A Nomad in Skyrim – Day III

These pages are extracts from the diary of Adrian Caro, a nomadic Imperial who recently crossed the border into the harsh but beautiful province of Skyrim.

I awoke this morning early, following a restful and thankfully dreamless slumber.
Vowing to outstay my welcome in Alvor’s house no longer I determined to find
myself steady work at the neighbourhood saw-mill. I met Alvor’s wife properly
for the first time over a breakfast of stale apples and carrot (I won’t miss
the food here that’s for certain!) My first thought upon our meeting was that
she certainly was fair to look on, but her attitude soon turned that thought
around. Innocently I greeted her “Good morning!” I enquired about her thoughts
on the war, wanting to hear of it from a citizen. All was well until, just prior
to our conversation’s end she said. “I’m spoken for, you know. So don’t get any ideas.”

Alvor’s done well, could do with a face wipe however….

Given her guarded demeanour this offense certainly means the end of my stay, I
have never in my life been a burden to anyone and shall not begin now in a land
that is not my own. Finishing my mean breakfast I promptly left, hoping for
friendlier conversation elsewhere.

It was a pleasant morning, the sun was shining and the birds were singing,
the perfect day to start my new job. I headed over to the saw mill and met the
biggest Nord yet. Blonde with a large handlebar moustache of the same hue, he
was at least 6 feet tall and had arms the size of the logs he was cutting. Talking
to him I found his name was Hod and that he owns the mill along with his wife
Gerdur. More importantly I found that he would pay me for any firewood I brought
him, I had all but secured a steady income!

The only thing manlier than a Nordic blacksmith, a Nordic lumberjack.

I still needed, however, to attain the tools necessary. I saw the wood-chopping
station, if that’s what it may be called, on the way to see Hod. Walking over
to it I saw an axe lying on the floor, had someone left it there? Should I simply
take it? In the end I decided to use it and then drop it again afterwards, if it
was still there tomorrow morning then it’s mine. With the equipment sorted I
got down to work, pulling a log off the pile and placing it on a stump that,
judging by the marks in it, was clearly the chopping platform.

I have never split logs before, hunting being my trade, but by the Nine I now
know where Hod got those arms from. I was tired from my border-crossing ordeal
anyway but even had I not been so the labour would still be most strenuous.
The axe was fairly heavy on the first stroke, being crafted from dense iron with a
thick-timbered staff, but by the twentieth my arms felt as though they were
like to drop off at any moment.

Imperials aren’t built for this!

A couple of hours later and it was midday, high time for a break or so my arms
thought and I was happy to concur. With a little strain I carried the firewood
over to Hod and, to my delight, he gave me 100 septims. It felt good to receive
my first salary in Skyrim and I decided to spend it on ingredients so that I could
cook a decent meal and forgo the usual supper of stale apples. I headed over to
the Sleeping Giant for a spot of lunch and to buy ingredients for supper, greeting
the town drunk and his two child companions (don’t ask). Inside the bard was
singing a heroic sounding song with rather violent lyrics, I’ve heard better
but I’ve certainly heard worse.

Orgnar seemed to be in a good mood today, at least his tone of voice had not
changed a bit since last meeting, he gruffly asked me what I wanted. I bought
from him a carrot, a cabbage, a venison steak and a couple of salmon steaks,
enough I thought for a day or so. I also ordered some cooked food and enjoyed
a succulent venison steak while listening to the bard play his flute, again
rather well. After finishing my dinner I decided to head back to work for a
few hours and, after quaffing  an ale and bidding farewell to Orgnar (to
which I received no response), I headed back to the saw mill.

“Er…could you move this…animal carcass please Orgnar, kind of ruining my appetite.”

A few hours of exceedingly strenuous labour later and I was just about ready to
drop and decided to call it a day. Trading in my firewood for another 150 septims
I sloped off back to Alvor’s, a hearty supper and an early night calling me
home. Inside I was greeted by Sigrid, she seemed to have forgotten about our
prior conversation, I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad and at that moment
nor did I care. After briefly consulting Sigrid I added my venison steak to the
cooking pot over the fire and tried to recall the recipe for venison stew. I
had a potato and a leek, both taken from Alvor’s table, but I had forgotten
the salt! Without salt piles I couldn’t cook practically anything so, rather
than ask Sigrid for some, I had to head back out to the Sleeping Giant and buy
some.

