Sunday, January 13, 2013

day 9 - The family heirloom

Sundas 25th of Last Seed 4E201

Some days ago I met a Redguard citizen in Whiterun called Amren.  He asked me to help him with a matter of his.  His father’s sword was stolen and was kept in a bandit stronghold named Valtheim Towers. Yesterday I had a talk with him in the evening at the Banned Mare and he shared all the details about the place. In the recent time he explored the area and collected a lot of information about the stronghold and the bandits within. The stronghold consisted of two towers and a passage between them over the river. The bandits were many in numbers. That was not an easy assignment.
Valtheim Towers
There was a back-door approach to the towers which might surprise the thugs though. I promised Amren to attempt to retrieve his sword if the plan works. He told me that he would have liked to join me but his wife did not let him undertake such a risky adventure. I did not blame him.
At first light I exited Whiterun and started my journey. The late summer weather was mild and I hoped I could make it through the day unharmed. 
Dawn in Skyrim
I planned my route to arrive at Valtheim Towers from the top of the cliffs nearby and descend to the Northern tower which was supposedly less guarded. First I went north till I reached the mountain side North-East of Whiterun.  I found a cave entrance with some strange fence around. I noted the place and went on.
Shimmermist cave
I then turned East and started climbing the mountain side. After a time I reached a strange stronghold named Fellglow Keep. I must have approached too close as two hedge wizards suddenly attacked me. Fighting mages is a nasty business. They can either freeze or cook people in their own armor unless they are rushed very fast and cut down immediately.  One of them attacked me with fire spells the other with frost spells.  I dodged the fire and frost balls. Soon I got near the frost mage and quickly put him down. 
Fellglow Keep home of hedge wizards
The fire mage was the more experienced one. I needed to dodge his attacks for quite a time until his magica was exhausted. Luckily for me his magical resources depleted faster than my stamina while jumping side to side. The blasted thug then drew his short sword and charged at me. That was a wrong move from his part and ended in his death.  
We had an exhausting fight
I also noticed a fiery abomination at the fort entrance. As I approached it turned out to be a fire atronach. The atronach hit me once with his fire spell and that almost knocked me down. I was not able to charge and finish it off as I would have died in the hail of fire. I could not flee because the atronach would have hit me with its spells. I took cover at the side of a big rock. I caught up with my breath and rested for a moment. Then I came to an idea. I put my sword into the scabbard and took the bow. I dodged aside the rock shot a bow at the atronach and dodged back. The fireball just flew besides the rock and me. Then I dodged to the other side of the rock shot an arrow and dodged back. I repeated this until the atronach was destroyed. I was safe for the moment. 
The atronach almost defeated me
I did not enter the keep, instead I left Fellglow keep as quickly as I could and went on eastward. I have to inform Proventus about this place and he should warn the citizens not to come to this place.
After an hour I reached the point above Valtheim Towers. It was time to descend as silently as I could in my heavy armor.  The thugs did not expect anybody from the mountain side and only an archer was on guard. As I just got halfway down, the blasted archer heard me approaching and alerted the thugs in the tower. 
Valtheim Towers, approaching the back-door
A bandit chief ad his Nord lieutenant run out from the Northern tower and charged at me. They were both in heavy armor. I quickly moved to the side and hit the chief. While they turned to me I changed position again and hit the Nord. I moved around them and stroke one of them, and blocked their blows a few times. Both the chief –a Redguard woman- and the Nord were hardy brawlers but had crude fencing skills. The archer stood back and dare not to shoot in order to avoid his companions being hit. After a time both of them got exhausted and in an unwary moment the Nord opened his stance too much. With a stab I put him down. Seeing that the chief charged in anger but I blocked her last strong blow and got in her back. Soon she lied dead. The archer started shooting at me but was quickly rushed and cut down. 
The bandit chief and her lieutenant
I entered the Northern tower and nobody else was there. It looks like the bandits at the southern side did not notice what was going on at the far bank. I searched the Northern tower and found the chest with Amren’s family heirloom. It was time to leave.

I found Amren's family heirloom
 At first I wanted to leave the way I came but had a second thought. This stronghold is near the road to Whiterun. These thugs might kill many innocent travelers if they are let loose. I decided to put them down all. Instead of leaving I stepped out on the narrow passage. Then the thugs in the Southern tower noticed me. Two outlaws charged at me and they were shortly defeated. A third one was shooting arrows at me. I entered the Southern tower and rushed up the stairs with my shield above my head. As I closed on the last bandit he drew his dagger in vain attempt to save his hide. His struggle did not last long. The fort was finally cleared. 
Outlaws were charging wildly
I collected the valuables and left, this time on the road leading to Whiterun. On my way home I discovered many other places.
At first I spotted a camp that is was different from those bandit camps I ran into the past weeks. As I approached it became clear that I found one of the hidden Stormcloak camps. I was leaving when I was approached by a Stormcloak patrol. I was ready for fight when the guard greeted me and went on his way. I also left in peace. 
Stormcloak camp
After leaving the camp I found another Guardian stone and a necromancer was defending it. The necromancer was down within a few heart beats. I was approaching the bridge leading to the Whiterun farmlands when I discovered another cave White River Watch. Two bandits were guarding the entrance and were not happy with me being around. Their unfriendly welcome resulted in them being quickly sent to Oblivion. After defeating the thugs I left immediately and soon crossed the bridge and reached Honningbrew meadery. I bought two bottles of beer and had a nice chat with Sabjorn the Nord owner of the place. Finally I reached Whiterun.
Bandits at White River Watch had a bad day
Khajit traders were outside the city and I took the opportunity to sell the majority of my loot to them. After entering Whiterun I sold the remaining loot to Adrianne and Belethor. I gave Amren his family heirloom and he was very glad to have it back. He taught me a Redguard sword and shield technique in return. He also agreed to tech me the Redguard fencing for a fee.  The rest of the afternoon we trained. It cost me a lot of gold to acquire the knowledge of the one-hand sword techniques but it was worth it. 
Imperials like me are professional soldiers wielding the sword in a classic way. Redguards on the other had always used surprise and unexpected moves in their sword-play. No wonder so many Redguards were recruited among the Blades. Many of my fellow legionnaires wished to learn this kind of sword fighting but the few Redguards who served in the legion kept their secret. I am happy to have such an opportunity to finally master the Redguard techniques. I will certainly use some of the faints I learned. I will also be able to counter the savage Redguard sell-swords if need be.

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