Forbidden Love Main Forums Creations 18+ Content In Blood and In Voice

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  • Kailia
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    Prologue

    Kailia rolled out of the bedroll and got dressed. It was another chilly morning at her parents shack near Ancient’s Ascent.

    “Well about time you got up daughter.”, said the bearded man nearby. This was her father Thorof Green-heart. From behind him, a woman’s hand ran through his thick beard.

    “Sweetheart, we need you to haul some furs to town today.”, this request was from her mother, Eldine Green-heart. She looked much like an older version of Kailia. She had definitely gotten her own looks from her mother.

    “Of course mother. I will set out now once the furs are gathered.” replied Kailia.

    They spent a few hours stuffing the various furs into her knapsack backpack and she set out for Helgen which wasn’t too far away. Kailia walked down the almost non-existant path to helgen, it was a trip she’d made before. Just past the log where she often harvests mushrooms, to a snow covered incline to the road.

    She walked up the steep incline of the road to the back door of Helgen that was closed by a solitary wooden door that served as a gate. She opened it and made for the house nearest the first tower.

    “Well hello deary, good to see you. I take your family sends more furs?” asked Ingrid.

    Kailia nodded, “Yes actually. Winter is coming, so we need some septims to be able to buy what we need to survive.”

    Ingrid shook her head, “Your parents are stuborn. We have a perfectly good house here in Helgen you could move into and be nice and warm. But they prefer living in the mountains.”

    Kailia giggles as she starts pulling the pelts out of the bag, “I want to leave this area and head north one day soon. I dream of becoming a bard. Maybe even a mage.”

    Ingrid kneels down to help sift through the furs, “Oh? Intending to goto that mages college in Winterhold? Just be careful that magic doesn’t blow you up dear.”

    Kailia nodded, “I been practicing with the flames magic, keeping the fire going every day. I know many Nords dislike magic, but it always fascinated me.”

    Ingrid pulls out her coin pouch and begins counting out the septims, “Aye, but I also understand why your parents live out there. A lot of us don’t agree with the banning of the Worship of Talos. But I cannot get behind the Stormcloaks either. Considering the talk that Ulfric shouted the high king into nothingness. He murdered the high king.”

    Kailia shook her head, “Father claims it was a lawful duel in the old ways. But I try not to get involved in the civil war.”

    Ingrid smiled, “Good. You will live longer. Though do be careful when you do set out. They say fighting has gotten worse of late.” as she handed over the septims for the furs.

    Kailia dropped them into her knapsack and nodded, “I am aware”, before setting back out for home. Behind her, she noticed imperial troops starting to move into the streets. Seems they were expecting something. But she wasn’t going to be here for it. She headed back out the gate and back home.

    The walk home was always the easiest and arriving at her parents shack she walked over to her father and handed over the septims.

    “Aye, looks like made some decent coin here. I will be going hunting later for more pelts.” responded Thorof. But then both he, Eldine and Kailia turned as a strange roar echoed through the sky.

    “What was that?” asked Eldine.

    Thorof shook his head, “I’ve no clue. But I’ve got a bad feeling. Kailia go pack your things, we are going to goto town to bunker down for a bit.”

    Kailia nodded, running into the shack. As she did, the roar happened again. She could hear her father picking up the woodcutting axe outside when he suddenly yelled out, “Kailia! Stay inside!”

    Kailia turned and looked through the window, and to her horror, a huge creature was flying overhead! It spoke then, and fire spewed from it’s horrible maw. Kailia fell backwards, hitting her head on the dresser and that was the last she knew as she blacked out. She could hear her parents outside screaming before everything went dark and all sounds died.

     

    Kailia
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    Chapter 1
    Escape

    Her lungs burned and her eyes began to water, and this prompted her out of the darkness, and to wake up to her home filled with smoke. She could hear fire burning outside.

    “Oh my head…” she said as she rubbed where she hit her head. There was thankfully no blood, always a good sign. Quickly she grabbed her bow and noticed her mothers necklace on the dresser. She took a chance and peaked out the door… and to her horror saw the charred remains of her parents.

    She signed and ducked back inside and grabbed her mothers necklace and the unfilled lantern. She then walked to the bed and pulled out her fathers favorite book and looked in the family chest to find some septims and lockpicks. She stuffed all this into her knapsack. She put the knapsack on, went outside and found her fathers woodcutter’s axe still at his side, though it was badly charred, it still had its uses.

    “Perhaps I can learn how to smith and make you better…” she said absentmidedly to the axe as she hooked it onto her pack. Then she saw them. Wolves were on the prowl, scavenging for food no doubt. She pulled out her bow and knocked an arrow as she quickly worked her way away from the shack that had seen better days now. Too late, one wolf came charging for her and she turned and shot it in the head, killing it instantly. It’s friends thought better and fled.

    “Thank the gods… I should probably go warn Helgen…” she said, as she made her way back along the trail. The air was eerily quiet. But as she approached the road, she spotted an elk. It did not seem to notice her yet. Quickly yet as quietly as she could, she pulled out an arrow and took careful aim, letting the arrow fly, it hit home and the elk fell.

    “Well at least I wont go hungry…” she said as she ran over with her hunting knife she pulled out of her knapsack pocket and began field dressing the elk. She removed the antlers and the pelt before finally cutting away the raw meat, she wrapped the meat in the pelt and opened her knapsack, stuffing the chunks of meat into the knapsack to cook later.

    She continued up the road to Helgen, only to spot smoke, “Oh no…” and just as she said that, did the same black dragon rise into the air letting forth a mighty roar and flying off. She hurried into what was left of the town. There were charred bodies everywhere, and a headsman’s block which looked to of had some use recently. The inn though looked as though there was a raging fire in the lower level, yet the upper floor looked to be intact enough. She also noticed a gaping hole in the tower next to it.