After buying Orgnar’s entire stock of three salt piles and surmising that salt
must be scarce in Skyrim, I could finally cook my supper. Very well I could too
for I was starving at this point! I added the salt to the stew and stirred it,
my stomach rumbling deafeningly all the while. I am no expert but my cooking
skills aren’t bad, particularly when cooking game and the venison stew I cooked
up tasted simply excellent. My hunger satisfied I downed another tankard of ale
(I have drank a lot since coming to Skyrim) and decided to go to bed.

I plan to explore the valley south tomorrow, after purchasing some rudimentary
armour with my wood-splitting money. The beauty of this country calls to me and
the sooner I can get my hands on a bow and arrows the better. Then I can
leave the back-breaking lumber business to behemoths like Hod.

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day II

These pages are extracts from the diary of Adrian Caro, a nomadic Imperial who recently crossed the border into the harsh but beautiful province of Skyrim.

I awoke late this morning from a troubled sleep. Nightmarish figures crowded
my dreams, visions of the headsman, dark memories and death. More than once in
the night I rose, beads of sweat trickling from my brow. I was a stranger in
a strange land and thus far had received precious little welcome. The image
that haunted my unconscious hours the most was that of Helgen, when the man
before me was called and his life torn away from him with one blow of the
headsman’s axe. His headless corpse being kicked carelessly away by the captain
provoked strong emotions, my stomach roiled as anger and other raw feelings
threatened to boil over. Such a callous act even in war, such is the hate
shared by the opposing sides. I admit I know little of the war, coming here as
hastily as I did, but what I did know led me to underestimate the severity of
unrest.

When I did rise it was ten o clock, practically midday for me. Alvor and Hadvar
were at table, still talking about the events of yesterday. I sat down and sated
my hunger with a couple of apples when Alvor turned his attention to me. He
offered me food, shelter and a belted tunic to wear instead of the rags I escaped
in. Hadvar’s kindness must be hereditary because these are two of the kindest
men I have ever met. To take in a perfect stranger, an ex-prisoner (however
wrongly accused), who is also a foreigner. Such kindness is almost too much
for me to bear and I assured him that I shall not outstay my welcome.

“So….what are your plans for the day”

This generosity can not go unrewarded so I offered to help him out at the forge.
I am no blacksmith, hunting is my trade, but I have skills with leather and
hide. He accepted my offer and we drank a tankard of ale to toast the deal (a
little early for it but after what I’ve been through I think I need it!) Soon
after the door opened and a little girl ran in, Alvor’s daughter Dorthe. She
tells me that she is “not supposed to talk to strangers, but that I seem ok.”
Very cute indeed. Apparently he has a wife too, but I have yet to meet her.

After breaking my fast and sitting around talking to Dorthe and Alvor for a while
I decided to do some work and headed outside to the forge. Riverwood by night
was dark and mysterious, by day it was glorious. A simple village nestled
between two magnificent mountains, with a fast flowing river running alongside.
The village itself is tiny, no more than a handful of wooden buildings with
a sawmill beside the river, but the view is all the majesty one needs.

If there is anything more manly than a Nord Blacksmith, I have yet to see it.

After admiring the view for a little while and deciding to explore the valley
once I am suitably equipped, I walked over to Alvor’s forge. After watching
Alvor work away at his forge I interrupted and asked him if he needed any help,
he accepted and for the next few hours taught me how to smith some basic
weapons and armour. Thankfully he started me off with the basics and I crafted
a rather crude looking iron dagger at the forge, then tempering the weapon at
the grindstone. With a little help from Alvor I managed to craft a serviceable
blade and a fine hide helmet (if I say so myself).

I do my best in Alvor’s shadow…

By the end of our crafting session the day was nearly at an end and slaving
over a hot forge works up a thirst, I decided to head to the local inn for a
tankard of ale and something to eat. I thought about asking Alvor to join me
but he had already gone, maybe next time then.

