It's early morning when the party leaves, Malithia the old Nord and Willem the Bosmer in tow. The journey takes most of the day to accomplish, although the road and weather is as fair as could be expected for Falkreath Hold. Heading westward from Helgen, they soon find themselves back in the capital city Falkreath. They collectively decide to take care of a few tasks around town, such as stocking up on rations and potions which had been used previously. With there still being a few hours of sunlight remaining, they decide to continue on the path towards Markarth.
This time, they're heading northward, keeping the Illianta Lake on their right. The fair weather soon turns and rain falls heavily on the group. It's not until nearly ten in the evening that they stumble upon the slanted ruins of a stone tower off the right-side of the road. It sits on a rocky hill and doesn't look to have a path or doorway visible from this stretch of road.
The party decide to take a moment to inspect the structure, hoping to find a dry and safe place to stay for the evening. Climbing the rocky hill, they find an entrance and a path on the far side of the tower. After entering and Dra'Jhad casting the usual Detect spells, they learn that an Imperial sits above them, unsuspecting to the residents below at this point in time. Continuing to take the lead, Dra'Jhad calls out to the Imperial by race and informs him that the party would be staying here for the night, whether or not he was okay with it. To help backup his claim, Borkalt begins walking up the stairs with whiskey in one hand and his axe in the other.
The Imperial is stunned and hesitant, but the situation changes suddenly as Alluria runs up the stairs, her hand bursting into shimmering lightning. Threatening the Imperial, she demands that he leave the tower to them. Unfortunately, the rest of the party still blocks the stairwell. Unsure of what to do, the Imperial steps back with a dagger in his hands, shaking noticeably.
The rest of the party eventually arrives and calms the situation. They explain that they will be staying in the tower and that the Imperial could also stay, or resist and die. They also touch on the fact that if they wanted him dead, he would have already been dead. Reluctantly, the Imperial agrees under the condition that they remain in the lower section of the tower and he remains above. An agreement is reached and most return below.
Dra'Jhad remains up top and learns that this is Chaelin Civentius, an up-and-coming adventurer and map maker. Not many words are exchanged before he requests for Dra'Jhad to please return to the lower tower for the evening.
Jethro also takes the opportunity to hunt fresh animal prey to satisfy his bestial needs. Once done, he returns to the tower. The night passes by, with Jethro simply leaning in the open doorway below while the others sleep. Eventually, everyone comes to in the morning and are surprised by the continuing silence from above. Jethro goes to investigate and finds that Chaelin has crafted a rope in the night and climbed his way down the tower. He's nowhere to been seen and the fire he was using is cold.
Although Jethro rushes down to tell the party, they don't find the Imperial. They decide to continue on their journey, moving towards the crossroads and the town of Granite Hill. Since they had chosen to walk through the night, it's only round noon when they reach the pass at the southern part of the Sundered Hills. Crossing this point, they party is overlooking the small town of Granite Hill. They approach the town with three homes and a single inn, the Granite Hill Hall.
Drink and rest is fresh on everyone's mind, so they enter the inn. There are a few groups of individuals at tables, a Dunmer bard, and a sharp faced women behind the bar with pale skin and black hair. Jethro decides to take his chance with the Dunmer bard while the rest of the party heads to the bar for a drink.
The barkeep takes their gold for the drinks, as well as the gold for the rooms happily. She serves drinks and gossip about the local area. It's at this time that the discussion about whether they should travel through the mountains to Markarth or around the mountains and down through the pass by Karthwasten. Iava, the barkeep, chimes in to let them know both are viable options, although the pass through the mountains was much faster. Eventually, with Dra'Jhad leading the charge, they decide to go through Rorisktead to the north before heading towards Karthwasten and Markarth.
It's about this time that a new patron enters the bar. It's a green-scaled Argonian with a very featureless body, more snakelike than reptilian. He takes an empty seat at the bar and is immediately served a cold drink and a purse heavy with gold. Dra'Jhad attempts to strike up conversation, but other than a cursory and polite reply, the Argonian downs his drink and leaves. Unsure of what happened, those at the bar ask Iava who that was. She hesitantly explains he's Dreet-Dar Coldblood, an emissary of the Thieves' Guild who has been collecting 'protection fees' from all the smallholders in the area.
Filled with drunk confidence, the party decide to follow Dreet-Dar through the night and ambush him. They leave almost immediately, although not before Malithia and Willem can excuse themselves. They decided to take the quick path through the Druadach mountains, but hopes the party will still visit once they arrive in Markarth. Then, both groups head their separate way.
It's only a few hours before the party stumbles upon Dreet-Dar's camp off the side of the main road. He's alone with his back on them all. Stealthily, they're able to draw close before jumping out and ambushing him. All four members of the party descend upon him at once and it's not long before he succumbs to the damage. Before he does, he calls out that the party doesn't know who they're messing with and made a mistake hurting a member of the Guild. Then, his smooth scaled head is severed from his shoulders and Dreet-Dar speaks no more.
A quick looting finds a couple of enchanted daggers, although the armor is shredded beyond repair. With their drunkenness leaving them behind after the march and battle, the party sets up camp on top of Dreet-Dar's and settles down for the evening.