Not many people in sight, so they must be doing jobs inside. Walking into the Commander's outpost, I hold up a fist in victory and smile at him.
"I did it. The Dark Brotherhood? Wiped out. Completely." I say, grasping the hand he held forth.
He let out a large laugh. "This is a great day, my friend. You have struck a blow against darkness that will not soon be forgotten! Here, as promised--a most generous reward! I'll make sure the Emporer himsef hears of all you have accomplished! You've made Skyrim a better place."
He turned and grasped a large sack, which clinked as he turned to hand it to me. My eyes grew large as he told me there was 3,000 gold inside. I very quickly put the bag into my backpack, and he sent a guard along with me to make sure I got out of town safely.
Well, old boy, what do we do now?
Back to Whiterun! I have an idea for a quest of love.
Ysolda, my sweet. It is a fine day with you around. I traverse around the town and see if anyone has news on Ysolda and if she might be interested in getting married.
No one says that she is spoken for, so, my next step is obtaining an Amulet of Mara. I've learned from speaking with the locals that since Skyrim life is so short, an Amulet of Mara will show that you are interested in marrying someone. It's a simple way of communication, and will basically let people know that you are not spoken for.
The only way to get an Amulet of Mara is to travel to Riften and visit the Temple of Mara, though. Since I am now financially stable, I feel I can take a bride, and then work on getting a house for us both while we reside in her old house here in Whiterun. I'd rather be away from the city, having a house that's in or around Riverwood would be nice, I think. Still very close to Whiterun, but has good hunting potential. Plus, I can try and do my part in keeping them safe from bandits.
Also, I ran across this when leaving the local Temple of Kynareth.
Just terrible, making that homeless, penniless girl watch you stuff your face with food!
To Riften! I decide to travel in style there and back, mainly because I dread the long journey. I am impatient, so while this might be slower, it is safer.
The local Bee and Barb has Maramal giving a small sermon. He's talking about the dragons returning, so while I wait at the bar to rent a room for the night, I listen in.
"This is one of the signs. The signs that Lady Mara is displeased with your constant inebriation! Put down your flagons of vile liquids and embrace the teachings of the handmaiden of Kyne."
I glance at the drink in my hand. Kyne would be displeased with drinking? But...I've always still received my blessings, even if I've had a few drinks here and there, and I've never gotten so drunk I don't remember what happened...
Talen-Jei, the Argonian helper of the tavern stepped forward. "Come, now, Brother Maramal, let our guests drink in peace."
"But they must be aware of the chaos they've sown, Talen-Jei!" Maramal insisted.
"Enough, Maramal. We've all heard of the dragons and their return. There's no need to us them as an excuse to harass our customers."
Maramal turned, and I headed over, the music starting up again and raucous laughter ringing at the merrymaking.
"Maramal," I start, putting a hand on his shoulder. He turned around, surprised. "I was wondering if I could have an Amulet of Mara. I have a woman I want to let know I am unspoken for."
Maramal nodded. "They are sold for 200 gold, but all the proceeds go towards Mara's Shrine and its upkeep."
"I would like to buy one, then."
I've already gotten her a mammoth tusk, what else would she want?
I go to sit down and have a drink, when a man nods at me, joining me at the table. "My name is Bolli, I'm one of the best fisherman in these parts. Mind if I join you?"
I nodded, despite the strange way he introduced himself, company was always good with a drink.
"Who buys all your fish?" I ask, taking a gulp from my tankard.
"All over Skyrim," He waved a hand. "the only untapped market left is Markarth. However, I just got word that Kleppr at the Silver Blood Inn might be interested."
I sense a delivery coming along, and I braced myself for the request.
I can't say no to a delivery quest!
I decide to stop by the orphanage the next day and see how the children are coming along.
Well, aren't you just cute as a button.
A few days later, I make it back to Whiterun and proudly displayed my amulet around Ysolda, making sure that it laid prominently on me for her to see. I worked in the market all day, helping out the vendors with their stock, and I kept seeing her give me glances out of the corner of her eye every now and then.
Finally, my heard almost stopped as she started to come up to me and speak.
I blush slightly, but flirt back. "Interested in me, are you?" I try and give her a handsome look, but feel that I might have failed when she grinned.
"Well, yes. Why wouldn't I be? Are you...interested in me?" She smiled sweetly, and her gaze just melted my heart.
I fumbled over my words. "Yes. Yes I am." There; short, sweet, to the point. I held my breath as a moment passed between us.
My heart soared as I gave her my Amulet of Mara to seal the arrangement. I would go back to Riften and arrange our marriage, and she would meet me there in two day's time.
Two days later, dressed in the finest clothes I had, I stood in front of the Temple of Mara, my heart beating loudly in my chest. This was it. I would have a beautiful wife, and we would have a grand life together. Then, once our new house was built, we would be able to adopt a child as soon as the papers went through.
I gulped and started up the stone stairs, every step bringing me closer to a new life. With Ysolda.
She was stunningly beautiful at the alter, her simple homespun dress accentuating all her fine features.
I was so nervous, I didn't want to look directly at her, feeling I might burst into un-manly tears. I had to hold it together. For her.
I held my breath. This would be her last chance to get out of it. To leave me.
He then turned to me, and I almost couldn't hear him over the sounds of happiness in my heart.
"Do you agree to be bound together, in love, now and forever?"
I nodded fervently. "I do. Now and forever."
Maramal smiled at us both. "Under the authority of Mara, the Divine of Love, I declare this couple to be wed." He held out two rings for us, and we each took one. "I present the two of you these matching rings, blessed by Mara's divine grace. May they protect each of you in your new life together."
Putting on the ring, I felt a sense of renewal. A new life has just begun for me, and I turned to smile at Ysolda. She was beaming as well and gave me a quick kiss. "I shall meet you back in Whiterun, my love. Do you have a house, or shall you live with me?"
"I plan to build us a nice home in Riverwood." I said. "I can buy the property from the overseer of their land, and then, if you want, you can start up that store you've always wanted."
She gave me a startled look, and then tears came to her eyes. "That would be wonderful, absolutely wonderful!"
Since I had leftover business here in Riften, we parted ways and I looked at my ring in closer detail.
I'm married now! I gave a quick hop of joy and went off to the local shops to see if they had anything of interest before heading back to Whiterun.
Back in Whiterun, Ysolda gave me the grand tour of her humble home.
It was small. Very small. I'm going to have to get that house as soon as possible.
Oh. Well, that's okay...I can...sleep at the inn I guess...
Filled with even more determination to make sure my hunting pays the bills, I head out the next day, ready to hunt anything that moved!
I very nearly almost lost my first Elk when it went down in some tall grass. I had to search forever for it, as it blended in pretty well.
After about five or so hours of hunting, I had a nice big haul ready to skin and butcher at my campsight.
Okay, so, my tent is a little crooked, but...
So much money to be made! No time for sleep anyway!
And with that, I head into my tent to sleep the rest of the night, as it was almost four in the morning. I'll sell my wares tomorrow.
For now, though, sleep well, Skyrim.
Part 13 ----- Part 15