Castle Bruma, Cyrodiil Wilderness, Imperial City, Tiber Septim Hotel, The Foaming Flask: Morning goddess, Beautiful ride, Childhood revisited, Huge city, Creepy admirer, Pisspot war begins, A stiff situation, Hic!, Stories told, Memories shared, Lovers reunited.
Giggling? Who the hell is giggling in my dream?
“Shhh! He’s Waking up.”
Snickering? Giggling then ‘teehee’ and it is not even an erotic dream!
In my dream I am guarding Rigmor once again. Sitting next to my beloved as she sleeps and making her feel safe. Ready to rip the head off a God! if that is what it take to prevent her from more harm.
I had better open my eyes and check it is not some giggling, snickering demon come to cause me harm. Dammit, I was waiting to see if Rigmor awoke and told me she loves me. My dream, my rules!
I opened them slowly. Ow, something hurts? Damn stiff coccyx again!
Left blur, umm a mage with half a uniform on? High heels, long legs… Cerys! That blur is Cerys!
Right blur. A goddess maybe?
Remember when you mistook Azura for your wife Wulf? Perhaps you have better wake up a bit more.
Cerys was running away snickering. Normally I would watch those legs move away in a delightful manner but the Goddess drew my eyes.
“Hey there sleepy head, It’s a beautiful day.”
The Goddess has a fancy dress but dirty bare feet. That has to be Rigmor but her hair? How did she escape from my dream?
Then I remembered. I am with her. That is Rigmor! The weight of my journal was in my lap. A quill was still in my hand. As I slowly extricated myself from the noble, expensive, but not as comfortable as an inn’s chair, my reply to Rigmor was “Uggh!”
Rigmor was standing with her back to me near a window. For the first the first time in years I saw the scars. An involuntary gasp escaped and Rigmor said, “They still hurt. The best physicians and healers have tried and they remain.”
I proved to you once, well several times that night, they do not detract from your beauty Rigmor. They are simply part of you. Is there something wrong? What is up with Cerys?
“Cerys and I decided on this dress. What do you think?”
Stunning! And if you think this barbarian would not notice, I like your hair as well. Your shoes are nice. Very organic in design.
“Haha. I was thinking of wearing it at the palace. I might as well look the part. It could be the last chance I get, if anything happens, I wanna go out in style.”
I will be there for you. I won’t let anything happen to you.
“Oh my sweet Dragonborn.”
I am kind of sweet aren’t I? In a cute trained armoured troll kind of way.
“Yanno, all these years since I last saw you and coming to know the secret about my past. At times I can’t help feel so… helpless/ I wonder sometimes… why can’t I just be normal?”
We are both caught in the flow of our destinies. You were never allowed to be normal. Maybe you never will be what you think “normal” is.
(Rigmor turned to face me. She looks so much older and it is not just the dress and hair. She is suddenly carrying a burden of fear and uncertainty again. All I can do is offer my protection and listen to her worries. I pray it is sufficient to return the carefree Rigmor I saw briefly emerge yesterday.)
“This huge weight thrust upon me. It leaves me feeling almost violated. It is like a curse. Every time I try to run away and hide from it, it always comes to find me. Every single time!”
You once told me that you can’t escape your past. We also agreed it is pointless to fight our destinies. I am starting to think we can steer our destinies a little more to our liking. I hope we can. You especially deserve that.
“Freathof once told me about a little girl, born at the wrong time, into a world of hurt. Another poor bastard caught up in a sewer-rat infested royal cesspit not of her making. And now, at this moment… I know how scared she was feeling… how completely helpless… alone…”
You were alone once. You wondered if somebody would come. You wondered if anybody cared. I came and I cared and I helped bring you back to the light. You are not alone right now and if we do get separated, just remember I will find you again. I promise.
“Her name was Kintyra and she didn’t make it.”
You’re going to make it.
“You really don’t have any idea do you? You didn’t listen to word I said. “
Rigmor, please turn and look at me.
(Rigmor slowly turned and those brown eyes were looking for some hope. I can only keep giving her what I can.)
When I am speaking to an Immortal, whether a Divine, Daedric Prince or other, they will often crawl into my head. You experienced that with Azura and it is disturbing. Can you imagine something wholly evil doing the same? I learned how to protect who I am, the essence of me, by locking what is most important behind an impenetrable barrier. Behind that barrier is every single memory I have of you. All our conversations. How you looked. How you smelled. How your skin and lips felt and how it was to be touched by you. Even a brush along the face as you passed. They make up a huge part of who I am and I am not going to let some filthy thing see them or judge them or use them as a weapon against either of us. They do not deserve them. Please Rigmor, do not think I do not listen. I both listen and understand. I have tried to live by the lessons you taught me.
(The fact is that from the time I met her to when she crossed the border, Rigmor had been more than three quarters of my life since awakening.)
“I am sorry Dragonborn. It was insensitive.”
No, it was understandable. I get it Rigmor. Your fear is justified. It is yours and I can only give all I have to help a little. You have run into battles against incredible odds without fear. They were an enemy you could do something about. This ‘sewer-rat infested royal cesspit” is full of invisible danger. I will be by your side as we wade through it together.
I have something that might give you some comfort. I exacted eternal revenge on Queen Potema, the evil bitch who arranged Empress Kintyra II’s demise.
“You know about her Dragonborn? I thought she was just another forgotten victim of this game they play.”
I have studied histories almost endlessly looking for a clue that I never found. What that is can wait till another time. Queen Potema was not a vampire but an evil necromancer of immense power. She cavorted with vampires and undead of all descriptions. Kintyra was left defenceless when she awoke and found her entire army dead. No doubt some dark dweomer cast by Potema’s undead allies. Different histories give different ages for Kintyra at the time and how long she was held captive before execution. Some even say she was very young and kept alive long enough to produce a child or two. I have found many times that history is hidden entirely or obscured by untruths or subject to multiple versions.
All we know for sure is Kintyra was betrayed and eventually executed by her captors.
Queen Potema’s dark soul was found by some necromancers. They were summoning it from whatever part of Aetherius or Oblivion or even the Soul Cairn it had been hiding. The Divine gave me a task and it was to destroy any chances of her ever returning to Nirn.
My companions and I interrupted the summoning before Potema’s spirit could be controlled by the necromancers. However that meant she could escape and hide out somewhere we could not find her. In that form she was harmless.
Potema was always scheming and laying plans and she even had one if this scenario eventuated. She had a temple hidden under one of the most sacred places in Tamriel, The Temple of the Divines in Solitude. Within that temple her bones sat upon a throne.
Also within that temple vampires who were working to restore her fully to this realm. She would have returned as a corporeal being but with the knowledge of the dead and a level of necromantic power never before seen. She would have at least destroyed Solitude and most likely conquered all of Tamriel using her undead armies.
Many months after her spirit escaped us I received news of its location. My companions and I destroyed her entourage and guards and recovered her remains. We took the remains to a Priest of Arkay who blessed them and sealed them away. Potema is now screaming her frustration and anger in The Void for all eternity. She can never harm others like she did Kintyra.
“Good! The fucking bitch! I wish you could do that to all those who betrayed Kintyra.”
It was important we spoke of these things but are we going to be late? I would hate for protocol to chop my head off because the Emperor was late for his afternoon nap.
“Yes. That would be a shame. Who would carry my saddlebags to Ren? Can you please wait for me in the meeting hall. I need to change and pack a few things. I will be there in a while.”
I headed downstairs and noticed a painting of Rigmor over the fireplace. She looked distant. I would guess she would have rather been anywhere else than sitting still for some pompous painter to the nobles. At least he or she was honest and painted what they saw. Or maybe this was Rigmor’s attempt to look like one of them stick up their bum nobles. I am pretty sure she was wearing the dress I purchased at Riften and gave her at the outlook. She was wearing it at two pivotal moments etched into my soul. When she sung her song for me and when she was laying on that sacrificial dais unaware she was moments from death. I can’t recall seeing it in her apartment. Mind you Malacath himself could have been amongst that mess and gone unnoticed. I wonder how the Jolly Green Giant is going? I don’t expect he will invite me to any of his parties.
