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I had forgotten how clean the air could smell, especially compared to the musty rankness of the caverns beneath Helgen. I'm also glad to be rid of the Imperial soldier I helped escape. Hadvar, Hadnot, whatever his name was, he knew the way out and that's all that was important. I kept us both alive long enough to be free and now he's gone to see his family.
Family, what a waste of a word. They're the reason I'm here to begin with. I was supposed to meet an Argonian to buy some quality skooma when I got caught up in a raid and thrown in with a bunch of thieves and traitors. I know my sister sent the guards to nab me. She thinks my skooma enjoyment is an embarassment to our high and mighty family. Now I see that my parents think so as well since they did not try to free me after word had been sent. Fine. To the Nines with them. When I've made a name for myself here in Tamirel, with gold and a title of my own I'll return and see them put in their place. I've already got dragons going out of their way to free me. That's obviously a sign I am destined for greatness. Of course I'll have to harness or slaughter those beasts later - it damn near got me killed. I've got a sword and armor, cheap as they are, and some gold in my pocket. That's all I need for now, well, that and some skooma. I'll find this Riverwood and introduce them to their next Nord ruler, Ralos Ravenclaw.
I follow the path Hadvar told me to use to reach his little town. I've never been in this area before. There is a lot of beautiful land here I could turn into something worthwhile. I could put a castle on the other side of this river, maybe a monument depicting my arrival nearby. I run across a small monument with three stones. Each has a figure carved into it. One looks like a sneaky thief. Perhaps these are tombstones. At least one thief met his just end. The next has a robed figure on it. A mage, most likely. Why would anyone want to become one of those creepy practitioners? Summoning creatures from who knows where? Raising the dead? Reading musty tomes and scrolls for days? Thinking about it makes my skin crawl. The third stone, however, now there's a mythic figure - a mighty warrior brandishing a sword. Reminds me of myself, in fact.
I reach out to touch the carving and a voice asks me if I accept the warrior's blessing. I'm shocked but recover quickly. Even the stones here can see may valiant, heroic heart. I accept and the stone lights up, announcing to the heavens it has found its herald, or so I assume. I take my iron greatsword from my back and whirl through a couple maneuvers as all true Nords have been trained to do. It feels as though the stone has charged me with an aptitude for learning with the blade. We shall see.
interesting. ralos seems delightfully derranged and morem than a little narcissistic. i think ill keep an eye on this one.
Thanks, that's what I was hoping for. I'm trying for a sort of dark comedy. I'll try and work in more dialogue, too, to break up the monotony.
I find out soon enough. Further down the road I run into two wolves, howling at me from above. They leap down and come at me but I am able to deal with their uncoordinated attack. The last I skewer through his guts and hurl into the swift river. Damn, I could have used that pelt. I almost go after it but my borrowed clothes already look horrid and getting them wet I'm sure would only make them smell worse. I skin the other wolf and move on. The short battle actually made me feel more comfortable with the blade, though I can not wait to purchase a real weapon. Perhaps Riverwood would have something suitable.
As I approach, I can only hope there is more to this (cough) town than what I see. Granted, I don't have access to the sort of gold I was used to living with my parents. How much can they charge for a decent blade made here, anyway? I'll just have to make due until the tributes from my followers begin trickling in.
I am barely in the town when a tall, blonde man talks to me. He instantly tells me above his troubled love life. I glance behind me to make sure I'm the one he is bothering with this. Nope, it is me. I choose to ignore his outburst and ask where I can pick up some supplies.
"If you have stuff to sell, the Riverwood Trader's your best bet. If you need weapons or armor, go see Alvor, the blacksmith. Now about Camilla..."
I spot the blacksmith just ahead. I've had enough of this fool. "Yeah, yeah, put it all in a letter or something," I tell him. Under my breath I mutter, "Then send it to someone who gives a skeever's ass." I leave him there to ponder my advice.
