Whiterun plain, Casius’ Camp, College Of Winterhold, Yngol’s Camp: Morning after, Inconsiderate bastard, Noble loss, Let Them Come.
I wrote this journal entry in the early hours of 13th Heartfire
I awoke to the noise of a giant walking nearby. They would never be good at sneaking up on you!
I was not worried about him. They are harmless unless you hurt their mammoths or cattle. They also tend to scare away the normal predators.
Rigmor was still fast asleep with her head in the crook of my arm.
How I would have liked to stay like that. How I would have liked to take her to my home and spend the day practicing. I smiled at how confident we became as the night progressed. We instinctively knew what to do as if it was a dance we had done thousands of times.
It is impossible to describe the love between us. It is pure. It is sacred.
They were on their way. If Rigmor’s premonition is correct we are currently in the middle of what will be a battlefield. They could even be here tomorrow or the day after.
So I reluctantly untangled myself carefully from Rigmor and slowly stood up. I quietly gathered my hastily discarded armour and made my way outside. Is looked like it was only a few minutes since sunrise.
In all the stories of intimate hero couples they get up in the morning after a night of love making, don their clothes and set off on the day’s adventures.
In those stories they never stop for a crap or pee either.
Why let the reality of our bodily functions and icky state after intimacy get in the way of a good story?
There was a serviceable basin and a good supply of wash clothes near the stump.
I took them quickly down to the creek close to the camp.
I made sure no mud crabs were going to attack me in my naked state and had an extremely cold bath.
I donned my armour and filled the basin with water. I took a couple of the cloths and used a bit of water and magicka to get them clean.
When I got back to the camp I warmed the water with magicka and quietly deposited basin and clothes next to the bed.
I looked at Rigmor and as usual I was overwhelmed with how much this woman had come to mean to me. I slowly woke her and told her I will be outside by the campfire. I told her there is no need to rush.
I sat preparing a boring camp meal from rations we carried. The stables were too far away for me to get things from our saddlebags. It was pleasant watching Whiterun and the plains come alive.
Many times during our long hours in the saddle Rigmor would comment on the different birds songs, animal sounds and even the sounds of wind and rain. She was particularly delighted by the variety of frog calls you can hear crossing the strange landscape near Yngol’s camp. I closed my eyes and listened as she had unknowingly taught me. I was enthralled by the myriad noises that have always been there but ignored.
As I was contemplating all of this Rigmor emerged from the tent. She said good morning which startled me out of my reverie.
She was standing over the fire warming her hands. She looked like she had slept in a top inn on feather mattresses and had half a dozen handmaidens to clothe and bath her.
It must be the noble blood. The blood we need to discuss with Jonte in Winterhold.
She might have been disappointed in rations for breakfast but she ate everything before I got half way though mine. She stared at it worse than Meeko would. I gave her what I had left.
Finally I thought she might be ready to talk. I started with, “About last night…” and that is as far as I got.
She looked at me and said, “I did not know what to expect Dragonborn. No romance stories come anywhere close when describing intimacy. I suppose most of them are about “cheap lust” as you called it. I don’t know what to say really. I feel uncomfortable trying to put into words what we experienced.”
“Then we will no longer talk about it. Just cherish it.” I told her.
She came up and gave me a kiss that would melt iron.
I asked Rigmor if she dreamt. Yes she said,
“It was more vivid this time. She was waiting for me on this battlefield. It was pouring with rain. The fighting was over and the dead lay everywhere. She was laughing and skipping through the butchered and cleaved, scaring off the crows. When she saw me she came right over. She picked up a sword from the ground. It was so heavy but she smiled at me and struggling, lifted it as high as she could above her head. Then she shouted at the top of her voice “FREEDOM!” She drew a line in the dirt with the sword and then held it out for me to take. As I tried to take it she held out her other hand, for something in return. I did not have what she wanted so she stopped smiling. Then it went dark. I heard her sobbing again but I couldn’t find her. I don’t know what she wanted. Maybe I never will.”
I didn’t say anything to Rigmor but a lot of it points to the little girl being her. Her father would give her heavier and heavier swords. Rigmor used to be so proud when she could handle the heavier sword like when the girl smiled when lifted it over her head. My guess is the little girl is urging Rigmor to fight.
