Thursday, March 1, 2012

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.

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