The exit to Bleak Falls placed us on the side of the mountain. The cliff we were on was high up but their were plenty of places to jump down so once we had gotten onto the slope downward we headed toward the lake. Lake Ilnalta is beautiful but also pretty deadly. Slaughterfish swim the lake although not in great numbers. The lake is so clear you can see them coming quite a way off and there are parts of the lake they don’t seem to be a regular part of. In any case we made our way to its edge and then downstream toward the river and the falls looking for place to cross.
We found it where the White River begins and found a place to cross to get to the Guardian Stones. Not wanting to get my clothes wet, I took them off including my loin cloth and put them in my pack and the put my pack and sword in my shield and floated the shield across the river while swimming behind it. I arrived with all my gear dry on the other side but I hadn’t noticed a female hunter who came over out of curiosity and found me there in my nakedness sitting on a rock pulling my pants on. She giggled and I probably turned red. After getting dressed, Faendal and I headed to Riverwood.
In Riverwood I returned the Golden Claw to Lucian and he rewarded me and then I headed to Dragonsreach. We arrived without incident, and when I found my way to Farengar, he was already in conversation with a mysterious woman dressed in leather armor with a hood hiding her face. This was Delphine the Blade but at the time I only thought to myself that she looked familiar. He was conversing with her that he had found a way to translate something using a book he had found. She was encouraging him to hurry in is research because dragons were no longer theoretical, they were back. I gave the Dragonstone to him and he thanked me, but kind of added a backhand compliment to his own intellect above mine. Farengar was like that.
No sooner did the wizard and I concluded our business than the Jarl’s housecarl came running in telling Farengar that a dragon had been spotted nearby. She told me I should come as well. We found the Jarl and the conversation came to the fact that a dragon was attacking the Western Watchtower. Farengar wanted to go but the Jarl gave strict instructions only Irileth and I would go with a contingent of guards. The reason I was included in this little party was my ‘experience’ with dragons. If you want to count at the time dodging and weaving in Helgen to avoid getting killed by one, I guess that counts as experience. I any case the Jarl had not forgotten about the Dragonstone I had recovered and rewarded me by giving me permission to purchase property in the city.
Irileth, Faendal and I headed to the main gate where, after a short speech by Irileth to her men, we headed toward the Western Watchtower. When we arrived we could see the smoke rising upward and the tower had obvious damage. Irileth and I couldn’t see any dragon but it was obvious he had been there. We approached looking for survivors. We only found one who quickly told us to get back that the dragon was still here somewhere and that it had grabbed two other guards. We didn’t have long to wait for the dragon to return as it came flying around a mountain to the south and began to streak toward the tower.
Mirmulnir was the dragon’s name although the only reason I know that was because I absorbed its soul later. In truth he was not a very powerful dragon compared to most of them, but at the time I had never fought one and the task seemed to be very daunting. I also realized I had a problem – I had no way to attack the dragon while it was flying.
Battling a dragon for me is difficult for a lot of reasons. I may be Dragonborn, but I don’t have wings. I have been able to fly but as a dragon rider. In any case, dragons have a mobility that I do not possess. Flight means you have to use a bow or crossbow to engage them which for this first battle I did not have. The other problem I have is affinity. They are kin to me as we are all children of Akatosh. The larger family of dragons has basically taken two sides – Alduin’s or mine. At the time of this first dragon battle however, I was simply trying to survive and I didn’t know these things. It was unique in the fact that I would never fight another dragon this way or with as much disconnection to who they were and who I was. After this one, I was Dovahkiin.
The battle itself was full of courage and terror. I was the only one who had no way of attack the dragon while it was flying and so I was hoping for it to land. Arrows filled the sky and Faendal proved his worth. Finally the dragon seemed to tire and be wounded enough to land. I stuck with my sword and blocked with my shield and almost died. I was thankful for my healing spell between fights. The dragon eventually lay dead at my feet. Then its soul entered my body.
I wish I could describe in truth what this feels like, but it is impossible. The effect is however that you gain some of the knowledge and power of the dragon that has died. It is very much that the fragment of Akatosh that is released when the mortal body of the dragon dies is attracted to the nearest fragment. The mortal coil holds it in place but once death comes it is released and is drawn to the nearest dragon soul. I know there are other theories about how this happens. I ma just saying this is my perspective as Dragonborn.
With the dragon dead and its soul entering my own, the whispers of Dragonborn began. One soldier, even told be that I was Dragonborn and that to prove it I should try to shout. The conversation that followed was difficult to hear, because if true I knew my life was about to take an unexpected turn but as the talk of shouts continued I could feel something welling up inside me as the word I understood from Bleak Falls met the power of the dragon soul I had just absorbed and it came out – my first shout. After that there was no doubt, I knew what they were saying was true – I was Dragonborn.
I will summarize the aftermath. I returned to the Jarl’s Palace but on the way I heard a thundering voice shout Dovahkiin. It was the Greybeards and their first call to me. My report to the Jarl led to a long conversation about me being Dragonborn, The Greybeards and how I should answer their summons. I had intended to climb the Throat of the World as part of my pilgrimage at some point but now it ad moved to the front of the line. Well, once I got myself established in Skyrim.
The Jarl made me Thane of Whiterun and gave me a badge of office (an axe). He also assigned Lydia as my housecarl. I debated long and hard in my mind about my next decision – I told Faendal to go home. He had served me well and I might call on him again, but he had more than been a friend. I told him, once I had seen Lydia, I knew she was going to be my protector. Mostly because she too was a sword and shield fighter. I knew I could learn from her, but I also told Faendal that recent events would mean the skills at the bow I would most definitely be using in the future. He parted with me and Lydia began to follow as my faithful bodyguard. It wouldn’t be long before she was put to the test.