Tirdas, 26th Last Seed, 4E 201
& Middas, 27th Last Seed, 4E 201
We arrived in Whiterun just after 9:00 AM. The carriage ride had been uneventful except for detouring around pitched battles. The horse knew the route and the driver hardly ever had to attend to it except when reaching an intersection with other routes. The carriage driver narrated his perspective on various sights, monuments, etc. He was often historically wrong, but a few elbows from Rigmor told me to shut up and let his version be told.
The driver didn’t ask questions about who we were or our business. That is part of the unwritten pact. People don’t mess with the carriages, and the drivers remain tight-lipped about who and why and where they transported people. Diplomacy is never abandoned, and if carriages were attacked, spokespeople could not travel to and from parley.
Things might change with the dragons arriving. They are likely to attack anybody they see on the roads of Skyrim.
I was certain Skyrim would be the only place the dragons congregate as this is where many are buried, waiting for Alduin to restore them. Where Alduin will get the life force to do the restorations is unknown. Tackling the whole of Tamriel would not be wise, as Alduin learnt last time.
We stabled the horses, and I decided to look at Whiterun’s defences. The walls were stone, but the fortifications and houses were wood. It could end up scorched walls with all buildings destroyed, just like Helgen.
Hashire warned, “Thalmor are coming! They were hiding in the long grass, and I could not smell them!”
Rigmor yelled, “Thalmor!”
I ran towards her, and it was apparent The Thalmor were intent on taking her alive. They could have stood back and finished Rigmor with arrows. Instead, they surrounded her and soon discovered how she wiped out all at their Bruma embassy.
A couple of Thalmor turned to face me. Rigmor was finishing off her opponent.
I killed my opposition. The last enemy found herself with a bull charging her, Rigmor rapidly firing arrows at her, and a passing Bosmer taking aim.
She died, and the fight was over.
I walked over to Rigmor.
“These troops are good, Rigmor. Far better than the average Thalmor. They managed to hide from Hashire!”
“I think we were a bit complacent, Wulf.”
“I thought they wouldn’t continue to defy Jarl Balgruuf’s ban.”
“I think The Thalmor recognise our armour. Some snitch has probably given them an excellent description for a few septim.”
I searched the bodies. There was no paperwork or indication they were New Order troops and not regular Thalmor.
I recognised the scout uniform one of them wore.
I went over to Hashire.
“Sorry, this long grass has much seed in it. The Thalmor must have been hiding for some time, and it masked their scent.”
“You are not infallible, Hashire, and I was too careless. But we live and learn and will be more cautious from now on.”
I summoned Celestine.
- Wulf: Is there any word from Akavir?
- Celestine: Vayu arrived at the Safe House. So did Seiko and Taku. It appears everybody obeyed the Swordmasters and left them to die. Most, if not all, Blades should be in Skyrim by now.
- Rigmor: I bet you are relieved!
- Celestine: I would say more than you would know, but I see that things have changed and that you would understand.
- Rigmor: Oh!
- Celestine: I can see you just fought Thalmor, and I know that the worries of The New Order and Alduin still exist. Yet Wulf seems more relaxed than I have seen him in days.
- Wulf: Rigmor, Blades are trained to assess people and situations quickly. Celestine is not telepathic, and there is no gobblygook involved.
- Rigmor: Yes, Celestine. I understand how relieved you are to have your soulmate return to your side. Mine was gone for four years, although I didn’t know that until recently.
- Wulf: I am sure you two ladies can chinwag about it all soon enough. But right now, we have a Jarl to visit.
- Celestine: Wulf, it is okay for you to mourn our teachers, our friends, the Swordmasters.
- Wulf: When we left Akavir, we both knew it was the last time we would see them. I will mourn them for the second time when circumstances allow.
- Celestine: Ensure you do. Now tell me, what is happening with The New Order?
- Rigmor: Celestine, one hundred New Order troops have arrived in Skyrim to hunt me. These six are the first we have encountered.
- Wulf: They are elite soldiers, so I have decided you need to be with us.
- Celestine: I understand. I got to spend some, ahh, quality time with Vayu and can report he is fit and healthy. Angi and Sorella are well protected.
- Wulf: If you ladies start discussing details of Vayu’s fitness, I shall stick my fingers in my ears!
- Rigmor: Wulf and I fought and killed a dragon. I watched him absorb its soul!
- Celestine: Was he one of Alduin’s?
- Wulf: His name was Nilunslaad, and I don’t think he was restored. I don’t remember his name in the Atlas of Dragons. He was weak and foolish. I think all he could see was the glory of beating The Dragonborn in battle.
- Celestine: And what about the soul absorption?
- Wulf: It was spectacular but horrific. The Nine need to find a better way.
- Celestine: They probably have a plan but are waiting for the right moment to tell you about it.
- Rigmor: What? Keeping secrets that you slowly trickle down to those who need to know? How rude!
- Wulf: Rigmor’s sarcasm is directly proportional to her health.
- Rigmor: What’s that mean?
- Celestine: As you get healthier, you get more sarcastic.
- Rigmor: Well, Wulf, that was a weird way to state the obvious!
- Wulf: Come on, let us visit Whiterun and the Jarl.
Whiterun’s streets were surprisingly quiet. By this hour in Solitude, they would be packed with people.
I turned to talk to Rigmor.
She said, “I’m falling in love with this place already.”
“Yes, it is beautiful, but I sense fear. The dragons and Civil War weigh heavily on the people here. Where are the children playing in the streets? Even the market seems too quiet.”
“Well, my Guardian, maybe we can help with that fear?”
Later on, I felt sad when Rigmor asked, “Why do they have an ugly dead tree in the middle of the city?”
“It is not quite dead, Rigmor. That tree is The Gildergreen, grown from a graft of The Eldergleam, the oldest living thing in all of Tamriel. It is sacred to the followers of Lady Kynareth and stood there, unchanged, for thousands of years until recently. Lightning struck it, and it has been slowly dying since. People believe it to be some omen of doom since lightning struck countless times in the past without harm. I only wish I could have seen it in all its glory.”
“Can it be saved?”
“I don’t know. If it can be saved, I am positive Lady Kynareth will ask for assistance.”
I looked up at Jorrvaskr and sneered.
Rigmor asked, “What is that place?”
“Jorrvaskr, home of The Companions.”
“Ahh, the equivalent of the Fighter’s Guild.”
“No, they are not! They are idiots who the people of Skyrim regard with some unexplainable reverence. They worship Ysgramor and find glory in battle, while The Fighter’s guild does not. The Fighter’s Guild is not a pack of mercenaries, whilst The Companions wouldn’t save an old lady from a burning house unless somebody paid them first.
