Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chapter 2 Easy Come Easy Go

               The next morning after cleaning up camp, Erik ventured into town to see what he can buy and trade. As he wondered into the general store he noticed the store keeper having a fight with what looked like his sister. As the door closed behind him the two stopped and looked at Erik. He silently and calmly walked up to the shop keeper and asked “Can I buy supplies here?” The shop keeper smiled and said “What do you think this place is a museum? Of course you can buy supplies here.” As Erik purchased everything from lock picks to an upgraded tent he asked the store keeper “where he could buy a horse?” The store keeper said “Well, the closest place would have to be in Whiterun.” Erik sighed, nodded his head and proceeded to leave the store when the store owner asked him if he could help him with something. Erik turned his head and said “Sorry, I’m on an important mission already.” This of course was not true, but never the less Erik didn’t want to get involved, with issues that could divert him and or take up resources that would otherwise be needed later down the road.

                As Erik left the general store he glanced at the blacksmith and for a second thought about buying a new weapon, but thought maybe I can make this short trip to Whiterun without any trouble so he went on his way. The road into Whiterun was nothing special. No attacks or angry animals, just the calming sounds of birds flying over head. As he cleared the trees he saw several buildings and beyond that was a great wall surrounding and protecting the inner city of Whiterun.

 At the very north of the city a large castle like structure stood almost as if it had been carved out of the mountain. As Erik approached the gates of Whiterun he noticed Imperial soldiers at that moment he stopped in his tracks and looked around. To his delight exactly to the right of him was the stables, he talked to the horse keeper and bought a horse.

 As he climbed onto the horse he decided to go back to Riverwood and take the pass through the mountains.
                After arriving to Riverwood it had just hit mid day. As Erik passed through the town he crossed the river and moved thirty meters up the bank when an angry orc bandit came running at him. Assessing the situation Erik chose to run back to the town. Upon returning to the town he went to the blacksmith only to find that the bloody blacksmith was not there.  As Erik looked around he saw no guards or citizens anywhere to be found. He was hoping that they had all ganged up on that stupid orc. So without hesitation he took all the iron and steel ingots and proceeded to upgrade his weapons and create a more powerful bow to help fight off the bandits and anything else that might get in his path. 
                With his new weapons, and a quiver filled with arrows Erik set out again. He crossed the river where he had crossed before. But this time there was no bandits, he decided to proceed with caution as he approached the mouth of Lake Klinalath, he found a nice clearing to make camp for the evening.  As Erik dismounted his horse, a pack of wolves began attacking his horse. For some strange reason the wolves ignored Erik and just focused on attacking his stead, in a fleet of panic the horse ran towards the river with the wolves hot on its heels, not realizing that the river bank was a 4 meter drop, and in a futile attempt of escape jumped into the shallow river and with a mighty crack died… OH GREAT! What am I suppose to do now, thought Erik. As he walked towards where his horse took the dive the wolves turned to him and with several quick pulls of his fingers arrows soon ended their pursuit. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. That night as Erik slept in his tent he thought about his home in Elsweyr, and about his friends in the Khajiit caravans.
                The sound of rain, was the first thing Erik heard and the first thing Erik felt was the slow drip of water as it hit him in the head from a small hole in his newly purchased tent. As he pulled himself up and looked out his tents flap it was raining, and not just any type of rain it was dumping rain. All Erik could think was first my horse and now this. Erik’s growing dislike for this place was growing more and more unbearable. After packing his tent he was ready to move out. There was no going back for a new horse so it was to be on foot to Riften.

 As he walked to the cliff where his horse stupidly dove to its death, he saw the lifeless body of his horse on the beach and across the river was a hunter. Why hadn’t the hunter helped his horse? Without thinking he walked down to the shore of the river, and drew his bow. He aimed ever so carefully as to compensate for the rain, and just as the hunter was reaching into her boat he released his arrow and pierced her skull. Her limp body laid half in and half out of her boat. It seemed kind of cruel to do such a thing but a man needs compensation for his loses.