I was standing looking at my map and deciding our route to Casius’ camp.
Rigmor looked in my direction and exclaimed “I still can’t believe it is that big!”
I said, “Ummm, thanks for the compliment.”
She laughed told me she was talking about Whiterun which was behind me. I felt bits of my anatomy crawl up inside and hide.
I reminded her we were visiting Casius first then onto Winterhold.
We walked to the stables, got our horses and headed out.
It was not a long ride to Casius’ Camp from Whiterun so we got there well before midday.
We met and saw no troops of any kind on the way to Casius. It was eerie not encountering civil war clashes or Thalmor patrols.
He greeted us and of course invited us in to sit and talk.
Casius greeted Rigmor but could see she wasn’t 100%.
Rigmor told him we are going to Winterhold so she can hopefully learn more about her family history.
Casius turned to me and asked in there was something wrong. He could have asked Rigmor!
I explained that Rigmor has not been feeling well due to all she has been through.
Casius said “I see” but I could tell he couldn’t. At this moment Rigmor was a tactical unit to him. A piece to be moved on the battle map. I should have stopped him. It is only because he had been a good ally that I didn’t. If Jonte had spoken to Rigmor like Casius did next I would have cut him down.
He said to Rigmor he noticed she was not wearing her armour or carrying a sword. He did not bother asking why. The bastard just treated her like she was one of his troops getting a dressing down. He told her she would be needing them shortly.
I should have stepped in. Rigmor did not need to give Casius any explanation but she tried. She told him she did not want to go back there. Meaning she no longer wanted to chop people to pieces any more! Rigmor told him her part in all of this is done.
Casius proceeded to lecture her and asked her if she had forgotten about the imminent invasion.
Rigmor said she would leave the soldiers and armies to take care of that. It was not the duty of young girls.
Casius asked, “What if that young girl was to lead an army?”
I asked Casius to explain.
Veterans of Ragnar’s old brigade, the Sons of Talos, have appeared from all over Tamriel and have congregated at Yngol’s Camp. They want to see Rigmor.
Rigmor wanted to know why Cassius was telling her this.
I felt like telling her the truth. At this moment to this man you are not Rigmor, daughter of Ragnar. You are not a young woman who is recovering from severe trauma. You are a chess piece.
Casius rabbited on about how they are her father’s old brigade and how they have come to pledge their swords to her and how they have sworn loyalty to her and her alone.
Kept my mouth shut. I could have pointed out a pledge of loyalty means nothing if not accepted.
Rigmor once again stated clearly that she won’t and, more importantly, can’t do it.
Casius then confirmed what I thought. She is not Rigmor the traumatized. Rigmor the young woman who couldn’t even remember her own mother a day ago. To him she is unit marker on the battle map in his head. He has NO right to talk to her like this. She is not one of his soldiers!
He told Rigmor to get a grip on herself. That we will need these men in the coming battle. That the whole fate of Tamriel could depend on her.
How dare he! The beast wanted to jump across the table and beat the hell out of this ignorant turd.
Then he did the unforgiveable. He asked me, who has been doing the best I can to bring my beloved Rigmor back from the brink of insanity and despair, to sort this out. And he said this as if Rigmor wasn’t even there.
Then Rigmor ran crying telling him she can’t and won’t do it. Then looked at me and said I can’t make her do it.
All this time I have done nothing but support her choice of pacifism. Never put pressure on her except to suggest at least a sword for self-defence.
I’d had enough! I did not use the Thu’um as I did not know if I could control myself. But I can yell pretty loud without it.
CASIUS! SHUT THE FUCK UP!
I told him again that she is not well. Did it take the threat of imminent violence in my voice and the clenched fists to finally get through? Seems so as he got up and went to apologise, after the damage is done, to Rigmor.
Apology? More like another try to get his chess piece back on the board!
Sorry my child. Please forgive me. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Let’s make pretend and you put on some armour and carry a sword. Let’s pretend you are not a badly traumatized girl. Go and speak to the nice men and make them want to defend the lives of every man, woman and child. If you don’t speak to them they won’t help stop that happening. OK?