“So, you don’t like them much?”
We entered Dragonsreach, the keep of Whiterun and residence of Jarl Balgruuf the Greater.
Rigmor whispered, “Whoa! Check this place out!”
“Whoa, check the skull of a Dovah displayed as a trophy. Ignorant brutes!”
We passed the rooms of Court Wizard Farengar Secret-Fire, a mediocre mage whose arrogance is legendary. If I have to deal with him, I don’t think we will be friends.
Irileth approached with her sword drawn, and I worked hard to suppress my anger.
Irileth demanded, “What is the meaning of this interruption? Jarl Balgruuf is not receiving visitors.”
“Put your sword away, or we turn and leave. You wanted me to speak to the Jarl about the dragons. Well, here I am, and I expect the rules of parley to be honoured!”
Irileth sheathed her sword.
“My apologies, Valdr. I was expecting you, not the fugitive and another.”
“Call me Wulf, which is my real name. The fugitive is Rigmor. Celestine is a Blade and Master Mage.”
“Bounty hunters who are seeking Rigmor have been causing chaos all over the Hold of Whiterun. No murders yet, but it is only a matter of time.”
“I suspect every other Hold is experiencing the same.”
“Come then. The Jarl is looking annoyed, so be prepared for his mood.”
“I expect respect, Irileth. We risked our lives to come here!”
We approached Jarl Balgruuf, and he lived up to his reputation.
- Balgruuf: Well? I trust you have something vitally important to tell me. Important enough to interrupt me in the middle of council?
- Wulf: Jarl Balgruuf, I was invited to discuss the dragon problem. If that is of no importance to you, we shall retire to the tavern and enjoy a few meads instead.
- Proventus: Careful how you speak to the Jarl!
- Wulf: A senior advisor like yourself should know that respect works both ways. We risked our lives to come here, and all we have been shown is disrespect.
- Balgruuf: Yes, you are right, and I apologise.
- Wulf: I am Wulf Welkynd. It is an honour to meet you, Jarl Balgruuf. The lady in the lovely armour is Rigmor Ragnarsdottier, whom our friends, The Thalmor, have named Rigmor of Bruma. The other woman is Celestine, fugitive Blade and Master Mage.
- Balgruuf: What can you tell me about the dragon attack on Helgen? Nothing official has come from The Empire, and I believe they were involved.
- Wulf: We arrived hours after the attack but questioned several people. General Tullius set a trap to capture Ulfric Stormcloak at Darkwater Crossing. It worked, but General Tullius feared The Stormcloaks might mount a significant rescue effort. Therefore he decided to execute Ulfric in Helgen rather than Solitude. Helgen is now a stone wall surrounding burnt buildings. The dragon attacked before Ulfric was shortened, and it seems he made it back to Windhelm in one piece. Most of the citizens of Helgen were killed. An entire division of elite Legionnaires, including many Battlemages, were killed. There is very little left that is recognisable.
- Irileth: That confirms the information that Hadvar told me.
- Balgruuf: I should have guessed Ulfric would be mixed up in this.
- Wulf: The dragons have nothing to do with Ulfric.
- Balgruuf: Dragons?
- Wulf: Helgen is the beginning of a second Dragon War. Two days ago, Rigmor and I were attacked by a dragon at the hot springs near Windhelm. It was not the one that attacked Helgen.
- Proventus: A dragon destroyed Helgen and killed hundreds of Legionnaires. Yet you stand here and claim that slim girl and yourself survived a dragon attack. Preposterous!
- Wulf: We not only survived, but we also killed it.
- Irileth: Some news sheets have reported that a dragon was fought and killed at that location. Some eyewitnesses said a large man in red armour ran at the dragon and killed it with many strokes of his sword. The dragon carcass is now a popular attraction.
- Proventus: My Jarl, may I caution that one of the women is a wanted criminal? The other is an outlaw according to Imperial Law. Who knows what this Wulf happens to be?
- Wulf: Since when is somebody a criminal because The Thalmor say so? Is your ban on The Thalmor from Whiterun Hold still in effect, Jarl Balgruuf?
- Balgruuf: Yes.
- Wulf: Then why were we attacked by six of their best just outside Whiterun stables this morning? If you think that is a lie, Proventus, go and look and ask the stable hands and others what occurred!
- Balgruuf: Then tell us, Wulf, why do The Thalmor pursue you with such vigour?
- Wulf: Not me, but Rigmor, daughter of Sir Ragnar Fjonasson, The Beast of Hammerfell and decorated war hero.
- Balgruuf: Is this true, Milady.
- Rigmor: Yes, that is who I am. Do you believe the lies about my dad, Jarl Balgruuf?
- Balgruuf: No, not at all. We all looked up to your father, and I have shared mead with enough veterans who fought beside him to know what the truth is.
- Wulf: The Thalmor enslaved Rigmor and almost beat her to death. She escaped, and they didn’t like that. A fifteen thousand septim reward is not standard, and now you know why.
- Rigmor: We tried to rescue Rose, your citizen arrested in Riverwood. She had already escaped, but none of those Thalmor will be entering Whiterun hold ever again.
- Celestine: Proventus, can you see the symbol of The Empire on my kimono? I understand why Emperor Mede II made us outlaws and hold no grudge. Yet you, who has never been in service, dare to judge me?
- Balgruuf: Enough tearing strips off Proventus. What else can you tell us about the dragons, Wulf?
- Wulf: There is a lot I could tell you but won’t for many reasons. But soon, I believe, everybody will know what we face.
- Balgruuf: Okay, I can accept that. You have valid reasons for the secrecy, no doubt.
- Irileth: There are reports of a large person in red armour killing Stormcloaks in what some soldiers called ‘a dance of death’. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, Wulf?
- Wulf: Red armour must be a new trend. There seems to be a few of us who like the colour.
- Balgruuf: What do you say now, Proventus? Shall we continue to trust the strength of our walls? Against the dragons?
- Irileth: My lord, have you reconsidered sending troops to Riverwood? It’s in the most immediate danger if dragons lurk in the mountains.
- Proventus: The Jarl of Falkreath will view that as a provocation! He’ll assume we’re preparing to join Ulfric’s side and attack him.
- Wulf: The Jarl of Falkreath doesn’t give a shit about anything, even the loss of Helgen! We encountered some Whiterun militia in Falkreath hold as nothing had been done to help his people.
- Balgruuf: Enough! I will not stand idly by while dragons burn my hold and slaughter my people!
