brynjolf fanfiction

He gets sick :(

When they are sick.

What he has: Kidney Stones :(
   You had woken up that morning to a loud cry coming from the restroom. Standing up you saw that he was sitting on the ground crying in pain. You quickly held him and helped him to his bed. Although he continued to walk around but that only made things worse. The doctor arrived and gave him some strong drugs to help him. But you still pitied him. You kept him close and helped him through the next few days. Eventually it passed.
(not so) Fun fact: Some women say they would rather go through child Birth than Kidney stones. :(

What he has: Stress Migraines
   Hadvar had come home very late that night for the third time this week. He had barely laid down in your bed when the sun had hit your bed and woken you up. You turned to see Hadvar holding his head. “Ahhh.” he groaned and turned to look at you as you moved. “What?” he said bitterly, much to your surprise. Quickly turning to get him some tea you pushed him into the covers. “That’s it. You’re going to rest for the rest of the week.” You said sternly.

What he has: chicken pox
“RAAAAUUUURRRRRGGGGGG” a loud voice growled as you rolled your eyes and mixed together oatmeal and other ingredients and mashing it into a paste.
“YOU SHUT IT!” the nord shouted and you heard a heavy thud and groan. You rolled your eyes and walked over into Vilkas’s room. He rolled all over the floor scratching violently at the red dots at his skin. You kicked him gently in the butt. “Vilkas! Stop scratching your sores! Put this in it instead!” you said sternly and set the bowl of oatmeal on his nightstand. Vilkas glared but did what you asked begrudgingly. Mumbling on how you and your stupid alchemy can stay out of this. You rolled your eyes but smiled as.he sighed in relief with the cream on his sores.

What he has: pneumonia
Farkas just HAD to run into the freezing lake to catch a fish since he was hungry, hadn’t he? You rolled your eyes but winced hearing the pained coughing as your wiped some hair out of his pale face. Frowning as his face looked pained. “Farkas…. I have to go soon.” you said and touched his face gently. He frowned and looked up at you with big eyes. Upset. “I am coming with you!” he said stubbornly, sitting up. You quickly tried to push the bigger nord down. “No! Vilkas will take care of you! You…” you finally pushed him down onto his back only to be pulled against his chest. “Are sick!“ you said sternly. Farkas took no heed and continued to fight against your hands. Eventually it took Skjor, Vilkas, you, and strong Tilma to hold him down long enough to convince Farkas to stay. He frowned at you but stayed in bed. Ever waiting for your return from the market.

What he has: common mild cold
What he thinks he has: death is coming he is going to die soon and it is all your fault
Marcutio was a brat when he felt sick, which didn’t surprise you. The whiney magician was only worse when he had gotten a cold from a quest to solitude. "This is all your fault.” he said in a nasally voice. Sniffing pitifully he buried himself deeper into the furs. You rolled your eyes and walked over and handed him the healing mug of tea and said. “If you don’t want me here I can just leave ” you said and stood up but quickly Marcutio changed his mind and clung to your waist with surprising strength. “Please don’t go!” he cried. You sighed. It was going to be a long day.

What he has: A Hangover
He should have known not to challenged Vex to a drinking contest. Worse, he knew that you would not be happy about it, since you were trying to intervene with his constant drinking for his health. So, in an attempt to escape your wrath, he tried to walk out the ragged flagon and had landed on his face. Great. You quickly walked over and crossed your arms and Brynjolf winced.
“AHHH THATS COLD!” cried Brynjolf as you slapped a freezing rag on his head and it dripped down his shoulders. You rolled your eyes and put the tea in his hands.
“You are grounded from drinking for the rest of the week.” you said sternly. Brynjolf guffawed. “You can’t GROUND me!” he retorted. You gave him a blank look. “Or you can sleep separate and in your own cot.”
“…..yes lass.”

What he has: allergies
You didn’t think Jzargo couldd get sick so easily, but alas you found out. It was the beginning of spring, and everyone was adjusting to the warming weather. You and Jzargo had decided to go on a walk together into the town. And while you held his hand you heard the most terrifying roar behind you. “RAUUURGGGGCHHHOOOO”
You tripped over your own feet, that was how loud it was. Quickly looking around you turned to see your beloved kaijiit covering his face sniffling. And roared or…what you guessed… Sneezed.. Into his elbow. You frowned and touched his cheek and saw his eyes were watery.
“Jzargo you have….allergies?” you said and took his hand. He grunted but nodded. “Yes, Jzargo seems quite sensitive to all the woodlands. His head hurts… But we can still go.”
“No.” you said sternly and took his hand “we are going inside today. Maybe we can make a medicine. But for now lets rest.”
Jzargo did not argue. Happy to be close to you his beloved.

