Skyrim Wilderness, Whiterun Plains, Skyrim Wilderness, Casius’ Camp: Ambushed, Late arrival, Battle for Whiterun, Rigmor arrives, Victory, Rigmor injured, Ride to Casius’ Camp.
This journal entry was written just after 1PM 17th Heartfire.
I left the farm and headed for Whiterun and war at about 11:00PM on the 13th Heartfire.
Lydia is one of the finest warriors I have seen. Meeko a vicious opponent. Angi is brilliant with her bow. Tendril Sethri is a competent mage.
These are the few I had entrusted with the safety of Sigunn, Sorella and my beloved Rigmor.
There was a dragon attack on the farm when we first arrived days ago but I singed it with lightning and it had not returned.
There were scout patrols all over Skyrim roads looking out for New Order troops.
So why did I feel so anxious about Rigmor?
The fact is, apart from when I was dead and she was dragged off to be sacrificed and had to be rescued, I have been constantly by her side as her Guardian for twenty four hours per day for weeks.
It was so foreign to me to entrust that duty to others.
Rigmor, the most brilliant two handed warrior you can imagine, refused to wield a sword. She would have needed as much protection as eight year old Sorella. That is what I thought when I left her asleep.
She will be alright! If I kept saying that mantra over and over during the hours of riding to Whiterun I thought I might start believing it. It didn’t work.
Even in the middle of commanding an army the last vision I had of Rigmor, asleep with Jenny the doll beside her, kept jumping the queue to become my pre-eminent thought.
I was riding Blaze. He is a beacon to anybody looking out for the Dragonborn. That is why I wanted to ride him in battle. The more enemies trying to kill me the less enemies trying to kill our troops. I also expected some enemies to fear me as some mythical, unstoppable killing machine.
Those made up stories of my exploits were actually good propaganda. The real exploits of those leading the Skyrim army were even better. Yngol and Cassius were legends from Thalmor nightmares come to life.
What I should have done is ride Dogmeat to Whiterun and summoned Blaze there. The poison dart that hit me in the neck from a hidden assassins’ blowpipe was my punishment for being stupid.
I am large even for a Nord. I am in perfect physical shape. I have dragon blood and dragon soul. I am also one of most stubborn bastards on Nirn. For these reasons the poison did not take me down immediately.
I felt the sting and instantly removed the dart from my neck and stared at it. I threw it aside as I heard swearing and then a scramble for horses. I could feel the poison burning through my body. Getting a ride in my bloodstream so it could reach organs and start doing its damage.
I quickly formulated a plan. I was on a fairly straight bit of road with an embankment on the right. I galloped as fast as I could for a while and put distance between myself and those still scrambling to mount their horses. I stopped Blaze and sort of melted off him onto the road. I staggered to my feet and cast a spark spell which I aimed at his rump. He ran off whinnying and snorting and carrying on like somebody just hit his rump with lightning. Not quite lightning but it would have stung.
I staggered to the right side of the road towards the embankment. I would like to say I gracefully made my way downhill and used my elite skills to find a perfect hiding spot. The fact is I immediately lost my footing and did several somersaults before sliding along my back and coming to a very quick halt when I smashed sideways into a tree.
I was not overly injured but the poison was winning the battle against my body.
A couple of horsemen thundered by in pursuit of what they thought was me riding Blaze. That allowed me to have an idea of how far I had bounced and slid. Bruises to be expected, if I lived.
Two men on foot soon followed the galloping pursuers and were arguing loudly. One said he paid a fortune for that poison from Festus. That the old bastard promised even the legendary Dragonborn would be asleep in seconds. The other said they should have just used the deadly poison instead and collected the reward from Astrid without suspicion. The other argued the Thalmor paid more and they were promised my body anyway so Astrid would never know. The other argued that they would probably be joining the Dragonborn as corpses as that is the way filthy elves work. The first asked if they had used the right vial. The other said he thinks so. Was it green for dead and blue for sleep? I dunno, can’t remember said the other.
