Middas, 8th Frostfall, 4E 201
& Turdas, 9th Frostfall, 4E 201
I had a spa, broke my fast and was ready to head out.
I was speaking to Sakiya when fighting broke out.
Two assailants had entered the Safe House via the museum. They must have been hiding inside because it doesn’t open to the public for another hour.
They stood no chance against The Dragonguard and lasted seconds.
One assailant was a female Dunmer. Around her neck, she wore an Amulet of Boethia in Mer style. The other assailant was a male Nord, and he wore an Amulet of Boethia made of silver.
I used my Thu’um so all inside the Safe House would hear me.
“AT ALL TIMES, ALL DOORS INTO THE SAFE HOUSE AND PROUDSPIRE MANOR ARE TO BE LOCKED. WE WERE JUST ATTACKED BY TWO DEVOTEES OF BOETHIA. I DON’T KNOW WHY AND MIGHT HAVE TO ASK THE DARK LORD FOR AN EXPLANATION.”
Since neither assailant had any helpful information on them, I can only speculate about the attackers’ motive or purpose. For now, it was a mystery low on my priority list.
I gathered my squad for today: Vayu, Kharjo, Jo’rassa, Daenlyn and Inigo.
We teleported to Riverwood’s entrance.
I summoned Nafaalilargus who landed on the entrance archway.
- Wulf: Nafaalilargus, we are taking The Rift from Ulfric.
- Nafaalilargus: You will be walking to one of the Imperial Rift camps?
- Wulf: They have more than one?
- Nafaalilargus: Yes, but one of them is more of a staging area for the final assault of Riften
- Wulf: I only have one marked, which is nowhere near Riften, and that is where we are headed.
- Nafaalilargus: General Tullius has sent reinforcements to that camp. There are also a lot of Stormcloaks trying to return to Riften. The two groups may clash.
- Wulf: If we encounter a battle, we will kill The Stormcloaks. My concern is the number of bandits that may decide that five armed and armoured people are an easy target.
- Jo’rassa: Bandits attack you? How stupid are they?
- Kharjo: They are stupid and cowardly. Khajiit enjoys killing them as they are parasites.
As we made our way to the northern exit of Riverwood, I laughed at Dorthe watching Frodnar chop wood.
- Inigo: Something amuses you, my friend?
- Wulf: Rigmor has this thing about watching me chop wood.
- Jo’rassa: That is perfectly natural. A display of male physicality is appealing to many females.
- Inigo: Most males are fascinated with female jiggly bits.
- Daenlyn: Jiggly bits? Oh, there must be a song I can write about jiggly bits!
- Inigo: Ode to Jiggly Bits!
- Daenlyn: Maybe a three-part play?
- Wulf: Daenlyn, I haven’t forgotten the promise about finding your lute.
- Daenlyn: I do not feel complete without it.
Not far out of Riverwood, I paused and looked over a cliff.
- Vayu: Is this where Rigmor jumped into the tree?
- Wulf: I don’t know the exact spot but down below is where she landed.
- Vayu: Have you ever wondered what forces arranged for you to find her that day?
- Wulf: It was simply a coincidence, Vayu. No immortal entity arranged for us to visit Helgen and Alduin to attack it or for me to find the dead adventurer whose journal miraculously survived Dragonfire. No being then planned for Celestine and me to search Helgen Keep and tunnels for survivors leading to Hadvar and a trip to Riverwood. To believe such a sequence of events was planned is to deny free will. Celestine and I made a series of choices.
- Daenlyn: So, each Kalpa, Rigmor and you just find each other by accident?
- Wulf: I don’t know if we always find each other. Very few beings remember previous Kalpa, and I am not one of them.
- Jo’rassa: You can waste a lot of time wondering why instead of enjoying what is.
- Daenlyn: There is much wisdom in you, Jo’rassa.
- Jo’rassa: Then why have I involved myself with Inigo once more?
- Vayu: The heart rarely listens to the brain.
- Inigo: Hello, this blue Khajiit has ears!
- Jo’rassa: And this Khajiit knows just where to scratch those adorable ears to get you purring.
Nafaalilargus growled, “Bandits heading your way!”
He then proceeded to kill most of the bandits before we could.
Inigo remarked, “Our scaly friend is very efficient.”
