Finally reaching their destination, Markarth greets the party with open arms. Their goals upon reaching the city are two fold. Jethro seeks a cure for his vampirism. Following the rumors of the Priest of Arkay in Falkreath, he hopes to locate Jarrin Root, a key ingredient in the potion needed to cure himself. On the other side, Alluria is in search of her lost family. Rumor has it that her sister may still reside somewhere within the city, even after the 10+ years following her supposed demise.
Hoping to hit two birds with one stone, the party seeks out someone who might hold knowledge of both the city and any possible Jarrin Root locations. They spend a good fifteen to twenty minutes traversing the maze-like city before finally finding themselves outside the doors of shop that seems to serve as both an alchemical and magical location. The party enters and, much to the surprise of Alluria, find themselves face to face with a pale Breton with dark ringlets of black hair. After a breif moment of awe, Alluria reunited with her sister Cielia, much to the pleasure of all involved. Following the warm meeting, they learn that Cielia survived the bandit attack which took the lives of their parents, but not without a price. Showing her throat, a scar is visible across the entire length, leaving Cielia with a voice that only reaches a whisper.
This seems not to have held back the elder sister, for she pronounces herself a master in both Alchemy and Enchanting, as well as being well versed in the art of Conjuration. Taking advantage of her talents, the party not only purchases items of great magical power, but also agrees to training in the arts of conjuration later in the evening. The conversation winds to and end and, after expressing that she knows little of the Dwarven ruins around Markarth, she explains to the party that there are likely those in town who would know more about the location of the Jarrin Root.
The party then leaves Cielia's office in search of other merchants which may help better equip them for the journey ahead. In addition, they realize the day is quickly turning to night and they must procure rooms before the evening fully sets. So, after a little searching, the party stumble into the shop run by the elderly female Orc blacksmith, Sharshar. Borkalt, falling thoroughly for the complexity of the female orc smith, uses all the persuasive powers his drunken state allows and seemingly woos the blacksmith. He makes a quick arrangement for a better crossbow to be built, once she receives her needed ebony shipment in a few days time. Finished, an open invitation is left regarding rooms and possible nighttime activities.
The bar is the next location along the way and the party wastes no time reaching the inn. Borkalt takes up a spot at the bar and immediately challenges the entire room to a brawl. Dra'Jhad has his back and begins creating fireworks and setting up bets. At first, there's no reply for, although there are a few burly miners in the bar, none can equal the height and mass of Borkalt's eight foot, refrigerator-like frame. Then, when all seem unwilling to fight, I lone Redguard miner steps up and casually accepts the brawl. He provides two three conditions: that the fight must be with hands and unaided by magick or weapons, that the first will be until one of the two are knocked unconscious, and that the minmum bet between the Redguard and Borkalt would be 1000 gold. Borkalt happily agrees and, along with the rest of the party, heads outside the inn.
By this time, it's late evening and the marketplace is dwindling down for the night. Still, with the help of Dra'Jhad drawing a crowd and taking bets, a small gathering of people have gathered to watch. A few bets are placed and one well dressed man places a strong bet on Borkalt to win, drawing the eyes of the entire crowd as he approaches Dra'Jhad. Finally, with all bets placed and the appropriate amount of smack talked between the two competitors, the brawl begins.
Borkalt and the Redguard miner, who they learn is named Storthor from the well-dressed Nord-like fellow, begin in earnest. Punches are thrown and, although Borkalt has nearly two feet on the dark-skinned fellow, begins to quickly find out that the man is much more of a warrior than he originally let on. Soon, the battle goes from fists to grapples and both warriors are struggling on the group. Fists pound faces or nearly miss and, as the battle nears the end, Borkalt finds himself restricted and choked out on the ground. In a wage of pure anger, he's able to toss Storthor and bring the battle back to the standing position. A few more moves are thrown before the Redguard seems to redirect Borkalt's final charge. This leaves Borkalt open and, in one final move, Storthor missile kicks Borkalt's lights out.
Jethro is quick on the draw and uses his healing powers to ensure both Borkalt and the Redguard are brought back to top shape. Humbly, Borkalt exchanges the gold with the Redguard and bids him farewell. He then spends the rest of the night getting as drunk as possible before passing out. While this is going on, Alluria, Jethro, and Dra'Jhad remain in the marketplace. In a sudden burst from the small crowd, a figure darts towards Alluria and the party is tossed deep into misery as daggers pierce her neck and kidneys. Death greets her before any reactions can be made. Then, just as quickly, the lone killer is taken into custody by the guards of Markarth, but not before he points towards the party with his bloodied dagger, letting them know that they're next. Then, he's taken away without a word, Alluria's body left bleeding out on the ground.
In shock, Dra'Jhad decides he's done for the night and returns to the inn. Before doing so, he stops by the corpse and discreetly takes the important items, as he is wont to do. With that done, he quickly gets food, drink, and then retires to his room. Jethro, on the other hand, decides he needs to take care of the body before anyone else. Not seeing Dra'Jhad pocket the key items, he travels to the temple of Dibella to prepare for disposal of the body. The priests there quickly agree and, within minutes, Jethro passes two female priestesses carrying the covered form of Alluria up towards the temple. While this is taking place, Jethro decides to meet up with Cielia and explain the situation.
He does so and it goes as well as one could expect. Although thoroughly depressed at the loss of her sister, Cielia firms herself saying that she lost her sister once, she could do so again. That said, she can no longer stay within Markarth with all the powerfully negative memories building here. Apologizing for not being able to take care of the training requested, she provides the remaining items the party purchased from her and then takes her leave of Markarth. In the end, Jethro returns to the inn and informs Borkalt of the situation, who had not witnessed the killing. Although currently spending the evening with his elderly Orc matron, the news strikes him hard and he spends the rest of the evening drinking to her memory with Jethro. In the morning, the party decides they must continue on with their original quest to cure Jethro of vampirism. Now, a new fire burns within them.