After breaking my fast with some fruit "procured" from the back room of The Sleeping Giant, Sven and I headed north back to the ruins.
Sven: You know, Matthias - this adventuring is turning out much more different than what I learned in the songs.
Me: How so, Sven?
Sven: Well, all the old songs spoke of brave men, facing great dangers and winning glory.
Me: And have you not fought more undead creatures today than you have friends?
Sven: Oh aye... it's just... I thought there would be more of the fighting and less of the carrying all of their heavy stuff while you keep all the gold.
Me: Ah, but I'm letting you use that big heavy sword AND that nice armor.
Sven: Well, that's true...
Me: And is valor not it's own reward? Far greater than any riches?
Sven: Well, that is what the tales say...
Me: Exactly! So by keeping all of the gold, I'm letting you reap the far greater spiritual rewards of heroism.
Sven: So... what you're saying is that by taking on more of the more tangible benefits of adventuring, you are indirectly ennobling me by forcing me to be altruistic?
Sven: Oh, well that's alright then. Say, did you hear something behind us?
With Sven's help, the rest of the dungeon proved little challenge, with his... unique talents helping even the odds in battle and my own skills in spotting and avoiding traps doing the rest. Even the odd puzzle rooms, which required rotating symbols on doors proved no challenge as we finally came to the great treasure chamber.
Sadly, there was little treasure to be had. Indeed, the only thing of note was a strange wall that - when approached with the golden claw - yielded some strange symbols glowing in an odd script. Sven did not react but I could swear I heard voices singing and an odd shouting before the light faded away. Deciding that some other thieves, long ago, must have already looted the barrow, we made our way back to town.
Sven: So that was an adventure, eh?
Me: Pretty much. Except there's usually more money or a magic sword at the end.
Sven: Well, I had hoped to fight more worthy opponents than a few rotting corpses.
Me: Well, who knows? Maybe someday you'll get a chance... hold on, I don't think I've seen them before.
Sven: Nor have I.
Hired Thug #1: Excuse me? Are you Matthias The Bastard?
Me: Who wants to know?
Hired Thug#2: Uh... we do. We're supposed to kill him.
Me: Ah. Then HE is Matthias The Bastard.
Hired Thug #1: Get him!
Me: So long, suckers!
Hired Thug #3: Wait... that weaselly one trying to run looks like the description we were given! And he just called us suckers!
Me: Oh poopie!
Hired Thug #1: Get HIM!
Me: Fast escape.... fast escape... I know! The river!
Hired Thug #1: Did you see that?
Hired Thug #2: He jumped over the bridge and went into the water!
Hired Thug #3: What?!
Hired Thug #2: Just... letting it all run over him!
Hired Thug #1: And he's still standing there! Go after him!
Hired Thug #2: What? You mean... into the water?
Hired Thug #1: Yes!
Hired Thug #2: I'm not going in there.
Hired Thug #3: Me either!
Me: Of course! Bathing! The one thing that no Nord warrior can abide!
Knowing their weakness, it was an easy matter for me to move from the shores, drawing them close before sending them running as I showed them that clean water and hygiene held no terror for me and peppered them with arrows as they ran. Curiously, they ignored Sven after that, even as he collapsed in the street after a meager half-dozen blows.
Me: On your feet, Sven.
Sven: Ouch... so that is what a real fight is like!
Me: Yes. I'm sorry for the ruse but I needed a distraction while I ran for the river.
Sven: Nah, tis fine... though you must have powerful magic indeed to survive the water.
Me: Well, you know what they say about we Bretons and magic.
Sven: Aye. Well, this was fun and all but I think I'm not cut out for this heroing business. And I do have Camilla to think of. But rest assured - I shall tell all who pass through about... what was it they called you? Matthias The Bather?
Me: ... yes. Yes, that's it exactly.