Emergency trip to Riften! (A long tale by Talviel)

[This is my first ever fanfic and I hope you guys enjoy it and let me know what you think! I haven’t done any creative writing in at least 2-3 years so apologies if it sounds a bit clunky. Anyway, happy reading!]

[EDIT! Due to the timeline of my new fics I have written, please note that this takes place on Tirdas, 19th of Sun’s Dawn, 4E 207. Sorry if this is a bit confusing but I promise this slots into a chapter that you’ll see in about four weeks!]

I was in Bruma for a week teaching a Hammerfell-style cooking class when a messenger delivered a letter that my mother was ill. Thankfully Bruma is just on the border of Skyrim so I got on my horse and set off straight away.

When I finally arrived in Riften, I was relieved to discover my father had contacted a healer to work on my mother. It turned out she had contracted rockjoint, because apparently she was out in the woods picking mushrooms when a wolf bit her! Thankfully she killed the wolf and suffered no serious injuries otherwise, but needless to say my father and I were peeved she didn’t say anything sooner (damn Imperials and their pride). The good news is that the bite is healing nicely and the worst of the rockjoint should be gone within a week or so, optimistically.

With that taken care of, I decided to wander around town a bit. The first stop was The Bee and Barb. Keerava and I were overjoyed to see each other as I hadn’t been home in over two years. Luckily it was early afternoon, so aside from the lunch regulars (who were surprised to see me), the inn was quiet and we got to spend a few hours exchanging news and gossip. We shared a flagon of mead with Talen-jei (who really only ever tolerated my presence, but was pleasant enough to me), and I was on my way again.

I was strolling through the marketplace when I heard a very familiar “Lass!”. I turned bright red, because of course it was none other than my ex-boss from the Guild, Brynjolf, running yet another scam. He pulled me aside and whispered that his new recruit had never turned up for the heist, so now he was stuck awkwardly selling skeever repellant when some pockets needed picking.

What a moral dilemma. I had promised I’d left my life of crime behind me, but deep down I’ve always been loyal to the Guild, and especially Brynjolf, who had always treated me with nothing but kindness and respect, even after I resigned. It doesn’t help that I’ve been in love with him since I first laid eyes on him either.

So what’s a woman to do? I was dressed as an innocent traveller, so nobody would suspect me. In a matter of minutes, my skilled fingers had lifted two hefty pouches of gold, several pieces of fine jewellery and amulets, a few potions…and a sweetroll (old habits die hard). I tucked my prizes into my worn travel sack and headed down to the cistern to unload the cargo.

Whoever wasn’t on a job basically screeched when they saw me. I was the Guild’s youngest recruit when they picked me up (I was just 16 at the time), and they were astounded to see me as a well-travelled young woman. In fact, I was only 17 during the plight of Alduin and worked with Brynjolf and Karliah to bring the corrupt former head of the Guild, Mercer Frey, down. I exchanged hugs with Sapphire, Rune, Thrynn, and Cynric, the old timers. They introduced me to a fair number of new faces, then hauled me off to The Ragged Flagon.

Vex, Delvin, Tonilia, and Vekel nearly fell off their seats when they saw me. Of course, Vex and Delvin immediately tried to bribe me with jobs, thinking I’d returned for good. The disappointment on their faces when I explained why I was back in Riften made me feel so guilty I almost wished I was back in the Guild. “Well the least you could do then, o cultured one, is to cook us all dinner and save me the effort!” Vekel bellowed. Now that I could happily do.

Apparently the Guild was doing brilliantly. They had a total of 35 members now, and 20 were in Riften at the moment. I scratched my head, wondering how I could pull off a feast at such short notice, but I’d been put in worse situations (one trip to Whiterun had me yanked into the Jarl’s kitchen by two very scared chefs who had apparently been notified two hours before that dignitaries were arriving and a feast for 30 was needed). So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Brynjolf came back to see what I had found as I was in the middle of mincing garlic. I gestured to my travel sack, not wanting to get my fragrant hands over everything. He seemed pleased with the loot, but puzzled by the sweetroll. “Is this yours, lass?” He asked. When I blushingly said it was for him, he laughed and gave me a hug, thanking me for the gesture. I nearly fainted right then and there.

Three hours later, I’d accomplished it. A hearty meal for 20, comprised of rabbit millet pilaf, West Weald corn chowder, a Redguard venison pie, and the famous Jerall View Inn carrot cake (one must never omit dessert from a meal!). Vekel rolled out a barrel each of beer and mead, and enough wine to get a village drunk for a week. Sapphire went to round up the stragglers, and soon we were all sitting at The Flagon digging in. I brought news of the world, and the Guild happily told me of the best jobs they’d had since I was gone.

