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.