“Dragonborn, if you want a break. We can take short rest.”
I told him that if his hand was cramping to let me know and I would take a break. There is really no effort in flapping your lips and telling stories. I continued.
No sooner had we left the cave under Helgen that we heard the now too familiar flap of wings and then a roar overhead. We both took cover behind a rock, but we need not have bothered. Alduin passed over us like we were not even there and after he turned near Bleak Falls Barrow he disappeared over the horizon heading toward Whiterun. I give all the names now, but at the time all I knew of Skyrim’s geography was where the major cities were due to studying maps. I knew Darkwater Crossing and Helgen from experience but that was it.
Hadvar and I then started wondering down the path from the cave. The sun was high in the sky, a little bit after noon. Hadvar told me that his uncle was the blacksmith in a nearby town called Riverwood. He could probably help us, so we both headed down the path which eventually joined to a main road. I use the term road in the loosest sense of the term as it was main of stones but compared to the roads in Cyrodiil they were roads in name only. Perhaps this is something the Empire should work on once peace is truly restored.
Along the way Hadvar talked about me joining the Legion. I laughed at that time, I mean what was an old guy like me going to do in the Legion? Hadvar said it needed people like me. He told me in later conversations he meant that I was naturally brave and intelligent. I think he had an over estimation of my character and abilities.
On the way to Riverwood we made three stops of note. The first was on a scenic overlook of the valley where we could see Bleak Falls. Hadvar told me a little about it and how he it had always given him nightmares as a boy. The second stop was at the Guardian Stones. The Thief, Warrior and Mage all sitting there ready to bless those who want it. I picked the Mage, touched it and we moved on with some side comment from Hadvar about it was not for him to judge. Sounds like judging to me. Finally there was a battle with three wolves. Between Hadvar and me we finished them off .
I want to make this remark about Skyrim, It is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. Its’s natural wonders make all others pale in comparison. The granite mountains, the snow and ice, the trees and the rivers all combine to create a visually stunning display. That said, it is helpful to remember that all this beauty can at times cover deadly peril like Deathbell or Nightshade. I learned to enjoy the beauty of it while all the while keeping a hand on my sword and a flesh spell handy.
We hit the edge of Riverwood and Hadvar remarked that it was pretty quiet and then pointed out his uncle who was busy in the forge. Alvor was surprised to see Hadvar but Hadvar quickly turned the conversation to going inside and talking instead of out in the open. Hadvar called me a friend and he probably was my first friend in Skyrim. Alvor agreed to go inside and we headed through the door of his modest house.
Alvor’s house was a single floor with a full cellar basement. His wife was Sigrid who was a fine strong-looking Nord woman. They had daughter a Dorthe. Alvor called his wife from the basement and she fed us all a fine meal, while I had conversations with Hadvar and Alvor. Alvor wanted my help to warn the Jarl about the dragon as Riverwood was defenseless. I agreed something should be done but I had to get some things done first in Riverwood. Alvor actually gifted me some supplies and let me take a few things from his home. Most notable a Belted Tunic and some boots to go with it which I changed into once Dorthe and Sigrid went to the basement. That along with some food, drink and other supplies and I was in a much better position than I was that morning.
As I walked around Alvor’s Home I did get into conversations with Hadvar, Sigrid and Dorthe. Hadvar once again stated his belief I should head to Solitude and join the Legion. He felt if i wanted to know what was up with the dragon I should talk to General Tullius. Sigrid started the conversation with a warning that she was spoken for and not to get any ideas but then gave me the best directions to Whiterun. Dorthe was more interested in talking about how she wanted to be a great blacksmith like her father. I could tell this was not to the liking of Sigrid who expressed a wish that she would do more girl stuff to which Dorthe responded that was stupid girl talk.
I suppose I should talk about my strategy in dealing with people. I have found that it is better to make friends with people. That may sound cliched but it is coupled by the idea of it is more important to choose your enemies than friends. You will make enemies almost without trying, so you need not add to then intentionally. Besides, all it usually takes to make a friend is to do something for them or have them do something for you. Been doing this sort of thing in Cyrodiil for decades now it was my time to do it in Skyrim. Alvor’s Family was clearly friendly along with Hadvar so I wasn’t off to a bad start.
I headed out the door into Riverwood.