28DCD: Days 2-4

I’ve been a touch busy the past few days so I’m going to have to post these character development posts in clumps no doubt. I have been deliberately vague on some of the points in this post as I tend to elaborate more in the actual story (when I finally get round to continuing it).

Parents

Adrian was born to Septimus and Mariana Caro in the town of Cheydinhal, Cyrodil. Septimus was born into a very humble family as the son of a market trader but, as his father oft boasted, he had an aptitude for swordplay and was utterly fearless in a fight. These attributes, along with his skills at diplomacy, saw him rise through the ranks of the town watch to become the youngest watch captain in over a century at the age of twenty. One of, if not the most respected man in Cheydinhal, Septimus managed the watch with a unshaking sense of justice, making absolutely no exceptions for friends like other captains had done before him. Under his command the crime rate in the town dropped to an all-time low and morale rose considerably, but he was not without his adversaries, particularly in high-up places. Septimus may have been one of the most honourable men in Cheydinhal but he was still of low birth, a fact that did not go in his favour in the eyes of Mariana’s father, a powerful, landed man, when they revealed their engagement.

Mariana was widely regarded as the most beautiful woman in Cheydinhal (the official line was second-most behind the Countess) and the daughter of a most powerful and wealthy man indeed. She was a gentle creature, who liked nothing more than to read tales of dashing heroes and fair maidens. Her life was largely uneventful until she met Septimus, she would spend most of her time, it seemed, being dressed for one party or another, being paraded in front of her father’s noble friends like an expensive ornament. Septimus fit the description of ‘dashing hero’ perfectly and marrying him meant a way out of the tedium of her former life, she now had time to do the things she wanted, mainly to read as for books she had a seemingly insatiable appetite.

Whereas Septimus’ parenting style echoed his style of command, highly-disciplined and regimented, Mariana was the ‘soft touch’ of the two, always on hand to console little Adrian after a beating in the practice yard. This fact did not grant her the right of favourite however, as a child Adrian worshipped his father and would stop at nothing to attempt to imitate him in every way. Mariana tried, with varying degrees of success, to educate her child but Adrian would take the yard over the class room any day of the week.

 

Marriage and Children

Adrian’s parents were happily married, barely having had a cross word between them and certainly not in front of him. Marriage therefore is a highly desirable proposition for him and something that, he hopes, will be his ultimate fate. He’s been wandering now for many years, never stopping in one place for too long, never having a lasting relationship and, though he has a terrible fear of loss, he would like nothing more than to find himself a good wife and settle down. Adrian certainly has issues, mainly with commitment, which is the main thing that is holding him back from maintaining last relationships with women. Thirty one is quite an old age for a bachelor in Tamriel, certainly in Cyrodil and a nagging fear that Adrian possesses is that he will run out of time and die on the road, unloved and alone.

Children are (and you’ll know this if you’ve read the story up to now) Adrian’s soft spot. Due to his grievous loss at such a young age he has an acute empathy with the suffering of children and would like nothing more than to take in all the orphans in Honourhall. The only thing stopping Adrian from adopting is that his lifestyle is not exactly ideal to bring up a child. Perhaps one day he’ll get all he wishes for and settle down with a family but, for now at least, that must remain a bittersweet dream for those long nights round the fire.

 

Adrian as Dragonborn

It’s strange doing this alternate universe dealio when you have to imagine your subject as a hero and not the other way around, I find it quite difficult to imagine Adrian as a legendary warrior but hopefully that just means I know him too well to. In terms of how he would handle suddenly discovering he is Dragonborn, I think he would absolutely despise the attention for starters. Once upon a time he had ambitions to become a noble warrior, reknowned for his courage and honour just like his father, but that was crushed upon that fateful night in 4E 180. When his father disappeared so did the young boy with a blunt training sword and fancies of chivalry and brave deeds, in his stead came a sullen, careless teenager and then a world-weary nomad. If the boy Adrian found he was Dragonborn he would be delighted, if the man found out he would reject it and all the fame and fortune that comes along with it.

 

 

 

28 Days…: Day 1 – General Bio

This is the first in a series of 28 daily (hopefully) posts, it’s simply a general bio of Adrian, along with a few tidbits thrown in for good measure. It really helped me to actually confirm some details of my character, his age and date of birth for example and I hope it allows you a further glimpse into Adrian’s life and character. There is a minor Day XI spoiler in the “friends/acquaintances” section at the bottom of the post, but I assume that, if you’re reading this, then you’ve read Day XI. If not, why not?! Again, if you have any questions about Adrian or character prompts, either comment below or email them to me at danny_clarke1@hotmail.com.

Full name: Adrian Caro
Race: Imperial
Date of Birth:  1st Sun’s Dawn 4E 170
Age: 31

City or town of birth: Cheydinhal.
Languages spoken:  Cyrodilic.
Job/work : Huntsman primarily, although he also does odd jobs to supplement.
Factions:  None as of yet, although he does consider himself a loyal subject of the Empire still.
Skills: Archery, tanning, fairly intelligent and well-spoken.

Current Residence:  Faendal’s House, Riverwood.

Height: 5’10”

Face: A fairly typical Imperial, not altogether displeasing to look upon, although a little rough round the edges, as one might expect of a man who’s live most of his life travelling. Could do with smiling a little more often.
Figure/build: Lean and strong.  

Eye color:  Brown.
Skin color: White.
Tattoos: None.

Scars:  Two on his left cheek, the smaller one from a particularly spirited session in the practice yard with his father and the larger I shan’t divulge just yet.
Piercings:  None, an nasty infection that occurred when he was younger and his childhood Redguard friend Sael offered to do it for free has entirely put him off the idea.
Preferred style of clothing: Plain furs that keep him warm when he’s out in the wilderness and a comfortable jacket and trousers for when he retires with a book by the fire. 

Personality: Warm and kind, he believes strongly in common decency and always tries to do what he thinks is right, even if it doesn’t always turn out that way. Despite his generally genial nature however, when a subject that he is passionate about is involved e.g. the Empire or Talos worship, he has been known to act somewhat rashly and ill-tempered, which most deem to be quite out-of-character for him. 

Likes:  Exploration (particularly of the countryside), Nord ale, reading, singing a good hunting song, cooking and last but certainly not least enjoying a tankard of ale in a Skyrim tavern and all the banter that comes with it.
Dislikes:  The Thalmor (of course), Emperor Titus Mede II, cunning and manipulativeness, excessive bureaucracy.
Fears/phobias: The Thalmor (of course), commitment, staying in one place for too long, horkers. 

Parents: Mariana and Septimus Caro, both presumed deceased. 

Sibling:  None.

Significant other/s:  At the present he is “seeing” Ysolda of Whiterun, although he hasn’t had the best of luck with women in the past and is determined to take this relationship slowly lest he be stung again.
Friends/Acquaintances:  His closest friend at present is Faendal of Riverwood, a natural friendship as they share the same interests and general outlook on life. Faendal is definitely the ‘nerd’ of the duo, if that is the best term. He has lived in comparative solitude for his entire life and therefore lacks Adrian’s social ability. An example of this is when they came across the Hot Springs Camp at Eastmarch, Adrian jumped straight in and got along well (a little too well perhaps) with its inhabitants, whereas Faendal was a lot more aloof, preferring to sit out and even managing to butt heads with someone within hours of meeting. They strike a good balance though and I can see them being fast friends for a long while yet.

28 Days of Character Development

Hello again! It’s been a little while since my last post, I’ve been struggling since then with much the same things as I’ve already posted about and don’t feel the need to go on about again. My next chapter is progressing slowly but steadily to completion and I hope to have it up in a week or less, but don’t quote me on that. In the meantime I’ve decided to join my fellow blogger Elspeth on a wee challenge.

Basically you, my most treasured reader, send me a character prompt i.e. a question about Adrian (his background, his motivations, hypotheticals even) and I will answer one a day for each day of February. Now I’m going to be doing the same prompts as Elspeth and vice versa so be sure to check out her most excellent blog if you aren’t already an avid reader (we share quite a few readers I believe) at this link that follows that is definitely a link even though this layout doesn’t highlight them in any way!

Elspeth Aurilie

This challenge will doubtless help to improve my blog as well as, hopefully, throw up some interesting tidbits about Adrian so do either comment or drop me an email if you’re shy ;] at danny_clarke1@hotmail.com.

This should be…interesting.

Edit: It seems that I shall be joined in this endeavour by two more fellow bloggers, Pyrelle: author of The Misadventures of Zander and Kit: author of An Orc’s Life. Both fantastic writers that I enjoy very much and I can’t wait to see the outcome!

A New Year, A New Start etc…

2012 hasn’t been a particularly eventful year in my life, I finished my first year of university with a high grade but apart from that, not much has happened. For this blog however, 2012 has practically been the making of it. I published my first post on the 31st October 2011, a short piece of my mind on AI you can read here, if you’re curious. This blog didn’t truly kick off until the 13th August though, the day of the first ever ‘A Nomad in Skyrim’ post. Before that date I had 225 views, since then I’ve had 1526!! I’ve already waxed lyrical about my inspirations and motivations in my “One Thousand and Counting” post. This post, on the other hand, is all about improvement which is why I would very much like your help.

I’m having a lot of fun writing about what Adrian gets up to in Skyrim and, I believe at least, that the quality of the posts have improved by and large since the stories inception. There are a couple of things that I’d like to seek a reader’s opinion on however, such as…

  • The posts have increased considerably in length, Day I was under 1000 words while Day XII was 3000! Is this a good thing, in terms of readability and story?
  • What do you think of the writing style in general?
  • Are there any possible improvements you would suggest to either the format of the blog or the content itself?

