Overlook Camp, Dawnstar: View, Dress, Flowers, Name, Song, Opportunity lost.
Today has almost destroyed me.
We needed to get to the North West Camp. From our starting point in Riften that is at least two days ride. From the camp we should be able to find a trail to the Diamond Mine.
So my plan was to first visit Overlook Camp with Rigmor.
It is a bit past Ivarstead so that dictates our route to Dawnstar.
I asked a local in the Bee and Barb and she looked at me and then Rigmor and gave me a wink. Lucky Rigmor did not see it!
I asked the innkeeper, Kareeva, and she said it would save on linen costs if more people rendezvoused at places like that instead of her inn.
Daddy Cat recommended the place! I wondered what he was up to?
Dawnstar was going to be the last friendly territory on the way to North West Camp. For that reason I would not be tempted to go any further even if we arrived in Dawnstar earlier than expected.
Rigmor and I did our normal routine and were ready to go just after 8:00AM.
As we walked through Riften I noticed Rigmor looking longingly at the market. I renewed my promise that when time permits we will visit if for however long she wants.
I paid a stable boy to bring our horses from the other stable as we were leaving from the opposite side of Riften.
Fog and mist covered the countryside. I hoped it would clear up by the time we got to the outlook.
I know Rigmor loves a good view. First day I knew her she wanted to climb some rickety scaffolding surrounded by sheer drops during a snowstorm so we could visit a lookout. We could see the lights of towns and villages. There were flickering lights of one or more torches and lamps held by people moving along the roads. We were above the blizzard so the air was clear. Looking up gave you an uninterrupted view of the stars from horizon to horizon. I now recognise such beauty with an awe I never had on that first day with Rigmor. She has taught me how to appreciate the simple beauty that surrounds us.
The sun soon burnt away the fog and the mist and it was as perfect a day as I could have hoped for.
As we approached Ivarstead Rigmor looked up in awe at “The Throat of the World”. She exclaimed how she loved this place already. How I wish I could have taken her up the 7000 steps and then to the High Hrothgar courtyard. She could have stood at the very edge of the mountain. It was almost the highest point in Tamriel. If she looked up she would see the highest. A place barred to me at this time. She would have looked out and changed what I thought I had already seen. Rigmor’s observations and sheer delight in nature would have provided me with new insights. She would have pointed things out I was blind to and described things is a way that transformed them from mundane to wonders. From that point on and forever, if I visited that spot and looked out it would be through her eyes. Maybe one day.
I hoped the outlook had at least a reasonable view.
This was a beautiful part of Skyrim. I am not keen on the northern parts with their snow and ice and biting winds.
I hadn’t told Rigmor of the outlook until we arrived. I told her Baa’Ran-Dar recommended it as a place we could relax for a while. I got Rigmor’s highest level of approval, “Cool!” I let Rigmor wander around and inspect the small camp. While she did that I grabbed a small bundle from my saddlebag and shoved it under my cloak. I hoped it did not make me look like a hunchback.
I approached and told her there was something I wanted to show her. We walked onto a platform and had a stunning view of mountains, valleys, rivers, towns and I think in the far distance the glistening of the sea.
She expressed delight at the view. I could tell she really liked it. I could also tell something was playing on her mind. She was not as talkative as I thought she might be. She just looked out with a face reflecting some inner turmoil. Where is the chirpy carefree Rigmor I though this place might bring out?
I sprung my surprise on her. While she was visiting the privy at the inn this morning I did something I have not done for days. I left the building she was in! I quickly ran to the Riften market, saw some dresses on display, picked several up and guessed if they would fit her and chose one, thrust some coins with a “Keep the change!” to the vendor, ran back into the inn and managed to shove it into my travel bags just in time for her to return to the tap room.
I held the dress out for her. She saw it and her eyes lit up, her mouth turned into her wonderful smile and she uttered “Oh my! A dress?” So, so worth it! I probably paid many times more than it was worth in my haste this morning but I would pay a thousand times more if guaranteed to get that reaction.
She told me it was beautiful. I told her I remember her mentioning how she used to try them on when visiting the Imperial City with her mother. She thanked me with a quiver in her voice. I knew she was close to tears. Not at my gift, but at the memories of those precious times in Cyrodiil. I urged her to try it on. I wanted to see her wear it.
She went off into the bushes to change and I waited. I was like a groom at a wedding anxious to see his bride appear in all her finery. To Rigmor this dress was as precious as any fine gown as it reminded her of mother and home.
She shyly came forward and stood uncertain as to what my reaction would be.
There is so much I wanted to tell her. That she was the most beautiful woman in the world. That my heart belonged to her. That I would walk over broken glass etc etc. You know, all those cliché soppy lines.
Instead I lamely said, “You look beautiful, it really suits you.”
Rigmor said, “Yeah right! Don’t you get any ideas.”
Oh my wonderful, beautiful, infuriating, sometimes really annoying and always confusing Rigmor. I do not lust after you. I only wish to have what you are willing to give.
