A Nomad in Skyrim – Day VII

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.

After the most uncomfortable nights sleep since napping on the carriage into
Skyrim I arose early in the morning. My back was sore from the hard, largely
unconcealed wooden frame of the bed. At these prices I would have thought Delphine
might have made the beds a deal more comfortable, as the pitiful animal skin
and scant straw mattress displayed, I thought wrong. It was certainly not Alvor’s
but for now at least it must do and considering I was seconds from going without
a head a week or so ago, I can’t complain. I sat down to break my fast with
just Orgnar and Delphine for company, Orgnar being his usual grumpy self and
Delphine standing around sweeping her favourite spot on the floor. Breakfast
was a short affair, bread and carrots, the banter wasn’t exactly great either
but then Orgnar doesn’t seem like the morning type…or afternoon, or evening
for that matter.

This is what living with Delphine and listening to Sven on repeat for 12 hours a day does to you.

After getting my water bottles filled and parting with five septims I was ready
to go. I decided that morning to first go hunting and then speak to Faendal,
perhaps I could even fit in a short shift of wood chopping after that. It was
a crisp morning, it had been raining for a large portion of the night so I
could almost taste the moisture in the air. Embry, the town drunk/general oddball,
was already strolling up to the inn for his daily ale or ten. He greeted me
with the rather inaccurate. “My favourite drinking buddy, let’s get some mead!”
I declined his offer as it was a tad early for mead, I suppose all the time is
a good time for mead when you’re Embry however. The drunkard didn’t seem fazed
by my refusal and staggered into the pub anyway, he seems to be in a constant
state of intoxication and, despite his often loud and brash demeanour, appears
to be a sad man indeed. I wonder just what can drive a man to drink away every
hour of every day and practically live in his local inn, it truly is a tragic
waste.

I passed through the entrance to the village and out onto the road around mid-morning.
All seemed very still, even the river flowed more gently than usual. A low mist
hung around the river bank, shrouding the mountain, giving it a most mysterious
visage. The haunting image of Bleak Falls Barrow appeared as I rounded the bend
in the road, half shrouded in mist it was even eerier, I shivered slightly just
imagining ever having to set foot in that place. I was nearing the crossroads
when I decided to cross the river and head further down it on the opposite side,
obviously steering well clear of the bandit’s nest I previously stumbled upon.
I plunged into the cold water and out the other side as quickly as I could
manage.

What unimaginable horrors lie in wait behind those walls of mist and stone?

Thus far on my hunting trip I had yet to see hide or hair of any game whatsoever.
I decided that I might be scaring them away and so bent my knees into a sneaking
position. Sure enough, as I rounded the bend of the river slowly but silently,
a rustling noise sounded to the right. I stopped dead in my tracks, focusing my
vision on the source if the sound, a patch of long grass halfway up the slope.
I drew an arrow carefully from my quiver, placing my bow string between the
grooves in the nock. I took deep breaths as the movement in the grass subsided
momentarily, I took aim just above the suspect patch and waited.

As quick as lightning a blur shot out of the grass and up the hill, I loosed my
arrow a second too late and it thudded into the soil just above the rabbit’s
hiding place. My reactions did not let me down again and I sprang off on my toes
and gave chase to the animal, drawing the arrow that would bring home my supper.
It was a quick creature and agile too, strafing here and there up the hillside,
not allowing me to get a decent shot at it. The pursuit was long and after a while
I was short of breath and my legs began to ache, but I would not give in! As luck
would have it I fell back far enough so that my prey was confused and stopped
for a second, doubtless believing I had indeed given up on my quarry. I needed
no second invitation and in one fluid motion drew back the string and released,
watching my arrow sail truly to its target.

A slight come-down after my debut kill in Skyrim but food is food!

It was hardly a prize kill, but I do like a good rabbit leg and it would serve
as supper tonight. It seems like a long time since I had a workout quite as
intense as that chase, when in reality it really has only been a matter of weeks.
Somewhat satisfied with my kill I proceeded to skin the animal and pack away
the meat, looking around I saw that I was much farther up the river than I had
gone previously. I was stood on the bank of a large lake into which the river
flowed. It was a mystical sight in the afternoon fog, the imposing forestry on
either side bookended the dark misty mountains in the distance. I could not see
the other end of the lake so could not judge its size, but it was getting late and
I did not wish to get lost in a strange country after what happened previously
so I turned back the way I came.