As the night wore on and the booze flowed freely, slowly the Guild members disappeared back to the cistern with full bellies and happy hearts. By two, the only ones left at The Flagon were me, Brynjolf, and Vekel, who had promised to clean up. Brynjolf and I had broken out the bottles of sujamma and matze I’d been hoarding since my last trip to Raven Rock, and were playing “Never have I ever”. Well, we learned a lot of things about each other that night. Drunk and laughing, I leaned my head on Brynjolf’s shoulder and he stroked my hair affectionately. “We’ve missed you, lass.” He said. “I’ve missed you.”

I almost startled myself sober. “You…have?” I stuttered, unable to believe my ears. “Yup.” He said. “You were one of our finest recruits, just…so young. You’ve grown into a fine woman, lass, and even though you’re no longer running with the Guild, I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished. You’re the pride of Riften, in case nobody’s mentioned it yet.”

Vekel cleared his throat, having clearly been eavesdropping on our conversation and seeing where it was heading, even though blockhead me was too drunk to figure it out yet. “Well, you two have a nice night, morning, whatever. I’m off to bed.” He declared loudly, before disappearing home.

I stood up, wobbling. “He’s got a point, it’s getting late. I should probably head back to my parents.” I mumbled. Brynjolf stood up to steady me, his hands unusually tight around my waist. “You needn’t go, lass. Riftweald Manor is still ours, where we store our extra things. Grab a bottle of wine, and let’s go, better than waking everyone in the cistern up.” I grabbed a bottle of Alto wine from the counter. “You know me far too well, Brynjolf.” I giggled, leaning on him for support as we stumbled our way to the manor.

When we got in at last (Brynjolf had left the key behind so we drunkenly had to pick the lock), he gesticulated around, showing me what the Guild had done with the place since I’d been gone. The place was lavish, decorated with the best finds from certain jobs. Maps adorned the walls, pinned with the locations of targets. Large empty chests were everywhere, ready to be filled and brought down to the vault. It was certainly much nicer than when Mercer had left it to rot.

Brynjolf and I sat cross legged on the biggest bed we could find, leaning comfortably on the soft pillows and passing the bottle of wine between us. We talked about nothing in particular, breaking out in fits of laughter for no reason. Even while being drunker than Brenuin in Whiterun, I was both happy and astounded to see the personal side of Brynjolf I had never seen while working for him.

I said something to him, I don’t remember what, and he swatted me over the head with a pillow, and the remnants of the bottle of wine went flying across the room. “Oi, what is this, the Dark Brotherhood?” I cackled. “You just killed the wine!” “Fuck the wine, fight me you wench!” Brynjolf hollered, hitting me over the head again with the pillow. “Wench? WENCH? Well I never!” I shouted back, grabbing another pillow and whacking him with it. Soon there were feathers everywhere and we were cackling like hagravens. He pulled my hair and I pulled his. Soon we were tumbling across the bed, flailing about and feebly slapping at each other.

Then the unexpected happened. Well, unexpected to me anyway; as I mentioned before I am a blockhead. He grabbed my head and kissed me, hard. Startled, I pulled back. “Brynjolf, what are you doing?“ I stuttered, unable to believe what had just happened. “What I always should have done, lass. Well, since you were a little older, anyway.” I laughed, and leaned in. “I can’t believe it. I’ve been in love with you since I first saw you.” “I wouldn’t call this love, lass, but let’s just enjoy tonight, while you’re still here.”

If you’ve made it this far, dear reader, I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate on the rest. Needless to say, I stumbled back to my parents’ house sometime the next afternoon with my clothes in disarray, while Brynjolf made his unsteady way back to the cistern. When I got to the house, I was relieved to see my mother was asleep and resting. My father, on the other hand, was sitting at the dining table tinkering with something. He grinned at me widely. “So, the classic Nordic walk of shame. Glad to see you got that from me at least.” He laughed. I groaned and fell into my bed, still thinking about the surreal night before.

What You Are to Me: A F!Dragonborn/Brynjolf Drabble

Word Count: 534

“You’re a rotten liar, Bryn.” Sapphire’s tone clearly displayed her displeasure. “When were you gonna tell us about this?”

“Soon enough,” he muttered, glancing down at the murky water of the cistern. His reflection—broken in the rippled water—stared back at him, unrelenting in its accusations. “But it wasn’t my place… still isn’t.”

“You’re the closest friend she has,” Delvin said as he drummed his filthy fingers against the wood of Mercer’s desk.

Friend…” Brynjolf finally raised his eyes from the water back to his fellow thieves. “I don’t think she feels the same way…”

“And who’s fault is that?”

Everyone turned to see Vex striding into the cistern from the Ragged Flagon, arms folded irritably across her chest as she went straight to Brynjolf. Murder flashed in her gaze, though all of them knew she wouldn’t lift a finger toward him. Vex respected Bryn too much for that. After all, he had saved her life on more than one occasion.