Even if you’ve only dropped in and read one or two posts, feel free to leave a comment, don’t be too nasty though or I may cry (inside).

Besides all that, I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year and a rich and bountiful 2013!

Adantur out.

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day XII

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.

“We’ve ran out of salt!” I was up bright and early this morning to cook breakfast,
Faendal lay softly snoring in his bedroll as I searched my pack for food. “Hey,
wake up!” He rolled over and over for about five minutes, making all manner of
moans and groans before finally sitting up, bleary eyed. “There’s some in my…”
He stopped to let out a gaping yawn. “…bag.”
“Why are you so tired anyway? It’s not like you to still be abed at this hour.”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Yesterday was a long one, I suppose my fatigue
simply caught up with me.”

Faendal was correct of course, what with our confrontations with the Thalmor
and the bandits, not to mention all the walking we did besides, yesterday had
been very long indeed. I retrieved the salt pile from his bag. “This is the last
one.” I said, chucking it into the cooking pot with a venison chop.
“Oh no! I was sure I had packed more than that!”
“Not to worry,” I replied. “I bought some cooked food from the inn before we
set out, how does a honey nut treat sound for breakfast?”
“Spectacular,” he replied, rather dryly for my liking.
“Just get it ate,” I chuckled, dishing it out and taking a seat next to the
dying embers of the fire.

We broke our fast in silence but, as we were packing away the tent I asked.
“Faendal, why IS salt so scarce in Skyrim? Ever since I arrived here the traders
have never stocked more than a couple of piles.”
“It’s the war of course,” he replied. “Skyrim imports its salt from across the
Empire, through ports in Windhelm, Solitude and Dawnstar. Of course, when the
civil war broke out the rest of the Empire ceased all trade with those towns
under Stormcloak control, officially speaking anyway, leaving only Solitude.”
“Ah, the war, I thought as much. Well we’ll just have to hope we come across
someone who DOES have some, I have a leg of goat and a venison chop but apart
from that we’re down to eating leeks and raw potatos.” The tent all packed up,
we left the hot springs behind and headed east into the heart of Eastmarch, my
mind full of wonderment at all the salt just waiting to be found far to the
north in Solitude.

They have a guard chicken too! Must be a Nord thing.

They have a guard chicken too! Must be a Nord thing.

It was a gloomy, overcast morning. It had rained a little overnight, adding an
extra dampness to the marsh that it didn’t need. We kept our eyes open for game
but it as quiet as the grave, nought stirred but the wind in the reeds. “Over
there!” Faendal pointed, not at an animal, but at a house. A house of stone bricks
with a thatched roof in typical rustic Nord style. It wasn’t a de-tour from our
destination and we were in need of supplies so we headed over at once. A camp
site was adjacent to the house as well as the entrance to a mine, a handful of
people sat around the camp-fire, each with a pick-axe on their belt. “Hail!”
I cried, approaching. “Hail!” A Nord woman returned my greeting, a blonde with
a grimy face from the mine. “What brings you to Darkwater Crossing?”
“We were just passing on our way to Eastmarch,” I replied.
“Ah, hunters I take it?” She gestured at the bows on our backs.
“Aye, Adrian, pleased to meet you, this is Faendal.”

"I used to be an adventurer like you then I...got married."

“I used to be an adventurer like you then I…got married.”

We shook hands all three and the woman replied. “Anneke Crag-Jumper, former
adventurer, I own this mine along with my husband Verner.” She gestured towards
the other two around the fire, a little Nord girl and her mother. “Hrefna and
her mother Tormir live here too.” The girl greeted us enthusiastically, the
mother less so. “We are short on salt,” Faendal began. “Do you have any surplus
to sell to us, perchance?”
“I’m afraid not,” Anneke replied. “The war has affected us in more ways than one,
we have none to spare.” As she finished a pair of Stormcloak soldiers came into
view, eyeing us suspiciously. “Very well, we’ll be on our way.”

“Actually!” We had not gone five yards when Anneke called us back. “I have a
small issue that needs resolving, do so and I’m sure I can spare what few supplies
we have.” Me and Faendal gave each other a quick look. “Go on.”
“Well I’d do it myself but my husband won’t let me, says it’s too dangerous.
A gang of bandits has been causing trouble for us recently, stealing food and
weapons, they even managed to pluck up the courage to ambush a trade caravan
the other week. Luckily it was on its way TO and not FROM the mine, the pillocks
got nothing!” She laughed raucously at this and we joined in, before Faendal asked.
“Why haven’t those Stormcloaks dealt with it?”
“Them?!” Anneke cried. “Jarl Ulfric sent them to stop the bandits but they couldn’t
catch a cold!”

We conferred momentarily but we both knew the answer already. “I’m sorry Anneke
but the answer has to be no, we are no adventurers and we’ve already had our
share of bandit trouble on this trip.” She looked disappointed but waved us off
amiably nonetheless, the Stormcloak soldiers less so. When we were out of earshot
I said to Faendal. “Did you see the child?!”
“Yes, what about her?”
“The pickaxe at her belt, the soot about her person, she was working in that mine!”
“Ah,” Faendal sighed knowingly. “It is commonplace in the poorer parts of Skyrim
unfortunately, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.” His words offered scant
consolation, the image of the little girl toiling away in a dark mine would
not leave my mind.

And the award for most negligent mother goes to...

And the award for most negligent mother goes to…

An hour or so of walking later we finally spotted an animal, a goat was sat
still on a small rise about thirty yards away, I nocked an arrow and took aim.
“Wait!” Faendal put his hand on my bow.
“Faendal? What do your Elf eyes see?” He squinted at the animal.
“It’s a dog!” Surprised, we went to investigate, finding that it was indeed a
rather scruffy looking dog. It had long, grey fur and a rather sorrowful expression.
It did not spook at our arrival and flee, rather it sat in front of me and looked
up with big, mournful eyes. “It’s probably a stray, some bandit’s mutt,” Faendal
said. I reached a tentative hand out to stroke it. “Be careful,” he warned.

I'm surprised Anneke hasn't strapped a pickaxe to you and sent you down the mines!

I’m surprised Anneke hasn’t strapped a pickaxe to you and sent you down the mines!

There was no need for caution, in fact the dog was rather happy to be petted
and wagged its tail energetically. “Aww, can we keep it?!” It was a playful
dog, almost knocking me over when I knelt to take a closer look. Faendal chuckled.
“I suppose so, it’ll need a name to respond to though. We can’t have it spooking
game in the field.” I looked under it. “Well it’s a dog so…Timothy?”
“It’s as good a name as any, where did you pluck that from?” Faendal asked.
“It was the name of my father’s old horse, a big black stallion he was, as fearsome
as any I ever laid eyes on, but playful too. He was my father’s pride and joy,
he’s probably seating the bony arse of some Thalmor justiciar by now…”
A short silence followed, in which I petted a grateful Timothy, Faendal eventually
broke it. “Timothy it is!”

Timothy proved to be well trained, he bounced along at my side as we ventured
further north into the heart of Eastmarch, his tongue hanging out of his mouth
all the while. As we averted our course to avoid a rather large fort however,
he bolted, charging headlong up a nearby hill after seemingly picking up a scent.
I gave chase, Faendal not far behind, wondering what on Nirn he could be chasing.
I soon found out…

As we gained the top of the hill a colossal brown bear came into view. On it’s
hind legs it roared, resounding throughout the plains as Timothy dashed up the
hill towards it. At the feet of the bear was a deer, struggling to stagger away
from the beast, only to have its life dashed away with one fell swing. “Timothy!”
I cried, trying to distract the mutt before it was noticed, too late. Dog and
bear clashed in a flurry of teeth and claws. The considerably smaller form of
Timothy darting in to tear a chunk from the larger before darting out again to
avoid a lethal blow. I unbuckled my shield as I joined the fray, smashing it
into the the bear’s back. It may as well have been a brick wall for all
I moved it, such was its bulk. The bear shifted its attention to me, bringing
down a monumental paw on my shield, sending shockwaves down my arm. I hacked
at its side but, due to the ferocious rapidity of its blows, could not land one
of my own.

As my shield arm began to falter and my knees began to sag under the sheer weight
of the bears attacks, Faendal and Timothy joined the action. An arrow thudded
into the bears neck and teeth closed around its leg. Taking advantage of the
sudden respite I smashed its face with my shield and then sliced open its
throat with my steel, spilling its lifeblood on the ground. Exhausted, I surveyed
the evidence of the carnage. The bear and its victim lay dead on the ground,
Timothy stood over, still growling. Blood was everywhere, on my sword, in a
red pool about the dead, Timothy was covered in it. My first thought was to
scold him for running off, for bringing danger down on all of us, but I had
not the energy to do so. Faendal was already busy skinning the animals, “Waste not, want not“.

Dead bear, angry dog

Dead bear, angry dog

The rest of our trip was less eventful but no less fruitful, the sodden plains
of Eastmarch proved to be amongst the most bountiful lands I have ever hunted.
Timothy proved to be a capable hunting dog too, managing to rein in his aggression
and only lunging in for the kill when our prey was weakened and in close
proximity. He stayed when I told him to stay, likewise when told to follow, such
was his training that me and Faendal decided he must have been the companion
of some fallen hunter or adventurer.

