What the– A FOX?!

I’ve started another game of Skyrim leveling a dunmer mage. I’ve gotten to level 21 so far, and my magic usually consists of destruction. Fire, ice, and occasionally lightning. I’ve gotten a house in Whiterun, but I’m also building one out near Falkreath. One day I head back on into Breezehome and nearly trip over a unidentified object on the floor. I stare down at it in disbelief.

Then my little daughter, a girl named Lucia, comes up to me and says, “Look who I’ve found! Can I keep him please?!”

“A fox?”

“Pretty please?”

“…Okay, but you’re responsible for it!”

“OH YAY! Thank you! You’re the best mommy ever!”

Yeah yeah, yadda yadda. Then Lucia goes outside and the little fox starts walking towards the back of the house where the dining table and food is kept. Oh no you don’t! Then again I wondered what would happen if I did kill this little animal in my own home. Poor Lucia would cry an ocean probably, and I don’t have flood insurance. I better lock up the food stores then!

I’ll call him “Socks”

So now my little girl has a pet. As if bringing home Meeko is not enough! I get us an Irish Wolfhound, and my kid gets a freaking chihuahua! And how the heck did she find this little thing? When I encounter a fox in the wild, it turns tail and skedaddles! What’d she do? Feed it bread and cheese to get it to some close to her? Or maybe she’s really “The Little Prince” and she’s tamed the Fox. Who knows… I did give her a dagger after all… she’s only missing a coat, a rose, and a sheep. God, I hope she doesn’t bring home a cow next… but next hing I know, I bet this kid will be asking for a horse! I don’t even have a horse either. Geez.

See folks — this is what you get when you adopt a child… the child adopts a pet and they both wreak havoc while I go out to fight dragons and vampires. Swell.

Then I whirl around to face Lydia. “Why didn’t you keep her from getting a fox!? Aren’t you sworn to carry my burdens!? ARGH!”

Your burdens, not the kid’s!”

*sigh*

Amaki’dar Adopts

I must admit, I finally broke down and got the Hearthfire addon for Skyrim, especially since it was on sale at half off. After a while of playing it I decided to go to Riften and see what the orphanage has gone through.

As my Khajiit, Amaki’dar, I’ve reached level 58 by this time and have had quite a lot of adventures. The only thing I have yet to do is slay a Legendary dragon and complete the Dawnguard quests. Being a bit lazy, yet busy, I build a house by the lakeside, then head over to Riften. The last few times I was here I had made it my mission to restore the Thieves Guild to it’s profitability, which I am still working on. The important thing is that Mercer Frey is dead and our guild is now in a state to prosper. I just need to steal enough to ensure the guild’s survival. Another thing I did was I killed the matron of the orphanage as per request from a child who ran away on account of said Matron being mean to him and all the other kids. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I go on over to see how the orphanage is faring since the matron’s death.

Now the new person in charge is willing to let me adopt a child. Yay. I’ve always wanted a pet! Constance Michel is in charge now since Grelod the Kind is dead. She asks me a few questions before she’ll agree to let me have a kid. “What is your name?”

Now I feel like I’m on the bridge over the gorge of eternal peril asking the old man from scene 24 in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We already know what my quest is, in this case, ask to adopt a kid, so she asks my name first and we skip the second question and get right down to the trick question: “What do you do for a living?”

What do I do for a living? The short answer is, I multitask!

I blink and flatten my ears to my skull and feel my fur bristle. “What? You mean you’ve never heard of me? I’m the first cat in recorded history to be Dragonborn! I’m also the Harbringer of the Companions, Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold. I am also an assassin, a thief, a mercenary, an adventurer, part-time Skooma brewer, a gardener, a hunter, an enchanter, and I crochet flower petals into coasters. Any questions?”

Truth to tell I can only chose one of these answers, the ones past Adventurer are made up on my part. Now if I were to respond as a Dragonborn, Harbringer, or Arch-Mage, I’m sure she’d be very impressed. I’d hate to think what she’d say if she knew I was soon to be leader of the Thieves Guild. Or that I am Listener to the Night Mother and leader of the Dark Brotherhood, which makes me quite the assassin. She might respond better if I simply said I was an adventurer or mercenary, but methinks she might be more impressed with my shouting ability and whatnot. I respond that I’m dragonborn, though I wish I could have said all the above.

Then again I can’t exactly be honest. After all, I killed her boss. She might not be happy to know she’s letting a kid live under the roof of a killer… or a thief for that matter. Maybe it’s better she doesn’t know…  Might also be good to not tell her that I’m also a werewolf.

Still, when she asked me what it was I did for a living and all these dialogue options came up, I thought to myself, Oh man, if only I could say at least all of these! HA!

Latest of Amaki’dar

Khajiit welcomes you, friend.

Lately I’ve just been so busy with completing main story content and several others besides. I know many of my posts have spoilers and tidbits on the quests themselves. But now that I’ve unlocked the side quests for the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood, much of my in game time will be spent in travelling. Then again you do that anyway right from the start when you escape from Helgen and head down to Riverwood. Now, though, instead of an exotic story-based quest chain, I have a bunch of repeatable quests I can complete for gold, which isn’t a problem for me right now – I have over a hundred thousand septims!

So, bringing you up to speed on my Khajiit in this purr-ticular game of Skyrim, I’m working on bringing the Thieves Guild back to it’s former glory. I’ve just helped a silver-smith in Markarth, who had ordered a specific silver mold to be made, which would be used to make silver candlesticks, and it was robbed from a Khajiit caravan that was on it’s way into Skyrim.

Now I don’t know about you, but that makes my fur fluff up in rage. I mean sure, I’ve encountered Khajiit thieves and assassins on the road, but a caravan is usually just normal people like merchants and shopkeepers. You know, civilians. So when I see a lone Khajiit running up to me, he usually says hello to my bow and arrow or daggers… unless of course he’s a thief and I’m wearing thieves guild armor – then he says “Hello!” and gives me free lockpicks. But if it’s a caravan then it’s even better, because I can stop the leader in the road and barter with him. Very nice if I’m ever in need of a vendor to sell extra stuff too.

Anyway, the silversmith says his specially ordered smithing mold was stolen off a caravan, and the Jarl, city guards, Stormcloaks, you name it, just won’t help. So he figured he’d hire a thief to take back what was stolen. I take the job and head down into the pine forest, and I slit the throats of any bandit I came across. All, except three. They were sitting around a table in a well lit room, but I had a way to sneaka round them, behind a wall of crates and boxes. As I move around them, debating whether to turn them into human pin-cushions with my arrows, I listen to their conversation.

