Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Middas, 3rd of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201
‘Battle for Whiterun’
Yesterday was fairly uneventful as i spent the day on a carriage travelling between Whiterun and Windhelm three-time. First I delivered the Jagged Crown to Ulfric Stormcloak who was disturbed greatly that the Imperials were there ahead of us. He too mentioned Imperial spies. He then gave me another task which was to deliver his axe to Jarl Balgruuf. I knew what that meant. My dad had talked about this that if the axe was kept the two warriors were at peace; if he gave it back, then they were at war. I left right away and found myself back at Whiterun delivering an axe to Balgruuf. Proventus, Irileth and Balgruuf debated for some time but in the end they gave me the axe back and told me to take it back to Ulfric. It was war then.
I was disappointed but this was not unexpected given what I had discovered. I turned my back on Jarl Balgruuf both literally and figuratively. The Jarl was simply playing the odds in his mind of how to keep Whiterun Hold. He was figuring that if he sided with the Empire he would keep his power. I was ready to make him regret his decision. I headed back to Windhelm and arrived their just before midnight. I stayed at the Candlehearth Hall that evening knowing what was coming in the morning. The Battle for Whiterun was about to begin.
This morning I reported in to Ulfric and he seemed disappointed about his returned axe. He felt Balgruuf was a true Nord but Galmar turned out right in the end. Ulfric and Galmar debated a little while but in the end it came.
“A new day is dawning and the sun rises over Whiterun.”
The code phrase for the attack on Whiterun. I was told to report to the front lines and so I left once again by carriage. As we approached Whiterun, I told the carriage driver to stop early, near Honningbrew Meadery. I then joined Galmar and the rest of the Stormcloaks. Whiterun was under siege as catapults fired both directions. Fire. I smiled as I listened to Galmar prepare the men and then charge. I followed in his wake and soon the battle for Whiterun began. Meeko was at my side and we hit the first barricade. I killed two guards and two Imperials and then smashed the barricade. The next target was the drawbridge. I moved off the main path to the side road that would put me on the top of the drawbridge so I could lower it. I saw Meeko take down a couple Imperials and then I was in my own group of Imperials and Whiterun Guards.
The Ebony Blade is amazing. It does not do as much damage with each swipe like my Skyforge Steel sword but it drains life with each swing and strengthens me with it. I was doing damage and healing myself with each swing. I found myself on top of the drawbridge and lowered it. I then headed for the city gates. Galmar and a host of Stormcloaks along with myself field through the gates and into the city. We fond ourselves immediately resisted by guards and Imperial soldiers. We cut our way through the city, through the market and then up into where the Gildergreen was located, I was glad to see that it was undamaged as we ascended the stairs to Dragonsreach. As we entered Dragonsreach, Irileth lead the defense of the main hall, The guards melted like butter before the Ebony Blade. The only problem we had was Irileth and Balgruuf himself but in the end they both surrendered.
The battle was over. I watched as Vignar Grey-Mane came in and Balgruuf and Vignar engaged in an argument that Galmar ended. Balgruuf chided me for being a Stormcloak but I had at that point passed the point of caring about his opinion. I stayed on long enough to see Vignar Grey-Mane sit on the Dragonsreach throne and then started to head back to Windhelm. It was then I noticed the Meeko was gone. I searched for a couple of hours but there was no sign of him and no body. I had a mission to complete so I left for Windhelm at last.
I had to run as the carriage drivers had disappeared during the battle. As I followed the route from Whiterun to Windhelm, I was troubled as I couldn’t fathom where Meeko had gone. Then a wood elf attacked me out of the blue. I used my Time Slow shout and cut him down. Another bounty hunter as I am fairly sure the Empire has one on my head by now, but how do they know where I am? The answer always comes back – spies. I made it to Windhelm and was met by a courier who gave me a letter that he said was someone who claimed to be a friend of mine. The letter basically told me that something that was powerful in a certain location in Skyrim. I am skeptical of this ‘friend’ but the letter might be worth investigating.
I gave my report to Ulfric of the Battle for Whiterun. He listened intently and then celebrated. He promoted me from Unblooded to Ice-Veins and gave me a sword that had been taken from an Imperial captain as a reward. Then he pulled me aside into his war room.
Ulfric is concerned about many things. He confirmed one of the thing Jarl Balgruuf had said. The Stormcloaks were in danger of being spread too thin. This problem stemmed from multiple problems. 1) The need for soldiers for the war meant that patrols had been reduced and that meant a larger population of bandits across Skyrim which drained manpower and the economy, 2) Imperial spies made it difficult to do any movement without it being reported. In addition, these spies allowed enemy camps to be right inside Stormcloak territory. 3) The Jarls of Stormcloak holds were reporting multiple problems that were draining further resources 4) The return of the dragons created an unknown problem that he could not spare the his men to investigate and 5) there were reports of an increased level of vampire attacks. What he needed was a strong capable agent to deal with these troubles so that his men could guard the border against the Imperials. He wanted me.
I accepted because I knew after the Battle for Whiterun, that I could never be a follow orders soldier. I am too independent and as Dragonborn, I needed to look into problems like the dragons so I couldn’t focus completely on the war, unless it was all part of a larger plan. Ulfric also added that he needed someone who was willing to get their hands dirty because of the nature of the spy game. I was then given a four fold task.
- Investigate the dragon return and see what it meant for the cause.
- Travel to Whiterun and help Vignar Grey-Mane solidify his position as Jarl. This meant helping the citizens of Whiterun where applicable and if possible persuading the Companions to our side. I was then authorized to do the same in Windhelm, The Pale, Winterhold and the Rift. Hopefully, this would free up more men for the war.
- Wherever possible root out spies and agents of the Empire and destroy them and learn as much as possible about their networks. On the other side if I ever found myself inside the Imperial territory I was to gather any intelligence that was useful.
- Whenever I had time, I was to investigate the vampire problem. The Dawnguard in the Rift might be the best lead I had.
I was given a lot of freedom in pursing these tasks. Ulfric needed sometime who could think and act for themselves and follow their own judgment. Once these tasks we completed to a certain point, I was authorized at my discretion to help the assault led by Galmar Stone-Fist on Falkreath Hold.
I headed immediately back to Whiterun but there was one other incident as I approached the gates. Three Hired Thugs attacked me. They weren’t too bright as they did it under the shadow of the guards; between them and myself we crushed the thugs. On the bodies, I found a contract that was signed by Farengar Secret-Fire. I shook my head but I was tired, so I headed for Breezehome which had been thankfully undamaged in the battle. I will confront Farengar tomorrow. In the meantime, I need some rest, the last two days have been draining to say the least.