Good night, deer friends. (My apologies)

Good night, deer friends. (My apologies)

“Shh! Look, over there!” Belly down in the mud, we had just sighted a pair of
deer drinking from a watering hole. They were completely oblivious to the world
and therefore completely vulnerable to attack. We both drew back an arrow and
I waited for Faendal’s signal to release, having picked the deer on the left
as my target. “Release!” Our arrows flew, mine flying low and piercing the deer’s
leg and Faendal’s soaring true and thudding into his deer’s neck. “Damn it!”
I said. “Timothy nudged me!”

“Yeah, yeah. Just help me get mine skinned and bagged.” Faendal replied, the
most smug expression on his face. His prize taken care of, we were now up to
three deer and a goat in a single afternoon. Faendal had taken all but one of
them down, a bear had done for the other and he would not let me forget it…
An opportunity for redemption came swiftly however, as I soon spied a solitary
deer, grazing on a patch of moss. “This one is mine.” I said, just as Faendal
raised his bow. “It’s all yours.” I flexed my wrists and neck, preparing myself
for what must surely be my first kill of the day. I stuck a few arrows in the
ground before me, carefully selecting one based on the quality of its feathers
and sharpness of point. Satisfied with my missile, I nocked it on the string and
pulled back, staring down its length at my prey.

The deer was defenceless enough, blissfully unaware of our existence as it grazed
happily, but it was a fair distance away. In fact, I could barely see it, only
when I squinted could I get a half-decent look at my prey. With Faendal and Timothy
looking on with bated breath I sucked in a breath and released, watching my
arrow soar over the plain towards its target.

Yeah....

Yeah….

It struck the deer in the hind-quarters and rendered the animal completely disabled,
Timothy dashed across and finished it off by tearing out its throat. “Not bad,”
said Faendal. “Although you took your sweet time. You should not think so much,
the thinking comes in tracking the animal, it has no place in the kill. You must
trust your instinct Adrian, as you did with the fox on the road yesterday.”
His words of advice taken on board, we skinned our latest quarry and sat for a
rest, the days hunting had been long and wearisome. When I went into my pack
for something to eat I remembered our salt shortage. “We’re going to have to
find a merchant of some sort,” I said. A sudden downpour accompanied my words,
turning to a steady stream. Faendal sighed heavily. “We’ll have to go to Windhelm,
it’s the closest city.” Soaked with rain and staring at all our raw meat hungrily,
I could not but agree.

The pouring rain of Eastmarch was replaced with falling snow as we ventured
north to Windhelm, our sodden furs may as well have been of paper for all the
insulation they provided. The land was a expansive white canvas, pristine and
perfect. The city itself looked eerily magnificent in the blizzard, black stone
towers loomed over all in the night. Its guards nodded us through the gates,
huddled over against the biting wind they seemed not to care about our business.
As we entered the city and escaped from the bitter wind outside, we encountered
something that made us want to turn round and head straight back.

Not the most welcoming of gates, darkly beautiful nonetheless.

Not the most welcoming of gates, darkly beautiful nonetheless.

“You come here where you’re not wanted, you eat our food, you pollute our city
with your stink and you refuse to help the Stormcloaks!” A beggar and a warrior,
both of them Nords, were shouting at a Dunmer woman in the street. “But we haven’t
taken a side because it’s not our fight!” The Dunmer replied, clearly distressed
by the confrontation. “Hey, maybe the reasons these grey-skins don’t help in
the war is because they’re Imperial spies!” The beggar added viciously, pointing
at the woman. “Imperial spies? You can not be serious!” She was practically
screaming at this point, incredulous in the face of the Nord’s blind hate. The
warrior gripped his mace menacingly. “Maybe, we’ll pay you a visit tonight, little
spy. We got ways of finding out what you really are…”

“ENOUGH!” Faendal had drawn his dagger and stepped in front of the Dunmer, his
eyes blazed and his hands shook with anger. The beggar bolted at the sight of
steel, the warrior drew his mace. “Piss off Bosmer, this isn’t none of your
business!”
“When an innocent is harassed and threated with death in the streets before me,
it bloody well IS my business!” It was a standoff, the two of them faced each
other in the light of the evening moon, clutching their weapons and with emnity
etched upon every facet of their appearance.

“Rolff! That’s enough, put down your mace and move along.” The two guardsmen on
the gate stepped in to put an end to the ugly scene. “And you Suvaris, move
along now.” Rolff put away his mace and backed away, shouting insults and obscenities
all the while. Suvaris left quietly but not before addressing us. “You’ve come
to the wrong place, Windhelm is no place for people like yourselves, only
bastards like Rolff.” For a few moments after the confrontation nobody moved,
Faendal stood motionless with his dagger still drawn, I stood speechless with
Timothy at my side. Eventually the guard who had dismissed Rolff said.
“You’ll have to excuse Rolff, he get’s a little…over-exuberant sometimes.
Put your dagger away traveller, we want no more trouble on our streets.”

I would have protested most vehemently had my tongue not been disabled from
witnessing the previous scene. Over-exuberant?! If that was over-exuberant I
would love to see what passes for an actual crime here in Windhelm! With that
the guards left us alone in the street. “Come on,” I said, clutching Faendal’s
arm. “Candlehearth Hall is just ahead, let’s get a pint.” The toasty warmth
of the inn was not lost on me, even after the night’s events, stepping into
it felt simply heavenly. I ushered Faendal upstairs into what seemed to be
the main seating area and ordered a couple of meads and a room for the night.
Faendal looked lost in thought when I set down his mead before him, he gazed
deep into the fire. I did not wish to disturb him so we sat before the fire
for an hour or so, drinking mead in silence. After a while I began to yawn and
decided to leave him to his ponderance, as I began to leave he spoke quietly.

“I’m staying here Adrian, for a few days at least, possibly more. There is work
to be done in Windhelm. I’ll understand if you wish to leave.” I must admit he
took me aback slightly, having not spoken for hours before then but, just as
his mind was made up, so was mine. “You do whatever you have to,” I told him.
“I’ll wait for you.” He relinquished his gaze from the flames for the first time
in what seemed an age, turning to look at me he said. “Thank you.”

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day XI 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.

The landscape changed dramatically as we journeyed east along the White River,
the gentle plains of Whiterun making way for dense green forests and steep
snow-capped mountains. I couldn’t decide which was more picturesque, Faendal seemed
to have no trouble though. As we got closer to our destination and the forestry
loomed over us on all sides, his eyes grew large and he gazed all around him,
clearly in love with his surroundings. “Riverwood is wonderful and safe, but
nothing beats the majesty of the forest,” he said. I found it difficult to
disagree.

The image speaks for itself.

The image speaks for itself.

It had been a couple of hours since we struck the tent and moved on and our throats
were raw from singing, Faendal taught me a couple of Bosmeri folk songs he liked
to sing and I returned the favour. We ended on a booming rendition of Ragnar
the Red, frightening birds from their nests for miles around. “You have an
excellent voice,” I said, his resounding tenor sounded as though it had been
formally trained. “Thank you, my mother was a choirmaster.” I’m learning
something new about Faendal everyday but I still don’t feel as though I know
the man, not really. I decided then to dig a little deeper, if I could, into
his past later on around the camp fire.

Soon after we came to the fork in the road, one path crossing the river north
towards Windhelm, the other following the river south. Either route would lead
us to Eastwatch, but we decided to head south away from Windhelm, wanting to
avoid the base of the rebels and any dangers that it may present. As we ventured
south the trees grew thicker, carpeting the mountains, transforming the formerly
harsh landscape into a verdant surround. We passed through in complete silence,
neither of us wishing to disturb the soft tranquility of the forest, the only
sounds were the low buzzing of insects in the air and the gentle trickling of
the White River at our side.

A large stone building came into view, it seemed to be a fort of some kind.
Knowing our previous luck with strange buildings we decided to skirt around it,
crouch-walking all the way.

Aren't any of these forts inhabited by soldiers?!

Aren’t any of these forts inhabited by soldiers?!

“Who’s there?!!” We were almost past the fort when a black-cloaked figure on
patrol cried out. Crouching behind a large boulder we waited, each step the
guard took seemingly getting louder and louder. His shadow hung over us, such
was his proximity, I exchanged nervous glances with Faendal and gripped the hilt
of my sword. Thankfully it was not necessary, the guard dismissed the sound as
an animal in the undergrowth and moved away, allowing us to sneak past the fort
undetected.

Softly, softly, evadey, fortey

Softly, softly, evadey, fortey

“That was close,” Faendal said. “They looked like necromancers as well, I wouldn’t
like to cross them.”
“Necromancy gives me the creeps,” I replied. “I’ve heard things about them,
disturbing things, things that give me the shivers. Thankfully I’ve never had
the misfortune to meet one, not knowingly anyway.”
“They generally keep to themselves around here, carrying out their pernicious
experiments in secret. Reports of missing people are common in necromancy
hotspots, what fate they suffer I shudder to think.”

Events took a somewhat more positive turn soon after when we discovered the
monumental skeletal remains of what seemed to be a mammoth. Faendal could hardly
contain his enthusiasm at witnessing this macabre artifact, he knelt over it and
began to examine it closely. “You know what this means, we are practically at
Eastwatch! This is just the beginning of the wildlife we shall witness here,
I’m hoping to spy a sabre cat myself, perhaps even get one of their extended
canine teeth.” I was excited at finally arriving at our hunting grounds, but
images of sabre-sharp teeth provoked little encouragement.

I hope it was a human hunter that killed this thing

I hope it was a human hunter that killed this thing

The atmosphere in these parts differed from Whiterun, a thin mist hung in the
air, obscuring the low-hanging branches, lending a mysterious almost magical
feel to the place. We were off-road now, cutting across boggy marsh-land, Faendal
leading the way.