A welcome sight after a hard days scraping

The Sleeping Giant as the inn is so named, was not difficult to find and upon entering I felt the heat radiating
from a large central fire. It is a welcoming place, I thought, as I walked up
to the bar to quench my thirst. The man behind the bar, a fearsome looking Nord
by the name of Orgnar showed me his wares and I soon realised that food is
expensive in Skyrim! I don’t know if it is some sort of tax they add on for
foreigners but Orgnar, from his gruff speech and unshakeable manner, does not
seem the type to give out discounts. Bearing this in mind I settled for a tankard
of ale and decided to see what’s on the table tonight at Alvor’s place.

Ah back in the day when it wasn’t suspect for a drunk to hang around with two small children!

I seem to have landed on my feet here, I have a place to stay and food to eat.
I can’t quite get the feeling that I am close to outstaying my welcome at Alvor’s
place. I get the feeling that this is certainly supposed to be a short term residence
and, starting from tomorrow, I will try to secure a livelihood and alternative
lodgings. I wonder if the saw mill next door are taking on…

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day I pt.II

These pages are extracts from the diary of Adrian Caro, a nomadic Imperial who recently crossed the border into the harsh but beautiful province of Skyrim.

I froze, this did not seem real. My mind knew what I had to do but my body
would not obey. A sharp prod in the back from an Imperial guardsman sent me
forth and a kick in the back from the captain put my head on the block. I
looked up at what I thought was to be my last sight in this life, the grim
figure of the executioner standing over me, his black cowl masking his features.
I grimaced at the sight of the axe and began to tremor uncontrollably, closing
my eyes, waiting for the axe to fall…

Any last words?

But it did not! I dared not open my eyes but could hear the chaos erupt around
me. It began with the singing of an arrow followed by the shriek of its victim
and before long the cacophony of battle filled my ears. I opened my eyes, the
headsman was gone. Looking down I saw his corpse sprawled out on the ground
an arrow lodged in his throat. It was difficult to sympathise with my would-be
executioner and, besides, I had no time to do so. Chaos reigned around me,
Nordic soldiers clad in fur and chainmail swept down upon my captors, raining
death down on their heads with arrow and steel both.

I panicked, for a moment it seemed as though I had been saved from the block
only to be ran through by an angry Nord. “You, prisoner, over here!” I heard
someone shout. It was the reluctant Imperial with the list from earlier, now
crouching in a corner with his sword drawn. He beckoned me over furiously,
promising me a way out of this mess. I had doubts however, should I trust one
of my former captors, no matter how reluctant he may have been?

An arrow flying closely past my head banished the thought and I sprinted
across the street to join him. He told me his name was Hadvar and that I should
stick close to him if I want to survive. He was the one with the sword and
armour so I did. The town was largely in flames now as we wended our way around
collapsed houses and grisly corpses. Thankfully we did not meet anyone and soon
we were out of the town through a postern door and onto a country road.

Wait for me Hadvar!

We stopped to get our breath back, the adrenaline still pumping through my
veins. Hadvar told me that he was heading to Riverwood his hometown and that I
should probably do the same. I had no clothes but the threadbare rags on my
back, I was hungry, cold, tired and was still in shock at the days events. So
this sounded like a good idea.

“I’m glad you decided to come with me.” He said as we walked down the country
road, the skies darkening above. He may have been reading out my name for
execution a short time ago but since then Hadvar had saved my life and was my
only chance of finding shelter for the night. His words touched me and I felt
my mood lift slightly. We turned a corner and the view that met me was tremendous.
It was almost full dark but the colossal black shapes of the mountains loomed
over us, making me feel but an insect. I suppose I had best get used to the
sight of mountains as Skyrim is littered with them, but the first is a sight
to behold. Hadvar stopped halfway down the hill, pointing to the mountain he
said. “See that ruin up there, Bleak Falls Barrow.” I looked to where he was
pointing. “When I was a boy that place always used to give me nightmares, Draugr
climbing down the mountain to climb through my window at night.” He looked
pensive. Looking at the mysterious ruin I decided then and there, that I would
never set foot in it or near it. I don’t know what Draugr are, nor do I
particularly want to know, but eerie ruins and dark dungeons are not for me!