    “Well… I need to get through there anyways.” and ran for the tower, up the stairs to the hole. Showing up, the upper floor of the inn was not yet on fire but it had a buge hole in the roof that she might jump down into. She took a few steps back then charged, leaping out the hole, she landed in the inn and rolled on the floor from the impact.

    She managed to get to her feet, hearing the fire below, it would not be long before that fire would work its way up. Quickly she made for the stairwell, only to find it was no longer there. Just a massive hole where it used to be. She sighed and lept down, this jump not being as bad, she managed to land on her feet with a slight stumble forward then headed out of the building.

    Yet everywhere she looked, fires were raging out of control. The air with thick with smoke. She pulled out her face mask and put it on to cover her mouth and nose and ran for the alleyway. Half the alley was in ruins, and she was forced to detour through another burning house. As she entered what used to be the main room of the house, she found a body still cooking in the fire.

    Her stomache turned and she ran on out towards the keep. But there did not appear to be a living soul. As she turned to head for the gate, she saw another charred body, but also what looked like an intact book by it. She ran over and dusted off the bits of charr from the dirt and body and opened it. She scanned the pages quickly, noting this person used to be a prisoner who came into skyrim without checking in at the checkpoint. Seems the Imperials found that reason enough to warrant taking this poor persons head… except the dragon managed to spare him long enough for him to write down that a Stormcloak Soldier and an Imperial Soldier worked on getting people out through the keep’s cave back entrance.

    She closed the journal and stuffed it into her pack and made her way into the keep. As she entered, the first thing she saw, was a dead stormcloak soldier across from her. She walked over and saw the gaping hole in his head. To her right was an open barred door.

    “I guess they went that way.” she said as she headed through it and following the path down the stairs. In the next hallway, the roof caved in. But she quickly ran into the store room before it could get worse and there she found more dead stormcloak and imperials. Seems they weren’t able to work together after all, noting the slash wounds on the stormcloak body and the lack of head on the imperial captain.

    She continued on through the room and down more stairs… into a torture chamber, “By the nine… a torture chamber?! I wonder if the Jarl even knows about what the empire is doing in here?” she said as she made her way through, she noticed a book with an imperial emblem. She opened it… and it was a story book about something called the dragonborn.

    She shrugged and stuffed it into her knapsack and continued on down, finding more bodies, some prisoners who were so rotted they were nothing but skeletons now. How long must they of been rotting to reach such state?

    Finally she reached a chamber with running water. She rushed down to one of the waterfalls and cupped her hands, taking a quick drink before climbing some steps back up and across a bridge. As she did, the roof caved in behind her. There would be no going back now.

    She pushed onwards, sneaking past a room full of frostbite spiders, she soon heard the sound of shallow breathing. She hurried along the path and found a wounded Stormcloak soldier.

    “By the nine, what are you doing here?!” asked Ralof.

    Kailia dug into her knapsack, “My home was attacked by that dragon, as I came to Helgen, the same dragon was flying off. I’ve got a potion that should help your wounds.”

    Ahead, she saw an imperial writing in pain. But she was more focused on this son of skyrim. As she handed him the potion, the cave room fell down, crushing that imperial. Ralof quickly drank the potion and got to his feet, “Thanks, we should clear out of here before this cave comes down on our heads.” he proclaimed and began running for the exit, Kailia hot on his tail. As they emerged Ralof looked up. Just in time to spot the dragon flyign into the distance towards some mountains.

    “There he goes… and looks like he’s gone for good this time.” he said then looked to Kailia, “My sister… Gerdur, runs the mill in Riverwood. I’m sure she’d help you out. It’s probably best if we split up. Good luck, I wouldn’t of made it without your help.” he said. Kailia nodded and began running ahead

    Seemed there was a nice dirt trail to follow which led to the road. It was already dark when they had emerged. But she was able to make out the sign ahead, illuminated by a small stone braizier, which pointed the way to Riverwood. She followed the road, stopping every so often to pick some thistle branches. These she knew, might come in handy one day.

    As she traveled the road, she found herself following a River, which soon led her to the town itself. She remembered Ralof mentioning the mill. So she crossed a small bridge over to the mill and soon found Gerdur. She approached the woman who stopped what she was doing to look at her.

    “Greetings Gerdur, I am a friend of Ralof, he said you could help me out.” Kailia said.

    Gerdur frowned, “How do you know Ralof?”

    “A dragon attacked Helgen, I helped him escape, and he said you could help.” Kailia answered.

    “A dragon? In Helgen? Somehow… I believe you. You have the look of someone who just seen a dragon. And it would explain what I saw earlier flying towards the maintain.” replied Gerdur.

    Kailia nodded, “Aye that was the dragon, Ralof will tell you himself. So he said you could help me?”

    Gerdur smiled, “Aye, here’s the key to my house, stay as long as you need. But if you would be willing to make a trip to Whiterun and tell the Jarl there’s a dragon on the loose, I’d be in your debt. Riverwood is defenseless, and we could use whatever guards he can supply.” as she pulled out a key handing it over.

    Kailia smiled taking the key, “I will after I rest up. Maybe not tomorrow but the following day.” she said, just as she heard Ralof’s voice behind her.

    “Gerdur!”

    Gerdur beamed, “Brother! Mara’s mercy it is good to see you! Your friend told me what happened, are you hurt? Is it safe to even be here? I heard the imperials…”

    Ralof stopped her, “Gerdur I am fine… at least now I am. Is there somewhere we can talk? No telling when news of Helgen will reach the Imperials.”