 As he swam across the river he began to survey the hunter’s camp he found very little in the way of useful equipment. The hunter herself was wearing armor that was a little better then the armor that Erik was wearing so he took it.
                After scavenging usable stuff Erik pulled out his map and located the trail to Helgen the town he needed to pass on his way to Riften. As much as he worried about running into Imperial soldiers on this route, he worried more about being in the open where he might not be able to hide. At least in the mountains he could hide from danger or escape into the trees if something bad were to happen.  

After passing Helgen the mountain pass to Aivarstead would be easy enough. So after putting his water logged map away Erik moved on toward Helgen and one step closer to his goal of getting to Riften to find the Thieves Guild. 

Chapter 1 A New Life

It was a cold morning in the forest just south of the town of Helgen. Erik was just stirring from his sleep when a loud crashes and screaming tore him from his slow, groggy state to a state of full awareness. As he reached for his dagger and inched his way out of his tent he didn’t know what to expect. It had been several days since he had escaped from the Imperials and so was still on edge. It was only yesterday that Erik arrived to the city of Falkreath and had just enough gold to buy a tent, some food and some basic hunting supplies. He figured that until the Imperials stopped looking for him it would be best for him to stay in the wilds and survive on his own. But now millions of thoughts were running through his mind. Had the Imperials found him? What if it was something worse than the Imperials, what if it was a troll? As he opened the flap to his tent he looked around. Nothing, nothing had been moved, no one was in sight. No Imperial soldiers waited for him to emerge from his tent, no trolls were waiting to smash his head in, nothing at all. It was strange and as he climbed out of his tent he heard it again. The bellowing scream of a creature that should have all but been extinct, Erik couldn’t believe his ears and so decided to investigate. As he crept slowly towards the sounds he realized that the sounds were coming from the town of Helgen. Then he saw it, spikes from head to tail and fire as hot as the sun, shooting from its open mouth. A dragon!
                As Erik closed in on the town the dragon screamed and flew over head and into the distance, as Erik watched it fly off, he turned his attention back to the smoldering town that had by now fallen silent. Upon reaching the town and looking in through the broken gate, all he could see was fires and death. The dragon had spared no one. As he took slow and cautious steps further into town he could find none to have survived this ordeal. Suddenly he froze as he felt movement near him. A faint voice on the wind was calling for help. As he looked for the voice he determined that the voice was coming from the collapsed house no more than ten meters away. As he dug through the rubble he at last reached the crying voice an Imperial soldier. At that moment he froze, stood up and looked around. Then he could see it burned Imperial flags and helmets. Again his heart and mind began racing, he thought “if I am here when an Imperial patrol comes, I may be executed just for being here. But what about the survivors?” As he thought about it, he listened for sounds of movement. All he could hear were the sounds of the birds returning to this dark and smoky town. He finally decided to not take any chances and just left the town.
                After arriving back to his camp, he gathered his thoughts and decided to pack up and leave. But where to go, he didn’t want to return to Falkreath, so he reached into his pack and pulled out his map. As he looked at his map he stopped, and starred at the sun to figure out the time. Then he thought out loud “I should be able to make it to Riverwood by dark” With his destination chosen and his camp cleaned up he was ready for the journey to Riverwood. Hopefully they would have a stable, but most importantly that they would have a general store for buying new supplies.

