The Bannered Mare was noisy for this time of night, Mikael thankfully only playing his lute. Uthgerd sat in the corner as well, and I nodded in greeting to her, then went to sit at the bar.
"Hey, hon, how you doing?" Hulda stepped up to the counter, leaning over it to hand me my usual--an ale. She had been pretty devastated when she had heard the news about Ysolda, and did everything she could to try and alleviate the pain.
"The usual. Though, I've got some busy time ahead. The Jarl has commissioned me to go to Bleak Falls Barrow." I said, grabbing the ale and placing my coin down on the counter, which she swiftly bagged in her coin purse under the counter.
"Bleak Falls? Isn't that place cursed?" Hulda's eyes went wide. "And why doesn't he get one of his housecarls to do it?"
I shrugged. "His court wizard wants to search for something called the Dragonstone. Talking with him, there's not much I could get out of him other than a Golden Claw will help me get deeper into the temple, and it's supposed to be stored there."
Hulda looked thoughtful for a moment. "You know, I think Lucan said something about a gold claw being stolen from his store in Riverwood. Have you spoken with him?"
I shook my head. "I didn't really get along well with Lucan. His sister...kind of scares me."
Hulda laughed, "That girl sure has led on those two poor boys long enough, that's for sure."
"Faendal and Sven? Yeah, I can't hear the end of it. Every time I came home, Ysolda would tell me about one of those two coming to her for advice about Camilla." I trailed off, thinking about Ysolda, and Hulda patted my hand.
"It'll be all right, lad. You just drink up, next one will be on the house for you."
The front door of the inn creaked open, and I casually glanced to see who had come in. A Dark Elf had just walked in, and his Imperial outfit made me on guard immediately. I eye him suspiciously, as I hadn't seen him around town before.
The elf went up next to me to speak with Hulda. "Ale, please." As Hulda handed him a drink, he asked if there was any work to be had.
Hulda shook her head, "Sorry, I have all the help I could want right now. Check back later though."
I mutter under my breath as the elf walks away. "Damn Imperials." I took another drink from my mug.
The elf didn't seem to hear me, too preoccupied with his pack. He was digging through it, taking out a couple pelts and set them off to the side, his corner table slowly getting filled with items as he seemed to be searching for something in particular. A fine bow leaned against the table.
I wonder if he's a hunter? It would be good to speak about tricks with someone else, as there were only a few hunters in the entirety of Whiterun who hunted by trade. We pretty much kept the city fed.
I motioned to Hulda. "Who is that? I've not seen him around."
Hulda nodded in his direction. "Him? I'm not sure, he's a newcomer. Seems nice though, doesn't cause any trouble. More than I can say for some Nords in this town." She gave me a laugh.
"When have I ever caused any trouble?" I grin, and she threw a rag at me. I caught it, and lifted it up. "Ah a token, I see!"
Hulda blushed. "Cut that out. Why don't you go greet the poor fellow? He looks all alone in the world, and I can remember when you needed a friend."
"He's clearly an Imperial." I said abruptly. At her look, I rolled my eyes. "Fine, I'll get him an ale."
I gave her a coin, and she passed me two ales, one for me and one for the elf. I stood up, walking across the wooden floor, trying to remember that this elf had nothing to do with Ysolda, and was probably just a regular person trying to get along in Skyrim. Like me.
I plunked the ale down on his table, causing him to jump. "Here." I grunted, sitting down across from him. "Looks like you could use about five more drinks."
The elf smiled at me, reaching for the ale. "First time someone has ever bought me a drink. Thanks for the generosity, I'll try and repay you sometime."
I scoff lightly. "I've seen what your Imperial kindness does to folks around here. I'm just getting you a drink so you don't gut one of us without provocation." I take a big swig of my drink, leaning back as if to challenge him to even say anything back.
The elf looked slightly upset. "I'm not an Imperial, I am a Dunmer and I have no place in the war. I am just wearing what I was awarded a few days ago. It's very light and a lot more durable than the fur armor I made for myself. If I ever find something stronger, I can finally switch out of this clothing. But until then, this is all I have to wear." He sounded more aggravated towards the end of his explanation, but, then again elves usually have that tone of voice, so it was hard for me to tell.
"Well, better watch what you wear in the future, Dunmer." I said. "Some Nords don't take too kindly to Imperials. Just friendly advice." I tilted my cup towards his in a cheer motion. "To the liberation of Skyrim," I said, testing to see how he might respond.
The elf hesitated a moment, then lifted his cup in response. "I don't care for the liberation of Skyrim but I will accept whatever future the end of the war will give. To the end of the war."
I nod in acceptance of that. "Aye, to the end of the war." I motion to Hulda to keep the drinks coming to this table, and she nods in confirmation. I look back at the elf. "So, what's an elf, who isn't an Imperial and yet dresses like one, doing in Whiterun?" I hold out my hand to be friendly and properly introduce myself. "Markus, by the way. Markus of Riverwood."
The elf shook my hand back. "I came to Whiterun to look for work. I have a camp outside of Riverwood and recently, I have been coming here for work. I moved away from hunting to do other things. Oh, my name is Silvir of....I'm not sure where." Silvir took another drink, wincing at the taste of the ale.
I raised an eyebrow. Seems he was a light drinker. "I'm a hunter myself, by trade. I took down a mammoth a few weeks ago." I take out the tip of the mammoth tusk I had sawn off and showed it to him. "Took me about a week and some odd days to butcher the creature entirely."