“Don’t push it, Vex,” he growled, squaring his shoulders. He didn’t need her attitude right now—especially not after everything that had happened.

Vex rolled her eyes. “You’re the one that’s been pushing, Bryn. Ever since that little sweep job you two did together, you’ve been ‘pushing’ her away.”

She didn’t talk to me!”

“Because you avoided her!” Vex uncrossed her arms to poke an accusing finger into his chest. “What the hell was she supposed to do? Laugh it off and pretend that everything was fine? Everything wasn’t fine, Brynjolf!”

He curled his lip into a sneer. “That doesn’t give her the right to lie.”

“Vex’s actually got a point, Bryn,” Delvin finally spoke up as he stopped tapping his fingers against the table. “You did ignore her. That’s probably why she didn’t tell the bloody truth in the first place.”

“So what if she’s the Dragonborn?” Sapphire asked, rising from her chair. “She’s still the same Colrina. Did you forget everything she’s done for us? She found my father when there was nothing in it for her! And now you’re suddenly ready to let her go?”

“Colrina needs us, Brynjolf.” Rune stepped out of the shadows. “More importantly, she needs you. Now are you gonna go after her? Or are you gonna prove to her that you really don’t care?”

It was that last comment that sent Brynjolf flying over the edge. With a howl, he turned and slammed his fist into the wall of the cistern, hardly caring when his skin scraped off and left his knuckles bloody. Breathing heavily, he whirled around to face his companions, daring any of them to speak.

“Of course I care about her!” He shouted, voice cracking despite his best efforts. “I’m the one who found her! I invited her to join the Guild! I showed her the ropes! I helped her when no one else even glanced her way!”

He glowered down at them, noting with a brief bout of satisfaction that they slightly shrank away from him. Sighing, he felt the anger flee from him in waves, suddenly replaced with a blazing determination.

“I’m going to find her,” he murmured, more to himself than his friends. “I will always find her.”

A/N: Okay, so this is my (millionth) attempt at jumping on the Skyrim and/or Brynjolf bandwagon. Please let me know if you’d like to see more!


#41 for Brynjolf

‘the kiss tasted like tears’ for @skelior

Warning: questline spoilers “She’s…..Dead?” Brynjolf choked seeing Mercer Frey sit down with a huff at his desk. His face was blank as he nodded. “Yes. She is. Now go.” he said sharply of what Brynjolf guessed was grief… A heaviness settled on his heart as he had a lump in his throat. Walking out with a stumble he tried to poke his head out of the secret hatch only to find Riften under two feet of snow. He choked on his sobs as he turned and stumbled to the bar. Everyone watched him with the same feeling as him. They had had a special connection with the newcomer… And now she was gone. Brynjolf sat on a stool. Holding his head as Vekel poured him an ale. He took a gulp and sighed covering his face. Hiding the tears in his eyes. He had planned to court you when you came back. He wanted to charm you. Make you swoon. To settle down….But you were gone. He growled and threw the Ale a crossed the bar. It smashed against a wall with a shatter and he sighed quietly. Taking more and more drinks until he blacked out. *** You owed Karliah your life. And to that you are grateful. You sighed quietly and approached the Ragged Flagon when you saw Delvin nearly fall out of his chair. “(y/n) !? You….you’re alive!” he said and Vex saw you and gasped. Vekel spat out his ale and turned running into the thieves guild. “Mercer Frey told us you were dead.” Vex said angrily. You sniffed a little surprised to see everyone cared for you deeply. Karliah nodded her head solemnly. “There is a lot Mercer Frey bad lied to you about.” she said gravely and you gasped as you saw Brynjolf look at you with wide eyes and walk over. “…lass….” he touched your cheek and rested his head against yours. “I-I thought I had lost you.” he said his voice rough as he wrapped his arms around you and kissed you roughly. You gasped a little and kissed back passionately, a few tears running down your cheek as you did. The kiss tasted like tears. You pulled back and sniffed and Brynjolf held you close. Another member ran in “THE VAULT IS EMPTY! MERCER FREY TOOK EVERYTHING!” he said panting. Brynjolf’s eyes widened in anger and he held you close. “He will pay.” he said with a growl and turned to look at the rest of the guild and look at you. “For what they did to you…to us…”
The confession pt 2

You woke up in a red tent. You felt a strange tightness around your shoulder and chest. Whining you covered your ears as you heard bustle outside. You gasped as the tent opened revealing a tired looking Ralof. Before you can utter a word you were engulfed in a gentle protective hug. His voice shook. “Lass… I’m sorry…i should’ve taken better care to keep you safe.” he choked out. Looking into her eyes he swallowed. “I love ya too much to let you go.” you gasped softly but smiled. Hugging him with one arm you said “i love you too.”