I wondered what other tales of terror Freathof had told Rigmor. Kintyra was tragic but there are many just as bad. Innocents accused of crimes and sacrificed in that game of politics. It has been happening for thousands of years in Cyrodiil. Only a smidgen in Skyrim but what can you expect from barbarians. You must have all this intrigue and backstabbing and assassinations to truly be civilised. Morrowind must be the most civilised place on Nirn. They have legal assassins for hire!
Then again I have my orphans. Almost 100 children under the age of sixteen in my two schools and others were being planned when I left. All of them with stories to make even the most stout-hearted weep. All of them full of empathy and more love than hate. Perhaps that is how the best souls are forged and tempered?
If Skyrim can have that many children rescued from the dark then it also had a dubious claim of being civilised. Not all evil is the result of Daedric Princes and their devotees. The inhabitants of Nirn are capable of such things by themselves.
I saw Captain Grimwold standing in the corner. Is there more than one of him? I am sure I seen him patrolling the walls and I startled him my first night here when I walked into the jail. He saw me approaching and stood straight at attention. I said, “Relax Captain. Just want a quick chat whilst Milady Rigmor changes and gets ready for our trip to the Imperial City.”
“In that case we can have a fairly long chat Sir.”
Have you been with the garrison for long Captain?
“I was born in Bruma and both parents were in the garrison. Grandpa on Dad’s side was as well.”
It must have been hard with what happened to the Count and his family.
“They were good people Sir. Makes no sense when good people die and we end up with him on our throne.”
I forget you stand here and are privy to many meetings in this hall. I am glad you feel comfortable enough to tell it how you see it.
“They said your reputation goes before you to the Capital. It is more than that Sir. You are a legendary figure. Once again looking after Milady Rigmor. Without hearing a word of these meetings I would have guessed your thoughts on all this. I also guess some of those you go to meet have had lengthy strategy meetings about the pair of you. Alone Milady Rigmor is formidable. Together you are of a strength not seen since Emperor Martin Septim and the Hero of Kvatch.”
But we are babes in the wood when it comes to politicking.
“It always ends at the point of a sword Sir.”
Or the sharp edge of an executioners axe. Stared at one of those ready to descend on my neck once. Not fun.
“I imagine not Sir. You are still here. Did the axe break on your neck? That is how they would write it in the stories Sir.”
No Sergeant. I was saved by a Dragon. I repaid his kindness by killing him when I visited Sovngarde.
“Nasty business that Sir.”
How are the preparations going?
“We can hold for quite a while no matter how big the opposing force. We have retired veterans offering their service. Since some are younger than me it is hard to say no. Some can man the walls and others provide support elsewhere. Any one of them would be a match for the best of those toy soldiers.”
I am surprised at how few men there are in the garrison. The Holds in Skyrim have fare more guards.
“The last Count was well loved and a fair man. His protection was good will and fairness. May I say Sir that Milady Rigmor and Milady Sigunn are also well loved. That may count for something if allies are needed.”
It may indeed. Keep up the good work Captain. I know that Freathof, Malesam etcetera all have great confidence in you and your men. I will bring back Milady Rigmor.
“I know you will Sir.”
Captain Grimwold gave a crisp salute and resumed his statue like state in the corner.
I went and sat at the table and a minute or so later Rigmor appeared and said. “Come on, follow me.”
She then laughed. I would follow that laugh anywhere. And those hips. I wonder if I can talk her into wearing Morgan’s armour. It has a far more interesting breastplate and the flair at the hips is just right. Probably get a mailed fist to the face so will keep quiet about that wish.
“It is such a beautiful day Dragonborn. I thought I would show you around a little.”
Guided tour by the Countess herself! Lead on.
“I want to visit an old place I used to play like I promised. Just for old time’s sake before we head for the Imperial City.”
(Here is part of my dream coming true. Travelling with Rigmor and listening to her tales of childhood is something I cherished and was eager to experience again.)
You have no idea how good that sounds Rigmor. No idea at all.
(I looked up at the battlements. Grimwold was right. They could hold off a very large force from behind those tall walls. My concern was catapults. They could stand from a distance and pound the walls or gate till they give way. The garrison would not have enough men to sally forth and destroy them. They can also lob fire over the walls and there would probably be heavy civilian casualties as a result.)
We arrived at the front of Rigmor’s apartment and Ren gave her a welcoming neigh. Boy just gave me a snort as is to ask where the hell I have been.
We mounted and Rigmor gave a cheery, “Follow me!”
We were not far out of Bruma when Rigmor said, “Come on, chop chop, because I wanna ride Ren!”
Ren darted off and surprisingly Boy more that kept up. I was contemplating passing by Rigmor but decided the triumph would be hollow. I had no idea where we were going!
Going full tilt on the wonderfully made cobblestone roads was one thing. However, just for fun, Rigmor would occasionally cut across fields and taking shortcuts only locals would know. If it keeps her mind occupied then I am happy to ignore what happened to the last Count.
“We are on the Orange Road. This road takes you all the way to Chorrol. Chorrol is amazing… I’ll take you there one day… maybe.”
I was enjoying just riding through her homeland with a currently bubbly Rigmor. It was if the time apart was weeks, not years. The thought of Robere had not crossed my mind till that minute. Could I manage seeing her in the arms of another if she was this happy. I don’t think I could. Simply because my presence would bring her pain. I am not jealous of Robere. I just know who her soulmate is without a shadow of doubt or uncertainty. I would have to keep my distance.
I am confident that I will be chosen by Rigmor. I think yesterday was painful but the truth emerged in the end. The only thing standing in the way is a misplaced sense of duty that produced this idea she must marry some local noble. Sorry Robere, you were the closest she could find to her rebellious self. She chose him as the best horse from a small herd and poor selection to choose from.
Do I think she loves him? I honestly do not know. I do know why he has not proposed. They still haven’t cleared out the bodies of the unarmed civilians who fled to temples of worship thinking they would be safe from his father and Emperor Sethius.
Suddenly she stopped. Boys skidded to a halt wondering what kind of idiot was riding him.
“We’re here! Leave the horses untethered, they won’t go far with the green grass to graze on.”
Rigmor started walking towards a lone and very tall tree. She said, “See this tree… this is MY tree.”
Umm, we are still in the Bruma holding. You own all these trees!
She stopped and stared at me, “Haha you idiot. This is MY SPECIAL tree. Got it?”
(I walked up to her. Then I noticed she had gone back to yesterday’s hairdo. No wonder I was gathering cobwebs before she came downstairs this morning! I hadn’t notice before and the way her bottom went up and down when galloping was hypnotising.)
(I looked at Rigmor. I looked at her ‘special” tree. I looked at the ladder that climbed up her special tree.)
Have you climbed it since you have been back? I guess not. So that ladder, which looks like a child made it, has been sitting here in the weather for at least eight or nine years and probably a lot longer than that. Rigmor, I don’t think…
“Haha, come on Dragonborn, where’s you sense of adventure?”
(Rigmor raced to the tree and started climbing like she was not wearing steel plate! I followed but a bit more cautiously.)
“Haha, come on Dragonborn, you slow poke.”
I don’t want my headstone to read, ‘Here rests Wulf, Dragonslayer, hero and real nice guy. Died following derrière up tree.’
(I got to the top and sat next to Rigmor on a rather dodgy and broken branch. It creaked a lot under my weight.)
“That over there. That’s the Imperial City. Quite impressive huh?
Yes. Pretty damn big that is for sure!
“Can you remember the great Forest I told you about on the way to Riften. Oh, of course you do because you kept all the memories in that empty head of yours. That is it over there and it stretches all the way to the mountains on the border with Hammerfell.”
(There was something wrong. This was a dream of hers. Not to take me to these places but just to revisit them after losing all those years to the Thalmor. Yet she has gone from the sheer enjoyment of the ride to that melancholy look I know so well.)
I am impressed but there is something not right Rigmor. What is this all about?
“I’ve been meaning to come back here but never got round to it. I guess now is as good a time as any… just in case… for old time’s sake. I might not get another chance now.”