                The journey to Riverwood was fairly easy going. Avoided some wolves and killed a few deer in hopes to sell the fur. But before he could arrive to Riverwood he stumbled across a mine, with a lightly armed guard posted at the entrance. As Erik approached the guard she raised her sword and told him “You shouldn’t be here” When he heard this he backed away and hid behind a hill. He armed himself with his bow and peeked up over the top of the hill. He judged his shot and waited for the guard to turn her head. As he waited he pulled back on his arrow and at the right moment pulled back fully and fired. A perfect kill, the guard fell to the ground without a single word. The arrow had pierced her skull right above the ear. As Erik approached the body he took her gold and examined her weapon. A crude attempt at making a sword, would have almost classify it as a blunt weapon. After think for a few minutes he finally decides that his bow would do more damage, left the sword and preceded into the mine.
                The mine was a cold, damp, musky place. The stench of sweat, fire, and blood clung to the air. Erik crept slowly through the mine, as he was going he noticed a glitter from the stone wall. As he looked closer he could see that this mines resources were iron ore. As he thought to himself he realized that he couldn’t gather any of the ore until after all the residents were gone.  He continued down the path and stumbled upon two bandits having a chat. As he watched them he noticed that one was going on a patrol and the other was going to bed. This was his chance; he dropped down from the path to a lower ledge ever so silently. This little trick was all thanks to Erik’s Khajiit friends that he had when he was a little lad. As he waited for the patrolling bandit to disappear into the darkness of the tunnel, he crept up to the sleeping man and slit his throat. As the man struggled, he knocked a cup over, that alerted his patrolling buddy to turn around. Erik being aware of this pulled out his bow, and readied to fire at the unsuspecting bandit. As the bandit turned the corner an arrow pierced his throat as he grasped for air the loss of blood caused him to fall down the steps. Ignoring the dead bandits Erik proceeded deeper into the mine and found the remaining bandits held up in the fort like cavern of the mine. Erik positioned himself in the shadows and began marking his targets in order from first to last. He had to be careful as he didn’t have enough arrows for a single missed shot. As he drew his bow and took a deep breath he systematically dropped each bandit one at a time. As he emerged from the shadows to look over his handy work, he noticed a man waking up, and noticing that all his buddies had been killed. This of course alerted him and caused him to draw his weapon and move cautiously throughout the cavern, finally the bandit approached where Erik was crouching. Erik went to draw another arrow from his quill when he noticed that there were none. Thinking carefully and moving back into the shadows, put his bow down and drew his dagger. As the panicking bandit looked for the attacker, and foolishly walked right passed Erik, gave Erik the chance to grab and stab the panicking man in the back.
                For the next three hours he picked through the bandits stuff, collected the iron ore and pondered his next move. He thought maybe he should stay in the mine for the night and continue to town in the morning. This thought was soon crushed by an even stronger thought of, what if these guys’ friends return and find me instead of them. So without thinking twice he decided to continue on to Riverwood. After collecting all that he could carry he exited the mine and continued on his way. By now the sun was already hiding behind the distant mountains. By the time he reached the edge of Riverwood it was already dark and thoughts of entering the Inn were warm and comforting but just to be safe he decided to pitch his tent by the mill. That night as he lay in his bedroll looking up at the stars, his thoughts drifted to that of his mother and his friends that he left behind so long ago. He still didn’t understand why he felt so drawn to this land. As he drifted to sleep his thoughts lingered on his mother.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Forward II Before the tale of Eric the Red