    “Your right, come this way. Hod! Come here a minute. I need your help with something.” she called to her husband working the saw mill.

    “What is it woman? Sven drunk on the job again?” asked Hod.

    Gerdur smirked, “Hod just come here.”

    Hod then spotted who was with her, “Ralof! What are you doing here?! I-I will be right down!” as Kailia, Ralof and Gerdur walked towards some stumps. Then a young boy ran up and started talking to Ralof.

    “Where’s a good place to get supplies here?” asked Kailia.

    Gerdur looked to Kailia, “If by supplies, you mean weapons and armor? Alvor can help you out. He’s our blacksmith.”

    Kailia nodded before Gerdur turned to the boy, “Hush now Frodnar, go and watch the south road, and let us know if you see any imperials coming.”

    “Aw momma… I wanna stay and talk to Uncle Ralof!” replied the boy.

    “Look at you! Almost a grown man! Pretty soon you will be joining the fight yourself!” boasted Ralof, obviously feeding the boys ego. And it worked.

    “Don’t worry Uncle Ralof! I won’t let no soldiers sneak up on you!” he said and ran for the road to keep watch.

    “Now… Ralof, what is this all about? You two look pretty well done in.” proclaimed Hod.

    Ralof took a seat on the stump, “I can’t remember when last I slept… But the news you heard about Ulfric is true. They ambushed us outside Darkwater Crossing. Like they knew exactly where we’d be. That was… three days ago. We arrived in Helgen this morning and I thought it was all over… Had us lined up at the block and ready to begin chopping.”

    Gerdur looked disgusted, “Those cowards!”

    Ralof nodded, “They wouldn’t dare give Ulfric a fair trial. Treason… for fighting for your own people. All of Skyrim would of known the truth then. But then, out of nowhere, a dragon attacked.

    Gerdur looked to Kailia, “When your friend told me that, I didn’t believe it at first.”

    Ralof again nodded, “Aye… I could hardly believe it myself. And I was there! In the confusion, we managed to slip away. Are we really the first to make it to Riverwood?”

    Gerdur nodded, “No one else has come up the south road today. But what of Ulfric? Did he…?”

    Ralof shook his head, “Don’t worry about Ulfric. It would take more than a Dragon to stop him. I hate to put your family in danger Gerdur…”

    Gerdur held up a hand, “Nonsense. You and your friend are welcome to stay as long as you need. Let me worry about the Imperials.”

    Ralof smiled, “Thanks Gerdur. And don’t worry. I know how to lay low.”

    Hod smiled, “I will show them to the house and… you know? Show them where everything is.”

    “Help them drink up our mead you mean. It’s good to have you with us brother.” replied Gerdur as the entire group got up and made for the house.

    Kailia
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    Chapter 2
    Before the Storm

    Kailia awoke during mid afternoon, and she looked over at Ralof who was grinning ear to ear. Then she realized why. She always had a habbit of sleeping nude, and he was enjoying the view of her body uncovered from the skin blankets. She smiled sheepishly and got up.

    “Been watching long?” she asked.

    “Not long. I know some people sleep nude but I didn’t realize women do too.” replied Ralof.

    Kailia smiled as she picked up her clothes off the ground and started to put on the pants to cover her most important part, “Well I feel more comfortable sleeping the natural way. Anyways I am going to pay a visit to the local blacksmith. I want to learn how to restore my father’s woodcutter’s axe.”

    Ralof looked to the charred axe tied to her knapsack that was sitting next to her clothes, “Guessing it got that way from the dragon?”

    Kailia finished putting on her tunic and slipped on her mother’s necklace, “Yeah… This necklace and the axe is all I have of my parents now.”

    Ralof nodded, “You know… you should come to windhelm with me to help free skyrim. If anyone would know what the coming of the dragons mean, it’s Ulfric.”

    Kailia finished dressing by putting her boots then cloak on, “Do you really think Ulfric knows where that dragon came from?”

    “Well… maybe not… Dragon’s haven’t been seen in Skyrim for an age or more. But wherever that dragon came from, and whatever it wants. Ulfric will get to the bottom of it. You can count on that. Besides, you’ve got your own score to settle with that dragon now.” explained Ralof.

    Kailia smiled, “You seem wise… perhaps I will goto Windhelm”

    It was Ralof’s turn to smile, “I hope so. Skyrim needs women like you to fight for her freedom.”

    Kailia picked up her knapsack, “Well I will return this evening. I am off to the blacksmith.”, and with that, she headed out the door into Riverwood. She was amazed how green Riverwood was. There were Ivy vines everywhere, and Gerdur’s home had many cows and chickens of various colors. Next door she saw a large gardening area where crops of various vegetables wer growing.

    She passed through the gate and towards the center of town, noting the various features, from the two drunken men sitting near a wagon full of lumber, to the fence along the Riverwood Trader’s entrance. Across from the trader was the local blacksmith, the forge itself surrounded by a cage, likely to protect the various goods within. She headed over to the blacksmith and there was a mountain of a man wearing a red blacksmith apron.

    “Excuse me… I was wondering if you needed some help around the forge? I’d like to learn a bit about smithing to restore my father’s woodcutter’s axe.” asked Kailia.

    Alvor looked her over, “Yes actually, how about we start by smithing an iron dagger.” he pulled out an iron ingot and a leather strip, “Here’s all you will need to make one.” and he walked with her over to the forge. Together, he showed her how to heat the metal up, and beat it into shape with the blacksmithing hammer, and quenching it to form the iron dagger.

