By dankempster 2 Comments
Day Five - The Companions and the Sleeping Tree
It was strange to wake this morning and find myself somewhere other than Gerdur's house in Riverwood. I took a moment to find my bearings before I left the Bannered Mare and crossed town to the Jorrvaskr mead hall, headquarters of the Companions. As I stepped into the hall, a fight broke out between two Companions. It did not take long for the fracas to die down, and once it had I was able to enquire as to how I might join this fascinating guild. I was told to report to Kodlak, the closest thing the Companions have to a leader. He seemed doubtful of my ability, and demanded I spar with another Companion, Vilkas, to prove myself. Vilkas seemed satisfied enough with my strength and technique, and offered me a place in the guild's lower ranks. After running a few minor errands around the city, another Nord named Farkas gave me my first assignment as a Companion.
I was tasked with heading back to Riverwood and roughing up a Bosmer named Faendal. I've become so well-versed in the route between Whiterun and Riverwood over these last few days that I made the trip within an hour. Faendal seemed to be expecting me, or at least a visit from the Companions, when I arrived. He raised his dukes and I mine, and we duelled in the grounds of Gerdur's lumber mill. Credit given, the Bosmer put up a good fight - I simply outclassed him in strength. When I was sure he'd had enough, I left him bruised and bloody on the grass and returned to Whiterun to collect my reward from Farkas - 100 gold coins.
With the sun rapidly sinking toward the horizon, I decided against taking any further assignments for now. Instead, I took my newly-earned septims to the Warmaiden and put them towards a nice new Orcish blade. While I was there I asked the owner, an Imperial woman named Adrianne Avenicci, if I might borrow her smelter to turn some of my mined ore into ingots. She agreed on the proviso that I helped her with some of her outstanding smithing work. I crafted and refined an Iron Dagger and Hide Helmet for her, for which she seemed to be very grateful. As thanks for my services, she granted me free use of her smithing tools whenever I'm in Whiterun. It was great to feel the heat of the forge and hear the sound of the grindstone again after so long. I smelted most of my iron ore and forged a couple of daggers which I sold to Adrianne, before retiring back to the Bannered Mare and re-renting my room for another night.
I woke the next morning with every intention of continuing my services in the employ of the Companions, but was side-tracked on my way to Jorrvaskr by a female priestess from the Temple of Kyraneth. Her name was Danica Pure-Spring, and she seemed very concerned about the state of the withering tree in the middle of the city. She expressed the belief that this tree Gildergreen could be awakened from its slumber by applying some sap from its mother tree, the great Eldergleam. Unfortunately, the only known way of extracting sap from Eldergleam would be to use a dagger named Nettlebane, owned by a vicious Hagraven residing at Orphan Rock to the southeast. I parted ways with Danica, promising that I would recover Nettlebane and bring it back to her.
My route to Orphan Rock took be back through Riverwood, and forced me to return to Helgen. Very little of the old town remains after the dragon's brutal attack. The buildings that were not ravaged by flames have since been gutted by thieves and bandits, some of whom seemed to have made the ghost town their new encampment. As I passed through what is left of Helgen I was ambushed by a posse of maybe half a dozen bandits, both surprised to see me and eager to end my life. My new Orcish sword proved its worth in that shell of a town, dispatching the attacking thieves with ruthless efficiency.
I arrived in the vicinity of Orphan Rock just as the evening sky was beginning to darken. As I had done at Mistwatch, I made use of these conditions to get as close to the Hagraven's lair as possible without being seen. I loosed a few arrows, putting down the witches on look-out duty, and then moved in on the Hagraven herself. She proved a formidable foe, even with magic- and fire-resistance potions coursing through me. I struck her with a poisoned arrow which stunted her Magicka regeneration and waited for her to deplete her energy, then got in close with my blade and hacked at her until she fell. The Nettlebane I'd come for was nestled in a pouch at her side.
I am still at Orphan Rock as I write this, and believe I may have to spend the night here. A blizzard is beginning to settle in, and while I can easily cure my wounds with potions, I will need to rest and give them adequate time to heal. There is a hay-pile in the Hagraven's lair which should serve well as a makeshift bed for tonight. Tomorrow morning, conditions willing, I will set off back for Whiterun and present Danica with the Nettlebane. Until then,