Monday, December 31, 2012

day 7 - A walk around Whiterun hold

Fredas, 23rd of Last Seed 4E201

At first light I woke up and readied myself for another day of exploration. There were more bandit hideouts to be found. The Jarl put a bounty on one of the bandit chiefs and I was going to get him. The Jarl puts bounty on most wanted criminals but the Whiterun guard has little resources to catch them. I will put myself to good use here and hopefully make some decent gold by doing that. After all war and fighting is what I know and have done my whole life. If I meet my end here in Skyrim, so be it, I will die a soldier’s death.  
The tundra looked calm and peaceful
The weather was clear and as I passed through the main gate I took a look at the beautiful Skyrim landscape. The high mountain near the city was clearly visible. The tundra around Whiterun looked as peaceful as ever and as if there was no peril at all hiding within. At start I took the same route North as yesterday. I checked out the two bandit camps I cleared. All was quiet. After reaching Halted stream camp I turned West.  
Silent Moons camp
Very soon I reached the ruins of a seemingly old fortification by the name of Silent Moons Camp. I searched for a back-door entrance approaching from upward but found none. I was then scouting around but there was only one way to enter, from the Southern side. Suddenly the brigands spotted me and fired arrows at once. I regard myself as a good fighter and a tough man but sneaking and scouting are not my best virtues, especially not in heavy armor. The first bandit that approached was a spell-caster which I quickly put down.  Then I treaded upwards the stairs and received a volley of arrows from three rouge archers. My heavy armor denied them of hurting me. I charged at them and the three bandits, an Imperial, a Redgard and a Dunmer scattered immediately. I approached each of them one by one with my shield up. They all succumbed to my blows.   
A bandit archer soon to be put down
Another spell-caster attacked me with frost spell from behind. It was hard to move while the rouge was freezing me in my own armor. After reaching him I ended his life with no mercy. I checked out the big hall on the top of the ruins. It had a forge and some interesting books about moonlight forging. I also found moonlight weapons. I took those with me as they will be of good use for the Whiterun guard during their night raids. Then I went down again and entered the main entrance of the ruins. Two ferocious Nords attacked me at once. I positioned myself in a way that only one of them could reach me. We formed a line me at the end and one bandit in the middle one at the other end. The Nord in between got hit by his over –zealous comrade (who was trying to slash me with a two handed sword), and was nearly at his end so I downed him with a quick stab. I blocked the other Nord’s second blow and while he was still shocked at his first ill placed first strike on his already dead chief, I slashed to the neck.  The bandit’s blonde head went right off. There was a narrow passage deeper into the ruin and an archer was waiting for me. The poor fellow had no chance in a close fight. I reached the treasure room that was closed. I could break through it somehow and entered. The bandits stocked some moderate valuables and had a very good stock of food. After collecting the loot I left Silent Moons Camp.
A very unfriendly welcome
In the recent days I encountered several bandit spell-casters. It is a very bad thing that the Mages Guild in Tamriel was severely weakened in the last century and especially in the war. It was them who put an end to rouge spell-casters, conjurers and necromancers throughout the provinces of the empire. Their absence is definitely felt here in Skyrim. The overall security in the province is very bad and thugs from other provinces are finding shelter here. It will be a long time until things settle in Skyrim. But first the Nords have to end their bloody and vain civil war and start solving their real problems. 
A bandit spell-caster
I continued to walk further West and reached a tomb named Dustman’s cairn.  I decided not to enter the tomb today. I was looking for bandits to put down and not some foul undead. There was a strange graveyard named Hamvir’s rest in the vicinity and I checked that out though.  It turned out that this was not a wise thing to do. Several skeletons and a restless draugr attacked me. The skeletons were destroyed with one or two blows. The draugr was a tougher foe and casted frost spells, but he quickly joined his companions in Oblivion where he belonged. 
Hamvir's rest was infested with the undead
I went on westward and reached a place named Greenspring Hollow. I was ready to encounter some beast of nature but it was fortunately quiet. It was time for me to turn South and reach Redoran’s retreat, the cave where the bandit chief with a bounty on his head was hiding. Soon I reached the entrance which was by surprise unguarded. I entered the cave immediately and proceeded very carefully looking for traps but found none. There was a weak bandit at the entrance hall, who went down in seconds. It was suspiciously quiet. There was the inner chamber connected to the entrance hall by a tunnel. As I entered the tunnel the bandit chief and his fierce guard attacked me.  I was lucky that the tunnel was narrow and only one of them could reach me at a time. First the tall Nord bodyguard attacked. He was wearing weak fur armor but was wielding a sharp two handed steel axe. I blocked his initial wild blows and finished him with strikes to the side and a stab to the belly.  The chief was next. This renegade warrior was a tough one and wore very good quality steel armor. Slashing and stabbing him would have not been the best way to end his criminal career. He was getting very close so I stroke him with the pommel of my sword and shattered him with several shield-bashes. He must have had several of his ribs broken and asked for a quick death. I fulfilled his last wish. Then I collected the valuables. Among the items was a valuable enchanted Orc axe. I also found a treasure map. There were god food supplies in the cave, I carried with me what I could. I also took the bandit chief’s armor with me.  
The bandit chief with a bounty on his head
I had the assignment done and was filled with loot.  I started going back straight to Whiterun. On my way I found a giant camp which I observed from a safe distance. The tree giants and their mammoths seemed to be peaceful and I intended not to change that. Other than that there were no more things to mention till I reached Whiterun. I sold the loot as usual to Adriane. She kindly permitted me to use some of their barrels in front of their house to store my belongings. I sold the remaining items to Belethor and Arcadia and I bought the necessary health potions.
Late in the afternoon I took a look at the bandit chief’s armor. I decided to clean repair and finally strengthen it. It was a fine Nord steel armor more fit to the savage conditions in rural Skyrim. My Imperial armor is stored in the barrel. The Imperial armor is best used when in formation and long marches. When questing alone in Skyrim the steel armor will provide a better protection.
In the evening I cooked my supper in the Banned Mare, apple cabbage soup and roasted goat leg. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

