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A Cornered Rat

Author: 
Fiore1300
Librarian Comment: 

This page remains a work in progress. Nothing here is a final edit.

Player Character

(I journey to Riften to speak with Brynjolf to see what he might know about finding Esbern in the Ratway. I find him in the central market)

I'm looking for an old guy, probably hiding out in the Ratway.

Brynjolf

Yeah. I bet I know your guy. He's hiding out in the Ratway Warrens. Paying us good coin for nobody to know about it.

Player Character

How do I find the Ratway?

Brynjolf

If I have to hold your hand through everything, maybe you aren't cut out for this kind of work.

It's under your feet, lad. Just follow the smell.

(I delve into the Ratway and find the entrance to the Ratway Vaults just beyond the Ragged Flagon. There I find Thalmor soldiers searching the area)

Thalmor Wizard

There's the Blades agent! Kill him!

(I defeat the three Thalmor goons, but I had better find Esbern quickly! From the Vaults I find the entrance to the Ratway Warrens that Brynjolf told me about. After killing a deranged cannibal named Knjakr, I find a secure door reinforced with iron. This must be it. I knock)

Esbern

Go away!

Player Character

Esbern? Open the door. I'm a friend.

Esbern

What?! No, that's not me. I'm not Esbern. I don't know what you're talking about.

Player Character

It's okay. Delphine sent me.

Esbern

Delphine? How do you... so you've finally found her, and she led you to me. And here I am, caught like a rat in a trap.

Player Character

Delphine needs your help to stop the dragons.

Esbern

So Delphine keeps up the fight, after all these years.

You'd better come in and tell me how you found me and what you want.

This'll just take a moment...

(various sounds of bolts being pulled and locks being undone echo into the Ratway)

This one always sticks... there we go.

Only a couple more.

There we are!

Come in, come in! Make yourself at home!

That's better. Now we can talk.

So Delphine keeps up the fight, after all these years.

I'd thought she'd have realized it's hopeless by now. I tried to tell her, years ago...

Player Character

What do you mean, "it's hopeless"?

Esbern

Haven't you figured it out yet? What more needs to happen before you all wake up and see what's going on?

Alduin has returned, just like the prophecy said!

The Dragon from the dawn of time, who devours the souls of the dead!

No one can escape his hunger, here or in the afterlife! Alduin will devour all things and the world will end. Nothing can stop him!

I tried to tell them. They wouldn't listen. Fools. It's all come true... all I could do was watch our doom approach...

Player Character

Alduin... The dragon who's raising the others?

Esbern

Yes! Yes! You see, you know but you refuse to understand!

Player Character

You're talking about the literal end of the world?

Esbern

Oh, yes. It's all been foretold. The end has begun. Alduin has returned.

Only a Dragonborn can stop him. But no Dragonborn has been known for centuries.

It seems that the gods have grown tired of us. They've left us to our fate, as the plaything of Alduin the World-Eater.

Player Character

It's not hopeless, Esbern. I'm Dragonborn.

Esbern

What? You're... can it really be true? Dragonborn?

Then... there is hope! The gods have not abandoned us! We must... we must...

We must go, quickly now. Take me to Delphine. We have much to discuss.

But, give me... just a moment... I must gather a few things...