I wonder how many ‘adventurers’ found their end there?

We carried on down the road a little when Hadvar stopped again. If I was tired
and hungry before by then I was half-starved and ready to drop, but I stopped
to see what he wanted. There were three standing stones at the end of the road
Hadvar tells me they are three of many ancient stones and that they’ll imbue
powers on those that pray there. Now I am not a particularly religious person,
but I decided to pray at the Warrior Stone as I’d need all the strength I can
get after the days events. I felt a warm glow around me as I did so, but no
solid evidence that it had affected me. Feeling still sceptical I carried on,
Hadvar at my side.

Can’t hurt to try…can it?

A little while later we came upon the dark outline of a village wall, I was so
glad to see civilisation that my pace quickened, despite my fatigue and Hadvar
did the same. Passing under the bridge He entered the first house on the
left, beckoning me inside after him. The feeling of warmth and the odour of
food that greeted me was heavenly. Hadvar embraced a stout Nord with the arms
of a blacksmith, from their greetings I found his name was Alvor and he was
Hadvar’s uncle. I greeted him wearily and, to my delight, he offered me food and
shelter. Sitting down to eat I let Hadvar tell of our exploits.

“Dangerous but beautiful” just about sums up Skyrim thus far.

His uncle was shocked and again offered us his hospitality. He was a kind man
I thought, as I crawled into the marital bed, to offer a stranger a bed for
the night.

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day I

These pages are extracts from the diary of Adrian Caro, a nomadic Imperial who recently crossed the border into the harsh but beautiful province of Skyrim.

It has been a while since my last post in this journal, a journal started in
the case of my demise for, perhaps, another to read. Much has happened since
then, least of all my arrival in Skyrim, most extraordinarily of all my
narrow brush with death. I suppose I should start from the beginning. It was
about a week before the resumption of this diary that I found myself in a
merchants caravan bound for Skyrim. Embarking from my country was not an
easy decision, the green hills of Cyrodil, seat of the Empire, have long been
my home. But I had little choice, the reasons for which I shall not go
into right now and besides, I had wandered that land long enough.

We were just approaching the border into Skyrim when a clamour erupted from the
head of the caravan. We were heavily outnumbered by our unknown assailants
and the guards fell almost instantly. I, along with a few other survivors,
were tied up and bundled into a carriage. Next I knew I was trundling down the
road in what seemed to be a prison convoy, led by none other than Imperial
troops. I tried desperately to communicate to them that I had committed no
wrongdoing, but their ears were deaf to my pleas.

Adrian’s first glimpse of Skyrim

Exhausted I sat back, resigned to my fate. A searing pain in my head,
doubtless caused by my imprisoners, making it difficult to focus. As I did so
the prisoner across from me, a Nord of a disheveled but tough appearance,
began to speak. From him I learned that he too was ambushed by the Imperial
Legion as were we all. I also learned that the prisoner sat next to me,
by the name of “Ulfric Stormcloak”, was the “true high king” or so spake the
former. My heart sank, there had been an error, a most heinous error.
I had heard rumours of civil war in Skyrim, but did not expect for one moment
to be trussed up and sent for execution on arrival. Not by the Legion!

I would have protested further but the pleas caught in my throat, my energy
spent. I soon found myself being wheeled towards the gates of a small town,
of which I knew not the name. A guardsman cried out “General Tullius sir, the
headsman is waiting!” those words sealed my fate. Tears began to well in my
eyes. I knew of the general, he was highly regarded back home not least by
myself. I fought back the tears, determined to go to my end with dignity.

The nameless town

A prisoner across from me began to pray. Not in the solemn fashion of a priest
at the altar, more a crazed beg for divine mercy. I thought momentarily of doing the same,
perhaps Talos would look kindly upon me. I did not. The first Nord began again
to speak, reminiscing wistfully before the grave. He told me that this town
was Helgen and that he was once “sweet” on a girl from here. He told me of his
youth and how the walls of his gaolers once gave him comfort, in a land not
touched by the destructive hand of war, before trailing off as we jerked to a
halt.

