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Posted by dankempster

Day Twenty-Seven - Dragonborn, Dragon-Slayer

I was up with the sun next morning, and raced down the southern path to Riverwood. I had thought about waiting until the next night to visit the Sleeping Giant Inn, but I needed answers as soon as possible. No sooner had I arrived in Riverwood than I was inside the inn and asking the innkeeper, a Breton woman by the name of Delphine, to rent their attic room. I simply nodded joylessly when she said that no such room existed, my aimless action binding me to the rental of another room at ground level. Delphine took me to the room in question, and produced from beneath her shawl nothing other than the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller! I didn't even have time to recover from my flabbergasted state as she revealed an entrance to a secret chamber and stepped inside, beckoning me to follow. My legs, seemingly the only part of me to retain some semblance of consciousness in this moment, carried me down the staircase after her.

Delphine explained to me that she was an agent acting on behalf of the Blades, an ancient, almost-extinct order of knights that I'd read much about in my youth. I'd come to believe that they were sworn in allegiance to the Empire, but Delphine assured me that the loyalty of the Blades actually belongs to the Dragonborn - it is simply true of history that the emperors of the Third Era all bore the dragon bloodline. She went on to explain her purpose in luring me here - she'd been doing some research on Skyrim's dragon burial sites, in the hope of finding some way of stopping their return. As a Dragonborn, a natural dragonslayer, she believed that I might be able to help her to that end. If the pattern she'd claimed to divine was true, then the next burial site to be activated was at Kynesgrove, due south of Windhelm. Half intrigued and half still dumbfounded, I agreed to head there with her.

We left immediately, following the southern bank of the White River, and by mid-afternoon had made it to Kynesgrove. As we approached the inn there, a woman came running in the other direction and warned us of a dragon attacking at the old burial mound. Delphine and I reached for our weapons in unison and climbed the hill behind the inn. There we saw something incredible - one dragon had presumably come to the burial mound, and it appeared to be reviving a second dragon by summoning it back into existence. As we watched the first dragon, I realised I had seen it somewhere before - this was the dragon from Helgen, the one that had laid waste to the town and inadvertently spared me from the headsman's axe. I was unsure whether to feel animosity or awe.

Before long the dragon from Helgen took its leave, leaving Delphine and I to contend with its newly revived brethren. Her combat skill and my own experiences with dragons in the last few weeks ensured we made light work of this one, once it was on the ground. After I'd absorbed the dragon's soul, we mused over the possible reasons for the dragons' return to Tamriel. Delphine seemed to think it might have something to do with the Thalmor - the Aldmeri Dominion were the only faction stood to truly gain anything from the dragons' return to Skyrim. We spoke about maybe getting inside the Thalmor embassy to learn more, and Delphine said she had a plan in mind, but would need some time to bring it to fruition. For now we parted ways - she back to Riverwood to concoct this plan, and I to High Hrothgar to present the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller to the Greybeards.

By the time we'd dealt with the dragon and parted company it was early evening. I'd hoped to get a night's rest at the inn there in Kynesgrove, but the proprietors refused to offer me one of their beds for some unknown reason. Instead I returned to the well-worn paths of Eastmarch and made for Ivarstead, arriving in the early hours of the morning and spending the night at the Vilemyr Inn. The next morning I made the gruelling climb back up the seven thousand steps to High Hrothgar, and offered the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller to Arngeir. Having finally passed their third and final test, the Greybeards bestowed me with the final word of the Unrelenting Force Shout and formally recognised me as Dragonborn through some ceremony of the Voice. If the Greybeards themselves are this certain of my destiny, then I can no longer be in doubt myself.

Before making my way back down the steps to Ivarstead, I took some time to speak with Arngeir. He informed me that the Greybeards had heard whispers of a Word of Power at Ancient's Ascent, to the southwest. With nothing more to do for the rest of the day, I decided to investigate the possibility. From Ivarstead I took the winding path to the southwest, cutting through Helgen and towards Falkreath. I arrived at Ancient's Ascent after passing though Bonechill Passage, and found the residing dragon resting atop its word wall. I coaxed it down with a single well-placed arrow to its eye, forcing it to ground where I knew my sword would make light work of its scaly underbelly. As I tore through the dragon's flesh and found its heart with the tip of my blade, I found myself reflecting on what everyone has been saying these many weeks. If I can take down two dragons in as many days, with such little effort expended, then surely the Greybeards, the Blades, the Jarl of Whiterun cannot all be wrong. I am a dragon-slayer. Dragonborn. Dovahkiin.

With the dragon's soul newly absorbed I approached the word wall and divined its wisdom, the new word bestowing me with a new Shout that grants me the ability to call wild animals to my aid - Animal Allegiance. My pack now full of dragon bones and scales, and the evening rapidly fading into night, I decided the best course of action would be to head back to Whiterun. There I plan to relieve some of the burden from my shoulders and sleep in my own comfortable bed. I will give Delphine the time she needs to formulate her plan, and return to her in Riverwood in good time. Right now I am not sure what tomorrow holds for me. All I know is that I approach it not as the Nord smith from Cyrodiil that has woken every morning since I arrived back in Skyrim - I will approach it for the first time as a Dragonborn, hands firmly grasping the horns of my destiny and allowing it to guide me forward. Until then,

Ever Honest,

Lenah'd Retsmek


Previous Episodes

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

This is my favorite entry yet. Seriously, man, when you write a novel, I want to be very high up on your list of people reading it first.

Posted by Napalm

It might probably be more beneficial to roll these into, "A Week In Skyrim" segments. Doing one for each day is kind of overkill, duder. But, I see you're almost done, so it probably doesn't matter much.

Posted by dankempster

@Sparky_Buzzsaw: I think it's mine too. It's probably the second time so far this year that I've been able to get words to just flow, and reading it back before posting it, I really think it shows. Somewhat worryingly, I wrote this while barely sober and very tired! Perhaps I need to start suffering more for my art! And don't worry man, you're already very high on that list. As a fellow writer, I value your opinion a hell of a lot. Thanks for your kind words about this entry.

@Napalm: Not to sound dismissive of my own creation, but I definitely agree with you. You guys getting one every day might have been overkill, but I'd be willing to wager it's nothing compared to committing to writing one of these every twenty-four hours. I've loved it in some respects, but it's been one hell of a drain on my time and writing energy. I think if I ever do embark on something similar to this (and it won't be for a long time if I do) I'll make the updates weekly rather than daily, and make the write-ups themselves a little longer and broader in scope. I've enjoyed the experience though, and I'm really glad it's got me writing every day again - hopefully I'll be able to transfer that attitude over to my other writing projects.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@dankempster: Hah! I used to firmly believe my best writing was done with a hangover, leading to some very worrying mornings when I'd sit blearily at my computer and pound out some pages.