That is what Cassius is saying. They would feel justified in sitting on their antique arses and watch their friends, neighbours and family get slaughtered all because naughty Rigmor did not speak to them!
Rigmor, in amongst the sniffles, gave a weak, “I’ll try ok?”
To think this is the same Rigmor who a few hours ago shared a life changing experience of joy, love and happiness with me. Who was exited to come here and see Casius. Reduced once again to a sniffling uncertain little girl. Not by an enemy but by an ally.
I walked up and told Rigmor we will deal with that later and together. I got a weak “OK” from her.
I was livid. I had never seen such a total disregard for the welfare of somebody you were supposed to be looking out for.
I told Rigmor I would be right back.
I then went and let Casius know what he had done.
He could see my anger as I approached. He knew I went into Oblivion and faced a God to protect this woman. That she meant more to me than another unit on the battlefield.
I asked him if he had any idea how long it’s taken for me to bring her back.
He still did not get it.
He said he hadn’t realized. Please forgive him. I hope she gets better because we will need her.
How about we wish her to get better because she is a beautiful human being who does not deserve to be so ill!
I told him we might have to do without her and he had better get used to that idea.
I told him if we win and the “Sons of Talos” did not participate I would personally make all of Tamriel know their cowardice.
Then I asked him what Ragnar would think of how he just treated Rigmor.
I turned and left not caring for an answer.
Then he pretended it broke his heart to see her like that but she must address the Sons of Talos.
I turned back and punched him in the forlorn hope that might knock some empathy into his thick skull.
I walked up to Rigmor with my rage still boiling in me. I meant it when I said to her, “I swear by the Gods the next one to upset you like that I’ll cleave in two!”
Rigmor just wanted to forget it and go to The Mage’s College.
So with rage being replaced by fear of what Jonte has to say, we set off for Winterhold.
We were riding in the deep north. Nothing but wind, snow, ice and an interesting assortment of animals trying to kill you. Some wanted to eat you. Others just didn’t like the way you looked or the fact you are still alive.
When attacked by several ice wraiths I had difficulty dealing with them quick enough to keep Rigmor safe. Like other battles I had that day with wolves and snow trolls, she rode Ren a distance away and watched. One ice wraith followed her whilst I dealt with another 5 or 6. She panicked and rode Ren without thought or reason and way too fast for the conditions. As soon as I killed the last facing me I gave pursuit of the ice wraith following her. I dispatched it then used the Thu’um to tell her to halt. That it is safe. The Voice dislodged icicles, caused small avalanches and drew the attention of every beastie for miles. She came trotting and then we made for Winterhold as fast as we could.
We arrived at Winterhold and stabled the horses. As we walked up the main street towards the college Rigmor was amazed the bridge was mostly destroyed at some stage and never repaired. I wondered why as well.
A young looking mage, she could have been hundreds of years old, asked us our business. I told her we came to see Jonte. She gave instructions of where to find him, cast some spell which unlocked the main gates and warned us to be careful crossing the bridge.
The winds were ice cold and very strong. That made negotiating the broken bridge via the narrow intact stretches very interesting.
We made our way to Jonte’s rooms and found him sitting near the same young girl I saw with him in the cave. I would hate to think what their relationship is. Perhaps she shines his wand or polishes his crystal balls?
In that annoying drawl of his my least favourite Daedric worshipper, and my favourite since I only know one, welcomed me and then Rigmor.
Rigmor got straight to the point, she wanted to find out anything about her family history.
Jonte sent Rigmor off with Cerys, the young woman, to talk about family history stuff.
I wish I had somebody to tell me about family history stuff!
I told Rigmor I needed to discuss some things with Jonte and to go ahead and follow Cerys.
The two young women proceeded out of the room and down the corridor chatting like lost friends. I suddenly wondered how many women around her age Rigmor has had a chance to know?
I was pleased that Rigmor seemed to have somewhat recovered from Casius. I hope his jaw still hurt!