I sat and watched her for a while. There was still something she was wrestling with. It did not stop her smiling and enjoying picking flowers, mainly of the red mountain type, but it was there.
She suddenly sat on a tree stump so I walked over to see if she wanted to talk about it.
I told her I knew she would enjoy the flowers. I told her with all the sincerity I could muster that it was good to see her looking happy.
Rigmor said, “Yeah! I’m glad I came here. Ahh!”
Here they come. The thoughts that have been distracting her since we got here. She moved herself to another stump. I sat in a chair next to her.
I asked if she is OK.
She was scared. Afraid her mother might not even recognise her!
I assured her she will. I told her we will get Sigunn out of there.
They were hollow words. I was terrified of what we might find. I did not want Rigmor surrendering to the negative thoughts haunting her. So much goodness has turned to shit in her life. I could understand why she was not brimming with confidence.
Rigmor told me her mother used to be a schoolteacher. How she taught Rigmor how to read and write. Unsurprisingly Rigmor studies fine arts, poetry and song. Her father insisted she learn all of this along with her combat training. It was befitting for a noble child.
Hang on! I did not even know they were considered nobility! Had this ever been mentioned? I am pretty damn sure it hadn’t. It made no difference to how I feel about her. It just highlights what little I know about her. I have told her everything I know about my family. Absolutely nothing.
They even had a family crest. After they were cast down they lost everything.
Cast down is an apt term. They lost their social rank as well as home, freedom and in her father’s case, life.
I wanted to know her surname and asked her to please tell me.
It is Sigunnsdottir, after her mother.
I am not one to make brash impossible promises. There must be something that drove me to say what came next. I know not what.
I announced with all the certainty and sincerity I could muster, “One day we’ll restore the house of Ragnar, and your name, Rigmor Sigunnsdottir.”
I had no time to consider if she believed me or not. I was stunned by what she said next.
Rigmor said she wrote a song for me and would I like to hear it?
Get over yourself Wulf. It will probably be a ditty like Ragnar the Red outlining your ineptness.
“Please, I would love to hear it.”
She stood and was very unsure of herself. I don’t think it was shyness. I think she was worried what my reaction might be.
Here is her song, recorded in this journal and hopefully into the history of Nirn where it belongs.
It is a song from her heart therefore a thing of beauty.
There is a small child lost in the dark, in my dreams, she’s still there.
She had fallen down and she waits. Will someone come? Might someone care?
Her heart, she’ll give you, her love be true. Where’s her Dragonborn, to save her, to never let her go.
What do I do now? Tell her the truth? Confess my love? I am terrified. I thought I made the biggest mistake possible the other night. Does she love me? One part of me is absolutely certain she does. Another part remembers the fear and the desolation my soul suffered that night.
Am I a coward? I will have to think on all this. I simply said, “Rigmor, that was…amazing!”
She was pleased I liked it.
Here is another chance Wulf! Damn, what is stopping you? TELL HER!
I told her, “It was beautiful. Truly it was…thank you.”
And after a few more banal words we were on our way to Dawnstar.
Time for a conundrum.
Two people love each other.
Would fear stop either one trying to save the other from danger?
So you would say that love is stronger than fear?
Here we have Wulf and Rigmor.
Would fear stop either one trying to save the other from danger?
So you would say that love is stronger than fear?
Have they told each other of their love?
They fear rejection.
So you would say fear is stronger than love?
Make up your mind!
What do we do?
Do we carry on and ignore these feelings?
Does somebody have to sit down and tell us how stupid we are and make us repeat those three words to each other? If such a person exists, tell me who they are and we will change course and ride our horses into the ground to get to wherever they are.
I am as certain as I can be that Rigmor loves me.
What if I am wrong and I tell her those three words?
The nightmare scenario I concocted at North West Camp a few nights ago.
Is that worse than missing out on her love if it is mutual?
Of course not!
There could be nothing worse!
So why not say those three words?
The answer is easy after hours of thought on the way to Dawnstar.
I love Rigmor and tomorrow we are going into unknown danger to try and find her mother.
She has to be as strong as she can be.
We do not know the dangers.
We do not know what the outcome will be.
What if I said those three words and was wrong?
She would not be at her best when she needs to be.
She might not have the emotional reserves required if our search ends with grim news.
So there is something worse than missing out on her love if it is mutual!
Rigmor dying or being emotionally destroyed.
I could increase the chances of that happening if I utter those three words.
So I will not.
I do not remember much about the ride to Dawnstar.
Not a word was passed between us.
We were suddenly in Dawnstar, stabling our horses, booking a room at the inn, hardly eating the meals we purchased.
Checking the room, turning around so Rigmor can change to her smalls and get into bed.
Wedging a chair against the door. Pulling up the other chair so it is next to Rigmor’s bed.
Sitting and watching her fall asleep. Writing this journal.
This was all done by a person who had no energy for anything else other than fighting the need, the desire to look Rigmor in the eyes and say those three words.
I love you.
I do not know what time I fell asleep.