Bael the Thief – part 2: prisoner practice

Step forward prisoner!

After concluding that to be a noble thief I would have to follow the path of a redemption story in my article, Heroic Thief: the process of making a villain a hero, I decided that the opening leg of Bael’s path to righteousness would have to include a descent into darkness.  I had to be a thief for necessity, greed, and not judge Bael during the first parts of his playthrough.

Bael making his escape from Whiterun dungeon

Instead of trying to save-load my way past each bounty applied to Bael after being caught pickpocketing, picking a lock, I decided I would try my luck and submit to jail. Being jailed in Skyrim means you have one chance to get out with your skills intact by picking the lock of your cell and sneaking out undetected, remembering to retrieve all your gear and stolen goodies from the evidence chest of course.

Bael the Thief

Reaching Riften, Bael finally finds a home within the Thieves’ Guild

After sticking to a no-kill policy, and submission to being taken to jail if caught, Bael’s playstyle is one of thievery and instant gratification, sneaking and pickpocketing every ring and necklace he can find, and lock picking his way out of jail cells. I am now focusing Bael on the following skills:

  • Pickpocket: to indulge in the slight of hand that produces riches, with a keen eye for jewelry
  • Sneak: to allow him to remain undetected, hiding from city guards and easily stalking pockets he’s interested in picking
  • Lock pick: to get himself out of and possibly into some trouble, escaping jail cells and retrieving his stolen loot.

Below is some gameplay footage of my favorite early moments of Sneaking, Lockpicking, and Pickpocketing, all being applied to breaking out of Riften Prison.

This is the second installment in my character series titled Bael the Thief, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series, part 1. I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to

Play Professor is the blog of ludologist and video game journalist Andrew Mantilla. You can check out more of his content on FacebookTwitterInstagramand Youtube.

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