Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Turdas, 11th of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201
‘The Throat of the World’
The only note I will make about yesterday is that I spent a lot of time traveling. I took a carriage to Whiterun, then went to Riverwood, through the ruins of Helgen and then to Iverstead. By the time I arrived, night was falling. so I did the only thing I had time for – serve Mara by helping Fastred overcome her own fickle heart. The task ultimately was simple enough. I talked to her, to her parents and then told Klimmek to be a little more bold and suddenly Klimmek and Fastred were a couple. I settled down in the Vilemyr Inn and when I awoke this morning I was rested and for the most part in good spirits. I headed up the Throat of the World to see the Greybeards again.
The 7000 steps, oh how I hate thee. I arrived at High Hrothgar and presented Arngeir the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. He was pleased and they taught me the final word of Unrelenting Force. The then all spoke to me in a ceremony to bring me into the fold. I asked Arngeir about shouts and he showed me where one word might be. The infuriating thing about the Greybeards is that they slow down my acquiring of knowledge. With the war and Alduin breathing down the world to the point of ending it, you wold think they would show more earnest in teaching me things. The real issue hit though when I asked about the shout Dragonrend. Arngeir was very angry that I had joined with the Blades. He was not about to tell me anything until one of the other Greybeards spoke to him in the dragon language. He then turned right around and apologized saying it really was not his decision to make. Paarthurnax their leader was the one to make this decision. He however resided on the top of the mountain.
What followed was the Arngeir taking me outside and showing me an arch filled with mist. Arngeir told me that this was the path to the top of the mountain. In order to clear the mist, I would have to learn the Clear Skies shout. Arngeir taught me all three words and gave me the knowledge to use them. He warned the path was perilous and I should take care to keep moving as the shout would only keep the path clear for so long. I approached and…
The path cleared and I went forward until I ran into a wall of mist. I repeated and continued onward. Hazardous also included killing three ice wraiths. It was a long walk but eventually I cleared the top to a small level plateau. On the far side I could see a Word Wall. Then I heard the cry of a dragon. Unlike other times I did not ready myself for battle. I watched as the dragon landed right in front of me. Paarthurnax was a dragon and I had surmised it from the emblems coming up the 7000 steps and the Greybeards words that he was their leader. Only dragons, vampires or some other form of immortal could live so long. Dragons know and have taught shouts so…
His voice was power as it would be expected. I engaged him in a long conversation of which the following could be considered as summary. 1) He taught me the formalities of the first meeting of two of the Dov and in so doing taught me the second word of Fire Breath. 2) He did not know Dragonrend as he could not know it not being mortal. The ones who knew it were long dead. 3) If I wanted to know it, I could use and Elder Scroll to see back in time to learn it from those who made it. 4) He did not know where to find an Elder Scroll and figured I would know more than he did. My instincts said either Esbern of Arngeir would know. 5) I asked a lot about dragons and the scrolls. Ultimately, I also asked if he could teach me. He taught me about meditation on Words of Power. He gave me three choices and I chose Yol ‘Fire’. He taught me that fire was power to destroy or cleanse. When I speak fire, I am choosing what to destroy and what to leave. My Fire Breath was definitely more powerful.
I learned a lot about dragons from our conversation. They are creatures ultimately of time. They can ride its currents. The ancients that used the Elder Scroll on Alduin hoped to set him adrift in those currents in such a way he would never be able to return. They are children of Akatosh and so are connected to time and creation itself. The were, are and will be. Perhaps this is why the Blades could not truly kill them without a Dragonborn to devour their souls. In essence if all those of the dragon blood were to fight to the end, one would be left with all their souls and they would continue on. Unless that one is Dragonborn and mortal – perhaps.
I had one act to perform once my conversation with Paarthurnax was over. I climbed to the top of the Throat of the World. I made it and I looked down on the world from the tallest mountain on the continent of Tamriel. It was breathtaking. I felt the wind and cold and knew I was probably the first mortal to stand on this spot in centuries.
In the end I headed down to High Hrothgar and spoke again to Arngeir. Once he knew Paarthurnax was helping me learn Dragonrend, he continued to help me and when I asked about Elder Scrolls, he said the best possibility would be the College of Winterhold. I spoke to him about the Blades and he warned me the Blades do not always follow the Dragonborn, they have their own agenda. He talked of the genocide of dragons they had performed and how that purpose has not stopped. His concern of course was for the dragons, and Paarthurnax in particular, not being ultimately destroyed.
This of course created a struggle in me. I have long pondered the meaning of what it means to be Dragonborn. Kin of the Dovah. Family of Dragons. Obviously, this family fights with each other, but should or even could I justify killing them all if necessary? Would I want to? Paarthurnax and I resonate with each other, I would consider him an ally. Not all dragons feel the same but there might be others.
I journeyed to Iverstead and even though I had a little daylight left, I decided to call it a day. Tomorrow I will keep my promise and join the Stormcloaks in pushing the Empire out of Falkreath. The war must progress. As long as it continues then the Dragons and Thalmor will remain large threats. Ending the War would allow Skyrim’s resources to be concentrated on its other problems. The War is a drain that can no longer be afforded. To battle!
Next: The Liberation of Falkreath