- Wulf: Soldiers sent to Riverwood won’t stop a dragon, Jarl Balgruuf. Neither will your walls. But you do need some troops with authority who can organise the people and guide them to shelter if an attack occurs.
- Balgruuf: Yes, I see. Irileth, send a detachment to Riverwood at once.
- Irileth: Yes, my Jarl.
- Balgruuf: Wulf, you seem to lack a sense of etiquette.
- Wulf: On the contrary, I am well versed in what is expected. But etiquette should not come at the expense of lives.
- Balgruuf: Well, you kept your promise to Irileth and reported to me despite the danger to your lives. You have done Whiterun a service, and I won’t forget it.
- Rigmor: If you deem to offer a reward for us doing the right thing, we ask you not to as that would be offensive.
- Balgruuf: Ha, don’t let The Companions hear you say that. It would be sacrilege to them.
- Proventus: If you’ll excuse me, I’ll return to my duties.
- Balgruuf: That would be best.
- Wulf: If that is all, Jarl Balgruuf, we shall take our leave.
- Balgruuf: There is another thing you could do for me. Suitable for people of your talents, perhaps.
- Wulf: I have no idea what you think our talents are. But we must concentrate on the dragons.
- Balgruuf: In that case, follow me. Farengar, my court wizard, has been looking into a matter related to these dragons and rumours of dragons.
- Wulf: In that case, we will see if we can help.
We followed Jarl Balgruuf to Farengar, and instantly, the pompous turd earned my eternal dislike.
- Balgruuf: Farengar, I think I’ve found some people who can help with your dragon project. Go ahead and fill them in with all the details.
- Farengar: Hmm, you think this rabble could help me? I don’t think so.
- Wulf: You are overheating that essence of Spriggan sap.
- Celestine: And you should know that leaving filled soul gems near an unwarded pentacle is dangerous.
- Wulf: And if you can’t remember where you placed a shock rune, don’t place them! Plus, not everybody can see them as I can. One more step, ash time! It would be terrible if you turned yourself into a pile of ash.
- Rigmor: His most significant danger lies in questioning the intelligence of his Jarl.
- Balgruuf: Farengar!
- Farengar: I, ah, learned of a certain stone tablet said to be housed in Bleak Falls Barrow. It is a ‘Dragonstone’ and contains a map of dragon burial sites. Go to Bleak Falls Barrow, find this tablet, which is no doubt interred in the main chamber, and bring it to me. The task is simplicity itself.
I walked around the table and looked at a book with handwritten translations.
- Wulf: You hope to compare the Dragonstone to the kills mentioned in this worn copy of Atlas of Dragons.
- Farengar: How would you….
- Wulf: Did you do this translation?
- Farengar: Yes, it has taken months of hard work.
- Wulf: You constantly get the tense wrong with your Dovahzul. And your Tsaesci is way off the mark.
- Farengar: What?
- Celestine: Both Wulf and I are fluent in Tsaesci and Dovahzul.
- Wulf: You suspect who the dragon is that attacked Helgen, don’t you?
- Balgruuf: Is this true, Farengar.
- Farengar: Well, it is just a theory, but we think it might be Alduin.
- Wulf: It was Alduin. The last part of The Prophecy of the Dragonborn has been fulfilled.
- Balgruuf: Can you recite it for us?
Yes, of course. Celestine, please recite the omens, and I will explain how they were fulfilled.
“When misrule takes its place at the eight corners of the world.”
“That refers to Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn imprisoning Emperor Uriel Septim VII in Oblivion using The Staff of Chaos. He then broke the staff into eight pieces hidden around Tamriel.”
“When the brass tower walks and Time is reshaped.”
“Numidium is the brass tower and walked, meaning it was activated. However, due to a Dragon Break, seven rulers of Iliac bay obtained control simultaneously. A Dragon Break reshapes Time.”
“When the thrice-blessed fail and the Red Tower crumbles.”
“The Nerevarine removed the immortality of The Tribunal, resulting in Baar Dau falling onto Vivec, obliterating that city and causing Red Mountain, the Red Tower, to erupt.”
“When the Dragonborn Ruler loses his throne, and the White Tower falls.”
“This is a two-part omen. The first part refers to Emperor Uriel Septim VII, a Dragonborn Ruler, being assassinated and the Oblivion Crises beginning. The second part refers to the capture of The White-Gold Tower by The Thalmor during The Great War.”
“When the Snow Tower lies sundered, kingless, bleeding.”
“Skyrim is kingless after High King Torygg’s murder. Skyrim, whose tower is The Throat of the World, is sundered by the ensuing civil war.”
“The World-Eater wakes, and the wheel turns upon The Last Dragonborn.”
“Alduin has returned, and I am The Last Dragonborn!”
Farengar was speechless. Jarl Balgruuf laughed.
- Rigmor: Something amuses you, Jarl Balgruuf?
- Balgruuf: Farengar’s mouth is like a fish out of water. Open, close, open, close. Hahaha!
- Wulf: I thought the first public announcement of my arrival would elicit something other than laughs.
- Rigmor: Maybe you should have hired some trumpeters and maybe even a drummer? It kinda lacked any dramatic climax.
- Celestine: If Farengar doesn’t get some air soon, he will faint.
- Wulf: Well, let’s go and visit Bleak Falls Barrow. It is near Riverwood, up a windy and narrow trail. We shall hitch our horses at Riverwood and walk from there.
- Rigmor: How do you know where it is?
- Celestine: Hasn’t he told you how he remembers everything he reads?
- Rigmor: Uhuh. He just said he could read fast.
- Celestine: He will have the entire map of Skyrim in his head with all the minute details.
- Rigmor: Then why did he rely on road signs when we travelled to Riften?
- Celestine: Secrets.
- Rigmor: Ahh, one of those, ‘If Rigmor knew, she might find it too weird!’ secrets.
- Celestine: Yep. One of them.
- Wulf: It looks like Farengar might live.
- Celestine: We shall leave immediately, Jarl Balgruuf, but don’t expect us back till tomorrow.
- Balgruuf: Are you sure Farengar will live?
- Wulf: Oh, sorry if that is terrible news!
We left a laughing Jarl and wheezing mage as we headed for the exit.
The streets were still tranquil as we approached the gates of Whiterun.
We stopped to listen to Irileth address the guard detachment destined for Riverwood.
- Guard One: Yes, Housecarl, we shall leave immediately.
- Guard Two: It’s just us against a dragon, is that it?
- Irileth: I can’t afford to send anyone else. And we don’t know where the dragon is.
- Guard Three: But three of us against a dragon?
- Irileth: Your primary job will be to watch and get the people to safety if the town is attacked.
- Guard One: Run from the dragon? We can do that!
