19 Last Seed, 4E201
The first thing I did this morning was attend to some possibly urgent business at the blacksmith. My Imperial armor marked me as a supporter of something I was not and in Skyrim that could mean the difference between life and death. So I spent several hours this morning turning what skins I was able to collect yesterday into somewhat serviceable leather armor covered with hide. I value the appearance it gives me over the protection, so the haphazard nature of my garments is not yet a problem.
I sharpened Alvor's dagger after I finished with my armor and returned it to him, only to be asked to craft a helmet out of hides. When I returned with that, he demanded that it be strengthened in wax and my reward for doing that was only helmet and the dagger I had made, both useless to me. He mentioned that the town's local iron mine had been overrun by bandits and that he was eager for the guards of Whiterun to eventually arrive and drive them off, for that would make his life a great deal easier and more profitable. A hazy memory of having done something similar in Morrowind tried to reconstruct itself, but it has simply been too long since then. Still, the fairly reliable feeling that I had done something like that before made me confident enough to tell Alvor I would see about clearing out the mine myself.
After a quick stop at the Riverwood trader I walked up the hill towards the mine, warned by Alvor to expect at least one guard on the outside.
She was equipped no better than I, but managed to be far less skilled in combat despite it being decades since I have had to swing a sword in anger. I waited outside to see if the sounds of our combat brought anyone from within the cave, but no one else came out. The cave's guard had a silver ring with a garnet set into it, probably stolen or killed for, so I felt no guilt in relieving her corpse of such a valuable find.
Inside I fought two bandits near the entrance, two that came to investigate the dropping of a drawbridge near my initial fight, and a third, a Khajiit, who was guarding a small storage room. Inside was some coin, weapons, and surprisingly, an Illusion spell book.
The bandit group was larger than I had been led to believe, as was the mine. I fought four more bandits after the Khajiit, bringing the total to eight after I cleared the second chamber. Their leader evidently resided there, for I found a great deal more stolen loot, including a copper circlet that I am now wearing.
Trouble had been taken to build or steal a forge, grindstone, and bench, though I question why a smelter was not built to take advantage of the mine's iron ore. Curious, I swung a pickax into a vein of ore, dislodging some of the more obvious nodules of metal. I remembered them not being worth much, so I only took a few.
Alvor was pleased to hear that the town could make use of the mine again and I sold some wood I had taken from the bandits to Hod, the lumber mill worker.
It was only early in the afternoon, so I sold much of what I took out of the mine to the local trader and spent a few hours hunting for game. I shot a deer that I tracked along the river and by the time the creature had collapsed I found myself outside of Whiterun.
There was some commotion down in the fields, but when I got there the battle that had been raging was already over. Three warriors were standing near the corpse of a giant and one spoke to me, stating that if I had been a warrior I would have relished the engagement against such a creature. I pointed out that the three of them were able to take care of it by themselves and that I had been on the other side of the river when they had started fighting. She dismissed this defense and told me that if I was a warrior to come to the "Companions" Great Hall in Whiterun to be judged. I will be passing on that particular honor.
I wandered about the fields for a while, asking around to see if I could find some work to occupy the next few days. But no one I spoke with needed additional hands on their farm and it was growing dark, so I decided to spend the night in Whiterun and search for work inside the walls tomorrow.
A guard recommended 'The Bannered Mare' for the night and the innkeeper, Hulda, provided me with a bounty notice the Jarl had put up when I asked her if she knew of work. Bounty hunting is not quite what I had in mind, but perhaps it is time to sharpen my dormant skills once again, especially now that the civil war is going to involve a Dragon.
With that in mind, I may attend to this bounty tomorrow or look for other work. I kept the spell book I found in Riverwood's mine and it would be interesting to start using magic again. However, the last time I was using magic each city had a Mages Guild. Skyrim only has one "Guild" and that's Winterhold College in the north, a bitterly cold land I do not have much desire to find myself in.