Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Part 17: Relaxing

Waking up the next morning, I realized that there's no way I could go meet that guy at the Shrine of Talos. He might have some horrible quest or adventure for me to go on--bandits, Forsworn, any number of bad things await in this region.

I did want to take a look around the town though, heading up to look at the Jarl's palace.

A man was questioning a sellsword about the house he was standing in front of.

The mercenary shrugged. "It's abandoned, and was always abandoned. No one has bought it, and it's never been offered for sale by any one person."

The cloaked man turned to me, letting the sellsword go about his business. "Excuse me, but do you know anything about this house? Seen anyone enter or leave?"

I shook my head. "No, I haven't, but, I live in Riverwood, I'm just in town for business, and I'll actually be leaving soon."

The man sighed. "Seems no one in this city has. I'm with the Vigil of Stendarr. We believe this house might have been used for Daedra worship. Evil rites and so forth."

I shrug. "Sorry, I don't know anything."

The man bowed slightly towards me. "Thank you for your time, then. I'll continue asking around."

The Jarl's palace was actually less impressive than Whiterun. It was dark, not very cozy and everything was made of stone. The slightest whisper was heard from across the room. I wanted to tell the Jarl about the attack in the town, but I had to go through his bodyguard first.

What? No Forsworn? There are at least Forsworn sympathizers, isn't that pretty much the same thing? I left, disgusted at the Jarl's separation from his people. At least Jarl Balgruuf knows the needs and wants of his people, and have no issue with them coming to speak with him.

Outside of Markarth, I help the farmers bring in their harvest for a few coins.

Since it was getting late, and I didn't feel like sleeping on the stone bed of the inn, I camp outside.

I was on my way back home early next morning, ready to just relax around Riverwood.

There's nothing like coming around the corner and seeing your house still standing.

You and I both deserve a good rest, eh, Arrow?

Glad to see you enjoying that book, Ysolda.

It's a small garden, but with work it'll flourish nicely.

Lots of work.

I take a break to drink some of the water Ysolda had. She boils some fresh everyday so there's no risk of disease.

Almost forgot to replentish my wood supply I carry around. Always be prepared!

And after a long day of travel, working in the garden and chopping wood, a relaxing time in the heated water tub does wonders for the muscles.

I do a bit of leveling as well and took two perks, one for haggling and stealth, so I can sneak up on the elk better.

Just like this.

Right in the rump!

This will be good to sell at the Riverwood Trader, Lucan is always looking to up his meat stock, as we usually have Khajiit traders go through Riverwood on the way to the larger cities.

After stepping out from the Trader, a courier runs up to me. "Letter from the Jarl! Moving up in the world, eh?"

I take it from him, thanking him, but very curious what was on his letter. I head back to my house to read it in private, sitting on one of my porch seats.


Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Siddgeir, and I have the honor to be the Jarl of the proud and ancient city of Falkreath.

The fame of your exploits across Skyrim has been brought to my attention. If you are interested in becoming a Thane of Falkreath hold, I invite you to speak with me the next time you are in Falkreath. Aside from the honor that comes from the title, my thanes are entitled to a personal housecarl. I also can tell you privately that a choice parcel of land in Falkreath would be available for your purchase should your services provide useful to me.

I look forward to meeting you in person.

I remain,

Jarl Siddgeir of Falkreath

I raise an eyebrow at the letter, then head inside to speak with Ysolda about it.

I see you are enjoying a nice dinner.

I sit down at the bar across from her and slide the letter across the surface for her to read it. After a few moments, she looked up at me questioningly. "So, what do you plan to do?"

I shrug, folding the letter up and placing it to the side. "Was hoping you'd have some idea. Being Thane of Falkreath...we'd have to move."

Ysolda frowned, looking at the house. "But we just moved in here, and it's beautiful!"

I nod. "It is. I enjoy it here."

"Plus, all my customers are around Whiterun." She continued.

"You would be able to sell to new people." I point out. "I'm not saying we should do it, but how about we talk about it? I could head up there and see what sort of homes there are, and I could talk to Avor about selling this place back to him."

Ysolda bit her lower lip, and I could see her thinking hard. "I can agree with that. At least go there and find out what sort of homes they might offer you."