You woke up with an eerie silence as you looked up into the stars. The light from the fire was only embers. And you felt a tight cloth around your stomach and furs covering your torso. You blinked as a hand tightened around your own and weakly looked over to see hadvar sleeping. His arms inching ever closer as he buried his head into your neck. “I’m sorry ” he whimpered and looked up at you. His eyes shining with emotion. “I love you too much. I’m so sorry.” he said and pulled you closer. You weakly touched his cheek “i love you too” you whispered

You woke up encompassed in soft velvety blankets and warmth. Blinking tiredly you winced and tried to sit up weakly but couldn’t. And instead looked around tiredly. To your surprise you found that Vilkas was asleep in the chair closest to you. Your eyes widened. You were sleeping in his bed! As you shifted he sleepily blinked his eyes and took your hand. “…… How are you feeling?” he asked and closed his eyes cursing himself. “Please…let me protect you..”

You woke up on the cold stones incredibly sore with a stiff arm. You whined softly and blinked as something shuffled and moved closer. Bringing you warmth as he wrapped his arms around you. Turning you saw Farkas snoring softly with a frown on his face. You leaned your forehead against his and he shifted. Waking up he said sleepily “you….are never going alone hunting again.” he croaked and pulled her closer causing you to flinch. Farkas loosened his hold but kept you close. “I love you lass.” he said quietly


You woke up feeling the soft furs against your skin up to your nose. Squinting you sneezed and turned. Seeing Marcutio looking at you with worried eyes as he kept the fire roaring and running healing hands over you every so often. Turning to you he asked in a scared voice. “Are you ok? I have food. Is the fire cold?  Can you breath well?” the surge of questions caused you to flinch and he quieted. “Never scare me like that again. You’re too important” he said and cupped your cheek. You smiled but frowned. “Marcurio..”
“….where are my clothes?”

You wheezed and coughed. Causing white pain to surge through you and a large hand to push you gently into bed. You weakly opened your eyes seeing brynjolf offering a foul smelling potion. You gulped it with a cringe and brynjolfs eyes saddened. “Vex helped me stitch you up. A close one. ” he said and cupped your cheek. His voice soft and cracking. You looked up at him tiredly. He smiled and whispered. “So beautiful….” and held your hand to his heart as you blushed but whispered “i love you too” before falling asleep.

You woke up in your quarters at the college and groaned. Your shoulder stung and you turned slowly seeing the broken piece of sword thrown in a heap of rags on the table. You heard feet padding around your room. And you looked over and saw J'zargo quickly mixing some ingredients into a bowl and his eyes widened when he saw you awake. “J'zargo is happy (y/n) is awake!” he said and quickly set his things down. “He thought that his magic may not have been strong enough.” he said solemnly and took your hand. You frowned as you saw his face scrunch up in anger. And he turned and gently pressed something cold into your hand. “A foolish bandit wore this. J'zargo found it for you” he said. Handing you the necklace you had lost. Your eyes widened and he smiled charmingly. “Perhaps j'zargo gets a kiss as a reward. Yes?”

The beginning (a long tale by Talviel)

[Welcome to the first official Fanfic Saturday! Due to the great response I’ve gotten from you all for my first fanfic (thank you guys!), I’ve decided to keep writing! This will be a sporadic thing as I really rely on the motivation and inspiration to do it, but I’ll try to write as often as possible.]

It was Tirdas, 5th of Frost Fall, 4E 200. I tugged my worn cloak around me, shivering as winter began its descent upon Riften. I made my way along the rickety planks along Beggar’s Row and up the stairs into the marketplace, bypassing the stalls to go into the Bee and Barb to buy my parents a bottle of mead for their wedding anniversary. This had been a difficult task, and I’d spent a month saving up the meagre coin I got from catching fish and collecting garbage throughout town just for the occasion. I pushed my way into the tavern, reveling in the warmth from the large roaring fireplace. I hesitantly walked to the bar, meeting the eye of a tough-looking Argonian woman. “We don’t serve minors.” She said, and went back to polishing a tankard. “Nothing for me, Ma'am. I’m just here to buy a bottle of mead for my parents. It’s their wedding anniversary today.” Her expression softened as she took in my rugged, dishevelled state. A poor girl from the worst part of Riften. “Regular Black-Briar or reserve?” She asked. “I think I have only enough coin for regular.” I muttered, embarrassed, and pushed my gold across the counter. She turned around and brought back a bottle of Black-Briar reserve. “Oh, no Ma'am, I can’t afford that-” I stuttered. “Take it. A gift from me to you to your parents.” She smiled, sympathy in her voice. “And the name’s Keerava, not Ma'am. Come back if you need anything, child.” I thanked Keerava profusely, and smiling at the bottle of mead, I made my way to the door.

