Ah, what I wouldn’t give for the imbeciles in the room adjacent to quiet down and allow me a moment’s rest. It’s cold here, even indoors. I miss my daily swims in the warmer waters of Cyrodiil. As I cannot sleep, I have decided to pass the time writing. At first I wished to give my account of the dragon attack to the Jarl in Helgen. The nord did not require a written statement. Some lizard in roughspun walking into his audience chamber claiming to have seen a dragon is trustworthy enough. In case you’re wondering if I have spontaneously located a sense of duty and rightness in reporting the incident to the proper authorities, I agreed to it to fool a guard. Worry not!
I am once again getting ahead of myself. When last we left our intrepid argonian hero, he had a lightly scorched arse and a nasty stitch from all of that running for his life he had been doing. Oh, and his dear friend Ralof had caught up at last.
“I’m glad you made it out,” said I, my genuine concern clear as day on my reptilian features!
“I’m glad I didn’t slip on that trail of urine you left behind, coward.”
I lapsed into a sullen silence at that. Sure, I’m no fighter and would have likely gotten in the way. But nords got touchy on the subject of abandoning battle. What could I have done, though?
I followed him at a respectable distance. I didn’t know the area, after all. If Ralof noticed me, he did a commendable job of ignoring my presence. He stopped at a small circle of standing stones. The signs of the Warrior, Thief and Wizard each had their own stone dedicated to them. I joined Ralof and stared at one adorned with the sign of the Warrior.
It was very pretty, I suppose. I have read in my studies that these stones may be used to grant a boon to the worthy. Yes, I have done studies. Frankly, I am offended that you have assumed otherwise. I am literate enough to pen this, am I not?
I press my hand against the sign of the Warrior and wait. Ralof watches me in silence. He’s laughing at me on the inside, I know it. Still, he is my (unwilling) escort. I decide to turn to him and flash the fellow my brightest smile. In return he gave his most impressive look of revulsion. Hey, I tried.
With Riverwood a hop and a skip away, we are set upon by a small pack of wolves. Well, Ralof is. I am a safe distance away.
He dispatches them handily then continues on, leaving the fresh kills in the road. As I am not the wasteful sort, I dig in with an iron dagger I found on the body of an imperial guard. After loading up on pelts, I arrive at the gates of pleasantly rustic Riverwood.
As I don’t want to walk around in the guise of an imperial soldier, I change back into my roughspun prisoner outfit and stow the armor in my pack for later. I spot Ralof relaying grave news of the dragon to his sister, Gerdur, and her husband, Hod.
His family notice me and give me a somewhat warmer reception than Ralof. Oh you poor thing, it must have been terrible, etc etc. Don’t worry yer scaly head son, ye can come work at me mill etc etc. I hardly own more than the clothes on my back, so I graciously accept the offer. Some physical labor may help keep me from building up a fair layer of ice over my scaly bits.
I grab a woodworker’s axe and get to chopping. It doesn’t take long before my muscles are aching. As the sun retreats into the horizon, the village is bathed in a soothing autumnal glow. I gather up what little I have managed to chop and bring it to Hod. He thanks me for the work and hands me thirty septims. I almost manage to protest the low wage when he invites me for dinner at his home. Again Ralof cannot hide his revulsion at the idea, so I pull back the flesh around my teeth in a friendly argonian smile and accept.
Before dinner I decide to try to take a relaxing swim in the river, perhaps catch some salmon. I slide gracefully into the water and only realize my mistake after it feels as if I have been winded from a blow to the stomach. The waters here are extremely cold. My roughspun clings to me as I surface dripping wet and irritable.
After I dried off at the inn it was time to visit Gerdur and Hod. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a terrible houseguest. Using some salt, pheasant and rabbit haunches I pilfered from the Helgen kitchen, I make a meal of cooked rabbit haunch and pheasant. I wouldn’t want to impose on them, after all. Especially not as I size up their belongings, which they have left carelessly strewn about.
I can’t help but misbehave, sometimes. I am careful about it, of course. I read a book by the fire until Hod has gone to bed and Gerdur starts to clean the dishes. I creep downstairs and pilfer their hunting bow and a few iron arrows with them none the wiser. The hunting bow proves difficult to hide on my person, but I ensure I am not seen as I leave their home. It is then I realize I have nothing sufficient for breakfast the next day.
I do love poultry, I am not ashamed to say. The hen was the only witness to the crime. I would not be shelling out a five septim fine for this heinous crime. My breakfast secured, I find my way to the Sleeping Giant inn and purchase a room for ten septims.
It’s nothing much to look at, I am aware. But it’s cozy and warm. The patrons have retreated to bed at a reasonable hour. I lean my new hunting equipment against the wall and ponder what to do next. Tomorrow I shall try my hand at some light hunting, I thought. As I shut my eyes and wait for sleep to take me, my thoughts drift to that imperial guard I had murdered. It was on self-defense, I decided. It couldn’t be helped. And besides, he would’ve perished from Ralof’s axe wound.
My dreams were odd, that night.