Yngol Storm-Blades Camp, Narzulbur, Kynesgrove: Rigmor hurt, Met Yngol, Got agreement, Stiff coccyx.
If we were going to meet Yngol today then I wanted us out of Angi’s Camp by 8.00AM
That would get us to his camp around 3.00PM.
It was time to see if Rigmor is with us or still in the trance she seemed to be in yesterday.
So I gently shook her shoulder and told her it was time to get up.
She looked alright as she slowly sat up.
She asked about Baa’Ren-Dar. I told her had had gone and that he was finding out where Diamond Ridge is.
Rigmor remembered he was here. That is a good sign. Maybe she noticed other things yesterday.
I told her he wants me to visit a Stormcloak and an Imperial camp and talk to some soldiers who fought alongside her father. That I have papers from the Elder Council asking if they can broker a peace treaty in case the New Order troops invade Skyrim.
She asked if I want her to come. I told her of course I do. Then I explained it was important she come so it will be easier to talk to the men who knew her father.
Rigmor looked alright but a little bit tired. I have no idea why she was like that yesterday. I am pretty sure some soldiers or even guardsman who experience or see trauma can suffer the same thing. It was something I wanted to sit and talk to Lydia about but never got a chance.
I asked her if she is sure she feels good enough to do this and she assured me she was.
I think the logistics of organising a truce like this might take some time. We are unsure of the New Order’s timeline so the quicker we get an agreement the better. For that reason I decided to take a gamble on Rigmor’s health. We can always hole up somewhere if she finds it too hard.
So we had something to eat, visited the privy, said goodbyes once again and left at around 8:00am.
Rigmor was immediately chattier than yesterday. Rocks were chattier then Rigmor yesterday.
The rout to the Stormcloak camp involved going through Helgen. I did not do that when Lydia was with me as it was too soon after she lost Bjorn. I had no hesitation this time.
To my utter disgust it was infested with bandits. I saw some laughing when they found a couple of charred corpses the Imperial clean up teams had missed. It would be no use trying to educate these pieces of shit on how many children lost their fathers and/or mothers. How many like Lydia lost a soulmate. How much suffering and fear and death I saw. So I killed those I could and ignored the slime that hid amongst the rubble.
I watched Rigmor fight a very competent swordsman. She seemed to have no difficulty with him. The last blow was more than impressive. He put his sword up for defence and Rigmor shattered it in two and his face with it. Test passed. She seems healthy enough.
As we exited Riften we were ambushed. The Thalmor had set up a checkpoint. They heard the fight with the bandits, had a quick look, recognised us, hid and waited.
Rigmor and I had fought side by side dozens of times by now. I always gave her healing potions to carry but she hardly ever needed them. Today was the first time she received a potentially fatal wound. I saw it happen. Normally she would have blocked the Thalmor mace but she was a fraction too slow. It glanced her head and brought her to her knees. Her opponent was about to deal the death blow when my arrow embedded itself in his head. There were still three Thalmor to be dealt with before I could get to her. She reached for one of the stronger healing potions but collapsed face first in the dirt. It seemed to take forever to dispose of all three. I yelled out her name and rushed over thinking the worst. She staggered to one knee but could not stand. I cast my strongest healing spell on her and she stood up. It was a nasty blow but I think my healing had fixed all the damage.
Rigmor was annoyed she got hit. She was annoyed I panicked. She was going to lecture me then saw the tears. Quietly she thanked me and even let me fuss over the small bump left after the healing. We then mounted our horses and continued on as if having your head nearly caved in was a regular occurrence.
I can make all the vows in the world to keep my feelings for her hidden. My eyes do not care about any stupid vow. I am so confused as to why she ran away screaming for me to leave her alone a few days ago. I thought I had ruined everything yet she had been perfectly at ease with me since. My only choice is to continue on not knowing the answers to this and many other questions. It is the bane of my existence.
Skyrim is a land of many contrasts. One minute you are in a snowy crevasse.