A giant Skyrim jacuzzi, jackpot!

A giant Skyrim jacuzzi, jackpot!

It was getting dark, almost time for us to stop, when we crested
a rise and came across one of the most delightful sights I’ve yet to see in
Skyrim. Hot springs spewed water from the earth, steam billowing up into the
evening sky, glowing insects floated barely visible in the mist and a tent was
pitched in the middle of it all. “Look,” I whispered. “Over there. There are
people sat in the springs.”
“They are probably hunters,” Faendal replied. “Taking advantage of the warm pools
the springs produce to relax after a days work.” A dip in a hot pool sounded
just the thing I needed after the days hardships. I sprang eagerly ahead, Faendal
struggling to keep up, when I came across a most enchanting sight.

How you doing?

How you doing?

A woman lay, half naked, in the nearest hot pool. She appeared to be a Nord but
her dark skin told a different story, her largely exposed body was slender, her
legs long and the expression on her face was one of pleasant surprise. Silence
reigned momentarily as I could not find the words to say, Faendal seemed to suffer
likewise. “Why hello there strangers, hunters eh?” She spoke slowly, too relaxed
to be stirred by our sudden arrival. “Err…yes, yes. How did you know?” I spluttered
in reply. “The bows on your back give you away, just a little.” She smiled widely,
clearly amused by our surprise at finding a half-naked, rather attractive woman
out in the wilderness. “What are your names?”
“I’m Adrian, this is Faendal.” I replied, doing my level best to look her in the
eyes.

“Gunnar, Siona, look what I found!” She shouted, sauntering over to a nearby
pool. “Ah, fellow hunters! Come join us, the water’s good!” Gunnar beckoned us
over, a blonde rather scruffy-looking Nord. “Er…no thanks,” Faendal replied.
“I’d rather keep my clothes on.”
The Redguard that was sat next to him added “It’s rare to meet travellers round
these parts nowadays, pleased to meet you. I’m Siona, this is Gunnar and you’ve
already met Mariah.” Mariah smiled, a mischievous smile I thought, but not altogether
unappealing. “Are you sure you won’t join us? What about you Imperial?” She turned
her attention to me. “Care to test the water?”

The pool looked so inviting that I needed no second invitation, whipping off
my furs, I was in before they hit the ground. Gunnar didn’t lie, the water really
was good. As I sank into the pool it enveloped me, relaxing my aching
muscles and enducing a tranquility such as I have never before known. “Wow, I
have never bathed in a hot spring before.” My voice grew slow and vacant, as
though I were in a trance of some sort. “Why do you think we hunt around here?!”
Gunnar said. “You won’t find the like of these in the whole of Skyrim!”

“So, what brings you to Eastwatch?” Siona asked, I was so relaxed that I barely
heard her speak. “I think they’re hunters Siona,” Mariah piped in, recieving
a cold look in return. Faendal chuckled uneasily. “We are on a hunting trip,
from Whiterun.”
“Whiterun eh?” Gunnar scoffed loudly. Siona rolled her eyes, Mariah sighed softly,
but audibly. “Yes, Whiterun…why?”
“I mean you no offense but I wouldn’t give that milk-drinker, Jarl Balgruuf, the
time of day!” Gunnar was sat up now, leaning forward as if to invite Faendal’s
response and he didn’t disappoint. “I suppose this is a reference to the Jarl’s
stance on the civil war?” His voice was a little more level than the Nord’s, but
I could see he was becoming agitated. “You suppose right!” Gunnar replied.
“That milk-drinker sits on the fence, currying favour with the Empire. A true
Nord would have his country’s best interests at heart, a Nord like Ulfric
Stormcloak!”
“The country’s best interests? What does Ulfric know of Skyrim’s best interests?
Was it in the country’s best interests to, for example, slay its High King?”

I watched on as the debate grew louder and more heated, my head turning back
and forth as the contestants took turns to make their point. “Psst, Adrian.”
Mariah was whispering in my ear. “Want to leave these to it?” She smiled again,
that same smile as before. I found myself following her, despite actually
wanting to hear what Faendal and Gunnar had to say. “I tire of Gunnar’s preaching,”
Mariah said, lying down in a pool away from the others. “If he loves Ulfric
Stormcloak so much he should go ahead and join him.” I lay down next to her,
gazing up at a star-filled sky.

I could lie here forever

I could lie here forever

“Why do you travel with him if he irks you so?” I asked. She sighed deeply.
“Hunting is my life and a hunter needs companions, Gunnar is handy with a
blade and knows this land like the back of his hand. How about you and Faendal,
you been together long?”
“No we haven’t, I’ve not been in Skyrim long,” I replied.”I’m a bit of a wanderer
to tell the truth.”
“The lone wanderer, sounds very romantic,” she said.
“It sounds more than it is,” I chuckled. “No, it can get terribly lonely at
times.”

We lay there for a while, basking in the heat of the spring, staring lazily up
at the stars. We talked at length of the hunter’s life, of Skyrim and of home.
“Do you have a dream Adrian?” she asked.
“I have dreams, all the time.”
“Not dreams,” she giggled. “A dream! Something or someone you aspire to do or to
be!” My thoughts went immediately to my father.
“I had one, once. It’s impossible now though, I left it behind in Cyrodil, along
with everything else.”
“I am sorry.” A moments silence passed by, neither of us knowing quite what to
say next, until I said.

“What about yourself? Is it your lifelong dream to hunt the plains of Skyrim,
Gunnar at your side?” She smiled ruthfully and replied.
“No, I can’t say it is. It sounds more like my father’s to be honest.”
I waited patiently and she began to speak tentatively of her childhood. “He is
a proud Nord my father, a pillar of the community up in Windhelm. A brave huntsman,
no one ever had a cross word to say of him. My mother, a fiery Redguard, she
sailed the seas with a merchant ship, fending off pirates and exploring distant
lands, how he got her to settle down I’ll never know. It was difficult growing
up in Windhelm, particularly with race being a sensitive subject there even now.”

The book I read of Faendal’s, “Scourge of the Gray Quarter”, sprang to mind and
I nodded. “I wanted and still want so desperately to follow in my mother’s footsteps,
to sail the seas for a living, perhaps one day even have my own ship. Father
wouldn’t hear of it, he dismissed the idea out of hand and his temper flared
whenever the subject came up thereafter.” She looked away, suddenly finding
interest in a nearby shrub. “You know I’ve never set foot on a ship in my life.”
I told her, trying to take her mind off it. “You haven’t?!” She gasped. “Oh it’s
the greatest feeling there is. The boards beneath your feet, the smell of fresh
sea air, the tranquility of the open ocean, nothing compares to it!”

“Why don’t you do it then?” I asked her. “You aren’t a little girl anymore,
you shouldn’t let your father influence you so.”
“But…I don’t know.”
“Do you want to wander Skyrim all your life with Gunnar?! Life is too short to
do what someone else wishes you to do.”
“You’re right, of course,” she smiled and shifted slightly closer. It was only
then that I fully noticed her. Her soft black hair, her lithe yet generous form,
the smooth dark perfection of her skin.

Attacked by bandits in the morning, half-naked with a girl at night. Things are looking up!

Attacked by bandits in the morning, half-naked with a girl at night. Things are looking up!

She kissed me, slowly and sensually. I hesitated at first, thoughts
of Ysolda giving me pangs of guilt, but not for long. Our hands wandered,
grasping at each other’s bodies greedily as the others argued on, oblivious to
our lust…

“You’re welcome back any time!” Gunnar called, waving us off, Siona echoing
his sentiment. Mariah stood behind them silently, staring into my eyes as I
turned to follow Faendal. “I don’t think we’ll be going back there anytime soon.”
Faendal said as we looked for a likely place to camp for the night. “That Nord
doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut! What were you and Mariah talking
about?”
“Oh, nothing, just hunting and things…” I must have blushed furiously as he
didn’t believe a word. “You didn’t?! You crafty beggar!”
“You just help me get this tent set up,” I replied, hoping in vain to deflect
his inevitable enquiries.

To my surprise he asked no more questions and we finished a supper of potato
soup and settled down in front of the fire. “I do feel guilty you know Faendal.”
I found myself saying shortly after. “What about Ysolda?”
“What about her?” he replied. “You’ve been out for one drink, you aren’t married!”
Faendal’s attitude surprised me, I was expecting a telling off, a disapproving
look at least but he seemed quite at ease with the whole situation. “I suppose
you’re right, I do like her, a lot actually, but Mariah…”
“I understand,” he said. “Come on, let’s get some sleep, it has been a long
day and we have an equally tasking one ahead of us.”

I came on this trip looking to get away from women for a little while, to clear
my head as it were, I’ve done a poor job of that thus far! I have succeeded only
to add guilt to the long and exhausting list of feelings I am trying my damndest
to ignore. Faendal was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow and I go now
to join him, thoughts of Ysolda and Mariah not withstanding, perhaps I’ll have
better luck clearing my head tomorrow…

 

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day XI pt.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.

I awoke early this morning, evidently not early enough however as Faendal had
already left, presumably to inform Hod of his coming absence from the lumber
mill. It was still full dark when I rose bleary-eyed and pulled on my furs.
First order of the day was breakfast and after my rather profitable hunt outside
Whiterun I decided to cook up a succulent venison chop. As I made to add the
meat to the pot however, I discovered that I had not a single salt pile to hand.
Bemoaning Skyrim’s apparent salt shortage and not wanting to eat tasteless mush,
I decided to nip to the Sleeping Giant to buy some.