I am not going to insult you with my usual reassurances. I can see how worried you are. Take as much time as you need. Tell me when you are ready.
(I turned to look at the Imperial City. It is huge but I swear on The Divine, I will tear it down brick by brick if I have to find and rescue Rigmor from some dark, rat infested prison. Talos is probably shaking his head and telling the others it is not so easy to tear down the walls of that place.)
“Yanno, I took it for granted when I returned home. All these places would be there for me to rediscover like whenever.”
(My dear, sweet Rigmor. That is how it should have been. But the Gods do not care for what mortals regard as well earned. Not when there is more manipulation, more weaving of destiny, to be done.)
“I thought no more running. No more hiding. But after everything there’s still no place for me to actually feel safe and… and belong.”
(Keep staring at the city Wulf. You are supposed to be strong. Not the blubbering barbarian of yesterday. Not the Guardian with tears rolling down his cheeks.)
“Seems like the crap keeps following me everywhere I go right, pfft! But here… That little girl is still playing among the tree. No one can touch me here.”
(I closed my eyes. I tried to imagine a young Rigmor running around but I couldn’t. Every other time Rigmor has told me a story about her childhood I could almost relive it with her. Now I was simply aware of this scared woman beside me.)
Is there more of your childhood you would like to show me Rigmor?
“Sure, let’s go.”
(Rigmor scrambled down the tree. I would like to say I was almost as fast but in reality I fell the last ten feet. She just laughed and headed off while I picked myself up. I left my dignity where it was. Traitor!)
“Come on Dragonborn. This way.”
(Rigmor’s voice was regressing. She started sounding younger as we walked.)
“We mustn’t go too deep, there are still wolves that live in the forest. But they mostly come out at night. When we were kids we would come here to get out of the cold of the mountains. There should be a stream…”
(She was alternating between child and adult. It was both fascinating and disturbing. I have seen some of our orphans do this but only for a little while after being removed from their dark hole. They soon liked their new life as much as the one before the dark hole. There was no need any longer to pretend things were better back then. Rigmor doing this now… after all these years… I was worried. So terribly worried.)
“Listen. Can you hear it? Over there… Come on!”
(It was the type of spot I knew a young Rigmor would have found irresistible. All sorts of adventures in one compact area. I wish this visit could genuinely bring joy to both of us but Rigmor… Rigmor was starting to sound like that time in the Black Tower when she was paralysed by fear. Her voice was still changing, adult to child to adult. The child sounded excited. The adult sounded terrified.)
“Oh my, it’s just as I remember it. Hey, why don’t you relax a while. I just want to spend a few moments with my thoughts.”
(I found a log to sit on and watched Rigmor carefully. Fuck them all at the Imperial Palace. If I think this fear and uncertainty is too much I will do my Guardian duty and carry her home screaming and kicking if I have to. Let Blackwell and the rest travel to Bruma. We are doing the Emperor a favour after all!)
“Do you like flowers Dragonborn? No… silly me. I forgot, how could you, ‘You are a mighty warrior!’”
(That last was the same tone one child would use to another when mocking gently.)
“Just kidding. I remember what you told me about the red flowers yesterday. That was so sweet.”
(Rigmor continued to walk around occasional bending or kneeling down to caress and smell a flower.)
“I should bring my stuff down here and do some paintings. Then I won’t have to take the flowers home. It is kinda sad when they all, you know… droopy droop droop.”
(That reminded me of a brothel joke. Not the appropriate time Wulf! Rigmor stood still listening intently.)
“Hey! Did you hear that?”
(I could see some movement in the bushes.)
“Was that a deer? Yeah I think it was…I think it is gone now.”
(Rigmor continued to wander and make remarks. she was still switching between adult and child. This is all going to come to a head soon. It must.)
“Did you know there used to be Minotaur around here… in these woods? How cool is that Dragonborn? They’re all gone now… poor Minotaur.”
(She is becoming a child. A child who felt safe here once. The adult Rigmor knows we are not safe anywhere. At least in each other’s close company we can feel safer. Destiny does not pull us towards danger. We can ignore it. For a while.)
“Hey, a frog! “
(Rigmor knelt to look at the frog. She was in full child mode now.)
“Here froggy… froggy froggy. Doh! It plopped off.”
(Adult Rigmor came walking towards me and then noticed something. An old shelter .)
“Oh my days Dragonborn, come on, quick.”
(Rigmor entered the shelter and I followed. She sat on a wooden bench.)
“Come on, sit over here… next to me.”
(She was a child again. I decided I would role play with her. It would have made no sense to drag her back to reality. This must be leading to something.)
Hey Rigmor! This place is so cool.
“I know. It is our den.”
“You know, hidey hole… if we’re quiet, no one will ever find us. We can stay here, live out here in the forest, forever.”
Yeah! Just us against the world. We don’t need them!
(I don’t know if Rigmor felt it in her current state. Destiny was quiet once more.)
“Shhhhh! You must be quiet and very very still. We’re safe now. Nobody will ever find us in here.”
(A flash and young Rigmor was sitting there in her adult armour. She was a beautiful child.)
(Flash. Adult Rigmor was back.)
“Thank you Dragonborn.”
You know I am always here for you.
“I know. Shall we go?”
Yes Milady Rigmor, Countess of Bruma and lousy frog hunter. Let us get this over with.
“I’m sure there is nothing to worry about.”
(Rigmor said that in a totally unconvincing manner.)
We both left the shelter and were heading back to the horses when Rigmor stopped, turned and rushed back. She then drew her sword and started hacking into the door-frame of the shelter. Wild uncontrolled swings punctuated by wearing and grunting from effort.
After several minutes she collapsed and started crawling like she was injured.
I rushed over and knelt before her. She was sobbing uncontrollably. I lifted her chin so she could see me and said, “For the love of the Gods! Rigmor, I am here! Please…”
The only other time I have heard such desperation in any person’s voice was also from Rigmor’s mouth. When I lay dying and Rigmor was being dragged away by the scum who wanted to sacrifice her. On that day it was a quiet, ‘Mercy!”
Rigmor slowly got to her feet with my help then hugged me. Hugged me harder than ever before and she was trembling. Then she whispered, “Promise me Dragonborn, promise me… if anything happens to me… if I don’t make it… KILL EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE OF THEM!”
I made her look me in the eyes and said, “I promise my beloved. My fury would be like the sun and their defences like ice. I would use the evil things I have learned to kill the evil that infests this beautiful country. I would show no mercy and kill anybody who stands between me and those who hurt you. They would know I am coming and they would tremble and they would try to flee and they would die. This I promise.”
(She touched my face. She traced the tears. She gave me a smile and then we stood apart once more. Out future together still a question to be answered.)
“Come on, let’s go.”
So we walked to the horses and mounted them. She took one last look at her childhood playground, sighed and headed for the Imperial City with me just behind her.
The day was still beautiful but the joy and freedom of the morning’s ride was no longer attainable. The atmosphere felt like something and I was racking my brains what. Then it hit me. It felt exactly like the doomed heading for Helgen. The train of the condemned. My first memories after awakening.
I prayed. Not to The Divine. To the one Rigmor cried out for, “Lady Azura. I do not know if you heard the plea from Rigmor or can even hear me as I am a long way from your shrine in Cyrodiil. She has turned to you in her desperation. A devoted follower of Talos pleading with a Daedric Lord. That must tell you how scared she must be. If being your Champion counts for anything, hear our pleas. Help this woman.”
As we got closer to the Capital the more I was certain I had been there before.
Rigmor seemed to brighten up more as we got closer. Which is king of the opposite to what I thought would happen. She detoured through a quaint farm.
Then we did some cross country reckless riding.
Rigmor always seems to bounce back. I don’t think the fear was any less. She just wasn’t going to let it ruin her enjoyment of the weather, Ren and hopefully me.
As passed through Weve, a place of many tales for the educated bard, and approached the Bridge that has been like a wall to many an invader. Long and narrow and easy to defend. It is why we have the current Emperor. 5000 Imperial Troops under an excellent commander did not try their luck against bandits who held it.