I speak to the blacksmith. He is rightfully astounded by the tale of my harrowing escape from a dragon. He begs me to go to the Jarl in Whiterun and inform him of this danger.
"I'd like to," I say, "but my supplies are a bit thin at the moment."
"Take what you need," he says, "within reason."
I seem to have a good reason for everything he offers me. When I eye a shiny new sword on his table he bristles and puffs up more than I like. I inquire how much for a steel greatsword. The lout actually asks for two hundred and seventy-five septims! Does he not understand my plight? Does he not want to be a part of my imminent greatness? I leave him at his piecemeal forge at seek out the Trader I was told about
When I enter the ramshackle establishment, the owner and a woman are arguing. How typical of the poor, I've noticed. Always yelling at each other. To break the ice I ask about their argument with feigned interest. The owner, Lucan, tells me they were robbed. I curse the bandits hoping to get on their good sides. The woman, Camilla, the owner's sister I later find out, actually gives me a wink. To further curry her favor I offer to go after the retched thieves. Lucan promises a reward and we finish with me selling off a few items a picked up escaping from Helgen. I had hoped for some finer clothes to buy but he had nothing but mage-wear. I also discreetly ask about any skooma he might have. He gives me an odd, almost pitiful look and says no. I notice Camilla has gotten up and says she'll show me the way to go. I happily follow her, my eyes glued to her swaying backside. Perhaps I'll show her the way as well.
We walk to the bridge leading out of Riverwood with her talking the whole way. I thank her and she finally goes away. Thank goodness. Unfortunately I notice how late it is and decide to wait until tomorrow to figure out where to go next. I'm feeling a bit sluggish from my day of adventuring and my lack of any skooma. I go back to the inn I passed and have a quick meal of cheese, rabbit, and some warm ale. All right, three warm ales, but like I said, without skooma, I need to drink a lot more and I can't stand wine. Too fruity and it gives me a headache the size of a pregnant horker. After my meal I rent a room and stagger up a flight of narrow stairs to my bed.
The next day I feel refreshed and after a quick meal of cheese and a few apples (washed down with ale), I leave the little town and decide to head towards Whiterun. I'll inform their Jarl of the dragon and maybe get a reward. My chances for scoring some skooma are also much better since it should be a bigger town.
On the other side of the bridge I spot a mudcrab scurrying around in the water. I make short work of it, though it manages to put a new tear in my pants. I cut off its claws for later to make a soup. I also spot some mushrooms growing on a nearby tree stump. I had heard rumors of some mushrooms had special effects on people and thought I would give these a try. I tasted one. Not bad, but it only made me light-headed and caused me to see in blue for a moment. Bah, not worth it.
Around the first bend I am attacked by a monstrous, slavering wolf. He got in the first strike since I had no warning. The heavy armor I picked up from Alvor's home helped keep the damage down and I finish off the beast with two swift blows to the head. One pelt heavier, I move on to Whiterun. Nearly there I come across a meadery. Now we're talking! I venture in but the scoundrel wants over sixty septims for a single bottle!
"Good luck with that," I tell him angrily and leave. "I hope your place becomes infested with skeevers!" I yell once I'm outside.
This neighborhood is terrible. Besides the crooks selling mead, a little further down the road I see a gang of ruffians attacking a giant. I have no love for the pasty, smelly creatures, but four or five against one? I would have taken him on myself but they killed him too quickly. Cowards. Thieves and cowards, that's all I see...wait. Could it be? A khajiit caravan?
I pick up my pace and sure enough there is a khajiit trader outside of the town. I ask the main trader, Ri-saad, but it's a silly question. Of course they have skooma. I buy all I can afford, three bottles, and continue towards Whiterun. I'll have to make these last. Back home I would go through three in a day. I suddenly realize as I down one bottle immediately that I'm going to have to get more money and get it fast. I could have the best weapon in the world but it won't matter if my hands are shaking too much to hold it.