I am not sure if it was their increasing distance or my decreasing consciousness but their voice started to fade away. I used the last of my strength and unsummoned Blaze. I could do that from any distance. I did not want them catching him. He has an inbuilt ability to explode into a huge fireball if cornered. I can also direct him into the middle of a pack of enemies and remotely set him off. The only trouble is he comes back unscathed but anything in bags and satchels is not so lucky. I might need my medications in those bags.
As everything went dark I had several quick thoughts. I hope those idiots used the right vial. Astrid is dead. Rigmor, thanks for the wonderful day but you really shouldn’t go running into the forest like that….
I came slowly back to conscious. My head felt like Yngol had hit me with his hammer and it was still ringing like a bell. My mouth felt like some furry animals had mated on my tongue and were enjoying a post coital snooze. If you can’t picture that feeling you are a lucky individual!
Despite protests and arguments for and against I finally persuaded my eyelids to open. No blinding flash of pain! Good! I was not delirious and did not thing Azura was my wife.
Looking up at the stars I estimated I had lost probably two or three hours. There was no sound of the assassins looking for me.
I slowly made my way up the embankment and had a look in both directions. It looked clear and I had to take the risk anyway. I summoned Blaze and quickly looked though the saddle bags till I found the restoration potions I had for emergencies like this. I swilled one down and although it tasted revolting it was better than my tongue.
The potion worked quickly and I thought I was OK till I tried to climb into the saddle. Then I remembered sliding sideways into a tree at high speed. I cast heal on myself and climbed into the saddle with no problems. Blaze showed no ill feelings toward the rump zapper. He showed the same emotions as a rock which is normal for him.
I had no ideas if the assassins were still looking for me or thought I had got away or just given up. Yngol said that he expected the battle to commence about 6:00AM. If I pushed I was still going to get to Whiterun later than that. So I rode absolutely recklessly with head down and no intention of stopping.
I reined Blaze outside Whiterun stables at about 6:30.
Whiterun was not on fire so that was good! I heard some distant horns but they were using a melody unfamiliar to me. Not the standard attack and retreat etc of the Imperials or Stormcloaks. Foreign troops then!
I rode through the place the Khajiit caravan parks itself when visiting Skyrim and saw the unmistakable shape of Yngol and his poor horse towering over Casius just ahead. I trotted up and stopped blaze between them and unsummoned him. Oohs and ahhs from some soldiers.
Yngol asked why I was late. I just said “Dark Brotherhood tried to kill me near Helgen.” Casius said, “Pricks!” Yngol just laughed.
The weather was as Rigmor’s premonition predicted. It was gloomy, raining and thunder rolled in the distance.
I am certain that day has been fully documented with precise order of battle, casualty lists, field citations etcetera for each major clash.
I am certain that anything I write here of tactics and strategy will already have been written, discussed and filed away for future military students to use.
I am certain the name “Guardian General” would be erased from history and “Dragonborn” put in its place.
I am certain artistic licence will be used to glorify the death, terror, blood and guts of each battle.
For these reasons I will be brief in my prose of today’s events.
Captain Quintus introduced himself and briefed me on enemy numbers and deployment.
On the battlefield in front of me the enemy order of battle was:
- 1 x Bosmer Auxiliary Battalion
- 1 x Orc Mercenary Brigade
- 1 x Detachment Dunmer Archers
- 1x New Order Infantry Division
Units not in the field at battle commencement but could have been used as enemy reinforcements were:
- 1 x Orc Mercenary Brigade. On the Pale border and opposite Casius’ camp.
- 1 x Bosmer Auxiliary Archer Company. Dug in at Dragon Bridge.
- 1 x Bosmer Auxiliary Infantry Company. Dug in at Dragon Bridge.