No one about the streets but the local chicken. who's IS that chicken?!

No one about the streets but the local chicken. who’s IS that chicken?!

It must have been very early indeed as not a soul could be spied in the streets
of Riverwood, even Alvor was yet to rise. The empty streets and the half-light of
dawn gave Riverwood an eerie feel, a sharp contrast to the pastoral delight of
the day. Some say the Imperial City never sleeps and apparently the same can
be said of Skyrim’s alcoholics. “It’s my favourite drinking buddy, let’s
have some mead!” It can’t have been six in the morning when I was greeted thus
upon entering the Sleeping Giant, incredulous, I declined as politely as I
could manage and proceeded to the bar.

By the Nine Embry, go home! Or...is this your home?

By the Nine Embry, go home! Or…is this your home?

I’m not sure whether Orgnar is a morning person or not, his countenance being
much the same as usual, but he greeted me gruffly all the same. The Sleeping Giant’s
salt supply was much as I thought, scarce. I bought up his entire stock of two
salt piles, which sounds like a lot but really isn’t and a loaf of bread for the
road. Either I was in there longer than I thought or it was on the cusp of dawn
anyway because, when I emerged from the warm dark of the Sleeping Giant, it was
glorious daylight outside. The village made for a much likelier picture then,
brilliant sunshine bouncing off the lush green meadows, a child running in the
street and Alvor hailing me jovially from his forge. Indeed I was in high spirits
at that point, the upcoming trip was much anticipated, as was my now belated
breakfast. I added a pile of salt to the pot and cooked myself a juicy venison
steak, a little extravagant for breakfast I concede, but I was in a fine mood
and fancied food to match.

My appetite sated, I packed the last of my possessions and left to find Faendal,
locking the door behind me. The only place I could think that he’d be was the
mill but, upon my arrival, the mill was deserted. Perplexed I wandered around
the site, checking every corner for my companion. When I’d exhausted the search
of the mill and found no trace of the Bosmer I left feeling a little deflated,
where could he have gone? No sooner had I left the mill however I saw him out
of the corner of my eye, coming through the village gate to the south. “Hail!
Where on Nirn have you been?” I cried, meeting him halfway, he appeared to be
out of breath. “I’ve just been on my morning hunt,” he replied between deep
breaths. “I was THIS close to bagging a handsome deer, I’d shot it in the leg
and thought I could finish the job up close with my dagger, little bugger was
still fairly spritely however…”

The image of Faendal chasing a wounded deer waving a dagger made me laugh and,
though exhausted from the chase, he joined in heartily. “No matter friend,” I
said. “I have some surplus venison and a nice rabbit joint from my hunting
around Whiterun that should tide us over for a day or two.” With food sorted
and my companion found, we set off north towards Whiterun. Due largely to us
being in high spirits and partially to Faendal’s surprisingly long stride, we
gained sight of Whiterun rather quicker than usual. At the crossroads in the mouth
of Riverwood’s valley a dreadful sight met our eyes, a wretched looking Nord
being led down the road by none other than the Thalmor. Two armoured guards
surrounded the prisoner, leading the helpless man like an animal to the slaughter.
Their garb was sumptuous, as befit a Justiciar and his party, black robes with
golden trim. Their finery belied their true nature, their faces however, did not.

The Thalmor...

The Thalmor…

The Justiciar at the head of the column strode down the road as though she owned
it. Her dark eyes surveyed me and Faendal, full of suspicion and zealous hate.
Faendal hailed her curtly, I just stood and stared, returning her glare with
added loathing. The sight of them brought back too many raw memories and the
sight of the miserable Nord, a prisoner only because of his personal beliefs,
made me want to draw my sword and attack even though it would more than likely
spell my doom. The Justiciar returned Faendal’s greeting equally coldly and
they exchanged words in a stilted fashion, Faendal clearly hating every second
of it. I could hardly bear to look at her never mind hear what they were saying,
I could not take my eyes off the prisoner, his eyes met mine briefly, full of
sorrow, fresh tears ran down his face. My hand moved instinctually to the hilt
of my sword.

“Anyway, we had best be going on,” I heard Faendal say, emerging from my reverie.
“Tell me, Imperial,” the Justiciar turned her attention to me. “Do you believe
it is right to worship a man?” Her accusing eyes pierced me like a knife through
butter, cutting through my defences straight to my heart. It took me a moment
but I answered as coolly as I could. “Of course not.” My grip tightened, Faendal
stirred nervously. “We…we should go,” he said, turning to leave.
“Stay.” The Justiciar snapped, stopping him in his tracks. “I am not entirely
convinced and…” As quick as lightning she drew her dagger, followed by the
sound of weapons being drawn as her guards did likewise. “Take your hand from
your weapon!” She shouted, brandishing her dagger, eyes gleaming in anticipation.
“Adrian, do as she says!” Faendal urged, I could hear his words but they just
sounded like noise to my ears. My grip tightened ever more, my sword hilt became
slippery with sweat, I stared intensely at the prisoner and the Justiciar edged
closer with her dagger drawn.

Suddenly I snapped out of it and let go of my weapon, my arms raised in
supplication. We backed away swiftly me and Faendal, only turning our backs on
our aggressors when they were safely out of sight. He didn’t shout, I had
endangered his life but after all I had told him he understood, something for
which I am most thankful. We walked in silence for a while afterwards, both of
us shaken by the standoff. With no harm done however our spirits eventually
returned and, spying a fox in the undergrowth, Faendal said. “Now, let’s see
your skill with a bow, I wager two gold coins that you can’t hit that fox over
there!”

“You’re on.” I replied, drawing my bow and swiftly nocking an arrow. It was a
quick little creature and it was already spooked by our presence. My first arrow
flew past when it suddenly stopped and Faendal grinned, rubbing his hands in
expectation. The fox bolted and, going entirely by instinct, I hastily nocked
a second arrow and let fly. The missile led my spritely quarry, meeting the
fox’s neck as it ran across its deadly path. Faendal could scarcely believe it
and, as cool as I tried to act, I could neither. “Well, well, well,” he said.
“Not bad for an Imperial.” I had to laugh and proceeded to skin my prize with
a big grin on my face. “I wager you Wood Elves pull off those shots with your
eyes closed!”
“I don’t like to brag, but I once took down a bear at three hundred yards.
In a blizzard.” Following this was a moment of utter silence and then a torrent
of laughter as Faendal’s face cracked and we both creased up at his sheer
arrogance.

It seems to be a recurring theme, dead virtual animals. Perhaps my blog should come with a "Not suitable for vegetarians" warning.

It seems to be a recurring theme, dead virtual animals. Perhaps my blog should come with a “Not suitable for vegetarians” warning.

“In all seriousness, that was an excellent shot. Perhaps I don’t have much to
teach you after all.” I thanked him graciously and we moved on, heading east
along the White River. It was a fine day for the hunt and, as we strolled along
the riverside talking excitedly of all the different beasts we were like to
encounter in Eastwatch, Faendal managed to take down an unfortunate elk that
happened across our path. As he knelt down to skin his prize I felt a horribly
sharp pain in my side and span around just in time to hear him cry. “Wolf!”
I drew my sword and unbuckled my shield, holding it up in anticipation of the
wolf’s next lunge. I felt a rush of wind on my cheek however as an arrow flew
past, lodging firmly in the beast’s skull.

“Cursed wolves, this land is rife with the beasts, are you alright?” Faendal
asked, putting away his bow and kneeling to inspect my attacker. “Tis but a
scratch,” I replied, rubbing my wound. He seemed to take a while inspecting
the animal and, after a long period of deliberation, he said. “Curious, this
wolf bears not the hallmarks of others I’ve seen in these parts. It’s claws
are comparatively blunt and it’s a lot skinnier, malnourished almost.”
“I can’t think why that is, perhaps it was a pet?” Was the best I could offer,
Faendal gave a dark smirk. “If this was a pet then I wouldn’t like to meet its
owner.” We did in fact meet its owner not five minutes down the road, but it
sadly was not a pet. By the road we came across the corpse of a topless man,
seemingly a bandit from his garb. It didn’t take Faendal long to surmise the cause
of his death, the dead man was covered in bites and scratches and the left side
of his face was horribly mutilated.

You have none of my sympathies

You have none of my sympathies

Upon searching him we discovered a small note that read…

Bandit Note

The contents of the note caused Faendal to look away in disgust and he was in
a sombre mood for long after. He hunted animals daily, taking their lives and
stripping away their flesh in a gruesome manner, but he loved them more than
anyone I have ever met. I must admit the note angered me too, the idea of
innocent animals being tossed into a pit, half-starved, to fight each other to
the death just didn’t sit well at all. We continued on, the next few hours
passing in silence until, after cresting a rise, we came upon the bridge.

This looks oddly familiar...

This looks oddly familiar…

It was a queer sight at first, a tall stone construct, two stout towers at either
end. It looked very old indeed, the far tower almost blending seamlessly with
the ancient mountainside. As we approached a small camp fire came into view,
a solitary woman at its side. The atmosphere changed suddenly, she was wearing
studded leather armour and had a longsword at her side. Faendal stiffened at
her approach and I noticed him take a few steps backwards, out of my line of
sight. “This is a toll road,” the woman said. “It’s….two hundred gold to pass.”
My stomach sank, bandits! Horrible flashbacks from my last ordeal with bandits
sprang to mind, fear gripped me and I froze on the spot, not knowing what to say.

