DAY 1 – Morndas, 17th of Last Seed
I emerge blinking from a cave, the destruction of Helgen lies behind me, a yet unknown world ahead. Within hours of waking alone and confused in the snow I have been arrested, almost executed, constantly called “Breton”, almost burned by a freaking Dragon, chased by massive spiders, chased by a massive bear, and now my only friend in this strange land, Ralof, has just run off leaving me with some vague instructions to visit his sister in Riverwood.
Other than the weapons and armour I looted from a person Ralof killed (I was hiding) I have 133 gold, some food and drink, some books, and a bear skin (from the bear Ralof killed while I ran around in circles). Despite having no idea what 133 gold is worth in this economy I feel quite well off, even if I now have a reputation as a massive coward. After admiring the view outside the cave I pick some berries, and head down the path, stopping to pick other flowers along the way. I don’t really know why. It seems like something to do.
Within a couple of minutes of care-free flower gathering I realise I have wandered away from the road and I begin to turn back when I hear a weapon being unsheathed. I look in the direction of the sound and see a man and a …man-cat-thing pointing a sword and a bow at me. I pull out my own bow and begin walking backwards while they stare at me, motionless but threatening nonetheless. Eventually they are out of sight and appear to not want to pursue me, which is nice, but they’re now between me and the last place I knew where I was supposed to be going. I keep heading downhill until I reach a road and see a figure walking slowly uphill towards me. I wait, not sure if another Mexican stand-off is about to ensue, but he soon reaches me and tells me:
After I somehow psychically deduce his name is Talsgar the Wanderer, I decide it would be safest to follow him wherever he’s headed, but I soon find out he’s a total nutter – every time I get within a few feet he turns and tells again me how lucky I am to bump into a bard. Again. Every time the exact same sentence. I don’t feel all that lucky.
I decide to follow this massive weirdo at a safe distance.
We walk slowly uphill, one of our strange duo marching on relentlessly while the other darts off periodically to pick a flower or bush at the roadside. Dusk soon arrives and I eat a meal of bread and a carrot, washed down with a bottle of Black Briar Mead, all consumed as we walk in uncomfortable silence. I don’t offer Talsgar any because already I know what he’ll say:
After looking at my food supplies I’m a little worried. All I have is four carrots for breakfast, as everything else is raw meat, cabbage or potato. I suppose I can eat the potatoes if I’m desperate, but I’m think going to need to find a place to cook the rabbit and pheasant to avoid a horrible, raw potato meal and before the meat goes off in my inventory. Hopefully I can make a nice game pie…
It is getting dark now, and I see a settlement appear on the horizon. It looks a lot like the town of Helgen where I was almost executed earlier. I’m reluctant to go back in there – if it’s not Roman soldiers trying to kill me it’s a dragon. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly rubble now. Still, it’s dark and there’s bound to be somewhere I can lie down for the night inside, so I decide to follow my strange friend. As we approach the gates he stops, and I get a little too close. I wince, expecting the same inane comment, but he shocks me by stating that the fresh air makes it a great place to play a song. I want him to play a song in celebration of what I suspect may be his second sentence ever, but instead he walks past me. Down hill. The way we just came.
I stand in shock and irritation at his decision to lead me uphill for no apparent reason, but then realise it’s entirely my fault that I’m in this situation; I followed a total stranger, and one who is apparently a complete loon, without finding out where he’s going or telling him where I need to be. I’m clearly not a very good traveller. After a few brief moments of indecision I start trudging after him – I have no idea what I’m doing, and seemingly neither does he, but this way at least there’s two of us.
After a couple of minutes my irritating travel companion turns again and heads back uphill. The same hill he’s already walked up and then down again. With I sigh I realise it’s probably better to venture off on my own – I’m in enough trouble as it is with me knowing nothing about this land without taking on the care of a simpleton. I wave goodbye at Talsgar the Wanderer’s back, contemplate how lucky I was to chance upon a bard on the road, and head off down the only path that I haven’t already walked twice.
After an uneventful stroll I spot a settlement at the bottom of the hill and immediately break into a run – it’s already getting dark and there might be an inn or somewhere to sleep. Plus I’m pretty sure I heard some wolves howling a while earlier. I soon find “The Sleeping Giant Inn” and head straight in. Inside a massive fire is roaring, which is a welcome sight after all that snow, and especially so considering I’m still wearing short sleeves. First order of business tomorrow: buy proper cold weather clothes. I never pack properly.
After the inn keeper has finished haranguing her employee over the condition of the ale (note to self: don’t buy the ale) I purchase a room from her for 10 gold, but not before she tries to sell me some of her terrible beer:
Let me think…. No. I’ll have a mead please! I down a few drinks and then stumble to my room for a well deserved eight hours. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able find a way out of this mess.
Or at least a coat.