The deployment of those enemy troops prevented any Solitude and Windhelm forces attacking the rear of the main New Order battle group. If the enemy deployed them as reserves they would have needed to overrun us and the Whiterun defences quickly before troops from those cities arrived. If the enemy did that and occupied Whiterun the fight for Skyrim would essentially have ended.
Scouts and Runners had been placed all around Skyrim to detect and report enemy troop movements. If the enemy detachments in Dragon Bridge or on the Pale border moved towards this battlefield we would have some warning before their arrival.
We had a choice of attack or defend.
Sitting and defending is what the New Order command would have expected. Their tactic would be to engage us with everything but the Bosmer Auxiliaries. Their numerical advantage would pin us down and restrict our movement. This would allow the Bosmer’s to flank us on the left. The pressure of two battle fronts would most likely make our position untenable. A controlled withdrawal into the city would have occurred. I though it very unlikely either the Imperial or Stormcloak troops on the field would be routed. The cost in troop casualties on our side would have been high.
The defensive option would also mean a more protracted battle providing a better chance for the Bosmers from Dragon Bridge to arrive and add to the flanking manoeuvre. Although a route of our troops was still unlikely a tactical withdrawal would have resulted in even more casualties.
Although a Skyrim shield wall is a formidable defensive unit, the Stormcloak troops at our disposal made it an even better offensive unit. Yngol’s reputation as well as the fear his men instilled in Thalmor more than compensated for our numerical disadvantage. The enemy deployment indicated an attack from us was far from expected. A slightly different deployment would have reduced the effectiveness of our offensive ability.
The New Order command would have considered us attacking a remote chance. What they would not have considered is my two sub commanders having a preference for and extensive experience in attack stratagem.
If Yngol’s troops attacked and kept the enemy units pinned we could use the strength of Casius’ Imperial troops to our advantage. They were also a formidable defensive unit, especially if behind fortifications. Each individual Imperial soldier is a highly trained and versatile killing machine. Capable of both unit tactics, such as a shield wall, and skirmishes. When the fighting is heavy and the fog of war is over the battlefield Imperial troops are unsurpassed. They have an instinctive ability to work as a cohesive unit and instantly take advantage of any breach in enemy defences. They do this without the need for constant orders from their officers and sergeants. They flow across battlefields like a flock of birds. They change direction almost as one like a flock can do. Although there were many ex Imperial soldiers amongst the Stormcloaks, the strict discipline of an old fashioned Skyrim shield wall wasted some of their ability.
If Yngol pinned down the enemy units by attacking, Casius could use the speed and discipline of his troops to breach their defensive lines and threaten the Dunmer archers. Imperial footmen against Dunmer archers would not be a pretty sight. I doubt the Dunmer would maintain ranks for long. If just one enemy unit routed there would be a ripple effect. Skyrim’s forces would be thrusting swords in enemy backs more often than their bellies. We would have the field.
The weather meant the ground could have turned into a quagmire and that would have severely reduced the Imperial troops’ effectiveness. If we were going to go offensive it had to be decided rapidly.
The biggest disadvantage of attacking was no option of retreating into Whiterun if the Bosmers from Dragon Bridge joined the battle. Our troops could be facing two fronts with either option. Defence would result in one ahead and one to the left with the choice of retreating back to Whiterun. Offence would result in one ahead and one behind removing the option of retreating to Whiterun. Yngol’s troops would have to go back to back shield walls and have no mobility at all. Casius’s troops could still break through but that would leave Yngol in danger of a third front appearing.
This sort of decision is why generals have white or no hair. Whatever tasks The Divines have for me, I hope none of them involve making decisions on a battlefield again. What stratagem I chose at that moment could have negatively impacted the lives of every man, woman and child in Skyrim. If we lost I would be responsible for countless Ragnars, Sigunns and Rigmors.
No wonder they volunteered me to be the hero spoken of adoringly in ballads or cursed by families being tortured and slaughtered. I can imagine General Tullius breathing a sigh of relief he dodged this responsibility. I wonder if he even realises he was a few seconds from witnessing my head rolling around in that basket at Helgen.
