Friday, October 3, 2014

Part 20: Frigid Air, Frigid Waters

Walking up to Arrow the next morning reminded me that I needed tack for him. I bought a simple saddle from the stablemaster.

Going north. I don't have a fur tent either, as I left that back at my Falkreath that thought, pain in my chest made me suck in a breath, trying not to think of Ysolda. I need to get drunk.

After about half an hour of travel, I crested over a hill and saw the white plains stretching before me. The closest town was the village of Winterhold, so I headed in that direction.

I found a man killed by who knows what, and his horse staying loyally by his side. I tried to get the horse to come with me, but he was having none of it.

Winterhold finally came into view and I nudged Arrow a little faster.

And just in time. A snowstorm blew in just as I stopped in front of the inn.

Walking in, conversations were going on, but I stood by the fire, trying to warm up a bit before securing a room for the night.

I ordered some wine and ale to try and numb my senses a bit.

After a while, the alcohol hit me and I staggered to my room, completely out of it, and not thinking of anything in the slightest. I only remember hitting my pillow and darkness after that.

It was still snowing pretty heavy the next morning, but I decided to risk it. It didn't seem to be letting up anytime soon, and the faster I got it over with, the faster I'd be back down in warmer climates.

I struggled through the snowy wasteland, trying not to force Arrow through any large bodies of water. I knew better than to swim myself, I'd probably be dead in about thirty seconds.

The wraith was caught up to, though, and after a bit of a fight, I won valiantly in the end. I was a bit worried all through it, as I was completely out of health potions.

But, I won in the end and started making the long way back to Winterhold.

I had to make an emergency campfire as I was getting dangerously cold.

I stumbled completely by accident onto a bandit camp. I was merely following the light in the storm and didn't realize that anyone would have the energy to be hostile out here.

They had an ice wolf pet who I dispersed with ease.

The bandit chief had a better cloak and hat than mine, so I switched them out, happy to be warmer under the thick fur cloak.

Stumbling into Winterhold's inn, my vision was slightly blur around the edges and I was dangerously close to freezing to death.

Shut up, kid. Trying not to freeze to death here.

Keep walking.

Much better.

Next day I packed up and headed out, thanking the divines that Windhelm wasn't too far away. Just a straight shot down the road a bit.

So beautiful, yet so dangerous.

Was nice to see some food laid out. I was getting pretty hungry.

"Glad you had such confidence in my ability." I said shortly.

Galmar held up two hands in peace. "I misjudged you. You're definitely Stormcloak material. You even look the part, now. Where did you get that fine cloak?"

"Ran into bandits." I eyed him.

Galmar laughed nervously. "Well, it's time we made this official, then! You ready to take the Oath?"

I took a small drink of water. "Isn't it enough that I want to kill Imperials?"

"You can stick a sword through an Imperial any day you want. But that doesn't make you a Stormcloak. After all, we're not just fighting Imperials. We're fighting to restore Skyrim to her glory and give her the king she deserves."

I think a moment. The best way to stick it to Imperials is to join the Stormcloaks, so I nod. "I'm ready to take the Oath."

"That's the spirit!" Galmar lifted his tankard in celebration. "By swearing this oath you become one of us. A hero of the people. A true son of Skyrim. A Stormcloak. Repeat after me."

Galmar put his cup down and solemnly lifted one hand. I copied his directions exactly.

"I do swear my blood and honor to the service of Ulfric Stormcloak Jarl of Windhelm and true High King of Skyrim. As Talos is my witness, may this oath bind me to death and beyond...even to my lord as to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. All hail the Stormcloaks, the true sons and daughters of Skyrim!"

I repeated the phrases after him, feeling as though I was joining something much bigger than I had expected.

"Now you're one of us." Galmar said, putting a hand on my shoulder. He looked at the map that was spread on the table and pointed to an area on it. "We're heading to Korvanjund. But, if old King Borgas is indeed buried there, we're bound to run into trouble of some kind."

"What is at Korvanjund?" I ask.

"The Jagged Crown. This will show who's the true High King of Skyrim." Galmar grinned.

"I'll meet you there, I've got business in Riften, but it won't take but a day." I said. Galmar nodded and waved me off.

I hopped into the back of the carriage, my thoughts going ahead of me. I thought excitedly of the feeling that I had before with the skooma, and hoped I could find a dealer in Riften.

I found one, without much trouble, as I figured they would be hanging around the Ratway.

I decided to stay in the free bunkhouse that night. Clutching my possessions to me, I drifted off into sleep.

Part 19 ----- Part 21

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