The bandit collapsed, blood flowing freely from a wound in her chest, one of
Faendal’s arrows lodged there. A great cry erupted from the bridge and Faendal
span to face them. “Draw your weapon!!” He shouted, loosing another arrow, taking
down another bandit on the bridge. Shaking almost uncontrollably, I drew my sword
and shield, stepping over the dead bandit into the tower with Faendal at my back.
His manner had changed drastically within the space of a few seconds. Before he
was a mild mannered huntsman, now he spat curses at the bandits, his face contorted
with rage as he loosed arrow after arrow in their direction. I did my best to
keep up, bringing my sword down on their heads as I deflected blows with my
shield but I may as well have been a shying rabbit compared to Faendal’s fury.

We fought our way slowly across the bridge, reaching the middle through a
combination of Faendal’s arrows and my shield. When I had cut open what seemed
to be the last of them however, a monstrous shout sounded from the far tower. The
biggest Redguard I have ever seen emerged, charging full pelt across the bridge
towards me, wielding a dirty great sword and shield. “Stand firm!!” Faendal
shouted. “Whatever happens, keep that shield up!” It seemed to take the Redguard
an age to reach me, despite his speed. The dread sounds of his boots stomping
on the stone of the walkway rang through my head, the sound of my impending
doom. A mighty crash followed as he rammed into my shield, my arm almost broke
under the impact but somehow I kept it up. With a loud grunt he brought his
sword down upon it, hacking it to bits. I was driven back to the tower, quailing
under his sheer power, I attempted to counter attack with my own sword but could
find no window of opportunity, such was the rapidity of his onslaught.

He became impatient and, lifting his sword high in the air, brought it crashing
down upon my shield with two hands, breaking my guard completely and exposing
me. I downed a healing potion and prayed inwardly to all the nine divines. Was
this how it would end? Under the sword of a thief? I closed my eyes and held
up my sword in a last-ditch attempt at blocking the killing blow when I heard
a markedly different cry than that of the bandit chief. Upon opening my eyes I
saw, much to my immense relief, Faendal stabbing furiously at the bandits throat.
He screamed and plunged his dagger into the bandits neck repeatedly, dropping
the brute to his knees and kicking his lifeless body to the floor.

Faendal is surprisingly ferocious!

Faendal is surprisingly ferocious!

We both just sat there for a while after, blood and gore covering the room, both
of us breathing heavily. “Thank you,” I said eventually, he said nothing but
left the tower to breath in fresh air. I felt as though I would vomit at any
moment, the mere sight of the array of corpses filled me with revulsion. After
a while Faendal calmed down, his battle rage subsided and he became himself again.
“I am sorry,” he said. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“You have nothing to be sorry for!” I protested. “Nothing whatsoever! Why, if
it wasn’t for you, we would be the dead ones, not these miserable creatures!”
“I suppose you’re right,” he smiled. “It has been a long day, why don’t we get
some rest here?”

A well-deserved breather!

A well-deserved breather!

A rest sounded perfect at that moment and so we set up camp outside the near
tower, using the bandit’s cooking pot to cook up some soup. We said little
and simply relaxed after a hard journey, preparing ourselves for the hardships
that were likely to come. “We’re not far from Eastwatch now,” Faendal said.
“About an hour down the river there is a fork, beyond that are the plains
of Eastwatch, where all manner of beasts roam!” His mood had improved immeasurably and,
with these words, mine did too. After a lunch of bread and soup and a well-deserved
rest, we set off yet again with smiles on our faces, determined to put our
terrible ordeal behind us and with much and more anticipation.

“Slender bow two inches wide, and a trusty dagger at his side…” Faendal was
singing with a broad beaming face. “What’s that you’re singing?” I asked him,
partial to a good song myself. “It’s an old hunting song,” he replied “A Hunting
We Shall Go.”
“I know it!” I cried and he began to sing the first lines of the song in a crisp,
clear tenor. Myself replying as best I could in my comparatively muddy baritone.
Together we belted out the chorus, filling the river valley with lively song.

Slender bow two inches wide,
And a trusty dagger at his side,
Come forth he cried onwards we ride,
And a gambit shall be made!

We’ll wander far both high and low,
On lush green fields and mounts of snow,
Oh yo ho ho ho ho ho ho,
And a hunting we shall go!

Glossy furs adorn his chest,
And on his hearth great trophies rest,
Of huntsmen famed he is the best,
And you shall have the same!

We’ll wander far both high and low,
On lush green fields and mounts of snow,
Oh yo ho ho ho ho ho ho,
And a hunting we shall go!

As soft as silk his footsteps are,
And how those eyes see oh so far,
Of battles great he bears no scar,
And battles he’s seen plenty!

We’ll wander far both high and low,
On lush green fields and mounts of snow,
Oh yo ho ho ho ho ho ho,
And a hunting we shall go!

He drew his arrow like lightning,
And nocking it pulled tight the string,
Oh did that fateful arrow sing,
And strike another beast down!

We’ll wander far both high and low,
On lush green fields and mounts of snow,
Oh yo ho ho ho ho ho ho,
And a hunting we shall go!

Oh yo ho ho ho ho ho ho,
And a hunting we shall go!

Oh yo ho ho ho ho ho ho,
And a hunting we shall go!

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day X

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.

My eyes refused to open, a throbbing pain above them made me want to simply
shut out the world and go back to sleep. I couldn’t see anything but I knew I
must have been lying in a rather deep puddle or something similar as I was soaked to
the skin. Flashes of scenes from the night before emerged slowly in my head,
pieces of the seemingly impossible puzzle that was last night. I remembered
vaguely leaving The Bannered Mare with Ysolda and, with what I can only imagine
was a stupid looking smile on my face, I recalled receiving a kiss to end the
night. After that I woke in this puddle or gutter, with the worst pain in my
head and a mild feeling of embarrassment for getting so drunk so quickly. After
lying stationary for a while, feeling more and more conspicuous as I became more
and more conscious, I decided to try and open my eyes. I cautiously opened one
eye a crack and a shaft of brilliant white light pierced through into my brain,
causing the searing pain in my head to multiply. Groaning loudly I forced myself
into a sitting position and, when my vision had suitably adjusted to the bright
daylight, looked around to take stock.

I seemed to be sitting in the town moat, as the grid in front of me and the judging
eyes of Adrianne Avenicci from above me informed me. I could not begin to
imagine how I got down there, the general ache that was my body just then
probably had something to do with it. Adrianne had nothing to say to me when I
eventually crawled out of the moat, I nodded a somewhat sheepish greeting and
sloped past, heading to the Drunken Huntsman across the road to sate my now
ferocious appetite. The tavern was as empty as usual, Jenassa sat in her usual
seat in the corner, but the warmth emanating from the cooking pit in the centre
of the room was most welcome. I threw some ingredients together in the pot and
cooked up a venison stew, sitting in the corner next to Jenassa (after recieving
the customary nod of approval).

Don't even look at me...

Don’t even look at me…

“You look like death,” she said, her countenance as unsympathetic as her sentiment.
My throat certainly felt like it and I could only grunt in response, causing
her to chuckle gleefully. “Next time you go on a date, try to wake up in her
bed rather than a moat.”
“You saw me?! You could have woken me!” I cried, halfway through the most restorative
stew. “You looked peaceful,” she replied, that gleeful expression unchanging.
“You’re really enjoying this aren’t you?” To this she could only laugh and I
finished my stew in silence, finding it a little too early to be able to laugh
at my misfortune.

As I bade Jenassa an unenthused farewell and left the Huntsman, I attempted to
recollect exactly what happened the night before but, no matter how I wracked
my now terribly sore head, I simply could not recall anything past Ysolda closing
her door. I did, I remembered with a painful feeling in my gut, remember acting
rather foolishly for the final part of our date. Spilling ale everywhere and
behaving a bit too suggestively being just a taste of the offences that sprang
to mind. For this I decided to apologise and averted my course to Ysolda’s
house, after which I would stumble back to Riverwood as best I could.

Performing some kind of walk of shame through Whiterun was not the way I envisaged
spending my time in Skyrim. I felt as though the judging, smirking eyes of all
the townsfolk were on me, people spreading more and more inaccurate tales of
my antics. My only consolation was that I could avoid the marketplace in order
to see Ysolda as her house could be reached via a path that circuited the southern
end of the city. When I reached her house however, I found that there was no
one in. “Damn!” I thought, glancing down the street towards the bustling
marketplace, doubtless she would be there, as she was every day. After a moments
deliberation I decided to head straight back to Riverwood, a crowded market
being the last place I wanted to be.

Ysolda seems to be up early, then again she is a Nord

Ysolda seems to be up early, then again she is a Nord

It was a beautiful day and,in any other state, I would have cherished the walk
home through this glorious landscape. As it was I was tired, sore and with a
headache like I’d just been toe-poked by a Giant and I just wanted to get home
and collapse on Faendal’s bed.

I hadn’t moved a hundred yards from the city gate when I spied an encampment
practically leaning against the walls. It was the Khajiit merchants that Ysolda
was talking about, only there were more of them than I anticipated. They seemed
to have a semi-permanent home set up, multiple tents, tanning rack and a large
camp-fire in the centre. A Khajiit fellow sat cross-legged on a rather exotic
looking rug in the mouth of the nearest tent and I decided to speak to him about
his dealings with Ysolda and perhaps sell of some of the surplus I’ve gathered.

