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Nimue's Journal - Day 4

19 Last Seed
In the morning, I decided that maybe the Fighters Guild would be the best choice for me. I talked it over with Rithleen.

"Someone with your skills should join either the Fighter's Guild or the Imperial Legion. Maybe both," she said. "I would suggest you join the Legion first, but then you'd have to go all the way to Gnisis. I heard that's the only place in the Legion where they need new troops."

"I don't suppose I could do both?"

"Sure you could. Good idea. Join the Fighters Guild and work your way up. Get some training and then go to Gnisis."

I haven't really mentioned this before, but Balmora is a beautiful city. The adobe buildings cluster on either side of the Odai River which is criss-crossed with bridges. I stopped in the middle of the bridge and looked down into the water. Slaughterfish swam too and fro beneath my feet and I thought I saw the sun glint off something under the water. "Strange," I thought. "I wonder what that could be? Have to check it out later."

I was once again amazed at how friendly all the people here are. Everyone I saw greeted me in a friendly fashion and many wanted to know what they could do for me. When I got to the Fighter's Guild, Eydis Fire-Eye gladly accepted me into the guild. She told me that I could come to her any time for assignments and for advancement within the guild.

"You'll find that the trainers and merchants who make their home here with the guild will give you better prices than those you'll meet elsewhere. When you're ready for your first assignment, come back and see me."

She was right. I was able to sell my leather armor for close to its value and I got myself a nice tower shield. The guild hall is a nice place with a small dormitory and training rooms in the basement. I checked out the guild chest that Eydis told me about and discovered that it had several healing potions and a couple of other handy items that I would be able to use from time to time.

Now that I had the benefits conferred on a guild member, I wasn't so sure I wanted to take any assignments yet. I considered doing a little more exploring around Balmora, but then I decided that the best thing for me to do would be to get started. If I was going to use my membership in the guild as a cover, I had to seem anxious for advancement. I went back upstairs to Eydis and asked her what she would like me to do first.

"Let's see," she said, tapping her finger against her forehead. "I know! I've got an assignment that even a beginner like you could handle." She looked me up and down thoughtfully for a moment and then continued, "Yes, I think you'll do."

"There is a woman named Drarayne Thelas who lives on the other side of the river from here. She's been complaining about rats in her storage room. I'm sure even you can handle a few rats." She looked at me expectently.

"What the hell?" I thought. "How hard can it be?"

"I'll do it," I told her.

Eydis gave me directions to Drarayne's house and I set off. When I got there, I discovered that Drarayne wasn't terribly friendly. She acted as though she was doing me a favor instead of the other way around.

"I've got one of them trapped in my bedroom," she said. "There are more in the store room upstairs. I'll give you the key for the storage room. Hurry before those cave rats tear up my pillows."

Drawing my sword, I cautiously opened the door to Drarayne's bedroom. I opened the door, expecting a little furry creature to scamper out. I was wrong. A huge nasty looking thing came rushing out of the door and jumped for my throat. Can you imagine that? I've never seen a creature of that size jump so high. I managed to throw it off and ran it through with my blade. The sizzle of electricity comforted me. It wouldn't be jumping on me again. I glanced in Drarayne's direction. She smirked. "Those cave rats can be nasty, can't they?"

"Cave rats?" No wonder they were so nasty. Had I known, I might not have taken the assignment so cheerfully. I guess I wasn't listening carefully enough. Cold fingers tickled my backbone as I thought about facing more than one at a time. I didn't want Drarayne to see how nervous I was though, so I shrugged and said, "Piece of cake." Shoulders back, I plastered a competent look on my face and strode out of the house. The steps to the storage room led up the side of the house. Cautiously, I crept up the stairs. I stood for a long time, key in hand, listening to the faint rustling noises, trying to count the number of cave rats inside.

Finally, I unlocked the door and, with a deep breath I rushed into the room with my sword held high over my head. I started swinging wildly. Before I knew it, lightning had struck twice. The smell of smoldering rat told me that I had scored. I stopped swinging and looked around me. I had to count the limbs in order to determine that I had killed two large cave rats. Killed is putting it mildly. I didn't just kill them, I shredded them. I checked myself. Not a scratch. Thank the gods. Now all I had to do was clean up and get my reward. I cautiously picked up the bigger pieces and dumped them over the back of the outside landing. I know some people eat rat meat, but it just isn't my taste. To make sure I had found all of the rats, I checked through the barrels and boxes. All clear. There was nothing in the boxes but a bunch of pillows and some alchemy ingredients. Nothing to write home about. I considered helping myself to a few of the smaller items, but my conscience wouldn't allow it.

I carefully locked the door and went downstairs to return the key to Drarayne. When I got there, I explained how I had killed the cave rats upstairs. I tried to make it seem like an heroic task, but I don't think she was buying it. "About time somebody took care of those things," she sniffed loudly. "Think you did some fantastic good deed, don't you?" She looked at me for a minute, appraising me, probably deciding how little she could get a way with. Finally she said, "OK, I suppose I do owe you. Here."

When I got outside, I counted the coins still clutched in my hand. One hundred septims! Not bad for a few minutes work. The guard standing near the bridge looked at me suspiciously when I jumped into the air, whooping like a banshee. I couldn't believe my good fortune. I ran back to the Fighters Guild to report my good success to Eydis.

She was not impressed. "Fine," she said. "Let me know when you're ready to do another job, or when you think you might qualify for advancement."

"What the heck," I thought. "I believe I'm ready for advancement," I said humbly.

"Nimue, you have now obtained the rank of Journeyman within the Guild. Congratulations. Let me know when you are ready for another assignment.

"Well, that was kind of disappointing. Should I ask for another assignment or call it quits for the day and explore?" Exploring won out. I left the Guild Hall and checked out the rest of the shops at the top of the hill. The fine clothier's shop interested me and I spent quite a bit of time there. I bought an exquisite skirt for myself along with a couple extra shirts and some shoes that I could wear when the occasion arose. By the time I was done shopping, it was well past noon. I didn't want to go back to the South Wall, so I decided to check out the Eight Plates which is just down the street from the Fighters Guild.

Once inside, I was glad I had stopped by. There was a bit more life here than in the corner club. I sat down at one of the tables and listened to a funny-looking little Bosmer sing a song about unrequited love. As I tapped my foot to the best, a woman named Dulnea Ralaal approached me. "It's amateur night," she said. "Do you have any talent that you would like to show us? Perhaps you can sing or play an instrument?" When I didn't seem anxious to jump up on the stage, she tried again, "Maybe you'd like to tell a story or an amusing anecdote instead?"

That didn't sound too bad, so I suggested that I might be able to comply if she would allow me some time to think of a good story.

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