From what I heard, their boss has set up a series of traps, jealously guarding the major portion of stash from the rest of the bandits, and one of their comrades had died to a trap. She had him tied up somewhere and wouldn’t let the others cut him down and give him a proper burial. What’s more, she’s rigged up even more traps to guard her things. Then the three bandits hold a moment of silence to remember their friend.

I consider. I figured, Well, now you know how those Khajiit Caravans probably felt when you attacked them… now you know what it’s like to lose someone you know… I think I’ll let you three live with your grief. Then I sheathe my weapon and climb the ramp into the next room… and promptly draw my daggers and slit the throat of an orc bandit that was in my way.

Eventually I make it to a most curious room. For starters there is a table with a few notes upon it and several other things that suggested human habitation, and a bunch of bookshelves lined up on the far side of the room. The most curious part of the room were the bonechimes. Bonechimes, as I mentioned in a previous blog, are bones that have been set upon a single string that dangle from the ceiling, usually in a tight passageway. If you bump into these, they’re bound to clink together loudly, thus waking nearby Draugr, dead zombies. You commonly see these things in crypts where Draugr are sure to be found, sometimes even among the Falmer, where the chimes act as an alarm to let them know someone is near since they can’t see. But in this bandit hideout, no less than six bonechimes dangle from the ceiling all around the room, one is hanging right at the edge of a bookcase. I nimble walk around them and read the notes on the table.

One is from the father of the bandit leader, who says while he had long given up marrying his daughter off to someone else, he had hoped that she’s join up with the Stormcloaks instead of attacking travelers and caravans on the roads. He fears her getting caught and keeps returning the gold she keeps sending him. Her response is nearby, guess she hasn’t made it to the post office yet, and she had written that she didn’t want to fight for the Stormcloaks since they wouldn’t pay well enough for it, and there was no freaking way she’d fight for the Imperials. (Now I had won the civil war fighting alongside the Stormcloaks… I glance down at my bulging sack of coins, then resume reading the reply letter.) Another thing she noted was for her father to stop sending the gold back because the rest of her gang keeps trying to steal it and she has enough trouble keeping them in line as it is. I now draw my daggers and think to myself, I have a way to fix that, darlin’.

Sneaking around the bookshelves, I discover they they were hiding the bandit leader’s bedroom. The bookshelves acted as a room divider of sorts, and in the bed is the bandit herself, sleeping away. I stab her with my daggers and steal the keys to her treasury. As for the deadly traps, I avoid them all, being the light-footed, lock-picking, trap-disabling kitty cat I am. I finally find the silver molds and take just about everything else in that room, then skedaddle.

So now I have a new fence in Markarth, and as I leave the inn, the silversmith’s daughter tells me, “One day I’m gonna be a silversmith, just like daddy.” I pat her on the head and say to myself, How sweet. You just put your foot in the door for becoming a potential Thieves Guild fence in the future, young lady. I’ll remember you!

So now a new merchant has moved in under the Cistern. Delvin is right. It is nice to shake off the cobwebs and get things rolling again. And while I was there, I had Delvin set up the new Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. Everything from a master bedroom and banners to a poison station and torture chambers. “Now that’s the Dark Brotherhood I love,” Delvin says. As Listener, I have the Night Mother in there too, and she’ll hear the prayers from clients in Skyrim and will send me to them to accept the contract and kill the target in question. The group has seen a decline due to internal strife, but the brotherhood still lives, and I am the leader of it.

Like I said, I’ve been doing a lot. I became an assassin, a master thief, the arch-made of the College of Winterhold, a war hero, and a dragonslayer. I’ve saved the world from Alduin, liberated Skyrim for the Stormcloaks, stolen a lot of gems and jewelry from shopkeepers, and killed the emperor. Yep, you heard me. I killed the Emperor Tidus Mede II, and that was quite a tale.

Another feat I finally got accomplished was that I found all the words of power… thus far. I have yet to delve into the Dawnguard content, but now that I’m pat level 55, yeah, I think it’s about time I set out to do something about these vampire attacks… if only to get the guards to shut up and to stop vampires from killing local merchants.

“May your road lead you to warm sands.”

Alduin’s Wall

Stone Bridges lead the way into the temple. Two sets of them have to be lowered to gain entry.

Sky Haven temple it is. Easy to get into it is not. A bunch of Forsworn live out here along the river, and they even have a Hagraven with them. Hagravens are women who supposedly gave up most of their humanity to gain more powerful magics, and as a result they grow feathers, talons, their noses become more hooked like a beak. They look like humanoid vultures to me, and they can be downright nasty in my opinion. As long as I can take any of my prey by surprise I’m okay, but if they see me and I’m a good distance away, they start throwing fireballs like crazy. And Hagravens are responsible for the Briarhearts, men who agree to have their hearts removed and replaced with a different sort of heart that grants them better strength or something. They’re pretty tough, like the male version of the Hagravens. Crazy, evil, dark magic stuff there.

And as if fighting to forsworn wasn’t bad enough, a dragon decides to go swooping in and attacking them and us at the same time. Us is myself, Delphine and Esbern. I met up with them just as the dragon came in, so while the dragon was attacking the Forsworn, I was attacking the forsworn. It wasn’t until most of them were dead when the dragon landed and was severely wounded by all the arrows and magical spells that found their mark upon him. By then I landed the last blow… an arrow right into his skull.

The last test where I have to drop some of my own blood onto a symbol in the ground. Can’t I just use graffiti?

Once everything is quiet, I lead the way towards the temple, which has a few puzzles to solve. The first are three pillars, which have three different symbols on them. I turn the pillars so the dragon symbol is facing front, and the first stone-bridge lowers. The second test is easy. Pressure plates cover the floor, and if you step on one of those, a trap goes off… in this case it’s a fire trap. Now normally I’d have to watch my step and only walk on the squares that have a dragon symbol on it. But I am a thief, and as such I have a very high sneak skill. With the perk point, I can walk on pressure plates without setting off the traps. So, naturally, I waltzed across the room at my leisure and pull the chain that turns the traps off. Now Esbern and Delphine can follow me. Lazy twerps they are.

This better be worth it. I can’t take pain, I can only give it!

Finally we reach the door and it’s sealed up. The only way to open it is for a bit of my blood to drip onto the rings on the floor. I cut my palm and let a few droplets fall. The rings start to circle, and when they’re done moving, the symbol of the dragon is restored in the floor, and the door opens. I go inside.