    “This looks good. But it’s a little dull. Lets sharpen it on the wheel over there” he said, pointing at the grinding wheel. Kailia took the dagger over and began making the wheel spin and he guided her hands so she could get a feel for how the grinding worked before wrapping the leather strip around the end to form the handle.

    “This seems simple enough.” she said as she finished grinding it into a perfect sharpness.

    “This looks good, when you put time into your blades, they will serve you well. Lets now see about making some armor.” Alvor said as he grabbed a deer pelt, “Lets start by tanning some leather on the rack.”

    Kailia smiled taking the pelt and her hunting knife, “This part I actually know, my father taught me all about tanning leather” she said as she tied the ends of the leather to the rack and began scraping the fur off leaving perfect smooth leather. She untied the leather and presented it to Alvor.

    Alvor nodded, “Good, a lot of armors need leather for straps, fittings, that kind of thing. Lets see about making a hide helmet.” as he presented her another iron ingot, “here’s the rest of what you need.”

    With careful guidance from Alvor, he showed her how to not only measure for armor, but putting the leather and metal together to form a nice helmet.

    “Now lets improve the fit, take this helmet to the workbench over there” he said pointing to the workbench. Kailia headed over and fitting the straps into place and then presented the final work to Alvor.

    “I should hire you to be my assistant at this rate. Why don’t you keep that dagger and helmet. Maybe you will remember me when you are making skyforge steel huh?” she boasted. It did much for Kailia’s ego.

    She smiled and nodded, then grabbed a piece of firewood and taking all she’d learned, she quickly restored her father’s old woodcutter’s axe, making it sharper than it’s ever been in ages. Soon after she sold off the various pieces of loot she’d gthered, and put her newfound smithing knowledge to use by turning that hide helmet into an armored circlet, and forging more hide armor using her memorized measurements of her body. She packed that all into her knapsack, and headed back to Gerdur’s home.

    As she entered, Gerdur smiled, “Welcome, make yourself at home.” she said and Kailia opened her knapsack and pulled out the elk meat and set about cooking it at the fireplace. She shared the meat with Gerdur and her family of course, and used paper to wrap up the rest for eating on the road.

    Gerdur smiled, “Since I need you to go see the Jarl, there’s a horse on the side of the inn I own. Why don’t you take it. She will get you to whiterun fairly swiftly tomorrow.”

    “Thanks Gerdur, I will do just that.” Kailia replied.

    The next day, Kailia got up and dressed and headed to the inn. There, she found the horse Gerdur mentioned. She took the horse by the reigns leading it out of the stables and put the fur saddle on it before riding out of Riverwood.

    The road was pretty straight forward. She passed Ysmir’s falls, and saw in the distance, whiterun. She continued down the road, passing some imperials escorting a stormcloak prisoner. She looked upon the prisoner with sympathy and headed towards the bridges and the meadery where she turned to the left at the crossroad, continuing on towards whiterun.

    As she road she looked to her left at the farm where some warriors were taking down a giant. She’d heard of giants from stories but this was the first she’d ever seen one. She approached the stables where a woman was talking to the stablemaster, talking about some jester she saw on the road. She paid no mind to it, and left her horse at the stable, before heading on to Whiterun itself.

    As she neared the main gate to the city, a guard approached, “Halt. City is closed with the dragons about. Official business only.”

    Kailia looked to the man, “I’ve come to see the Jarl about the dragon attack on Helgen actually.”

    “Fine, but we will be keeping an eye on you” said the guard who walked back to his post. Kailia continued on, pushing open the gate to the city she beheld a bustling city with many people walking the streets. She noted a nord dressed in an Imperial uniform talking to a blacksmith near the entrance.

    “We will pay whatever is needed. But we must have swords for the Imperial legion.” spoke the rough voice man.

    Adrianne crossed her arms, “I just can’t fill an order that size. Why don’t you swallow that stuborn pride of yours and also asked Eorlund Gray-Mane for help?”

    Idolaf growled, “I’d sooner bend my knee to Ulfric Stormcloak. Besides… A Gray-Mane would never make steel for the Legion.”

    Adrianne sighed, “Fine I will take the job, but don’t expect a miracle.”

    Kailia walked over smiling, “Greetings, I am new to the city, might you be able to tell me about this place?”

    Adrianne smiled, “I can tell plenty. Most people here are prosperous enough, as long as they are willing to work. Down this road is the market, and then there’s Dragonsreach up there. But you might also be interested in Jorrvaskr, Mead hall of the Companions. Their tales of honor and valor… are legendary.”

    Kailia looked a the outdoor smithing area, “You work here all day?”

    Adrianne nodded, “Aye, that I do. I’ve got to. If I ever want to be as good as Eorlund Gray-Mane one day. In fact, I just finished my best piece of work. It’s a sword, I made it for the Jarl, Baalgruf the Greater. It’s supposed to be a surprise. But I don’t even know if he will take it. Would you be willing to take it to my father who serves as steward to the Jarl? He’d know the right time to present it to him.”

    Kailia smiled, “I was going to head there anyways so I will do it.”

    Adrianne walked over to the workbench and picked up the two handed sword and walked over handing it to Kailia, “Thanks”

    Kailia took the sword, it was quite heavy and put the scabard holder over her shoulder so the sword was on her back and headed on towards the cloud district, climbing the steps. As she walked she saw children running past her, and a redgurd couple having an arguement.

    She decided best to stay out of that and proceeded past the rotting old tree up the many steps and to Dragonsreach. The outside was impressively large. But as she entered Dragonsreach itself, she couldn’t help but marvel at what she beheld.

    The place was huge, lit by braizers, candles. It had pillars with nordic designs in the woodwork. The windows were unlike any she seen before, allowing light to pour in. But the light also illuminated the particles in the air from the smoke of the various light sources.