Doing business with a talking cat, just what you need after a dozen Nord Ales

Doing business with a talking cat, just what you need after a dozen Nord Ales

“Hello there Imperial, what can Ri’saad do for you today?” That crossed finding
his name out off the list. “Hail friend, I was just passing and decided to sell
some of my surplus goods, are you a willing buyer?” Ri’saad seemed polite but,
and I am loathe to admit it, I have never been entirely trusting of Khajiit,
particularly those in mercantile. Let’s just put it down to previous bad experience.
“Of course Imperial, what kind of Khajiit merchant isn’t?” He smiled, he seemed
to be a capable merchant indeed if his dress was anything to go by. He wore the
finest robes I have ever seen a merchant sat in a tent outside a city wear. I
sold him a necklace of magicka I had lying around in my pack and received a
hundred septims for it, a welcome donation indeed as, when I went to fill my
coinpurse, I found that I had spent nearly two hundred septims last night!

“Was there anything else, or is our transaction complete?” I thought about digging
a little deeper into Ri’saad’s character but, in my current state, interrogating
Khajiit merchants was the last thing I wanted to do. I bade him farewell and
headed in the direction of Riverwood, the afternoon sun warming my weary bones.
As I began to climb the slopes into the valley in which Riverwood lies, my ears
pricked at the sound of marching boots. Moments later I was met with Imperial
soldiers, three in number, dressed smartly in their Imperial leather armour
and led by a stern faced Redguard. “Hail citizen!” He said, his serious demeanour
not shifting an inch. “Hail, where are you headed?” I replied, scanning their
faces for Hadvar, he wasn’t with them. “We are headed to Solitude, to join up
with General Tullius of course. The Stormcloaks won’t kill themselves will they?”
“No, no I suppose not,” I replied, slightly perturbed at the soldier’s smile as
he said it. “You should think about joining up, a stout young man like yourself,
that bow of yours would come in handy against the rebels.”

For the last time NO!

For the last time NO!

At this I sighed inwardly then politely declined, first Hadvar and now him, the
next person to try and enlist me will surely get a piece of my mind! “If you
should ever change your mind simply go to Solitude and speak to the general. He
is a fine man General Tullius, if you ask me (I didn’t) the Stormcloaks are
ungrateful, General Tullius and the Imperial Legion are the only thing keeping
the Aldmeri Dominion out of Skyrim!” I’m no expert on the civil war, which is
something I will soon have to work on, but I couldn’t help but detect a hint of
bias in the soldier’s fervoured speech. Wanting to avoid a political debate and
to simply get home, I agreed to consider going to Solitude and bid the soldiers
farewell.

Throughout the remainder of my journey I began to think about the civil war and
how little I knew about it. I have been ignorant of most politics for a long time
now, catching only snippets of information from second-hand and mostly dubious
sources on my travels. I resolved then to learn more about the civil war and
specifically about General Tullius, from all reports I had heard thus far he
was a great commander, I found myself wondering what his views were on the
White-Gold Concordat and the Thalmor in general. Was he simply oppressing the
Nords of Skyrim due to orders, or did he actually consider them subjects of the
Empire and serve them as such? An apology for almost executing me wouldn’t go
amiss either… Such wonderings are too much on a hangover however, so I decided
to get some sleep first then ask Faendal what he knew sometime later.

Soon my eyes fell upon the wonderful sight of Riverwood, after my eventful visit
to Whiterun I simply couldn’t wait to get back to the peace of the village and
my pace quickened in response. Nothing had changed since I left, the village
drunk Embry was at his usual post in front of the inn, Alvor hailed me as he
hammered away at his forge and I found Faendal at his post chopping wood for
Hod. “Where on Nirn have you been?!” He seemed pleasantly surprised to see me.
“I thought you were only nipping into Whiterun for the day, you’ve been gone
for two!”

“It’s a long story friend,” by this time I was near collapse and could not have
faced telling it. “Are you alright?” Faendal asked. “You look like a resident of
the Hall of the Dead.”
“Yeah, I…had a little too much to drink last night, just a little.” Faendal
chuckled. “I see, that explains a lot, why don’t you go back to mine and have
a nap.” Flushed with gratitude I stalked off to Faendal’s house and after briefly
throwing my clothes and weapons to the floor, fell into a long deep sleep.

Come to me bed!

Come to me bed!

When I awoke it was dark and the house was still empty. My head had stopped
pounding for the most part and I belted on a more comfortable tunic. Faendal
would doubtless be home soon and I didn’t fancy venturing outside again so I
decided to take him up on his previous offer and peruse his book collection.
Most of the books were predictable ‘Killing – Before You’re Killed’, ‘Ode to
the Tundrastriders’, ‘Pension of the Ancestor Moth’ (slightly unusual). But one
book stood out to me and, as I read it, I became more and more disturbed by its
frankly vile contents. The book was entitled ‘Scourge of the Gray Quarter’, a
book on the influx of Dunmer refugees into Windhelm and how they are a plague
on a once-proud city. I have heard of the troubles in Morrowind certainly and
was not surprised to hear that a great number have sought refuge in this fine
land but, to hear this elitist, superior author write about the “discontented
rabble” and to refer to “loyal Argonian servants” as “Fish-men” really boiled
my blood. Putting the book down I wondered what Faendal’s investment, if any,
was in the subject. Was he a refugee himself? Come to think of it, I know nothing
at all about his past, the few times he has spoken of Valenwood he did so with
sorrow.

Shortly after I finished reading that tripe Faendal returned. “You’re finally
up then,” he said. “I came back for a spot of lunch earlier and you appeared
as though you’d never awaken, how do you feel?”
“A lot better thank you,” I replied. “It was nice to sleep in a bed again.”
“Yes I’d wager it was, speaking of which, what happened to you out there?”
I sighed audibly and then told Faendal the whole story, the drunken revellers,
the fallen giant, the living giant, meeting the Jarl, Ysolda, I had so much to
tell that I spent the next hour or two relating the whole story.

Potato soup, a surprisingly effective hangover cure!

Potato soup, a surprisingly effective hangover cure

“My, my, what a couple of days you’ve had!” He seemed incredulous, not knowing
whether to laugh or to console. “After all that you could use a hearty meal,
one of my best hangover cures is potato soup.” With that he rose and began adding
ingredients to the cooking pot, chuckling to himself as he did so. “Ysolda eh,
I’ve met her a fair number of times, she seems pleasant. Very driven as well,
last we met she would not stop talking about how she was going to make it in
the mercantile business. I think she will you know, yes, you could have done
a lot worse than Ysolda.” His reference was good to have I suppose, but it could
not assuage the nagging doubts that clouded my mind. “Do you think I told her
too much? I don’t know what happened, one moment we were chatting amiably, the
next I was baring my soul right there in the Bannered Mare.”
“I won’t lie Adrian, it may have been a bit much for a first date, however, if
she can’t handle that then she is simply not worth it. She seems to like you
still, she did give you that kiss remember?” The smile on Faendal’s face could
not have been bigger, or more mischievous, it served to cheer me. “I suppose you are
right,” I said. “It’s just been so long since I last…you know, at least
in a serious way, my head is a little muddled to say the least.”

Faendal poured out two steaming bowls of potato soup and brought them to the
table with a loaf of bread, the aroma was mouth-watering, the soup itself warmed
my wearied body to the core. “You need a break!” Faendal said, slapping his
spoon down onto the table before it ever touched his mouth. “We should go on
a hunting trip, me and thee, Eastmarch to the south of Windhelm has some of the
best hunting in Tamriel!” If none other of his words had lifted my spirits, these
certainly did, I had heard vague reports of Eastmarch prior to my arrival in
Skyrim, all manner of dangerous and exotic beasts were said to roam its plains.
“I could not agree more,” I said, my enthusiasm seemed to show on my face as
Faendal sprang suddenly from his chair and set to rummaging through a large
wooden chest in the corner of the room. “I have a map here somewhere…ah, here
we are!” Pointing at the map he explained the route we would take, along with
a few other details of our upcoming jaunt. “First we will head north to Whiterun
Hold, following the White River east until we hit a fork, from there it is
off the road and into the wilderness we go! It will be dangerous, but you have
shown that you’re more than capable with a bow and I have a little experience in
the area, I even know of a few friendly hunting camps where we could perhaps
spend the night.”

A map to peace of mind...I hope

A map to peace of mind…I hope

Faendal could hardly disguise his excitement and, truthfully, I was in a similar
predicament. Needing to get some rest for the long day that is ahead, we bade
each other good night and got into bed. After the emotional stress of the past
couple of days I greatly anticpate getting back to basics, simply me, a kindred
spirit and nature at its finest. “This is going to be excellent,” Faendal said.
“I’ve been without a hunting partner for what seems like an age, poor Denegor,
he never saw that Horker coming…”

A Nomad in Skyrim – Day IX pt.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 took me a long time to drift off to sleep last night, I was exhausted after
what was an exceedingly long day but my mind was buzzing with activity. Thoughts
of Ysolda, of the war, even memories from the distant past, laid bare and still
raw. Eventually the degree of my exhaustion overcame my thoughts and I
collapsed into a fitful slumber. It was a frigid morning I awoke to, a low mist
straddled the plains, casting the towering mountains into dark silhouettes.
The morning breeze stung my now exposed face, waking me almost instantly and,
along with the comparative discomfort of my tent, causing me to rise a lot quicker
than usual. I reignited the fire and, after a short while, had a juicy venison
chop sizzling in a pan. I sated my appetite with meat and water while contemplating
my plans for the day.

