"Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles."
It was dark and raining in Whiterun as the day started to close. Down the river, going South, was the little town of Riverwood. It's inhabitants were slowly walking from work at the mill and heading over to The Sleeping Giant to grab an ale or mead and head back home to rest up for another monotonous day of hard labor. There wasn't much to the town, no walls for defense, a river running right beside it which both powered the main source of it's income and provided fish for the villagers to live on; and the people were fiercely loyal to each other and that's what really kept the town going.
There were few customers tonight inside The Sleeping Giant, and those who were there kept mainly to themselves. Sven, the Bard, tried with mediocre effort to play his pipes and lighten the dreary mood, but Orgnar, the barkeep, repeatedly kept shooting dirty looks at the bard.
Lucan Valerius was sitting by the fire and sipping on his mead, when Hod, the mill owner, came to sit next to him. Lucan had been overly distraught about his shop getting robbed the other night by bandits. The only thing stolen was his precious Golden Claw. It was the most valuable and important thing he had (other than his sister) and he had to figure out a way to get it back from those thieves…
Hod made small chat with the shopkeeper about the sudden onset of rain they had this night. Lucan told him that Skyrim was notorious for its terrible weather. Then both men sat quietly and drank.
The rain could be heard pounding on the roof. Delphine opened the door and saw that the road leading through town was sloshing up and down in a muddy dance, she closed the door to her inn and told Orgnar to stoke the fire so it roared.
Hod paid Delphine five coins and went on his way home before the rain got worse and so that his wife wouldn't grouse about him drinking. Sven ended his final song and packed up his instruments, . He knew his mother was cooking dinner and he didn't want to miss out. Lucan rubbed his temples, paid Delphine, and then went on his way to make sure Sven didn't pay a visit to his sister.
The Sleeping Giant Inn was now even more quiet than before. Orgnar and Delphine made small chat about the Skeever infestation that needed to be tended to, while they went around and swept the place clean again. The rain kept pouring, it was clear that no one would come to the Sleeping Giant Inn that night. Delphine told Orgnar to go ahead and turn in, she'd stay up for a while in case any customer was crazy enough to brave the rain. It was almost three in the morning when Delphine decided to turn in herself. No one came to the Inn that night…
It rained for three days and four nights. Barely anyone ever came to the in during those days. The streets were rivers of mud and it stung Riverwood with a fierce and biting cold.
Delphine, being of Breton blood, hated the cold, but she tolerated it as long as a fire burned in the middle of her Inn and there was warm food in her belly.
She sat behind the counter and twirled her light blonde braid with her forefinger. She hadn't seen a customer in over two days and she was extremely restless. She sent Orgnar out an hour ago to gather wood so it could dry inside, Gods knew when the rain was going to stop.
The door to the Inn swung open. The sound of the rain was deafening to Delphine's ears and she stood up expecting Orgnar to be carrying a bundle of pre-chopped wood.
Instead, who closed the door was a cloaked figure, only slightly smaller than Orgnar.
Delphine's eyebrow raised, "Can I help you?" She asked. A pale, slender hand pulled the drenched hood back.
The face in which was revealed was that of a woman. Her hair seemed black, but Delphine could see that as the woman came towards her that her hair was a deep coffee brown and the sides of it were pulled back with braids, leaving the rest of her soaked hair to rest on her shoulders.
"Could I have a room for the night, please?" The woman asked, looking around the Inn. Her accent was strange, not that of any local Nord, but one of exotic properties that you would hear in a Khajiit, only her voice wasn't as gravelly.
Delphine seemed almost entranced by the honey voice that this woman had, and she nearly lost her train of thought. "If you've got the coin, I've got the room."
She said. The woman looked at the open rooms, "I'm sorry, you must be very busy. Perhaps I'll take my business elsewhere."
Delphine narrowed her eyes, "Ten gold pieces."
The woman went into her satchel and slapped the coins on the counter, "Thank you." She said.
Delphine led her to the small room to the left side of the Inn. She stood in the doorway, observing the woman as she took off her cloak. She was wearing the armor of an Imperial soldier, she even had the sword, but her actions didn't seem typical of any Imperial soldier that passed through here...
"If you need anything let me know." Delphine said, still looking at the woman through the slits of her eyes.
The woman perked up at the sound of Delphine's voice, "Thank you."
"Yeah." Delphine nodded to herself, turning away from the woman before she was called out for staring too long. She shut the door behind her.
Inside the room, the woman had set her muddy leather boots to the side and tried her best to bring the feeling back to her raisin-like feet. The skin was shriveled from the intense rain and it would be a while before they returned back to normal. The woman sat upon her straw bed and stared at the door. Her face was hard-set, she was concentrating on her thoughts too much to realize that the rain finally stopped thundering down onto the roof. The color in her eyes flickered from baby blue to a light spring-like green as her thoughts twirled inside of her.
She knew she needed to get plenty of sleep, the day ahead was going to be arduous and she knew that even if she got a few hours of rest, she would be just fine. Her eyes reluctantly closed and she drifted into an uneasy black blur.