day 6 - The outlaws are put down

Turdas, 22nd of Last Seed 4E201 

Early at dawn after having breakfast I put on my armor and sword. It was time to try out my new equipment and earn some gold in the meantime. I decided to explore around Whiterun and search for bandit hideouts. 
Ready for fight
As I exited the gate I turned West, then later to the North-West. I have not been walking for too long when I found s suspicious camp, right at the side of the hill the city is located! As I approached I saw a wagon which did not seem to belong there. I was right, it was a bandit camp.
Bandit hideout at the side of Whiterun hill
 Two outlaws were talking near the campfire. It took but a few moments to cut them down both. Then I examined the camp and found some loot there. I also found Skooma! These thugs were smuggling it to Whiterun. As I was looking around, the rest of the gang returned and I was attacked. 
The first two thugs went down quickly
Two Nord swordsmen and a spell-caster did their best to rid the place of my presence.  It could have been a nasty situation if these bandits had been more experienced in team and formation combat. But they were not. Their spell-caster instead of staying back, charged with the rest. He was the first to go down. The other two put up a hard fight attacking me at the same time.  The fight dragged on a bit longer and I had to block a number of blows with my shield before I could strike another outlaw down. The last of them was badly bloodied already by then and went down quickly after.
Two angry young men charging
It was time to move on and I went to the North. After a time, I reached an outlaw camp named Halted stream camp. There were many bandits in there. It would have been a bad move from my part to move in there by myself. Instead I tried to lure some of them out and finish them off farther from their camp. 
Halted Stream Camp
I am a sword and shield man, however during the years I had to learn to use the bow to a certain level. My bow attacks were quite successful.  I downed two archers with arrows, and wound a third Nord that was charging at me swinging a huge two-handed steel axe. I finished the later off with my sword in no time. Then I approached the camp entrance. Another pair attacked me a spell-caster and a swordsman. I stroke down the spell-caster first then the swordsmen. An archer remained inside of the camp. I approached him with my shield in front of me treading carefully not to take an arrow in my knee.  After I cornered him he offered not much of a resistance. The camp was cleared.
A dead spellcaster
I found an entrance to a mine and obviously the camp was built to protect it. My good old Aerius, my old mentor was right when he insisted on me learning the use of bow. It saved my days countless times during my service in the Legion and it aided me well today. I will never master it as well as the expert archers though. I am more passionate about sword fighting.  
I collected all the loot and placed it in a cache in the camp so I could move more easily. Then I entered the mine. The shifty brigands trapped the entrance of the mine and I was fool enough to spring it. Being on my guard saved me though and I jumped at the side by the moment I heard the rocks rolling. My armor saved me from the few rocks that landed on me. One man was guarding the entrance wearing a full set of heavy iron armor. That did not save him I struck him quickly in the side. I found a key which opened a door leading deeper in the cave. I found a cart full of mammoth tusks as well. That paid well after taking the loot to the Whiterun traders and later I gave one to Ysolda as she asked. Deep in the mine in the biggest hall, there was the bandit chief a spell-caster and a fierce Ork with a two handed hammer. My plan was to weaken the chief with arrows then retreat to the entrance tunnel and kill the chasing thugs one by one starting with the spell caster. This did not work the way I intended. The chief was in full set of iron armor but he moved very fast and dodged my arrow and closed on me very quickly as did his fellow bandits. I was in trouble.