Casius asked if Rigmor was with me. I noticed he tenderly rubbed a bruise on his chin as he did so. I told him that Rigmor, against my advice, had addressed the “Sons of Talos” as he had harassed her to do. That is was one of the most courageous acts I have ever seen. How it moved many of those listening to tears with its impassioned plea for them to defend the people of Tamriel. I told him of how ill that made her and how she cried on my shoulders for many minutes. How it made it even less likely that she would participate in the battle.
I made this clear to both Casius and Yngol. If the “Sons of Talos” did not help defend the people of Skyrim because a young woman was too ill to fight I would regard them as traitors to the people and an insult to Ragnar. That it would also mean that Rigmor’s impassioned plea, despite its brilliance, was ignored and the grief it caused her meaningless. If we won and they had sat on their old arses safe in Yngol’s camp I would not stop till every one of them was recognised as the coward they had become. A much smaller token force in Yngol’s camp would have sufficed to keep the Orc Brigade occupied. Any honour they gained under Ragnar’s leadership would be erased by my wrath.
Yngol went to protest but Casius put his hand on his shoulder and shook his head. They both knew I was right in that matter. For fuck’s sake Yngol, you witnessed the speech!
Captain Quintus pre-empted my choice by advising I stay at Field Command till after I ordered Casius to advance. I think he recognised there was only one that nullified the New Order’s numerical advantage.
I ordered Yngol to attack.
Casius and Yngol traded some good hearted banter. I remembered Helgen when Ralof was visibly hurt by Hadvar’s harsh words. I looked at the Imperial and Stormcloak soldiers standing side by side. These men are to face each other over a battlefield in the near future. Why? Talos never told anybody he was upset over the White Concordat. Ulfric the Great Unwashed knows better than The Divine himself what is righteous? He doesn’t and will cause countless deaths for a mute cause.
I told myself I would tackle the civil war, task of The Divines or not, after we survived today’s enemy.
Yngol mounted his poor horse and rode to join his troops. His voice was clear and loud over the battlefield as he ordered his men to advance and give the enemy hell. I think a few New Order troops had virtually surrendered and/or soiled their pants by the time he had finished his command.
Prior to Yngol’s booming voice the battlefield had been almost peaceful. A few whinnies and neighs from the many types of horses present. Thunder and rain. The creak of leather armour and clink of metal harness. It was the calm before this new storm.
The roar of Yngol’s men was loud and primal. The noise of bashing weapon on shield a new form of thunder. Then the clash of arms. If this narrative started to sound like one of Casius’ tales of glorious battle this is where it differs.
Even from this distance and above the metallic sounds of weapon on weapon and weapon on shield came the real symphony of war. Plea for mercy loudly expressed and violently ignored. Primitive grunts of soldiers wielding weapons with all their might. Dull thuds as weapon met flesh. Screams that continued for minutes or only seconds. Nearly all were terminated in a squeal of pain. The call for loved ones as imminent death or numbing fear made soldiers of both sides realise what is really important. Unlike the glorified and censored accounts of battles there was no time to chant moral boosting battle songs or for officers to stand on their stirrups and urge troops on with stirring words.
Every person on both sides was too busy killing or being killed to worry about making the battle glorious and pretty and suitable for children’s bedtime stories.
A Stormcloak runner approached me. He told me the Bosmer had left Dragon Bridge and were advancing towards us. I thanked him for his courage and asked that he return to the scouts and keep me informed of the situation.
The time required for us to win this battle was now my major concern. We had to do it as quick as we could and well before the Bosmer arrived.
I told Casius to attack. That we needed the proverbial “serpent’s head” swiftly cut off and displayed for the enemy to see. No quarter was to be given. Unmatched Imperial skill and merciless death should be what the New Order troops face and I expected him to deliver.
He told me it would be his honour to do so.
