Silverpeak Lodge: New house, new Sentinel.
We travelled aboard Nafalilargus via ether to Whiterun. From there, I flew the airship to the foot of the Throat of the World.
Rigmor and I disembarked, and the mages flew Nafalilargus back to Cyrodiil to pick up the two new Sentinel squads.
I hadn’t told Rigmor what this trip was about and her temper was starting to fray.
“Well Wulf, are you finally going to tell me why you have dragged me to this remote place?”
“Behind you is the entrance to a surprise I paid for and designed before I left Skyrim. I thought that one day it might be our Skyrim home and we could alternate between Bruma and here. Then that inconvenience of becoming Emperor and Queen got in the way.
Rigmor looked then exclaimed, “I can’t see any house!”
“Look up and to the right.”
“Oh my! How do we get up there?”
“Along the path. It is quite a hike, but The Sentinel scared away the bears and big cats.”
“It looks a bit misty!”
“It should clear up by the time we get to the top. The mist rolls down from High Hrothgar each morning like a waterfall then dissipates as it gets warmer.”
“I am eager to see it, my love.”
Rigmor and I held hands as we walked the long, winding and steep path to Silverpeak Lodge.
“This would be a great trail on a horse!” Rigmor exclaimed.
“Yes, lots of zig-zags when we get to the snow line. I am sure Ben would enjoy the ride down, not so much the way up.”
We walked reasonably slowly so by the time we reached near the top, the mist and fog had been burnt away by the morning sun.
“Much further?” my Queen puffed.
“Almost there. Just this last steep bit to go.”
One of the Elite Whiterun Guards saluted then said, “Welcome your Highnesses.”
“Relax soldier. Jarl Balgruuf said he was getting some new armour commissioned. Very nice indeed!”
“Thank you, Your Highness. It is a privilege to be one of the first four Whiterun Guards chosen to protect your property.”
“One of my closest friends and a Sentinel was once a Whiterun Guard. She even fought beside me against Alduin.”
“Lydia is an inspiration to all of us. She greeted us warmly when we first arrived. I was at a bit of a loss for words and extremely nervous, but she made me feel at ease.”
“What is your name?”
“Glad to meet you Furama.”
Furama saluted again as Rigmor and me proceeded to the top of the long climb.
“Why the Whiterun Guards?” asked Rigmor.
“It was a deal I made with Jarl Balgruuf when I thought I would be living here as Thane.
“Are there any Penitus Oculatus?”
“Yes, at the front door. There are six Whiterun Guards and six Penitus Oculatus. That means three eight hour shifts covers the twenty-four hours of each day.
“That long path is the only way to get here, isn’t it?”
“The Throat of the World one side. The long path on this side. Sheer drops to hard rocks on the other two sides. It would not be easy to assault, and if I had a couple of Sentinel Squads with me, it would take a vast army to get near the house.”
We reached the plateau where the house is, and Rigmor asked, “Did you pay for this to get flattened? It would have cost a fortune and taken a lot of labourers.”
“No, there was a village here for centuries until The Greybeards called my Father’s name and summoned him to High Hrothgar.”
“You mentioned once that the power of their combined Shout caused a huge avalanche.”
“It had been over a thousand years since they used a Shout from up there. The damage was unintentional, but the town was destroyed and never rebuilt. Many lives were lost. When they summoned me, they used a fraction of the power as they knew I was close by.”
Just then one of the cows trotted past.
“I can see the farm animals Wulf, but where are the fields? How can I sit sipping cocktails while you till the soil if there are no fields?”
“There are dozens of planters. I might get some beehives as well. That will be the extent of farming this high up the mountains.”
We looked over the balcony towards Whiterun, and Rigmor said, “Wow! This view, although impressive, makes you realise how high the Throat of the World is. We are not even halfway up it!”
“I wonder if I can hit Jorvaskkr with a Fireball from here?”
Rigmor looked up at High Hrothgar and asked, “Are you sure it is safe from avalanches?”
‘Yes. Before construction started, I climbed up that slope and dislodged any loose boulders and rocks myself. Now the mountain is the only thing sticking through the snow.”
Serana and Angus were cooking a roast over an open fire. Rigmor looked at the cows, then the roast and whispered, “I hope that is not one of their cousins!”
“No! Not uncle Sven you mooderers!”
“Have I ever told you you’re weird?”
“I don’t know how many times I’ve HERD that!”
Rigmor just shook her head and walked to the small natural spa pool.
I told her, “The green is from the minerals. A lot like the water where I first saw your scars.”
“Where you could not control your perverted self from gawking!”
“Like the disappearing boat, I will never hear the end of that episode. You wanted me to see the scars.”
