‘Dragonborn, I need to get some more paper ”
I told scribe to fetch it and I waited with Maro looking at me. I told him that this better be the last time I have to prove my loyalty or they were going to find me quite upset.
“Not my call, your beef is with the Emperor, not me. I am just…”
I called him a lackey. He didn’t seem to like that very much but I then apologized. He is right; not really his call. I need to realize I am simply becoming the grumpy old man more and more each day. Dealing with people does that to you over time. The scribe returned with an armload of paper. We got back to work.
We found ourselves leaving Whiterun and going back up the road we had just gone down. We got back to the Riverwood Bridge then we followed a path up the side of the mountain and toward Bleak Falls Barrow. We dispatched a wolf but pretty much had a free run until we found the watchtower. Don’t normally go looking for a fight but bandits very rarely are going to let you pass without one. Sure enough when we got close enough the three in the tower attacked.
My battle style is pretty much the same since this day. I cast a flesh spell to protect myself, draw my sword and use my shield to block while looking for openings to attack. There are exceptions to this style like when I face undead I usually have a turning spell in my hand as well. I cast it until I either have turned them all or run out of magicka. Once shouts became a part of my life, they became central to my planning every time I entered an encounter. My point is that my fighting style’s central core is flesh spell, shield and sword for the most part.
The bandits were quickly dispatched and I told Faendal to take what armor he needed. I also gave him the Leather Armor I had received from the Jarl. He was fairly well armed and armored when we were done and then we rounded the turn to Bleak Falls where we ran into other bandits. I was thankful for Faendal at this point . While I charged in to take them on up close he shot arrows into whatever target of opportunity he could find. It carried the day for us as in a few short minutes we had killed six bandits and only took a few wounds. We entered Bleak Falls Barrows main door.
Inside we found two more bandits who before we dispatched them to Oblivion, we overheard a conversation about a claw in the possession of a dark elf named Arvel. He had run ahead with it and it seemed important to the bandits. We then killed and ‘looted’ them.
I must speak about this looting thing here to save time. In any encounter I have ever had where there was looting afterwards, I have taken only what to me was valuable and only if I could confirm it belonged to the dead so was fair game to be taken. I work very hard to not steal although I may have done so unwittingly. I don’t in general take armor unless it is obvious that it is enchanted. I mean of the eight bandits we had killed at this time four were female. It is tremendously disrespectful to them and the dead in general to leave them naked to rot. There better be a real good reason to do so. Gold, jewelry, gems, etc. are always fair game but other things I assess as it happens. Besides I like travelling light.
Bleak Falls Barrow twisted and turned its way through the mountain. We encountered one more bandit who was not a dark elf but he was more intent in flipping a lever in the floor and in so doing we saw him filled with poison darts. We solved the puzzle in the room first and the pulled the level and the gate opened. This aroused some skeevers which we killed. We continued on and then I felt cobwebs on my face. There was a Frostbite Spider in a chamber beyond some webs over the door I had to cut away. It was a Giant Spider but it looked to have already been in a fight. I circled it slashing and blocking while Faendal put arrows into it. It fell eventually.
It was here that we found Arvel the Swift caught in a web. I asked about the Golden Claw and he told me that he had it and knew how to use it to unveil the secrets of the ancient Nords. I laughed but then cut him down which is at the same moment he called me a fool and ran. I was ready for this and slashed with my sword and cut him. He continued to run until he turned around and drew his own sword to face me. It was a short battle as he struck my shield but he didn’t have one. We continued on and this is where we found the draugr.
It was in the next few chambers that I let loose with my Turn Undead Spell. Draugr fled but I simply did not have enough magicka to get them all, so shield and sword work was also necessary. Faendal and I cleared the Barrow and soon found ourselves in the Hall of Stories.
A quick reading of Arvel’s journal and a look at the golden claw and I figured out what was needed. I turned the circles so the symbols match what was on the claw and then placed the claw on the center and twisted it. The door opened and fell downward into the floor . Following the stairway up we found the main chamber which was dominated by a raised central area which in turn was dominated by a Word Wall.
There would be a lot of firsts in Bleak Falls but the most notable was when I approach the Word Wall and heard the chanting for the first time. Faendal said he didn’t hear it but as I approached a Word on the Wall was glowing and as I approached it; it dominated my sight. Then I understood what it meant – ‘Fus’ or ‘Force’.I shook off the buzzing in my head and turned back to the coffin that was in the center of the chamber.
As I approached a draugr burst out and attacked us. Faendal circled firing arrows and I did the dame with my sword and shield. I was thankful for my flesh spell a couple of times and it was the first time a shout was used against me. It hit me and I dropped my sword. I quickly snatched it back up and finished the battle. We found the Dragonstone on him. We looted the area and then I saw the one staircase leading up. I followed it and found a level that opened a secret door that looked like a rock wall We found the last chamber and the exit. We felt the sun on our faces and breathed the clean air. We had survived Bleak Falls Barrow.