    She climbed up more steps, noting two long tables stretching outwards towards the Jarl’s throne, in between them, a huge fire pit, obviously to keep those dining warm. As she approached she could hear the Jarl and his steward discussing something.

    “I only urge caution, we cannot act brashly near Falkreath.” spoke a lanky bald-headed man in a red fine clothes. Likely the Jarl’s steward she was to give the sword to.

    “What would you have me do? Nothing?” asked the Jarl.

    But then she saw a dark elf look over to her, draw her sword and began approaching her. Kailia though stood, and allowed the clearly hostile woman to approach, “What is the meaning of this interuption? Jarl Baalgru is not recieving visitors”

    Kailia stood straight, “Gerdur sent me, Riverwood is in danger.”

    “As housecarl, it is my duty to deal with all dangers to the Jarl or his people. So you have my attention. Now explain yourself.” spoke the elf.

    Kailia took a deep breath and looked the elf in the eyes, “I was told to give the message directly to the Jarl” she replied. She instantly did not like this elf, and would rather not deal with her.

    “Whatever you have to say to the Jarl, you can say to me” responded the elf. Seemed the feelings were mutual, “I am starting to think…”

    “It’s alright Ireleth, I want to hear what she has to say” called the Jarl.

    Kailia smiled and walked past the elf and up to the Jarl, “What’s this about Riverwood being in danger?” asked Baalgruf.

    “A dragon attacked Helgen, Gerdur fears Riverwood is next” responded Kailia.

    “Gerdur… own the lumbermill if I’m not mistaken… Pillar of the community. Not prone to flights of fancy…” spoke the Jarl, almost to himself before returning his attention to Kailia, “And you are sure Helgen was destroyed by a dragon? This wasn’t some Stormcloak raid gone wrong?”

    Kailia nodded, “I was there when the dragon burned Helgen to the ground.”

    “By Ysmir, Ireleth was right!” he looked to his steward, “What do you say now Proventus? Shall we continue to trust in the strength of our walls? Against a dragon?” spoke Baalgruf to his steward.

    Before Proventus could speak, the elf Ireleth stepped forward, “My lord, we should send troops to Riverwood at once. It’s in the most immediate danger. If that dragon is lurking in the mountains…”

    Suddenly that elf was earning Kailia’s respect, but Proventus on the other hand spoke up, “The Jarl of Falkreath will view that as a provocation! He’ll assume we’re preparing to join Ulfric’s side and attack him! We should not…”

    But Baalgruf quickly injected with a harsher and louder tone, “Enough! I’ll not stand idly by while a dragon burns my hold and slaughters my people! Irileth, send a detachment to Riverwood at once!”

    Ireleth saluted, “Yes, my Jarl.” and turned and headed towards the entrance.

    Proventus looked to Baalgruf, “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll return to my duties.”

    Baalgruf looked at to Proventus, clearly annoyed with the man, “That would be best.” then looked back to Kailia and the annoyance left his face as he gave her a warm smile, “Well done. You sought me out, on your own initiative. You’ve done Whiterun a service, and I won’t forget it. There is another thing you could do for me. Suitable for someone of your particular talents, perhaps. Come, let’s go find Farengar, my court wizard. He’s been looking into a matter related to these dragons and…rumors of dragons.” and got up heading for an ajoining chamber.

    Kailia paused a moment then turned to Proventus, “I have a sword from your daughter.” and pulled the sword off her back holding it out to Proventus.

    Proventus frowned, “From Adrianne? Ah this must be that sword for the Jarl. Poor girl. So eager to prove herself. I will present this to the Jarl when his mood… is more agreeable. Here take these few coin. For services rendered.” and he fished out of his pocket around twenty septims as he took the sword and handed the septims over.

    Kailia nodded taking the coin and dropped them into her attatched coin pouch on her hip before turning and following the Jarl to the chamber where the wizard was. The chamber itself was most definitely something she’d expect a magic user to have. So many books, potions, scrolls, and magical items adorned everywhere. Even a picture of what looked to be a werewolf was on the far back wall. She also noted an alchemy station nearby as well.

    “Farengar, I think I’ve found someone who can help you with your dragon project. Go ahead and fill him in with all the details.” spoke Baalgruf to the elf wizard before her.

    Farengar looked to the Jarl and took a couple steps closer to his desk to look at her, “So the Jarl thinks you can be of use to me? Oh yes, he must be referring to my research into the dragons. Yes, I could use someone to fetch something for me. Well, when I say fetch, I really mean delve into a dangerous ruin in search of an ancient stone tablet that may or may not actually be there.”

    Kailia crossed her arms, “What does this have to do with dragons?”

    Farengar smiled, “Ah, no mere brute mercenary, but a thinker… perhaps even a scholar? You see, when the stories of dragons began to circulate, many dismissed them as mere fantasties, rumors. Impossibilities. One sure mark of a fool is to dismiss anything that falls outside his experience as being impossible. But I began to search for information about dragons… where had they gone all those years ago? And where were they coming from?”

    Kailia listened then asked, “So what do you need me to do?”

    “I, ah, learned of a certain stone tablet said to be housed in Bleak Falls Barrow… a “Dragonstone,” said to contain a map of dragon burial sites. Go to Bleak Falls Barrow, find this tablet… no doubt in the main chamber… and bring it to me. Simplicity itself.” responded Farengar.

    Kailia nodded, “What do you know of this place?”

    “An old tomb, built by the ancient Nords, perhaps dating back to the Dragon War itself. Ah. Maybe you just want to know how to get there. It’s near Riverwood, a miserable little village a few miles south of here. I’m sure some of the locals can point you in the right direction once you get there.” responded Farengar.