TTTG, this is really good. Curse you!
I'm reading most of these now, playing and writing one (which involves a ton of reading in game)... my eyes are gonna fall out.
Camilla has gotten up and says she'll show me the way to go. I happily follow her, my eyes glued to her swaying backside. Perhaps I'll show her the way as well.
"Yeah, yeah, put it all in a letter or something,"
I could have the best weapon in the world but it won't matter if my hands are shaking too much to hold it.
All great. = ) Superb even. Keep up the good work man.
Remember: IamI3rian told ya
Blank spaces... the anti spoiler tag. [___________________]
I appreciate that IamI3rian. There's nothing like it when everyone works towards making their own efforts better just for the fun of it.
The guard at the main gate gives me a line about dragons flying around so the town's closed. I'm enjoying my skooma buzz so his brashness does not bother me as much as it should. I inform him I have news for the Jarl about the dragons. He lets me in but with a warning to watch myself. I'm in a good mood, but his insolence is testing that.
After spending most of my money on skooma, I didn't bother looking for any shops. I'll just have to meet the Jarl dressed as I am. Perhaps I'll run into him later after I've found some suitable clothing and I'll have another chance to impress him. Whiterun is at least impressive inside the gates. I stop at the blacksmith's shop to get an idea of her prices. Outrageous! Especially made by a woman! I try unsuccessfully to control my laughter. Despite this she asks me to deliver a sword for her to her father in Dragonsreach. The work she does is tolerable, I suppose, definitely better than what I have now.
"I'll do it," I tell her. Eventually, I tell myself.
I ask for directions from a guard to the Jarl's residence. With his closed helmet he sounds just like the last guard I talked to. His directions take me through the entire town. I like the bustle of the market area but some priest near a fountain needs to calm down a bit. He is going to burst something yelling like that.
At the top of the stone steps I come to Dragonsreach. I like the view here. I may use this for my command base once I'm established as their ruler. The place is huge. You could fit a dragon in here! Inside I'm stopped by an elf waving a sword at me.
"The Jarl is not seeing visitors today," she says.
I place my fists on my hips. "Tell him I have news of his dragon, servant."
"That explains why they let you in. The Jarl will want to hear of this."
You? What did she mean by that?
I tell the Jarl about the dragon's attack on Helgen as Ulfric was about to be executed. His concern seems to deepen about some war. His advisor, the one I'm supposed to give the sword to, squawks about something but he is put in his place by the Jarl. I like this Balgruff. He knows how to control his people. He turns back to me and gives me an outfit of studded armor form his personal stores. I thank him and just as I'm leaving he wants me to talk to his court wizard about a task. As much as I loath mages, I follow in the hopes it will lead to some quick coin.
In the mage's lair the first thing I notice is a huge map with red and blue pins stuck in it. These must pertain to that war Balgruff was talking about. I had no idea Tamirel was so vast. I may have to make use of these Jarls to oversee the tedium of administration.
The wizard speaks first as I approach. "You must be the one the Jarl has told me about."
My fame preceeds me. Despite his attempt at flattery I don't trust him. Why must he keep half his face hidden behind that cowl? A wanted man, perhaps, or maybe he is disfigured by some experiment gone wrong. I won't turn my back on this one.
"I am the one everyone is talking about," I admit. "What do you need?"
He begins to tell me of a simple task, but then he must have seen the hard look I was giving him and changed his tune, admitting it is actually a dangerous endeavor to retrieve an ancient artifact.
"Just tell me what it is and where to go."
Once he realizes that the mention of danger only made it irresistible to me he supplied me with the details. I was surprised of the mention of Bleak Falls Barrow again. It seems fitting that a mage would know all about a refuge for bandits and other lowlife. I nod and leave the room without another word. I did not leave immediately, however. Everyone was busy and not caring that I was lingering so I decided to take a look around. I bump into some brat who not only does not apologize, but calls me a wanderer here to lick his father's boots. My skooma buzz saved the lad's life. If he is the Jarl's son then I'll eat the next skeever I see. I suspect Balgruff's adviser is doing more than laying out plans with the Jarl's woman.