Even on horseback it took a few minutes to cross. I would hate to walk it under fire.
We finally got to the stables and tethered the horses.
I walked up to Rigmor and asked, “How are you feeling? That was pretty scary back there.”
“Better ah, I’m sorry about back there…”
Rigmor, I understand. I truly do. You had your new life laid out in front of you and then wham, back into danger and uncertainty. Funny how I seem to spread that wherever I go. Please, do not think you owe anybody an apology for being you.
“No, I do… it wasn’t clever, or called for… or lady like.”
Who was there to witness it? Me. Nobody else and I am telling you it perfectly understandable. As for lady like… pfft! Most noble ladies would be hiding under their bed sheets hoping the bad guys go away.
“Come on, let’s book a room at the Hotel.”
As I followed her I was concerned. Rigmor was still worried about this nobility bullshit even when nobody who gives a fuck about it is in sight. That is not her. She is spontaneous and irreverent. Not afraid to show her emotions and is never ashamed of them. She can be a good leader, no, a great leader, without losing who she is. She is the Warrior Queen astride her horse that joined me at the Battle of Whiterun. That was nobility. That was my beloved in all her glory. That is the Rigmor I will need if they try to harm her.
We passed a couple of New Empire goons at the front gate. They did not salute as they should have. I was more concerned about Rigmor than the slack discipline of bandit soldiers. Lucky break for them.
We entered and there was the aspect of my Lord Akatosh frozen for all time. The feeling was very strong. I had been here before. I had entered these gates. But when and as who?
“This is the Plaza District. It used to be called the Talos Plaza. Since the Concordat they dropped the name. The hotel is over there. We can book a room, settle in and I’ll show you around later if you like.”
As we approached the hotel a little elf guy came running up to me. He started gushing, “Can it be true! Oh the Gods have brought you to me, I am so excited.”
Any you are?
“I can’t believe I am actually standing right next to the Dragonborn! I am your number one fan!”
(Rigmor found this quite amusing as she chuckled in the background.)
Have you seen me play at an inn? Been in battle with me? How do you even know me?
“I have followed all of your adventures and have the most extensive collection of news clipping in Cyrodiil. Everyone knows about your noble and brave deeds Dragonborn.”
Exactly which type of news clipping have you collected?
“Oh, not those dirty ones. Mother wouldn’t let me.”
What is your name?
“Oh, I am Balin. I just want you to know… I love you so much. I will do anything you want. Just name it. I am your eternal servant… I am your batman.”
Well met Balin. I get that sort of offer from fans all the time in Skyrim. I am glad to see I have fans in Cyrodiil as well. But I am OK for now. Thanks for the offer and have a god day.
“Well if you change your mind I am always around. Just call Dragonborn… yes, call and I will be there. Buh-bye!”
I went and stood next to Rigmor who said, “I can’t believe that just happened… man that was creepy. He is still over there, look… he’s waving… “
Sure enough, Balin was standing there waving.
“Come on, let’s escape into the Tiber Septim. I hope he doesn’t follow!”
We entered the lobby and the concierge addressed Rigmor, “Oh, um… er Countess, it’s an honour to have you as our guest. How can we help you today?
“I require a room with two separate beds. One for me and one for my personal batman. We will be staying a few nights.”
“Of course Milady. I will charge your account accordingly. We have a room upstairs with two single beds that would be perfect. Your batman had full access to the laundry room located in the basement.”
The concierge then told me, “Adjacent to the laundry room is the cesspit so you’ll also be able to empty the Lady Rigmor’s piss pot from under her bed.”
Why would I do that? It is traditional in Skyrim to drink the piss of your superiors. Makes you stronger!
(The concierge stared. I smacked my lips. She turned pale.)
As we were walking to our room Rigmor said, “Well done but she still thinks you’re my batman.”
(I didn’t really care. I was pursuing my favourite past time. Is she putting in an extra wiggle or is that just my libido talking?)
We entered the room and Rigmor said, in her most imperious voice, “Shut the door batman.”
I closed the door and walked towards Rigmor who said, as she was sitting on her bed, “Aaah! That is better. All the comforts of home.”
Would Milady like me to fluff her pillow? Massage her feet? Wait till she is asleep and pour whichever pisspot is full over her head?
“Hey, I was just kidding!”
I know and I will have my revenge. This is a war you have just started Rigmor.
You never got to visit all the cities in Skyrim. You didn’t even get to see Solitude or my house there. You could fit several Solitudes into this city. It is huge!
“Yeah, pretty impressive huh? There’s six main districts which surround the Palace. You used to be able to access the Palace Gardens from all of the districts but Sethius has stopped all that. To get to the Palace we’ll have to go through the Temple District but that’s the last place we’ll go, pfft.”
So he is paranoid enough to cut access that dozens of Emperors and Empresses before him did not worry about?
“I’ll show you around a bit later but for now Dragonborn… Would you mind if I take a rest? It has been a… difficult morning.”
I was going to suggest that Rigmor. You eyelids are going droopy droop droop.
“I’ll be OK here. Go for a wander about if you like.”
Rigmor, not a chance!
“I know Dragonborn. Can you drag the chair a bit closer? Maybe the quiet we make together will help. Please wake me in about an hour.”
So I dragged the chair over and watched her settle and sleep. I got my journal out and wrote today’s entry to this point. I wonder if The Divine or any other immortal can see us when the destinies go quiet?
I woke Rigmor just over an hour after she fell asleep, “Rigmor… wake up.”
“Hmmm? Oh hey… you OK”
The question is how are you feeling? You can sleep for longer if you want.
“No, it’s OK. Let us go get something to eat, I’m starving…”
We made our way downstairs and sat at a table to have a quick supper. I have not mentioned Bobby today and I do not intend to. However I still intended to push my case, just a bit. So I said, “That Balin is not the first to claim he is my Number One Fan.”
“I thought you were joking. You have fans in Skyrim?”
I have been a travelling bard on and off for three years. At first I did it in disguise but for the last two or so it is the Dragonborn singing and telling tales of his daring exploits.
“Are you any good?”
I was very popular in my various disguises so yes, I must be OK. My point is this, many fans of both genders want to have sex with their idle. I would get many offers and sometimes find them already in my bed when retiring for the night.
(I could see the anger starting. Good.)
“Why do I care Dragonborn? I do not want to hear details of your conquests!”
That night in the tent you thought I was an experienced lover. You had heard stories and it made you a bit jealous but hoped it would make your first time easier.
“Jealous. Why would I care how many lovers you had then or whenever?”
You did care because it made it extra special and you told me so Rigmor. We learnt together.
“So what has this do with anything?”
Those fans and many others offered me intimacy. Some wanted romantic involvement. I was constantly surrounded by temptation. I refused all romance and all intimacy. Yet I was surrounded by it all. Happy couples. Intimate couples.
“So you have only ever had sex with me?”
Such a nasty word for what we experienced. Yes Rigmor. I told you why I was a virgin on that night. I do not judge others for looking for and enjoying sexual pleasure. Dibella gave us that gift. But without love to go with it, well, I find that holds no interest for me.
“It must have been hard!”
(I just looked at her for a few seconds. Then she realised what she had said.)
No wonder you like red mountain flowers. They match the colour of your face perfectly.
“What exactly are you trying to tell me Dragonborn?”
I regarded the words we said to each other to be a full commitment. Body and soul for eternity.
“I thought we could get through today without this shit. Maybe we are not all as strong as the famous Dragonborn. Maybe I haven’t been. Is this an inquisition? Do you want to know if I have done it with Bobby or any other? Is that was this is?”
I haven’t even mentioned Bobby today and I am not asking you to tell me anything. I am just letting you have some insight on my feelings. It was not intended to offend and I am sorry it has got you mad at me, again. I truly am sorry Rigmor.
“Hey, I will not tell you to suck things up or that I need you strong for me etc. I have been doing a lot of thinking as we were riding. I am still sorting things out OK?
This was the first chance I had to say anything today.
“Why don’t we go grab a drink and talk about old times. I know a great Tavern just around the corner. Would you like that?”