I nod, stretching. "All right. Tomorrow, I'll head to Falkreath and speak with the Jarl about becoming Thane. I'll see what he needs me to do, I'm sure it'll be some sort of bandit problem or helping the people around town. After I've finished up there, I'll come back here to let you know about the different houses available, and then we can move up there together. Sound good?"

Ysolda smiled, nodding. "That will work just fine. You'll be gone a few weeks then?"

"At least a week, probably." I confirm.

"I shall miss you then. You better go get some sleep if you want to head out in the morning."

I stood up, pocketing the letter. "Indeed. I'll probably head out about six or seven, but I'll wake you to say goodbye."

I head into the bedroom, flopping down on the bed, excited about the future prospects.

Tomorrow, Falkreath.

Part 16 ----- Part 18

End notes: I did buy a Hunting Bow of Scorching and sold my old bow, so if there are inconsistencies in the future, that is the reason why. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Part 16: Contests, Traveling, and Sudden Stabs

It wasn't my fault.

I swear.

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

Part 15: A New Home

Ysolda, dear, I love you, but your house is not built for two people.

So, on my way to Shore's Stone to give Verner's Satchel back to Sylgja. Poor woman could probably have walked there and back by now, and I did promise to bring her back news of her parents.

As you can see, we have a small journey ahead, but shouldn't take too long.

Oh, no. Really? These guys? They better be guards, and not bandits.

My sentiments exactly.

Nothing exciting in the battle, I beat them up pretty good, and the last guy even yielded, so I let him run off. I hope he tells his buddy to stay away from this part of the road, because, man, I really gotta talk to the Jarl about this.

Okay, that's it. This is the fourth time I've caught these guys harassing women on the road. Time to see what's up.

Okay, and that just gives you the right to verbally attack women on the main roads?

Guess what, this isn't Whiterun! Go up the road a bit and check IN Whiterun! Get off my road! If  I see you again on these roads, I may just have to intervene for good so the women of Skyrim can be safe.

No cat sneaks up on me while I'm just walking down the road. You'll get an axe to the face!

Oh, a house. Maybe I can rest a bit inside.

Gosh, everywhere I go, just Skooma this and Skooma that. Must be some good stuff, but, I am on an errand and can't be distracted.

A couple hours later, I finally meet up with Sylgja. She pays me with a silver ring, though I try and give it back, because, it's not like I was the fastest messenger. She insisted I take it, and I never refuse twice.

The trip back was pretty boring. It is nice to see Whiterun up ahead though.

Remember, always leave nature how you left it!

While hunting, I come across a strange tree.

It's very pretty, but it doesn't seem to do anything. It's right in the middle of a giant's camp, so I don't get too close.

I sleep out overnight, and then head to Riverwood, hearing that there was a house for sale. As I trot over the bridge, I can see it, and it looks very nice.

The previous owners had just left for a new life in Markarth, and it was up for sale for a nice cheap price of only 4,000 gold. I jump at the chance, but take a look around first.

And of course, try out the different features it has.

A nice cozy kitchen and dining area, once I get a fire started, it'll be much warmer too.

Yes, I will take this house. I payed Avor the 4,000 gold and he gave me the key. I was excited to move in, but I had to let Ysolda know that I had a house for her here. Since it was getting later, I decided to pay a messenger boy to take a letter to her.

While waiting for her to arrive, I decided to set up things so they were comfortable.

Like your new stable, Arrow?

There's a grey fox running around, and seems keen to stick to me wherever I go. I've taken to calling him Moy.

Dude, get off my lawn.

Ysolda arrived and was extremely excited about the home. She got right to work making us some fresh bread.

She requested I chop some wood for the cooking fire, though, and I headed down to the basement.

One yummy dinner later, and I was stuffed and happy.

After dinner, I said my evening prayers to Kynareth.

A quick stop at the sauna, and I felt stronger, like I could carry more things.

I then end the day with nice bit of fishing for a meal. Tomorrow, heading to Markarth to deliver the contract I was given from the man in Riften.

And then, I should be able to relax again for a couple days before needing to go on a big hunt.

Part 14 ----- Part 16