- Irileth: I don’t expect the three of you to fight off a dragon by yourselves. But I do expect you to do your duty.
- Guard Three: Of course. We’ll keep Riverwood safe.
- Guard Two: You can count on us!
- Guard One: Let’s move out. Time’s a-wasting.
Irileth came over to us.
“Well, is there something you want?”
I replied, “No, Irileth. We were just admiring the morale of your guards. I am sure they are terrified of the thought of a dragon, yet they are keen to help. It is admirable.”
“Thank you. I take great pride in those who remained instead of joining sides in this insane civil war.”
We collected our horses from the stable.
- Rigmor: What a pretty horse, Celestine. But where did it come from?
- Celestine: When Wulf summoned me, I summoned my horse.
- Rigmor: Oh, I didn’t notice.
- Celestine: Her name is Helena, and she is just an ordinary horse, not a Unicorn or anything fancy.
- Wulf: Hashire is glad Helena is with us. He says she is on heat.
- Celestine: Hashire and Helena, I don’t care what you two get up to, but wait till I dismount. And Hashire, if Helena gets pregnant, you will be a proper father to the foal.
- Wulf: Hashire says you just ruined any plans he had for a fun romp.
- Celestine: Good. My Helena isn’t that type of girl anyway.
Hashire snorted, and so did Helena. So much for that claim by Celestine.
I was not the target of some random attack by a bandit. Instead, we found one clubbing lambs to death. I cut him down but not before he killed a lamb.
Rigmor cried. I wondered how it would taste with a bit of mint sauce.
A bit further along, I told Rigmor, “This should cheer you up, Honningbrew Meadery.”
“Cool. Do they have sample mead tasting?”
“Yes, and I heard it is the best mead to drink when enjoying juicy lamb chops.”
“I hate you!”
When approaching a waterfall, I said to Rigmor, “This part of Skyrim is very much like the small island of Roscrea where I lived for the first eighteen years of my life. I have always liked fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls because they were part of my childhood.”
“Maybe we can visit there one day.”
“Yes, that would be nice.”
“Maybe visit your dad and mom if she is back.”
“Just knowing where she is would be nice.”
A wolf attacked and died.
An elderly mage was arguing with the rest of the pack and firing the odd Ice-Spear when they showed their snouts.
We reached Riverwood and hitched our horses at various spots.
The three guards we saw in Whiterun had run to Riverwood and were immediately on duty. We arrived not long after.
After the horses were hitched, we gathered on the main thoroughfare. I whispered, “Another New Order squad.”
I shot one, then yelled, “Watch out! The Thalmor are attacking Riverwood because of your Jarl’s ban. We will deal with them!”
The angry Thalmor came charging toward Riverwood with weapons drawn. I heard one of the guards say, “He is right. The bastards are attacking Riverwood!”
Soon all six were deceased.
I said to one of the guards, “When you get the chance, report this atrocity to Jarl Balgruuf. Thalmor attacking Riverwood cannot go unpunished.”
“Ahh, certainly. How many shots did you take?”
“Six, one for each enemy.”
“Oh, I thought so. Ahh, good work.”
“Do you know anything of the trail to Bleak Falls Barrow?”
“There is a tower about halfway manned by bandits. As a matter of fact, I think Bleak Fall Barrows is full of bandits.”
“Thank you. Have a nice day.”
We quickly visited Alvor.
- Alvor: Valdr, it is good to see you. If you want to see Hadvar, he got sick of his mother’s chicken soup and rejoined his Legion in Solitude.
- Wulf: No, I just thought you and other citizens of Riverwood would like to know Rose escaped from The Thalmor and was last seen entering Cyrodiil.
- Alvor: That is good news!
- Rigmor: And we killed the bastards who took her.
- Alvor: That will generate a few cheers. Thalmor bastards!
- Wulf: Blessings of The Nine on you and your family, Alvor.
We passed the elderly mage who had been arguing with the wolves.
I asked, “Did you get them all?”
“No, the Alpha Male escaped, and I had a Fireball ready to fire right up his arse, pardon the language.”
The Alpha Male appeared not far up the trail to Bleak Falls Barrow.
He charged then leapt for my throat.
And he died.
The skies were overcast. Drizzle fell constantly.
I pointed to the left and slightly down from The Throat of the World’s summit.
- Wulf: Can you see High Hrothgar, Rigmor?
- Rigmor: Woah, that is high up! How do we get to it?
- Celestine: You walk the seven thousand steps.
- Rigmor: Seven thousand steps? No way, my thighs burn after seven.
- Wulf: It will be fun!
- Rigmor: Ah, no. That does not sound like fun at all. I will end up with thunder thighs!
- Wulf: You said you were going to visit the summit with me.
- Rigmor: I did, and will. How many steps from High Hrothgar to the summit?
- Wulf: None. I can’t wait! You walk up a steep, icy, treacherous path with the wind trying to blow you over the edge.
- Rigmor: Weirdo.
- Celestine: Aha, another of Wulf’s secrets is revealed!
- Rigmor: You are only slightly less weird, Celestine.
- Celestine: Yes, but the critical word is less.
- Rigmor: True.
We heard a troll, so we cautiously turned the corner. It was getting dark, so I used Heat-Vision to spot the animal.
One arrow took care of it.
The tower the guard warned me about was full of bandits.
Now it is full of dead bandits.
The exterior of Bleak Falls Barrow is extensive.
Heat-Vision showed it was crawling with bandits.
None of the bandits got near us as I brought them down one by one.
At the entrance to the barrow, I explained, “This symbol indicates the tomb of a Dragon Priest. I don’t know if there is one still here. Almost certainly, there will be many Draugr.”
Rigmor replied, “Cool, I have never seen one of those.”
“Do not charge at them, Rigmor. Many of them know The Thu’um and can smash you with great force against a wall or turn you to ice or many other unpleasant things. But their eyesight and hearing are not the best, so we use stealth to get close and eliminate them with our bows.”
“There will be many traps. Some will be visible, while others, like Magic Runes, will not be visible to you. So, stay behind me.”
We entered Bleak Falls Barrow, and some bandits didn’t even look our way. They must have thought we were some of the many sentries.
Two arrows later, they were dead.
After traversing some winding corridors, we came upon a room with a Nord totem puzzle. I always wondered how stupid the ancient Nords thought tomb robbers were. A bandit was just about to show me.
He had the totems wrong. There were only three of them, and the answer was staring at him. Yet he scratched his head, walked up to a lever and pulled it, hoping a lowered portcullis would rise.
Instead, poison darts hit him from several directions.
He collapsed and died.