A mile up the road it is dirt and sand.
Now it is hot springs and scattered ruins as if some cataclysm had wiped out the people that lived here.
Some people never venture far from home. Fear of bandits and wild animals and now dragons prevents them from seeing all the beauty of their homeland. Rigmor had told me one of the reasons she crossed the border was to see Skyrim for herself. Today she had been delighted and notices the beauty I miss. She will point to a rock formation that reminds her of an animal and only then do I see the similarity. Be in awe of the simple beauty of mother and infant animals of any species. She delights in seeing a butterfly of a colour or pattern she swears is new to her. It was memories of such sights around her beloved Bruma and Cyrodiil that helped her survive her darkest days. I am blessed she is sharing these ones with me.
A large dragon lifted off and roared for the fun of it because no words of the Dragon Tongue were spoken. Like yesterday’s Dovah he knew where I was but did not seem interested in attack. I will add that fact to box containing Rigmor’s bear ability. The “I will never ever know” box.
Rigmor startled me by commenting it was not as pretty as the dragon yesterday. How much did she see and remember? Add that to the box as well.
Finally we reached Yngol’s camp. It was many times the size of other Stormcloak encampments I had seen on my travels.
We rode slowly though the stockades and tents and avoided the latrine lines which we could smell and did not need to see. Finally we saw a Nord barking orders from atop a hill. Even without hearing his orders you would pick him as the leader. Nords seem to place great value on being big, hairy, covered in scars and smelly. He was the biggest, hairiest and most scarred we had seen. Smelliest will have to wait till we have walked around the camp a bit. Lots of contenders for that title.
I had to time my hello to fit in with him taking a breath between orders. I am far from short. In fact I am considered huge. That must make Yngol fucking huge. I hope he doesn’t accidentally step on Rigmor. He may not notice till he goes to clean his boots.
I introduced myself and then he made a beeline for Rigmor. I was amazed when he told her he served with her father and that his sword was hers to command. What kind of leader was Rigmor’s father, Ragnar? I did not read much about him before meeting Baa’Ren-Dar and setting out on this vacation but even then I knew of him. Such respect for her father must give some comfort to her.
I asked if he had been inspecting us. He had been warned by courier that we were coming and it was important but not why.
I thought breaching the subject of a truce needed some padding out of our relationship first. I had taken notice of some of the orders he had been barking and asked if they were having problems. Seems Imperials had tested their defences by doing quick charge and retreat cavalry probes. They had made a breech in one of the walls not long before we arrived.
Lucky they hadn’t seen us. We were still outlaws. I don’t think an Imperial cavalryman will wait to hear how mistaken they are before skewering me on a lance.
I asked if he had much trouble with the Imperials from Casius’ camp. Not usually as up to know it had been a phoney war. I felt like asking about all the clashes we had encountered and if I was mistaken about the dead and mangled and injured of both sides lining the roads. Since I was trying to butter him up before I smacked him with the big one, the truce, I kept my mouth shut. Baa’Ren-Dar, I am coming to claim you most respected emissary title!
He says things got serious when “sly old dog Casius Veron” placed his Legion on the border of Whiterun and The Pales. The garrison we were standing in was placed here by Ulfric after advice from Yngol. It is to counter any move by Casius.
So Yngol does have Ulfric ear. Baa’Ren-Dar seems to know everything in multiple provinces. Likely he has a good enough contact and spy network to make it seems that way.
I asked if he knew Casius. They both served under Jonna in the Great War. Casius in the Legion and Yngol in the Nord Volunteers. After the treaty with the Dominion was signed Yngol lost contact with him until they found and rescued him at the Brena River in Hammerfell. They have been keeping their distance but things are starting to get more serious.