The last fight was the toughest
I retreated at once to the tunnel leading upwards and fled till the entrance hall. There the thugs caught up with me. Their spell caster was smart and let the chief go in front. I had no choice but start exchanging blows with him while the hedge wizard was attacking me from behind. The chief was a tough one and I had to land on him many blows before he succumbed. Then I finally reached the spell-caster. In the meantime that blasted brigand almost cooked me with her fire spells in my own armor. A few cuts and she was down but I was also nearing my end. The Ork with the hammer was approaching and I quickly drank a few health potions in order to be able to press on. The Ork was strong and ferocious but he was slow and the place was tight. I stopped him with cuts to the side and a final stab to the neck. 
The mine graveyard of mammoths
After having recovered I went down again and inspected the place. There was a mammoth corpse in the middle of the hall. The gang was hunting mammoths, I believe without the permission of the Jarl. I found books and other loot in there. There was an exit at the end of the hall which led to the mammoth trap. An unfortunate Elf has met his end in there. I collected the loot and went up in the camp where I also took the items previously hid in the chest, leaving only the very heavy items there. With the tusks and the other loot found I will make decent gold today.
I was loaded with as much loot as I could carry. I stared to go on my way back to Whiterun, this time approaching from the Eastern direction. On the plains north of the city I did not expect any serious encounter. A huge sabre-cat thought otherwise. The beast was hiding very well in the tall grass and surprised me completely. It was my heavy armor that saved me from being torn apart from the initial blows of the huge cat. It took a moment for me to recover and I quickly stepped aside and stabbed the beast several times. I again needed to drink health potions to restore my strength. After some rest I skinned the sabre-cat and started approaching the Northern watch-tower. 
A sabre-cat wanted me for dinner
Three bandits attacked the guards at the tower, but the Whiterun guards quickly slew them. It was no need for my help fortunately.  I descended the hill and reached the Loreius farm. The farmer was angry with the jester named Cicero who persistently was asking him to help fix his cart. That clown was surely an eccentric fellow but he also was a man in need. I convinced Loreius to help him and he finally agreed.
As I was nearing Whiterun I met an old Ork who was asking me to give him a good death. I knew about this tradition from the Orks that served in my unit during the war. I did not wish to be the executioner of an old man, nor did I want to perish by his expert hands. I was wounded and tired. I respectfully declined. Near him was a strange Khajit named M'aiq who was talking nonsense. Are all the eccentric people gathering near Whiterun nowdays? 
Finally home.
I finally made it back to Whiterun. I sold my loot and bought health potions. I gave Ysolda the mammoth tusk she asked for.  She was very happy to finally get one. I hope she will use it well. I am staying now at the Banned Mare and too tired to go down and chat with people. At the end of the day I ended with 1300 gold and that is a fair sum at the moment. In the next days I will explore the surroundings of Whiterun more.

day 5 - Whiterun

Middas 21st of Last Seed 4E201

I woke up well rested. I decided to spend my day repairing my armor, stocking some health potions and getting to know Whiterun. As I stepped out of the banned Mare I overheard a strange conversation. The head of the Clan Battle-Born and his elder son were having a very unfriendly conversation with Fralia Grey-mane.
Two men against an old woman?
I did not hear exactly what the talk was about, nevertheless it disappoints me greatly what kind of supporters the Empire has in Whiterun. Such clowns like the Battle-Born are brave against an old lady but they would run like chicken if faced by a worthy foe. Such people are just like that.