A while later, we came upon a travelling merchant and her guards. They had stopped as a Spriggan and ensorceled troll were fighting and blocking the intersection.
I walked over and could not see the Spriggan controlling the troll. The easiest thing to do would be to kill the adversaries, but that was unnecessary.
I told everybody, “It has been years since I cast this spell. It should make them stop fighting.”
I cast Harmony, and it worked!
The fighting stopped, and the Spriggan ran away.
Seconds later, a Spriggan Matron and the troll followed.
The merchant thanked me and continued on her way.
As we approached Helgen, I hoped no bandits were desecrating the place.
We entered Helgen, and Nafaalilargus landed.
- Nafaalilargus: Alduin treated this town and its people as if The Dragon War was still being fought.
- Wulf: There was never a declaration of war or truce.
- Nafaalilargus: I am sure the defenders did what they could, but protecting non-combatants and the wooden buildings made this battle unwinnable.
- Vayu: The defenders had no experience fighting Dov.
- Inigo: Because we have been killing the dragons, the only ones who have experience now are the guards and soldiers in Solitude.
- Wulf: We shall recruit and train people for The Blades.
- Nafaalilargus: There will always be Dov who want to conquer. The Blades will not be idle, Dovahkiin.
I was relieved no bandits had replaced the last lot we killed in Helgen.
Sometime later, Nafaalilargus advised, “There is a Stormcloak camp ahead. Do you want to bypass it or eliminate it?”
I answered, “They have made their choice.”
We ran to the camp and completely surprised The Stormcloaks. They had barely drawn their weapons before Unrelenting Force killed most of them.
Nafaalilargus killed the remainder.
Nafaalilargus landed and then said, “There is a large battle ahead. I cannot help as I would harm Legionnaires.”
We hurried towards the battle.
Vampires slowed our progress.
We quickly disposed of them and then continued.
The battle came into view. It looked like Imperials heading towards The Rift were ambushed.
I turned to my squad and told them, “No mercy. No prisoners.”
We charged into battle.
Out intervention changed an even contest into a quick victory.
I surveyed the carnage.
Then I fell to my knees in despair. These deaths are not what The Nine or I want, but they continue accumulating.
After a few seconds, I stood and silently continued our journey.
As we arrived at the Imperial camp, Nafaalilargus advised, “There is a large band of bandits in the nearby Dwemer ruins. I believe they intend to ambush the camp.”
I replied, “We shall take care of them, Nafaalilargus. Meanwhile, I want you to check the various forts in The Rift and let me know who occupies them.”
“I can tell you already. Bandits and Stormcloaks populate Fort Greenwall. The family living in Treva’s Watch seem to have been displaced. A man with several guards is sitting outside the castle grounds.”
“Then I ask you to do a bit of general scouting in The Rift. I don’t want any more Imperial forces caught by surprise like that supply convoy.”
“Okay, as I leave, I will swoop over the ruins, so you know where they are. That should scatter the bandits as well.”
Nafaalilargus did as he said but couldn’t resist a single attack before flying away.
The bandits had scattered but attacked in numbers when we arrived.
We soon disposed of them.
I stood before a strange-looking Dwemer construct.
- Kharjo: Khajiit thinks that is art, but the Dwemer did no art.
- Wulf: I have no idea what it is. I can’t see an entrance into the ruins, so perhaps it is some kind of lock.
- Inigo: That is a mystery for another day, my friend.
- Vayu: Legate Rikke will be wondering why we ran away!
We returned to the camp and met with Legate Rikke.
- Rikke: You are later than expected, General.
- Wulf: The Imperial supplies and extra troops were ambushed. We arrived in time to save many troops, but most of their horses were killed. It may take some time for them to sort out the mess.
- Rikke: When you did arrive in camp, you ran off!
- Wulf: A large group of bandits was in the nearby Dwemer ruins. Nafaalilargus said they were planning to attack, so we wiped them out.
- Rikke: What is your plan for taking The Rift?
- Wulf: We could probably march on Riften immediately and meet little opposition. However, I think it is prudent we take the two forts nearest the city first. Treva’s Watch we shall take by ourselves. A squad of Legionnaires should make their way to Fort Greenwall. Nafaalilargus says that Stormcloaks as well as bandits garrison that fort.
- Rikke: Okay, I will send a platoon to Fort Greenwall. They will wait for you here.