Esbern goes on up ahead and lights a brazier next to Alduin’s wall. I tell him to hurry up. I wasn’t too interested in the history – I just needed to know how to defeat Alduin. “Yes, yes, of course… let me see…”

The hallways have bas relief artwork in them. I always pronounced it as “Bass” like the fish, but it’s more like the “Bah” of a sheep. I still like “Bass.” They’re tasty.

Five minutes later he still hasn’t said anything further. I look around. Delphine should have come up and lit the other brazier… why hasn’t she? I run back down to the entrance to the temple and she’s just standing there. I get behind her and attack her with my claws (being a Khajjit, unarmed combat is much better since I attack with my claws, and all the other races just have their fists). She doesn’t respond. Finally I roll my eyes, and then shout, FUS RO DAH! and she gets blasted up the hallway by the force of my Thu’um. She takes her time getting to her feet… I might have stunned her a bit, but once she’s back up she starts walking at last.

While Delphine lags behind, Esbern and I approach the wall.

Yeah… I had to push her after all. (Thankfully she doesn’t react as if she’s under attack and I don’t get a bounty on my head. In a sense she acts as a follower now, and is immune to most attacks… I say most because I could still Shout at her and it would work)

10 minutes later I go back and give Delphine an Unrelenting PUSH up the stairs. Now Esbern can tell the both of us what the wall has to say for itself.

So now that both braziers are lit, Esbern moves to the center and comments that it looks like the ancient Nord heroes, also Dragonborn, used some sort of Shout to bring Alduin down… Delphine asks if I know of any shout that can knock a dragon out of the sky. I tell her no, so now I get to go back to High Hrothgar and ask the Greybeards. Delphine doesn’t like them too much, and the reason being is because all they do is sit on top of a mountain and meditate. What else do they do? Nothing. They don’t lift a finger or raise their voices to help out in the civil war or the dragon attacks.

The last bit of the wall… this is showing my destiny… I think.

But I do. If I am dragonborn, then it seems that my destiny is to stop Alduin before he destroys the world. Time go climb that big old mountain again. I hope there aren’t any frost trolls to be encountered this time.

You know, I think this is actually an ancient comic strip about a character named “Draco”

Amaki’dar Multitasking

I eventually started the quest chain for the Companions, situated in Whiterun. They’re a group of warriors who fight with honor and glory, and they show up whenever there’s trouble. The first time I saw their heroic feats was when a giant was attacking a farm just outside of Whiterun. I first met Aela there and she told me of their group and mentioned a Kodlak Whitemane. If I went to him, I could ask him if I could join the Companions. I finally did so, and after a while, I became blessed with Lycanthropy. Seriously, who needs a horse when you can simply shift to a wolf form and run on all fours? It’s much faster, and I don’t have to worry about mounted combat. Horses are kinda expensive, though only one thousand gold to be honest, but I love being a werewolf.

We have beds, food, drinks, parties, frisbees, and chew toys… wait, what were the last two again?

Now I know, I know, it’s pretty odd to see a cat turn into a dog, but stranger things have happened. I mean, look at those flying lizards, right? The breathe fire and ice, and one in particular seems to be able to resurrect dead dragons! Divines know what else!

Anyway, I left Whiterun after several other quests. It seems Kodlak wants me to go kill some witches, but instead I head down to Riverwood. I meet up with Delphine and tell her of my escapades at the Thalmor Embassy. She finds it hard to believe that the Thalmor are as much in the dark as we are as far as the dragons returning is concerned, however they had a lead on someone who does: Esbern.

Delphine is surprised to hear her old friend is still alive, and when I tell her he’s hiding out in Riften, she assumes it’s in the ratway. I now wish I had explored the Ratway more carefully. I might have run into him down there… or maybe I already have! Then again I have this notebook from the Thalmor… *flips open* Nope… “Male, Nord, late 70’s” Never seen anyone matching that description in the sewers. Hmm. Anyway Delphine asks me to go find him and tell him that the Thalmor are after him and that Delphine is alive and to bring him to her.

As I run to Riften once again, I can’t help but ponder the situation. I’m supposed to go into the flagon and meet up with Karliah, and then show the guild that she’s innocent and prove that Mercer Frey has been stealing right under the guild’s noses for years. If Mercer is there it could get rough, if not then we have a chance. And now I’m also supposed to go delving deeper into the sewers to look for Esbern. I wince and think to myself, Maybe I’ll deal with the guild first and then go talk to Esbern… if I can anyway.

We give the journal to Brynjolf. The first piece of solid evidence.

On my way down into the Ragged Flagon I get attacked by a Khajjit. Once she’s dead I go through her pockets and find a letter. Looks like Elenwin knows what I did. Bet she’ll be ticked off when she finds out I survived this little attack. I press on to the Flagon, and meet up with Karliah. Together we head into the Cistern to find all the guild members tensed up, blades drawn, ready to attack. Brynjolf agrees to listen to us however, and Karliah gives him Gallus’s journal, which is fully translated. To see if all this is true, Brynjolf asks Delvin to go open the vault.

We inspect the vault, the eye-opening evidence… it’s empty

The guild’s vault has a special lock, which needs two keys to open it. Delvin, Brynjolf, and Mercer all have a key, so at least two people had to be present in order to open the vault. Karliah says, “He didn’t need to pick the lock.” “What’s she on about?” Delvin mutters, and then he tries his key out on the vault doors. It’s still locked tighter than a drum. Now Brynjolf uses his key. The vault now opens, and we all head inside. The vault is empty. The gold, jewels, EVERYTHING. Mercer had cleaned it out.

Brynjolf stands behind the Guild Master’s desk, and now tells me to go infiltrate Mercer’s house to find out what he’s up to or where he’s gone.

Delvin and Vex go back into the Ragged Flagon to keep an eye out. If they see Mercer, they have to tell Bryn ASAP. I chat with Bryn, telling him everything I know: That mercer killed Gallus and framed Karliah. Karliah was behind Goldenglow Estate and Honningbrew Meadery, trying to make Mercer look bad in front of Maven Black-Briar. And the last bit of information, which is that Karliah, Mercer, and Gallus were all Nightingales, which Brynjolf only assumed was a legend. Now that I’ve reported everything, Bryn tells me to go infiltrate Mercer’s house, which is located right here in Riften. We need to know Mercer’s next moves, if possible, and I have permission to kill anyone who gets in my way. I crack my knuckles and sharpen my claws.