A fellow captive reminisces before the end

Climbing out of the carriage I joined a line of prisoners, a Nordic Imperial
soldier with a roll of parchment stood at the front, reeling off the names of
the doomed. When it was my turn he realised my name was not there, “freedom?!”
was my first thought. It was not to be however, after conferring with his
captain it was decided I would be executed anyway and my last ray of hope was
extinguished. The Nord apologised and I could see he was sincere, as little
help as it was. General Tullius stepped forth, resplendent in his Imperial
armour and addressed Ulfric Stormcloak. I can not recall exactly what he said,
my mind being a haze at that point.
The first captive was led to the block, the executioner’s axe glinted
menacingly in the sunlight before coming down with a sickening crunch. The
captive’s head rolled a short distance before coming to a stop, vacant eyes
boring into mine. It was more than I could stand. His body was kicked from the
block and the captain called for the next one…

“Adrian Caro!”

You’re next

A Nomad in Skyrim – Introduction / Table of Contents

A Nomad in Skyrim is a blog I have started about one of my Skyrim characters Adrian Caro. The premise is to live in Skyrim largely peacefully, avoiding conflict when possible and doing honest work in order to survive. My inspiration for this blog is ‘Living in Oblivion‘ a blog where the author attempts to live as an NPC called Nondrick in Cyrodil. This blog entertained me for hours and eventually inspired me to do something similar. Now Adrian is not exactly an NPC but he is not an adventurer either and he is certainly not “Dragonborn” or any such nonsense. He is, however, a true character with a story. This story will be revealed in chunks throughout the diary i.e. no long, boring narrative expositions!

I am using a variety of mods to help me become immersed in the world of Skyrim and will post them and links to them on this page…

These mods are vital to the roleplaying experience as they make me need to eat and drink for survival amongst other things. Thanks to all the creative people behind them, without them this blog would not exist.

Even if you have never played Skyrim before you may get something out of this blog so give it a try!
Contents

Day I

Day I pt.II

Day II

Day III

Day IV

Day V

Day VI

Day VII

Day VIII

Day IX pt.I

Day IX pt.II

Day X

Day XI pt.I

Day XI pt.II

Day XII

Day XIII pt.I

Day XIII pt.II

A long slow summer…

I haven’t posted on here in a while, mainly because there is little to post about. It’s the summer holidays which, for a high school student, is six weeks to relax and enjoy the clement weather (ok perhaps not in England). For a university student without a job however it is many months of passing the time. It’s not been too bad, I’ve caught up with the backlog of games on my PC and, more importantly, with my friends from back home. It has been uneventful though, extremely so. Mainly due to lack of finances I haven’t travelled or anything exciting like that. I did move in with my girlfriend and have been living here for the past month or two, which is nice and I have been glued to the Olympics for the past two weeks which was great!

Other than that it’s been mainly gaming and that brings me to the reason why I have decided to start posting again before going back to uni, Skyrim. I got the game when it first came out but, after completing only half the game, found myself becoming bored with it and shelved it. Recently however I have found my interest in the game revitalised. Not the fire-breathing dragons and epic soldiery of the main quest though, recently I have been roleplaying as a humble nomad, a wandering hunter with a somewhat shady past. After playing with this character for a few days (about a week or so in game time) I decided to start a blog about it, the blog will recount his story through his own words in the form of a diary he keeps.

I am going to try and avoid anything too adventurous and just concentrate on surviving in the unforgiving landscape of Skyrim, it won’t be too humdrum I hope as there will be a good deal of character exploration as well as the occasional drama. You don’t really have to like or have played Skyrim to enjoy it, although players may get the best out of it, so give it a look.

Regarding real life I am preparing to head back to university for my second year with mixed feelings, I am looking forward to seeing my friends again but apprehensive about the work. We’ll just have to see what September brings!

Adantur out.