Legate Rikke pointed to a place on the map not far from Fort Greenwall.
- Wulf: Okay, we shall take both forts.
- Rikke: With those under our control, the attack on Riften will be free of possible flanking or counter-attack.
- Wulf: I expect the Riften resistance to be minimal. The Jarl sent a lot of soldiers to die at Whiterun.
- Rikke: Will Jarl Law-Giver surrender if asked?
- Wulf: No, she won’t. Jarl Law-Giver has disinherited her son, Saerlund, for daring to support The Imperials. She even claims he must be possessed! She has always been a weak Jarl, easily manipulated, and Maven Black-Briar has run circles around her. The Jarl couldn’t even handle some Skooma dealers and manufacturers without our help. Yet she sent most of her guards to Whiterun!
- Rikke: We are to place Maven Black-Briar in the position of Jarl. That instruction is from His Imperial Highness since there is no High King or Queen.
- Wulf: It will be temporary if I have my way. She is not fit to be Jarl.
- Rikke: I will leave the politics to others.
- Wulf: Okay, we shall return in a few hours. Then we will join the Legionnaires and take Fort Greenwall.
- Rikke: I hope some of that supply convoy reaches us. We could do with the men, arrows and food.
We left the tent and started our trek towards Treva’s Watch.
Hours later, it came into view and was crawling with bandits.
Raised bars blocked the only visible entrance.
I killed a couple of sentries with Unrelenting Force, hoping they would lower the portcullis and sally forth.
Instead of attacking us, the remaining sentries hid from view, so we looked for another entrance.
We came upon a small camp where a civilian and two guards looked quite miserable. I approached the civilian.
- Wulf: Good afternoon, I am Wulf, and these are The Dragonguard.
- Stalleo: I am Stalleo. Are you here to help?
- Wulf: Can you tell me what is happening?
- Stalleo: Finally, reinforcements have arrived. I was expecting more, though, so you’d better be good.
- Wulf: You are making assumptions. I ask again, what is happening here?
- Stalleo: We left to help with the war, and those filth bags swooped in and seized the place. My family was in the fort. The bastards killed them!
- Wulf: I won’t ask which side you went to help. However, I must ask, do you know the leader of the bandits?
- Stalleo: His name is Brurid. There’s been bad blood between us since the king’s death. But to invade my home, kill my family…
- Wulf: That sounds like more than bad blood
- Stalleo: You ask a lot of questions for a mercenary. Just get in there and open the gate and then we’ll try and provide help once that’s done.
- Wulf: I am no mercenary! I am The Dragonborn and will take the fort on behalf of The Imperial Empire. The Legion will garrison it until the hostilities cease. Then you can negotiate its return.
- Stalleo: The Dragonborn?
- Inigo: Yes, Wulf is The Dragonborn. Do any of us look like mercenaries to you?
- Stalleo: No, come to think of it.
- Wulf: You were expecting reinforcements. Have you tried taking back the fort?
- Stalleo: Yes, we lost a lot of good men. That is when Brurid threw the bodies of my family from the ramparts.
- Wulf: I am sorry for your loss. You will be avenged, but that is not our primary purpose. We shall take the fort and kill all inside.
- Stalleo: The front gate is locked, so you’ll need to use the mine entrance behind us. Open the front gate, and we’ll try and give you some support.
- Wulf: We defeated Alduin and destroyed Ulfric’s army at Whiterun. When we open the gate, be assured that everybody inside and outside is already dead.
- Stalleo: Ulfric lost at Whiterun?
- Inigo: His entire army was destroyed, and no guards or Legionnaires were killed.
- Stalleo: Then wishing you luck is a bit redundant.
- Wulf: I assume you have posted a reward, hence the mercenaries. Do not insult us by offering it when we are successful
We entered Treva’s Watch via the mine entrance.
I told The Dragonguard, “We shall try stealth, but if it takes too long, we will simply advance and kill quickly.”
When we finally entered the fort, Inigo was furious at those we killed in the mine.
“They are nearly all Khajiiti!”
“So far, yes. It is not unusual to find Khajiiti bandits.”
“They were okay with a family being murdered. Perhaps that is the cause of my anger?”
“We shall kill them all, Inigo, but that will not bring Stalleo’s family back.”
“No, and that makes me angrier!”