We entered, and Rigmor said, “Look, one of the symbols had fallen. What are they for?”
“They are ancient Nord totem animals. Before they adopted The EIght, when they became part of Saint Alessia’s Empire, their gods were represented by animals. There is much debate about which animal represents which god. For these two, most scholars would say the Whale is Tsun, and the Snake is Orkey. I think otherwise.”
“What do you think?”
“I think the Whale is Tsun’s brother, Stuhn. Both were shield-thanes to Shor, but Tsun was more a berserker type and thus better represented by a bear. Stuhn was more level headed and slow to make decisions, hence more of a whale type of personality.”
“I know Tsun guards the Whale Bone Bridge in Sovngarde.”
“And that is why some lazy scholars assume he is the whale.”
“Who is Orkey?”
“Some think he is a combination of Malacath and Arkay invented by the Atmoran when the First Aldmeri Dominion ruled Atmora. He is supposed to have worked beside Alduin to curse Man and reduce their lifespan. Shor’s ghost battled Alduin on what the ancient Nords called the Spirit Plane, what we call Aetherius, and ended the curse. Wulfharth watched the battle and learnt a new Shout that allowed him to restore the years stolen from his people. Unfortunately, it added the stolen years to him, and he died of old age after restoring as many as he could. When Shor defeated Alduin, the curse was transferred from Man to Orsimer. That is why they do not live as long as other Mer. It is also where the name Orc originated. Orkey to Orc.”
“And do you agree with that myth?”
“No, it is a load of cobblers and impossible for so many reasons! It was invented because they couldn’t have Wulfarth dying a toothless old man in bed. It also gave Nords a reason to discriminate against the Orsimer.”
“So, my large and opinionated historian, do we just pull the lever to open that gate thingy?”
“Only if you want to die of poisoning as the idiot did. If you look carefully, you will see blowholes above the portcullis. Poison darts were fired from those.”
“The symbols on the left, do they have to match those three static symbols before pulling the lever.”
“Yes, and the fallen symbol was the middle one. So, Rigmor of Bruma, the combination would be, going from the left?”
“Snake, snake and whale.”
“Go on then, turn them, so that is what they show.”
Rigmor rotated each column till the correct symbols faced forward.
When finished, Rigmor asked me, “Do you think I am right?”
“Yes, Rigmor. I am so confident I will happily pull the lever. If I die an agonising death from ancient poison, I promise not to haunt you. Well, maybe a little.”
I pulled the lever, the portcullis lifted up and out of sight, and I was still alive.
Rigmor asked, “How could people get that wrong?”
“I don’t know. I like to think these puzzles are not designed to test how clever you are. I think the ancient Nords hated stupid people and these puzzles help keep them out.”
“You seem to know a lot about ancient tombs.”
“Not via experience. I have read and studied many journals and books written by those who have travelled them.”
We continued onward. As we descended some spiral stairs, the unmistakable chirping of annoyed Skeever warned us of their presence.
We eliminated the Skeever and moved on.
Not far past the Skeever, somebody called out, “Is… is someone coming? Is that you, Harknir? Bjorn? Soling?”
I put my finger to my lips.
Very thick webs covered the archway into the next room. The whole place was covered in webs!
I whispered, “At least one massive spider. Maybe more. I will use fire on the web as the quickest way to get inside that room.”
Rigmor whispered, “You might be in a hurry to meet giant spiders, but I hate them. Those hairy legs and beady eyes. Yuck!”
Celestine giggled then asked, “Are you talking about male Nords.”
Both women burst out laughing, which ruined any possibility of surprise.
I burnt the web and rushed into the room.
A giant spider dropped from the roof.
I turned it into a slightly crispy, well done on the outside, roasted spider. The charred smell didn’t make it an appealing meal. No doubt, Skeever and rats will think otherwise.
A scrawny bandit was stuck in a web. He called out, “You, over here! Get me down. Get me down!”
We walked up to him.
- Arvel: You did it! You killed it! Now cut me down before anything else shows up.
- Wulf: I don’t think so. Try using the magic word first.
- Arvel: What magic word?
- Celestine: He doesn’t know the magic word! How ignorant can you get?
- Arvel: If you are after the claw, I have it and know how it works. The claw, the markings, the door in the Hall of Stories. I know how they all fit together.
- Rigmor: What claw?
- Celestine: The claw!
- Rigmor: Oh, of course, he means that claw!
- Wulf: What is your name?
- Arvel: Why do you want to know?
- Wulf: I can’t possibly rescue a stranger. It is against the rules.
- Arvel: What rules?
- Celestine: He doesn’t know the magic word and now the rules. How can we rescue such an ill-bred specimen?
- Arvel: I am Arvel. Arvel the Swift to my friends.
- Rigmor: Those same friends you left behind in your greed? They were sad you did that, so we put them out of their misery.
- Wulf: Lady Ramsbottom, you can be a real bastard when you try.
- Rigmor: I know. And you know I don’t have a ram’s bottom.
- Wulf: I don’t know, as it was hard to tell from that distance. Further proof is required!
- Arvel: Please, help me down, and I’ll show you. You won’t believe the power the Nords have hidden here.
- Rigmor: Don’t trust him. He has beady eyes.
- Wulf: You seem to have a phobia about beady eyes. However, he did say the magic word.
- Celestine: Once somebody says ‘please’, we have to help them. That is the rule!
- Rigmor: He also has a weaselly face!
- Wulf: Okay, Arvel, hand over the claw, and we will help you.
- Arvel: Does it look like I can move? You have to cut me down first.
- Celestine: He has a point.
- Wulf: Okay, there is only one solution.
Mage Fire appeared in my hands, and Arvel panicked.
“Oh, I am not going to turn you into Arvel ashes! Fire is the easiest way to remove the web. Now, keep still.”
I burnt one side of the web. Then I warned Arvel, “Don’t run, or I will kill you. Playtime is over.”
I burnt the other side of the web, then Arvel wriggled a bit then fell to the floor. He was soon on his feet.
He turned and ran and died.
Rigmor said, “See, I told you!”
The unmistakable sound of a Draugr was heard, and Rigmor ran towards it.
I ran and killed it with fire.
With fury in my voice, I said, “Rigmor, I told you not to charge the Draugr! If it had used The Voice on you, you could have been smashed into the wall behind you. You could have been badly injured or killed!”
“There could have been a rune on the floor or other trap!”
Celestine intervened and said, “Rigmor apologised, Wulf. Lesson learnt, and no more lecturing is needed.”
As I searched Arvel’s corpse, Celestine and Rigmor moved away a bit and had a whispered conversation.
