|11th of Morning Star, 4E 20
Something strange happened today... I was hanging out at the Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth when out of nowhere, this strange Orc was standing in front of me. Normally I have a fighting reflex when I see an Orc. They make me stand on edge, hand on my weapon, ready for a brawl. I’ve learned to be careful with their kind from way too many violent encounters. But this Orc was different. He was dressed up in fancy clothes, well mannered and well spoken. What struck me even more was that this Orc didn’t smell of blood, sweat and 2 day old stale booze. He smelt... pleasant, as if he had stepped freshly out of a bath. It was so un-Orcish.
He spoke with fancy words and I only caught about half of what he said. He was sent by his master to convey a message. He then took out a letter and gave it to me. It was an invitation from an Altmer noble named Cilarion. He invited me to come to his mansion to discuss a job offer. Apparently the guy is a collector of antiques and he wants me to collect some valuables for him! Strangely, before I could even finish reading the letter the fancy Orc had already left the Inn.
This whole encounter was so weird. Is this for real? How did this guy find me? Cilarion says he’ll pay me a very, very large fee for the job. If that is a serious offer it might be worth checking out. If not, and this is some sick joke, I’ll make him pay dearly. High Elves are particularly fun when pushed in a corner. I’ve heard them squeal and beg for mercy when faced with certain death. I might also have some fun with that Orc. He can’t be that tough after all...
I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s sleep on this offer first. Tomorrow I'll decide what to do next.
13nd of Morning Star, 4E 201
I still can’t believe it yet! That Altmer cook was actually serious!
Today I went out to meet Cilarion. When I arrived at his huge manor the Orc lapdog opened the door for me and showed me to his master. That place is huge! I have to admit that I was still skeptical when I walked through the door, half expecting some kind of ambush from an old enemy. But once I met Cilarion everything became clear to me! The Elf told me he’s a collector of old and valuable artifacts. Many of his possessions were already displayed throughout the house. But as he told me, his hunger for valuables is never stilled. And that’s why he needs me.
The job is to track down a number of extremely valuable rings. They are all treasures from ancient times, each with its own dark history. It sounded like an easy enough job at first until Cilarion explained me a bit more about these treasures. All these rings have names, which in my experience is always a bad thing.
There are five rings he wants me to find. The first three rings he told me about I didn’t know. The Mentor's Ring is desired by wizards for its magical powers while the Warlock's Ring is wanted by spellblades. Then there's the Ring of Phynus. Or Phynasius. Something like that. It gives its owner strong defenses. The Vampiric Ring is something I heard horror stories about. A ring that can suck the life out of anybody. I’ve also heard of The Ring of Khajiit. It’s a Daedric artifact and nothing good ever comes of those things. I’ve always made sure to steer clear of all things Daedric since it’s usually a sure way to get killed.
Cilarion's stories about the rings weren’t even the strangest things he told me during our meeting. The Elf told me that he’s a collector of everything valuable, but he is so against his will. He feels the irresistible urge to collect things. He said collecting is in his family's blood, and he warned me nothing good can come of it. His father was a passionate collector of antiquities but his obsession ended up killing him about a 100 years ago. Strange story. I can’t help but wonder what’s behind that.
Normally I would have declined a job like this. The powers involved are too big to play around with. But then Cilarion told me exactly how big that royal fee he’ll pay me is. I can still barely believe the offer he gave me! I’ve never received a payment this big! If I do this job... well, I can live out my days someplace warm and far away from Skyrim! It took little more thought for me to accept the job.
Finally, Cilarion further explained me that he already hired another mercenary to find the rings. This thief was off to a good start, too! He located some the artifacts and even stole the Ring of Khajiit in Whiterun. Shortly after, though, he was caught and imprisoned there. A thief getting caught after acquiring the greatest asset any thief could posses. Sounds beyond ironic to me. Cilarion sent an informant to Whiterun to get in contact with the thief. I'm to go to Whiterun to speak to this informant and carry on with the job.
I think this meeting was a true blessing. I’m still half in disbelief and I can’t really think straight anymore. I need rest now and early in the morning I’ll leave to Whiterun. Soon when this is over, I’ll find myself retiring in style. One last job is all it takes.
19th of Morning Star, 4E 201
I took a room for tonight at the Bannered Mare in Whiterun. I met the informant today just before dusk. Apparently the thief got executed this morning outside of the city walls. He hid the ring and his notes somewhere in the prison dungeons. There was no chance for him to smuggle them out anymore so it seems I’ll have to go in there to get them. According to the informant there’s a secret tunnel underneath the dungeon. The thief managed to toss his stuff down there. I should find a way down there and look for them. Tonight I’ll stay out and watch guard movements around the prison and tomorrow night I’ll make my move and break in.