    His words of Riverwood caused Kailia to boil inside. He clearly had little respect for the Nords but she would not speak on it, instead she simply asked, “How do you know this stone tablet is in Bleak Falls Barrow?”

    “Well. Must preserve some professional secrets, mustn’t we? I have my sources…reliable sources.” responded the wizard.

    Baalgruf interjected now, “This is a priority now, anything you can learn of this dragon or dragons, we need it quickly.”

    Farengar looked to Baalgruf, “Of course Jarl Baalgruf, you seemed to of found me an able assistant. I am sure she will come in handy.”

    Baalgruff looked annoyed at the wizard but then turned to Kailia, “Succeed at this, and Whiterun will be in your debt and you will be well rewarded.”

    Kailia bowed to the Jarl, “Yes my Jarl, I will set out now.”

    Baalgruf nodded and left the chamber, followed by Kailia who took a different path, heading to the front door and on out into the main city. She looked up, and judging by the position of the sun, she estimated she could make it back to Riverwood by night. So she hurried through the city, through the market and on to the main gate where she saw Ireleth speaking to three guards. Kailia realized, those guards were going to be dispatched to Riverwood.

    She headed on out the main gate and got on her horse and began riding out. The ride was relaxing and after a few hours, the sun was near setting as she rode into Riverwood, the took her horse to the stable and dismounted before heading to Gerdur’s place and went to bed.

    Kailia
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    Chapter 3
    Adventures in the Barrows

    Kailia awoke early the next morning, and saw Ralof and the others were still asleep. She got dressed and walked to the inn. Inside the Sleeping Giant Inn, she saw the local drunk sleeping naked on the floor, and the bartender polishing a mug as the innkeeper came out of a room to talk to him. Kailia walked past the counter to the hatch in the floor and climbed down to the bath and soaked in the tub for a bit and scrubbed herself clean.

    She did a check of her quiver, 55 arrows. She then checked the sharpness of her steel daggers before sliding them into the sheaths on her belt. She knew also that the mountain had snow, so she pulled out of her knapsack a pair of old chitin goggles her father once gave her, a face mask and her green hood. She put on those and her hide armor and cloak and set out.

    The sun was only starting to rise. The roosters began their morning calls. She took the few steps down the stairs of the inn’s porch and made a right, passing by the gate to the bridge out of town. She pulled her bow out and knocked an arrow, and picked up the pace, running along the path towards the barrows. There were bandits waiting she knew, she wanted to be ready.

    As she ran, snow began to fall around her. The ground ahead was covered in snow, but she continued but then she saw ahead what looked like a tower. She slow her pace slightly, kneeling low, sneaking for a better view. The snow was blocking much of her view, but she managed to make out a shape of a person at a tree near the small bridge to the tower. A guard.

    She lifted her bow, and pulled the arrow already knocked back and aimed carefully. When she was consident, she released. The arrow soared through the air and found it’s mark on the lone bandit guarding the entrance, entering the woman’s left eye and through her skull. She did not fall though, as the arrow had penetrated enough to make her stick to the tree.

    But her companion saw. He pulled out his big two handed axe and began runing towards his downed partiner, “Damnit! Archer!” he looked towards where the arrow came from, but could see nothing. But then suddenly he felt something hit his chest, sending him flying back, hitting the rock face of the mountain. Kailia’s arrow had found its mark.

    Kailia rushed towards the two kills, she pulled the arrow loose on the guard bandit stuck to the tree, the arrow was ruined. Kailia tossed it aside, grabbed the guards coin purse and a few potions stuffing them into her own pack. She then ran over to the big guy. He only had a few coin on him.

    But then Kailia heard talking in the tower. Perhaps the claw would be there? Kailia crept into the tower, keeping an arrow knocked, she climbed the stairs, then the outside ramp and into the doorway. There was their chief, talking to himself, with arms crossed.

    Kailia took aim and fired. The arrow hit own, in the back of the chief’s head, and he fell forward, never realizing the huntress had struck. Kailia ran up the stairs to his fallen body and admired the cloak and hood he wore. Bear Claw cloak and hood. She stripped him of those and put them on herself. She was starting to feel the chill of the air of this mountain after all.

    She turned and noticed more stairs, and the corner of a chest above. She raced up, opened the chest, only to find some lockpicks and coin in the chest. Seemed the bandits had slim pickings. She pocketed them and raced back out of the tower towards the barrows.

    As she rounded the corner, she saw it. The massive barrows entrance. She knelt low and crept towards the barrows, and spotted a patrol creeping to one edge of a platform. She released an arrow. It found home in that bandits neck and he fell to the ground. Then she saw another one, a large brute of a nord with a warhammer charging down the stairs.

    Kailia didn’t have time to aim, she quickly knocked an arrow and released. That bandit dropped his hammer and fell to his knees gripping the arrow shaft that was embedded in the one spot men dread being hit. She visibly cringed then released another arrow, striking his head, ending his high pitched screams.

    Then an arrow landed next to her. There was an archer up there. She crept behind the nordic pillar she was at. More arrows bounced off the stone she hid behind. She peaked around the side. There, the shape of a woman with a bow running down the stairs she quickly fired off a shot as she was sprinting, it struck her in the chest ending her back flipping through the air to land on the arrow making it pass on through her back upon landing.

    Kailia ran up, collected the woman’s arrows then ran into the barrows out of the freezing cold. Once inside, she tore off the bear cloak and hood. They smelled horrible and were covered in blood. She tossed them aside and saw two handits at a campfire clean across the room. She also noted the dead skeevers and two dead bandits. Seemed the bandits had bit off more than they could chew coming in here.

