Ivarstead, Dawnstar, Ustengrav: Long trip, tomb, interference, anger.
Up at the crack of dawn was the plan. Brain said no so slept an extra couple of hours.
Set off for Dawnstar with the same plan as before. Reasonable pace, run away from wild animal and bandit attacks. Unless of course we are getting bored and I think there might be some good loot on the bandits.
It was a very long ride from Ivarstead to Dawnstar but the only time I had to draw my sword was when we decided to pass through Fort Dunstad. It was full of bandits who no longer draw breath. Lydia was a methodical killing machine during that fight and I think it was due to a few saddle sores making her pissed off at the world. At one stage I saw Meeko sitting and watching with his head titled while she beat up on a couple of bandits. I even heard her swearing at one who refused to fall down and die. Very good loot was found. I thanked the dead bandits on my way out the gate.
We stabled the horses in Dawnstar and went to the inn for some food and refreshments before heading to Ustengrav.
On the way to Ustendrav we saw many blood soaked cairns and crude altars. We passed a foul smelling cave that could only be the lair of a Vampire or maybe a Necromancer. It was not our concern so we discreetly passed it without being challenged by any occupants.
When we were fairly close to Ustengrav we went into full sneak mode. Have you ever seen a dog tippy toe? Neither have I because Meeko simply padded silently along.
Our precautions paid off when we surprised a necromancer and managed to fill him full of arrows before he could raise more of the dead. The two raised warriors with him disintegrated on his death. His presence outside gave us a good indication of what to expect inside. I hate necromancers! It is totally unfair when you go to all the effort to kill somebody and they ruin it by reanimating them more pissed off than before.
First thing we saw when we entered was, surprise, necromancers. Killed them and proceeded further in where we came across a pitched battle between necromancers and Draugr. I noticed when we leapt in to cut both down Meeko ignored Draugr and the reanimated. He only likes fresh meat.
There was really nothing worth mentioning about the place except two tests where I had to use Whirlwind Sprint to avoid traps and open portcullis before they closed.
There was a rune wall where I leant the Word “Feim” Fade in the common tongue. Seems I was now gifted with the knowledge of the name of the Shout as well. Feim is the first Word of the Shout “Become Ethereal”. I will have to absorb another dragon’s life force to learn what I need to use it in a Thu’um.
There were also a lot of skeletons which are usually not much challenge except they sometimes resurrect themselves. If you are not going back in that direction you really don’t need to worry. If you are then it is prudent to wait a while to see if any of them get up again. Meeko seemed to enjoy fighting skeletons.
When I finally reached Windcaller’s shrine two things struck me.
First was the horn was missing and somebody had replaced it with a note telling us they are our friend and to meet them at the inn in Riverwood. We were to ask to rent the attic room which I assume does not exist but is code for, “We are the not very happy people who rode for hours just so we could enter a crypt and fight necromancers, Draugr, skeletons and giant spiders just to discover some idiot had taken our objective and is now going to start explaining really quickly or die”. Who else could it be but the scar faced innkeeper who skulks around trying to disguise herself whilst investigating dragon legends. She could not have got past the two areas that required me to use “Whirlwind Sprint” unless she could use the Thu’um. So she either knew or found a backdoor into the place or she could use The Voice. When talking to the court mage in Dragonsreach I did hear her mention employers. I will meet with her and she had better have some answers or I will point Lydia at her. Unneeded saddle sores are a good motivation to shove somebodies teeth down their throat.
The second thing was the writing on Windcaller’s shrine. It was in Daedric runes. So he and his followers are some sort of Daedric worshippers? The way they talk it is probably Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness.
Behind the shrine were a treasure room and some levered doors that led to the main entrance. If you knew how to open the levered doors from the other direction this would have been an ideal shortcut.
We left Ustengrav and made our way back to Dawnstar which we reached just before midnight. I sent Lydia and Meeko ahead to book a room at the inn and order some good mead and hearty meals. I headed for the town apothecary. The light was on outside indicating they were open for business. I purchased the best salve they had and made my way to the inn. I handed it to Lydia whose face lit up. I told her she would have to contort to apply it herself though. She rushed off to our room and returned a while later with a look of relief that was almost comical in its intensity.
We enjoyed a good meal and a few meads and entertained ourselves with graphic descriptions of what we will do to the horn stealer. Meeko growled at some suggestions and enthusiastically yipped at others. Sometime I wonder if he is a human who had been cursed into dog form. No innkeeper or shopkeeper has ever objected to his presence. Odd.
I must emphasise there was never any temptation from me to see if Lydia was interested in knocking boots together. All inns we stayed at provided two beds or two rooms. Just listening to people in general discussion and in pubs and inns it seemed that the pursuit of carnal pleasure was a popular pastime. Deep down in my soul I knew that was ok for normal people but not for me. I was not a eunuch. I had desires. It was not like I had to heroically combat them. I had enough to think about without dwelling on that subject. If fate allows me to find love then my stance might change. It might be a restriction placed by the same bastards who blanked my memory. If I had ever indulged before I started this new existence I do not know.
We retired to our room where Lydia was barely into her nightclothes before crawling into her bed and snoring loud enough to be heard in Solitude. Meeko curled up on her bed at her feet. For a large dog he could make himself very compact if need be.
Tomorrow I will have to hold my temper. I can feel something inside me seething with anger and indignation. I feel it is more than just this wasted trip. It is the same anger I felt at Helgen when I heard about Ulfric’s abuse of the Thu’um. When I heard the priestess of Arkay call upon eight Divine. It is an anger I know could explode into sudden and terrible violence. Enough for now. Let us see what develops after our trip to Riverwood. Something more exciting than new blisters on Lydia’s arse I bet!