From Arvel, I retrieved a golden model of a dragon’s claw and his journal.
The women hurriedly finished their conversation then moved closer to me.
- Rigmor: I am genuinely sorry, Wulf. Sometimes I feel like protecting you, yanno.
- Wulf: If I am your Guardian, you must listen to my advice. My anger does not stem from my feelings for you, Rigmor. It stems from fear of somebody under my care being killed or injured.
- Rigmor: Yes, Celestine said you would have been upset with anybody, not just me.
- Celestine: What did you recover from the weaselly faced, beady-eyed and still smoking Arvel?
I handed Celestine the golden claw. She turned it over to confirm what she knew would be there, then handed it to Rigmor.
- Rigmor: It is rather ugly and cumbersome. Is this solid gold?
- Wulf: Yes.
- Rigmor: Does it have a use?
- Celestine: Wait and see, Rigmor. Otherwise, Wulf will rant about the stupidity now and then rant again later.
- Rigmor: Why have two rants when you can only have one?
- Wulf: I do not rant!
Both women tried to hold in a laughing fit, but once they locked eyes, the struggle was over, and they both laughed long and loud.
When they were finally under control, I asked, “Would you like me to read Arvel’s journal, or shall we continue?”
Rigmor replied, “Yes, stop being a grumpy bum and read it.”
“My fingers are trembling. The Golden Claw is finally in my hands, and with it, the power of the ancient Nordic heroes. That fool Lucan Valerius had no idea that his favourite store decoration was the key to Bleak Falls Barrow.
Now I just need to get to the Hall of Stories and unlock the door. The legend says there is a test that the Nords put in place to keep the unworthy away, but that ‘when you have the golden claw, the solution is in the palm of your hands.’”
Rigmor gave me the claw, and I said, “We shall return the claw to Lucan and his sister later. They own the general goods store in Riverwood. If he wants to sell it to me, that would be good as Auryen would like such a thing for the museum.”
With the dweomer on our armour, we could move silently. It was easy for us to sneak within bow range and kill the Draugr. I killed dozens without Rigmor or Celestine ever being in danger.
We came to a natural cavern with a stream running through it.
A skeleton of a long-deceased miner lay next to some iron ore.
We heard the sound of a troll, so we peaked over the edge of a small cliff.
I took care of the troll. Then we headed for the area it was living.
The natural caverns ended, and we found ourselves in Nord ruins once more.
There seemed to be an endless number of Draugr in the dull ruins that held no archaeological interest whatsoever.
We entered a corridor with a Puzzle Door at the end.
When we got close to the Puzzle Door, Rigmor asked, “That middle symbol, is that a gnat?”
“Careful, Rigmor. I might go into lecture mode, which is similar to rant mode.”
Rigmor asked Celestine, “Has he always been this petty?”
Celestine replied, “I am afraid so. He will sulk for a week, at the least.”
Rigmor looked at me with those brown eyes of hers, then asked, “Wulf, my darling, would you please tell me about the middle symbol.”
“Ha, if you think you can control me like Sigunn controlled Ragnar, you are very mistaken, young lady!”
“Aaarghh…I cannot resist any further…. mercy!”
Celestine clapped and said, “Well done, Rigmor. The next step is difficult. You have to try and teach him how to lower the privy seat when he has finished peeing.”
“Oh, that is hard. My mum never managed to train dad to do that.”
I coughed to get Rigmor’s attention, then explained, “It is an owl, not a gnat. It represents Jhunal in the Nordic pantheon, who is supposedly Julianos in our pantheon. You rarely see him depicted because he is a scholar, not a warrior. He is considered a milk drinker among the war-loving Nords. The owl represents his wisdom. Why people think owls are wise is beyond me.”
“The bear you think is Tsun. What about the moth?”
“The moth is Dibella, one of the three Hearth Gods. As for the other Hearth Gods, the hawk is Kyne, and the wolf is Mara.”
“If you accept Kyne is Kynareth, then that is the three female Divines. Why were they called Hearth Gods?”
“The ancient Nords did not construct dedicated temples to the three Hearth Gods. Instead, they constructed homes where married couples lived and raised children. The most senior female in a Hearth God home was considered the High Priestess. The dogma of their religion prevented females from being regarded as lesser than males. This concept trickled down to normal homes where husband and wife were equal. Somehow the Imperial Pantheon, the Nine Divines, has led to females being regarded as the weaker sex. Sometimes they are reduced to a baby bearing commodity. I think part of the reason is Hearth God homes were abandoned. No married couples with children live in Imperial temples.”
“Have all Nords abandoned their old pantheon?”
“I suspect there may be some who stick to the ‘old ways.’ I would love to meet with one and discuss their beliefs without the bias of modern scholars.”
“Would such people be in Skyrim?”
“Maybe, but the group of Nords that resisted the Imperial pantheon the longest, past the middle of the third era, are those who lived in Bruma.”
“Don’t the other counties regard Bruma as the home of backward Nord barbarians?”
“Yes, that is a common bias. Especially amongst the ruling elite.”
“Yet most of the counties of Cyrodiil have a majority Nord population.”
“Yeah, silly, isn’t it. But it kinda makes sense now I know the history.”
“Look at you, for instance. You are a noble daughter of Bruma who can slice trolls in half with one swing of her sword and down three pints of mead in minutes. Yet they dare think you are not sophisticated? Idiots!”
“Hey, Celestine, I am actually a noble though I never thought of myself as one. I will have to tell you why The Thalmor hate my family and me. We only found out the truth when we visited Baa’Ren-Dar in Riften.”
Celestine replied, “Yes, I need to be filled in on what is happening with the information retrieved from Fort Black.”
I apologised, “Sorry, Celestine, we should have done that earlier.”
“So, my Guardian, please explain the door and the claw.”
“To open the door, you need to do two things. First, you have to put the totem animals in their right order. They swivel around the centre. Then you insert the claw’s nails into the holes in the centre circle. Each door will have a matching claw like a normal door has a matching key. If done right, the door will open.”
“And if not, you get poisoned?”
“Not all the time, but most would have that as punishment. Others might release a lot of nasties to cut you to pieces.”
“And you think there is something stupid about it?”
“What did Arvel’s journal say about the claw?”
“Something about the solution being in the palm of your hand.”
I handed Rigmor the Golden Claw and said, “Look at the underneath of the claw.”
Rigmor did so, then exclaimed, “What kind of idiots would do that. The solution is there. Bottom to top it is the owl, moth then bear.”
“What you have in your hand is the correct claw and correct totem animal configuration. It completely defeats the need for both conditions. They might as well have just made the doors with a single condition, that being you have the right claw. Just as you need the correct key to unlock other doors.”