    She took careful aim at the smallest of the bandits. She could make out the quiver on the woman’s back. She would not let a fellow archer have the time needed to shoot. She released and the arrow struck so hard the woman flew back into the far wall. Her brute friend pulled out his war axe and turned. Only to have Kailia’s second arrow find home.

    Kailia quickly closed the distance between them, collecting the coin and more arrows. Then looked down the hall. Spiderwebs. Why did it have to be spiders? She sighed and proceeded down the hallway, keeping as quiet as she could. She passed a couple more dead skeevers.

    “There has to be more bandits…” she said to herself quietly. And ahead, she saw she was right. A solitary bandit with a torch. She took aim, watching him activate a lever, then poison needles striking him from all directions, he fell dead. Kailia blinked a couple times and put her bow away.

    She entered the room, checked the bandits body and collected his torch. In front of her she noticed a pile of rubble with a plaque with a design on it of a snake. She looked up where the rubble likely came from. It was a middle design amongst three. She frowned, the first was also a snake, the other a fish or whale. She looked around the room and saw three large dials at one wall, each with an animal symbol.

    “It can’t be that easy can it?” she said to herself and walked over to the first and using all her strength she turned it once. A snake. She walked to the middle one, this one required turning twice to a snake. And the last, also requiring two turns till it was a fish. She turned back to the lever, and walked over to it.

    She prepared herself to leap out of the way should she be wrong and quickly activated the lever. But this time, instead of darts, the gate ahead opened. She unsheathed her bow and proceeded through. To her immediate left was a stairwell, which she heard skittering. She readied an arrow, and up came the large skeever, she released an arrow, sending the beast flying. A second, she quickly fired another arrow, striking it in the shoulder. Then the third, she missed. She ran to the lever room turned and fired as the third started rounding the corner, striking it in the head.

    She breathed a sigh of relief. That appeared to be all of them. She walked to the body, the arrow came free and intact. She put it back into the quiver. She walked on around and knelt to the first two. Those arrows were not retrievable.

    She continued on down the stairs that spiraled deeper into the dungeon and she noted the cobwebs suspiciously getting thicker. Then suddenly she heard a man’s voice, “Is… is someone coming? Is that you Harknir? Bjorn? Soling? I know I ran ahead with the claw, but I need help!”

    She traveled down the hallway till she found a door completely blocked in thick web. She held the bow into her left hand and raised up her right hand and concentrated. Suddenly flames sprang to life in her palm and she then turned the palm to the webs sending a burt of flames on through the webs breaking them apart and opening the way.

    She then knocked an arrow, knowing full well what made the web, likely knows she’s there now. She crept slowly into the room and through a hole in the roof, it appeared, the largest frostbite spider she’d ever seen. She quickly let fly two arrows and the beast screeched and fell to the ground, dead.

    Or so she thought. It tried to get up and she quickly released one more arrow, this one landing in the head amongst its many eyes, and finally it stayed still. She slung the bow over her back and approached the dark elf bandit trapped in the webbing.

    “You did it. You killed it. Now cut me down before anything else shows up.” cried the bandit.

    Kailia shook her head, “Where’s the golden claw?”

    “Yes, the claw. I know how it works. The claw, the markings, the door in the Hall of Stories. I know how they all fit together! Help me down, and I’ll show you. You won’t believe the power the Nords have hidden there.” replied the bandit.

    Kailia lifted both hands that now glowed in fire, “First hand over the claw.”

    “Does it look like I can move?! You need to cut me down first!” cried Arvel.

    Kailia though could sense in his tone, he would run the moment she did. So she shot forth both hands of flames destroying the web holding him, and setting the man on fire who screamed in agony before falling to the ground cooked to a crisp. She dug through his body, found the claw and the remains of his journal. She looked it over and noted the end passage, “The legend says there is a test that the Nords put in place to keep the unworthy away, but that “When you have the golden claw, the solution is in the palm of your hands.”

    She turned the claw itself over noting the animal designs on the palm of the claw. She stuffed both it and that journal into her knapsack and proceeded onwards. Thankfully much of the spiderwebbing was thinning out… before the smell hit her.

    “By the nine… what is…” then she stepped into the room and saw the body alcoves. The smell now made perfect sense. But dead ahead she eyed one body, it wore armor, unlike the other bodies and skeletons.

    “Oh no you don’t…” she whispered as she knocked an arrow and released. Showing up, upon impact the creature let out an inhuman cry, reaching for the arrow before falling limp from its alcove.

    “Great… draugr…” she muttered and knocked another arrow. As she crept forward, she took out yet more of the vile undead. She also saw the trap plate near her. Too late though she heard movement behind her. She had missed one!

    She lept over the plate and turned around as the draugr ran at her, stepped on the plate and a spiked wall flew around impaling the thing before resetting. That was one less problem.

    She turned around, saw another armored draugr playing dead. She made sure it was dead for real with an arrow. But the stairs down were extremely dark.

    Then she remembered the torch she took from the bandit’s body. She lit it and tossed it down the stairs and readied an arrow. She crept down, and saw a draugr body near her that started to move. She stilled it with an arrow.

    She turned around, released, hitting a second. And heard swinging blades as a third started getting up. She shot sending it flying. The room was finally still. She moved to the doorway and saw three large blades swinging back and forth through a narrow doorway. She counted the seconds between swings, took a deep breath and sprinted like her life depended on it.

    She made it. Barely, and quickly pulled a chain which stopped the blades, “Whew… close one…” she said. She unslung her bow and knotted an arrow once more. She had lost half the arrows she’d collected. She continued around the corner and down more stairs and saw ahead, an draugr standing in an alcove with arms crossed.