Adrianne working hard
First I visited Adrianne Avenicci a kind and skilled Imperial blacksmith and sold her the rest of my loot that remained from the last days. Then I asked her to help me repair my armor and she kindly agreed. I also sharpened my new steel sword.  My Imperial armor set is complete and is also nicely reinforced. I am ready for the next encounters if need be. Adrianne asked me to deliver the sword she made for the Jarl to her father at Drasgon’s Reach.
I visited the Breton trader Belethor and traded my loot for potions. I also visited Arcadia a very kind Imperial alchemist and bought additional health potions at her shop.  Then I went to Dragon’s Reach and gave Adrianne’s sword to the steward. 
It is a nice job being the steward of Whiterun
On my way back I took a walk around the city. Whiterun is a beautiful place. Jarl Balgruf is leading the city wisely. People seem to be content for the most part and buildings are well maintained. The city walls are a bit under maintained though. That may be a serious trouble if a dragon decides to pay a lengthy visit to Whiterun. Being situated at the center of Skyrim, Whiterun can make quite a fortune from trade. The war has kept traders away in the recent time and that is being felt already.
A beautiful city and its mesmerizing surrounding
I have also talked with some people in the city. A young Nord woman Ysolda asked me to help her find a mammoth’s tusk. A Redgard asked for my assistance in retrieving his family heirloom sword. I promised both of them that I shall help them if opportunity shows. A good looking Imperial trader, a woman named Carlotta complained about being insulted by the local bard Mikael. I decided to have a talk with this Mikael fellow and set him to have some manners. 
I also visited the hall of the Companions. As I entered some of their members were brawling and the others cheered at them. They do look as fierce warriors individually, but are they disciplined enough as a coherent unit? I had a short talk with their leader Kodlak and their officers. I am looking for decent hire work in Skyrim and the companions may have provided that. My overall impression was that they are not the company I seek. I respectfully left thereafter.
It is a pity the Fighter’s Guild is not present in Skyrim. They have rules of engagement that I could live by and they make a decent organization. For now I am on my own and will go on like that for a while.
Hall of the Companions
At the shrine of Talos I said a short prayer. I am grateful that I have overcome the many perils of the past days.  Jarl Balgruf seems to look away when it comes to Talos worship. It is wise of him to do so, but not without risk. The Talmor can be on his neck very soon if this gets to the wrong ears. From what I see Balgruf is balancing between the two sides of the civil war and keeps Whiterun’s neutrality.  Up to now that seems to have paid off quite well. I wonder for how long can he keep this beautiful city away from the bloodshed that has spread all over Skyrim…
Mikael being educated
In the evening I returned to the Banned Mare and tried to persuade Mikael to come to his senses regarding Carlotta. The bard persisted and challenged me for a brawl. A short fist fight has been more useful in teaching him the manners he needed to learn so much. I have fought men much worse than this young lad, he just did not know. He then agreed to stop insulting Carlotta. 
A peaceful evening
After the brawl we had a nice evening at the inn. Mikael did not seem to be hurt much and played his music very well. Carlotta was very glad to hear the good news.  It is now time to sleep. Tomorrow I will explore around Whiterun. There are places filled with bandits and the Jarl put a bounty on some of them. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

