Riverwood was quiet when I arrived. I walked in slowly, lost in my thoughts.
Had I become what I hated most? Someone who kills without regard to another's family?
Crickets and far off wolves could be heard, and I gazed up at the moon. I sat on a nearby stump, facing my old home, Leaf Rest, where Ysolda had been killed. Arrow shuffled next to me, the crisp night causing clouds of condensation to float through the air, making it look like he was breathing smoke.
I patted the faithful horse on the shoulder. His skin jumped at my touch, but he settled down once he realized he enjoyed the petting. "What to do, old boy?"
I felt like I needed some time to think, and perhaps an adventure that didn't include killing Imperials. I brought out my map, unfolding it on my lap, holding it up to the moonlight which shone down brightly.
I remembered the Greybeards words to me. Retrieve the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, and then I would prove myself as the Dragonborn. I sighed, releasing a cloud of breath. I would do that. It would bring me back to my earlier days. A man not full of hatred or revenge. A man just wanting to get by. A man who wants a good life for himself and for Skyrim.
I nodded to myself, putting the map away. Tomorrow, Arrow and I would travel to Ustengrav, to where the Horn was.
The ride was relatively uneventful the next day, though long. I left Arrow to munch grass outside and I ensured my equipment was ready on my person.
Well now, isn't that a bit of luck? I quickly grabbed one of the bottles, downing it to calm my nerves. I felt faster and stronger, and headed into the crypt with a renewed sense of confidence.
Bandits were dead inside, as though they had been killed recently by a mage, judging by a giant ice spike sticking through one of them.
Up ahead, two Draugr were attacking a Conjurer, but I was unable to save her in time. She went down fast under their weapons, but a few arrows later, they were dead at my feat.
The chasms inside were amazing to see, the light shining in from who knows where. I thought everything was underground, but, somehow, the light made it in.
Precarious pathways met me, and I spotted what looked to be another Word Wall. I could hear the faint chanting from up here, and, though still hesitant about walking up to chanting walls, I knew that by learning the words, it would serve me well in defense.
With my understanding of the word, though, I didn't want to use it straight away without asking the Greybeards about it. I didn't want to become a ghost the rest of my life.
A strange puzzle soon lay before me, and I looked at it a few times before I figured out what to do. Each of the stone pillars in the middle lit up when you passed them, opening a gate beyond. With good timing, I figured I could use my Shout that caused me to move quickly and get through before they closed.
I was right! I made it through unscathed!
An ominous passageway lay before me, and I crept forward silently, axe at the ready.
In the next room, statues rose up out of the water, and I put my axe away, awed by the sight.
My footsteps echoed slightly as I walked closer to the pedestal where the horn would lay. I must have been the first person since the last Dragonborn to be in this room. The history weighed down on me and I kept glancing around, feeling strange to be here.
As I got closer, I squinted, not seeing a horn anywhere. I walked up, brushing past the burial urns at the base of the elaborate carving.
A...note? I frowned, reaching out to pluck it from the stone hand carving.
So much for the test of the Dragonborn if a person who ISN'T the Dragonborn can get through what I just got through!
Blast it. I angrily crumpled the note, stuffing it into my pack. A swift kick later, and a skeleton head went flying across the room into the pool of water, a small splash echoing through the otherwise silent chamber.
What does it mean to be Dragonborn? I sat down on the nearby steps and put my head in my hands. Does it mean dealing with this sort of thing? Being shuffled from place to place without any sort of thought as to what I was doing? To be dragged here to there doing deeds for people? No chance to live my own life?
I wanted no part of that. None whatsoever. The Greybeards could sod off. They can deal with this dragon problem on their own.
I drew out my map again and shuffled through it's pages. There. I would get away from Skyrim and this utter nonsense. I would find my own way, in a new area.
Falskaar, here I come.
Part 26 ----- Part 28 (coming soon)
Just letting everyone know, that I'm getting towards the end of my coursework, so the updates will be a bit slow from here on. Apologies to those who are enjoying it, but, medical coding is a bit of a drain on the ol' brain sometimes. So, an adventure awaits Markus, and he's really rather tired of all the Dragonborn nonsense he's been put through. He needs a break, and Falskaar might be the very place to go.