A bit further on, I retrieved a musket from my journal case.
A bandit was busy hammering at a workbench, so he did not hear us approach.
Inigo asked, “What is that thing?”
“It is a new type of weapon developed by the Tsaesci. I think the Redguard have invented something similar. It uses Black Powder to propel a metal ball at great speed. I have added a small explosion to each projectile and am curious about its effectiveness.”
“You are going to experiment on these bandits?”
“Arrow, sword, Thu’um or metal ball, they will die. So yes, I have no qualms testing this weapon on bandits who murdered a family.”
Inigo stood aside, and I fired the musket.
A loud crack was heard simultaneous with a blinding light.
The projectile hit the bandit and exploded.
Inigo exclaimed, “Woah! That was impressive but not good for stealth, my friend.”
The next target was a Khajiit standing on a bed to adjust some candles.
The projectile blew a large hole in the centre of the bandit.
I used the musket several times and then placed it back into my journal case. It was an effective weapon but too slow to reload and too noisy. It needs refinement.
We quickly killed all bandits inside, including Brurid, their leader
We exited onto the roof of a tower. A bandit charged me.
Unrelenting Force sent him flying into the distance.
We soon killed all the external bandits.
I pulled a lever to raise the portcullis.
Stalleo and his guards approached.
I said, “The fort is clear. Imperial troops will soon arrive and garrison it.”
“You killed them all? That quickly?”
“We are very good at what we do, Stalleo.”
“Thank you for your help.”
“We did it for The Empire, Stalleo, but I am glad we avenged your family.”
We teleported to the Imperial camp and walked into the command tent.
- Rikke: The remnants of the supply convoy arrived with several injured.
- Wulf: I will look at the injured and see what I can do for them.
- Rikke: The officers said it wasn’t an ambush. They came upon troops fleeing from Whiterun. The fleeing troops were offered the chance to surrender and appeared to do so. However, when escorted back towards Whiterun, they overpowered their guards and attacked the convoy. They first killed horses and then anybody who came close.
- Wulf: Not an unusual occurrence. That is why it is good practice to bind the hands of prisoners.
- Rikke: A lesson learnt too late for some.
- Wulf: Okay, I will see to the injured.
The lives of the three injured were not in danger. Otherwise, I would have summoned Celestine. I cast Grand Healing and left them to the Imperial surgeon to look after.
We made it to Fort Greenwall without incident.
I said to The Dragonguard, “The same as before. No mercy. No prisoners.”
We joined the Legionnaires.
I used The Voice and said, “COME, BRAVE SOLDIERS OF THE EMPIRE. LET US KILL ALL WHO OPPOSE HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY!”
We killed quickly and efficiently and, unfortunately, routinely.
Once we were sure all enemies were eliminated, we teleported back to the Imperial camp.
- Wulf: Legate Rikke, Fort Greenwall is now ours. No casualties on our side.
- Rikke: When should we attack Riften?
- Wulf: Tomorrow, around 7:30 AM. That will give us plenty of light and ensure the marketplace is mostly empty. Trebuchets and catapults will not be used on the city but only for softening the external defences. There is no need to damage Riften or risk civilian casualties.
- Rikke: Won’t the civilians seek shelter once the battle starts?
- Wulf: I think a few will be fighting beside us. The Jarl’s decision to back Ulfric is not as popular as she thinks.
- Rikke: We shall be in place, General.
I teleported us to the Safe House.
- Wulf: Vayu, our two new Dragonguard did well.
- Vayu: Very well! But then again, there was not much gobblygook thrown at them.
- Wulf: No, it was killing with no exploration or other purpose.
- Jo’rassa: It was still an education watching how you operate as a team.
- Daenlyn: I look forward to travelling with you again, Wulf. Hopefully, in the future, it will be more of an educational outing.
In a repeat of the night before, everybody headed to the overcrowded dining room for supper. Once again, laughter and talking filled the room.
When I went to bed, my conversation with Rigmor was brief. There is not much to say about a day of delivering death. However, we did arrange for Rigmor to visit when I returned from Riften.
The following day, after a spa and meal, I headed to Proudspire Manor with Inigo.
I told Jordis, Iona and Lydia they were to fight beside me as we took Riften.
I then walked over to Olette.
“Good morning, young lady.”
“Good morning, Cap’n.”
