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.
Greatly encouraged by yesterdays progress in attaining an income I was out of
bed early this morning. Quietly, so as not to wake Alvor and Sigrid, I stole
across the room to the fire to add the salmon steaks I bought yesterday to the
cooking pot. While they were cooking I reviewed my plans for the day, hoping
that it would be as successful as the last. Firstly I would work at the sawmill
until around midday then I’d find the local merchant and buy myself some supplies.
I planned only to explore the valley close to Riverwood but in these parts one
can never be too careful, particularly after what I’ve been through already.
After looking through my supplies I decided I would need a few healing potions,
some light armour and some water for the journey.
A plan in mind I sat down to break my fast, after a little while Hadvar came
up from the basement to join me, I didn’t even know they had a basement. He
again tried to talk me into joining the Imperial Legion, entreating me to go
to Solitude and speak to General Tullius. Now I am eternally grateful for
what Hadvar has done for me, saving my life, finding me shelter, but I couldn’t
help but find his words a little insensitive. Why in Talos’ name would I want
to join up with those who would have had me killed?! I am a long-serving citizen
of the empire, so to speak, but it will be a long time, perhaps never, before
I can forgive such an offense. Changing the subject I asked him about the Stormcloaks,
wanting to find out a little more about the civil war I seem to have walked into.
He told me that the traitor General Tullius so masterfully captured was Ulfric
Stormcloak and that he wanted to be high king of Skyrim, so much so that he
recently murdered the last one!
I really need to start buying the Black Horse Courier. Before this news
the civil war meant practically nothing to me, in fact I could not wait to put
it behind me after my brush with death, now I am not so certain.
I finished my breakfast and bid farewell to Hadvar, determined to get on with
the day and not let the news bother me. It was a crisp bright morning, the sun
shone on the peaks of the surrounding mountains, creating a magnificent panorama.
Buoyed by the sight I crossed the road to the Riverwood Trader. It was a pleasant
enough shop, I have certainly been in worse anyway. An Imperial man was stood
behind the counter arguing with a woman of the same ilk sat at a table before
the hearth. Walking to the counter the man greeted me, his name was Lucan Valerius.
For a moment I felt an urge to enquire about what they were arguing over, but
I bit my tongue, I’d had enough drama without getting involved in other people’s
affairs. We talked briefly about affairs in the empire, particularly Cyrodil,
but about nothing I didn’t already know. I bought a pair of leather boots and
bracers they were a little on the large side, being crafted with Nords in mind,
but they just about fit. I also stocked up on healing potions, just in case and
bought out his supply of salt piles for cooking. Lucan too had only three of
these so I had better use them wisely as they seem to be an integral part of
With my new pieces of armour, borrowed iron blade and significantly lighter coin-
purse I felt ready enough to head out of town. I bid farewell to Lucan and the
woman with whom he was arguing and left the Riverwood Trader. On the way out of
town I passed a rather haggard looking old woman, she was leaning against the
front porch of the last house on the left. She said nothing but watched me with
accusing eyes all the way out of town. Slightly creeped out I headed south down
the path following the river.
The landscape was nothing like what I had heard, save for the snow-capped peaks
in the distance, it was a lush green idyll as bright and as beautiful as any
valley in my home land. The hills teemed with life, winged insect and spritely game flitted
in and out of my view. The river to my right flowed quickly, the water sparkling
as it flowed down from its lofty origin. Soon I came across a small waterfall,
salmon leapt from the water to complete their hazardous pilgrimage.
I walked slowly down the path so as to fully appreciate my surroundings. With
its magnificent views and plentiful game, I could see myself staying here for
a while. After an hour or so of walking I came to the crossroads near to where
I first started my journey into Skyrim proper. Not wanting to go anywhere near
Helgen I decided to cross the river and explore around the base of the mountain
on the other side. I found a narrow stretch of river and crossed over, heading
west up the mountainside.
After a couple of hours walking my stomach started to rumble so I sat on a rock
by the mountain pass for a spot of dinner, salmon steak washed down with a bottle
of water. I was getting higher up the mountain, high enough so that there was
a gentle haze of snow drifting down from the higher peaks. As I continued along
the mountain path a dark shape began to materialise through the mist which
before long loomed over me. It seemed to be a stone structure of some kind,
perhaps an old fort or outpost. I decided to get nearer and, crouching, I crept
up the slope towards it. I could hear no one in the vicinity and, nearing the
structure, I appeared to be alone. After watching for signs of life for a while
and gathering my courage I started towards it slowly.
A few moments later I felt a sharp pain in my side. An arrow! I hastily drew
my sword, looking furiously for the archer. He was stood by the entrance to the
building and was halfway through nocking another arrow when I fell upon him,
slashing wildly. He tried to draw a dagger but it was too late, even with my
rudimentary swordsmanship he was dead within seconds. I had little time to
celebrate however as almost immediately two more men came running from the
building, this time armed with sword and hammer. Fear shot through me, I am no
warrior just a humble hunter, I feared I would not last long in hand to hand
combat. I snatched up the dead man’s bow and quiver, backing away from the door
as swiftly as possible. I nocked an arrow and let fly, hitting the first assailant
square in the chest. Again I fired hitting him this time in the leg, but he did
not go down. Meanwhile the man with the rather fearsome looking hammer closed
in on me, swinging the giant weapon down toward my head. I managed to dodge away
clumsily and slash at his side, but he did not seem affected and swung again.
My sword almost shattered as I took the blow on its blade, staggering back from
the sheer power of it. I felt another sharp pain, the other assailant had recovered
and was attempting to hack my arm off. The sudden pain caused me to go berserk
and I hacked down on his sword with great fury, breaking his block and ending
his life with a violent hack into his shoulder. By this time I was wounded badly
and quickly downed a couple of healing potions, an almighty crack sounded while
doing so, the sound of a hammer meeting my leg. I cried out in agony, never have
I experienced such pain. The final assailant steadied himself for the finishing
blow, leaning back with that great bloody hammer in the air, but it was not to be.
The hammer was too slow and, mid-swing, I pulled back my sword and thrust it
into his stomach, blood pouring over my arm as I pushed and pushed as hard as
I could. He slumped to the ground, I was still alive.
The pain that followed my attack was nothing like that which I have experienced
before. I drank healing potions and patched my wounds as well as I could and
thanked the Nine for my life before limping inside the building which I almost
died to explore. It appeared to be an old outpost, possibly Imperial. It had
multiple stories and at the top had a wonderful view of Riverwood. There were
also a few chests dotted around containing weapons and potions, I took the
archer’s bow and found myself some more iron arrows. By this time it was nearing
dark so I decided to head back to town before any more bandits turned up. It was
also extremely cold so I stripped the archer of his fur armour (a justified theft
surely!) and donned it over my belted tunic.
The journey back to town was thankfully uneventful and I was toasty inside my
ill-gotten (but totally justified!) new armour. Upon arrival I headed straight
into Alvor’s for a supper of salmon steak and stale apple and an early night.
Alvor said nothing about my dishevelled appearance, nor did Dorthe or Sigrid,
perhaps they simply did not want to know. I certainly did not want to relive
it and so went straight to bed.
It’s been an eventful day, too eventful for my liking. The next time I see any
strange buildings in the mist I will steer well clear. I’ve only been in Skyrim
for a few days and have already come close to death twice! The one positive
from today is that, with my new-found equipment, I can finally resume my trade
and begin hunting again.