Casius’ voice was also loud and clear even over the din of battle. As he ordered his troops to advance I heard commands from further away. The New Order commanders were scrambling to adjust to being defenders rather than attackers. I have no doubt that they thought their imagined intellectual superiority would manifest itself on the field of battle and us lesser beings would surrender or die.
Surprise! It is a wonder they don’t choke on their own arrogance.
I wish I was closer and could keep an eye out for Tilar. I would love to do an individual charge and mow him down in front of his rabble.
I looked at the non Thalmor troops and wondered what motivated them. They did not appear to be mercenary in nature except the Orcs. Obviously they had no idea that if Malacath stepped on Nirn they would be slaughtered alongside every other being except the New Order. They were fighting for their own extinction!
Imagine an Orc warrior facing the reality of a God he/she had worshipped their entire life ordering the slaughter of his/her race. I do not believe in karma but it would be well deserved.
The din of battle doubled as Casius and his troops proceeded to cut their way towards the soon to be helpless archers.
I saw a courier run up and hand Captain Quintus a message. Perhaps I should have had a big sign above me saying, “Guardian General. Do not feed. Known to bite!” so they recognised the person in charge?
I asked the Captain what the news was. He handed me a letter from Baa’Ren-Dar. It told me the New Order’s Southern Army Group had fallen for Mede’s ruse. They had crossed the border thinking Mede had run away again and was now North of the capital. I think Mede’s poor showing in the defence of the Imperial City during the Great War helped in fooling Tilar’s bosses. Mede had reversed his apparent retreat and was now engaged in a battle with the New Order troops. I bet there were a few thousand, “What the fuck!” issued when that happened.
I already knew that The Dominion has wiped out the New Order military on their isle. The message also told me the senior members of the New Order had been arrested. Being the cynical person I am I thought that would have been easy for The Dominion to achieve. All they had to do was check their pay ledgers and note who received a “New Order” bonus each month.
I told Quintus the coup in Alinor had failed and that Mede was in battle with the New Order on the border.
The battle on the plain continued with the cacophony seemingly increasing and decreasing in volume. When you sit in a busy tavern the same phenomena occurs. The clientele are not being louder or softer. It just seems that way.
Because of a ridge, the same one where Rigmor had stood and told me of her premonition of this battle, I could not clearly see how we were fairing in what should now be a melee and not an orderly tactical game of chess.
I could not help but look a little to the left to where the camp and tent had been. To think the beauty and wonder of that night was now the site for savagery and all the evils of war was a melancholy thought.
Rigmor was never far from my thoughts. Even in the middle of that ugliness I would suddenly see something of wonder and beauty. I could see several giants and mammoths in the distance which were getting more and more agitated at the battle. Rigmor always expressed wonder at their simple needs and symbiotic relationship. It took days before she stopped nagging me about the giant who lost this loincloth.
That thought made me laugh. Some nearby soldiers looked at me worriedly. It is not a sound they expect or welcome from a commander watching people die in battle.
I wondered what would make me laugh after I forced her to cross that damn border.
I had great confidence that in such a melee we would easily triumph despite being greatly outnumbered. Our troops, especially those trained to be Imperial soldiers, are probably second to none in such melees. Orcs are often considered the best ground troops in Tamriel but that is due to their savagery, superior strength and fearlessness. If you can nearly match those and throw in the smarts of an Imperial soldier then I would say they are even.
The biggest reason I knew we would prevail against greater numbers is motivation. People talk about the moral of troops. Good moral heavily relies on the motivation, the righteousness, of the soldiers cause. A mercenary’s pay packet is not going to match the motivation and feeling of justification that a soldier defending his family feels. When a soldier is deciding to fight or flee they weigh up the reason they are there. Foreign mercenaries are going to flee a lot sooner than a Skyrim soldier picturing the man opposite hurting family and friends. If a soldier has seen injustice already inflicted they are going to be even less likely to flee.