I felt a pair of eyes trained hard on me and turned around, wondering if she’d changed her mind. Instead, I saw a well-dressed man with shoulder length red hair standing by the door, his arms crossed and eyes fixed on me. He was the most gorgeous human I had ever seen, and I had to try not to gawp or drop the bottle. Acting indifferent, I made my way to the door to go home. The man moved in front of it, blocking the way. I looked up, his keen grey eyes still locked on me. “Running a little light in the pockets, lass?” He asked, a smile playing on his lips. “Gee, how’d you guess?” I asked sarcastically, holding out my arms to display my ragged clothing. “If you’ll excuse me Sir, you’re in my way.” “Just a moment of your time, lass. Come, I’ve got a table in the corner and some food. And I’ve got something to offer you.” “I don’t take sweetrolls from strangers.” I muttered, trying to move past him again yet feeling conflicted because I wanted to stare at his face all day long. He looked about a decade older than me, and I felt a twinge of sadness that we’d never be together. “Please lass, I’ve got an important task you may be able to help me with. Just a moment of your time, and you can be on your way again.” I sighed in agreement and followed him to a comfy secluded nook.

“Alright Mr Mystery Man, what’s this all about?” I asked, helping myself to an apple from the table without asking. “What this is about, lass, is helping to raise you from the gutter to glory. I saw you empty your purse just for one measly bottle of mead. You deserve better.” “I agree, are you going to donate my family 500 septims?” I asked sullenly. The man laughed. “500? 500 is just the beginning, lass. Have you ever heard of the Thieves Guild?” “This is Riften and I’ve lived here all my life. Who hasn’t heard of the Thieves Guild? Are you trying to con me into joining them?” “Con? No lass, simply asking if you would be…interested in a trial run.” I learned back in the padded chair we didn’t own at home. My interest was officially piqued. “Lay it on me, Mystery Man.” I said. He laughed, and it was the most gorgeous laugh in the world. My heart thumped. “How rude of me, I never introduced myself. The name’s Brynjolf. And you are?” “Talviel.” I said, avoiding his gaze for fear my blushing would set me alight.

“Talviel of Riften.” Brynjolf said, rolling my name in his mouth. “Tell me lass, how old are you?” “16.” I said, feeling embarrassingly young. “Let me ask you a strange question, lass. May I see your hands?” I awkwardly put my hands on the table in front of me, and he picked up my right hand to inspect. I held my breath, because the most handsome (and unscrupulous) man in the world was holding it. “Hmm, long dextrous fingers, small hands, light…I’d say that with a little training, you’ll be a master pickpocket in no time at all.” “Look, Brynjolf, I’m not sure about this Thieves Guild stuff. My family work hard and honestly. We may not have much, but we get by.” “Lass, with us you’ll do more than get by. You’ll be able to buy your folks a real house, get to travel Skyrim, eat at the finest establishments without your purse getting any lighter…do you see where I’m going with this?” He asked. I nodded, admittedly swayed. “Look lass, think it over. I’ll be in the market from 8am to 8pm tomorrow. Come see me if you change your mind, and bring a satchel.”

I wandered home with the mead, my mind racing. The notorious Thieves Guild. I squeezed my empty purse, and made my way home. “Oh Talviel, you shouldn’t have!” Exclaimed my mother when she saw the mead. “That’s all your savings gone, you silly child!” I pulled out a sweetcake I’d prepared earlier in the day while my parents were at work, and plonked it on our little dining table. “Happy anniversary.” I smiled wanly, hoping that the next year would be a more prosperous one. We ate a simple meal while chatting, though I hid my encounter at the Bee and Barb from them. I knew I would ruin their special day if they knew I had a trial run for the Guild in the morning.

I made my way to the markets at a little past eight, surprised to see that Brynjolf had set up a makeshift stand loaded with potion bottles. “Ah, you came, lass.” He said with a wry smile. I pointed at the bottles questioningly. “Skeever repellant. Let’s just say we found a ‘supplier’ and have so much of it we don’t know what to do with it. Besides, everyone needs it in a hole like Riften.” He explained. He leaned closer to whisper surreptitiously to me, smelling of cinnamon and cloves. “Now lass, your trial begins. I want you to pick ten pockets before the day is through. That doesn’t mean literally pockets. Satchels, jewellery around necks, stuff the stall keepers leave out in the open. Anyway, ideally I want them to be about 200 gold in value. Think you can manage it?” I nodded uncertainly, glancing around our surroundings. “Does it have to be in the market itself? I know Balimund leaves the forge for lunch around two, and always leaves things lying about.” Brynjolf smiled. “You’re already the most promising candidate I’ve seen in a while, lass, thinking outside the box. Alright, the forge is yours, but try keep it to the market if you can. Good luck, I’ll have my eye on you.”

