Friday, February 1, 2013

day 12 - Swindler's Den

Middas 28th of Last Seed 4E201

Today morning I decided to continue my exploration of the Western part of Whiterun hold. There is a small town named Rorikstead at the western edge of the hold. I planned to make my way there and explore bandit hideouts if I spot them. When the sun rose I had already been walking the tundra West of Whiterun.
Beautiful sight of west Whiterun Hold
I passed near Silent Moon’s camp and it was quiet. The bandits kept away from there since I cleared it. My next leg of the journey was Dustman’s Cairn. Last time I spotted the place I did not enter. This time I decided to look what is dwelling there. As I entered I found myself in a small tomb. Suddenly four draugr woke up and gout out suddenly from their coffins. That was a very unpleasant surprise. The undead were sturdy but were not fighters with finesse. One by one I cut them down without trouble. There was a chest with some moderate loot. I did not see any tunnels or passages leading from the hall so I left the forsaken place.
Dustman's Cairn
I kept on walking westward. I bypassed the low mountain that lay in the west part of the hold from the north. Soon after I got past the western edge of that mountain I crossed a stream and spotted a cave. I approached it and spotted a bandit guarding its entrance. The name of the place was Swindler’s Den. Soon as the brigand heard me approaching, he attacked me at once. The thug swung his mace wildly but to no avail as I blocked his blow with my shield and with the first stab he was down.
A warm welcome
As I entered Swindler’s Den I found myself in a smaller hall. The Nord guarding it was put down easily. Then I entered a short tunnel which connected to another smaller hall. That was a sleeping place and I surprised two resting bandits. One of them was a fierce Nord with a warhammer and a Wood Elf with a bow. I retreated backwards to the tunnel in order to allow only one bandit to reach me. The Nord with the warhammer charged with zeal. It was very hard to block his blows but fortunately after a couple of strikes he got exhausted. Then I counter-attacked and stabbed him multiple times. He wore light armor and the stabs went deep. Soon he was lying dead. I re-entered the second hall and rushed the Bosmer archer. After s shield bash and one slash to the neck he was put down.
Fierce bandit with warhammer
I found the tunnel that led deeper into the den. This was a longer tunnel and led to an even bigger hall. That hall was being used for dining. Soon I was discovered and several brigands rushed me. First was a Nord with a steel two-handed sword. He charged with great zeal but I stepped aside and stabbed him as he jumped past me. I was then one bandit less.
Bandit charging from the dining hall
In the meantime three more thugs were rushing at me. I saw that it was time to withdraw a little. I rushed back into the tunnel and waited for them to come to me. They did not take much time to get close. One of them was a half-naked Imprerial with a sword and two of them were archers. As I retreated in the tunnel I defeated the two archers. They were fool enough to come into the tunnel after me where they lost the advantage of range. In close combat my heavy armor, shield and sword made easy work of them.  
They all wanted me dead
The Imperial proved to be a tougher opponent.  He must have been an Imperial Legion deserter as his sword-play showed. He put up quite a decent fight but he had no armor, nor a shield. He still was tough to overcome at the beginning. I cut him here and there and after a time the brigand’s reactions started to get slower. After a feint I continued with a slash from the right and I cut him in the side and he was down. As I fought the Imperial I did not notice that another bandit, a spell-caster also came after me. I have just finished the raging deserter when he attacked me with lightning spells. I quickly rushed him and ended his miserable life.
This deserter met his rightful end
I was also bleeding from several wounds fortunately nothing serious. I drank a few health regenerating potions and cast restoration spells. I re-entered the dining hall. I noticed there was a higher terrace in the dining hall. That proved to be life saver later on. The thugs had many bottles of ale and food on their table they were very well supplied. I treaded farther in the cave. I found their storage hall full of food supplies. I entered yet another tunnel. This tunnel led to a strange hall filled with water and with a waterfall. Soon I found the chief of the bandits within.
Bandit chief charging
The chief was an Imperial again and I believe he was also a Legion deserter too. He must have been a veteran or an officer even. That brigand was not to be trifled with. He wore heavy armor he was strong and very skilled. He wielded a Dwarven two handed axe. I blocked a couple of his wrecking blows with my shield and counter-attacked him when he made some slight mistakes. I withdrew again first into the tunnel then to the supply hall then to another tunnel. The bandit chief hit me once at a vulnerable place. I was starting to loose stamina and started to get slow. I could also land some hits on the brigand but did only modest harm. He was also bleeding nevertheless. While retreating I found myself on the terrace in the dining hall. I took the risk and jumped down.
I jumped of that terrace unharmed
Fortunately I did not harm myself despite being in heavy armor. The bandit chief decided to go around. That gave me a few moments and I cast restoration spells on myself as there was no time to drink potions. When the bandit chief rushed at me again I had almost fully recovered. I still pretended to be on the run and retreated into the tunnel leading out of the cave. Then the chief got careless. He opened his defense too much and I cut him first in the side then stabbed him in the neck. He fell on the cave floor lifeless.
The bandit chief was a worthy foe
Then I searched the whole cave for valuables. I found two more bandits while doing so but their futile attempt to cut me down ended in their death. After a short rest I left the swindler’s Den. Repeated tactical withdrawals and timely restorations spells saved me from dying. That bandit chief nearly bested me. I am very grateful to my Breton healer in the war Alberic Perard, who taught me basic restoration spells to speed up my recovery back then. It surely was put to good use today as well.

I continued Westward. It was afternoon already. Within an hour’s walk I finally reached Rorikstead. That is a very nice town with farms all around. I entered the town inn and had the pleasure to meet Rorik the founder himself.
He told me that he fought in the Great War and got injured. After he came back to Skyrim he bought the land which was then valueless. He had the Breton healer with him in Rorikstead too. I told him my story and Rorik was amused to hear that I went through quite similar hardship in the War. After having lunch it was time to return. I told fair-well to my kind host and started walking back to Whiterun.  
On my way I discovered another giant camp with a strange tree near it. I should have a closer look wen next time I come at this place. It was a long walk to Whiterun but fortunately without any further events.  I arrived to the city gate in the evening. 

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