The Thief in the Snow
Entry VII: The Hunt for Strong Allegiance
Location: Western Watchtower, Whiterun Hold
Date: Turdas, 21st of Last Seed, 4E 201
Alone. It was early morning, the sun was still hiding behind the mountains and the stars shone brightly. Masser and Secunda, the two moons that revolved around Nirn, hung high in the sky. I followed the stone road that led to the Western Watchtower. I kept glancing up at the sky, hoping or not hoping to see the outline of wings against the stars. I could see the watchtower in the distance, it looked undisturbed. Maybe this meant the Dragon had already left. As I rounded the slight bend in the road, I could tell that my initial assumption was wrong. Flames leapt from all corners of the tower, from the base to its highest point, the tower burned. I came across one of Irileth’s men hiding behind a giant rock.
“I doubt any of us are coming back from this mission.” he stated solemnly.
I did not wait for Irileth to arrive. I sprinted towards the tower; there could still be survivors inside. As I approached what used to be the door to the watchtower, a Guard ran out and waved his hands at me.
“No!” he shouted, “Get back! It is still here somewhere! Hroki and Tor just got grabbed when they tried to make a run for it!”
I did not heed the Guard’s warning and continued to run towards the cover of the watchtower.
“Kynareth save us, here it comes again…” the Guard cried as he pointed towards the sky.
An all too familiar sound cracked through the night air… the roar of a Dragon. I looked up and saw it swiftly flying towards us. It was not the same Dragon as the one I had seen where this whole journey began. Its scales were a whitish color and it was not as large as the monstrosity that attacked Helgen. ‘There was more than one of these foul creatures.’ I dragged the Guard into the tower before the Dragon unleashed a storm of fire on the ground. I shoved his bow back into his hands and told him to fire all his arrows into the beast.
I darted out of the watchtower and into the open field. I had no cover here but I also had a clean line of sight. I dashed back and forth, dodging the Dragon’s flaming breath while I launched as many arrows as I was capable of. I could barely tell if any of my arrows hit their target as the Dragon was so swift in the air. Then suddenly the Dragon fell out of the sky and landed right in front of me. The impact knocked me to the ground; it was like an earthquake had shaken the land. It let out a ferocious roar and began burning everything in its wake. I managed to avoid a massive fireball as I dove out of the way. Lying on my back, I fired an arrow and continued to fire shot after shot as I clambered up to my feet. I could hear Irileth’s voice bellowing out orders for her men to fire their arrows and to keep firing. The Dragon whipped its head around, baring its monstrous teeth at me. With one fluid motion I drew my bow back as far as it would yield and shot an arrow straight into the Dragon’s mouth. The scaly beast slumped to the ground.
“Let us make sure that overgrown lizard is really dead!” Irileth commanded. “Damned good shooting, boys!” she added as she saluted her men.
I stood closer to the Dragon’s body. It appeared to be burning up and the corpse had an eerie glow about it. ‘I have seen this glow before.’ I thought but before I could recall where I had witnessed this previously, a massive force exploded out of the Dragon’s body.
“What is happening?” a Guard cried out.
“Everybody get back!” Irileth yelled but it was too late for me to move.
I felt a surge of power as a white energy poured from the Dragon’s body and into mine. It was over in a single instant. The once living Dragon was now just a skeleton. All the scales and flesh were gone. If I had not witnessed the Dragon flying just moments before, I would have sworn this body was a fossil from a Dragon that had been dead for centuries. All the Guards rushed to my side.
“I cannot believe it!” one Guard stated in disbelief. “You are… Dragonborn…”
“Maybe this one hit head too hard.” I replied, “Dar’Raza has fur not scales.”
The Guard shook his head and insisted.
“Dragonborn? What does that mean?” I quizzed as my head spun from the surge of energy that had overtaken me.
“In the very oldest tales, back from when there were still Dragons in Skyrim, the Dragonborn would slay Dragons and steal their power.” the Guard answered. He looked closely at me, “That is what you did, is not it? Absorbed that Dragon’s power?”
I shook my head, both in disagreement and trying to regain my senses, “Dar’Raza does not know what happened to Dar'Raza.”
“There is only one way to find out. Try to Shout… that would prove it.” the Guard urged. “According to the old legends, only the Dragonborn can Shout without training, the way the Dragons do.”
“Dragonborn? What are you talking about?” a second Guard questioned.
“That is right! My grandfather used to tell stories about the Dragonborn.” a third Guard asserted, “Those born with the Dragon Blood in ‘em. Like old Tiber Septim himself.”
