Diary of a Traveling Breton
Turdas, Seventh of Sun’s Height
While on my travels braving the weather and local flavor of Skyrim, I chanced upon a main road that took me into the southern city of Riften. Seeking shelter, I traded 20 septims and a sweetroll to the guard and was allowed shelter for the night at the Bee and Barb inn. That’s where I met him.
“Met” is an interesting word to use for such a character. As I entered the Barb, the sound of raucous applause was deafening. The patrons were cheering “Manbeef” loudly as a man, nearly 7 feet in height and apparently chiseled from the Nord equivalent of corundum, was completing a Cheese Wheel eating contest. Having discarded his rind-victims near his feet, he was about 4 wheels in while his challengers were barely past their second. As he finished the fifth, he yelled loudly, startling his foes, and slammed his fist down on the table demanding mead. A Black-Briar servant hurried up and the pub watched, astonished, as he drained the whole bottle into his gullet. With his enemies humiliated and coin piling up on the table for his efforts, he packed his satchel and headed off to the upstairs beds for the night. He eyed my body up and down before going up the stairs, winked at me, and invited me up. I politely declined. The world was dangerous enough without being known at the woman who lays with cheese-eating man-mountains.
I was astonished, mostly because it seemed so… normal. The patrons laughed and cheered and went back to their business. The Argonians, whose names I can never speak much less write, (Talented Jay? I don’t even know) seemed pleased with the increased sales, I have to assume. I was told well beforehand that Riften was slowly starving for coin and this certainly shirked that rumor easily. I sat down with a curiously overconfident man named Marcurio and began writing down the stories and rumors of Riften in exchange for feeding him.
I was about 2 pages deep when a woman, clad in greyish iron, made a hasty exit. I never saw her face and wasn’t planning to make note of it if it weren’t for the howling upstairs that came shortly after she left. Manbeef, as they called him, came tumbling down the stairs drunk, naked as the day he was born, with the bedposts still tied to his wrists, and howling about money and some blonde whore that had cheated him. He threw his fists about left and right in a rage, knocking out Louis Letrush and earning him the attention of the Riften guards. He disappeared for the night.
Fredas, Eighth of Sun’s Height
I woke up to the smell of warm apple pie and bacon, and thoroughly checked to make sure none of my wares had been compromised. Finding that I had not been thieved from in the night, I took to packing up for my long walk to Markarth. I heard yet another commotion from the walkway outside, so I exited the Barb as quickly as I could. An Imperial Courier had found his way into Riften and must have really given someone the stink-eye, because he was being actively pursued by four guards. As he rounded the catwalks towards Mistveil Keep, “Manbeef” came stumbling from the jail’s entrance and grabbed him by the throat. In one swift motion he snapped the Imperial’s neck and walked off with him. He walked through the town, the imperial dangling limply from his wrist, directly to me. I was flustered. Was this a gift? A warning? A really bad misunderstanding? He stopped right in front of me.
“Skyrim belongs to the Nords.” He uttered, and tossed the body aside.
“You’re absolutely right!” I stammered, too scared to get out of his way.
“Is there a reason why you’re blocking my way?” He snarled. He burped and wiped his mouth. “You have any news from the north, foreigner?
Funny little side note about my family. We’re a proud lineage of runners and bleeders, gifted with a tongue for getting us out of trouble. I’m a little lacking in those skills, and that’s why I’m out here… To prove to myself and my family that I have what it takes to be a masterful silver-tongue. When pressed under great stress and facing possible death, though, I make for really unconvincing lies.
“Yes, actually. The Jarl of Whiterun is offering Lordship to any man brave enough to prove themselves strong enough to… kill a dragon!” I lied, desperate to say anything to get him defused from the vacant look of rage in his eyes. I remembered that Dragons no longer existed, and my stomach knotted up tight. The stench of mead on his breath, however, gave me a slim hope he might buy it.
His stare softened.
“Shit, I could do that. Where’s Whiterun?” He asked, stripping the courier of his armor while I answered, trying to hide the trace amount of water I’d made in my pants.
I pointed vaguely in the right direction. “Just past the Throat of the World, look for the castle in the worst strategic location ever, can’t miss it.”
He huffed and nodded. He pushed me aside and had what looked like humbling words with Louis Letrush, who was nursing a sore jaw. After some light argument, he left the Barb and I never saw him again.
I should desperately love to find this man again, to ease my conscience. I pray to the Nine he didn’t die out there for my feverish lie.
Anything's a double entendre if you push hard enough. So I gave it to her.