Right now, a few ales and reminiscing sounds like the perfect idea.
“Come on then my silly Dragonborn.”
We got up to head for the pub but after a few feet Rigmor stopped and turned to look at me in the eyes. She said, “Yes Dragonborn. You are the only one.”
She then turned and we continued on our way.
She had not taken Bobby to the tree or pond and from I can gather they have been ‘together’ for over a year. I doubt Bobby has the same opinions about intimacy as me. If their affair consists of drinking and brawling at pubs and no intimacy it seems to be very shallow.
I have avoided trying to find a motivation for Bobby pretending to love Rigmor. There might be something to do with politics but I do not know enough. I am also making a huge supposition that Bobby is bad. Who knows, the son of a bandit leader who has just inherited the title of someone who was butchered along with half a city’s population could be a nice guy. If he is 23 or 24 years of age then surely the decade or so he would have robbed and murdered for a living were just an aberration. He has put all that behind him and has Rigmor’s best interests at heart. Nah, I don’t think so!
We exited the hotel and I saw the city at night for the first time. The streets were far less crowded than Riften or Solitude. Probably on par with Whiterun.
“Wonder if we’ll bump into you adoring fan again. Hahaha!”
You might as well hire him as your batman as this one quits. Crappy pay and a grumpy boss. No thanks.
“We’re almost there and with a bit of luck, we’ll get a side table.”
(I put my hand inside my chest plate and fondled my lucky coin. I hope that didn’t make some innocent citizens vanish into the void just so we get a side table!)
“Here it is, the Foaming Flask.”
Is there anything I should know before we enter? No brawls in there? No bans for unruly behaviour?
“No. Not one of my regulars. Too upper class. Too hard to start a good fight and the furniture costs a lot more to replace.”
We entered and it was quiet. A quiet tavern? More proof that Cyrodiil is not civilised!
The barman greeted us and Rigmor sat at a side table. I walked over and sat opposite her.
“What do you think?”
Where is the noise, the smell of piss and vomit, the arguments, the drunks coming up and telling you that you are best buddies?
“At least nobody tries to grope me when I walk past.”
I think that is the hand and a half bastard sword on your back stopping that more than anything.
“I wonder if I chopped somebody to pieces for groping me that would be self-defence?”
Let’s not test it shall we. What does Milady want to drink?
“I’ll have what you’re having as long as it’s got alcohol in it and strong.”
I walked up and said to the bartender, “My lady and I would like two of your most potent ales please.”
“Certainly. Take a seat and I’ll bring them right over.”
I sat down and a minute later the bartender placed two bottles on the table and said, “Here you go. On the house.”
Ye Olde Special brew. Ever heard of it Rigmor?
“Nope. Chug chug. It won’t drink itself!”
(We both downed the ales and everything went fuzzy for a while. Rigmor starting coughing like her throat was burnt.)
“Cough… cough… Wow! What is this stuff?”
I don’t know but I would avoid spilling any on your armour. This is nice Rigmor. Just like old times.
“Hey, do you remember that time we got thrown out of The Bannered Mare? Hahaha”
You mean when you got us thrown out. That bard got lucky though. You were walking over to shove his flute up his chute!
I didn’t mind. Leaving early gave us time for more interesting entertainment.
“Yes, yes it did.”
What about the HUGE bear in the cage. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes!
“I never did find out why I could do that you know, I just kinda knew. Sometimes I wonder what ever happened to Mr Bear…”
I was so used to bears leaving us alone that after you went to Cyrodiil I made the mistake of riding my horse amongst a pack of them. They soon let me know it only works with you around!
As I said yesterday, I will never forget the times we were together in Skyrim.
“Dragonborn I meant to ask but asked about that ghost instead. Weird! But anyway, what did happen at the top of Blacklight Tower?”
With Aedriath? If you want to know I will tell you but it was pretty gory.
“Please. I need to know.”
He was standing there not scared and full of his arrogance. He started sprouting off the usual Thalmor superiority and how he did the right things but other people let him down etc. I was getting bored with it all then he started calling you the most foulest of names. Remember I had your sword? It flashed and headed for his scrawny neck whilst mid-sentence. His eyes widened and he yelled “No…!” His head flew through the air as his body collapsed in a heap. When his head landed it was facing his body and his eyes were still open and staring at it. I lay down and stared into his eyes. We made eye contact for a second or two and I was grinning. As his eyes slowly closed for eternity I rejoiced I could give him that fitting farewell. I wiped your sword on his very expensive cloak and returned to you.
“Thank you. It is comforting to know he knew what terror was before passing.”
He beat us Rigmor. Fooled us by sacrificing his best troops to lull us into a sense of superiority. One second I was the happiest man on Nirn as my beloved had told me she loves me. Next second I was choking on my own blood from an arrow in the neck. Then I heard your pitiful cries. Calling out for me almost in unison with the three swords plunging into me. Your cries for help hurt me far more than those Thalmor blades! Then your last pitiful cry for mercy reached my ears. The Gods granted me mercy as I slipped into oblivion. I did not have to hear the echo of that plea. Once was enough and it is a sound I never want to hear ever again.
“Do you really think you died?”
As close as it doesn’t matter. Only the waning power of Lady Azura stopped me crossing over. As drained as she was she kept me alive and repaired me over three days. She named me her Champion and gave me Azura’s Bane and pleaded with me that I save you. I have helped Azura again since then. She mystifies me. A Daedric Lord that acts like a Divine. I think she supported my life before Akatosh did simply because we were surrounded by the last of her waning power on Nirn. It might have been healthier for her to let my Lord Akatosh do it. She exhausted herself.
“I don’t know what happened to me that day in Blacklight Tower. I couldn’t move. I just froze… my stomach was all knotted up…”
You bravely confronted him several times. Baa’Ren-Dar knew who was hunting us but did not tell us as he thought you might have such a reaction. He was your monster under the bed and eventually your fear won. It is allowed to do that occasionally. It reminds us we are not immortal.
“Just knowing he is gone… it’s helped me move on from all that back then. Sometimes I’ll get a reminder, catch myself in the mirror or roll on my back.”
When I saw for the scars for the first time in years this morning I felt such anger. Now my turn to ask something I always wanted to know. That day at the hot springs when I first saw your scars. You wanted me to see them didn’t you?
“Yes. They told my story in fewer words and more eloquently that I could. I knew you were a perv so the plan would work!”
I was not a perv! I warned you I was coming closer for a look. That sounds kind of perverted doesn’t it?
(I did not mention it was the first time I noticed she was a women and not a skinny teen with attitude. It helped me understand her at the time. Now it just sounds, well, even more perverted!)
“Hello, I am a pervert and I am getting closer…”
Seriously though, you drew a line in the dirt and moved forward. I told you I would always be proud of you and that is one of the reasons why.
“Those were some crazy times right? Have you seen any of the others, Casius, Yngol… Sorella?”
I have seen Casius a couple of times but that was when I was disguised so he did not recognise me. I saw him at the inns in Dawnstar and Solitude. First time he appeared to be a normal crewman. Second time I think he was a captain. A man like that would soon prove his worth no matter the occupation. I have lost track of the others. I would love to have a chat with Baa’Ren-Dar. It was even good to see Sethri again. You will be glad to know his bowels still leak an enormous amount of gas.
“Didn’t Yngol move into the mountains with Angi? Sorella must be about 12 now. I would love to see her again.”
She adored you Rigmor. Sometimes it was like two sisters with you two. Maybe we can visit when all this is over. Do you still see or hear from Baa’Ren-Dar?
“He stayed with us for a little while, helped us settle in, then moved back to Torval. He still writes sometimes and comes to visit once a year. He hasn’t changed.”
He is a remarkable individual. His letters managed to get through?
“I think the biggest problem was the Skyrim border. The rest seem to function OK. I did think about what you asked me Dragonborn, why I gave up after only two letters and then worried about what you were doing and if you had moved on. I don’t know why. At that stage I could have jumped on Ren and come visit you! Or used some of my money to find you and get your attention. You said it was the Gods again.”