I notice not much is locked in the castle so I assume whatever there is is fair game for the residents and visitors. Of course they want their people to look their best so I fine some fine clothing in different wardrobes. Now I feel respectable enough to talk with Balgruff and be taken seriously. The extra coin and food I find is nice, too. Hopefully the Khajiits will still be there when I leave. I decide to eat before heading back to Riverwood. The barrow seemed an easier route from there.
I stop at the Bannered Mare and take the only empty seat. I order some cooked beef, some ale, and a sweetroll. I manage to choke down the overcooked meat with the help of the stale ale then the bard by the fire begins a song about some ugly red haired fellow. We all had a good laugh at the end but when I turned back around my laughter turned to rage. I leapt from my stool.
"All right, who stole my sweetroll?"
Infuriated, I left the inn without leaving a tip. The nerve of these peasants. On my way out I am stopped by a guard.
"Let me guess," he said, "Someone stole your sweetroll."
I could almost see him grinning inside his stupid helmet. He walks away and I down another bottle of skooma to stop my eye from twitching.
Outside the Khajiit is stilll there so I buy his last three skoomas and trek back to Riverwood. I am tired and still a little angry so I check in at the inn and go to right to sleep to be well rested for tomorrow.
In the morning I eat a breakfast of bread, cheese, and a rabbit I managed to catch last night coming from Whiterun. It was early and still a little dark so the patrolling guards were carrying torches as they walked around. Alvor was asleep so I helped myself to his grinding stone and workbench and improved my equipment. Adrianne's blade sharpened nicely. I may be using this for a while. My destiny is more important than decorating his wall.
I crossed the raging river and after a short walk through the woods, find the path leading towards the barrow. I spot a watchtower and slow to a crawl. I can see a filthy bandit standing by the doorway with his arms folded, probably sleeping. I better not risk sneaking by since it's not the best thing I do. I string my longbow and take aim at him. The arrow strikes him in the chest but I must have missed his vitals. He shouts at me, rousing his fellows, then comes charging with an axe. I put my bow away quickly and draw my sword. I inch backwards down the path to limit how many can come at me. The bloody bandit takes a wild swing which I block. I smack him in the face with the pommel which staggers him. I bring my sword down on his neck and he is done. I take a step and an arrow lands in my hip. It does more damage than I would have thought. I can't let him get any more of those shots in. I charge him, weaving through the hard-packed snow until I'm within range. He's still trying to shoot me when I run my sword through his gut, lifting him in the air and throwing him back down. For the first time I notice it's actually a woman. Is there such a shortage of men here that women have to fill in their ranks? Who's in the kitchens? I wipe my blade on her fur armor but then hear another arrow strike me in the back. I turn and run for cover behind a tree. I spot the thief firing from the bridge to the tower. Now that I'm aware, I can tell this one is a woman also. No matter. Act like a man, die like a man.
I let one more arrow fly by me and I charge the wench. She manages to get one shot in before I reach her. She dodges my first swing by running into the tower. She pulls a dagger.
"You picked the wrong day to get lost, friend," she hisses.
I laugh and land one powerful blow at her chest. She already drops to the ground. I get behind her and expose her throat to my sword.
"How many more of you are there?" I demand. "Tell me and I'll end your life quickly, thief."
I can see the fear of me in her eyes, as it should be. She gurgles, "Seven," then goes limp before I can show my mercy. The battle has left me wounded but energized. I search the tower, turning up some coins, food, and a ruby hidden in a chest at the top. I take the arrows from the bandits and add them to my quiver. The weapons and armor I take from them and stash in a barrel to retrieve later for extra coin. Let their bodies feed the wolves.
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