Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Morndas, 18th of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
So much has happened since I left Riverwood, so I don’t really know how much I can journal before I go to bed but I will do as much as I can.
My journey to Whiterun was not completely uneventful. I was attacked by a wolf as I neared the falls. I didn’t see him at first and I barely got my sword drawn and parried its attack. One swing and it was dead. I ran into three Imperial soldier escorting a Stormcloak prisoner but I decided those were odds I couldn’t win . Beside Whiterun Hold is neutral and I didn’t want trouble with the Jarl or his guards. I found Honningbrew Meadery and then turning West I found my way to Whiterun.
The guards stopped me as I approached the gate but I persuaded them to let me in as I had information about the dragon attack. As I came through the gate I observed a man in imperial armor trying to persuade the blacksmith to make more swords for the Imperials. I passed them by intending to walk straight to the Jarl’s palace – Dragonsreach. I turned at market place and ascended the first long staircase. The Gildergreen stopped me in my tracks.
The Gildergreen is an old tree that even in my village was mentioned as one of the sacred trees of Kynareth. It had obviously seen better days. I saw a woman sitting in one of the benches around the tree who was dressed as a priestess and discovered she was the priestess of Kynareth. In our conversation I learned the tree had been struck by lightning and thus had gone into a state of slumber. The priestess of Kynareth, one Danica by name, felt the tree could be revived but she needed a weapons that could tap the tree’s parent – The Eldergleam. Danica believes that a dagger called Nettlebane could be used to retrieve sap from Eldergleam to revive the Gildergreen. I agreed to help her retrieve it if I traveled near Orphan Rock where a hagraven was said to possess it. Hagravens are said to be extremely dangerous so I will try to find more reliable information before approaching one.
As I started to travel up to Dragonsreach, I saw the shrine to Talos. The priest of Talos, Hemsker by name was preaching. He seemed to posses passion about Talos but repeats himself so much to the point of being annoying. I struck up a conversation with him but instantly regretted it. My mother often warned there is a great deal of difference between bring devoted and being a fanatic zealot. Hemsker had cross that line. I, as quickly as I could, ended the conversation, prayed at the shire and finally headed up the steps to Dragonsreach.
Dragonsreach is a huge place with high vaulted ceilings. As you approach the Jarl’s throne you cannot help but feel a little small because of the size of the palace and intimidated the first time you approach the throne because of the dragon’s skull hanging over it. I approached the throne only to be stopped by the Jarl’s dark elf housecarl who wanted to know what business I had with the Jarl. Once I told her I had information about the dragon, she let me through.
Jarl Balgruuf was an older man and in some ways impressive in his dress. He also impressed me in how he handled my news, as he was very concerned about the people of Riverwood, and sent a detachment to guard the town. I found out later this was more to get the people to safety if a dragon attacked than fight the dragon but this was genuine concern for his people. If he did lean toward the Empire, I still could respect him for that concern. Afterwards he offered me another job – helping his court wizard.
Farengar, the Jarl’s court wizard, has a problem. There is something called the Dragon Stone, supposedly a map of dragon burial sites. The problem is this stone is located, based on his reliable sources, in Bleak Falls Barrow. He needed someone to fetch it. After telling me about the mission, I pried him a little on dragons which he seemed all to happy to share his knowledge although in a condescending way. I did purchase two spell books from him – Candlelight and Firebolt. Barrows are dark places and I wanted to see if there was another way to use my fire magic. I then spent some time disenchanting items I had found so far in my travels. The insight I gained has caused me to think about magic a little differently. Perhaps I can put these insights to work with my Fire spells.
After leaving Dragonsreach, the sun was high in the sky. I decided walking down the steps to head out to Bleak Falls Barrow in the morning. That meant I had the rest of the day free I decided to wander around and see if I could help anyone. What follows are some of the people I met and talked to and what I did in regards to them.
