lucan’s attention.
Lucan backed up and folded his arms. “No. Until he returns what he stole, the Riverwood Trader is not open to you.”
Vilja decided to use her jarl given rights and stepped up to solve the problem. “I’m the Thane of Whiterun.” She wiggled one foot at Camillla, “New shoes, aren’t they just to die for!”
Lurren yanked Vilja’s arm toward her, “That may just happen so unless you don’t step back from this counter, you may be buried IN THOSE SHOES AS WELL!” She had it with the male stealing woman.
Thrynn’s face appeared above Vilja’s sad hanging head and glared down at Lurren. “Apologize.”
“For what? She interrupted my business dealings and you stole something from him so you apologize!” Her finger shook up at him while Vilja sniffed loudly. Lurren sighed while running one hand through her hair. “I’m sorry, Vilja. Please proceed.”
Lurren pressed her lips together and slowly turned to Vilja. “Why not?”
“I don’t want to proceed, you hurt my feelings.”
“I apologized!” She smacked the counter with her hand and decided that hurt.
Nikolai touched Vilja’s arm and softly told her that Lurren did apologize and he would comfort her in his arms.
Thrynn growled at Nikolai since comforting women was his specialty and he didn’t need any short warrior helping in that area.
“Enough!” Lucan Valerius shouted. “If you want to fight, take it outside and if you see a golden dragon claw, please bring it to me.” He faced Thrynn directly with his accusation. “Or you could just return it.”
Lurren froze and moved her eyes sideways to Lucan. “What claw?”
“Solid gold, shape of a dragon’s claw. Robbers stole it the other night.”
She couldn’t believe it; the one treasure she found to sell and it belonged to someone. The claw landed on the counter from an unhappy hand as she watched her coin purse dwindle yet again. “I assume it is this one?”
The man laughed a bit to wicked for Lurren’s liking and danced a jingle to see his prize possession back home. “You found it! Hahahaha, that’s it! You didn’t try to shrink it or anything like that? Seems smaller than I remember.”
Lurren leaned on the counter with one elbow resting upon it and her hand holding her head while looking forlorn at the claw.
“I got some coin from my last shipment, it’s yours for bringing this back.” Lucan handed the coin purse to Vilja. “Thank you, Thane for seeing it returned. Sorry, friend, guess you didn’t take it after all.” He laughed that odd laugh again. “I was just jumpy and anxious to get it back.”
Thrynn just nodded and shook Lucan’s hand to show no hard feelings.
Lurren was reviewing the rewards she had received for helping others and concluded it mounted to a whopping zero. Yet, her enemies that she keeps close seemed to be rolling in them. Gold. Titles. Homes. Clothes. Shoes. “Clearly,” Lurren decided silently, “something is wrong here.” With the loss of selling the claw for coin and the shopkeeper wanting to close up for the night, Lurren led her group out of the store.