Day Twenty-One - Whiterun Errands and a Missing Gray-Mane
After waking next morning, I headed straight back to the Hall of the Dead to search for Andurs's missing amulet of Arkay. It proved fairly simple to find, mislaid on a table at the back of the catacombs. I put the few disturbed skeletons back to rest and returned the amulet to Andurs, who repaid me with a small purse of coins. From there I set off straight for Swindler's Den to the west, in search of Amren's family sword. It had been almost a fortnight since I last trawled through the den, which had once again been re-populated by another group of bandits. I carved my way through them, making my way back to the room where I had spoken with Kematu of the Alik'r nearly two weeks previously. The sword I'd come for was sitting in a chest in this room - I slipped it into my pack and left the cavern the way I'd come in.
On my way back to Whiterun I passed a contingent of the city guard. One of them told me that he'd recently witnessed a dragon fly over the city and head for the peak of Shearpoint, to the northeast. I made a note of the spot on my map, and continued back to Whiterun. I met with Amren in the marketplace and handed him back the sword. As a reward, he taught me a secret combat technique passed down the family line - one I am sure to make great use of in my future travels, no doubt. With the sword safely back in the right hands, I took my leave of Whiterun once again in the early afternoon and decided to head for Shearpoint.
The sky was already darkening by the time I arrived near Shearpoint, although whether that was due to nightfall or an impending blizzard, I could not say. Rather than taking on the dragon on the steep slopes of the mountains around Shearpoint and risk falling to my death, I was able to lure it away from the peak and do battle with it at the mountain's base instead. I managed to keep much of its frosty breath at bay with my shield, only moving in to attack the dragon's exposed underbelly when I spotted an opening. It took many minutes, but eventually the beast fell. I thought from there examining the Word Wall at Shearpoint would be simple, but as I approached it, an undead Dragon Priest emerged from a sarcophagus and began bombarding me with fireballs. Taking down this priest proved even more difficult than felling the dragon, but a combination of Shouts and magic-resisting tonics saw me prevail in the end. The Word Wall bequeathed a new Shout unto me - the ability to Throw Voice, and distract any would-be attackers. I haven't yet slain enough dragons to grant me access to all three words of the Shout, and so I've chosen to only learn the first for now.
I returned to Whiterun under cover of the night, carrying several bones and scales carved from the dragon, and the mask I'd torn from the priest's body. I stocked all of these newly-obtained items at Breezehome and slept for the rest of the night, waking rather late the next day. I decided to pass what was left of the morning at the forge, further rekindling my smithing skills. I feel as though I've finally returned to the level of prowess I possessed back in Cyrodiil, and I think that in a few days' time I will put that feeling to the test by attempting to smith some armour in the traditional style of the Orsimer. I also spent some time with Farengar, the court wizard at Dragonsreach, who taught me some of the basics of item enchantment. It is a field I'd never thought to enter before back in Cyrodiil, but the benefits appear to be worthwhile. I retrieved a large number of enchanted weapons from Breezehome, and set about divining their enchantments in the way that Farengar showed me.
It was early afternoon by the time I parted company with Farengar, and on my way back into Whiterun I ended up in conversation with Fralia Gray-Mane at her stall in the marketplace. She expressed some concern about her missing son, but would not tell me anything more out in the open, insisting we speak in private at her home. I followed her to House Gray-Mane, where she and her son Avulstein explained the situation. Her other son, Thorald, a strong supporter of Ulfric and the Stormcloaks, had gone missing recently. Supposedly, the Imperial-allied Clan Battle-Born were claiming that he'd been killed in action, but Fralia and Avulstein had reason to believe he'd been abducted, and might still be alive. They asked if I might feign allegiance to the Battle-Borns and attempt to find some evidence confirming Thorald was still alive. Eager to help this family as both a Stormcloak and a friend, I agreed to their plea.
House Battle-Born is not far from House Gray-Mane, and I encountered one of the Battle-Borns on my way there - a man named Idolaf. We spoke briefly and he invited me into the clan's abode, where I made out as best I could that I considered myself allied with the Empire and by extension, the Battle-Borns. While he turned his back and fetched some mead for the pair of us, I was able to slip an Imperial Missive into my pack unnoticed. I stayed and shared a drink with Idolaf, who made his distaste towards the Gray-Manes and the Stormcloaks very clear once the mead had loosened his tongue a little. Starting to feel uncomfortable, I made my excuses and took my leave.
I headed straight back across the road to House Gray-Mane and presented the missive to Avulstein. It indicated that just as Fralia suspected, Thorald was still alive and being help captive by Thalmor agents in Northwatch Keep, not far from Solitude in the northwest of the province. Avulstein seemed eager to lay siege to the keep, but I was able to talk him out of the idea - I was worried that in his emotional state, his rash actions might have endangered both Thorald's life and his own, leaving poor Fralia with no sons to speak of. I offered to go in his stead, and both Avulstein and Fralia seemed happy with this. I took my leave and decided to use the remainder of the afternoon to travel as far towards the keep as I could before night set in. I took the standard route, west from Whiterun and north through Rorikstead, and pulled into the village of Dragon Bridge just as Nirn's twin moons revealed themselves in the night sky. I booked a room at the Four Shields Tavern and turned in for the night. Tomorrow, I plan to continue on to Northwatch Keep and negotiate Thorald's release. Whether I achieve that through my voice or my sword remains to be seen. Until then,
- Day Twenty - Search for the White Phial
- Day Nineteen - Siding With the Stormcloaks
- Day Eighteen - Two Sides of the Same Septim
- Day Seventeen - Tracking the Telvanni Line
- Day Sixteen - Finding Lost Books and Lost Words
- Day Fifteen - The Axe and the Masque
- Day Fourteen - A Daedra and His Dog
- Day Thirteen - Treason and Betrayal
- Day Twelve - Counsel from the Greybeards
- Day Eleven - Old Towns, New Faces
- Day Ten - New Thu'um, New House
- Day Nine - Retrieving the Star
- Day Eight - Azura's Champion
- Day Seven - Wuuthrad and Werewolves
- Day Six - Kynareth's Will Be Done?
- Day Five - The Companions and the Sleeping Tree
- Day Four - Duelling With a Dragon
- Day Three - The Bandit, the Wife and Her Lover
- Day Two - The Golden Claw
- Day One - Escape from Helgen
- Day Zero - Here Begins My Journal