Whiterun, The Bannered Mare, Whiterun wilderness: Final memories unlocked, Bounced, Premonition, Confessions, declarations and explanations, Love.
I was remiss and did not mention at the beginning of this journal entry that it was wrote close to midnight on Fredas, 12th Heartfire.
Our luck held and we encountered no hostiles on the way to Whiterun. That was a relief as I did not know what would happen to Rigmor if faced with something trying to kill her. Would she sit passively hoping I intervene? Would she fight back? What with since she refuses to carry a sword?
When Whiterun came into view Rigmor was impressed by its size calling it “huge”.
It was dusk by the time we stabled the horses and entered the main gate.
I welcomed Rigmor to Whiterun and said we would head for “The Bannered Mare” so we can sit and talk and maybe have food and drink.
As we walked past Breezehome I was tempted to tell Rigmor it was my house. We had made a breakthrough at the lookout in terms of her memory and I thought it more important to see what the long ride had done. Did she have time to sort it all out? A visit to Breezehome would have to wait.
Some guards walked past and said, “Good to see you sir. All is in order Thane.” Rigmor wanted to know what that was all about. Nothing really. I am just the 2nd highest ranked Noble in the City was my answer. I told her that doesn’t matter at the moment and we continued on to the tavern.
On any given night The Bannered Mare is one of the most crowded and noisiest inns in Skyrim. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to see an empty table when we entered. Both Rigmor and I quickly sat down and thus made claim to it.
When seated I asked Rigmor if I could get her something to eat or drink. She said no. She was just enjoying the warmth of the place.
I asked if the horse ride to Whiterun has helped her memory. She told me it helped a lot and the anger has gone. She still felt a little confused though.
I told her it would help me if I could ask some questions to see how her memory is. She was happy to do that so these are the “Yes” or “No” questions asked and Rigmor’s answers:
- Azura? Yes
- Diamond Ridge? Yes
- The Altar? No
- New Order? Yes
I asked Rigmor is she remembered what happened after Diamond Ridge?
She answered, “They took me down the mountain. I remember a stream and a huge city carved into the rocks. He had a big argument with some other Thalmor. These guys were different, more important. They placed me in a cell and when they came for me he was not with them. I tried to struggle but they hot me and forced me to drink something. Then they placed a sack over my head. That’s about it until I…I”
This was getting too close to remembering the dais so I told Rigmor we could stop there. If there are memories of the dais they should be lost for eternity. In her drugged state they may be horrific. They would not contribute to making her whole again.
I asked Rigmor why she will longer hold a blade.
“I want my life back. I realize now it was all a lie. How my life has never been mine. Not really. I want to rediscover myself without the point of my blade in someone’s guts. Without blood in the dirt. I want to discover why I have this dream I keep having. What is it she is trying to tell me? I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face again…and…and I want to go home. I don’t want to care about that bastard anymore. I don’t want to be afraid or have to keep looking over my shoulder. I don’t want to live with a killer inside me. To be a chosen one. To be the son I never was or ever could be. I want to be free Guardian. I DON’T WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME ANYMORE!”
I laughed and looked at this wonderful woman with admiration and relief. She was back. She had her own needs and wants I will help her achieve. A huge part of Rigmor’s problems had been this duality of daughter and son. She had finally discarded that unfair burden as part of her recovery. Just be you Rigmor!
I welcomed her back.
All she could say was “By the gods!”
Then she asked, “Why are you here? Why am I helping her?”
I had to play it safe. I did not know if she still loved me. She may have discarded that burden as well.
I told her I care for her.
“And I care for you too, more than you will ever know. I think you know that right?”
Hope filled my heart. Could we finally be honest?
I said, “You told me you loved me once.”
“And I still do. I do love you. I love you with all my heart! Oh my silly Dragonborn.”
I thought to myself that I am her Dragonborn. I have been since the day I saw behind her disguise. That day in Windhelm she let it slip and laughed.
I asked her where we go from here.
What she said next sounded like premonition.
“That is for you to decide when the time is right but you must be honest with me and honest with yourself.”
I did not want to dwell on my suspicions. Our trip to Winterhold will tell me.
I told her I will never let her go again. That I wanted her. That I wanted her by my side
Rigmor replied, “I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be at this moment.”
How my heart soured!
I had to change subject before the blubbering barbarian made another cameo.
I told Rigmor that I am glad we came here. I suggested we just relax and listen to the music for a while.
Rigmor agreed but made a veiled threat about what might happen to the bard if he played a certain song.
I guessed which one. To me it sounded like it was designed to ridicule the legacy of her father.
I asked Rigmor if it was “Ragnar the Red”.
“Pffft! Whatever.” was pure 100% undiluted Rigmor and I loved it.