“A gentleman would have looked away.”
“A lady wouldn’t have bathed naked in front of a stranger.”
Rigmor laughed and then looked over to some equipment and giggled.
“What is so funny, Milady?”
“Chopping wood, using the grindstone and stoking the kiln. All shirtless pastimes even in the snow. I might be able to enjoy my cocktails, after all.”
“Have you tried Talen-Jei’s? I think he is the only innkeeper in Skyrim who does cocktails.”
“How could I since you are yet to take me back to visit Riften?”
“If we could go there without Maven Black-Briar using the occasion to further her ego I would. I can disguise myself easily.”
“And why couldn’t I use a disguise?”
“Because your beauty would shine through any we tried.”
“You see, that is why I keep you around. Occasionally you say just the right thing!”
We walked to another part of the property, and I said to Rigmor, See here, lots of crafting equipment!”
Rigmor yawned then said, “Oh, how exciting.”
“Well then control yourself my Queen for over here we have… drum roll please… some stables!”
“You sure know how to make a woman feel special.”
I walked around the corner then asked, “Well what about this decking. It goes around three sides and is wide enough to accommodate your sarcasm.”
“Now this I like! I would want safer fencing if we were to bring Kintyra here.”
“I know. Kids will climb without fear. We do get gusts of wind here that can topple a child over.”
Samples of alcohol from many parts of Nirn covered a couple of outdoor dining tables.
“Looks like The Sentinel have raided your cellar again Wulf.”
“At least the Nords, like Calder and Angus, are learning to get pickled on something other than mead.”
“Okay, husband. What is with the tall platforms?”
“I have been learning how to create and use the Telvanni air-lift Dweomer. I will show you some more natural spas later, and you can watch what I use them for.”
“Tell me you do not dive from that high!”
“If you were not several months pregnant, you would jump off that platform in a second.”
“I know I can’t so I might have a soak in the spa though.”
We continued around the decking till we came to dozens of planters.
I told Rigmor, “I just randomly planted things. Serana and others who are more into alchemy will probably uproot everything and grow rare reagents.”
“I have seen you spend hours trying out new alchemy recipes.”
“Yes, but once I figure out how to make something, I lose interest.”
“I bet you haven’t found a single recipe that uses rabbit legs!”
“It is good to know they maintain a sense of humour even after becoming Gods. It makes me wonder how much laughter was in my childhood home.”
“You told me your Father was very relaxed in Aetherius.”
“That time I talked to him at the waterfall, he was not gentle. It still irritates me that he could speak so to me when I have never refused The Divine.”
“We have both felt their enormous and consuming love. We can still get angry at those we adore.”
“No way! I have never been at the receiving end of your anger, my Queen.”
“You are lucky I don’t have my sword with me, my Emperor.”
“Speaking of which, how did your sparring go with the new Sentinel?”
“Irritating because they were all too timid! You would think I was porcelain. At least I got to watch Lydia give them all bruises. All except for Inigo. I have never seen a better dual wielder! And his marksmanship is even better!”
“I am looking forward to see how they go on our field trip tomorrow.”
“It is so nice of bandits to gather in large numbers. Makes it easier for you to train The Sentinel.”
“After a couple of pitched battles, when grossly outnumbered, their fighting synergy will develop naturally. I just observe the transition from individuals to a team.
We made our way to the front where the tour started, and I said, “See up on the hill. Some archery targets and a statue of my Father.”
“I can’t believe Assclown dared ask for that stupidity to return.”
“Please Rigmor, I am enjoying the day. Let’s not spoil it.”
“Look at me, Wulf!”
I turned, and Rigmor said, “Remember what your mother told you. There is nothing that has the power of our love. Not even a nation of Assclowns!”
“Just the thought of them holding the Red Diamond as a bargaining tool gets my Dov half screaming in rage.”
“Well, look behind you. Let the beauty of Nirn overcome your anger.”
I turned, and the highest clouds were glowing red and orange. It was magnificent!
I exclaimed, “That is so rare at midday even Serana has stopped to have a look!”
“I am sure you could explain why it is happening, but let’s just pretend The Divines did it.”
We stood marvelling at the colours for a while, then I said, “Let us go inside and continue the tour.”
We entered, then Rigmor’s eyes went wide. She exclaimed, “This is the biggest room in a house that I have ever seen!”
“Not many palaces have a bigger living area without doors. The only doors are the front and back entrances and the door to our private chambers. Oh, and to the privies of course.”
“What is a home without a bar?” asked Rigmor.
“A sober one?” I replied.
We moved into an adjoining room.
