Whiterun, Skyrim Wilderness: Witness invited, The wrath of The Dragonborn, Field report.
This Journal entry was written near midnight on the 26th Heartfire at a camp in the Skyrim wilderness.
Today was the 23rd Heartfire and that means from midnight last night the Stormcloaks’ time was up. From today onwards I am hunting them down without mercy. Any still wearing that uniform is dead. No exceptions, no pity.
I had received many messages informing me of potential Stormcloak camps. One report was very detailed and if correct the largest yet found.
It was near Whiterun so I had stayed the night in Breezehome. I was alone. This was something I had to do myself. Not really myself. In reality it will be my body and my inner beast. It will be violent beyond normality. Savage and raw and just another tool provided by The Divine. Sometimes they need a relentless, pitiless killing machine. This was not their idea or task. It was mine and a gift to Skyrim. No more losing sons and daughters to rebels without a cause. Murderers in other words.
For this first one I had a witness. A reporter with the local news-sheet called The Imperial Post. He had asked if he could report on at least one of the “cleansing” as he called them.
I had thought about it for a few days and had warned him he and his readers might not like what occurs. I told him that if they have a romantic notion of the Dragonborn it would destroy it for ever. He suggested a graphic report of the first might reduce the required slaughter at the others. That was worth trying so I left Breezehome and met him just outside my front door.
His name is Abnur Sidonia. A Nord looking native of Cyrodiil. He had been a reporter for The Imperial Post after retiring from the army not long after Helgen was destroyed. He found reporting more to his liking than stabbing and mutilating.
I provided him with some Extended Invisibility potions. We would use one or two to get him into position. He would be close enough to see what is happening and hopefully far enough away to be safe from my Thu’um. If he stayed still they would never detect him. If they spotted him I could not guarantee his safety. He understood and we travelled to the Stormcloak camp.
When Abnur was in place on a ledge overlooking the camp I used an Invisibility Portion to put myself in place at the front of it.
I estimated about 60 of the rebels were in place. They were facing different directions hoping to see me before I struck. This was a honey pot. They had gathered a large enough force to virtually guarantee I would attack them. They probably thought 60 or so was a safe number. My inner beast laughed with anticipation.
I thought of the young civilians I had seen slaughtered at the village just over a week ago. About the six young guards murdered when these men destroyed the second school last week. The beast has been just under the surface all week. Now it surfaced. I will now quote Abnur’s report. He could see far more than I remember as I slaughtered without pity.
“I have just witnessed the wrath of the Dragonborn and been visited by a God. If it wasn’t for the God this would have been a condemnation, not an appreciation, of the man called Wulf.
Let me first describe the scene in the simple context of ignorance. I was ignorant as the slaughter began. Wulf had warned me it would be hard to reconcile what I saw with the myths and almost saintly descriptions of past Dragonborn. He was so right and the reader would be just in saying I deserved whatever discomfort I suffered.
I was overlooking a Stormcloak camp near Whiterun. I estimated between 60 and 70 rebels were encamped. Thanks to some Improved Invisibility potions, very expensive items provided to me by Wulf, I could watch undetected. I would have liked to be closer but the Dragonborn was worried I would get caught in any Shouts he used or magic the rebels used. During the battle I wished I was further away so the terror and screams were more abstract than real.
The Dragonborn used an invisibility potion to place himself close to the front of the camp. The rebels were facing in all directions hoping to see his approach. This large grouping of rebels was designed to attract Wulf and he knew it. If they thought their numbers gave them some safety they were soon to learn their fatal error.
Wulf had told me he would not attack like a coward under the dweomer of the potions. He had also told me it would be himself and a champion from Sovngarde against whatever numbers the rebels threw at them. This would be as the vow he made a week ago.
Wulf did a Shout that summoned the hero from Sovngarde. He told me it would be one of three ancient Tongues that had helped him defeat Alduin. It was Olaf One-Eye and as famous a Nord warrior as one could imagine.
