Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Morndas, 18th of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
Today will probably be a double entry as a lot has happened. I am sitting in the Bannered Mare in a room I have rented for the evening. I have spent most of my day doing business in the Village of Riverwood and the City of Whiterun. I have to however catch up on what has happened since I left the shrine.
It was late when I left the shrine and the sun was just starting to set behind the mountains. Twilight was upon me and I knew I needed to get going. I headed East along the stone road until I got to a T in the road. The road going south said Helgen and the eon going north said Riverwood and Whiterun. As I started south I came upon a view where I could see a ruin high on the mountain across the valley. It looked ominous but also filled me with wonder that the ancients could build such structures. I headed down the hill using the double switchback and found myself at the second bend looking at the Guardian Stones.
The Standing Stones of Skyrim are legend. It is said that there are thirteen of them and each can confer a blessing on those that touch them. Those blessings are directly linked to the constellations. The Guardian Stones are the only example of three of these stones banded together – The Thief, The Mage and The Warrior. I didn’t take long to think before I touched the Warrior Stone and the stone did do some form of magic as I did with a beam of light streaking into the sky.
The road continued East along the river. I didn’t really have any trouble and it wasn’t until I was almost to Riverwood. Three wolves were on a hillside. I only saw two of them at first given the low light but the third joined them. I drew my sword deciding to test my skills. All three wolves died pretty quickly and after taking their pelts I continued on. I arrived in Riverwood and my first impression was that it reminded me very much of home. I saw a wood elf with bow reminding me of the hunter. I could see the sign of a merchant reminding me of the trader. Most importantly there was a blacksmith forge with a man who while not looking completely like my father seemed to have his single minded focus. Even more warming to my heart was the fact that the blacksmith’s daughter was there talking to her father about Smithing. She was probably about ten and took me back to my own childhood with my father.
Alvor the blacksmith warmed up to me as I approached him. I asked him if he knew a woman named Gerdur and he told me where I could find her house. I went there marveling at the village. It has a limber mill and an inn – The Sleeping Giant. The trading post – The Riverwood Trader – looked so familiar in some ways. There were a couple gardens and some small dwellings. The largest of these, besides the blacksmiths home which was attached to his forge was Gerdur’s. I knocked on the door and an older Nord woman answered. I knew this was Ralof’s sister without even asking as she looked like him and had the same blond hair. She welcomed me in and Ralof came up and gave me a hug. It took me off guard but given all we had been through together I accepted. Oddly enough, despite all I have been through with men, I trust Ralof.
I spent a couple hours with Gerdur, Ralof and Gerdur’s husband Hod. In the conversations I had with them, I gained an understanding of the political landscape of Whiterun and the state of conflict between the Empire and the Stormcloaks. Jarl Bulgruuf the Greater of Whiterun had not declared for one side or the other, but Gerdur believes he would lean to the Empire more because of him and Ulfric being rivals than anything else. Jarl Elisif, who is High King Torygg’s widow, was being backed by the Empire. Because of the war, the Moot will not meet to choose a new High King, so it comes down to who will win the war and Whiterun and Jarl Bulgruuf are the tipping point. Oddly, Gerdur didn’t really have anything personal against Bulgruuf or Elisif, she simply felt the time of the Empire was up and Ulfric’s cause was just – the banning of the worship of Talos was the final straw for her.
Hod and Elisif gave me some food, septims and some books once they found out I liked to read. They offered to put me up for the night, but I refused. My parents instilled in me long ago to make my own way and I had enough gold to stay at the inn. Besides I value my privacy more than ever since my captivity where I had no private moments in truth. With parting words with all three, I promised Ralof he would see me again with the Stormcloaks. I headed to the inn known at The Sleeping Giant whose innkeeper is a female Breton named Delphine. She seemed overly inquisitive (while i downed some food and ale she stood right next to me asking question after question) and to be honest moved like a prowling Sabre Cat. I could tell she was more than what she was pretending to be. She seemed to leave most of the day to day operations of The Sleeping Giant to a man named Orgnar so she had time to question her guests.
They had had a room available with a door so I rented it and once I had eaten I headed to bed. I closed the door behind me, locked it and sat down in the chair. After removing my armor and slipping into a tunic, I spent the next two hours reading and the book that most inspired my curiosity was The Book of the Dragonborn. The author noted at the end that the connection with dragons seemed to be so obvious that it was forgotten. Now that I had seen an actual dragon, this thought now began to make my mind troubled, especially when I read the prophecy about the Last Dragonborn. Once I finished my reading I slipped out of my tunic and slid under the covers and went to sleep. It was the first time I had slept in an actual bed since the night before my village was destroyed.
I woke up feeling refreshed. I ate some more of the food from my pack and then after gearing up with my armor headed back outside and found Alvor working at his forge. After discussing if I could use his forge which he granted, I asked if he needed help with anything. The process he put me on allowed me to produce a hide helmet and a sharpened iron dagger. When he told me to keep both I knew it has been a test to see if I knew what I was doing. After this though he never said a word about me using his forge and even had some kind words about my ability.
I engaged in some trade with him and used his forge to improve my armor and steel greatsword. For much of what I do there is a fiery passion that is almost out of control but smithing is my calming meditation. I am at peace when I swing the hammer, and raise the heat in the forge. The world ends and it is just me, the fire and the iron. This time I felt my old skills coming back and my father’s voice in my head and I remembered what it was like to make iron and steel sing.
Once I had finished with Alvor, I headed to the Riverwood Trader and opening the door i came upon an argument between the two siblings that run the place. The brother Lucan was telling his sister Camilla that he wasn’t going to allow her to do any thief chasing. I might have pursued what this conversation was about, if I hadn’t had my own feeling of haste. I had already spent more time today than I planned in Riverwood. Like it or not the Jarl of Whiterun need to know what I knew about Helgen and the Dragon. I simply did business selling off some odds and ends I had picked up in Helgen and other places since. Once done, I headed out the door and then hastened down the road to the edge of town where there was bridge. Once I crossed it and had checked the sign to know the route to Whiterun, I headed north down the road.