One of the most hauntingly beautiful pictures I’ve took in Skyrim, it’s such a splendid landscape

Not long after I saw smoke rising from across a narrow stretch of the river,
after moving closer I perceived that it was in fact a hunter’s camp, judging
from the bow on the camper’s back and the animal skins hanging on racks.
I was tired from my own hunting and would have welcomed company so I approached
the camp. The hunter did not seem hostile, she invited me to sit down and I
accepted gladly. She was a fearsome looking woman, a Dunmer with a stern
countenance and a lean but strong looking physique. She did not tell me her
name and was largely guarded in manner, the dagger at her waist spoke volumes
even if she did not. It was a relief simply to sit and have a drink in company
though and we talked a little of the hunting around Riverwood. I told her of
the bandits abroad and she replied with a heavy sigh and a knowing shake of
the head. “There are many and more where they came from, two bandit camps about
the crossroads near Helgen alone last I counted.” She said, she drew her dagger
and set to honing her bow. “The Jarl will do nothing while there’s war brewing
and I can’t exactly beseech him to help considering my position, but they’re
a nuisance alright, that’s for certain.” Sat honing her weapon, clad in well
worn leather armour, she looked like she could certainly handle herself.

I feel for the man who tries to tame this one!

After an hour or so of rest I took my leave of both the hunter and the majestic
view of the lake. I could have sat there all day and still not have tired of
it, such is the natural wonder that is Skyrim. I bade my unnamed acquaintance
farewell and headed back to town, hoping perhaps to bag another kill on my way.
Luck was not with me today however and, aside from glimpsing another rabbit in
the far-off undergrowth, I saw nothing. As I arrived back to town I happened,
by chance, upon Faendal. He appeared to be walking home after a days work at
the sawmill. I jogged to catch up with him, wanting to explain what had happened
yesterday with Camilla and Sven.

He seemed pleased to see me and told me he had already heard from Camilla herself
earlier today, I could not help but feel a little irked but was glad we were
still on good terms. We talked a little about the whole business, how ridiculous
it was, I asked him if he would make a move now Sven was seemingly out of the way
but he simply sighed and said he was better off out of it. The conversation
moved on to brighter subjects and, before I knew it, we had arrived at his front
door. “I truly am grateful for all you have done for me Adrian,” he said.
“I heard about your living arrangements and I insist you stay at my house for
a while.” I was a little taken aback by his offer, we got along rather finely
and I suppose I had done him a good service but I hardly knew him all the same.
As I stuttered on what to reply he broke in. “I won’t take no for an answer,
no one should have to endure Delphine’s excuse for a guest bed!”

I peeked into the house, it looked a lot more inviting than The Sleeping Giant’s
guest room certainly, I decided to accept his very generous invitation. Faendals
house is small but cosy, a large hearth in the middle of the room casts light
and warmth throughout. He has a small collection of books that I have his
permission to read, something I most certainly will do. That night we sat for a
dinner of rabbit and I told him everything that had happened to me since I set
foot in Skyrim. He was shocked initially but, given the current political climate
my story was probably not entirely unique.

For someone who rarely hunts these days Faendal sure has a lot of corpses lining his walls!

I feel incredibly fortunate to have found such a good fellow as Faendal, the people
of Riverwood in general thus far seem to be some of the kindest people I have yet
to meet. I can only hope that the rest of Skyrim is the same, I suppose I shall
soon see for myself first hand, Riverwood has been very hospitable but my itch
for travelling is beginning to bother me and it shall soon need scratching.

It’s not much but, for the time being, it’s home.

5 comments on “A Nomad in Skyrim – Day VII

  1. This is very good. I really like your attention to detail/setting. I tend to let that stuff go because I feel like I’m too literal and everything sounds like this: “There were six pine trees, two mushroom clusters, and several mountain flower patches a head.”

    I liked that Faendal invited him to stay. Fandael and Adrian in Skyrim would make a fun situation comedy, I think. ooooh, the shenanigans of the tree elf and Imperial in Skyrim as they complain about their jobs and try to bring girls home.

    • adantur says:

      Haha the images I have in my head after that comment are….amazing! I think Adrian could do with a companion on his travels so I might just have Faendal stick around for a while, he could use a bit of back-up on the perilous roads of Skyrim.

  2. Pyrelle says:

    Good to see you havn’t lost your touch in story telling. Good entry, very detailed and it sucks you in quickly.

    • adantur says:

      Thanks a lot, the ending was a little bit of a rush job on my part because I just wanted to get it over with after having such a long break, but I’m glad you liked it.

  3. kitdoctor says:

    You do something I rarely consider doing myself: describing your surroundings. You do it rather well too. It adds to the immersion of your story. I am also a real fan of your ending, because I was just thinking about how your story was called A “Nomad” in Skyrim. I was wondering when Adrian was going to start getting antsy, wanting to pack up and leave. Oddly, Faendal inviting Adrian to stay with him wasn’t too much of a leap thanks to the characterization you had already done. I am eager to see what happens to the duo.

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