I sat opposite Jonte and asked him what it was he wanted to tell me about Rigmor. Since this had to do with noble bloodlines I have written it verbose,
“A long long time ago, 200 years ago to be precise, there was a mercenary by trade known as Rigmor of Cyrodill. She had a pretty uneventful early life, taking petty contracts until she joined an army of outlaws. The very same outlaw army led by the Colovian Warlord Titus Mede. He marched into the Imperial City in the seventeenth year of the fourth era thus wresting power from Thules the Jibbering. It was a sad tragedy then, that after giving birth to a baby girl three years later, she became gravely ill and dies shortly after the age of 38. Physicians attributed her death to the unwanted accidental pregnancy at a late age. Titus Mede was beside himself with grief and arrangements were made for the child to be adopted by the College of Winterhold by Royal Decree. The infant was duly adopted and her belongings kept in storage therein. The child was named Morgan. At her coming of age, Morgan of Winterhold was summoned to the Imperial City to become Imperial Court Mage to the Mede Dynasty where she later became a very powerful influence. Before she left to take up her newly appointed duties, it is rumoured she had taken her late mother’s armour and crafted an Amulet Of Talos from it. She also took a Daedric ceremonial blade her mother had kept as a souvenir to strengthen the bastard sword with its blade increasing its properties. The Emperor would always seek her guidance in the affairs of the Empire. Overshadowing the Heir to the Dynasty, Attrebus Mede. He was fiercely jealous of this foreign “Witch”. When the Emperor died, Attrebus Mede struck. Morgan and her husband, a Palace Guard Captain, were accused of a plot to usurp power. Her husband was slain and Morgan escaped. She fled from Cyrodiil with their only child. Her disappearance only served to confirm the rumours Morgan was the bastard child of Titus Mede I and Rigmor of Cyrodiil. She and her child Morganna were never heard of again. Then one fine day Morgan’s heirlooms miraculously surfaced. The Thalmor had found them buried in a chest, belonging to Ragnar of Bruma. His only heir and her history became known to the College. Unfortunately we were too late to intervene. The College you see, is duty bound to protect and serve the descendants of Morgan of Winterhold. Before she leaves here it is my duty to tell her of her ancestry. The Emperor, Titus Mede II, is to restore her name and accept her family as part of the Mede dynasty. He is also offering her the position of the recently vacant Countess of Bruma, if she desires it. All she has to do is accept it and it’s hers.”
Jonte then said he was duty bound to tell her before she left.
I told him she is too fragile and now would not be a good time.
This worshipper of evil then dared to tell me it does not concern me any more.
Here is what I said,
“I don’t recall any mages from this college helping to rescue her from the temple. Oh right, there was one standing outside guarding the fucking boat! Did your college approach the Torval Embassy with this vital information? Would Baa’Ren-Dar, who loves Rigmor like a daughter, not have assisted if informed of this ”duty”. You hide behind your disguise as a Mage of this college. You and I both know you are at the beck and call of your Mistress. We both know you would plunge a knife into Rigmor’s heart if the immortal bitch demanded it. Are you aware of the Elder Scroll that recently shed light on your Mistress’ “Culling” plan? I can see by the flicker of anger that you do. She was to have one of her followers, much like you, kill every single man, woman and child in Solitude during the brief Thalmor occupation of the Great War. All so she could open a portal to Nirn. Sound familiar? Malacath was only going to sacrifice one to get here. He was going to kill everybody when he got here. I went to Oblivion to stop him. Confronted a God! I could have had anything I wanted if I just let him harm Rigmor. I have found Immortals promises to be binding haven’t you? So you now know how important Rigmor is to me. All of this, my meeting Baa’Ren-Dar, taking on the job of Rigmor’s Guardian, stopping the desecration of Azura’s mine and the defeat of Malacath were foreseen by my employers, The Divines themselves. They outmanoeuvred your Mistress at Solitude by using the Forgotten Hero. They have thwarted the New Order by using a known hero. Me! So when I say I am Rigmor’s guardian it is by authority of Gods who played your Mistress for a fool. It is an authority that surpasses any piece of paper signed by a dead Emperor. I will tell Rigmor when it is appropriate. I swear this by The Divines. I am sure your Mistress will tell you that is a binding oath. If you attempt to tell her I will kill you. THIS MATTER NO LONGER CONCERNS YOU!”