day 4 - A day of misfortune

Tirdas 20 th of Last Seed 4E201

Today I barely made it alive. A warrior always has to be ready for the unexpected, but no one can be ready for everything.
I got up short before dawn. There is a lake South-West of Riverwood and I wished to explore its surrounding. I also wanted to hunt some deer for hide. Just as I crossed the river south of Riverwood I spotted a deer and hit it with an arrow. It ran off but did not get far. I caught and killed it. After skinning it quickly I went on exploring the lake shore.
I reached the lake at dawn
Two wolves attacked me but they may regret that by now, as their hide ended in my possession too.  Later I discovered the ruins of an old fort named Ilinalta’s deep. I descended on a ladder into the fort which was half sunk into the lake. After passing a few rooms I felt on myself the frost destruction magic. A necromancer was attacking me! I quickly stroke him down but he severely weakened me. I heard his friends approaching and I retreated in haste as I saw no chance to win a fight against them.
I went on further on the shore of the lake and hunted down two elks. 
Ilinalta's deep
I was passing by the western edge of the lake when I discovered an entrance to a cavern. A wounded Nord named Valdr was sitting near it. He asked for help and I gave him two potions of restore health. Soon Valdr recovered. He told me that he with his friend chased bears into the cave and got attacked within. He intended to go back into the cave to save his friend.  I tried to deter him of his plan as we could not know what else was in there. He persisted and I did not blame him for that. In his shoes I would have done the same thing… Then I agreed to help him.
I found Valdr wounded
We entered the cave, with me at the front in heavy armor with sword and shield, Valdr at the back with his bow. Soon enough it turned out what a bad idea that was. A foul green creature, a spriggan attacked us with her bear. I hastily slashed the spriggan a few times but it did not do much harm to the beast. The bear in the meantime jumped on Valdr. Seeing the futile attempt to best this creature it was high time to run. The blasted creature started to drain my strength and very soon it would have put an end to my life. I quickly backed off and shouted to Valdr “Run!!!”. It was too late the bear tore the poor lad apart. I had to quickly use my health potions to recover. 

Moss mother cavern
 After a time I tried to sneak into the cave once more to get the corpses out and burry them. The spriggan was waiting at the entrance and attacked instantly. I retreated again this time for good. I had to use my last potions in order to recover. This is how the adventure of poor Valdr ended and I could do nothing more about it. I was left without any potions and my equipment was badly damaged.  
The spriggan was a terrible foe
Since I was half way the route I planned I chose to go on exploring as planned and went on as careful as one could.  Going further on the southern shore of the lake I was attacked by wolves many times. I fought them off easily and their hides will be put to good use. I met a traveler and his guard who were also attacked by wolves. I approached the eastern tip of the lake not far from the guardian stones when I found a bandit camp. Three bandits were guarding it. It was a foolish move from my part to attack them but I was very angry with myself not being able to help Valdr.  I did not completely lose my cool though. I outwitted the three thugs by moving around them and killing them one by one.

The bandit who did not live to tell the tale
 Finally I reached Riverwood where I sold the loot to Alvor and Lucan. I asked Lucan about his trouble and he told me that thieves robbed him of his valuable item a gold claw and ran off to Bleak Falls Barrow. I told him that I will return him his claw once I find it. We made quick fixes to my armor with Alvor as well.  I did not wish to burden them with my stay any longer so I said fairwell to Alvor and his kind wife Sigrid and their beautiful daughter.
It was late afternoon already but I expected an eventless and short trip to Whiterun. I again was wrong.  Half way to Whiterun I was stopped by a thief. He demanded my valuables and I am not the man to succumb to such threats. Then he attacked me on the spot.
The dangerous Dunmer thief
 This Dunmer fellow was not the inexperienced, easy to fool lad like the other bandits I met in the last days. He wore light armor and wielded two daggers but he was devious and fast as lightning. Many cuts landed on my armor and some stabs which found their way through the weak spots wounded me badly till I finally could slay him with a last blow to the neck. It was a very close fight and that blasted Dunmer nearly defeated me. Talos guided me well though and I was the one who prevailed, praise him for that. I cast restoration spells on myself and slowly made it to Whiterun.

As I arrived I went straight to the Banned Mare and rent a room.  Tomorrow I shall use the day to recover and think about the next things to do.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