I was running low on food supplies, with only a bit of venison left from my
first kill back in Riverwood along with a rabbit  and a few vegetables.
Faendal had highly recommended the plains to the west of Whiterun as
profitable, if not dangerous, hunting grounds and so I decided that the morning
would be best spent hunting. I finished my breakfast and made to pack up my
tent when I came across the mammoth tusk amongst the folds of my blankets. My
stomach churned unpleasantly, the image of Ysolda sprang to mind along with
umpteen scenarios on how she would react to my gift, ranging from extreme
gratitude to utter indifference. It has been a long time since I have attempted
to woo a lady, the life of a nomad such as myself is not really conducive to
such things, simply surviving in this harsh old world is enough to handle without
worrying about how I appear to the opposite sex. A sudden thought struck me.

Should I wash?!

After splashing some water on my face (the best I could manage under the circumstances)
I set off westward, past the outlying farms and down the road until I came to
what seemed to be a rather decrepit sentry tower in the middle of a field. It
looked like it hadn’t been manned for a long time but, peculiarly, there was
a guard patrolling on a broken down section of wall. I engaged him in conversation,
asking him about the lands around his post, but he replied in the usual fashion
of a bored guardsman, embittered about his former duties as a “real” soldier
and slightly racist. While I was having this rather one-sided conversation I
noticed something in corner of my eye that made me almost physically jump in
surprise.

“How are you not at least acknowledging this?!!”

A live version of the giant I found yesterday was wandering in the field behind
the guard. “Look, a giant!” I shouted, pointing to the lumbering creature, but
the guard did not seem interested in the slightest. I guess giants are part and
parcel of living in Skyrim, either that or this was the least caring guard in
the whole of Tamriel. Either way I had some hunting to do and so set off away
from the giant, scanning the plains for any sight of game.

Soon I had a healthy sized deer in my sights, I crouched down, pulled my new
Imperial bow from my back, nocked an arrow and took aim. My quarry was grazing
in a lush green field around sixty yards away, occasionally moving from side
to side to reach the tastiest vegetation. I aimed ever so slightly above the
creature and drew back my bowstring…then released. The animal went down almost
instantly. Elated by my success I quickly ran over and surveyed my prize, it was
a fine kill and would feed me for a few days at least. The fact that I had taken
it down with one arrow also meant that the archery lessons from Faendal were
paying off.

Dinner is served!

Buoyed by my early success I pushed on, exploring the plains more thoroughly,
taking care of course to avoid the giant. Faendal was right, the land here is
indeed bountiful, not long after my original success I came across two more
deer of modest sizes, both of which sadly got away. I decided that a stealthier
approach would be sensible and took to crouching down constantly, it killed my
calves but I soon reaped the rewards. Sneaking over a rise I came across the
finest buck I have seen in a long time, it’s antlers were enormous and would
doubtless fetch a good price at market. Due to my sneaking I had managed to
come within a short distance from the buck without it noticing me so, holding
my breath in a desperate attempt to not spook the animal, I slowly nocked an
arrow and took aim.

Oh what big antlers you have.

The arrow found its target and sank into the buck’s side, but the animal did not
drop, only moaned loudly and turned to flee. I knew I had but a second to act
before my prey would escape and, in a flash, grabbed another arrow from my quiver,
slammed it onto the bowstring, hastily took aim and released. The second arrow
proved to be fatal and I would eat for a little while longer. The magnificent
pair of antlers took me a while to prise from the animal’s head, but once I did
I could not stop staring at them. It’s safe to say that, if I was a Nord with
a house to call home, these would go straight on my living room wall.

It was approaching midday when I had skinned my prize and my stomach was
beginning to rumble so I decided to head into Whiterun for a spot of lunch and,
hopefully, to see Ysolda. The city was bustling as usual, the sun had come out
and the morning mist cleared by the time I arrived at the marketplace and the
people of Whiterun were out to greet it. As I entered the marketplace I spotted
Ysolda at a stall across from me, taking a deep breath I went to speak to her.

Here goes….

“Hello there, remember me?” I said, tapping her on the shoulder and trying my
best to smile. Once she cast eyes on me she smiled and greeted me warmly, this
encouraged me and I pulled the tusk out of my pack. “I have something I think
you’ll appreciate,” I said, handing her the stolen tusk, her eyes widened at the
sight of it and her face lit up when she grasped it. “Oh my…I don’t know what
to say!” she gasped. “Why? How?” She was truly taken aback and I couldn’t help
but chuckle at her surprise. “Nevermind how,” I said. “Just use it well, get
yourself the start you’ve been looking for.” Thankfully she didn’t press the
subject of how I got the tusk, she was altogether too delighted to care.

After Ysolda had thanked me a few times the conversation began to wear a little
thin, I had given her the tusk, now what? After the excellent start my rusty
skills with women were beginning to let me down and, after desperately holding
a wafer-thin conversation for a few minutes, we said farewell and I turned to
leave, feeling deflated.

I was hungry, very much so, but I didn’t fancy a trip to the Bannered Mare
anytime soon so decided to go to the Drunken Huntsman. The usual clientele were
in the Huntsman, that is, no-one. I thought about buying something just to cheer
the poor guy behind the bar up but, after my little spending spree on hunting
supplies yesterday, thought against it. Instead I cooked up a rabbit haunch using
the communal cooking pot in the centre of the room, I wasn’t sure whether you
had to pay to use it so I decided to just sit down and see what happens. Upon
turning around to choose a seat I spied the mercenary I met yesterday, Jenassa,
sat in the corner of the room. She made for an intimidating sight in her battle-
worn leather armour and war paint but she certainly is an intriguing character
so, on a bit of a whim, I sat next to her (after receiving a curt nod of approval
of course).

One of the more…interesting lunches I’ve sat down to in Skyrim.

We sat in silence for a while, me eating my lunch and Jenassa sitting there
with a curiously large vegetable…thing in a bowl next to her. She must have
noticed my despondence for as I was finishing my rabbit she asked me what was
the matter. I confess I was surprised by her concern, if concern it was and not
simply idle curiosity. I stopped for a moment, hesitating to tell her the source
of my poor mood, I even thought about making something suitably violent up for
a second before dismissing the thought, doubtless it wouldn’t be nearly violent
enough for Jenassa.

“It’s a woman, isn’t it?” I was stunned.
“How on Nirn did you know that?!” I asked, she chuckled, shaking her head wryly.
“You are decidedly poor at disguising your emotions, it is painfully obvious
from the way you hang your head like a lovesick teenager.” I thought I had done
a decent job of looking perky, apparently not. “My philosophy on relationships
is simple, get what you want and then get out, leaving as little evidence as
possible,” she looked contemplative. “My last lover was a Bosmer, he was slight
but very agile and he had the finest head of blonde hair I have seen to this
day. We met in Riften in The Bee and Barb, he came in with three hundred septims,
looking for a hired knife, I would have laughed in his face had it not been so
fair and that hair…” She stopped for a moment to take a draught of mead, I
didn’t dare interrupt her tale lest she stop telling it, I was enthralled.

“It was a moment of weakness on my part but I agreed to work for a discounted
rate,” she looked quite visibly disgusted at this point but carried on. “The
job was relatively simple, he had recently stolen a valuable amulet from its
wealthy previous owner, only to have it stolen from him by a small group of
local bandits. He claimed that they got him drunk and then mugged him but I
reckoned he just got complacent, either way we were to go to their hideout and
steal it yet again, with me killing anyone that should get in the way. We agreed
to go the next day and that night I had him, he was a little tentative at first
but I have my ways…” I didn’t even want think about what that entailed but I
knew that I didn’t envy this Bosmer thief.

“All night we fucked, he was the finest I had had in a long while, his lithe
Wood Elf physique was a sight to behold. Clearing the bandit hideout proved to
be straight forward and we retrieved the amulet after cutting through a few of
them, in fact we made a good team. Things went south from there however, the
bandits anticipated our little burglary and set a trap. A small army of them
lay in wait for us, too many for us to handle. I grabbed the Bosmer at knifepoint
pushing him into the waiting hands of the gang, giving me time to make my escape.”
Jenassa’s expression was stony, if she felt any remorse about sacrificing her
lover so she would live, she didn’t show it. I knew from the tone of her voice
throughout her story that she did feel something beyond a base physical attraction
for the unnamed Bosmer, even her emotional armour seemed to have the occasional
chink.

“It’s Ysolda,” I admitted.
“A fine looking woman,” Jenassa conceded. “If a little…artificial”
“What do you mean?” I asked, Ysolda had only ever seemed kind to me, then again
I had only known her a day. “You’ve seen one side of her, I have seen another.
Not necessarily a bad one, but different nonetheless.” I didn’t know what to
think of this, it did make me realise just how little I knew the object of my
infatuation however, Jenassa carried on. “Does she attract you?”
“Yes,” I replied, without hesitation.
“Then pursue her,” she didn’t smile as though it were encouragement, she spoke
it like it was a simple, logical fact and for all her coldness she was right.

“Thank you,” I said, downing the contents of a water bottle and getting up to
leave. It was getting on and I had business to attend to.

I’ve Never Completed Skyrim

I’ve had Skyrim for about a year now and I still haven’t completed a single questline. I’m currently struggling through the main quest, fast travelling all the way but, to be honest I’m a little bored. I managed to get through Oblivion’s main quest even though that bored me to tears but, now that I’m not a teenager with nothing better to do, I’m finding it hard to get through it. I’m having loads more fun simply exploring the world and making my own story through Adrian. I may just forgo the main quest entirely and try the Dark Brotherhood (a questline I loved in Oblivion) but yeah…

Is it weird to love a game you’ve never even completed?