Civil Wars do shit like this. Sets friend against friend. Family against family. It is the worst kind of warfare. This one is just plain stupid. Has anybody heard from Talos? Has he appeared in a vision or sent one of his aspects and given his approval? Stated he is happy for the Empire he fought for and loved to be ripped apart. Agreed that Nords slaughter each other even though virtually every one of them on both sides still worship him? You don’t need permission from anybody to worship how you wish. You just do it. If Thalmor are around you do it discreetly. DUH!
Yngol went on to explain there has been a large band of marauders and bandits causing problems locally. His camp has stopped a lot of their activity but he is concerned they have being seen around Narzulbur, a nearby orc stronghold. He sent a patrol to check on the stronghold as he has friends there and they often trade with each other. The patrol has not returned. He was about to go and look for his patrol and wondered if Rigmor and I would be his backup.
I said, “Sure, we would be happy to join you.”
What I was really thinking was that a chance of rescuing his patrol and/or killing lot of bandits is the best lead in to asking about the truce I could wish for!
We mounted our horses, made our way out of camp and through a tiny mining village called Kynesgrove, past a dragon burial mound and soon after discovered his patrol. They had been killed by bandits.
Yngol decided it was time to fix the bandit problem once and for all. It appeared they had overrun the orc stronghold. There were probably dozens of them dug into perfect defensive positions. They had slaughtered the best foot soldiers in Tamriel to do that. What hope have they against us three?
The odds don’t matter to a Nord like Yngol. So charge!
It was a long and brutal fight. They were experienced bandits and better equipped than most. I saw Rigmor scoff down more healing potions in that one fight than all the others combined.
At one stage Yngol went down and Rigmor had to fend off a few bandits whilst I healed him. Eventually there was one bandit left who dropped to his knees in front of Yngol and begged for mercy. Yngol glanced over to the bodies of the orcs he knew and swung his two handed hammer with such force the bandits head simply ceased to exist. There was a loud crack and a fine red mist and simply nothing above the neck. As the body slumped forward Yngol turned to me and said they were mighty fine people and friends. He wanted some time alone so Rigmor and I scouted around hoping there might be a frighted or injured orc we could help. The bandits seemed to have wiped them out.
After a while we approached Yngol and he invited us back to camp to discuss what this was all about.
We made our way to our horses, mounted them and rode back through Kynesgrove and reached his camp without incident. I had been hearing a Dovah for a while now and was thinking a camp like this could prove irresistible to it.
He invited Rigmor and I into his command tent so we could sit, drink and discuss what was so important.
The three of us sat at a small round table and Yngol asked Rigmor if her father ever talked about the war. Rigmor said he never talked about it at all. Rigmor knew he had been a soldier but that was all until his arrest. Rigmor read about him in books but did not want to believe them. The person she knew could not have been the person described in the books. Yngol said the books were rewritten by “scumsuckers” in the Imperial City. They rewrote history to appease the Dominion. Ragnar was a hero, a true hero.
This shocked me to the core. I could believe Thalmor rewriting history. That is one of the perks of being the winner. The idea that Imperial scholars could be ordered to ignore facts and write propaganda is sickening. If ever I became a person of historical interest, who do I trust with my journal? It would have to be people who can’t be ordered to do anything. Self funded and completely independent. Able to defend themselves but not a military force. That is a problem for way in the future if ever.
Yngol said their Beserk army sometimes mad the enemy run without drawing a sword. Yngol surprisingly showed respect for Altmer courage. I think he would be in the minority with that thought. Yngol then claimed Mede betrayed them all by signing the concordat. I have stated my opinion on that in earlier journal entries. He did not have a choice. If he had not signed the Empire would have been wiped out. Yngol would not be sitting there badmouthing him.
Rigmor asked what her father was really like.
By The Divines! She would never have heard about him during that period. Not the truth. He never spoke about himself and Siguun would not have known him then or would honour his wish and not talk about it. As I have said before. Knowing yourself and your family are rights of every sentient being.
Yngol was adamant in the defence of his friend. He said Ragnar was a true Nord. That he obeyed the rules of combat. The accusations of war crimes was character assassination that came after the war. Instigated by Imperial politicians currying favour with the Thalmor.