I gulped, looking around. The morning patrons as well as a few travellers were bustling about, and my eyes scanned the crowd before I made my move. I spotted a Redguard traveller, who clearly had never been to Riften before, as he had a bulging purse of coin hanging from his belt. Acting neutral, I walked forward and bumped into him, my hand snatching the purse at the same time and dropping it into the open satchel I’d prepared on my left side as it was closest to him. I apologised, and went on my way. That was one. Next I crouched behind the pile of cabbages at Grelka’s stand, thinking about poaching a few but thinking better of it as not more than one would fit in my measly satchel. Instead, I waited for her to become engrossed in business with a customer, then sneaking forward, I lifted a strange but expensive-looking dagger strapped to her her boot. Two down. My heart was hammering, but I felt a thrill like nothing before. By noon, I’d made it to six items. Brynjolf distracted the crowd by loudly touting his wares as I worked, his eyes always coming back to me every now and then.

I walked up to Madesi nonchalantly, making some small talk when a traveller pushed me aside, thinking me just a poor child. Annoyed, I reached around with one hand to lightly snatch a newly purchased book and a potion of some sort from his open satchel, biding my time as I saw Madesi unlock his display case for the traveller. They talked at length while picking up the fine jewellery piece by piece to admire, when I saw my opportunity. The traveller had placed a gold hair comb on the edge of the stand instead of back in the case. I loitered around, then ‘accidentally’ knocked the comb to the ground. Neither Madesi nor the traveler seemed to notice, so I tucked it into my satchel and made my way towards Brynjolf, who was taking a break from touting his skeever repellent and sitting on the wall eating some bread.

“Well I’ll be damned lass, are you sure you haven’t done this before?” He said, impressed. “I’ve been counting. Just one more to go. You can do it.” “I need a breather, Brynjolf. I’m starving and tired from concentrating so hard. Let me wait until Balimund is gone, and I’ll grab the last item off his work table.” Brynjolf looked sympathetic. “Aye, lass. Take a seat. I forgot how tiring the first trial is to a rookie.” He said apologetically, breaking off half of his bread to pass to me, as well as a potion of stamina to wake me up. I eagerly chugged down the potion and devoured the bread within a minute. “Lass, when’s the last time you ate?” Brynjolf sounded concerned. “Last night.” I replied, dusting the crumbs off myself. “My family can only afford to eat once a day, so we just have dinner.” “No wonder you’re a little runt. Where do you live, lass?” “A small hut on Beggar’s Row.” I mumbled. Brynjolf noticed me blushing and hanging my head in shame. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of, lass. I was in your shoes, once upon a time. Can I get you anything else to eat?” “If it’s not too much, I’d be really grateful.” I sighed, my stomach rumbling. “Come on, let’s go to the B and B.” He said, gently pushing me off the wall.

By the time I’d ravenously made my way through a large bowl of rabbit stew and a plate of cut fruit, I noticed it was about time Balimund was off for lunch. “Well,” I said, “no time like the present. I’m going to the forge now. Do I meet you back at the marketplace after?” Brynjolf shook his head. “No. You’re to make your way through the Ratways. Go all the way through and you’ll find yourself at a small tavern called the Ragged Flagon. I’ll meet you there. By the way,” he suddenly said, “you can fight, can’t you, lass?” “If you mean whacking a slaughterfish dead, I guess so.” I said, feeling my gut churn. From the day I was born, my parents had strictly instructed me never to go anywhere near the Ratways, as nothing but trouble lay within. “Then I suggest you lift a blade off Balimund. You’ll need it.” “Brynjolf, is there another way through? I don’t know if I can do this.” “Sorry lass, but you’re on your own. Every rookie’s done it, even me. I was just ten when I joined the Guild, and I’m still standing. I believe in you, lass. Now go, I’ll see you at the Flagon.” He said, ruffling my hair.

Balimund was gone, as I’d expected. I walked around the forge, looking around discreetly in case anyone was watching. There was nothing near the bellows, so I sneaked toward the working bench. Jackpot. A sword lay there, simple but sharp and glinting in the afternoon sun. It was heavier than I expected, but I tucked it into my belt and uneasily made my way towards the Ratways. Taking a deep breath, I silently opened the door and stepped in. The smell of stale urine, vomit, and alcohol filled my nostrils and made me gag. The slimy walls were dimly lit by sputtering tallow candles. I sneaked my way around the corner, only to find two sleeping figures. Rumour had it that only the worst criminal scum and madmen lived in the Ratways. If possible, I would try to avoid them, knowing by their hefty builds that I would be crushed in a second if they woke up. As silently as possible, I tiptoed past them, and it was only when I was in the next room I allowed myself to breathe again. Suddenly, a chorus of squeaking emanated from a large gap in the wall, and three skeevers charged at me without warning. Awkwardly but as quickly as possible, I drew the sword and slashed at them one by one. I felt a nip through my worn shoes and plunged the sword down, spattering blood everywhere. In a minute, they were all dead. I decided right there and then that I hated killing.