day 3 - Embershard Mine

Morndas, 19 th of Last Seed 4E201 

Talking to Alvor at supper I learned from him about the troubles a bandit gang was causing to the citizens of Riverwood. Theft, ransoming, robbery was happening more and more often. They dwelled at the Embershard Mine not far from the village. I decided to pay them a little visit.  I left Riverwood early. I was on my guard since I stepped out of the village. Bandits in Skyrim became more and more of a problem since the province started to sink in the bloody civil war. I found the mine easily. 
Embershard Mine
At the entrance a fierce Nord bandit tried to scare me off. It looked like he did not regard me as a serious threat. I did my best to prove him wrong. The young men put up quite a fight at the beginning and I needed to block his hits with my iron shield. Soon he exhausted himself and I could open his defense easily. With a few cuts he was down.
Then I entered the mine. The crafty outlaws trapped the entrance but I noticed and sprung them without getting myself hurt. I listened for a few moments and waited for somebody to rush to the entrance. Nobody came. The rest were too deep in the mine being very confident about their guard and traps. 
Tunnel of the mine
As I went in deeper I spotted two bandits talking near a campfire. With some noise I lured them to my position I caught them by surprise. In a short fight I cut them down. Going further deep I reached a raised bridge which I needed to lower. I found the lever in a cell near by. Two more bandits run to me hearing that something was going on near the bridge. These two fellows were harder to overcome. I retreated slowly blocking and hitting them here and there. Soon one of them went down and the other followed. The next thing I found was a barred cell. These thugs must have kept there their prisoners they wanted to ransom. A fierce redgard attacked me with a mace and  got a few blows landing on my shield and armor. My cuts did not delay too much and deep they went through the bandit’s rags. I found the treasure room and looted gold, gems and a precious enchanted pair of hide boots.
Bandits fought hard
The mine seemed to never end. Finally I reached the last and biggest hall of the mine. I encountered another three bandits and one by one I put them down. The strongest was a tall redgard with a black beard swinging wildly a two hand sword. My skill bested his brute force though. The bandits even managed to set up a forge in the mine and had considerable food supplies too.  I finally exited the mine at the other end where I found another entrance. 
Bleak Falls Barrow
 The second entrance had a view to the opposite mountain with Bleak Falls Barrow on top. Skyrim is a beautiful place and Nords are rightfully proud of their homeland.  I descended from the mountain side back to the road, then I crossed the river to explore the other side. I wanted to hunt some elk to get their hide. I found none but caught two rabbits instead. I came by an old hut and found an old woman sitting in front of it. She wanted to be alone and I respectfully left. It was time to get back to Riverwood. On my way I was attacked by two skeletons. They were slow and weak and offered not much of a resistance. They may have come down from the barrow. Such foul creatures were always found in dark and hidden places. What is happening now, even the dead are walking under the clear sky? 
Skeleton approaching
 After reaching Riverwood I sold my loot to Alvor and Lucan Valerius. The trader was ranting about thieves, but I did not ask him about the details. For the loot Alvor gave me leather, and iron ingots to practice my smithing skills. During the rest of the afternoon I made leather armor and iron daggers which I sold to Alvor. My smithing knowledge improves nicely, soon I will be able to make the Imperial armor set I need.
In the evening we had a nice rabbit stew for supper. After that I visited the inn and talked with the locals and I got updated with the latest rumors. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

day 2/B - The dragons have returned

Sundas, 18 th of Last Seed 4E201 (continued, page 2)

It is late at night, yet I can’t get some sleep. A lot has happened in the recent days and things happened which may change our world completely. At first the person being present is preoccupied with ensuring his survival and may not recognize immediately how far certain events can lead.
Dragons are back
The dragons have returned. That is a fact. I would have not believed such news if I had not been present. But I was. How can we people counter this threat? As experience shows a single dragon is capable of erasing a complete town.  Nobody is safe now.  How can we kill such beast? If we cannot how can we at least fight it off and chase it away? Would a big hail of arrows do, or some kind of destruction magic? As an Imperial I have no knowledge about the Dragons. We had our Dragonborn emperors but that was more of a tradition than anything else. And the Septim line is gone for two centuries now.  Nords have their tales but there may not be many practical things in them about handling dragons.
The book of Dragonborn
This evening I have read the book of the Dragonborn which I found in Helgen keep. It is written there that dragonborns may be able to kill dragons.  The dragonborns are descendants of St. Alessia.  The line of dragonborn emperors is terminated and it seems that humanity has lost its dragonborn members. This may not be completely true. Dragonborn emperors were flesh and blood men like all the others. They certainly had khm… bastard children at times, and they were not kept track of. Some of their descendants may be among us. Anyone of us could be a dragonborn if that is true.

