Monday, October 6, 2014
Post 23: Rewards and Shocking Turn of Events
I stood staring at my house for a long time. There wasn't really anyway I could possibly live in it. I decided I should sell it back to Alvor.
I found him working as usual on his orders from customers. He understood entirely and accepted a sale of the house back to him, though, at a slightly lesser price of 2,500 gold. I didn't mind though, I just wanted it off my hands.
Bleak Falls Barrow peeked through the trees and I steeled myself for the trials ahead.
Should have steeled myself for the cold, because, gods, it started to snow and get a lot colder than I thought it would all at once!
I left Arrow at the entrance of the Barrow and headed up the steps towards the entrance.
A couple of bandits got in my way, but they were taken out quickly.
Inside, it was much warmer, and I sneaked quietly through the large chamber, noticing a couple bandits talking with each other around a fire.
A couple of well-placed arrows later, and they spoke no more. Hey, look, this guy died from an arrow to the knee!
Sure is nice and warm here. Free bed, free fire, free storage chest. I would live here if it weren't for the fact that this is a horrible location. I'm supposed to be looking for some sort of Golden Claw too, but I don't see any around this area.
The deeper I go in, the more I have a funny feeling about what sort of monsters I might meet in here.
I was puzzled by this room for all of five seconds.
I hate skeevers. Big, stinking, plague-ridden rats.
I hear a scared voice calling out through the corridors, and I rush cautiously forward, hoping that the voice doesn't attract unwanted attention.
That funny feeling gets to be a big warning in my head the closer I get.
Walking into the chamber, my worst fears were realized. A gigantic spider dropped down from the ceiling and started attacking me full on!
After the battle, I noticed a man bound up by webs in the nearby exit.
I walked up to him, and he struggled frantically against the webs. "You did it. You killed it. Now cut me down before anything else shows up!"
I examine the webs, testing their strength with my axe. "Are you in here looking for the Dragonstone or Golden Claw?"
He nodded as best he could. "Yes, the claw. I know how it works. The claw, the markings, the door in the Hall of Stories. I know how they all fit together!"
"Well, I don't know about some Hall of Stories," I say.
"Help me down, and I'll show you. You won't believe the power the Nords have hidden there."
I hack and saw at the thick strands, and finally, he was able to pull free. With a hard swing, his arm shot forward and the dagger in it glinted in the dim lighting of the room. I fell backwards, unable to react to the quick motion, and got a dagger stuck in my shoulder.
The man ran off, laughing. "You fool, why should I share the treasure with anyone?"
I gritted my teeth, getting off the ground and wrenching the dagger out of my shoulder. With a quick motion, I bound it as best I could and continued forward, gripping my axe tightly. I heard muffled screams up ahead and I froze momentarily, just listening.
A course scraping sound reached my ears, and from around the corner, a Draugr appeared, carrying a huge sword behind it. With an unearthly scream that sent chills down my spine, he rushed at me.
I fought back valiantly, and it was surprisingly agile, blocking my swings pretty well for an undead creature. Though, it eventually fell to my blade, and I continued onward.
And he was swift no more.
I unceremoniously looted his body, taking everything but his clothes. I did actually find the Golden Claw within his possession, so that was a stroke of good luck, I must say.
I finally found a long hallway with an ominous door at the end of it. This must be the Hall of Stories
Whew, that was a bit hard.
The chamber beyond was brightly lit, filtering sunlight from the outside world.
As I got closer, I heard the ominous chanting sounds again, and I looked around, slightly confused.
The moment my eyes laid on the glowing runes, I couldn't help it. I stepped foward without thinking, without knowing what would happen.
The chanting got louder and louder, and the magic tendrils started swirling out of the rune.
I had to squint against the blinding light, and I felt a rush of knowledge enter me.
It was so overwhelming, my vision blackened for a moment, then slowly returned.
I felt I could read the rune. It translated into FUS, and it meant Force. How I knew, I can't say. But I didn't have time to ponder what had just happened to me.
A nearby sarcophagus opened up to reveal a Draugr Overlord coming straight towards me.
Weak, hungry and tired from the journey, I struggled for a while against him, but finally was able to make the killing blow.
And in another stroke of good fortune, he actually had the Dragonstone on his person! Good thing no one has looted this crypt for who knows how long.
A short hop skip and a jump later, I was outdoors, breathing in the cold Skyrim air.
I take a small moment to look out over the landscape, feeling awed by its grandness.
While the mountain was large, I was able to conquer it, emerging safely on the other side.
I called Arrow with my Nordic horn, and we prepared to set out for Whiterun.
The night sky is just beautiful.
Back at Whiterun, I hand the wizard the Dragonstone and hold out my hand. "So, reward? I went through Oblivion and back for this.
Farengar stammered for a moment, then pointed towards the throne room. "You'll have to see the Jarl about that. Maybe his steward, Avenicci. I'm sure one of them will pay you appropriately. My associate will be pleased to see your handiwork. She discovered its location, by means she has so far declined to share with me."
As I turned around, the Jarl's right hand Dark Elf, I think named Irileth, ran into the room. "Farengar, you need to come at once. A dragon has been sighted nearbye." She looked at me pointedly. "You should come to."
I was shocked, pointing to myself. "Me?"
Farengar almost clapped his hands in excitement. "A dragon! How amazing! Where was it seen? What was it doing?"
Irileth glared at him.
Irileth grabbed my arm and started dragging me up towards the Jarl's chambers. I wrenched free and walked on my own, glaring at the back of her head. I didn't want to be part of a dragon hunt!
Up with the Jarl, a soldier stood, sweating and breathing heavily.
"-came from the western watchtower. It was fast...faster than anything I've ever seen."
The Jarl folded his arms, drilling the soldier. "What did it do? Is it attacking the tower?"
The Jarl clapped him on the shoulder. "Good work, son. We'll take it from here. Head down to the barracks for some food and rest." He turned to Irileth as the soldier left. "You'd better get some guardsmen and get down there."
I began to state, "With all due respect, my Jarl--"
"--With all due respect, you have no choice!" The Jarl spat out at me. "Any citizen of my hold has an honor bound duty to help me when the call arises!"
"You survived Helgen, so you have more experience than almost all of my men." He turned and took a helmet off a nearby manniquin. "I've not forgotten your service with the Dragonstone, though. Here, take this helmet. I'm sure it will aid a hunter like you."
Sure, a hide helmet against a dragon. What could go wrong?
I wasn't very pleased with this turn of events, but the Jarl was right. I had no choice.
Off to fight a dragon!
Part 22 ----- Part 24