The Shout cancelled the invisibility dweomer and suddenly both were in full view of the waiting Stormcloaks.
Two columns of them ran at full pace towards their quarry. It was apparent none had seen the Dragonborn’s Thu’um in action before. He told me it was many times stronger than when he fought as Guardian General and he knew far more Shouts.
He waited until they were almost upon him and then the ground shook and it sounded like thunder as his Shout issued forth. A column of air turning at incredible speed made its way along the line of advancing Stormcloak. Some died instantly as the vortex hit them. Others were tossed screaming into the air. Some stopped screaming whilst airborne as their fragile bodies succumbed to the powerful winds and I have no doubt in some case, to the sheer terror induced.
The most unfortunate were those who screamed as they rose higher and higher and then screamed even louder as they plummeted to the ground. The crunch of bone and the ‘ooomph” of expelled air could be heard over all the other noises of the battle.
My first view of “the beast” as Wulf called it, occurred when he stepped forward and neatly chopped a man in two that was about to land in front of him. A laugh of delight escaped his lips as he stepped over the still quivering pieces to confront the Stormcloak officer.
Both Wulf and I quickly looked over at Olaf One-Eye and he was carving through his opponents like a scythe through wheat.
I quickly turned back to Wulf and saw him playing games with the officer. He was parrying and blocking everything the Stormcloak tried. The confident aggression slowly turned into fear as Wulf laughed and deliberately dropped his guard. Even at that disadvantage the officer was not fast enough to land a blow.
As the second wave of Stormcloaks approached Wulf laughed even louder and decapitated the officer with ease.
Olaf ran past the Dragonborn and continued his harvest without pause.
Wulf waited once again and when his opponents were within striking distance he let forth a different Shout. This one had no visible wind but an invisible force that did one of three things.
The luckiest simple collapsed into a pile of dust or dropped dead as the force shattered their fragile bones.
The unlucky were thrown through the air to either died on landing or writhed on the ground in immense pain from several broken limbs.
Many of the writhing Stormcloaks watched their death approach with a smile on its face. Pleas for mercy were greeted with a humorous “Nah, don’t think so.” or something equally inappropriate. Sometimes the plea was cut short by a scream as Wulf’s sword descended or swept into view. The screams were cut short by the sickening wet sound of skull or chest being carved open.
Wulf attacked the last half a dozen facing him with sword and shield only.
The Dragonborn maintained a constant mixture of laughter, bad humour and mocking of his opponents as he dodged and parried and made them look incompetent at best. Occasionally he would smash his shield into a face and seemed delighted by the crunching of check and nose.
I could tell he prolonged the fighting for the amusement it gave him. Many times when an opening was available for a quick kill he ignored it and parried for some time. He would yell instructions like a sergeant teaching a raw recruit. “Keep that shield up soldier!”, “Swing from the shoulder recruit! Didn’t they teach you anything at Stupid School?”
I heard a voice next to me, ‘He is good. Probably equal to me in my prime.’
I was startled and the man laughed. It was like an echo of Wulf’s.
‘You are still invisible. Not that any would care if you suddenly appeared. They are intent on their lessons as taught by the Champion of The Divine.’
I looked up and knew exactly who this man was. There were enough statues of him still in existence that accurately portrayed his unique armour and the most famous face in Nord history.
I bowed as low as I could. I was in the presence of Talos.
‘Oh stop that nonsense. Wulf wants you to witness so witness. Your readers will be most upset if you finish you story with a description of Skyrim dirt and grass.’
I slowly rose and turned my attention to the fight. One tends to do as instructed by a God a few feet from them.
‘Notice how Olaf now watches. He will give a very accurate blow by blow description of the battle. He took it all in even when battling several opponents of his own. Much mead will be consumed and merriment made as heroes of the past laugh at how the opponents facing Sovngarde’s own hero were mocked and slaughtered in new and inventive ways.’