I could see anger but he is not a silly man. He accepted my word.
I have no doubt that if Rigmor goes to Cyrodiil Jonte will use this mage bullshit to tag along. His Mistress did well this time by getting Scourge. She will want to see what other goodies she can get by having her lackey stick to a Nordling with a destiny. Maybe she has already got some inkling of what the future holds for by beloved Rigmor.
There is no possibility of me crossing that border with Rigmor. Currently I am in Skyrim. Unless dragged elsewhere by The Divines this is where I must stay. I have no doubt the dragons currently gathering in numbers will soon be a task.
So less than a day after we finally confessed our love and swore to each other it is forever, I have sworn to abandon it. It will hurt Rigmor. She will limp over that border confused and heartbroken. I have done everything in my power to keep her from harm. Now I am destined to deliver a savage blow because it is the right thing to do. Not because some immortal has demanded it. I know I will do it. I don’t know how I will survive it.
If you ever read this is the future Rigmor, Countess of Bruma, please forgive me.
Rigmor came running into room full of excitement.
I could not do anything but match her mood. I will not waste a second with brooding on what will be. I will enjoy every second of happiness she gives me and store it away for the future. It will be my protection against any darkness to come.
Rigmor wanted to show me something so I followed with enthusiasm.
In a nearby room she was standing in front of a table. On it was a wonderful looking two handed sword and a beautifully made set of plate armour.
Using a not entirely fake enthusiastic voice I asked Rigmor what all of this is and indicated the items on the table.
Rigmor excitedly told me an ancestor, Morgan of Winterhold, left the armour with the college and now it was hers. She wanted to know if I thought it was wonderful.
I honestly told her I thought it looked fantastic. I suggested she try it on.
She asked me if she should.
I could see her concern about anything martial. I noticed she had not mentioned the sword. I told her to go ahead and she can always take it off again.
Rigmor and Cerys took themselves and the armour to an adjoining room. They were still nattering together like lifelong friends. I wondered if Cerys had been deprived of young female companions as well.
About fifteen minutes later their approaching chatter let Jonte and I know the big reveal was about to happen.
Rigmor stood in front of me and asked how it looked.
It gave her an air of authority. It was the type of armour worn by those who want to be seen on the battlefield. It pronounced the wearer as a leader of men. Somebody unafraid of identifying themselves to the enemy.
I told Rigmor it looked very impressive and suited her well.
Jonte told Rigmor it was made by a famous Khajiit armourer called ZZ Jay. That her Great Great Grandmother, Morgan of Winterhold, wore it when accompanying Emperor Titus Mede I on campaign.
Rigmor’s normal armour was flat chested. Part of her “Son of Ragnar” persona. This set of armour did not hide the shape of a woman. That included room for her breasts as well as flaring at the hips etc.
Rigmor wanted to know why the breastplate was thus shaped.
Jonte made some idiotic jest about men wearing cuirass and women wearing breastplates and how you can dazzle your enemy with them.
Rigmor wanted to know if that was true. I had no hesitation telling her Jonte was attempting a joke. That it is a common feature of armour designed for a Warmaiden. I reminded her of Lydia’s armour which is about the same vintage.
Jonte excused us and said he and I have some more business to discuss. As we walked down the corridor I could hear Rigmor talking in excited tones to Cerys. I hope she is surrounded by young ladies at her court in Bruma.
Jonte made some quip about how Rigmor has wonderful innocence and is quite lovable.
I told him I think his Mistress will send him over the border. That he might actually help Rigmor because Boethia wants him to. He did not deny it.
I told him that if I hear of Rigmor’s untimely demise I will blame him, guilty or not. That if I can’t personally hunt him down his face will be with every Vigilant of Stendarr in Tamriel. I told him this too I swear on The Divines.
He slinked off to his room. I leant against the corridor wall fighting the despair that was building. Cerys eventually stuck her head out and said Rigmor had finished changing and was ready to leave.
