That was way too easy. All I had to do was threaten people to get the money they owe the Guild. Why hasn’t Brynjolf given me something challenging? And why did he think I’d have fun with it?
I walked back through the Ratway and opened the door to the Ragged Flagon. Brynjolf was sitting down across Vex. I stood behind him and dropped the three coin purses in front of him.
“That was fast, lass.” He looked up at me, impressed. He opened the coin purses and counted the gold. “And it’s all in here too. Nice job.”
“Now what? Are you going to send me on another trip somewhere and have me do some more mindless tasks?” I asked, crossing me arms.
He shook his head, either out of exasperation or he just meant no. I wasn’t sure. “Now you’re going to meet Mercer, the Guild Master.”
He stood up and motioned for me to follow him. He opened a cabinet which led to a short hall with a door at the end. Behind the door was a huge cistern that only had a little water in the middle underneath a circle with a couple of small bridges coming off of it. There were a few people here and there that were chatting with one another. “This is the Cistern,” Brynjolf said holding his arm out. They’re not very creative with the names. There was a desk at one end with a man standing behind it.
He looked up at us and met us in the middle of the room. He was an older man, certainly older than me, with gray hair and dark eyes. “So, Brynjolf, this is your latest recruit?” He looked me up and down and curled his lip. “This better not be another waste of the Guild’s resources.”
I glared at him. Why is Brynjolf the only one who’s been remotely nice to me? Brynjolf responded back and the two of them carried on a little conversation that I ignored. I dazed off and looked around the room.
“Do I make myself clear?” Mercer said sharply. He was looking at me, or rather, scowling at me.
“Uh, yes, understood.” I mumbled back. I don’t what he had said to me beforehand, but I’m pretty sure he knew I hadn’t been listening.
“Good. Then I think it’s time to put your expertise to the test. You’re going to Goldenglow,” he said with his arms crossed. His scowl never left his face.
“Goldenglow?” Brynjolf asked. I turned to him, he had a worried look on his face. “You’re sending her there? Even our little Vex couldn’t get in.”
“You claim this recruit has an aptitude for our line of work.” He looked at me from the corner of his eye and muttered ominously, “Let her prove it.” He looked back at Brynjolf. “Fill her in with the details. Oh, and welcome to the Thieves Guild,” he said with no welcome in his voice. He turned and walked back to his desk.
I turned to Brynjolf who was shaking his head. “I’d say congratulations, but you’ve got your work cut out for you, lass.”
Finally, something challenging. If I manage to do this then maybe I’ll earn some respect around here. Plus, if I do it, then I’ll have succeeded where Vex failed and that in it of itself is a reward. “So, what’s Goldenglow?”
“It’s a bee farm.”
I groaned. “I hate bees. What’s so important about a bee farm?”
He went on to explain how it’s important to a client and how it provides honey for their mead and how the owner has shut the Guild out and what not. “We need you to get in there and burn down some of the hives. Three should suffice. You also need to clear out the safe in the main house.”
“Why not just burn the whole place down? I think that’d send a pretty good message.”
He shook his head again. He seems to do that a lot, maybe it’s just because of me. “If you do that, then Maven would have your head.”
“That’s the client? Maven Black-Briar?”
“The Black-Briars have always been allied with the Guild,” he replied as-a-matter-of-factly. “Along with not leveling the whole place, Maven also prefers to keep Aringoth, the owner, alive. If he gets in your way, however, then kill him.”
I still don’t see how this is difficult. “Why was this so hard for Vex?”
“Because the whole estate is crawling with mercenaries.”
Great. “Alright. I guess I should probably head out now while it’s still dark.”
“Before you go, talk to Tonilia. She has your Guild armor. And talk to Vex before you go and ask her about any advice she might have about Goldenglow."
I groaned again. Vex wasn’t exactly friendly when she first saw me, why would she help me now? And… wait a minute. "How did you get my measurements? You know what, no. I don’t want to know.” I turned to leave, but he grabbed my arm.
“Be careful out there, Artemis.” His dark green worried eyes made me worry. Was I in that much danger? “I won’t be there to save you this time. And those mercenaries don’t take prisoners."
I nodded and walked back to the Ragged Flagon. I had no idea who Tonilia was, but my guess was that she was the only woman in the Flagon besides Vex. I walked up to her and before I could even mutter a word, she began to speak.
"So, you’re the new recruit, eh?” she said with one eyebrow raised.
“Yep. I’m Artemis.”
“Well, Artemis, it seems you and I are going to have to get well acquainted.”
I was worried that she might be coming on to me, so I asked, “And uh, why is that?”
“Because I’m the fence down here.” That makes so much more sense. “If you happen across anything you don’t exactly own, then I’ll pay you some gold for it. Minus a little slice for the Guild, of course.” Of course.
“That’s actually pretty helpful because I’ve been wandering around carrying some things that I ‘found’ and I don’t know what to do with them. Brynjolf also said you had some armor for me.”
She picked up the armor that was sitting on a barrel next to her and handed it to me. “Here you go. Try to put it to good use. Oh, and there’s a way out through the Cistern. That way you don’t have to trek through the Ratway again.”
I looked at the armor and was pretty happy. It was certainly better than my pathetic leather armor that I patched together, plus this was enchanted. “Thanks.” I turned to go back to the Cistern, but I took about two steps before Vex stopped me.
“Before you go to Goldenglow, I want to make two things perfectly clear.” She looked angry. “One, I’m the best infiltrator this rathole Guild’s got, so if you think you’re here to replace me, you’re dead wrong.”
I rolled my eyes. “Vex, I’m only here for one thing, and that’s to make some coin. If I happen to do something better than someone else, then that’s how it is,” I replied shrugging my shoulders. “What’s your second thing?”
If looks could kill, I’d be dead ten times over. She continued on anyway, but it was easy to tell she was pissed. “Two, you follow my lead and do exactly what I say. No questions, no excuses.”
“Of course, Vex. I wouldn’t think of doing otherwise.”
“Good,” she retorted. “Then we understand each other."
"Speaking of infiltrating, I have to get into Goldenglow and I heard you ran into a bit of trouble there,” I said, hoping I sounded genuinely interested.
“Hmph, yeah I did.” She shook her head. “That wood elf’s wit… he’s a lot smarter than I expected. That damn fetcher had more than tripled the guard.”
“Got any advice on how to get in there?”
“Well, there’s an old sewer tunnel that dumps into the lake on the northwest side of the island. That’s how I slipped in there. Should still be unguarded.” Really, what is it with these people and sewers?
“Alright,” I muttered. “Thanks for the tip.” I turned and left the Flagon. So, I’ve got to go through a nasty sewer, get past a bunch of mercenaries, break into a safe, burn only three bee hives, and make sure the fire doesn’t spread. Sounds easy enough.