Rigmor seemed incredulous that the Empire sold them out. Even the Thalmor have not been able to erase that fact from the history books.
Yngol gave the impression that Ragnar helped Hammerfell because they were not done with the elves until they restored Talos to his rightful place. I do not for a second believe that is why Ragnar helped the Redguard in Hammerfell. He is doing Rigmor an injustice here.
Ragnar told his men they can go home of join him in Hammerfell. Yngol said every single man chose to stay with Ragnar.
They spent a year in Hammerfell fighting side by side with the Redguard. Yngol believes that Hammerfell would have fallen is not for Ragnar and his men.
I believe that is absolutely true and since the Thalmor were not the winners that fact stayed in the history books.
Yngol stated the Thalmor hated him for that.
He then wanted to know why I was there. I handed him the letter from the Senior Council. Since he is currently fighting the Empire that council represents I was curious to what would think about it.
Scepticism! Totally understandable. I could not convince him.
Rigmor did by pleading for him to believe her.
It is a pity when those who govern garner so little respect from the governed. It shows they are seriously flawed.
Yngol was starting to piss me off.
He cut Rigmor off with a loud “Enough!” As if she was one of his fucking troops to order around. Then he made her feel like shit by making a pledge to fight and die by her side.
He totally ignored her attempt to correct his idiotic assumption she wanted such a pledge from him.
Instead he showed his true Stormcloak racist persona by not even bothering to pronounce Baa’Ren-Dar’s name correctly. Yngol told me to tell Baa’Ren-Dar that he will have this army after Yngol speaks to Ulfric. He then asked me to give his regards to Casius.
He advised Rigmor to ask Casius about her father as he would have more tale to tell.
Biting my tongue I thanked Yngol and will see him when the time comes.
I needed to get out of that camp. I was thinking of asking if we coul billet the night but I was afraid I might hear one too many racist comments and wipe out half of the army promised to Baa’Ren-Dar. I told Rigmor it was too late, it was about 6:30PM, to ride to the imperial camp. I was also concerned about her health but kept that to myself. So I suggested we go have a good meal, maybe a bath, at the inn in Kynesgrove and head for Casius’ camp in the morning.
I saw relief on her face. I don’t think she wanted a long ride in the dark and another few hours of nostalgia. I think she wanted rest but did not want to admit it to me.
So we made our way to Kynsgrove and booked a room in the Braidwood Inn.
We spoke of many things over a meal. Mostly the sights we saw. I did not ask about her memory of yesterday. It might not have been a healthy thing for her to dwell on. Rigmor is observant and did notice my melancholy as we rode through Helgen. I do not want Rigmor to know about my lack of identity. I did not mention I was there during the dragon attack. I told her Lydia had lost her fiancé in that fight. Tears welled in Rigmor’s eyes for the pain of a women she had spoken maybe a dozen words to. How could I not love her?
Before we settled down for the night I felt compelled to correct Yngol’s claim. I said to Rigmor I believed strongly that her father went into Hammerfell to help the Redguards. I did not believe he did any of his deeds as part of a bid to restore Talos worship. He was called the “Son of Talos” by some and was a true believer. A true believer would want Talos himself to show his desire for such actions.
Rigmor gave me a huge smile and just said “I know you silly Dragonborn. I’m not stupid!”
So we did the usual routine. Block door with chair. Check window. Make sure there is a piss pot.
I was going to turn around so Rigmor could strip to her smalls but she was already fast asleep.
I wrote this journal entry and settled into the chair in my customary spot next to the woman I love with all my heart.
The chair was not very comfortable. I could write a book on the chairs in the various inns and their comfort ratings. This one was making my coccyx stiff. There is nothing worse than waking up with a stiff coccyx and you can’t do a thing about it. Sometimes riding a horse will make a stiff coccyx even stiffer.
I do not know what time I fell asleep. I do know it was with a stiff coccyx.