I was egged on.
I had to prove, you see, that I was a man.
I couldn't be shown up by a woman!
Let me start at the beginning.
I headed towards Whiterun this morning to sell some of my meat and pelts I have collected. If the rain didn't let up, then I would head to Markarth tomorrow, staying at the inn tonight.
I chat with Belethor a bit, just asking how his business was going. He gave me a bit extra for my wolf pelt I had due to him feeling nice that day, so that was a small perk. After my business was concluded, I stopped into the Bannered Mare to rent a room for the night.
I order a few ales for myself, really getting into the song that Mikael plays.
I hear a roaring cheer from across the bar, and I focus my gaze to see Uthgerd the Unbroken slamming down an empty tankard of mead, raising a fist. The man seated across from her slowly slid to the floor, passed out from his drink.
I feel Sinmir, the local Whiterun mercenary give a hearty slap on my back. "Ah, Markus! Go show what a Nord can do!"
Before I could protest, he shoved me forward as chants of "who's next?" rang around the bar. Uthgerd grinned wide and motioned for me to sit. I was shoved into the chair, and two huge bottles of mead were placed in front of me. The fumes from the drinks made me gag a little, and I felt my stomach churning. I had already had a couple ales, and mead was pretty strong.
"Go on, man, drink up!" A cheer went up and they started chanting my name, encouraging me to chug the drink. Uthgerd raised her glass and started going for it, and....
Okay, I gave in to the peer pressure, I know. But, how could I not? I didn't want to let my fellow Nordsmen down. I grabbed the tankard and raised it to my lips, gulping the liquid, not thinking about the burning sensation as it slid down my throat.
After I slammed my mug down, I raised a fist in victory, and someone shoved the other tankard into my hand. I stared at it, and shouts of "Chug! Chug! Chug!" went up. I shrugged and lifted the mug. I guess one more couldn't hurt.
Suddenly, my vision went blurry and my hearing felt like there was burlap stuck in my ears.
I decided to become acquainted with the floor, and I felt my muscles just go to liquid, and I slammed up against the floor hard.
Hands helped me up and laughter went all around, and I could feel myself burning with embarrassment.
"Oh, poor Markus! You better get home to yer wife, she can clean you up!"
Before I could tell them I had already rented a room here, I was shoved into the pouring rain. My feet didn't work properly and I stumbled down the stone steps, landing in a puddle of water. I tried to open my eyes and instantly regretted it.
The blinding rain and light seared into my brain and I shut my eyes quickly, feeling the wet pavestones underneath me. I headed to where I thought the exit of Whiterun was, not thinking clearly at all.
Oh, thank the divines, Arrow, help me.
I feel Arrow nudge me, and I fall against him, fumbling with the reigns. He nervously tossed his head, and I managed to climb on, leaning against his wet neck.
"Take us home, Arrow, I can't function." I slurred out, and I nudged him forward, hoping he would sense where his stable was.
I don't remember anything after that, just waking up on my bed with a resounding headache.
I prayed for forgiveness and received a blessing, so I felt much better afterwards.
Ysolda greeted me with a harsh eye, and I hung my head.
"I....uh...don't remember much last night." I mumbled, taking my seat at the table.
"I should say not. I'm surprised you got here all in one piece what with you not even leading Arrow. It's a good thing that horse seems smarter than you!" She roughly shoved a plate of food in front of me, and I winced at the yelling, a headache still lingering.
"I'm sorry, love."
"You best be."
"It won't happen again."
"It better not. I'll not tend to you the next time you come home drunk."
"Aye, it was...it was foolish of me, I have no excuses."
Her face softened and she patted my hand. "It'll be all right. You need to go to Markarth though, you keep complaining that you have to finish your delivery. Are you okay for travel?"
I ate my breakfast and nodded towards her. "Yeah, I really should hit the road after this. I'll see you in a couple days, I'll probably stay over at Markarth and see what wares they have. Do you want anything?"
Ysolda gave a thoughtful look. "Perhaps a new dress, or some salt if they have any. Riverwood doesn't carry much in the way of salt, and when he gets any in, it's expensive."
"We can afford it." I said, shoving back from the table.
"I know, but it's good to be careful with the money."
I grabbed my cloak off the hook by the door and put it on, looking at her. "Oh, if you need money, it's in the safe behind the book panel in my study. Just press it once and it'll open. I have an emergency stash there."
"Thank you, save travels!"
She gave me a quick kiss and sent me out the door. I smelled the fresh air and noted the time. It was about 7 or 8 in the morning, and I walked over to Arrow's stall, patting him. "Thank you, old boy for yesterday. Let's get going, we've a long road ahead."
Nothing too major happened, but I did come across a spilled carriage with a dead Khajiit. There were no notes, and nothing of value left, so I dragged the body off the road at least.
I was daydreaming and went a bit farther than intended, running into Karthwasten. An old city, it's a mining town, full of rough men trying to scrape by. Take up hunting, it's been very lucrative.
Finally, I make it into Markarth, passing by a few tents set up, though, no one was around.
Opening up the big city gates, I catch the tail end of a brutal stabbing. The guards immediately go for him, but I got to him first.
Yeah, that's what happens when you stab women for no good reason. You die!
Yeah, I have no idea what Forsworn are, buddy.
Okay, but, who are the Forsworn?
Ah. Well, that doesn't seem to be anyone good to be sympathetic towards.
We are interrupted by a man leaning against a nearby wall.
"Did you see what happened?" He asked me.
I just pointed to my axe. "Yeah, he almost killed me, but I was able to take him out."
"I'm so sorry, I hope the Eight bring you peace in the future."
I noted the lack of acknowledgement towards Talos, but held my silence, nodding in affirmation. He walked up to me, shoving a piece of paper in my hand. "I think you dropped this."
He then quickly walked away before I could respond.
I glance at the paper. Meet me at the shrine of Talos.
Oh, gods. A quest. I crumple the paper up and put it in my pocket, deciding to deal with that later. I go to rent a room at the local inn.
You must not have heard what just happened out on the streets.
At that, one room rented later, I sit down and rest, ready to sight see in about an hour.
And maybe, just maybe, I'll go to the shrine of Talos. My curiosity has been peaked.
Part 15 ----- Part 17