Rigmor shook her head, then said, “Okay, it is stupid and no rant needed for me to learn why.”
“Do you want to set the door up so we can see what other stupidities lie on the other side? Set the animals up first before you insert the claw.”
Rigmor set the rings to show, from top to bottom, bear, moth, owl.
Then she looked at me, and I nodded.
She inserted the claw and watched, fascinated as the centre circle turned one way, then another. The concentric circles change to all show owls.
Then the door slowly lowered with a lot of grinding and dust.
“Step back, please, Rigmor. Let me get rid of our welcoming party.”
Rigmor did as asked, and I used my sword instead of my bow for the first time since entering the barrow.
We stepped around the dead Draugr and faced a steep set of stairs. Another Draugr appeared at the top.
I Blinked to the Draugr and cut it down.
- Wulf: Can either of you hear it?
- Rigmor: I can hear water, bats, Draugr.
- Celestine: The same here.
- Wulf: There is a Word Wall ahead. It is singing to me in a high-pitched tone.
- Celestine: A high pitch allows you to find its direction and guess distance.
- Rigmor: Have you read about that happening to others?
- Wulf: No. Very little has been written about Dragonborn and Word Walls. It is how my…oops.
- Celestine: You almost slipped up their Wulf. I think love has turned your brain to mush.
- Rigmor: Do you two realise how infuriating it is to not be in on secrets others share?
- Wulf: As annoying as sand in your underwear? That stuff gets everywhere, especially up your….
- Celestine: There are ladies present, Wulf.
- Wulf: Invisible ones?
- Rigmor: Will the Word Wall give you a cypher? You already have the key, the dragon soul you absorbed.
- Wulf: Yes. I will explain how it works when we get to the Word Wall. But there are many Draugr in the way so let me take care of them first.
I eliminated the last of the Draugr, and we slowly approached the Word Wall.
- Celestine: Wow! This place is impressive!
- Rigmor: Yeah, look at this place! By the gods, is that the Word Wall?
- Wulf: Yes, and the tone gets higher in volume the closer we get.
- Rigmor: I thought there would be more powerful guards than the Draugr you eliminated.
- Wulf: There may be a powerful Draugr or two with strong Thu’um. Just don’t touch anything or move too far away. Remember, we saw a few Draugr emerge from their sarcophagus when we got close.
When I approached the Word Wall, one of the Dovahzul words started to glow.
The information from the Word Wall entered my mind and was deposited in an area unique to Dragonborn.
As soon as the information finished transferring, an extremely powerful Draugr emerged from its coffin.
I Blinked, then cut it down before it had time to stand.
I searched the Draugr and retrieved the Dragonstone.
We stood in front of the Word Wall once more.
- Celestine: We knew what would happen, sort of, from the books. But that was quite spectacular.
- Rigmor: Yeah, it was cool but not as spectacular as the dragon soul thingy. Can you explain it to me now?
- Wulf: Okay. It is not that complicated in theory, but the gobblygook level is way up there.
- Celestine: In other words, we know what happens, but not the metaphysics that makes it happen.
- Rigmor: Metaphysics?
- Wulf: There are laws of nature with which you are familiar. Things fall to the ground. That is the law of gravity. A rock can’t fly, but a bird can. That is the law of aerodynamics. There are laws we don’t understand as mortals. The laws that govern the Aurbis, the universe. How do the shrines of The Nine cure diseases? We don’t know, as that is metaphysics.
- Rigmor: Aha, gotcha. We know some things happen, but we don’t understand why and even a smart arse like you can’t figure it out.
- Celestine: Smart arse? Well, I suppose sometimes he is just an arse.
- Rigmor: A dumb arse?
- Celestine: Wow, I will remember that one. So accurate and concise.
- Wulf: Aren’t you interested in learning about all of this, Rigmor?
- Rigmor: Yes, I am, grumpy bum, so please continue.
- Wulf: Why not grumpy arse?
- Rigmor: Aesthetics. Grumpy bum sounds better.
- Wulf: The spells of The Voice are called Shouts. Instead of relying on Magicka to cast these spells, you need Thu’um. Over time, The Thu’um and The Voice have come to mean the same thing. They mean the use of this type of magic.
- Rigmor: Okay, easy so far.
- Wulf: Those markings on the Word Wall are Dovahzul glyphs, the dragon alphabet. Do you know why they look like they do?
- Rigmor: Nope.
- Wulf: A dragon can’t hold a quill, but he can dip his nails into ink or even scratch rock using those nails.
- Rigmor: Oh, I see now. They are like scratches made with the nails at the end of their talons.
- Wulf: Yes.
- Rigmor: Are the ones on the Word Wall a random collection of glyphs or words, or does it say something?
- Wulf: There is always a message. Some are epitaphs or dedications, and others are bits of prophecy. This one talks about the Dragonstone. Would you like me to read it to you?
- Rigmor: DUH!
- Wulf: Het nok faal vahlok deinmaar do dovahgolz ahrk aan fus do unslaad rahgol ahrk vulom.
- Rigmor: Ahh, Tamrielic would be helpful.
- Wulf: I always have to say it in Dovahzul first. It makes the translation easier in my mind.
- Rigmor: Why?
- Wulf: Dunno.
- Rigmor: Weird.
- Wulf: It means, ‘Here lies the Guardian Keeper of the Dragonstone and a force of unending rage and darkness.’
- Rigmor: That Draugr you just chopped up was a powerful user of The Voice?
- Celestine: He could probably have thrown us all against a wall and killed us with a single Shout.
- Rigmor: Oh!
- Wulf: As I was saying, the spells are called Shouts. Each Shout consists of one or more Words of Power. The more Words of Power you know of a Shout, the more powerful it is.
- Rigmor: Got it. How many Words of Power are in the most potent Shouts?
- Wulf: It is easier to call them Words instead of Words of Power. Most Shouts have a maximum of three Words. Some Shouts used by gods and Alduin have four Words.
- Rigmor: The glowing glyphs, were they one Word or many?
- Wulf: They were one Word of Power, ‘fus’, which means force.
- Rigmor: You can read Dovahzul, so why do you need the dragon’s soul?
- Celestine: This is where metaphysics comes into it.
- Rigmor: Gobblygook?
- Celestine: Very much so.
- Wulf: Fus is just a word when spoken in a sentence. To use it as a Word of Power, I need to understand how it can be used in a Shout. To use it in a Shout, I need to know what the Shout can do. The Word Wall let me know that fus is the first Word in the Unrelenting Force Shout but not how to use it. The knowledge I gained from the slain dragon lets me know how to use the Word of Power and what the Shout does.
