And in that time Matthias did return to Whiterun to rejoin his housecarl Lydia, before journeying on to Riften - home of Skyrim's Thieves Guild...
Lydia: So to recap, while you've been away, you have journeyed to High Hrothgar and climbed the Throat Of The World.
Lydia: You trained with The Greybeards.
Lydia: And been charged with retrieving their sacred horn before they will complete your training.
Me: That's it in a nutshell, yes.
Lydia: I do have one question.
Lydia: Given that you have been charged with this holy quest and that the fate of the world may rest on you mastering the powers of the Dragonborn... why are we walking halfway across the continent to get to Riften so you can go seek out the Thieves Guild?
Me: Hey, if you like carrying 300 pounds of stolen ironwork, be my guest!
Lydia: Shutting up now, milord.
Riften Guard: Welcome to Riften, home of the Thieves Guild. Or so they'd have you believe. It's all lies. They're just thugs... vermin, creeping around the Ratway.
Me: My, that's the nicest greeting I've gotten coming to a city in Skyrim. Now, if we could just go in and see your vermin-infested town?
Riften Guard: Before I let you into Riften, you need to pay the visitor's tax.
Me: Bullshit. Now, let me in.
Riften Guard: Okay. Okay. Keep your voice down and I'll let you in.
Lydia: How did you know there wasn't really a toll?
Me: I heard this town was corrupt. Ergo, any guard being extra polite and talking smack about the Thieves Guild publicly while asking for money for basic services is probably crooked. Looks like we've got a few more of them inside the gate here.
Mjoll The Lioness: Hold there! Have you come to join me in my noble quest?
Me: Uh... which quest would this be then?
Mjoll The Lioness: The quest to destroy the Thieves Guild! As if any organization that preyed on the weak deserved the name "guild"!
Mjoll The Lioness: That rotten Black-Briar family! They're the real power in this city. Them and their gang of rogues.
Mjoll The Lioness: I mean, The Dark Brotherhood may be assassins! But even they have rules!
Me: Excuse me-
Mjoll The Lioness: WHAT?!
Me: I was actually coming into town to sell some wares. I don't really care about your politics.
Mjoll The Lioness: Bah! Too few do. Between the corrupt guards, the worthless Jarl and all the thieves crawling in the sewers, it seems like Aerin and I are the only ones working to protect the people of this town.
Me: And Aerin is?
Aerin: (quietly) Hi.
Mjoll The Lioness: My steady companion. Why, if it hadn't for been him finding me outside those Dwarven ruins, I'd be dead for sure. I was lucky to make it out alive, though I still miss my sword that I left behind there.
Mjoll The Lioness: Why, I'd do anything to hold that sword again.
Mjoll The Lioness: Except whatever it was you were just thinking.
Maul: I don't know you. You in Riften lookin' for trouble?
Me: Just passing through.
Maul: Then pass quickly. There's nothing to see here. And the Black-Briars pay me to keep things from becoming messy.
Me: Messy, eh? You know, I've been known to dirty my hands...
Maul: Really? Go look for Brynjolf in the marketplace. He'll tell you where you can... clean-up.
Lydia: I've got a bad feeling about this.
Brynjolf: You. You haven't made an honest coin in your life, have you?
Me: ... WHO TOLD YOU? WHO SENT YOU? YOU CAN'T PROVE-
Brynjolf: Shh-- easy, easy. Nobody told me. I've just gotten very good at spotting people in our line of work.
Me: Ah. Well, I'm looking for work.
Brynjolf: And I'm looking for an extra pair of hands. I'm going to cause a distraction and you're going to steal Madesi's silver ring from a strongbox under his stand. Then you're going to plant it on that man sitting over there.
Brynjolf: Now, we're doing this - okay? You don't want to know why we're doing this?
Me: If it will get me to a place where I can sell off all the junk in my companion's backpack, I'll steal The Elder Scrolls themselves!
Brynjolf: One step at a time, my friend.