“I was thinking of you when designing this kitchen. There will be some nice rugs put down, so your bare feet do not get cold on the stone floor.”
“Are they swords I see within my reach?”
“Regicide is illegal, just in case you forget.”
“Who is making hot bread? It smells fantastic!”
“Probably Kharjo. He adds all these spices to it.”
Enchanter and alchemy equipment were on the opposite wall to the kitchen.
Unknown to Master Neloth, I had taken note of how his staff enchanter worked and made my own.
A small number of weapon racks are on this floor.
There is a massive basement with dozens of dummies and racks.
More crafting and smelting equipment.
A small library.
When she saw the shrines, Rigmor asked, “Is that a shrine to Boethia?”
“Of course, and a few other Daedra. Doubt if we will end up with all seventeen Dark Lords, but the ones there cover our current crop of Sentinel.”
I showed Rigmor the children’s bedroom and told her, “We can have six of the orphanage children come here for more training. The Sentinel are keen on that idea, especially those who used to work in my orphanages.”
I showed Rigmor one corner where I had craftsmen from the Dragonborn Gallery create and install miniatures for me.
“The main barracks can sleep forty at a time. That is plenty of space for The Sentinel and other guards.”
I told Rigmor, “Madras helped me get the Dwemer piping and machinery working to pump natural spring water into the large pool.”
“He even showed me how to use steam to create an artificial spa.”
Rigmor laughed when she saw the soap and towels.
“Do the Nords even know how to use them?” she asked.
“One of the Orsimer tried to eat a bar. Some of them do smell edible, I suppose.”
The size of our private room impressed my beloved, who said, “Plenty of room for a crib!”
Then she sounded disappointed, “We might have to double the wardrobe space though.”
I quipped, “Yeah, one of your maternity dresses takes up an entire wardrobe.”
The guest bedroom is also of a reasonable size.
Rigmor wanted to soak in the large outside spa for a while.
While she did that, I made sure the new guards had settled in okay.
After a while I donned my bathing suit, headed outside and floated on air to the diving platform.
The only way to get down was to jump into the spa.
A bird flew past screeching. I am sure it was mocking my stupidity.
“Stop admiring the view, Wulf, jump already!” Rigmor called from below.
“Not as stupid as you think!” I called back to the bird.
I jumped and hit the water.
The cushioning Dweomer I had placed in the spa made it feel like I landed on a bed of feathers.
Rigmor had got out of the spa while I was jumping but soon joined me in the warm water.
“So, what do you think?” I asked her.
“It is beautiful, Wulf!”
“And it is secure Rigmor. We could relax here, surrounded by The Sentinel and other guards. Just relax and do nothing.”
“Isn’t it traditional after warming yourself in the spa, that you then freeze yourself out in the open?”
“That is why seats are sitting on the edge of a very long drop. They are out in the freezing wind.”
We went and sat for at least ten minutes. Our Goosebumps had Goosebumps by the time we made our way back inside and got warm again.
While a feast was being cooked, we sat by the fire and talked.
I asked, “What do you think of the new Sentinel?”
“I think we have chosen well. I could not believe how many people showed interest.”
“When they sat down with the current Sentinel and told what the position entails, many decided it was not for them.”
“I thought you would freak out when you saw Inigo after that dream thingy you had. Where some of the orphanage’s children and Sentinel die.”
“That was before we had The Sentinel. It was when I was trying to decide if it was right to ask friends to halt their lives for us. I have a gut feeling Inigo is far more than he seems.”
“Is he the first Skooma addict we have accepted? Some people would think that is a foolish thing to do.”
“People can overcome Skooma addiction with support and a purpose. Wujeeta, the current headmaster of the Dragon’s Keep orphanage, was a Skooma addict.”
“Yes, and she has done very well since you helped her in Riften.”
“Inigo’s story is very sad. I think we can help each other.”
“Well, at least The Sentinel can start having time away from us now. We only need four squads rotating so two squads at a time can be doing something else.”
Rigmor laughed, and that is always joyous.
We talked about many things waiting for the new Sentinel to arrive.
Rigmor thought we were going to have this feast at the dreary barracks in the Imperial Palace.
This place, especially with my large assortment of foreign booze, should be more fun.
Many of The Sentinel had met the recruits during preliminary interviews and evaluations, but this was going to be the first opportunity to greet them as fellow Sentinel.
The feast went for hours. Rigmor retired to bed long before the talking, eating and, of course, drinking started to peter out.
The Sentinel were mixing like I hoped the rest of Nirn would one day. No race, nationality or political leaning got in the way.
I am proud to call the old Sentinel my friends. Let’s hope the news ones are as well.