An Imperial runner came to me me quite out of breath and looking worried. I asked him for his report and he said another army approaches from behind. He could not tell me if it was the Orcs or not. I told him to return to the scouts and find out then report back immediately.
I turned to Captain Quintus and asked how long we have. He said it was looking grim as the Bosmer reserves were almost here.
I looked around and saw nothing but determination.
I used the Thu’um so every person on and near the battlefield could hear me. I said, “I don’t intend to give them one foot of Skyrim without payment in death and fear. Eventually they will realise the cost and crave for their home and loved ones. Let them leave. Let them leave so they can tell their children and grandchildren to stay away from Skyrim. Not because it belongs to the Nords. They well tell of how it belongs to many different peoples who call it home and will defend it to the last.”
Even Stormcloak troops took heart and cheered. Ulfric was not here to spread his racism and false claims of Skyrim ownership.
A few minutes later I heard a commotion then murmurs of the “Sons of Talos”.
I thought they had given up their unjust demands of Rigmor and were ready to fight for Skyrim and her people.
Then I heard her call me.
I turned and saw the Warmaiden of old had returned.
Sitting perfect straight with hands on her reins was my beloved.
Rigmor looked regal. Confident and stern. The Great Great Granddaughter of the most revered warrior in Tamriel’s history. The daughter of the most revered warrior in recent history. A born leader of men. An omen of the woe that will befall all enemies of Tamriel. The deliverer of that woe.
I was probably the only one who also saw a young women made whole again. A woman who delighted at discovering a new colour of butterfly. Who could read the mysteries hidden in light reflected off water and teach idiots like me. The woman who now shared our combined souls.
I approached and glanced at the “Sons of Talos” who accompanied her. To them she was Ragnar reborn. The man who made them proud to be warriors. Unlike many veterans they were not troubled by a guilty conscience. In every battle they fought Ragnar shared the danger. He was a leader but also one of them. The most important thing to these men is he cared. He cared enough only to ask them to kill for righteous causes.
I could not help but express my surprise and delight at seeing her, “Rigmor!”
“Didn’t think I would leave you out here all on your own did you? That little girl in my dreams?”
She was you wasn’t she?
“She was waiting for me to give her Jenny. That’s what she wanted in return for the sword.”
The dream was completed. You are complete.
“I gave her the doll and took the sword. I crossed the line in the dirt she had drawn with it. She was laughing and when I looked around she was gone. I awoke and was whole again.”
But you wanted to change…I accepted that.
“I can’t escape my past Dragonborn. I am what I am. What I was destined to be. There’s no use in hiding or running away. Fate always tracks you down and finds you. You just need to be pretty sure you’re ready for what it has in store. I realize that now.”
(Something I knew when I awakened in that carriage. I so wish Rigmor did not have to suffer so to learn this lesson.)
And us? Are we still good?
“You told me before you left that there are no words that can explain how you feel about me. How much you loved me. You are my friend. My Guardian. My lover. Remember my song? You are my Dragonborn. You saved me. You will never let me go. I love you completely and unconditionally. Who knows what tomorrow brings for us, but for now?”
For now we have a war to win.
(I escaped without having to lie to Rigmor again. I did not commit to a forever that can’t be. No matter how much I wish otherwise.)
“What are your orders….Guardian General?”
The Bosmers must not join up with their main force. The will try and open a second front between the battle and Whiterun if they do.
I watched her ride to give orders to her troops. She sounded like she did at Yngol’s camp. Her men scurried to obey their leader.
Lydia and Meeko were about to follow Rigmor when I told them Guardian duty is over. Lydia gave out a very audible sigh of relief. Meeko turned around in circles barking. I told them they are now my housecarl and fart maker again. Lydia wanted to know if she gets to beat up some enemy soldiers. Meeko barked the same question. I told them maybe, if they behave.
I asked Lydia was it that bad being Rigmor’s Guardian. She looked at me, shook her head in disbelief and said, “Pffft. Whatever!”