    “Oh no you don’t…” she said and shot. The arrow found home and the draugr let out a gutteral sound before falling. She rounded the corner, another draugr was starting to step out of an alcove. But then she noticed and smelled the oil on the ground and the fire pots lighting the path, one conveniently located right above the oil.

    No time to think she aimed quickly and fired. The arrow bounced off the pot and it fell, smashing itself on the ground and lit the entire hall on fire. The draugr all letting out gutteral yells and fell, their entire bodies lit aflame.

    When the oil finally finished burning off, she proceeded forward. The bodies of the draugr were nothing more than charred remains now. Smoke began filling the hallway and she let out a few coughs as she made her way up the stairs and into a cavern type room with ruins floor. Across the room, a sarcophagus lid blew off and out stepped a draugr. No time to think she quickly let loose an arrow which struck the draugr right in the head sending it to the ground before it could even draw its weapon.

    Kailia scanned the room, all seemed dead and she walked over to the barred door and pulled the chain which lifted the bars up. A small water stream was flowing from the door and she traveled it, into a pure cave from what she could see. But the lighting was so poor she could hardly see even her hands until she spotted a faint green glow.

    She followed the glow and found the source. Glowing mushrooms on the wall had lit the room up dimly but enough to see the skeleton and mining pick. She walked over to the skeleton, found a coin pouch and added its content to her own coin purse then grabbed one of the two picks on the ground and looked it over. It was in surprisingly good shape, and thus she added it to her knapsack next to her fathers woodcutters axe.

    She continued on down the cave, until finally she saw an open area ahead covered in snow, a lone draugr with its back to her. She took aim from the shadows and fired. The arrow struck the frail creature so hard it split the thing in half.

    She continued on past the body, entering yet the familiar barrows architecture. Ahead she saw the orange lighting of braisers and candles. But also the movement of a draugr black as night, with glowing red eyes. It was slightly different from the others she had fought to this point. She loaded an arrow and fired.

    The arrow landed in the things chest and it stagged slightly but began making its way towards her with its massive ancient nord battleaxe in hand. She let loose a second arrow, striking a different part of its chest. Again the thing stagged.

    “Damnit! Just die already!” she screamed and fired again, this one striking the thing in the head and it finally went down, “Thank you. I swear by the nine you must of been the kind of idiot that didn’t know that was where you were supposed to fall down.” she commented as she made for the door into the next chamber.

    As she passed through the doors she could hear the tell tale signs of more swinging blades. She rounded a corner and there they were. Once again, she focused on their timing. She made a fast dash and halfway through she saw a sarcophagus lid fly up. She slide on her bottom past the remaining blade, letting an arrow fly striking the thing as it finished climbing out, dropping it instantly.

    Two others on a bridge above spotted her and began running for the nearby stairs down. She noticed a big oil puddle on the ground and flame pots hovering over them. She took aim as the two came down the stairs, released and the arrow hit home knocking the pot off its hinge into the oil, exploding the entire area in fire, the draugr with it.

    Once the fire settled and the charred remains stopped moving she proceeded past, up the stairs and across the bridge into smaller chambers before arriving into a massive hallway with pictures carved into the walls on either side.

    “This must be that hall of stories…” she commented, and noted at the very end was a massive round door with three circular rings and a central circle with indentations matching the shape of the claw.

    She walked up to the door and slung the bow over her back and pulled the claw out. She took note of the animal shapes and began turning the outer ring till the animal displayed was a bear. Then the middle ring was a moth. And the lower ring an owl. Finally she jammed the claw into the keyholes and twisted before withdrawing the claw as the door began to move. The rings spinning on their own till they all landed on the bear, and the door sank down into the ground.

    The path forward was open, she unslung her bow and readied an arrow. By her feel, there was only ten arrows left. She moved into the massive cavern and beheld a huge looking wall and another sarcophagus. She readied herself as she approached, crossing the stone bridge, she tilted her head. There was chanting coming from the wall.

    She continued forward, the chanting was getting louder and she noticed some weird writing, with some of the writing glowing. She approached for a closer look and suddenly the light on the writing flowed outwards and at her. She felt odd. Her vision did much like when she hit her head, bringing her to the bring of blacking out. But then it faded.

    That was when the sound of the lid flying off the sarcophagus was heard. She turned and a draugr lord rose from it. She let fly her arrow, which struck the things arm. She sent another, this one stuck in its neck.

    The thing growled looking at her with glowing blue eyes then she heard “ro dah!” and a massive shockwave sent her flying against the word wall. Her bow went flying the other way. She got up, pulled out her daggers and charged at the draugr that now had an ancient nord greatsword drawn and began slashing the body, arms, neck and finally jabbed upwards sending the dagger through what would of been its brain.

    The draugr twitched before she backed away and the thing fell to the ground dead. She breathed a sigh of relief and resheathed her daggers and retrieved her bow before going back to the sarcophagus and looking inside to find a large stone tablet with a map of skyrim chisseled into it. She pulled it out and stuffed it into her knapsack which was now running out of room.

    “Damn this thing is heavy…” she cried as she hoisted it onto her back. It looked like there could be an exit above, as she spotted stairs leading to a doorway. She made the climb and found… a dead end and some kind of pedestal with a handle. She frowned, grabbed the handle and pulled up. When she did, a stone wall lifted up revealing a passage out. She saw the light of night outside.

    She signed moving into the final chamber. She was now exhausted. She sat her knapsack down right at the entrance, and pulled out her bedroll and spread it out on the floor before climbing in.

    “Well… tomorrow I return to Riverwood…” she said before finally succumbing to sleep.

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