Yes. I was told I could not contact you and that you would not be able to contact me. All I know is that The Divine had a plan and that is what had to happen. Only recently did I discover we could have used Mara as a conduit just to confirm with each other what our feelings were. You pray to Azura, not Mara, so that was not going to happen anyway.
You used to laugh at Baa’Ren-Dar growling or getting agitated. Remember the Battle Of Whiterun? “Dragonborn, Dragonborn, she won’t go!”
“Hahaha! I was a real pain in the arse. I owe my life to that kind old Khajiit. And of course… you.”
We were, and are, a good team Rigmor. Kindred spirits you and I.
“Let’s get another one… what you having, the same?”
I watched Rigmor walk to the bar and my heart lurched once again with the sheer love it holds for her.
She ordered the drinks and sate opposite me again.
The bartender soon arrived and placed the bottles on the table.
Rigmor said, “Here’s to us!” and we both down the second bottle each of Ye Old Whatsimacallit.
Hey Rigmor, you have gone all fizzy, fuzzy, whatever again.
“Cough. Cough. I guess they don’t call it special brew for nothing right?”
There you are! I can see you again! Now where were we?
“So, The Daughter of Azura meets the Defeater of Alduin. You are not going to get out of it this time and I want to know all about it.”
We will be here forever if I start from the very beginning of that Divine Task so if you don’t mind I will start on how I got to Sovngarde.
“Okay as long as we sit down for however long it takes for me to get the full story.”
I look forward to that Rigmor. It is an amazing tale.
Alduin had already been defeated by the Dragonborn and his companions at the Throat of the World. Alduin retreated to Sovngarde to regain his strength. He did this by consuming the souls of dead warriors who arrived in Sovngarde but had not yet entered the Hall of Valour.
Alduin was well fed by the large number of dead souls thanks to Ulfric Stormcloak’s unjust and wasteful Civil War. Wulf knew this and was desperate to find a way into Sovngarde to finish Alduin once and for all.
To learn the secret of how Alduin entered Sovngarde, Wulf and his companions formulated a plan to capture a Dovah and keep it prisoner till it talked. Dragonsreach in Whiterun was actually designed for this purpose and with some repairs was suitable for the purpose.
Jarl Balgruuf was not keen to put his city at risk while the Civil war raged and Ulfric was a threat to his city. Wulf was reluctant to kill Stormcloak soldiers. He had evidence of Ulfric’s cowardice and betrayal of The Empire during the Great War and how he was a puppet of the Thalmor.
Wulf would have been justified in simply confronting Ulfric and slaughtering him without mercy. Wulf knew what the Thalmor were capable of. He felt some pity for Ulfric and after confronting him with the irrefutable evidence gave him a chance of trial by combat.
Ulfric and his housecarl, Galmar Stone-Fist, both attacked Wulf against the ancient rules of such a challenge. Ulfric also used the Thu’um against Wulf, another violation of the ancient rules. Wulf’s skill in both Thu’um and combat far exceeded either individually but as a combined force they were a serious threat. Wulf separated them by clever use of Thu’um. He first dispatched Galmar and then Ulfric was no match at all. By killing Ulfric in this manner Wulf ended the Civil War with minimal casualties. He also allowed Ulfric and Galmar entry into Sovngarde.
Jarl Balgruuf was now ready to allow a Dragon to be called and captured in Dragonsreach.
Wulf had learned the name of Alduin’s Lieutenant, A Dovah called Odahviing. He stood on the large platform of Dragonsreach and called his name using the Thu’um. It was challenge that Odahviing could not ignore. He soon appeared above Whiterun and attacked Wulf with all his power. Wulf was at a disadvantage. He wanted to capture, not hurt or kill his opponent. He used the only mortal made shout in existence. Dragonrend. It forced Odahviing to land on the platform only feet from the Dragonborn. Wulf risked death by goading his opponent knowing Dragon Rage, something he is also susceptible to, would make the Dovah lose all caution in his desire to kill the Dragonborn.
Wulf just kept in front of the snapping jaws of the Dovah that dwarfed him in size. Finally Odahviing was in the right place for the trap to drop and pin him in place. At this stage the Dovah admitted Wulf was the winner and deserved his cooperation but not his oath of service. Wulf was happy enough. He never asked a single person to take an oath of allegiance. Why would he ask a Dovah?
Wulf found that Alduin entered and exited Sovngarde via a gateway that existed in an ancient Dov city called Skuldafn. Many people of Skyrim had forgotten the history of the Dov. Cities like Skuldafn were once dotted around the mountains of Tamriel and were designed to cater for both Dov and mortals coexisting. The only way to get there was on the back of a Dovah.
Wulf trusted the word of Odahviing. To the astonishment of the Jarl and other witnesses, Wulf and his housecarl Lydia climbed onto the neck of the Dovah and held on for dear life as it lifted into the air and carried them swiftly to Skuldafn.
Skuldafn was filled with Alduin’s last line of defence. Wulf and Lydia had to fight through several dragons and wave after wave of Draugr. After many hours of battle upon battle the pair finally reached the gateway to Sovngarde. They defeated a powerful Dragon Priest and used his staff to open the gateway.
They entered Sovngarde and were stunned by its beauty. A beauty marred by a magical mist Alduin used to confuse and frighten the lost souls in Sovngarde. These poor souls could not find the Hall of Valour and Alduin would pick them off at pleasure and consume them to renew his power.
Wulf uses a shout called Clear Skies to remove the mist from his path to the Hall. Along the way he met souls of common soldiers, both Stormcloak and Imperial, as well as Ulfric, Galmar and High King Torygg. The common soldiers took heart at the Dragonborn’s courage and followed to help with the battle to come. Galmar showed hate even in death and hurled abuse at Wulf. Ulfric showed genuine remorse for his mortal actions. King Torygg was worried about this wife who is now High Queen Elisif the Fair. Wulf promised to take her a message from her late husband.
Finally Wulf and Lydia reached the Whalebone Bridge. Why whalebones you ask? They are the remains of Stuhn, an early avatar of Stendarr and shield-thane of Shor. Guarding the bridge was Tsun the ancient god of trials against adversity and another shield-thane of Shor. Even though Wulf was Dragonborn and on a mission to free Sovngarde from Alduin, Tsun had no choice but to challenge him in combat for the right to enter the Hall. Wulf easily defeated the God. Lydia had a harder time but also did so. Wulf thinks that Shor guesses the strength of his opponent and fights accordingly. Otherwise normal soldiers would never gain access to the Hall.
Wulf had brought Lydia along specifically so she could avenge the death of her fiancé Bjorn. They were very much in love and had planned an ideal life ahead. Bjorn had moved to Helgen as the pay and conditions and chance for promotion were superior to the larger Whiterun where he had met and fallen in love with Lydia. Bjorn died defending Helgen against Alduin. Lydia did not know if his soul had reached Sovngarde and been consumed so her hatred for Alduin was great. Wulf hoped that in helping defeat Alduin, Lydia would gain something to help her with the enormous loss she had been dealt.
Wulf enter the Hall of Valour and was greeted by Ysgramor. The mighty hero explained that nobody within the Hall had been allowed to sally forth and tackle Alduin. Shor forbade it as there was no way to recover a hero whose soul was consumed by the World Eater. Wulf glanced to the throne where he knew Shor watched. Any mortal that viewed him would be afflicted with madness so incompressible is such a God to the mortal mind. Death allows enough understanding so the residents of the hall could bask in his presence with no harm. Ysgramor directed Wulf to the ancient Tongues who had fought Alduin and cast him adrift in time.
All over the hall were heroes of old. Wulf would have loved to chat with a few but he was on a mission to prevent further souls being lost. He approached the ancient Tongues who said they had been given permission by Shor and would now join him in glorious battle against their ancient foe.
The five heroes, Wulf, Lydia and the ancient Tongues crossed the bridge and gathered at the edge of grassland that was covered in Alduin’s mist. They combined their shouts three times before the mist permanently subsided leaving Alduin exposed.
