Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Fredas, 22nd of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
‘In My Time of Need’
This is the second time I have written today but I have completed a few adventures today that were near to Whiterun. The sad tragedy is that my housecarl Lydia was killed today and I feel her story needs to be written down before the sun completely sets. I suppose the day is made bittersweet by my acquiring Breezehome.
We headed out mid morning. I wanted to help Saadia destroy the Alik’r and that meant killing Kematu in Swindler’s Den. On the way the plan was to stop at Redoran’s Retreat and kill the bandits there which would fulfill a contract for the Companions as well. Lydia and I were ready and pressed forward across the plain around Whiterun on foot. The journey to both places was not a long one. As we crossed the plains we saw the Giants with their Mammoths. It is truly an awe-inspiring sight. Their foot falls literally shake the ground when you get close enough.
Redoran’s Retreat was easy enough to clear. It was a short cave and their were few bandits. There was enough loot to justify the work and Lydia and I felt it was a good warm up. We headed out again and we had to traverse around a rocky hill taking the north side as we rounded to the West side of the hill a high elf attacked us with fire. Between Lydia’s arrows and my fire and sword we brought him down. We found Swindler’s Den and killed the bandit guard outside.
At first, I though perhaps the Alik’r Prisoner had given us false information until as we entered the cave we overheard two bandits talking. The first was worried about the Alik’r being around and the second told him to not worry because they were making good coin for it and they wouldn’t be there very long. That was the last conversation either of them ever had and the same was true for the rest of the bandits living here who gave up a tremendous fight but in the end Lydia and I conquered them.
We found two bear traps guarding the entrance an interior tunnel going further in and as we followed it. It turned downward and then began to fill with waist-high water. I could see as we waded through it that we were coming in behind a waterfall.
Kematu stayed his men and started a conversation with me just before I went through the Waterfall. I could see him up on the ledge overlooking where I was. We were in an area where the Alik’r stood on a ledge all around us looking down. There was a steep wooden ramp leading upward out of it further in but where we were we were outnumbered and in a bad position.
Kematu tried to convince me that Saadia was the real villain and that she was the one wanted for betrayal. I stopped him from going any further. What he says might be true, but my oath to Saadia made it clear what my course of action should be – I had sworn to her that I would kill Kematu. I swore it to Talos.
The battle that followed opened with me issuing a Battle Cry so fierce that some of the Alik’r turned and fled. I ran up the ramp to get on even ground with them and the battle ensued. The first two Alik’r were cowering in fear and I just cut them down. Two others put up a bit more of a fight but they too went down although the numbers had allowed them to get some blows in on me. Thankfully my armor held most of the time. Finally Kematu and I clashed. It was a longer skirmish than I wanted, he was very good with those twin scimitars of his. I the end though my powerful blows staggered him and I finished him off. I had to pause and heal myself and then I listened for the sound of battle.
The sound of battle was very faint and I had to go back down into the water and through the waterfall again to find Lydia engaged with three Alik’r warriors. She was losing but putting up a great fight. I closed the gap and took out one of the Warriors from behind. one of the remain two turned to engage me. I concentrated on this fight and it was tough one but I prevailed. I looked up from his fallen form and saw the last Alik’r striding toward me. Behind him Lydia lay face down in the water. I let out my Unrelenting Force shout to stagger him and then cut him down.
I stood over Lydia in disbelief. She was dead but I wasn’t going to leave her there floating in the water. I dragged her out and up the ramp. I then placed here on the bit of earth over the waterfall, crossed her arms and said a prayer to Talos to guide her to Sovngarde. I couldn’t possible drag her home so I plundered the rest of the cave and headed back to Whiterun. I am alone again.
Lydia had started to mean a lot to me. She spoke often of buying a house, once i had made my fortune, and settling down to doing the Thane work of protecting Whiterun. She was a true Nord but protected anyone who needed it. I know i have no complaints about her service as my housecarl. I was starting to think we were going to have a little more than the Thane – housecarl relationship. Talos bless her.
In my travel back I encountered a spriggan attacking a hunter. I charged in but too late to save the hunter, The spriggan however fared no better against me although I was thankful for my armor as her claw raked across my chest. I continued to Whiterun and as I drew near the gate I was stopped by a courier who handed me a letter from the Jarl of Falkreath. He is asking for my services. I had another messenger of sorts confront me just inside the city gates, and orc named Durak who told me about the Dawnguard and their fight against the vampires. Having had my own encounter with vampires, I told him I would consider it.
I have lost too much to grieve overly long over Lydia but I made a decision to do something in her honor. In Whiterun I started selling off all the stuff I had gained at both places we had conquered together. I went to Saadia and told her of Kematu’s death and she was very grateful and handed me a large sum of coin. She is going to maintain her ruse as a barmaid and told me I would always be welcome in the Bannered Mare. I counted my coin and realized I was very close to owning Breezehome. I headed up to Farengar and sold off some last items to him and I had enough. Proventus, the Jarl’s steward was all to happy to sell me Breezehome, although I now have barely any coin.
As I drew near to my new home I found an old man in fine clothes waiting for me. It was Vignar Grey-Mane, Companion and head of the Grey-Mane family. He wanted to personally thank me for my actions that lead to Thorald being freed. He talked at length about the situation between the Grey-Mane and Battle-Born families and offered his advice that I not make it worse until the right time. I agreed. He was a noble Nord and I can’t help but respect him. He left me to enjoy my new home.
Breezehome is anything but comfortable right now. I am sitting at one of the few pieces of actual furnishings – a family table in the corner under one of the only actually working light sources – a goat’s horn chandelier. At least I can sit, read and write. Upstairs there is a chest and a passable bed. There was a room set aside for the housecarl but it will remain empty in Lydia’s honor. The rest is boxes and cobwebs. No one has lived here for a while but Lydia’s memory will be kept alive here. I will turn it into a home.
I still have to tell the Companions that the bandits and Redoran’s Retreat are dead but that will wait until morning. Right now I have some books to read and then I will head to bed. The best way to deal with grief is to get back on with life.
Next: ‘Proving Honor’