Sticking to the walls, I inched my way through the Ratways, hoping my final destination was near. As I nervously made my way down a ladder to get to the other side of a large chamber, I suddenly heard a cackle. Human. I swore under my breath and drew my blade again. A ragged figure crawled towards me and I inhaled hard. In the dim light, I managed to make out the figure of an old woman rising to her feet, her white hair tangled. With unexpected speed and a screech, she charged at me, and I flailed at her with my sword. She ducked and threw me to the ground. “No!” I shouted, kicking and trying to pry my arms from her grasp. She held me down, and only then I saw sharp fangs heading to my neck. In a panic, I wrapped my legs around her and flipped her over with a strength I didn’t know I had. Caught off guard, she released my arms and I plunged my sword into her heart with all the strength I could muster. She let out a scream, and crumbled into dust. Before anything more could happen, I rushed up the ladder on the opposite side, holding back tears. I was a killer. I was no better than the Dark Brotherhood. In a daze, I made my way through a narrow corridor, pushing open a few rusty gates, and came upon a wooden door. I pushed it open without thinking, my blade still in my limp right hand.

I was in a dingy circular room. Ahead, a worn wooden sign advertised the Ragged Flagon. I’d made it. I inched my way across a narrow stone path, trying not to fall into the murky water beneath, and found Brynjolf, now dressed in leather armour with a hood over his red hair, standing by the bar counter along with a woman and two men. They were deep in conversation and only turned around when I dropped my satchel on the floor. “Lass! You made it!” Brynjolf called delightedly, coming towards me. He noticed my distressed face, and leaned down to eye level with me. “Lass, Talviel, are you alright?” To my horror and embarrassment, the tears I’d been holding back since stabbing the vampire came rushing out, wracking my body with loud sobs. “Lass, what happened?” He unexpectedly hugged me, and I sobbed into his shoulder. “I…I killed her, Brynjolf. I killed her, I didn’t mean to, but she attacked me, and I didn’t know what to do…” I rambled, feeling an absolute mess. “Oh please, she was just a vampire.” The pale woman at the bar with long blonde hair called out. Brynjolf whipped around, suddenly angry. “You knew a fucking vampire would be down there? Vex, you irresponsible twat, the lass could have contracted Sanguinare Vampiris, and then what? She’s just a child!” He yelled, and Vex looked unfazed. “A vampire could always be useful to us.” She shrugged, taking a swig from her flagon. “Vex, I swear to the Nine Divines…” Brynjolf growled, looking about ready to punch her. “Easy, easy, our little Vex here evidently miscalculated the strength of her opponent but the girl is here and alive.” The bald man with a deep and grating voice said, jumping between the two. He turned to me. “What’s your name, child?” “T-Talviel.” I stuttered, wiping the last of the tears off my cheeks and angry at myself for making such an embarrassing introduction. “Lovely to make your acquaintance. I’m Delvin. Well Talviel, I’m going to take your satchel to Tonilia over there so she can count out your loot from today. No need to cry. Get yourself together and Brynjolf will take you into the cistern to see Mercer. If all goes well, you’ll be our sister in crime.” He said, unexpectedly gently. Brynjolf put a hand on my shoulder. “Come on, lass. Time to introduce you to the big boss.”

We made our way through an unsuspecting storage cupboard and pushed through the door hidden behind it. A towering domed ceiling rose above us, while a few people walked around, going about their business. The centre of the room was divided by stone pathways leading to a wide circular centre, and was surrounded by water. In a corner stood a statue of a woman I didn’t recognise. At the opposite end of the room was a large desk and bookcase, with a sour-looking Breton man scribbling in a ledger. Brynjolf led me across the central pathway towards him, and introduced us. “Doesn’t look like much to me.” The man, Mercer Frey, grunted, clearly annoyed that we’d interrupted his work. “Still, scrawny is good. Get into tight spaces and all. Now listen carefully kid, because I’m only going to say this once.” He went on a long monologue about the history of the Thieves Guild and my duties and responsibilities. I nodded on cue and willed it to be over with. Eventually, he met my eye. “Welcome to the family.” He said. “Now get lost, I’ve got work to do.” Brynjolf guided me away and smiled. “Well done, you’re part of the Guild now. Welcome to the family, lass.”