Wulf used Dragonrend to bring Alduin down several times and each time he landed the five mighty warriors attacked with weapon, magic and Thu’um. After a long and extended battle Alduin was almost done. Wulf stood back as Lydia used her considerable skill to land a mighty blow and end the World-Eater’s presence on Nirn and Sovngarde. Lydia had her revenge and Wulf was pleased for his friend.
Instead of Wulf absorbing Alduin’s soul it fled Sovngarde and was integrated back into Akatosh. The natural cycle of things says that one day mortals will fail to stop Alduin and all will be destroyed and reborn.
Souls from all over Sovngarde could now find their way to the Hall of Valour. Ulfric and High King Torygg came and praised Wulf and Lydia. Galmar came and apologised and declared them heroes of Skyrim.
As Lydia and Wolf prepared to leave Sovngarde they heard somebody shout her name. Across the meadow was the soul of Lydia’s fiancé Bjorn. Shor in his wisdom gave this gift to the mighty shield-maiden who landed the final blow upon Alduin.
Lydia and Bjorn sped into each other’s arms. It is not wise for a living mortal to stay long in Sovngarde but Wulf left Lydia and her beloved enough time to say what they needed to each other. Even the God Shor had tears at witnessing such pure love.
Eventually Lydia said her final goodbyes to Bjorn and joined Wulf. Tsun Shouted them to the Throat of the World where dozens of Dov had gathered to mourn the passing of Alduin. Tyrant he may have been but he was once a respected leader to them all.
Wulf and Lydia received much praise and fame but to both the best reward was watching normal people leading normal lives. They knew every mortal of whatever species they met from then on owed their lives to their heroics. That knowledge was enough. Life with all its love, tragedy, comedy and drama would continue and thank The Divine for creating the Dragonborn.
(I kind of go into a trance when citing my bardic tales. When I focused on Rigmor she was sitting with tears rolling down her face but a smile as well. I could guess why.)
You are crying happy about Lydia aren’t you?
“You know me well Dragonborn. A remarkable tale and honestly, Malesam and the others should be kissing your arse, not judging you by their inadequate standards. But you never do anything for fame do you?”
Some fame is useful to get things done. That is it’s only value to me. Besides, fame attracts the Balin’s like flies to shit.
“What Lydia experienced. That was your hope wasn’t it? That we would see each other and run to embrace like that.”
Yes but as the gap grew wider I thought the likely scenario was us running towards each other only for you to draw your sword and skewer me.
“I have seen you use one shout in combat. I assume you have learned more.”
I know all the Shouts and Words of Power that the ancient Tongue and Greybeards know. I also have knowledge of others created by a Daedric Prince that are designed to enslave and are evil and I will never pass such knowledge on. My Thu’um is far more powerful than when you ventured with me.
“So you could like say something and everybody around you drops dead?”
That sounds like one of Sethri’s farts! Not quite like that but I could show you on these people.
(I then formed my mouth in an exaggerated way so Rigmor thought I was going to use a Shout.)
Rigmor yelled, “NO! DON’T YOU DARE!”
Barely a whisper but enough for Rigmor to hear I said, “Pisspot. Gotcha!”
When everybody stopped staring at the strange lady randomly shouting things she burst into that beautiful heart and soul stealing laughter of hers.
“This is a war isn’t it? My turn will come. What else did you do that makes a good tale over a few ales?”
I have seen so many amazing things. Met such wonderful people. I would like to just sit and talk in private and we can spend as long as you want and you can ask as many questions as you want.
“I am so glad to have you here with me again Dragonborn. Truly.”
There is nowhere else I would rather be right now.
“Get another one, I’m starting to feel good… “
I kind of walked a zig zag straight line and approached the bartender and said, “Two more of those wonderful brews thanks.”
“Here you go, now you be careful ‘cause this is pretty potent stuff you know.”
I kind of walked a zig zag straight line back to our table and plonked the bottle down. I figured out which one was my real chair and sat down. I can’t ever recall even being a bit tipsy since awakening. This was new experience!
“I think the one to my right and your left is the new one.”
Which side is left?
“The one you use to wipe your butt. Protocol remember!”
(I sniffed both hands.)
Must be this one then! Cheers!
This is like being hit on the head with a mace. Except I am not bleeding am I?
“Cough, actually I could get totally used to this.”
Imagine sitting in parley after a few of these?
“Hey, it might help understand some of the drunks dragged before me early in the morning.”
We have to be careful Rigmor. We don’t want to get too drunk.
“This might be my last chance. I’m gonna so ignore you and enjoy myself.”
I will try my damn hardest to make sure you get back home safely.
“How many times have you saved me?”
Discounting the times I have saved everybody…
(I started counting on my fingers and mumbling to myself.)
A grand total of once!
“Pffft, whatever… come on, it’s gotta be more than that. At least ten times.”
There was only twice I was not within feet of you. When they took you to that altar and when I rode off to the Battle of Whiterun. The whole idea was not to have to rescue you. In battle we saved each other many times over. We became a well-oiled killing machine. It is quite frightening what the Daughter of Azura and the Dragonborn can do together.
(A close second to the sheer beauty of Rigmor’s laughter is her giggle. It is usually a prelude to something not lady like.)
Alright Countess Tipsy. Is that the Olde stuffinthebottle or something else that causes giggles?
“Remember when we had to wear those disguises and I said you look good in a dress? Hahahaha.”
(I could not help but laugh with her. It was not the booze. It was Rigmor’s infectious good humour.)
Yeah hahaha! ‘I wonder if the Legion wear underwear?’ hahahaha!
Well I am wearing one of them Imperial dresses. Just a bit fancier for a General type person. Take a peek!
“I can’t do that? There are other soldiers behind us. They will think I am a pervert like you!”
Pretend to drop something. Have a peek while you pick it up. Free show for the Countess. Only way you will find out!
(Rigmor “accidentally” knocked an empty wooden tankard to the floor. She giggled and she crouched down to have a perv in the interests of her personal education. She came up hissing.)
“Don’t say it Dragonborn!”
Pisspot. You didn’t notice I have been wearing trousers with my uniform before now? I wonder what an Imperial General wears under his trousers?
“In your case I hope it is poison ivy.”
You started the war. I can offer you a peace treaty on my terms.
“Nope. I haven’t started yet!”
Come on Rigmor. Let’s go back to the hotel, time we got our heads down.
(Rigmor stood, sort of, and made a sort of zig zag straight line for the door.)
“Oops! I think I am a bit tipsy… hahaha.”
You had better not get too close to any open flames with that breath. Not unless you want a short lived career as a fire breathing Dovah impersonator.
(I stood and was surprisingly sober. I made a much less zig zag straight line towards what I was sure was the real door.)
The bartender said, “Watch out when you go outside. Ye Olde Special Brew kicks in with a breath of fresh air.”
Don’t worry. I with look after Milady. I am perfectly sober.
(Rigmor was reaching for the fake door handle. I was going to warn her and then she confused me by opening the fake door with the fake door handle and walking through the impossibly open fake doorway. I followed with my hands out the front of me. You never know when these fake doorways are going to slam shut with the wind and break your nose!)
“Oh… Imperial City! Keep still while I walk home.”
(The cold air was like drinking a fourth bottle of the Olde stuff.)
(When my vision sort of cleared I saw a blurry blob that must have been Rigmor making a perfectly good zig zag straight line for the Hotel.)
“Hello and make way for the Countess of Brumaaaaa… hahaha!”
Some real Imperial soldiers were standing guard. One of them yelled to Rigmor, “Oi, keep the noise down.”
(Did he just speak to my Rigmor like that? Inner beast wanted to go punch his lights out. I struggled to keep control and when I finally did I was stone cold sober! I wonder if inner beast is now tipsy instead of me? I am going to have to ask Talos how that all works. I have seen the book, “A B C for Barbarians” before. Never found an “A B C for Dragonborn”.)
I walked up to the two guards who, like real soldiers, stood straight and held a salute. I said, “Relax men and forgive Milady. Half a bottle of that Special Brew and she is crissed as a picket!”
The one on the right asked, “Excuse me Sir. Are you the Dragonborn?”
Yes I am.
“I fought with you at the Battle of Whiterun. Is that the woman who came riding in with the Sons of Talos?”