And I promptly go into the Ratway Warrens to look for a 70 year old scholar named Esbern. What a way to spend the day! The sewers really stink! Eventually I find a very heavy looking metal door, and when I knock, a little rectangular bit slides to one side, revealing just a big enough opening to see into. It must be him! I persuade him to let me in (which gets my speech skill to 70 , and that will let me invest gold into businesses, and intimidation attempts will be much easier), and we get to talking.

He feels that everything is hopeless, and explains that Alduin has returned. I ask about it, and it turns out that Alduin is a dragon that’s also known as the World Eater. He’s supposed to bring about the end of the world, basically, and is known to devour the souls of the dead in the afterlife, as well as attack and kill the living. So yeah, big old black dragon that eats everything and destroys — wait… Big black dragon? The one resurrecting the other dragons?! That black dragon who interrupted the executions at Helgen? THAT was ALDUIN!?

Esbern claims it’s all hopeless because the only way to be rid of Alduin is if there is a Dragonborn, and to his knowledge, no such person is known of in this time. I tell him I’m a Dragonborn, and his eyes light up. “Then.. there is still hope.” He gathers what he needs, packing rather quickly. I cast a magelight spell at the ceiling so I can see a little better… so I can take the gold coins and jewelry on his bookshelf.

What? I’m a thief!

Now it’s a darn shame I can’t shift into werewolf and just carry Esbern on my back, because it would be so much faster… well maybe… How much do you weigh Esbern? No reason, just wonderin’…. gosh darnit. The problem is a lot of people are scared of werewolves in this world, and they should be, because in that form I’m wild and untamed and more than willing to rip you to pieces and eat your heart out. So yeah, no super fast running back to Riverwood for me! Instead I get to walk/run there with a mage/scholar/Blades member trailing behind me. Sweet. Watch out for bears, will ya?

Try not to let the bears eat you… No pressure!

We get to Riverwood, and Esbern and Delphine go down into the basement with me right behind them. Esbern pulls out a book and starts talking about something called Alduin’s Wall. Delphine doesn’t know any more than I do, and Esbern is surprised. “Do you mean you don’t know about Alduin’s Wall?”

“Let’s pretend we didn’t. What is Alduin’s Wall and what does it have to do with fighting the dragons?”

Dragonlore eh? As in Manga?

Esbern then tells about how the Blades, a very long time ago, constructed a stone wall that was part history and part prophesy, detailing the events of Alduin and the dragon wars, and of Alduin’s defeat. Esbern says he’s found the location of Sky Haven Temple, where the wall can be found, and Delphine decides to go there. I tell her to go on ahead without me and that I’ll catch up. I always do that so I can wonder around Skyrim and cause mischief, but I don’t tell her that!

On her way out, she tells Orgnar that the inn is his now and that she’s leaving for good. I remember when I first came in here way back when I just escaped from Helgen. She came out of a room and was telling him the ale was going bad and they had to get a new batch. “Did you hear me?” she had asked, and when he confirmed, she scoffed, “Guess you don’t have potatoes in your ears after all.” All the while he was staring at me. I must have been giving him the adorable little lost kitten eyes at the time. So when Delphine tells him he’s gonna be the sole owner of the inn and that she was leaving for good, he said, “Well, that’s something to think about.”

Delphine and Orgnar say their farewells

Potema, The Thalmor, and Gallus’s Journal

It’s pretty dark in here, thanks to a new mod I have called Realistic Lighting.

After a long journey north and slightly east, I make it back to Solitude. The last time I was here, I had helped the locals quite a bit. I showed off a dress, chatted with Vitoria about some wine, killed some vampires, and I went delving into a cave to break up a summoning of Potema. All in a day’s work I suppose. Before setting off to infiltrate the Thalmor, I head up to the blue palace. Falk Firebeard had sent a letter to me not long ago. It was funny actually. I was in Solitude, and things were okay, so I go to Whiterun, and first thing I get a letter from Falk bidding me to return to Solitude as soon as possible.

Naturally I took my time.

So when I do go chat with him, he tells me that while the ritual wasn’t complete, Potema is still around. She’s in spirit form and raising dead bodies from the crypts of Solitude. If she gets any more powerful, she’d be quite a force to reckon with. As if the war wasn’t bad enough.

After talking to the priest of Arkay, he tells me to go look for Potema’s remains, which should be deep in Solitude’s catacombs. I make my way down there, and Potema speaks to me. She actually thanks me, since my disrupting the ritual back in the caves prevented her from being bound against her will to a bunch of magicians. My reward is death, so I can be resurrected and serve at her side. I’m sorry, but I like being alive, and the thought of being an undead minion who crumbles apart after a few minutes depending on the strength of the spell… eh… no. Thanks, but no. I’ll just take your remains so that can be sanctified and you can rest in pieces. Once that’s done, and all the draugr under Solitude is dead, I head out and go back up to the priest and give the remains to him. So I’ve saved Solitude twice… and now the jarl asks me to take a horn to a shrine. Swell.

Now I head to the inn and chat with Malborn. He agrees to smuggle my equipment into the Embassy for me. The plan is that I arrive as a party guest, which means I can’t carry my weapons or armor or anything dangerous, but Malborn can sneak it in as he works there as a bartender. I give him everything I can think of, and I put on the dress I once showed off to the jarl in solitude. I have fur, but I didn’t want any cat-calls in my direction. Then I bade Malborn farewell and head to the stables just outside of Solitude.

I hope you got this outfit at Radiant Raiment, Delphine. They’re having a sale this week. 50% off for spies, thieves, and The Blades members.

Delphine is there, and she gives me the invitation to the party so I can get into the embassy. Malborn will then be able to sneak me away from the rest of the party so I can get my gear, and then sneak around the rest of the place on my own. From there I ought to be able to find my way to Elenwin’s office or whatever and see if I can find anything about the dragons returning. Delphine gives me a newer dress, it’s supposed to look fancier than what I have, but I wonder if Delphine has ever been to Radiant Raiment. Ah well. I slip on the party clothes and boots, give Delphine anything I didn’t give to Malborn, then I climb into the carriage and get taken to the embassy.

You’ve got dark patches under your eyes, Elenwin, You getting enough sleep?