That being said I remember my grandmother bragging that her father was a bastard son of a priest named Martin who served in the city of Kvatch. That priest turned to be Uriel Septim’s son and had a leading role in ending the Oblivion crisis. If that is true… bah what nonsense.  I believe I got carried too far away. It is time to go to sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

day 2 - A message to Whiterun

Sundas, 18 th of Last Seed 4E201

As I promised to Alvor yesterday I headed to Whiterun at dawn. I followed the road north for the most part. Nothing really exciting happened except that a lone wolf attacked me. I slew it immediately and skinned it. Its hide will be put to good use at the forge. When I reached a hill top suddenly the view on Whiterun became visible. Those citizens of the Empire who think that in Skyrim there is nothing else but Barbarians should visit Whiterun.  The city looks amazing even from afar with Dragon’s Reach at the top. When I reached the city gate the guards were already on alert and reluctant to let me in. After telling them I had an important message for the Jarl in connection with the dragon they let me enter.  
Whiterun from afar.
I quickly went to the palace of the Jarl and asked for audience. The over-zealous bodyguard would not let me speak to him, but Jarl Balgruf called for me. I told him Alvor’s message and explained the events at Helgen. The Jarls was not surprised as he had received information about the dragon from other sources. Balgruf asked for a short council from his two advisors and decided to send a small detachment of guards to Riverwood. He being a generous ruler rewarded me with a steel heavy armor. He also asked me to talk with his wizard as he would have another job for me. I did as the Jarl asked. The wizard sent me into a horrible tomb for searching an ancient stone tablet. Such request cannot be declined so I had no other choice then to accept the task. It will take some time until I can prepare myself to doing what I am asked for.
Balgruf Jarl of Whiterun
I did not intend to spend much time in Whiterun as I wanted to bring back Alvor the good news. As I walked through the city it seemed that the houses are well maintained and there is order in the city. Jarl Balgruf must be doing very well as the leader of Whiterun making it one of the biggest cities in Skyrim.  I will definitely return and have a deeper look at this place which I found with my first impression to my liking. Not long after noon I arrived back to Riverwood. Alvor was happy to hear the good news. Then we had a quick lunch.
Back to riverwood and smithing with Alvor
In the afternoon I sold of my loot to Alvor and some of it at the Riverwood Trader. I helped around the forge in the afternoon and Alvor taught me a lot about smithing. That will come very handy when I need to maintain my equipment. From the money I made I bought a few restore health potions, steel Imperial gloves and steel Imperial boots. I almost have a mixed heavy armor set which will serve me well in the next days. I have now 100 gold which is not enough to by myself a steel sword so I have to do with the iron sword I have.  I also wish to have a complete Imperial heavy armor set. While it is not the strongest armor I know its use the best thus it will be the best option for me. I need to improve my smithing skills to make and strengthen the whole set though.
In the evening, I found some time to reflect about the past days and write in my diary.

day 1/B - An unexpected escape

Loredas, 17th of Last Seed 4E201 (continued, page 2)

Today my head was laid on the headsmen's block yet I am still alive. Gods do have their strange way to sort things out. Just as the headsmen was about to swing his axe to decapitate me a strange loud noise was heard from the near. Nobody knew what is was until a huge flying creature landed right on top of the tower near us.
A dragon!
A dragon! Hell broke loose instantly at that moment. The beast started to burn the whole place. There was not much time to wonder around. I quickly ran off with the Nord called Ralof to a near tower. I saw that Ulfric Jarl of Windhelm has made it inside safe as well. I heard the voice of General Tullius trying to keep his men from running and make them fight the dragon.I jumped from the hole in the side of the tower to the attic of a house nearby then jumped off the ground. The legionnaire named Hadvar was near me. He asked me to stay close to him and I did so as I had a good feeling about this man. In trouble he acted bravely and helped the civilians get out of the burning town.
A true legionnaire aiding civilians in need
We run through the center of Helgen and met Ralof who was escaping. Hadvar and Ralof must have known each other well and it seems they hate each other as Hadvar is a Nord serving the Legion and Ralof is a Stormcloak. Both yelled to me to join them in their escape. Both are decent young men I am sure I could have made it out with any of them.