The exact same one. I wouldn’t put her on a horse right now though!
“It was a great victory Sir and if Milady Rigmor wishes she can yell more slurred drunken nonsense as loud as she wants.”
(I quickly caught up with Rigmor was prepared to catch her in case she zigged instead of zagged.)
“Why don’t you look where you going? Hahahaha!”
(Should I apologise to the huge stone pylon she just accused of not looking where it is going? Nah, it is old enough to defend itself from such slander.)
“Dragonborn, are you swaying all over the road or is it just me? Hahaha!”
(Not far now. I hope we make it before she up-chucks all over the nice clean road.)
“Hahahaha! Hey there’s the hotel… “
(Steps ahead. I better hold her arm while she negotiates all two of them!)
“What the hell is that stuff? Thankfully it seems to be wearing off a bit.”
(She was a bit more sober but still had difficulty deciding which was the real door handle.)
“Here we are… Dragonborn… shhhhhh!”
(Rigmor opened the door and sort of fell through the entrance into the lobby.)
“Shhhhh… pfft hahahahaha!”
As Rigmor made her perfectly zig zag straight line up the stairs I quickly spoke to the concierge and ask that hot water be sent up at around 8AM so Milady Rigmor can have bath. She looked a bit askance at a batman talking to her. Snob!
I rushed to catch up with Rigmor and found she had just entered our room with a triumphant, “We made it haha!”
She sat down on the end of the bed with a thoughtful look on her face. Rigmor might be a few years older but I became expert on telling what was coming next by reading body language and face. She had just come to a conclusion about something. Probably the wise decision never to drink that stuff ever again.
I said to her, “Milady. I have had a brilliant time tonight and I know it is earlier than you usually climb into bed but we had better get our heads down. We have a big day tomorrow!”
(I turned and started to walk towards my bed.)
(I turned back and found Rigmor was right behind me.)
Yes Rigmor? Can I…
(She kissed me like… well… like she used to when nobody was looking after that night in the tent. It was the closest we could get to intimacy with the hectic last days of craziness.)
(No use trying to talk till she stops for a breather. Not that I wanted it to stop but I was unsure of her sobriety. Finally she stopped.)
What is this about? Is this the drink talking? If so…
“It is not the drink! I promise! I have been thinking and thinking on all that we have said. Yesterday, today and all those years ago.”
I am confused Rigmor. Being with you and renewing our love is all I have wished for since the day you crossed the border. And now… I could not stand being hurt again if you decided later on that it was a mistake.
“My darling silly Dragonborn. I remembered all the words we exchanged. I remembered the silence we enjoyed together. There is something about that isn’t there? A big hint from somebody or something that we are meant to be together. You did not have to remind me of these things. I just had to sort out all the complex things and simplify it all. And I came to a realisation.”
“I am not as eloquent with words as you despite my training as a child.”
Please Rigmor, I will understand.
“I love you. I have always loved you. I will always love you. Being myself is extremely important to me. I can’t be myself without my Dragonborn by my side. I can’t have my Dragonborn by my side if I don’t be myself. We are one. One heart. One soul. One destiny moving forward.”
Oh my… Not eloquent? That is so damn beautiful Rigmor!
“Don’t cry my silly Dragonborn.”
I love you. I have always loved you. I will always love you. Being myself is extremely important to me. I can’t be myself without Rigmor by my side. I can’t have Rigmor by my side if I don’t be myself. We are one. One heart. One soul. One destiny moving forward.
But what about Bobby?
“FUCK BOBBY… “
The first time we made love in the tent it was a slow exploration of our bodies. It was a slow revealing of our individual wants and needs. It was about the joy and beauty in discovering the various ways to fulfil them.
We made love several times that night in the tent and each time was like perfecting a dance. An infinitely variable dance with no set rhythm or form. Neither of us leading or following. Just becoming intuitive and revelling in the beauty of it and each other.
The first time this night was a quick rush to the end. We still knew intuitively what we wanted. There was much giggling and laughter in the tent that night. But at least we had both been naked at the start. There was none of this awkward unbuttoning and unbuckling. This was a new element that was fun in itself. It was also so very noisy!
Off with my gauntlets. Put them neatly on a dresser? No time for that. Rigmor just ripped them off me and threw them randomly. One hit a wall with a thump and the floor with a clang. Hers would not normally have been as loud but I managed to hit a metal plate with two goblets with one and that produced a very satisfying cacophony. Boots were much heavier and required the wearer to be in an undignified position while the puller pulled! Four boots resulted in two instances of the puller flying backward and smashing into something. With full metal body armour still on! We found the process of instantly flying backwards amusing enough. When I smashed through a cupboard door and was half in and half out our hasty progress towards sexual congress had to wait for Rigmor to recover from hysterics. When pulling off one of my boots she flew backwards and hit one side of the bed, did a neat somersault and landed feet first on the other side, a bit lopsided because of only one boot but still a feat of skilful acrobatics that got a standing ovation from the appreciative audience. My trousers came off easily and to Rigmor’s delight I was not wearing smalls. Tradition is tradition! Her trousers also came off easily and I did admire the frilly patterns on her smalls. I had to stand behind Rigmor to remove her cuirass. That was awkward as Private Parts was at full attention. Rigmor found it highly amusing as he poked and prodded places that had nothing to do with the removal of a cuirass. It was finally off and forgetting how much it weighed I flung it and completely destroyed a small table with an expensive looking ceramic statue on it. Rigmor picked it up and its head fell off. “You at Helgen!” she cried out and thought that was oh so funny. She removed my cuirass and I thought she was going to slowly place it down somewhere. Instead she stood in the middle of the room, held as high as she could and dropped it on the floor which produced a very loud and impressive clang. I was naked. Smalls still on Rigmor. The lower came off easy. The damn brassier had a far more intricate lock than any door or chest in any dungeon I have explored. Rigmor got impatient at my fumbling, reached behind and undid it in a second.
Our need was strong. It was still an exquisite dance that flowed with its own beauty. It is just the beat was so much higher and without any attempt to prolong the experience. We made as much noise as the armour I am sure. Years of suppressing the gifts of Dibella made us abandon all decorum. One position was decided upon quickly and we rushed towards our shared peak with abandon, love and pure joy. When we hit that peak we both gasped and held each other and closed our eyes to the world. All we knew was our warmth, our racing heartbeats and the sweet abandonment of all the uncertainties we had. All the doubts about our love and commitment vanished. Any thought that this was wrong and not acceptable destroyed by the simple fact it felt right in every sense.
We lay in each other arms and both wept. Tears of relief and absolute contentment.
There was a tentative knock on the door. It was the concierge, “ Is all OK Milady Rigmor? The other guests were worried about the noise. It sounded like somebody had an accident. A very long accident!
In her most regal voice, which seemed highly inappropriate considering our state of undress, uncleanliness and still pressed together body parts, “Nothing to worry about. My silly batman tripped over his own armour and sent it sprawling all over the room. In his hast to pick it up he kept dropping bits again.”
“What about all the grunting and moaning Milady. Is he injured? Should I get a physician?”
“No need. He just bruised his coccyx. With a bit of massage it will be as good as new. We are so sorry to have caused any drama.”
‘While I am here Milady, can I please confirm you wish a bath drawn for you at about 8AM? I was unsure if you batman got it right.”
“8AM sounds perfect. We have a very important meeting with the Emperor at about just after noon.”
“As you wish Milady. I hope his coccyx feels better by the morning. Goodnight.”
We could hear her footsteps receding and the door to downstairs closing. Then we both broke out in hysterics.
Just as Rigmor was calming down I started tallying the damage and told her. She was impressed. Then I pointed out we had broken the bed we had used. More hysterics!
I will not go into details but suffice to say we went slower and steadier but still tried to make up for lost time. At one point Rigmor was fast asleep so I took the opportunity to finish today’s journal entry. If it was going to be the last I wanted this day to produce a good epitaph.
I have to go now. Rigmor has woken, saw me in the candlelight and has invited me back into her arms.
I could not know what time I fell asleep as I never did. Too much studying to do!