Anders, Priest of Arkay: I helped him find his amulet after visiting the Hall of the Dead. He had lost it and for some reason the dead were restless. I destroyed three skeletons with fire. I was testing my new insights into magic and they definitely work. My flames lasted much longer and I was able to destroy them all without drawing my sword. Anders was grateful and gave me some septims and let me keep a book I had found in the catacombs.
Carlotta Valentia: In the market, I met her and discovered a woman who was having man troubles. Troubles in the sense that every man was chasing her because she was a widow. He only concern was her daughter and she wanted to remain independent. He main problem was the Bard Mikael who had promised to conquer her. I decided to convince him to leave Carlotta alone.
Mikael the Bard: The Bard at the Bannered Mare fancies himself as irresistible to women. He even tried a few lines with he as I discussed Carlotta with him. In the end I had to engage in the diplomacy of the fist and beat him down. It’s an old Nord way of settling disputes which apparently Mikael respects as one I had beaten him he agreed, on his honor, to leave her alone. Even with my win the bastard still kind of gave a backhanded comment about how it was so hard to leave him. Carlotta was generous enough with some coin for my trouble.
As I came out of the Bannered Mare I fell into a conversation between two men and the woman who runs the jewelry stall. The were discussing her son Thorald who she claimed was still alive and they clammed was dead. The one man was quite rude to her and I almost decided to take up a two-fisted approach to teach him manners but his son convinced him to back off and leave. I spoke to her, her name in Fralia Grey-Mane, afterwards and she said it wasn’t wise to discuss things her and to meet her at her home.
I have found myself caught up in the Battle-Born and Grey-Mane feud in Whiterun. I went to the Grey-Mane home and after a discussion with Avulstein, Thorald’s brother who is hiding out in Whiterun from the Battle-Born family, and Fralia, I was convinced to help them find proof of Thorald’s captivity. Avulstein was convinced some sort of proof might be in their house but he also suggested that if I buttered them up they might tell me themselves. Neither option appeals to my honor, but in the end I decided conversation might be the only way as I am no burglar. After talking with many Battle-Born, including the rude guy from the market, I found only a wall of silence. I have decided though to pursue this, as the Grey-Mane family is definitely Stormcloak and the Battle-born clearly for the Empire. Fralia at least deserves to know the truth and the Battle-Born are clearly hiding something.
In the course of my travels through Whiterun, I was exposed to conversations about the Companions but from my perspective the warrior band should be in the war but they have taken a stance of neutrality so I am not sure I could join them. Maybe after the war. Although the chance to talk to Eorlund Grey-Mane, the best smith in Skyrim maybe all Tamriel, and see the Skyforge up close may cause me to rethink that. Perhaps they could be convinced to side with the Stormcloaks.
There was still some day left so I retired to the Bannered Mare, rented a room and found a seat up in the balcony over the common room. Saadia the Redguard barmaid served me some food and drink and I began a reading session for the rest of the evening. I took break in the middle but only found one person to talk to: Uthgerd the Unbroken. She actually challenged me to a fist-fight for 100 gold. I accepted and beat her (barely) but afterwards she seemed to have a respect for me and even offered to go with me on my travels. I turned her down for now but she is definitely a woman I can respect.
I finished the night reading and listening to Mikael play although he seemed to only know two songs really well: “Age of Aggression” and “Ragnar the Red”. I asked him where he learned to play and he told me there was a Bard’s College in Solitude. It was at that I backed off, as Solitude was the capital of the Empire’s forces in Skyrim. Not a chance I am going there right now to see if I can learn to play a flute as good as my mother.
I learned a lot from my reading session but mostly I learned two spells that might help me in my travels. Candlelight will allow me to not need to carry torches or lanterns. I can use magic to light things up. Firebolt allows my to create a small pocket of fire and shoot it from my hands for a greater distance than Flames. I now have a way to deal with distant opponents.
It has been a full day and so I must say that it is time to turn in. The bed here looks very comfortable and I plan on sleeping well.
Next: Bleak Falls Barrow