Day Three - The Bandit, The Wife and Her Lover
I woke a little later this morning, and once again was treated to a substantial breakfast courtesy of Gerdur. I told her and Hod of my plans to head for Mistwatch, and warned them that I would likely not return for a few days. They wished me luck and prayed for my safe return to Riverwood. I left town in the same direction as yesterday, but instead of ascending the mountain toward Bleak Falls Barrow, I took the path to the north. I plotted my route on my map, planning to take the path that follows the southern bank of the White River into the Hold of Eastmarch.
Most of my journey passed without incident, save for the occasional wolf that crossed my path. The only trouble I met was at Valtheim Towers, where I ran into an unsavoury-looking group of bandits who demanded I pay a toll of two hundred gold coins in order to continue on my way. I paid instead with the edge of my axe. Exploring the towers revealed that the bandits must have been camping there for some time. I was able to loot a significant stock of potions from their encampment, which were sure to prove useful in the inevitable altercation at Mistwatch. After gutting both towers, I returned to the path and continued heading east.
I arrived at the fort at Mistwatch in the dying hours of daylight. Using the approaching night as cover, I stole through the shadows and into the fort's courtyard. I took down the three bandits standing guard on the ramparts, and slipped inside. Just inside the door, I happened upon a man dressed in naught but rags. I mistook him for a prisoner at first, but he soon made it clear he was here of his own free will. His name was Christer, and he'd come here in search of his missing wife, Fjola, who'd disappeared at around the same time as the first wave of the Mistwatch abductions. I explained to him that I'd come here to put an end to the ransoming, and would do my best to find his wife.
I ascended the towers of Mistwatch fort, laying waste to any bandit who dared to try and stop me. I found several holding cells, presumably where these traffickers held their victims. I arrived too late to save one woman, who appeared to have been beaten to death in her own cell. I searched her body for evidence of her identity, but found nothing to suggest this was Christer's missing wife, and pressed on. At the top of the fort's tallest tower, I came face-to-face with a female bandit - a pretty and spirited young Nord. When I asked her about Fjola, she seemed taken aback by my mentioning the name. She explained that she was Fjola - far from being abducted by the bandits, she'd left her husband and become the leader of this whole sordid operation.
I tried to reason with Fjola and explained that her husband was in the lower levels of the fort searching for her, but she stood firm and insisted on continuing to run this abduction racket. I was left with no choice but to put her down. I pried her wedding band from her finger and returned to Christer to present it to him. When I told him what had happened, he refused to believe me and flew into a blind rage. Unable to calm him, my only option was to end his life before he ended mine. Love is a fickle mistress, they say, and this situation seems to have proven it true. Would that it had ended more pleasantly, and that I did not have the blood of an innocent man on my conscience. I hope they will find each other again, in whichever realm their spirits may now dwell.
With Fjola dead and her band of thieves now out of commission, I think the days of abduction at Mistwatch fort are over. It is early morning, and I am in no fit state to travel right now. I plan to stay here and rest for the night, then make the return journey to Riverwood in the morning. Until then,