Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Sundas, 17th of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
“Three Bandits and a Shrine”
This will be my last entry for today. I have spent the last three hours or so writing down my thoughts up to this point but I must speak of the last few events of today.
Ralof and I emerged from the cave and I took in the fresh air and smells of the pine and flowers. We didn’t have long to rest however as we heard the beating of wings and a dragon roar. Both of us took cover behind a rock. The dragon flew over us and roared as it flew down the valley. It headed over some ruins and then disappeared out of sight.
Ralof quickly got up and started walking. His concern that even with the dragon gone the whole area would covered with Imperial soldiers soon. He then added that if I ever needed help his sister lived just down the road in Riverwood but then quickly suggested that we split up. I could see the wisdom in this and quickly agreed and that I would meet up with him again in Riverwood near nightfall.
The path led from the cave mouth down a hill but when it leveled off I veered to the left off of it while Ralof continued on down the path. He disappeared in a few moments. I maneuvered through some rocks but in a very short time I found myself seeing activity in front of me from a small group of tents. I crouched down and observed for a few minutes. I could see three figures moving around. One was chopping wood. another (an archer) was scanning the forest, the final figure seemed to be doing the same but the other direction away from me. A little on edge to just be hunters.
Bandits. The word conjures up nothing but contempt for me. As I observed some more I realized that they were probably a small band, either a scout group for a large group somewhere or acting to harass travelers, although I could from my vantage point not see a road. I dropped off of the edge of the rock ledge I was observing from and fell the five feet to the forest ground around their camp. It was still downhill but I crept for a little while until I realized the archer had spotted me. At first nothing happened. other than he drew his bow and notched an arrow. I stopped sneaking and raised my hands. Flames burned around my fingers and then he shouted something to the others. I ran forward and when I was in range let loose with my flame spell.
The archer crumbled under the flames and he only got one shot off that whistled by my ear. I turned to the other man who had been looking the other way from me. He held a steel greatsword and was charging right at me. He was out of balance though and I drew my sword and blocked his blow with it hearing the steel slide on steel. He had left himself open so I rained a series of blows on him ending with a stab to the chest. He fell and I turned just in time to block the sword of the third bandit. She was dressed in iron armor and was holding a banded shield and a steel sword. She was also by her style untrained and even though she used the shield to block some of my blows, she had poor footwork. In the end she slashed when she should have blocked and my sword pierced her neck. She fell with a clang of armor.
I set to pillaging their camp starting with them. The straps of the iron armor needed adjusting but soon I was wearing iron boots, breastplate and helmet. I kept the Captain’s steel arm guards. I traded the Captain’s imperial sword for the steel greatsword. A search of the camp yielded some food, coin and three books. I will read them later but it is odd for bandits to have so many. Finally I found a blank journal which is what I am using now to record these words. I filled my knapsack with what I had found, slung it over my back and kept walking north. It was only a short distance to an actual stone paved road. I went left on it but in just a few steps I could see a series of what looked like old log steps leading up off the path. I was curious, so I went up them and in a few steps saw the familiar profile of Talos. A Shrine to Talos!
I quickened pace but was stopped just short of the clearing where the Shrine was by a scene of carnage that lay before me. Five bodies lay scattered in various poses that indicated violent death and by the smell only a day old at most. My mind drifted back to when my mother was raped and killed. The first four I looked at were Nords. Two male and two female although one man was dressed in monks robes and one of the women in priestess garb. It was strange because they all looked like they died fighting each other until I examined the other body. He was clearly a high elf Thalmor wizard. The problem was he too looked like he had been attack by the Nords. Most likely an Illusion spell which I imagined caused them all to see each other as the enemy. Problem. The Thalmor agent had gotten too close so two of them had attacked him. I saw no evidence that anyone had run off. I searched the agent and found a letter from his superior (an Elenwen) to him Agent Sanyon. It detailed how Elenwen basically told him unless he found evidence of a Shine to Talos in Falkreath Hold he would be in trouble. She also had made it clear he would no longer have any other support. Bad luck for him because had he come with some other Thalmor they could have rounded up the worshipers and he would probably still be alive.
I stripped the Thalmor agent of everything and then tossed his body over the edge of the cliff where the Shrine was into the forest for the wild animals to eat. The other four were another matter. I gathered as much deadwood as I could find and made a pyre on the rocks near the shrine. I piled the bodies on it and then lit the thing with a long burst of my Flame Spell. It still burns as embers behind me. I then sat down on one of the benches after praying at the shrine and began to write this journal and now I have chronicled all that I feel is relevant to my situation as it stands now. Night is finally falling and I have promises to keep to Ralof in Riverwood.
I end this entry with a vow: ‘I will not rest until the Thalmor, every bandit and the Empire are driven from Skyrim, by any means necessary. By Talos I swear it.’
May this journal chronicle my success.