I get there and get past the Thalmor guard easily enough, but the first person I encounter inside is Elenwin herself. She’s the Thalmor Ambassdor to Skyrim, and is the leader of the Thalmor in every sense to me. She asks for my name, which I avoid giving, and eventually she leaves me to tend to the other guests so I can make a beeline for the buffet table. Sadly there isn’t one, but Malborn offers me a drink. Then I go walking around and notice that most patrons are the jarls from various holds, or the jarl’s stewards. I meet up with Idgrod Ravencrone, who I helped out and who named me Thane of her hold. I ask her to make a distraction. She says that as an old lady, she can get away with practically anything. I smirk to myself and slip out with Malborn’s assistance.

We pass through the kitchens, where another Khajiit is working. So I guess I’m not the only cat that likes to cook. She claims that a guest in the kitchens is against the rules, and Malborn blackmails her with eating moon sugar. She then says she saw nothing and we move on. I find my things in a chest and take them all out, slip through another door and start sneaking.

I overhear a pair of guards chatting about some new mages that had arrived to help defend in case a dragon attacks, and they laugh in the hopes that the dragon would eat the mages, giving them time to slay the beast. Once they go back on patrol, I sneak about and kill them, and eventually I find myself in another building that’s part of the embassy. Two people are having a chat. From the sounds of the conversation, one guy seems to have betrayed another and wants his payment, and the other guy is a Thalmor twerp. After the conversation is over, I slit the throat of the human traitor and inspect the offices.

I found two dossiers, or notebooks really, that contain information on certain targets. One is on Delphine, who they know is alive and at large in Skyrim, but they have no idea where she is. Orders on her is to capture or kill. The other is one Ulfric Stormcloak. The report on him states that the war should continue in it’s stalemate… The Thalmor don’t want an imperial victory, but they also don’t want a Stormcloak victory. They might be hoping for one side to destroy the other, and they don’t care which. I also found a letter, which reveals that the Thalmor knew nothing about the dragons returning, but they had a prisoner who might reveal someone who does know about it. I decide to visit the Thalmor dungeons to find out who it is.

In the dungeons I kill the soldier and the interrogator, then confront the prisoner. His name is Etienne Rarnis, and he’s a member of the thieves guild. He was captured and brought in for interrogation regarding someone who lives down in the ratway, a man who was a member of the Blades who goes by the name Esbern. I free Etienne and find a Dossier containing more info on Esbern, and that’s when trouble arrives. Malborn was busted, and two Thalmor guards come in and try to get me to surrender. Naturally I kill the guards and steal a key that leads through a trap-door and down into a cave with an ice troll in it. I killed the ice troll, but it killed Malborn. Then again the Thalmor would have been hunting him for the rest of his life anyway… Etienne makes it, and thanks me too, saying I didn’t have to rescue him, but he claims to have seen me in the flagon before, so I couldn’t let a fellow guild-member stay trapped by the Thalmor.

I leave the cave and head east until I return to Winterhold. Karliah is there waiting for me along with Enthir, and I give Enthir the rubbing I had made back in Markarth. He uses it to decode Gallus’s journal. At last, some answers.

Are there any coupons in that book, Enthir?

It turns out Gallus suspected Mercer Frey for some time, believing that he’s been stealing funds from the guild for his own personal pleasures, creature comforts, and luxury. Karliah asks if there’s anything in the journal about the Nightingales, and Enthir mentions something from the journal about the failing the Nightingales, and suspicions that Mercer Frey had desecrated the Twilight Sepulcher.

“Shadows preserve us. It’s true,” Karliah whispers.

They both tell me to get this information to the guild as soon as possible. They need to know of Karliah’s innocence, and of Mercer Frey’s crimes. Mercer Frey has been stealing from the build for years and framing Karliah all the while. It’s time to expose him for the rat he is.

R.I.P. Adrianne and Belethor

Well at long last I started the Companions Quest line. The first random quest I did with them involving getting into a brawl with Carlotta. I remembered I helped her out once by brawling with the bard to get him to leave her alone. Now I had to beat her into submission for someone else. I wonder who. Haha. Then I went to retrieve a fragment of Wuuthrad, which is a legendary two handed axe that once belonged to Ysgramor, the founder of The Companions. As a side note, the name Wuuthrad means “elf grinder,” and Ysgramor was part of the war to rid Skyrim of the Snow Elves, so the name seems to fit. At some point in the past, the axe was broken into pieces, and the Companions of today wish to find them all and see about restoring the axe. I go and get a piece for my trial and once done, I’m a member of the companions. Then I go kill a wolf that had somehow gotten into some mill worker’s house, and then Skjor and Aela decide to reward me differently… The give me Lycanthropy… aka, they make me into a werewolf.

I’ve been putting this off for quite some time, because when you get lycanthropy, you no longer get benefits for resting, but I’ve been itching to get this done, so I finally went ahead and got it. After all, my sneak and archery skills are maxed out, and those two skills are the ones I rely on the most anyway. The rest will just take a little longer to level up, but then again I haven’t been sleeping in game as much anyway.

So the night of my first transformation, I run rampant in Whiterun, attacking guards, but I tried to be careful to avoid striking the civilians. I didn’t want to lose any merchants in the game. But eventually I started to get overwhelmed and just as my health was almost gone I made a run for it, heading between Arcadia’s Cauldron and Belethor’s General Goods with guards and civilians on my tail, literally. Then the screen fades to black, and when I can see again I’m in the woods with Aela. It’s time to go after the Silver Hand, the sworn enemies of The Companions, or so I believe. They hate werewolves, and so Aela and Skjor wanna wipe them out. Skjor had gone on ahead without us as I was recovering from my first transformation, so we gotta catch up.

Yet as Aela and I make our way into the keep where the Silver Hand is currently staying in, I can’t help but notice the lack of blood on the walls and dead bodies… then again I did pass up a door that was barred from the other side, so my guess is when Skjor went in there, someone might have locked the door to prevent others from following him. Guess we better find another way around.

Eventually we kill the leader, who calls himself “The Skinner.” Once he’s dead we realize that Skjor is dead as well. Aela wants revenge and tells me where to find another head honcho of the Silver Hand, and I leave the keep. Directly south of it is a lumber mill, and just then a courier comes out from around a building and delivers a letter… something about my inheritance? Oh no… With a sense of foreboding I open the letter. Seems Adrianne Avenicci has died. Well, guess that means I won’t be hearing her working the forge whenever I walk into Whiterun.