Rigmor had told me just before we entered Winterhold that she wanted to try and do as Casius asked. I told her she did not have to what he asked. She told me in no uncertain terms that if she does it, it will not be for any other reason than she wants to. I had my suspicions of the real reason.
I entered the room and it was a different Rigmor. Determination, not enthusiasm.
I asked Rigmor if she was ready to go to Yngol’s Camp. She said yes but asked me to carry the armour. Then for the first time she acknowledged the sword existed. I told her I would carry that as well.
We made our way out of the college and across the bridge. I asked Rigmor did she learn anything about her ancestors.
She recited basically the same story I had about her family minus the reference to noble blood via Titus Mede I.
I told her lets go and get this over with.
Rigmor wondered what she was going to say to them.
I told her we will think of something. That I will be right beside her.
We collected our horses and left Winterhold.
It was not a long ride to Yngol’s camp and was uneventful.
I was hoping for some light banter to take my mind away from the hurt I was going to inflict on this most wonderful woman. Rigmor was deep in thought. Probably rehearsing what she is going to say to the recalcitrant “Sons of Talos”. So I started concentrating on how I can help her get through this needless speech.
We stopped at a grassy knoll near Yngol’s Camp so we could discuss it one more time.
I asked Rigmor is she was still OK to do this. She did not want to discuss, just do. She ordered me to hand her the armour.
I gave her Morgan’s armour. No longer shy in front of her lover she started to change in front of me. I turned my back. We could no longer be lovers. If she noticed she said nothing.
I turned when she had finished. It was not Rigmor in front of me. It was something I did not like. Something like my internal beast was facing me.
I told her we could ride on by.
She ordered me to hand her the sword.
This was turning my beloved into something. Something she did not want to be.
One last plea, I told her she didn’t have to do this.
She said she had to and ordered me to give her the sword.
What stood before me was a Warmaiden of old. All the charms of a woman’s form with a killer inside. Her Great Great Grandmother probably struck fear in her opponents by taking the same casual stance. I asked her how she feels knowing the answer would be familiar to me,
“I feel invincible. I am an unstoppable force. A born killer. A widowmaker. A true Nord Warrior and my enemies worst nightmare. The scariest thing of all? It excites me. It invigorates me. It’s all I have ever known and I feel good. But once this is done know this. It will be over! So don’t you ever ask me about it again.DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”
Like a soldier being berated by a sergeant I replied, “Completely.”
The fact is I did understand her. She just described me!
“Just so you know. I am not doing this for Casius or Yngol or even you. I am doing this for my father. It is what he would have wanted. I at least owe him this much. Considering the failure I have been so far. You never know, he might even forgive me.”
I resisted the urge to grab her and hold her and tell her she hadn’t failed. That there was nothing to be forgiven for. I remembered telling myself once that she needed two things. One of them was a chance to feel her father would be proud. This was that chance no matter how wrong her guilt was. No matter that she was once again trying to be a son.
So we mounted our horses and trotted into the camp.
Old veterans soon spotted her and followed her. Yelling her name and telling of their exploits with her father. Many of them should have been at home bouncing grandchildren and great grandchildren on their knees. Boring regulars at the inn with the same war story they have told a thousand times before. Sneaking off somewhere to make love with their wives of many decades. Women who once again have to wait to see if their beloved returns home.
Rigmor did not acknowledge them. Her eyes were on the ledge where we first saw Yngol barking orders what seems like a lifetime ago.
Yngol came out his command tent and saw the commotion. I told him she wanted to come. He exclaimed she truly was her father’s daughter. He ordered the men to make way for the child.
I had my suspicions he would have to rethink his age assessment very soon.
Rigmor stood tall on a platform towering above the veteran’s heads.
I stood further back and to the left. Ready to catch her if she faltered or lean in and give encouragement if needed. Simply look like her batman if neither required.
The veterans were shuffling and whispering and pointing and still yelling out war stories to Rigmor.