The bard immediately started singing “Ragnar The Red” like he was looking forward to having a pint sized lady break his nose.
Rigmor shouted a threat to the bard.
He replied, “I’ll sing any song I jolly well like!”
Rigmor was on her feet and on her way to belt some sense into him telling him, “Is that so…we’ll see about that!”
She got halfway to the increasingly worried bard when Vivienne, a barmaid, stood in her way.
Vivienne, unaware Rigmor could rip her head off and not pause, said “Get out, this is a fine establishment, get out before I call the guards!”
Rigmor did not threaten her. She just asked Vivienne to move using her most polite manners, “Hey lady. Get out of my face!”
Vivienne finally realised her danger and urgently shouted for the guards.
One soon arrived and saw the two ladies nose to nose and asked what was going on.
The increasingly worried Vivienne said, “Get them out of here! You two are both barred!”
I thought that was a bit unfair. I hadn’t threatened to stick the bard’s flute up his arse!
Mr Whiterun Guard said, “OK you two, you heard the lady, out you go!”
He then looked at me and turned white. I think he just saw his career and retirement fund waving goodbye. I walked up to him and whispered, “Relax. You are doing your duty and doing it well.”
Colour slowly returned to his face but sweat still glistened on his brow. I would not be surprised if he had to do a quick underwear change after this.
Rigmor yelled, “Hey! This place stinks and we don’t care!” then started for the exit.
Vivienne, showing a total lack of good character judgement, said, “That’s no way for a lady to behave. I am disgusted with your behaviour!”
Rigmor turned and with all the dignity of a Cyrodiil noble replied, “Who said I was a lady?”
We then exited my favourite drinking establishment with dignity and giggles.
The guardsman saluted then rushed off to change his underwear.
I totally lacked any convincing sternness when I thanked Rigmor for getting us thrown out.
She said not to mention it then almost collapsed in a fit of laughter.
I suddenly had this brilliant plan. Rigmor and I could do this at every inn in Skyrim and I would get to hear that pure joy and merriment over and over!
I was totally honest when I told Rigmor she really was something.
Rigmor wanted to know where we were going next. I suggested The College of Winterhold.
She greeted that suggestion with laughter and enthusiasm. She wanted to find out about her past.
I found the prospect terrifying but she deserves to find out what I am missing. Her family history.
We exited the main gate of Whiterun and Rigmor turned to yell, “We didn’t want to come to Skyrim anyway!”
I silently pleaded for the chance to at least gather my books from Breezehome before the Jarl tossed me out of his city permanently.
We started walking to the stables to collect the horses. I thought we would have to stay at an inn on the way to Winterhold. It would have been a fairly long ride.
Suddenly Rigmor stopped dead in her tracks and asked me to follow her into the wilderness a bit.
We stopped on a ridge that gave a view of the plains near Whiterun.
I asked her what was wrong.
Rigmor said, “It was here, the battlefield in my dreams. I remember the walls of the castle. There was a storm. This is the place the little girl brought me.”
I asked her if she ever got to complete the dream.
Rigmor said she never has because there was always something missing. She wanted to know if there had been a battle here before.
There have been countless battles here. The evidence can be seen in the patchwork repairs of the walls and battlements of Whiterun. Instinct, or some connection to timelines like Dov, dragons, have, told me what she was really seeing.
I told Rigmor I did not think it is a dream of the past. It is a premonition of the future.
She expressed her confusion so I simply said, “This is where they will come.”
I immediately saw a flicker of fear on Rigmor’s face and was about to suggest we get the horses and continue to Winterhold.
The fear was replaced by determination and something else that I could not put my finger on. Something was brewing in Rigmor’s mind.
Rigmor suddenly pointed to a small camp nearby. I had not even noticed it when walking up to the ridge. Since I was keeping my eye out for wild beasties who might like us for supper I found that odd.
Rigmor suggested we camp and stay there tonight. She thought being in proximity to the battleground might let her know what the little girl wanted.
I told her that was a good idea. In a cowardly bid to delay Winterhold I also suggest we could visit Casius tomorrow as well.
She laughed and liked that idea and briskly walked towards the camp.
She stood near the camp fire patiently waiting for me to catch up. A burning camp fire!? I hope we are not stealing somebodies sleeping spot!
I asked her if she is OK to talk. She nodded yes and sat down on a stump. Next to it was a chair.
Two things struck me as amusing. First there are never two chairs and Rigmor always heads for the stump first. Second was that fate always provides me a guard’s chair.
I sat and stated we are not too far from the city and should be relatively safe.
I will write the rest of our conversation verbose. I felt it will be important to me in the future. Why? I don’t know. Ask my intuition!
“Yanno, I love it out in the open. Since I arrived in Skyrim I’ve gotten quite used to it.”
