Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Skyrim Day 051 - Pulled In Different Directions

5 Frostfall, 4E201

If I wrote a list of all the things people are expecting me to do for them it would likely be longer than my arm. Hoping to remove one item from the list I left the 'Winking Skeever' as soon as the Blue Palace opened to the public.

While on my way I was stopped by a gaunt, babbling man who asked if I had found his master yet. I remembered him, he gave me a skeleton's pelvic bone weeks ago saying it was some sort of key to a hidden room in the Blue Palace. Obviously a lunatic. I assured him I was busy looking for his "master" and walked on.

The Blue Palace was just as sunny and dusty as the first time I visited. Fortunately I did not have to restrain my sneezing for very long, Falk Firebeard was standing near the entryway, looking very bored.
When he saw me approaching he asked if I found anything at Wolfskull Cave. Going on my sparse notes, I confidently reported that I had prevented the summoning of something by the necromancers and that someone named "Potema" was said to be involved. Not my most coherent of after-action reports, but it has been a very long time since I have served in the Legion.

The name meant more to Falk than it did to me. At hearing her name he shuddered and declared that I had done Solitude a massive service in preventing the reincarnation of the "Wolf Queen", Potema. Keeping her wherever she is now was worth a thousand Septims to Falk, plus the advisement that the Jarl of Solitude, Elisif the Fair, was looking for someone resourceful.

Jarl Elisif is the widower of the former High King, Torygg, whose death sparked the civil war within Skyrim. She is a claimant to the throne alongside Ulfric Stormcloak, but neither seem eager to claim anything. With Dragons flying about I am sure no one wants to shoulder the responsibility of driving them back.

But the Jarl's request was much less daunting and more personal: she wanted me to bring an offering to a hidden shrine to Talos in memory of the former High King. She had made the required offerings to those able to be legally worshiped, but Torygg was evidently a follower of the outlawed God and his soul would be assisted by my effort.

I agreed to the task and was given a battered horn Elisif informed me was used on Torygg's hunting trips. The Talos shrine was somewhat north-east of Whiterun, a location I have already spent some time wandering around for various reasons.

But Dawnstar still awaits me, so instead of taking the south road to Whiterun I parted with a few Septims near the river's shore so that a fisherman might be persuaded to ferry a Khajiit across to the marshes of Morthal. There I found plenty of Deathbell and took a moment to marvel at the cargo ships of the East Empire Company.
Secluded in the stifling marshland is the forgotten remains of an Oblivion Gate, its fires long since extinguished, probably by warriors charging out of Solitude and Morthal. Whether it was closed by a native of Skyrim or as a result of Mehrunes Dagon's banishment is impossible to tell.
I sat on the gate's altar for awhile, reminiscing on memories I could barely recall. After a few more hours of scouring the marsh for Deathbells I made for the road past Morthal and continued towards Dawnstar. While on the road I was attacked by yet another Dark Brotherhood assassin. The contract was signed by the same person, Astrid, specifically stating that "failure was not an option". Failure is always an option, one that my assassins always end up taking.

I arrived at the mining settlement of Stonehills as dusk started to settle in, but I knew there would be no rooms there to spend the night. I had spent some time in Stonehills a long time ago, a day or two at a time after escorting wagons carrying timber from Falkreath to serve as fuel or as support for shoring up the mine's tunnels.

The Greybeards had asked me to retrieve a horn of theirs from a ruin to the north-west of Stonehills, while Isran of the Dawnguard wants me to delve into 'Dimhollow Crypt' almost directly east of Stonehills. A fortunate coincidence and one I chose to take advantage of, arbitrarily selecting the Greybeards' task first over Isran's.

The 'Horn of Jurgen Windcaller' was somewhere inside the burial crypt, but the glowing light flickering alongside it was a tell-tale sign of tomb-robbers hoping to retrieve the riches they hoped existed inside.
When robbing the dead seems like a profitable opportunity you are likely reaching the end of desperation and the beginning of despair. The lot camping around the ruin were no different. Poorly armed and poorly led, they posed little challenge.

One of the bandits' lean-tos was actually not spattered with blood and that is where I am now, next to a fire, wrapped in furs. Once again I have started the day in civilized surroundings and end it wrapped in animal skins, covered in blood, and ready to fight a horde of Draugr for somebody else's trinket.

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