Later on when I return to Whiterun I make my rounds, going from store to store to sell a lot of the junk I’ve collected from my many adventures in Skyrim… Then I went into Belethor’s General Goods store, and instead of Belethor behind the counter saying, “Come on in! I’ve got something for just about anybody in here.” I hear a feminine voice saying, “It’s a fine day with you around.” I blink in surprise and I realize that Ysolda is behind the counter. While I did refuse to return a borrowed ring, I did help her get a mammoth tusk and some sleeping tree sap, so her reactions toward me are usually friendly. What was confusing to me though was what the bleep was she doing behind Belethor’s counter!? I thought she wanted to buy the inn and run that place? In fact, upon talking to her, she still seems to wish so!  Then as I browsed her wares, I saw that she was selling, among other things, a mammoth tusk!

Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to visit the hall of the dead, which is an underground area where the dead are interred, like a walk in crypt with a lot of hallways. (Every city has one of these places, so if you notice that an NPC missing, you know where to find them if it’s the worst case scenario.) I go inside and I find two new-looking coffins. One is for Adrianne, and the other, as I feared, was for Belethor. Yet when I got the message from the courier, he only gave me one letter of inheritance… then again Belethor never gave me any quests, so since I didn’t do him any favors, I guess that means he never decided to bequeath anything to me.

So now it seems that Ysolda has taken over Belthor’s General Goods… though I’d have thought his assistant Sigurd would be running the place. Maybe he’s content getting firewood for everyone. Fine by me! Thanks for the wood Sig! Just set it down right there, thank you so much!

Just for the record, I didn’t kill them, haha. At least I don’t think I did… I blame the vampires.

And while I’m in the catacombs, I loot the coffins for the store keys. Hey, I am in the thieves guild… might as well be prepared!

The Forsworn Conspiracy and The Museum

As I leave Whiterun I make a detour back to Riverwood and meet up with Delphine. It seems I’ve arrived just in time, because she has a plan to get me into the Thalmor Embassy. Their leader, Elenwen, regularly throws parties where the rich and well-connected can cozy up with the Thalmor. Delphine’s going to get me an invitation to the party, and she instructs me to go to The Winking Skeever in Solitude. I figured this will work out nicely. I can head directly west of here to Markarth and take care of my Thieves Guild business there, then head north to Solitude for the party. Sounds fun!

My journey to Markarth was mostly uneventful. First I spot that big black dragon resurrecting another dragon. As the black dragon flies away again, I fight the dragon that came back to life, and killed it. A trio of Stormcloak soldiers were nearby and they helped by firing arrows at it. They kept it’s attention while I fired arrows of my own.

After talking to this guy, my head hurts.

During my trip along the road I also saw three Imperial soldiers walking, and further along the same road were three Thalmor soldiers. It was a busy day for the war I guess. Who could tell? But maybe the only person who made a significant appearance was none other than M’aiq the Liar. This Khajiit is easy to spot from a distance in his yellow-orange robes, and when I talk to him he says various things. Today he said that, “some people say that Alduin is really Akatosh… they also say that M’aiq is a liar. Do not believe such things.”

I frown in puzzlement and keep walking… He just said he was a liar and told me not to believe it… and I know he’s lying… but if he lied about him being a liar, that could mean he was telling the truth, which is not possible because he’s a liar! Now that I have a headache, I resist the urge to shoot M’aiq in the kneecaps with an arrow and press on through The Reach.

Returning to Markarth. The City of Stone

When I arrive in Markarth I remember that I was supposed to meet someone at the shrine of Talos. Whoops… That was a week ago maybe! I wonder if he’s still alive. I go to see, and yep. He’s still there. At the moment I’ve got quite a bit on my plate. I have to find a way to decode the Falmer language so I can get Gallus’s journal translated, then I have to go up to Solitude to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy and see what they know about the dragons returning. What more do I have to do!?

(I actually did this before in a previous save, but then later I started experiencing crashes for some odd reason, and I eventually gave up and started a new game. What follows happened before. One main difference, I managed to kill the Forsworn guy before he could kill Margret in the marketplace, so instead of searching her room for clues, I get to ask her up front.)

Oh. Right. I have to find out why people are getting killed in Markarth and see if I can put a stop to it. FINE! I leave the shrine and set out to meet Margret. Margret is a stranger in town, just visiting and on errands, and she was almost murdered the first day I ever set foot in Markarth. I saw the attack start and I saved her life. Eltrys, the guy who met up with me in the Shrine of Talos, promises me a reward if I help him, so I go and question Margret, who is staying in the Silver-Blood Inn.

A spy, eh? Nice… *writes it down and plans to pass this info on to Ulfric*

I talk to her, and after persuading her to tell me what she’s hiding, she confesses that she’s an undercover Imperial agent. She was sent by General Tullius to seize control of Cidna Mine from the Silver-Blood family. I shelve this information and go seek out the Silver-Bloods. The moment I leave the inn, a city guard tells me to back off, and that I would not be warned again. Ignoring the threat, I head to the Treasury house belonging to the Silver-Blood family. It’s a sort of counting house… actually I don’t know what they don’t own in this city… and I go in an persuade the first person I see that Thonar is expecting me. Not true of course, but I get to see him and I ask him about the Forsworn attack in the market place, and he denies me. Moments later his wife is killed by the Forsworn, right there in his house. Then he spills the beans – The leader of the Forsworn, Madanach, is in his prison. Thonar keeps him alive, and in return, Madanach has his Forsworn attack anyone who pesters Thonar.

They’re framing me? ARGH! First time I’m going to jail. I hope they have punch and pie.

After following up on other leads, I go back to the shrine to tell Eltrys about all this, that the man he’s looking for is in Cidna Mine… and when I get there I see three city guards who draw their swords at my approach. Behind them I see Eltrys… dead. The guards killed him! I tell them that Madanach is the real culprit, but they tell me, “You think you’re the only one who knows that? We had a nice little deal with Thonar and Madanach until you showed up!”

This explains the city guards telling me to back off. Thonar has the whole city in his pocket alright. I wouldn’t be surprised if the jarl was his puppet as well. The way I saw it was that Thonar was having people murdered who threatened his family or his way of life, like that agent from the Imperials (Margret) who was trying to obtain, possibly steal, the deed to his mining operation, and then the guards would just stand by and do nothing. Since I’ve been stirring up trouble, they’re pinning all these murders on me, framing me as the leader of the forsworn. Jerks.

Eltrys wanted to find out who was responsible for all this… While I’d like to kill Thonar, I think it would be best if I killed Madanach… he’s the King in Rags, the guy giving the orders to the forsworn, and Thonar can’t seem to control him as well anymore… maybe I ought to go kill Madanach… and what better way to get to him than to surrender and get thrown into jail? So yep… I go quietly. “No one escapes Cidna Mine, you hear me? No one!” I’m willing to break their winning streak.