As a former legionnaire I chose to stay with Hadvar. I do not know much about the Stormcloaks. The Legion being as bad as it is now is still the Legion I served. I entered with Hadvar the Helgen keep. We collected some equipment there armor swords potions, whatever we found. As we made our way through the keep, we met Stromcloaks inside. Hadvar tried to reason with them but they attacked us at once and we had no choice but fight back. That ended in more lives wasted in vain. At least that was the Stomcloak lives and not ours. Hadvar fought valiantly and gallantly. I did my best to back him up however the long years of office work made my sword wielding skills a little rusty. I am not totally out of practice though thanks to my habit of joining the guards training in Chorrol after the war in order to keep some of my former shape.
A needles and bloody fight in the keep
Instead of heavy armor I had to use the light armor we found in the keep. The iron sword was a bit dull but it was sufficient in such a case of emergency. I looted some of the equipment from the fallen Stormcloaks. Hopefully that will make me some coin to get me started. We made it through the keep and the cave below. With the help of Hadvar I escaped unharmed. Gods are good. Hadvar offered me to join him and we traveled to Riverwood a small village near by.
Finally safe in Riverwood
There we were received with hospitality by Alvor, Hadvar's uncle who is the blacksmith of Riverwood. Alvor offered us food and shelter and I am afraid I will need to accept his kind hospitality for a while. Alvor asked me to go to Whiterun and pass the message to Balgruf Jarl of Whiterun about the dragon threat. That I will do early in the morning tomorrow. We had a cozy dinner with Alvors' family and Hadvar.
With friends: Alvor and Hadvar
I am about to have some sleep now. Gods wanted me to live and I made it here safe. I praise Talos for not letting me fall to the many perils today.

day 1 - Facing my fate

Loredas, 17th of Last Seed 4E201

By the mercy of Talos and all the Gods I made it alive through the last days. Being a soldier I saw many people die and faced death countless time myself. There were a few days in my life when death came very close by. Today was such a day. Being persistent and having a bit of luck prevented me from meeting my ultimate fate as of yet though.

Yesterday I left Bruma before dawn and got past the Imperial patrols with ease. I spent the whole day crossing the Jerall Mountains without having any major trouble. I shot a deer during the day and the venison was more than enough to keep me well fed. I spent the night in the lower mountains and had a short but good sleep as I knew I had already reached Skyrim. In the morning I made a short descent and not long after dawn I reached the road to Helgen. Then events turned to an unexpected direction. A small Imperial cavalry patrol rode in speed on the road. I stopped and stayed at the side of the road waiting peacefully for them to pass. Instead of riding further the soldiers stopped at me and got me surrounded. I was ready to answer their question about what I was doing there but they did not say a word. After a second something hit me from behind and I fell unconscious.

I woke up sitting in a wagon with three bound Nords. One of them had his mouth folded and later he turned to be the Jarl of Windhelm and the leader of the Stormcloak rebellion in Skyrim. In front of me was sitting a tall and strong blond haired Nord called Ralof, and another Nord a horse thief in rags. I did not quite understand how I have got myself in this situation but it certainly did not look good.

An unexpected way to arrive at Helgen
We were soon approaching the town of Helgen and a familiar voice was heard. General Tullius was talking with the soldiers guarding the convoy. The Legion has sent him to Skyrim not without a reason. Top leaders like him are always at the hot spots of the Empire trying to handle troubles that others could not. I heard sporadic news in Cyrodiil about the uprising in Skyrim. It was always mentioned as a minor issue which is dealt locally and effectively by the Empire. I myself while was aware of the war, I did not expect any encounters so close to Cyrodiil. I was totally wrong. I believed the fight was tougher then what the officials said but I did not expect the situation to be so bad. I must be aware of that from now on.
The raid which captivated me was very much the way Tullius was waging his wars. He always struck where the enemy expected the least. It must have been the reason why he caught the leader of the rebellion and his Stormcloak guards by surprise.

Yet again I was without justice considered an enemy of the Empire. It looked like the Gods were rewarding my loyal service to the Legion with death by their hands. Gods do have strange reasons sometimes. I would have not been the first one to suffer that fate that is for certain. This is what the decadent Empire and Legion has become. They cannot make a difference between friend and foe any more. In Helgen we got of the wagon and it soon became clear that all the people transported there will be beheaded on the spot.

Does the Legion know what they are doing?
When the men were queuing for the block a kind Nord legionnaire named Hadvar asked about my identity. I was tempted to reveal my past, but I saw no sense in it. No one would have believed me. If that was to be my end I had to accept it.

It would have been wise of General Tullius to quickly execute the leader of the rebellion and end the uprising instantly. Executing the other Stormcloak soldiers would have been a big mistake though as those men did not deserve death. The execution of innocent people including me among them would have been a crime. In war mistakes are made and that has to be accepted. This however would have been more than just some mistake. And it certainly would have not made more supporters of the Empire in Skyrim.
The stage is set.
Then I was called to the headsmen...