Part 30 - Guild Work

"I brought something else from Riften," Gilda said, once she'd got her breath back. "Madesi gave me this."

She picked up something from the floor. Clark hadn't seen her drop it there, but he'd been concentrating on Jordis.

"He offered to show me how to use it, the cheeky beggar!" Gilda held up a large ivory dildo. The shaft was carved to resemble an Argonian's scales, but perhaps a bit bumpier than the real thing.

"Ah yes, that was the project we discussed last time I was there," Clark told her. "And the reason he made that offer is that this one does something you won't have seen before."

Clark took the dildo from her and looked it over. "Yes, here it is." He twisted the base and the dildo started to writhe in his hands. "It's powered by a Dwemer dynamo core. Those things can run for ever, it seems. There are a lot of parts that slide and turn to make this work, and it's a real piece of fine workmanship. Madesi's done better than I thought possible."

"I think Jordis deserves the first chance to try it," he continued. He handed it back to Gilda, and gave her room.

Jordis lasted about a minute before she couldn't take any more. "Your turn, then," Clark said, taking it back from Gilda. He offered it to Jordis, but she declined. "I just want to watch, and see how much of it she can take."

"Ready or not, here it comes."

Gilda was already losing control when Clark found out that he could twist it further, and speed it up. Jordis was giggling like she was drunk, and clinging to Clark to stop herself falling over. Gilda gripped the sheets tightly and arched her back. This was amazing, and she wasn't going to admit that it was too much for her.

Clark brought her back down gently, turning the speed lower and letting her recover. He took another look at the control. "It looks like you can turn this the other way, too." He did so and it produced a different motion. "Ready to try some more?" he asked Jordis.

"OK, but be gentle, make it last this time." She lay down next to Gilda, and held her hand. Clark slid it into her before turning it on, and increased the power gradually, watching Jordis' face for her reaction.

At the right time, he started dialing back the power. Time to get back to the real thing. He handed the dildo to Gilda, and showed her the other setting, then he pulled Jordis onto him and began to rock her gently over the edge.

Clark asked Gilda, over breakfast, how she was doing with her project to repair the Thieves Guild's reputation. "Solitude's dealt with," she responded. "Whiterun, too. I just had to spring an old man from the jail there, nothing too controversial, and I found one of the gems during that caper. Windhelm has a rival gang I still need to deal with, and Markarth's jeweller (and potential fence) needs a candlestick mould recovered from the bandits who stole it."

"Need any help with those?" Clark asked.

"I wouldn't mind having the numbers balanced a bit. I could probably get by on just stealth to recover the mould for Endon, but the Summerset Shadows need to be eliminated. They might notice someone killing them."

"Summerset? Meaning they're all Altmer?" Jordis queried.

"That's the information I have."

"Do you think they might have any connection with the Thalmor?" She was asking both of them, now.

Gilda had no idea, but Clark thought they could have followed the Thalmor to Skyrim, even if they weren't connected directly. They'd have more chance to thrive with Thalmor influence in place.

"And then of course there's Riften, and the Black-Briars. I won't tackle that problem until I have the others sorted, and I'm confirmed as Guildmaster. It's likely she'll still have some of the members on her side right now."

"We'll need all the help we can get for that one," Clark agreed. "But back to the present. Where do you want to start?"

"Those Altmer in Windhelm, or rather its hold. They don't have their headquarters in town, but out in a cave a fair distance away. There's an agent in the city itself, but she already agreed to cooperate if I can get the gang off her back. She used to be a Thieves Guild member, and she'd much rather be back with us."

"We can pick up Lydia on the way. That should give us the numbers we need."

"Can you handle three women at once?" Gilda asked him.

"I've got help now," Clark replied, holding up Madesi's invention.

Lydia told them they'd just missed Diablita. She'd been back to tell Jarl Balgruuf about the end of Alduin, the World-eater, and the whole city had held a celebration in her honour. She'd warned them that they might still experience a few more dragons, but Alduin wouldn't be raising more, and some of them would be on Paarthurnax' side, and not hostile.

"Where did she go?" Clark asked.

"She might have headed for Solstheim," Lydia replied. "A couple of Dunmer in weird masks tried to assault her in the street, and she found a note on one of them pointing her that way. It seems that she might not be the only Dragonborn."

"Solstheim? That's somewhere I haven't been," Clark remarked. "There's not a lot of trade, since the ebony mine at Raven Rock closed down. The Dunmer who settled there after the Red Mountain exploded aren't doing too badly; at least they know how to farm the ash. But apart from the produce, and a few gems, they don't have much to sell. The East Empire Company's just about abandoned the place, I hear. They certainly don't sail there from Solitude any more."

He showed Lydia one of the unusual gems. "If you see any of these around, pick them up for me. There are twenty-four of them in all, but we've only found five so far. They're not valuable individually, so you may not have any problem persuading folks to let them go."

"I think I've seen one of them. When we had the festival for Diablita, I went back to Jorvaskr with one of the Companions for a bit of fun, and there was one lying around downstairs. I can't remember exactly where it was. I was in a lot of beds that night."

Gilda left to pay the mead hall a visit, and came back a few minutes later with their sixth gem. "Nobody noticed me taking it. In fact, nobody noticed me at all. Should I be worried?"

"You haven't met Diablita, have you?" Clark asked her. "After a man's seen her, just about any other woman will go unnoticed for a while."

Lydia described Diablita for the others' information.

Gilda's opinion: "Definitely not inconspicuous." Jordis was totally amazed that anyone would fight two-handed and naked.

Clark reminded her that he didn't wear any armour either. "She uses spells for that, just like I do. She just takes it all a little further, and doesn't wear clothing, either. And she's not quite naked, she does wear those chains."

Back in her Cyrodiil days, her chains and piercings were her armour, but she'd outlasted them by a couple of centuries. Obviously the supply of Sigil Stones dried up a long time ago, so you couldn't enchant like you used to.