“Sorry, I’m a little deaf in this ear…”

Once in the mine, the guard tells me to mine silver and puts me in  tunnels. I grab a pick ax and mine all the silver I can, but I keep it. Then I go pickpocket all the prisoners, stealing their skooma and shivs. A shiv is a very short weapon that every prisoner has… well not anymore, and I equip one in each hand and head down the tunnels to find Madanach. He’s sitting at a desk writing on a piece of paper, his back to me. A few stabs and he’s dead. Looking in his pocket I find a note. Basically it was for his fellow prisoners. If ever he should die, there was a key to a cell nearby in which was an escape tunnel that led into the dwemer ruins, and from there into the city. I take the note and the key and skedaddle.

Nope. no punch and pie… but there’s plenty of Skooma and Shivs… if you know where to look!

When I step outside, Thonar Silver-Blood is there. He had contacts within the mine, and they informed him that Madanach is dead. It basically ends the Forsworn attacks in the city and the Jarl has been informed, which resulted in my being pardoned. Thonar gives me my things back and rewards me with a ring… “Sorry pal, I don’t wanna get married,” I am tempted to say, but this ring lets me improve my weapons and armor by 15%, so I hold my tongue. Then he goes on to say that he has to get new workers for the mines now. I ask myself, Why? All the other prisoners are still alive down there… unless they got into a free-for-all war trying to find out who took the skooma. I keep that to myself… plus all that silver ore I dug up. I put my armor back on, re-equip my weapon, and then I go smelt the ore into bars and go make some jewelry.

Turn around, you ancient sack o’ bones. It’s me!

Now.. where was I? Oh yeah. The Falmer language… Calcelmo. Right. I head into Understone Keep. First I manage to chat up a storm with Calcelmo, and I get a free key into the museum, although he refuses to let me see his new book before he publishes it. Ah well… I head to the museum, and a guard stops me. I’ve almost had it with these jerks, especially when this one tells me I can’t go into the museum, and if I have a problem I can take it up with Calcelmo!

“But… but… I have the key! Calcelmo gave it to me himself! I… Oh fine, F-it, I’ll go talk to him again. Hell!”

I go all the way back to Calcelmo and he acts like he never gave me the key in the first place. “Um the guard said I can’t go into the museum?” “Well it’s closed and off limits to everyone… but if you wish to go in, you can go kill a giant spider for me–” “Hang on dude, do you suffer from short term memory loss?! Don’t you remember me?!” Then I remember, when I first chatted with him, he was leaning over an alchemy table and I was behind him, so maybe he didn’t recognize my voice. Memory loss. It MUST happen to the older elves at some point! I sigh and go kill a spider.

That is one big spider… probably ate Miracle Gro by mistake!

When I get back, he tells me that I did a great job… yeah yeah I know… You gave me gold, splendid! All you really had to do was scratch my ears. I take the key…I wonder how many of these things he really has… I also wonder if I could have just picked his pocket and killed the guard… I shrug my shoulders and finally go into the museum. Inside I slip past the guards and get into the back part of the place which has mercenary-like guards inside, not just city guards. Just to give them a little “Night at the Museum,” I turn on the Dwemer machines, which is mostly a bunch of traps, and they quickly make work of half the guards I encounter, except for one mage who runs out before I can get to him. I ignore him and press on.

Nope, nobody here, just keep going so I can sneak out!

In the end I made it up into his private tower and discovered a stone tablet with writing on it. I think I just found the Falmer Dictionary. And Calcelmo claims he’s spent years in research? With this thing in his den? Right. Sure. I steal some paper and charcoal and make a rubbing… and right after that some guards come in. As I listen to the chatter I realize that the mage who ran out is with them. Looks like he did the smart thing and went to get some help.  Aicanitar is his name, and it turns out he’s Calcelmo’s nephew! “Scour this place from top to bottom!” he says, then he goes back into the museum and the guards start their search. Not eager to see Cidna Mine again, I sneak out and drop down from the balcony. Nobody saw me, and I didn’t shed a single fur. Whew!

Time to head up to Solitude and see about getting into the Thalmor Embassy! On my way out, a guard comments I was lucky to be pardoned. Lucky!? Hey you were the one who framed me! I oughta give you a bloody nose! Instead I walk outside and head north.

Right into a dragon attack and some Forsworn. Oh joy.

Sneaking in Skyrim

Chillin’ like a villain!

Good grief! I can’t believe I got this close to a live dragon without attacking or using any spells… and in broad daylight too! The moment I started reading the word wall, he flew up, landed and stared right at me, but I was hidden in the shadows and he didn’t see me at all! Wow. This dragon must have no sense of smell!

Let that be a lesson! Let sleeping dragons lie.

Karliah and Winterhold

(continued from “Kynesgrove and Snow Veil Sanctum”)

I wake up after a while, my vision blurry. I get to my feet and stagger for a moment.

“Easy. Easy. Don’t get up too quickly.”

It was that same quiet voice I heard in Snow Veil Sanctum… Karliah’s voice. Now up close and in daylight, I see that she’s a dunmer, or dark elf, and she is indeed wearing thieves guild armor. And unlike Mercer, who tried to kill me, but like all the other thieves I’ve encountered in Skyrim, she helps me. True, she did shoot me, but she didn’t kill me. In fact if she wanted to kill me, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The arrow that hit me was tipped with a paralytic poison… all she’d hoped was to capture Mercer alive.

When I ask her why, she explains that Mercer was the one who killed Gallus, the former guild master, and framed her for the murder. Since then she had been on the run, and has been for about 25 years. That must be tough. Her reason for trying to capture Mercer here wasn’t just for irony… turns out she came here and found a journal among the remains of Gallus. She and Gallus were lovers, and she couldn’t help but feel guilty in thinking that he was able to let his guard down around her, and it led to his death. She seeks redemption and wants to prove to the guild who really murdered Gallus all those years ago.

The journal she recovered, however, is encoded in some sort of language. She thinks of an old friend of Gallus, someone named Enthir, who was at the college of Winterhold. If anyone knew what the journal meant, it would be him. I ask if she’ll come with me, but she stays behind. Gallus still had to be buried, but she promised to meet up with me at Winterhold as soon as she can.