I turned around and saw Baa’Ren-Dar at the command table. I am going to have to get hold of whatever teleport spell he uses. He has not vanished never to be seen again so I would risk it.
I approached him and asked what he was doing here. I thought he said Titus Med II had crushed the enemy army. That quickly? I asked him to repeat what he just said. He repeated the same thing.
As I was trying to absorb that news Captain Quintus told me the enemy commanders were quitting the field.
THE WAR WAS OVER!
Captain Quintus then said he would stay at the command centre if I wished to join in the merriment and crush any remaining resistance. In a flash I equipped my shield, drew “The Sword” and started running toward the melee. Lydia and Meeko happily joined in.
There wasn’t much of a fight left. A few stubborn New Order troops fought to the death. The rest of the New Order army were dead, injured or running away. Meeko decided to go kill some of those running but I called him back. Let them go home and tell their children and grandchildren not to come to Skyrim.
I casually walked towards Rigmor and her troops. They had decimated the Bosmers and I could see a couple of officers being led toward our command tents.
There was a circle of troops surrounding a warrior on the ground.
IT WAS RIGMOR!
Rigmor never gets hurt! Invincible she is! Must have twisted her ankle or something!
These and many other thoughts of denial entered my mind as I raced towards her.
I yelled her name and bent down to inspect her for wounds. I had healing spells ready to cast and then realised it was exhaustion, not a sword blade, that had felled this warrior. She looked at me and asked,
“Dragonborn. Did he get away?”
Rigmor, you need rest!
“I’m OK Dragonborn. Don’t let him get away!”
I had no idea where he would flee to. I asked Yngol if he could question the officers I saw being taken away. He happily went to do so. Bosmer are smaller and thinner than Nords. Yngol would look like a mountain to them. I bet they squealed like pigs.
I told Rigmor that it is OK and we would get her out of here.
“I’ll be fine.”
I asked Baa’Ren-Dar to take Rigmor back to the farm. I said I had to take care of something.
My intention was to find out where Tilar went. Jump onto Blaze and go kill the bastard. Solo!
Yngol and Casius were chatting away in front of a tent. The Bosmer officers had been taken somewhere. Probably Whiterun till things settle. If no war crimes by their troops are reported they will be allowed to go home.
I approached Yngol and asked if he had any luck. He said one of the officers told him Tilar was headed for a place called Blacklight Tower. It is in far North East Skyrim. Tilar and some of his cronies were due to be taken by boat to Morrowind. Yngol warned me he had quite a few troops with him.
I told both men I was doing this alone and both were still needed to organise the clean-up and other necessary procedures.
Yngol said he would be retiring immediately after this. Angi and him had apparently become a couple when I wasn’t around. He was moving in with her and Sorella was joining them. He said he would build a bigger home up there and make a proper home where they can hopefully find some peace and be safe.
I told him to take care and that he deserved all the peace and happiness he can find.
Yngol said it was an honour to fight alongside me and I could call on his help anytime I needed it.
I turned to Casius and asked his plans. He too was retiring. He said he might become a sell sword or hang around the Solitude docks to see if a life at sea might suit him. I thanked him for his service and wished him the best.
Casius also said it was an honour to fight alongside me and that he too is available anytime I need help. He wished me well.
I walked over to Captain Quintus and officially handed over command to him. My duty as Guardian General was over. My duty to my beloved was not. Tilar had to die.
Suddenly I had to keep being a General for a while longer. Quintus convinced me it was too dangerous to pursue Tilar alone. I ordered him to gather whatever troops can be spared and prepare for a long ride. First we would go to Casius’ camp to try and find where the Orc Mercenary Brigade had gone. It could have been trying to find their way to Blacklight Tower for evacuation or they could have been rampaging over the countryside.
I told Quintus to assemble the men and be ready to leave as soon as possible.