Talos knew that my opinion of the Dragonborn was now a mixture of horror and disappointment.
‘You are quick to judge Abnur. Did you not mock this very man when he was chained and about to be unjustly executed? When he told you his name did you not turn to your friend and laugh while stating the prisoner must have lost his lucky coin? Is your cruelty to a defenceless and doomed man better than the mocking of one armed opponent to another?
He was right. I had a habit if cruelty towards those I was paid to escort to their execution. If I made them less than human in my mind I could deal with their fear and watch the axe fall with more ease.
‘Wulf is getting bored. See how easily he blocks the attacks of the last three. As they get slower and slower the challenge decreases. Any second now he will dispense death to all three in less than a second.’
It was as Talos predicted. In a blur of sword and shield and fading laughter Wulf dispatched all three rebels in the blink of an eye. He wiped his sword on one, sheathed it and walked over to Olaf. They started talking about the battle as if they were already in a mead hall and laughed like they were not surrounded by dozens of corpses and ash piles.
‘You have heard how the children honoured him last week. You may have heard of the endless charitable deeds he has done. He is ashamed of the beast you just saw. At risk to himself he sometimes presses it back into his mind and fights like an exceptional but not blood thirsty warrior. Akatosh gave him the gift of Dragonblood and Dragonsoul and that makes him Dragonborn. I gave him the gift of the beast. Without it he would have perished several times. Without it I would never have lived to become a God. I committed much atrocity and was ruthless with potential enemies even if they had never lifted a finger to depose me. Wulf will never be capable of that barbarism yet I am revered and you are horrified and disappointed by what he just did. He is as morally sound and merciful as any man or mer you will meet in your lifetime. The Divine need him. We made sure he will have a better chance of survival so he can complete the tasks required. By the time you get to him the beast will be gone but Wulf will remember all that he did. Pat him on the back. Tell him you understand what you just watched, Ask him if he now has his lucky coin.”
Then he was gone. I am not in awe of meeting him. I am never going to boast about it. I knew he spoke to me on behalf of the man I was now walking towards. A man who does things for the benefit of all beings in Tamriel but at great cost to himself. A man who was seconds away from being unjustly executed by the very Empire he now defends.
I did as Talos asked. At the mention of the coin he stared into my eyes and strung together the most impressive string of expletives I have ever heard.
As we walked back towards Whiterun he started telling me about how the school will recover from the loss of the new buildings. Architects have come and shown him plans that will allow expansion of the existing buildings and cater for the children that were to move into the new school. When the political climate is more stable they will probably remake the lost school but that is in the future.
I am in awe of Wulf. He works tirelessly for the benefit of all and will seemingly never have the simple life he desires the most of all things.
Some will say he is lucky to have been blessed by Akatosh and given such powers. I say he would swap them for a small farm by a river, a tribe of children and a wife to love.
Speaking of love, one subject he would not discuss is if there is a potential wife or husband in his life. All he said is he hopes so but that is not yet a certainty. That his only hope is to complete the tasks set by The Divine.
I hope this give you a bit of an insight of the man and his burdens. He will boast when it is a tactical advantage in negotiations or battle but never when casually talking to commoner or noble.
He is Wulf, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines.”
What Argus witnessed and wrote about was repeated another six times over four days. Even though there was nobody to watch I still suppressed the beast out of shame and distaste on two of those occasions. I now recognised when it was necessary to use Talos’ first gift. I often found myself holding his second gift as I sat and thought about many issues.
I was both amused and maddened by Talos’ little game. I had never associated the mocking words of that Imperial soldier with the coin I carry. I could sense shame in Abnur when he asked about it. He explained why and I could understand what Talos had done. He had shown both of us that all are capable of cruelty when need dictates. It is the guilt and rejection of that side of us that makes us more than the evil we fight against.
I will write no more on this cleansing of the remaining Stormcloaks.
I know not what time I fell asleep.