“When we return from today’s unpleasant duties, I might need something to make me smile.”
“I can help with that!”
“Yes, you can. How would you like to go clothes shopping with Rigmor?”
“That would be the bee’s knees, Cap’n!”
“Wujeeta and Lydia will come shopping with us, and then we might have a meal at The Winking Skeever.”
“Can I buy more than one set of clothes?”
“Olette, you can buy what you like. I am sure the ladies will help you with the styles and so on.”
“I have only ever had scratchy, cheap clothes. I will look like a real lady, won’t I?”
“You will make the boys swoon.”
“That is supposed to work the other way around, Cap’n.”
“You are too sensible to swoon over a boy.”
“We will make you smile, Cap’n.”
I walked over to Wujeeta, who was drinking a strong coffee.
She said, “It’s safe to talk to me, Wulf. I have had my morning coffee.”
“You need new clothes, Wujeeta. Therefore we will be visiting the Radiant Raiment this afternoon with Olette, Rigmor and Lydia.”
“I need practical dresses.”
“I am sure they can provide aprons to protect any dresses you desire.”
“Will they have clothes to fit an Argonian?”
“You would hope so with Solitude being so cosmopolitan! And Wujeeta, I will be paying for them. There is no need to touch your wages.”
“Wujeeta, I want you to choose what you like and don’t worry about the cost. It will make me smile to see you and Olette happy.”
“We are happy, Wulf, but I understand.”
I walked over to Inigo, who seemed displeased with Skritch.
“Is there something wrong, Inigo?”
“This rodent keeps giving me the evil eye!”
“How can you tell, Skritch’s eyes point in different directions?”
“He must think I want to eat him, which is not true, my friend.”
Scritch stood on his hind legs as I addressed him.
“Scritch, Inigo is a friend of Olette’s and won’t eat you. Therefore, you should also try and be friends, okay?”
I received a non-committal squeak for my efforts.
We teleported to just outside of Fort Greenwall’s entrance.
- Wulf: Iona, will you have difficulty facing guards that you know?
- Iona: No, Wulf, I will not! If they bear arms against The Empire, they are my enemy.
- Wulf: Their guard towers will be well populated. I will concentrate on clearing the enemy outside of the towers. I want The Dragonguard to aid the Legionnaires in clearing the enemy inside the towers.
- Celestine: You could outdistance us by quite a bit.
- Wulf: I intend to progress non-stop and wait at the entrance for you and the Legionnaires to catch up. I suspect many guards will run for the entrance, and I will be there to stop them. I will give myself some extra protection.
I Shouted Dragon Aspect and was surrounded by the magical armour.
- Inigo: My friend, that is rather creepy. Especially the glowing eyes.
- Wulf: It is supposed to intimidate as well as protect.
- Jordis: It is undoubtedly intimidating!
- Wulf: We must be careful as civilians may get involved with skirmishes.
- Iona: I suspect many will get involved. There was growing opposition to the Jarl’s stance on the civil war.
- Wulf: I will be fighting my way to the palace as quickly as possible. The sooner I arrest the Jarl, the sooner the fighting stops
- Lydia: Don’t worry, Wulf. We shall look after the civilians whilst you do what is necessary.
We approached the gathered Legionnaires and Legate Rikke.
“What is the situation, Legate?”
“There are several barriers flanked by watchtowers. We can expect deadly bow fire from the watchtowers as we try and bypass the barriers.”
“The barriers will not be a problem for me. I will concentrate on eliminating the enemy outside the watchtowers and destroying the barriers. The Dragonguard will help the Legionnaires eliminate those inside the watchtowers. I will clear a path to the entrance and wait for you to arrive.”
“Do you want to do a speech, General?”
“There is no need. Everybody knows why we are here.”
I used my Thu’um, “TRAITORS OF RIFTEN, DROP YOUR WEAPONS AND SLINK AWAY. IF WE SEE YOU WITH A WEAPON, YOU WILL DIE. THAT IS YOUR CHOICE! ARE YOU READY, BRAVE LEGIONNAIRES?”
I was rewarded with a roar from our troops.
“THEN LET US LIBERATE RIFTEN FROM ULFRIC’S SHEEP!”
Another roar signalled our attack.
I destroyed each barrier with Unrelenting Force and hardly paused as I killed all who opposed me.