            Long ago in the province of Elsweyr, in the port city of Senchal, a fair haired and fairly large woman and her skinny but well armed husband disembarked from a boat that had just arrived from Skyrim, the very tip of the world of Tamriel. Upon arriving to this new land, the locals looked down on the new arrivals as they were outsiders and didn’t belong. When the skinny man approached the harbor master, and asked “Do you know where my wife and I my stay for the evening? My wife is in need of rest as she is with child” The harbor master turned to the man sniffed the air and glared at him. “You are a Nord! We don’t accommodate your kind here. Go back to where you came from you smelly milk drinker” When the Khajiit finished what he thought was a good insult he turned around and was preparing to walk away, when a hand with a monstrous mud crab grip grabbed his arm. “Wait, please. Perhaps, we got off on the wrong foot here. My name is Ulfmer Red and this is my wife Helgra, I’ll give you 50 gold pieces for your assistance”
                The Khajiit’s eyes widened and a warm grin appeared under his thick fur. “You Ulfmer Red are a very learned man; you know how to make friends well. My name is Rawmeth Keij and I will help you and your wife. Follow me” As Rawmeth lead the Nords to the nearest Inn, he stopped them at the front door and said “tread lightly, Nords are not really welcome this far south” As they all entered the Inn Rawmeth addressed the Inn keeper in Ta’agra the language of the Khajiit. Then he turned to Ulfmer and said “it is arranged you can stay here for the night.  In the morning I will come and meet you here and we can talk further as to why you are here in Elsweyr” As Ulfmer smiled to his new found Khajiit friend he extended his hand and they both shook hands.
               As the birds chirped on the warm spring morning, Ulfmer and Rawmeth sat in the common space eating and talking. As Ulfmer explained about how he and his wife escaped from Skyrim and how the Thalmor were looking for them. When Rawmeth asked why the Thalmor would be looking for them? He simply just said because they were hunting all the people of his belief, and that the more information that Rawmeth knew, the more likely he would be at risk. Rawmeth left it at that and from that day on the two became very good friends. Ulfmer taught him Nordic hunting methods and ways of fighting off the cold, and Rawmeth taught Ulfmer how to make friends with the other Khajiit, and how to work in this strange new world.
                When the time came Ulfmer’s new son was born. Ulfmer and Helgra named him Eric Red. Rawmeth visited to greet the new addition to the family, and upon holding the new born baby in his arms realized, this baby has a great destiny to one day lead his people in defeating a great threat. When he came to this realization he suggested to Ulfmer to call him Eric the Red for it means Great Ruler of his people. Ulfmer took to the new name and from that day on his son was called Eric the Red. 
                As the Years went by Ulfmer’s family prospered in their new land. But even as they were getting on with the Khajiit the stories of the war and the rebellions always brought great worry to Ulfmer. One day while Helgra prepared dinner, Ulfmer announced that he would be returning to Skyrim. Eric looked up at his father’s stern face, in the same breath his mother dropped the plate of food that she was preparing and looked at Ulfmer with the sadness of death.
                “I have decided to go and help with the rebellion in Skyrim. You and Eric are safe here and the Thalmor have no idea that we are here. I will travel to Skyrim through Cyrodil with a Khajiit caravan. No one bothers the Khajiit caravans” All Eric’s mother could do was agree, although the expression on her face was that of why! Ulfmer could catch her feeling and assured her that it would be the safest way. “The ports and sea are being watched by the Thalmor and Imperial Legion. So I must travel by land” The next day Eric and his mother hugged their beloved father and husband for the last time.
                Ulfmer was never heard from again. And as the years passed by, whispers and stories of a Nord traveling with a Khajiit caravan sacrificed himself against three snow trolls, so that the rest of the caravan could escape. When Eric heard this tale he knew at once that it was his father, and at that moment felt both joy and sadness. When he returned home he told his mother of the tale of his father’s bravery. Then he proceeded to tell her that he too will leave for Skyrim. All she could do with tears in her eyes was say “ I love you my son, and I’ve always known that one of these days you will leave me to do good in this world. Be safe and remember you are always welcome back here” with that the young Nord set out next day on his adventure.
                As Eric reached the border of Elswyr and Cyrodil he met a Khajiit caravan heading to Bruma so he bartered passage with them to Bruma, when he parted ways with the caravan, after arriving to the town he continued on his own.  When he arrived to the border of Skyrim he was ambushed by some legionaries and was bound and thrown into the back of a prison cart he banged his head and blacks out…

To Be Continued. 

Forward I

                As I explore the world that is Skyrim I find loads of situation, much like a child finding loads of presents under the Christmas tree that simply just, blow my mind.  The systems that bind Skyrim’s unique world together are one of Ahhh inspiring wonder. I have been playing through the game now, for nearly a hundred hours and haven’t even come near the half way point in the main quest.
                From all my time in this beautiful and serene world, I have decided to post about my travels. Much like the books of old Tamriel that are scattered throughout Skyrim, this will be an addition to them and their tales of old.