So you would rather sleep out here than in a cozy inn?
Just as well seeing as we just got thrown out of one.
It’s dangerous out here in the open, you should protect yourself.
“I know you’re not happy with how I have changed but it’s what I want. Anyway, I got you right? My Guardian Angel.”
(It was not that I was unhappy with this change. I just knew she was still in danger and wanted her to be able to defend herself. As for being her Guardian Angel. I suppose I was. I believe Azura’s interest in Rigmor vanished the moment I saved her precious diamond mine and stopped the stupid jolly green giant from entering Nirn. If Azura is still guarding Rigmor then forgive me for temporarily assuming your role. Also sorry for mistaking you for my wife!)
What if something happened to me like before. Last time we got lucky.
“What will be will be. If I was to die tomorrow, I would at least die happy. I mean, look at those beautiful stars.”
(I looked up and waited with anticipation for what Rigmor was about to say. She sees things through those big brown eyes that others miss, including me. Her childhood stories I have burnt into my memory. Never to be forgot! I know that learning to see things as she does will serve the same purpose. Their beauty will sustain me whatever tasks The Divines set me.)
“What do you think they’re made of? Do you think people live on the moons?”
I thought the moons were made from cheese.
“Hahaha! Come on, you don’t believe that do you?”
“You’re kidding right?”
Rigmor, we need to talk about us.
“About how we feel about each other?”
Where do we start?
“You know how I feel about you and I know it’s probably a one way thing and you don’t feel the same way. We have been together for so long now it seems like forever. You came for me. You were there for me. You saved my life again and again. You awakened me inside. I feel like a woman for the first time in my life. But it’s OK. I’m a big girl now. I can handle it if it’s not what you want. What’s important is you are honest about how you feel. At least then we can move on.”
Rigmor. My beautiful complicated Rigmor. I have been waiting for what seems like eternity to tell you to your face. I love you! I love you with every fibre of my being and soul. Yes I do feel the same way and it is a glorious thing to let you finally know.
“So we can be together? Don’t just say it if you don’t mean it.”
I do mean it!
The first time I realised was in Windhelm. You laughed about how you named you horse after Baa’Ren-Dar. That was the first time I saw the real Rigmor. The one hidden under the anger, worries, memories and pain that merciless fate and its twin, destiny, had piled upon you.
“I knew I had feeling for you after you made me cry. Until then I didn’t know whether I loved you or hated you. When you said I was just a stupid kid I didn’t know what I was any more. On the journey back to Angi’s all I could think about was what had I done wrong and how stupid I was and how right you were.”
(Oh! I was so very wrong that night! I thought I had slipped up and let her know I loved her. That she hated me for it. I did hurt her! Not in the way I thought and my mistake has cost us both. Again!)
Oh Rigmor. I didn’t mean that! I thought…I thought…
(The blubbering barbarian made his entrance and in a big way. Rigmor had never seen me cry even though I had done it countless times within feet of her. I sobbed. Afraid to look up and see horror and disgust as her Guardian reveals himself to be a weak sentimental human. Not the legendary Dragonborn. After I finally gained some control she reached over, gently reached under my chin and lifted my head so we were face to face. I did not want to look. I was a coward like when I went to wake her at that camp the next morning.)
“Dragonborn. Please look at me. Please!”
(I looked and saw nothing but concern and puzzlement and worry flickering across it.)
“Have I said something wrong? Done something wrong? Please, I am sorry!”
(I saw tears starting to well in the corner of her eyes.)
No Rigmor, please believe me. Everything you have been telling me has brought nothing but joy to my heart. I made a huge mistake that night. When you were still friendly with me the next morning I thought you must have forgiven my unforgivable sin. For a while after that I assumed you were tolerating me so we could do what was needed.
“What unforgivable sin? What did you think you had done?”
Can you remember what I said just before you ran away crying and what you said back?
“Of course! I did nothing but think about that conversation for days after.”
I told you I care for you more than you know…
“…and I told you to get away from me.”
I was and am your Guardian. All who loved you were relying on me to protect you and bring you back to them. For that you had to be at your strongest. Not just physically but emotionally as well. We were all worried about what we would find in our search for Sigunn and how a bad outcome might have been too much. That you were not fighting and surviving from day to day just to exact revenge on the Thalmor. That your will and motivation relied on your hope of finding you mother alive. The same motivation Sigunn used all those four years to survive her ordeal.
“Yes, I think that would have been the end in some ways. I would have kept going simply to kill as many of those bastards as I could till they finally brought me down. I would have stopped living, just existing for revenge. I still do not understand what sin you thought you committed?”