Silvir seemed impressed. "I've not taken down such prey myself! That is quite impressive. You must have had a good reason to take down such a magnificent beast." He put down his drink and started munching on cooked venison that he had ordered.
I sighed. "What better reason than for love?" I tucked the tusk away in my pack and winced at the thought of Ysolda again. "My wife...she was killed recently, and the pain is still near. Killed by Imperials, I might add." I said, glancing at his garb.
Silvir lowered his head. "Sorry I am clothed in such a thing. I just like strong armor and this is all I have. But if I get something stronger, no one will see me in such clothing ever again. As for your wife, sorry for your loss. I recently lost a partner who survived a dangerous cave with me, but a recent job got her killed. I never got to say how I felt. She was a dark elf like me." A deep sigh came from him and he chugged his drink down.
"But this pain is nothing compared to my past with the Blind Moth Priests."
I cough on my drink. "Blind...Moth Priests?" I laughed, slapping his shoulder. "Do they capture moths for their amusment?"
Silvir looked serious, and I sobered as he explained. "They are an ancient order that studies the Elder Scrolls. They literally blind themselves studying such a thing. Their studies went from reading an ancient relic to scarring the marks from a scroll onto my body for months. Once I got out, I was thrown in prison and due to an unusual event, I got out and found myself in Skyrim." Sylvir didn't seem to mind the taste of the ale anymore, drinking like a Nord.
"Can't say we're short on strange old men around here." I laugh, but then grow serious. "I am sorry about that though, Skyrim is a harsh land, can't say she'll welcome you. Plus, you've come at a bad time, what with dragons and civil war happening." I munch on a honey treat Hulda gives me and I nod to her in thanks. "Around here, we usually stay to ourselves, but with my wife killed in our home, I've been pretty restless as of late. There are...things afoot that I can't explain."
After a moment, I grin at him. "But a bellyful of mead and a warm place to stay usually heals much in the way of men, perhaps Dunmers too."
Silvir nodded. "I am just glad to have met someone else who has had similar struggles. I may try and face my past instead of running from it. You see, I lost my memory during my time with the Blind Moth Priests. Only my trusty journal is what remains of my past. I write in it every chance I get so in case this happens again, at least I will have some history to rely on. I am afraid to learn what happened before the Blind Moth Priests because of one line in my journal. It just says 'It's probably due to me being...that'. I have no idea what it means though."
"I am apparently something I don't know... I am afraid to learn of something dark..." Sylvir seems a bit bothered by showing this post to someone else.
I shrug, feeling that Sylvir might be gearing up to ask me to do a quest. "I can't help you there, I'm a simple man. There are no magic tricks that I can do to bring your memory back. All I can advise is to life each day to the fullest." I lean back, full from dinner and feeling good from the multiple drinks. I chuckled. "And if you can't, there's always Skooma."
"Skooma? I know of the stuff, how long you been taking it?"
"Since my wife died. Have any?" I go to reach in my pocket for gold. "My guy charges some expensive prices."
"I don't take Skooma but do you think the one you lost would want to see you like this? I know it hurts, but taking such a thing isn't going to help you..."
The drink had completely gone to me by now. "Ysolda? She was a drug dealer. Found out a couple days after she died." I leaned my head on the table. "Pretty much destroyed me. And I don't even care. She's gone now, and all I've got is my revenge. The Jarl of Markarth ordered her execution. Just because of the drugs." I looked at Sylvir. "Does that seem right to you? Executing my wife because of what she sold?"
"Do you feel right taking the same kinda stuff that got her killed? If I was you, I would have stayed away from the drugs to begin with after it got my lover killed. Even though I took down a dragon, I'm kind of afraid to fight a dragon again. It killed her and she was twice the fighter I was."
"I was thrown in jail after I found my wife facedown in my house's bath. I went straight to Markarth and murdered every guard I could find." I closed my eyes, leaning my head against the table again. "I was put in jail pretty fast and forced to work in the mines. Skooma was all the prisoners had to get through the day." I shrugged my shoulders, reaching for another drink. "Dragons....dragons are an odd bunch. Did you know dragons..." I blinked owlishly into my empty cup. "I....don't know what I was going to say. Bed might be in order soon."
"With dragons, just shoot a lot an run away." I reached into my pack and drew out some arrows and thrust them at him. "Here, these have good tips on them. You can have them."
Silvir took them from me, but tried to reiterate what he said before. "Alright, but I can tell my words can't get to you." Sylvir looks at his journal and begins to write. "If you ever want to get better, here is what I said written down on paper. You should probably head home for tonight. I will remember you, meeting you may allow me to try and find my past. Thank you Markus and if our paths ever cross again, I will make sure to buy you a drink." Sylvir gives me the page from his journal and slips a bottle of ale into his bag.
I nod, putting the paper into my pack. "May Kyne go with you."
"May Azura guide you." Sylvir stands up, very drunk, and attempts to exit the Bannard Mare, but as he reaches for the door, he just disappears after being surrounded by some type of magic.
I blink, staring at my glass. "Way too much." I muttered to myself.
I stumble up to my rented room, collapsing on the bed. Big day tomorrow, and I could feel the strangeness only beginning.
Part 21 ----- Part 23
If anyone is interested in Silvir's story, he is a cameo from another Skyrim blog going on. Be sure to check it out on the sidebar, it's called the Quest of Three Heroes.
Just want to thank everyone so far reading along! I hope you are enjoying the adventure so far!