Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Tirdas, 19th of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
‘Bleak Falls Barrow’
I woke up this morning refreshed and after a meal and equipping myself I headed out of Whiterun and back to Riverwood. My hope was that Farengar was right and some of the locals could be more specific as to how to get to the barrow. I started at the Riverwood Trader and was not disappointed. Lucan had just been robbed by the bandits that occupied Bleak Falls and needed someone to retrieve a golden claw that was a trademark of his shop. I agreed and then his sister Camilla chimed in that she could guide me to the barrow. Lucan reluctantly agreed with her but told her she could only go to the edge of town. I am glad I never had a brother.
Camilla lead me to the edge of town but along the way pointed out where the barrow was and gave directions how to follow the path to get there. During one point she wondered why the thieves had only taken the claw as they had things in the shop that were worth more coin. I began to speculate that the claw had some greater importance. Camilla then thanked me for doing this for her and her brother, invoked a Blessing of Mara for me and then sent me on my way. I crossed the bridge and followed the path to the barrow.
I killed a wolf on the way up and then arrived at the watchtower. I tested my new Firebolt spell on the bandit resting against the tree. One bolt from each fist struck him simultaneously and he fell burning in the snow. I used the sword to dispatch the other two and then plundered the tower. I continued now down the path and the snow and cold were increasing. I rounded the bend and Bleak Falls Barrow came into view. The architecture of the ancient Nords is impressive. The stone arches were massive and the large gate to the temple area were massive. I slew the three bandits guarding the door with fire and sword. I then went inside.
The barrow itself was a twisting maze of tunnels and carved out chambers for the dead. I cannot possible record every single event but here are some highlights that I need to remember because of what I learned or they seemed significant to me:
When I entered the barrow I overheard a conversation by the two bandits that were talking about how a dark elf among them had taken the claw and ran ahead. I was thankful for the Candlelight spell as it enabled me to act without worrying about being able to see. After dispatching the bandits I went on.
Further in, I ran into a gate that required lining up pillars with the same symbols over the door to get it to open. After this I had to kill some skeevers and as I was walking down a tunnel I hear a voice asking for help. The tunnel had a noticeable increase of cobwebs that could only have been made by a Frostbite Spider. I rounded the corner to find the doorway covered by think webs. After using my Flame spell to melt the webs I readied my Firebolt spell in both hands I entered the chamber. I saw the Giant Frostbite Spider dropping down from the ceiling almost immediately. Two Firebolts left my fingers and struck it. I then drew my sword. In the battle with this monster I came close to death as twice it poisoned me with its venom. In the end though I prevailed but a closer examination indicated the spider had been wounded previously. Mother’s healing spell was a lifesaver after the battle.
The dark elf was now begging to be released. I had to admit I explored and plundered the room more slowly than I would have because I knew he was a bandit and probably had the claw I was looking for. Once I conversed with him I had the claw part confirmed. I used my flame spell to free him but I then turned it on him and burned him where he stood. His being a bandit had sealed his fate the moment I knew that fact. I recovered a journal and the claw, which was large enough that I could place my hand inside its fingers with room to spare, and noticed the claw had three symbols on its palm. Reading the journal indicated the secret of the claw was in the palm of your hands when you possess it.
I traveled on and it didn’t take me long to encounter draugr. I admit my first encounter gave me goosebumps but I quickly discover fire works on them quite well. I also discovered a trick I could do with my fire spells. I could use both hands to combine the spell in each hand. This made the spells even more powerful and much more destructive. Am I becoming a mage as well as a fighter?
I continued on passing through draugr, swinging blades and other obstacles. Finally I opened a set of doors and found myself in the Hall of Stories. I looked at the wall carvings as I passed through and was amazed how well done the artwork was done. I then arrived at the door. In the center were three circles of stone each with symbols. when you touched them they would rotate. I looked at the claw which obviously went in the center and realized that they were the same symbols. I changed the symbols on the door so they matched, top to bottom, the symbols on the claw and then pressing and twisting the claw the circles spun and lined up and then the door dropped slowly into the floor revealing a stairway tunnel up. It seems easy enough until you realize that there must be some latent magic involved as that is the only way a door would recognize the claw. You had to have claw, not just the combination to get the door to open.
I traveled upward and the tunnel opened into a large cave and then the cave opened up into a large main chamber where natural light was coming down from a hole above. The center of this chamber had a raised platform and on it was a stone coffin and a wall that had symbols all over it and the depictions of dragons on it. I had a bad feeling for a second, then shrugged it off and went forward.
As I climbed the steps to the wall, I started to hear chanting. Low at first but it became stronger and stronger the closer I got to the wall and then I saw the glowing word on the wall. I felt compelled to approach and then the world condensed down to this word and nothing else. Then I understood the word’s meaning – Force. I really had no time to puzzle the meaning of this at the time as I heard the sound of a coffin being forced open. I turned and it was another draugr. He wielded a two handed sword whose edge was alive with frost.
I started with fire and completely exhausted my magical power with a double handed Flames spell. He was still standing when it went out. I was forced to draw my sword and then it happened, the draugr ‘shouted’ and my blade fell from my hands. I scrambled quickly to pick it back up and barely had time to block the draugr’s sword before it split my skull. The fight that followed was difficult but in the end my blade brought him down. I found the Dragon Stone on the corpse.
I plundered the chamber’s three chests and then headed up the long stairway to the left. At the top was a level that released a hidden door which I followed to the exit which was on the other side of the mountain from Whiterun near the Guardian Stones but on the other side of the lake.
I made my way back to Riverwood and had to cross a shallow part of the lake but it went well. I arrived in the mid-afternoon at the Riverwood Trader and presented Lucan his Golden Claw. He was extremely grateful and so was Camilla as they paid me some significant coin. I had no time to really to rest so after selling some things to Lucan I made my way to Whiterun and I paused when I arrived only to pray at the Shine of Talos as I ascended the steps to Dragonsreach. I went to see Farengar but he was already with someone else a woman covered in leather armor with her face covered by a hood. I made use of the time disenchanting some items I had found. Once he was done, I gave him the stone and both he and his guest praised me for my efforts. She looked familiar but I can’t place her. I had little time to glory in this though as the Jarl’s housecarl interrupted us.
“A dragon has been sighted nearby.”
Next: ‘Dragon Rising’