Baa’Ren-Dar was carrying on about something and arguing with Rigmor. When I approached he was almost apoplexic. If Khajiit could turn red he would have! He turned to me and said, “She won’t go! She won’t go!”
Lydia was laughing and yelled out, “This morning it was, “She won’t stay! She won’t stay!””
Rigmor laughed along with Lydia as she passed her and approached me.
I told Rigmor I wanted her somewhere safe. She assured me she felt a lot better.
She did look a lot better and hunting down Tilar was very important to her. She needed closure.
I told Rigmor she can come but no running off or doing anything foolish.
“Pfft, whatever Guardian General!”
Lydia laughed even more.
I went and talked to Baa’Ren-Dar. He had calmed down a bit. I wondered how many times Rigmor had his tail twitching and growling at her in the past?
I told him Rigmor is coming with me. That he should go to the farm and let Sigunn know we are fine will join them later.
Baa’Ren-Dar checked to make sure Rigmor was not near. He then grabbed me by the forearms and looked me in the face. He told me he had recently found out about Rigmor’s gift from Titus Mede II himself. He guessed I was going to take her to the border after Tilar was finished. He assured me he will help Rigmor and Sigunn settle into their new roles. That he could not have picked a better Guardian. That he will help with her broken heart. Then he turned and walked away.
He was like a father to Rigmor. I would have been surprised if he hadn’t noticed our love. May The Divines bless you Baa’Ren-Dar.
Quintus had proven to be excellent at organising the troops back into some semblance of order. Most of them thought they were about to be let free in Whiterun to drink, get drunk, swap stories of their heroics and slap waitresses backsides. Instead they were going on a trek halfway across Skyrim and not a complaint could be heard.
They were doing this for Rigmor. I had overheard several of Ragnar’s veterans explain to the younger troops who she was. Imperial or Stormcloak. Nord or other race. Ragnar’s name was still revered despite the Thalmor trying to blacken it. They did not need to know of the atrocities Tilar and his men had inflicted on her. They just needed to know where to go to kill them.
Not only did I get a few ooh and ahh when summoning Blaze I also heard a few soldiers point to Meeko and call him Dicko. Some looked at me then Lydia and gave a thumbs up or knowing wink. Lydia noticed this and asked loudly if I knew any of the Whiterun stable boys. Rigmor turned and joined in the laughter. This looked like being a very long ride!
It was slow going with such a large number of soldiers trailing behind myself, Lydia, Rigmor and Quintus.
I know bandits are not the smartest. The smelliest perhaps but not the smartest. So why did a wooden fort full of bandits sally forth and attack us? Needless to say they were slaughtered to the man.
As we passed and old crypt we were ambushed by New Order troops. The fight did not last long. I don’t think their heart was really in it. On the commander’s corpse I found an order from Tilar. They were deployed as a rear guard and any survivors were welcome to join him for a trip home. That was generous of him! The note also said he was taking the Orc Brigade with him for protection.
We decided to check on Casius’ Camp despite what the letter said.
We found Casius’ Camp ablaze. A sizable contingent of Orcs had not gone with Tilar. Instead they had attacked the reduced garrison. When we arrived the fight had been going quite a while. There were many dead and wounded on both sides. We soon overwhelmed the remaining orcs.
I asked Quintus what the situation was. He said he would like to remain with the garrison and most of his men in case Tilar left more of the Orcs behind.
I gave him my permission and thanked him for his service. I told him I would be taking Rigmor and the “Sons of Talos” with me to the tower. Quintus wanted to know why. Surely even in Morrowind the authorities would catch up with Tilar. Why were we taking such a risk. I told him this is personal. Rigmor needs to know he is dead. That Rigmor needed the closure.
Quintus offered me the use of his sergeants. I asked if any wanted to come they could. Every one of them did.
I asked Rigmor is she was ready to end this. That she could go back to the farm and I would do it myself if she wanted. She said she OK to continue and a few minutes later we were on the road again.
It was about 11:30PM when we set off from Casius’ Camp.