I asked the scribe if he had caught up.
“Certainly Dragonborn. You can go as fast as you like, I have been trained to write quickly.”
Once Hadvar and I had made it into Helgen Keep, we took a breath and the Hadvar cut my bonds. I began to look around and realized that the first order of business was survival. I did have to make some hard decisions though. Hadvar wanted me to take the armor I could find but I declined. I never have liked wearing armor. I only traded out the foot wraps for a pair of imperial boots. I found a sword and tested it for weight. My father had taught me some things about fighting when I was a boy and I was hoping they would come back to me. I had my healing spell and a fire spell but I only used the fire spell to light fires. I found some gold and a book which I wrapped up and a bottle of wine which I took a drink off as my mouth was dry. Not the greatest image of the Dragonborn but it was a start.
It didn’t take us too long to run into some Stormcloaks. Hadvar thought he could reason with them but I was skeptical keeping my hand on my sword hilt. I was right. As soon as Hadvar appeared, the two Stormcloaks attacked. I drove in with my sword and thankfully Hadvar is a trained fighter. I provided enough distraction for him to pretty much carry the day. One of the Stormcloaks was carrying a hide shield so I picked it up.
“Dragonborn, could you talk about your fighting style for a moment. Why did you ultimately embrace Sword and Shield while wearing no armor?”
My personality I suppose. My father worked as a blacksmith’s apprentice for a time and he used the time to teach me basics. Just in case stuff. The only real fighting I had ever done before Helgen had been with my mouth. Debate and Discussion. A good debater knows when to attack and when to defend. It should be noted that my style of life reflects a talk first, fight second approach as well. I never liked armor but Alteration magic can do that job without carrying around a lot of gear. Restoration to heal my wounds and fight the undead. The Sword and Shield approach fits my personality and has some other benefits as well. Mostly though I try to talk my way out of trouble and past obstacles. The sword is ultimately a last resort. The shield a lifesaver.
The Scribe nodded. and I continued.
There is not much really to tell of Helgen. We headed into the keep’s underground areas. We found the kitchen and had to fight two more Stormcloaks. This time I killed one myself. I must pause and reflect here. It was the first person I had ever killed. I looked into his eyes and thrust my blade into his chest. I watched him fall. It gave my no satisfaction other than it was him or me and I prevailed. Other than that I must say I still see the faces of the men and women I have killed in battle regardless of race in my dreams. This first one most of all.
We left the kitchen after gathering some food and then plunged down into the torture room. Yes, that is what it was and thankfully in the brief battle between the Torturer, his assistant the two of us and the two Stormcloaks, the torturer was killed. Otherwise I might have taken my new killing skills and used them on him. What I saw there reminded me too much of my imprisonment with the Thalmor. The Empire needs to outlaw this crap.
It was here that I found a backpack to put things in as well as a mage who had died in his cell. I took his robes and hood but I didn’t put them on. I would disenchant them later. I also took four books although one I used immediately to learn a spell. I must note here that I believe all these books are still in my personal library in Skyrim.
“At your passing Dragonborn, I have been instructed to ask what will happen to that collection?”
I told him it would probably pass to my family. I mean it is a tremendous fountain of knowledge that I know many of them will appreciate.
“I see.” He looked disappointed.
In any case we pressed on and found that the dragon attack had opened up a tunnel at the end of the dungeon into more natural caverns. As we pressed on we found a large chamber that had five Stormcloaks. It was three to five as the torturer’s assistant had come with us. In the ensuing battle the assistant was killed along with the five Stormcloaks. We pressed on and found a lever to lower a bridge. Once we crossed it, we heard a dragon roar and a large stone block fell on the wooden bride behind us, destroying it. There was no going back. We kept going and found a chamber full of Frostbite Spiders. We killed them but it was no small matter. Frostbite venom lives up to its name and I thank the Nine that I had my healing spell.
Our last encounter was with a bear. She was old, sick and obviously dangerous. She had obviously been killing people for a while for food. I approached and the two of us put her down. We then could feel the breeze of the exit. Fresh air. We found the mouth of the cave and exited into Skyrim. We had escaped Helgen.