“I never heard of Tiber Septim killing any Dragons.” the second Guard retorted skeptically.
“There were not any Dragons then, idiot.” berated the first Guard. “They are just coming back now for the first time in… forever. But the old tales tell of the Dragonborn who could kill Dragons and steal their power.” He turned to me, “You must be one!”
The third Guard chimed in, “What do you say, Irileth? You are being awfully quiet.”
“Come on Irileth, tell us, do you believe in this Dragonborn business?” prodded the second Guard.
“Hmph.” Irileth retorted, “Some of you would be better off keeping quiet than flapping your gums on matters you do not know anything about.” She pointed at the Dragon skeleton, “Here is a dead Dragon, and that is something I definitely understand. Now we know we can kill them. But I do not need some mythical Dragonborn. Someone who can put down a Dragon is more than enough for me.”
“You would not understand, Housecarl.” interrupted the first Guard, “You are not a Nord.”
“I have been all across Tamriel. I have seen plenty of things just as outlandish as this.” she replied. “I would advise you all to trust in the strength of your sword arm over tales and legends.”
The first Guard turned to me once more, “If you really are Dragonborn, like out of the old tales, you ought to be able to Shout. Can you? Have you tried?”
The stone monument in Bleak Falls Barrow appeared in my mind. I envisioned myself standing before the great stone and running my paws across the engraved words. One word stood out above all others as it glowed underneath my paw. The letters, which I could not read, began to shift and change as I continued to peer at the word engraved in stone. In an instant, I understood the word. I could read it and knew its meaning… ‘Force.’ It was the word the Draugr Overlord shouted at me, the power it wielded against me in the barrow. Now, this Guard thought I could wield the same power, that I was Dragonborn. There was only one way to find out. I inhaled deeply and summoned a power I did not understand.
“Fus!” I shouted as a force exploded from my voice.
“That was Shouting, what you just did!” the first Guard exclaimed. “Must be. You really are Dragonborn, then… I am glad you are on our side.”
I approached Irileth and she remarked, “That was the hairiest fight I have ever been in, and I have been in more than a few. I do not know about this Dragonborn business,” she looked at my strangely then smiled, “But I am sure glad you are with us. You better get back to Whiterun right away. Jarl Balgruuf will want to know what happened here.”
I smiled at her and nodded. She was right, Jarl Balgruuf needed to be informed right away that not only was the Dragon stopped but it was actually killed. I would leave out the bit about the Shouting. I am not sure how a Nord ruler would take to a Khajiit claiming to be some ancient Nord hero.
Location: Whiterun Plains, Whiterun Hold
Date: Turdas, 21st of Last Seed, 4E 201
On the outskirts of Whiterun I saw a welcomed sight, campfires. A Khajiit Caravan had arrived while I was fighting the Dragon and had set up their tents. I bounded up to their camp, excited to be amongst my people for the first time in what felt like ages.
I female Khajiit named Khayla came out to welcome me cheerfully, “Welcome to Khajiit’s humble camp.”
A male, lighter in color than I, also greeted me, “Ma’randru-jo welcomes this one, and also this one's coin.”
My lips curled in a smile, such warm Khajiit sentiment, I knew I belonged amongst these people. Another Khajiit waved at me and pointed towards one of the tents. I assumed the Caravan’s leader occupied this space. As I approached, I found an old Khajiit sitting on the ground.
He introduced himself as Ri’saad and told me tales of his journey to Skyrim and why he had come. I knew his reason of course; there was much money to be made in this northern land with the Civil War. Now with Dragons roaming about, the Khajiit Caravans could earn a boon here. He asked if I wanted to barter with him but, unfortunately I had to shake my head. I had nothing to trade and had to inform the Jarl of the happenings at the Western Watchtower. Ri’saad looked at me with a curiosity strewn across his face. I laughed and related my story of how I assisted the Jarl and was allowed inside the walls of Whiterun. The old Khajiit was amazed by this.
I got up to leave and then turned to face Ri’saad once more, “Does this one have room for one more Khajiit in your Caravan?”
“Ri’saad hopes this one will find a warmer welcome in this one’s travels than Ri’saad’s Caravan has found,” he replied, “But if this one does not, Dar’Raza is always welcome.”
I nodded and smiled at Ri’saad and the other Khajiit as I left. It was reassuring to know that I had a place I could go, a place I belonged.
As I walked away from the camp and followed the road up to the gates of Whiterun, Ri’saad called after me, “May this one’s road lead to warm sands.”