- Rigmor: That means that you can now use Unrelenting Force!
- Wulf: Yes, and I am so tempted to do so, Rigmor!
- Celestine: Wulf has known about his Dragonborn powers and ability to use The Voice since he was eight years of age. However, he hasn’t been allowed to use The Thu’um for Shouts. His existence had to be kept a secret, and many immortals and The Greybeards can detect the use of Shouts. The Greybeards detected Tiber Septim’s use of The Voice from hundreds of miles away, but theoretically, they could detect its use anywhere on Nirn.
- Rigmor: That is like having a Sweetroll in front of you and not being allowed to eat it!
- Wulf: Trust you to come up with a Sweetroll analogy.
- Rigmor: I am not addicted to Sweetrolls!
- Wulf: Go for a week without one to prove it.
- Rigmor: Okay, I accept that easy peasy challenge.
- Celestine: I heard that commitment.
- Rigmor: What do I get if I pass the test?
- Wulf: Slimmer thighs and waist.
- Rigmor: I am not…well…I have been eating a few lately.
I handed Rigmor the Dragonstone.
- Rigmor: There is a map of Skyrim on one side. Are they dragon mounds marked on it?
- Wulf: Yes, but they are also marked on standard maps, so I fail to see the need for the Dragonstone.
- Rigmor: What does it say on the back?
- Wulf: Het nok un mahlaan drogge erei suleyk se Alduin vokrii.
- Rigmor: It sounds like you are trying to hock up a big load of snot.
- Wulf: That roughly translates to, ‘Here lie our fallen lords until the power of Alduin restores.’
- Rigmor: Was it The Dragon Cult who buried the dragons and made the Dragonstone?
- Wulf: Yes, and we hadn’t even mentioned them. You have learned things from all that reading, despite the romance novels.
- Celestine: Oh, I love romance novels!
- Wulf: Does Vayu know that?
- Celestine: Of course he does! We like to play out some scenes in the more, um, physical ones. He especially likes the snobby noblewoman, handsome stable boy ones.
- Wulf: Oh, Divines, please save me from such horror!
- Rigmor: I will have to get a list of your favourites.
- Celestine: Certainly. I have a few hundred in the Safe House.
- Wulf: Hello, we are in the middle of a Draugr infested tomb!
- Rigmor: Alright, grumpy bum. Is Alduin going to restore each of the dragons on this map?
- Wulf: Yes, but we have yet to find out where he will obtain the life force to do that.
- Celestine: For Alduin to obtain the life force required, other beings will have to cease to exist, like the dragon whose life force Wulf absorbed. There is no mention of the process in any texts covering The Dragon War. We don’t know where Alduin will obtain the life force needed, but we are confident he doesn’t harvest it when he kills a mortal on Nirn.
- Rigmor: And why does Farengar want the Dragonstone?
- Wulf: He is trying to cross-reference the Dragonstone with the information contained in Atlas of Dragons. That book was written by The Dragonguard and updated by The Blades. It lists each dragon slain and where it was buried. It also mentions some dragons encountered but not slain. However, they are not the only dragons involved, as Nilunslaad is not in Atlas of Dragons. He hid somewhere, as did that beautiful dragon we saw on the way to Fort Black.
- Celestine: You might be able to use Atlas of Dragons and mound locations to predict in which order Alduin will restore the dragons.
- Wulf: Well, the first one would be Odahviing, Alduin’s lieutenant after Paarthurnax switched sides. His burial mound is near Riften.
- Rigmor: What is so important about the order of restoration?
- Wulf: If you could determine a pattern, you could deploy a sizeable force near the subsequent predicted restoration and attack Alduin when he arrives. Even if you didn’t slay him, you might kill the newly restored dragon.
- Rigmor: That makes sense.
- Wulf: This is reasonable speculation, but we won’t know unless Farengar tells us.
- Celestine: He must be working with somebody. I doubt he ever leaves the comfort of Dragonsreach.
- Wulf: If so, they either cooperate with us, or we shall put a stop to them. We can’t have rogue dragon hunters interfering.
- Celestine: What if they are Blades who think dragon hunting is their duty?
- Wulf: We shall educate them. They are sworn to obey those of Dragon Blood.
- Rigmor: Celestine, have you sworn to obey Wulf?
- Celestine: No, and neither have the other Blades who came to Akavir. We follow Wulf because we believe in him and desire to aid him with his Divine tasks.
- Wulf: I don’t want people to help me because of some oath. I want them to aid me because they have the same ideals.
- Rigmor: Yet you became my Guardian with an oath?
- Wulf: An oath that has probably been sworn over several Kalpa. And oath born of love, similar to a marriage vow.
- Rigmor: Yeah, I can see the difference. Sort of. Maybe.
- Celestine: We shall have to discuss it and other essential items, Rigmor.
- Rigmor: I was fourteen last time I had a girl-to-girl chat. I received terrible advice on what to do if the stable boy puts his hand on my breast. He had tried the day before.
- Celestine: What did you do when he tried again?
- Rigmor: I kicked him in the bollocks! Dad told the boy’s father it was lucky I didn’t make him a eunuch. He wasn’t well for weeks.
- Celestine: Well done! There was nothing wrong with that advice.
- Rigmor: The advice from my friend was to undo my laces so he could put his hand under my clothes.
- Celestine: Hahaha!
- Rigmor: Where next, my Guardian?
- Wulf: It is nearing midnight. We shall use Rose’s camp and travel to Riverwood in the morning.
- Celestine: You two can use the tent. I will use the lean-to. Just let me know if I have to fetch firewood and how long I should take.
- Rigmor: Oh, none of that yet. Wulf has to slowly romance me like I didn’t figure out some things early.
- Celestine: You haven’t bonked?
- Rigmor: Weird name for it, but no, we have not bonked.
- Celestine: That must be hard for you, Wulf?
- Rigmor: Very hard!
- Wulf: How would you…oh, never mind.
- Celestine: Vayu says that Wulf is well endowed in that department.
- Rigmor: No, I don’t want to hear any more. If I can go without Sweetrolls, I can resist other temptations.
- Celestine: Wulf is kind of cute when his face turns that shade of red.
- Wulf: If you two have finished, I would like to get out of here.
There was one weak Draugr between us and fresh air.
It didn’t take us long to reach Rose’s camp. Both women ate some travel rations then staggered off to bed.
I got bored while keeping watch, so I gathered some of the provisions Rose had stored around the camp and made a stew.
As an archaeologist, I found Bleak Falls Barrow boring. But Rigmor made it more interesting with her enthusiasm to learn.