“Ugh! It stinks down here!” I muttered.

Marcurio laughed. “They don’t call it The Ratway for nothing!”

We went down the steps and entered the tunnel. It smelled of fishy river water and mold. 

“Hold up!” yelled a voice nearby. “You don’t belong here.”

A moment later two men large men stepped out of the shadows with weapons drawn, blocking our way.

“Give us all your gold!” sneered the second man. 

Seconds later, the two men laid sprawled across the damp stone floor. 

We tried our best to keep straight of the twisting tunnels that ran through the Ratway, yet we found ourselves having to double back several times.  I had lost track of how long we had been wandering underneath Riften.

“I don’t think we’ve gone through this door,” Marcurio remarked for the third time. I pushed it open. He was right - the door opened up into a carvernous room that held a lake. Across the lake was a loading dock and, beyond that, I could see several people casually sitting and talking. Was this some sort of meeting place?

“We found it,” whispered Marcurio.

“Found what?”

“The Ragged Flagon. It’s where the Thieves Guild like to hangout here in Riften. I’d only heard about it, of course.”

Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched us make our way around the lake. “Let me do the talking,” whispered Marcurio. 

The sentry was a surly-looking behemoth of a man. He eyed us suspiciously as we approached him. “You don’t belong here,” he said, giving me a hard look.

“Etienne owes us a favor,” replied Marcurio. 

“Oh, he does, does he?” he chuckled.

“We helped him escape from the Thalmor.”

Dirge thought for a second. “Etienne did mention something like that when he arrived a couple of days ago. We had been wondering where he had disappeared to for such a long time. Wouldn’t really say what happened, though.”

“He was being tortured by the Thalmor. He was barely alive when we found him. I gave him a glass dagger for protection once we made it out.”

Dirge nodded approvingly. “I’ve seen that dagger. Nice piece. Etienne isn’t here, though. He’s on a job.”

“We’re looking for an old man that’s been hiding in the Warrens. It’s why one the Guild members was being tortured. Have you seen this man around?”

Dirge glanced at the both of us. After a few seconds, he relaxed. “Yeah, I think I know who you mean. He’s paid good money for nobody to know he’s down here, but I guess I can tell you.”