Then her voice boomed out and they were silent and in awe of the reincarnation of Ragnar that towered above them. Rigmor said,
“You asked me to come. Here I am! I know you all loved my father and most of you here, sons and daughters of Talos, will have followed him. Fought alongside him with loyalty and honour. You are here today because a new wind blows from the North and on it rides a new danger. Ready to sow the seeds of war. This homecoming is testament to your love for your homeland. This calling of arms my brothers and sisters, testament to your love of our people. This truce, with our former enemy, is testament to the peril we face. For a short time, the enemy of our enemy shall become our friends. From the North a new enemy is coming. Waiting to strike at our homeland. A new danger never before seen where no one is safe. A New Order which comes not to take away our freedom. A New Order comes not to occupy and enslave us. THE NEW ORDER COMES TO ANNIHILATE US! OUR CHILDREN! OUR PEOPLE! TO DESTROY US AND BURN OUR LANDS! TO DESECRATE OUR SHRINES AND TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING WE HOLD DEAR! WELL I SAY TO YOU…LET THEM COME! WE WILL FIGHT THEM. WE WILL THROW THEM BACK INTO THE SEA. I SAY TO YOU…LET THEM COME!”
There was a deafening roars of voices, sword on shields, stamping of feet, clapping and in some cases, weeping.
I expected Rigmor to step up and do herself proud. The courage of this petite woman who just pretended to be something she detests is undeniable. To do it so well shows how much more of her I have not seen and never will get to see. It was a truly remarkable thing my beloved just did!
She turned to me. I could see her reserves were gone. She was pail and starting to shake. I said her name. She pleaded for me to take her home.
She used the last of her strength to mount Ren and start a slow trot back to the grassy knoll. I led and joined in with Yngol in telling soldiers to get out of the way and give her room.
When she reached the knoll she slowly climbed of Ren then ran to some bushes to retch and retch. It was not from nerves. Rigmor found the taste of being a killing machine again not to her liking.
After a while she called my name in despair. It echoed the time I was dying and she was being dragged off to be sacrificed.
I helped her get up and held her close. She sobbed into my shoulder as shook with a myriad emotions. I buried my face in her hair and had to win a raging internal battle so I only shed a minor torrent of tears myself.
She deserves her beloved to take her somewhere quiet under her stars. So once again we can sit and she can fill me with wonder at what she sees. So we could make love if she wished and forget about fear, fate and destiny once again.
The reality is her beloved took her back to the farm. Her beloved would not be taking her back home for a few days. Her beloved would betray her and send her off home without his protection. Our souls torn apart by reality. It is not what Rigmor deserved. It was the best I could give her.
Total silence from Rigmor on the way to the farm. The only encounter was some Miraak goons whom I slaughtered under her glazed stare.
A soon as we arrived Rigmor basically fell off Ren and staggered into the house. I threw my reins to Lydia and asked her to sort both animals out.
I rushed into the house and saw Sigunn and Baa’Ren-Dar and a naked house owner.
I asked Sigunn if there was anything I should know. She went on about Sethri’s state of undress and I told her I would speak to him about it.
In reality I did not give a damn about minor crap like that. I wanted to see to Rigmor.
Sigunn asked about Rigmor and I told her she had been doing fine. That a lot of her memories have returned. I told her I have to see to Rigmor and I will be out again when satisfied she has settled.
I rushed into Rigmor’s room to find her sitting in the dress I had brought her. I asked if she is OK.
She thanked me. Thanked me for being here for her.
I lied to her. For the first time ever I lied to her.
I told her I would always be there for her.
LIE! LIE! DAMNED LIE!
I asked her to try and sleep.
She curled up into her usual position and was asleep in mere seconds.
I was not ready to face trivial bullshit so sat down on my guard chair and wrote the journal entry for yesterday. I tried to write it in the moods felt but it all seemed like another lie. That what I was writing was false because I now know the truth.
What Rigmor and I experienced in that tent was not a lie. It was the most truth I have encountered since awakening.
I finished with only a few corrections to remove the bitterness I know felt.
I looked at Rigmor. I knew that tonight would be the last time I have the privilege of sleeping on an uncomfortable chair guarding my beloved. I knew that whatever time I returned to this chair it would not be to sleep. I would have to journal today. Then I would just watch her breath and try to come up with the easiest way to betray her at the border.
I temporarily left my guard post to talk to the others.