After collecting the gold from Ahtar, J’Zhirr leaves The Winking Skeever.
And was immediately attacked by three vampires. The guards rush to help but they only complicate things. J’Zhirr has to try really hard not to hit the guards by accident. Guards do not like being hit and they do not forgive easily. Finally the vampires are dead and J’Zhirr is now the new owner of their belongings.
An orc nearby speaks, “You there. The Dawnguard is looking for anyone willing to fight against the growing vampire menace. What do you say?” He explains that the Dawnguard is a group of vampire hunters. Are they friends of The Silver Hand? It seems like they might be friends. Since The Silver Hand are enemies of The Companions, J’Zhirr decides to decline just to be safe.
The orc replies, “That’s what everybody says, right up until they find their throat being ripped out by a pack of hungry vampires.” He then gives the location of Fort Dawnguard, in case J’Zhirr changes his mind.
The guard matches Brand-Shei off to prison, following behind Brand-Shei lest he should try to escape. Brand-Shei walks with his head held high and the air of someone who is innocent. Only three people know that it is true; Brynjolf, J’Zhirr and the unknown client. Now you too, mother.
Brynjolf promises that Brand-Shei will not be ill-treated while imprisoned. As J’Zhirr watches Brand-Shei enters the keep, he thinks that he may visit Brand-Shei while he is behind bars. If not to see an old acquaintance, then perhaps to check out the escape routes in case one day this one finds himself in the same predicament.
Once Brynjolf sees that Madesi’s ring has been safely deposited in Brand-Shei’s pocket, he stops his sales pitch. The crowd disperses and Brand-Shei goes back to man his stall. J’Zhirr lingers nearby to see what will happen.
Almost immediately, a guard goes up to Brand-Shei and demands that he turns out his pockets. “What in blazes are you talking about?” Brand-Shei asks as he searches his pockets. He find the Madesi’s ring and holds it up. “What’s this ring? This isn’t mine!” he cries.
“That’s right. It isn’t yours,” the guard replies sarcastically and places Brand-Shei under arrest. Brand-Shei protests but the guard is not in the mood to listen. He says, “We can do this one of two ways. You can walk with me up to the keep, or I can drag your lifeless body. Your choice.” HIs words immediately shuts Brand-Shei up.
J’Zhirr gives Brand-Shei a diary that he found at the broken ship. It contains some clues to Brand-Shei’s past and the Dunmer is delighted to come into possession of it. Now J’Zhirr can continue with Brynjolf’s plan with a clear conscience.
J’Zhirr gives Brynjolf the signal and stands to the side to watch. Brynjolf raises his voice to get the attention of everyone at the marketplace. He calls, “Everyone! Everyone! Gather ’round! I have something amazing to show you that demands your attention!”
Madesi complains, “That’s what you said about the Wisp Essence and it turned out to be crushed nirnroot mixed with water!”
Brynjolf is unfazed and continues with his sales pitch. He holds up a bottle, “Lads and lasses I give you, Falmerblood Elixir! Mystical beings who live in legends and were masters of great magic. Imagine the power that coursed through their veins! One sip of the elixir and your wishes will be granted. Great wealth, everlasting life or perhaps limitless power could be yours! Only twenty gold septims! Hurry before my supply is gone.”
At least this place still has an inn. After all, where else would the visitors to The College of Winterhold stay? The Frozen Hearth does not look like much but it will provide one with adequate shelter from the cold. The wind has picked up and snow is starting to fall. J’Zhirr will be glad to get indoors. One almost pities the soldiers who have to patrol in this weather, then one remembers that they are Nords and thus immune to the cold.
J’Zhirr decides to visit the Riften docks. This one hears that the waters are teeming with fish and fishery is a big business in this city.
A dragon decides to drop in for a visit, causing panic on the docks. The soldiers all take out their bows and arrows to shoot the dragon down. It is hard to hit a moving target so J’Zhirr lends a hand. Little by little we manage to whittle away the dragon’s lifebar. Finally the flying lizard dies and sinks to the bottom of the lake.