When I had arrived at the sanctum it was 10 o’clock at night, but now the sun is rising… I check my wrist sun-dial (just kidding) and find that it’s now just after 8 am… I check my map, see where Winterhold is from my position, and I take note of a new location that was added to my map: Mara’s Eye Pond. Bet it’s full of Vampires, if that hunter from last night was right. I hope she cured herself of Vampirism. I put my map away and set off with the journal, leaving Karliah behind.

It’s a clear day. There’s Winterhold up ahead.

As I run I wonder where Mercer went. What was his motive? Why turn on me and kill me when I had done so much for the guild? Clearly he had lied to me, and everyone, about the murder of Gallus, and this journal might hold some sort of clue, but I can’t help but wonder what else has Mercer Frey done?

Then up ahead on the path, I spot another assassin! I’m starting to recognize the black and blood-red armor too well, and in this daylight and the snowy white landscape it was impossible to miss. He’s wielding a dwarven sword, which I saw Mercer use on me, and quickly draw my bow and fire.

The master marksman… er… Markscat, at work.

Three arrows later, the assassin is dead, and after a quick look over, I find that he’s a dark elf instead of a Breton, and the sword and dagger were unenchanted once I looked them over. Still, I found the same note, that the Black Sacrament has been performed and I had to die. Somebody must want me dead really desperately. I wonder how much they’re paying to send these guys to die by my paw? Whoever it is must be rich enough to have me killed… Maybe Mercer? I might never find out at this rate! I take the weapons and the poisons off the assassin and continue my walk along the snowy path.

That’s the second assassin to try and kill me in the last 24 hours. Dude, someone must really hate cats!

A dead snowy bear later, and I make it to Winterhold. It’s a small town that always seems to have snow falling from the sky. I witness a couple arguing outside. The guy says he’s going into the inn for a drink. When she asks if that will solve his problems, he say sit probably won’t but it was worth a try.

A coral dragon claw for a burrow… could be gold in that place. 50 gold for the claw? It’s a steal! I mean… erm. Sure! I’ll take this old thing off your hands!

I smirk to myself and talk with the woman who confided to me about a trading mistake. Seems someone persuaded her to buy a dragon claw and she feels it’s useless. I guy it from her for 50 gold. If I ever go use it and if it turns up with anything useful, she wants to know about it, but I doubt I’d come back and tell her about any of it.

Inside the inn I watch as the innkeeper talks to a mage from the college. Something about an explosion and some sort of smell. I stay out of it. I find the elf I’m really looking for, an Altmer named Enthir who’s currently in Frozen Hearth, which is the inn for Winterhold. Seems to fit.

You could have at least gotten the latest issue of Witch Weekly… But noooo…

I mention Karliah and he asks if she finally found Gallus’s journal. I let him see it and he tells me that it’s written in the Falmer language. We start talking about it for a bit. Falmer are Snow Elves that were driven underground after warring with the Nords, and they ended up making a deal with the Dwemer, but were betrayed. Now the Falmer are blind, and monstrous. They attack anything and anyone who isn’t a Falmer, and have no remorse or mercy. As for why Gallus wrote his journal in the Falmer language, Enthir presumes it has something to do with a heist that required knowledge of the Snow Elves. Whether or not this heist was ever done is not known. I ask where Gallus learned of the Falmer language, and Enthir said it was from the same source he’s pointing me toward – Calcelmo, an Altmer wizard in the Understone Keep in Markarth. He’s supposed to be the expert on Falmer and Dwemer and conducts his research in Markarth, but he’s very protective of his research. Getting the information I need will not be easy.

So I crack my knuckles and leave Winterhold, opting to try and climb a mountain and go south that way. One mountain however became two by the time I reached Whiterun, and by the time I got there I realized I must have killed three dragons since I left Riften the other day. My feet were dragging in the snow from the weight of all these darn dragon bones and scales!

The moment he turns his back, the staff works. Bet he wishes he could have it back now!

I had killed the dragon in Kynesgrove, and after Snow Veil Sanctum and Winterhold, I make my way up a mountain and first found an aspiring mage who was trying to use a staff to bring a wolf back to life. I persuade him to give me the staff, and he complains that it’s just a boring piece of wood. I equip the staff and resurrect the wolf. Seems to work fine for me! I’ll keep this!

Take that, beastie!

Not long after that I found a dragon. I manage to shoot off one arrow at it, and it misses him entirely. DARN IT! The dragon flies up and swoops over me, spotting my hiding place almost right away. It’s an elder dragon, so it probably knew better. And to top it off it’s a frost dragon. Bad enough I have to travel through so much snow, now I have to put up with ol’ Blizzard Breath! He even shot a huge orb and ice at me… I resisted the urge to make a big snowball and throw it at him!

After several arrows I manage to kill him, and I notice the word wall it was guarding. Now I know know the word IISS, which means Ice… sounds like it too. Basically this dragon shout will freeze an opponent solid. This one should be fun to try out too. One my way down this peak, I encounter that Khajiit thief again. I raise my eyebrows at him – he’s changed his clothes. I think his hat is the same from last time, but his armor is that of an Imperial Soldier… I ask no questions and accept his usual gift of five lockpicks. See ya next time!

Hey, long time no see!

I descend from Mount Anthor and go climbing up to Shearpoint where I encounter another dragon. This one is also an Elder dragon, and probably felt like some whipper-snapper was shooting spitballs at his back. He flew up and circled around and hovered while I cowered behind some trees. Shame I couldn’t point at someone else and yell, “HE DID IT! I SWEAR!” Instead, he breathes fire at me… and I completely forgot about my Ice Form shout. I did have the Frost Breath shout however, and I was ready to use it!

After this dragon goes down, I encounter something that gave me trouble – it was a dragon priest. Legends said that some mortals worshiped the dragons as gods, and these dragon priests were coming back from the dead… sort of like Draugr, only nastier… spell casters… and this one had a staff that shot huge fireballs right at me. I crouched behind a rock and fired arrows at it until it finally died… but not without burning some of my fur.

Voice… Fool… Far… Hmmm! Bet this one can cause heads to turn so I can sneak past them! Heh heh heh!

Finally I find out what that Dragon priest and Elder Dragon were so very protective of… a word wall… with THREE WORDS on it! YOW! Now I know the shout ZUL MEY GUT, which means Voice Fool Far The Throw Voice shout. 

Now THIS is a shout I can use!

And now my inventory is to the limit… I head down the mountain, and the plains of Whiterun Hold unfurl before me. The castle is in plain sight and I make my way there across the tundra. Time to lighten my load and plan my next moves.

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