When I first realised I loved you I made a vow not to say anything. If you did not have the same feelings towards me then I imagined what harm it would do if I confessed mine. That you would think so much less of a leering barbarian who lusted after you. The disgust you would have for the man who sits beside you when you sleep. The perversions you thought I might harbour. All of that would damage my soul beyond repair. Worse than that was the thought of me being removed as your Guardian. Of failing in my duty to you. I would still have to be around so as to fulfil my duty to The Divines. For they are my employer in some things and can’t be denied.
“So you thought that night I was disgusted at your confession of love? That you had failed in your own vow and duty of care? That I would hate you and ask for another guardian? That you would carry all that guilt and still have to see me while you did what The Divines asked?”
Yes, yes, yes and yes. It hurt so much and when I thought you had forgiven me I loved you even more!
Rigmor, that is a complex thing. The Dragonborn is placed on Nirn by The Divines to complete tasks only a mortal can do. I have freedom but only within the confines of their tasks. I do not know where or when those tasks will be. I am not told what they are. Just when I need to be somewhere. Please can you just accept that for now?
“I understand all you have said my dear Dragonborn. Many other things that have puzzled me have become clear. Maybe we can talk about them another time. Just remember that I love you now and for all time. I know that deep in my heart.”
“After the Azura thing I felt I couldn’t carry on. The burden was crushing me. You were right, the only thing that kept me going was to find my mom…and have you by my side. That I could finally go home. That you might love me.”
And I love you with all my heart.
“Dragonborn…will you lie with me tonight?”
Only if you’re sure it’s what you want.
“I have never been more sure of anything in my life. Wait here, just for a moment.”
Rigmor rose and went into the tent.
Did I think this would be a mistake? Did I have reservations? Not for a second! As I said in an earlier journal entry I am not a slave to lust and a need to experience the pleasures of the flesh. I do not judge those who pursue such things with willing partners. I love Rigmor with all my heart. I know she wanted and needed this for far more complex reasons than lust. So did I.
I waited a few minutes and entered the tent.
Rigmor was sitting naked on the bed with her back to me. I felt she was like that not just out of modesty. I think she wanted me to see those scars close up and in their full detail.
I sat on the bed behind her.
Rigmor, are you alright?
“I am wretched and ugly. How can anyone love me?”
Oh Rigmor. How can anyone not love you?
“My body is scarred…I’ll understand if you…don’t want to.”
Everything that makes you who you are is why I love you so much.
“Dragonborn, are you sure?”
With all my heart, body and soul.
“Oh my Dragonborn.”
Please wait Rigmor. I have something to tell you. I will be but a minute.
I went to the back of the tent and dis-robed. As I was approaching the bed I saw Rigmor take a quick glance back then quickly turn away again. I stifled a chuckle.
I sat back down on the bed and asked her to turn and face me. She did so slowly. Still unsure of her beauty in the eyes of the man she loved. She had her head turned sideways.
It was my turn to put my fingers under her chin and turn her head and ask her to look into my eyes. That was not so difficult as she was trying to look everywhere but down. Then I told her,
Rigmor, this will also be my first time.
“Yeah right. Pffttt.”
What makes you think it is not? Oh, you haven’t seen those stories have you?
They are not true Rigmor. Mind you that stable boy was cute. Should I go fetch him?
I never have lusted after cheap shallow things. You are the only woman I have felt these feelings for. It is because I love you and this is something more.
“I am now more nervous. I thought you would know what to do.”
I have seen dogs and horses do it. There are only a couple of parts to worry about. How hard can it be?
We taught each other.
How to kiss, where to kiss, when to kiss.
How to touch, where to touch, when to touch.
Giggles, laughter and shyness slowly turned to sighs, moans and boldness.
We explored and discovered and loved.
Rigmor’s doubts of her beauty erased by my desire.
When her soul and body told her she was ready, Rigmor guided me slowly.
Pain, a little, soon replaced by need and slowly we continued.
Then we were one.
Then we were everything.
No sound but our breathing, sighs, moans and loins.
No smell but our hair, breath, sweat and sex.
No taste but our lips, skin and tears.
No sensation but the giving and receiving of pleasure.
No guilt. No doubts. No regrets.
We shared our bodies, our souls and our love.
This was right.
This was beautiful.
Rigmor’s peaks were a celebration of womanhood.
Her final one coincided with mine.
As our breathing and heartbeats subsided there was no need for words.
Rigmor turned on her side and I held her close.
We were soon in the depths of sleep untroubled by fear, fate or destiny.
I awoke to giggles. When I asked Rigmor what was so funny she wanted to know if I was trying to stab her with “it” or get her attention.
I asked what we were to do with “it”.
Rigmor thought we needed more practice in case we missed something.
I did not argue.
I do not know what time I fell asleep again. I know it was next to my beloved.