After closing a magical rupture and a short visit to Markarth which involved the usual guards attacking me throughout the city, Esbern, Athis, spy chick and I all decide to go locate Sky Haven Temple. What an awesome name. Doing so involves fighting through a large Forsworn camp and just for added fun a blood dragon attacks at the same time too. Somehow we all survive despite me clearly seeing spy girl and Athis being "killed". No matter. The two blades decide to chillax there while Athis and I return to Whiterun. Since he survived this rotation I let him take a break and continue adventuring with Ria the not so rookie now.
Up at the Throat of the World we meet the Grey Beard's leader Paarthumax who sounds a bit like Optimus Prime. His appearance also startles me and I accidentally shoot him a bit before he introduces himself. Fortunately he ignores my earlier attacks. After a nice chat involving plotting the downfall of the main bad dragon, I return to Riften with all my collection tasks complete and immediately become Thane there. My new housecarl Iona is stuck with guard duty for now since the place is crawling with theives. Ria and I also go to help an orc chief slay a giant leader in the name of Malacath. On the way we find a stray dog fighting a dragon, and after slaying the winged serpent the mutt decides to tag along. Turns out that it was a very bad decision on it's part as it, the orc chief and Ria were all smashed to pieces in the giant's lair.
Back in Riften I hire the spellsword Marcurio who thinks he is the bomb. He has some talents to back up this claim as he single handedly defeated a skeever army and crazy skeever man, survived an attack from THREE dragons simultaneously (we could only kill the frost dragon before the other two fled), helped defeat the funny named lich "Otar the Mad", and helped save the city of Markarth from an elder dragon that attacked it while we were there. Our reward for doing so? The guards attacked us again, and they killed Marcurio via arrow pincushion method.
I hoofed it up to my house in the stone city when I could shake them off me. I wonder if the idiots ever thought of looking for me in here? Anyway I figured my odds of escaping would be better during nightfall (can't fast travel out of the city) so I took a nap to wait for dusk. Seems someone had other ideas though, because when I woke up I was no longer in the city but in a shack with three hostages and one representative from the Dark Brotherhood. She wants me to kill one of them. I wasn't going to, but the Khajit turned out to be a prick and in my mind had it coming anyway. Looks like I've made a new friend and she invited me into her little murderous clan. Once I got into their HQ I proved I really belong by trying to murder every single one of them. Alas they were ALL protected by threads of fate. Damn cheaters.