By dankempster 2 Comments
Day Nineteen - Siding With the Stormcloaks
The next morning saw me rise with a fresh feeling of resolve in my heart. I left Solitude's city walls behind, beginning my arduous trek through the province's northern snowfields and back towards the wreckage of the Pride of Tel Vos that I had searched a few days previously. Serpentstone Isle lay a little further to the northeast, and although the clear skies made it easy to locate, the freezing waters made it difficult to get to. When I eventually made it onto the island, I was confronted by the Ice Wraith that Galmar had ordered me to slay to prove my loyalty. My Fire Breath Shout proved almost strong enough to melt it on the spot, and a combination of fire magic and sword strikes soon reduced the wraith to nothing but a pile of ice.
I arrived back in Windhelm late that afternoon, and made straight for the Palace of the Kings. On entering I approached Galmar and dropped the still-cold teeth of the Ice Wraith into his hand. I could see a look of impressed surprise spread across his face, and he warmly congratulated me on a job well done. Inviting me back into the main chamber and into the presence of Jarl Ulfric, Galmar Stone-Fist formally inducted me into the Stormcloaks. I have now sworn an oath of allegiance to both Skyrim and Ulfric, making it impossible for me to backpedal on this decision - the Imperials would surely slaughter me if they knew when I approached them, and if they didn't then the Stormcloaks certainly would.
My first task as an officially enlisted Stormcloak was revealed to me by Galmar at this point. He had been doing some digging around, and found information suggesting that the legendary Jagged Crown might be buried in an old ruin nearby. The Jagged Crown, as all Nords surely know, is a legendary crown supposedly once worn by all the great High Kings of Skyrim, many centuries ago. It had long been missing, to the point where its very existence was considered a fable, until Galmar managed to trace it back to the nearby ruin at Korvanjund. With such an iconic piece of Skyrim's native history in his hands, Ulfric's claim to the High King's throne would certainly be considered even stronger. Galmar wished me to join a band of Stormcloaks who were heading out to the ruin in the morning. I agreed and took my leave from the palace, by which time night was beginning to settle in. I took a room at Candlehearth Hall and slept well through the night.
The next morning I stocked up on healing potions at the White Phial and made the short trip to Korvanjund, due west of Windhelm. Galmar and the other Stormcloaks were already there when I arrived, accompanied by a familiar face - Ralof, my friend who'd helped me out of Helgen and back into my homeland. I greeted him and we shared stories of our separate travels as Galmar briefed the other Stormcloaks on the situation. Apparently Imperial spies had betrayed our position to the Legion, who were now waiting for us within Korvanjund. Together, our band of warriors led a charge on the ruin's entrance, decimating the few Imperial soldiers on duty and forcing our way into the ancient barrow.
Our passage through Korvanjund itself was far from smooth, punctuated by fraught battles with more Imperial soldiers and Draugrs awakened from their eternal slumber. We lost some brave men, but pressed on in spite of them and our opposition. Deep within the dungeon we stumbled upon an ebony claw, not dissimilar to the one I had retrieved from Bleak Falls Barrow for the Valerius siblings almost three weeks ago. Already familiar with the mechanisms, I was able to do what neither the Imperials nor the Stormcloaks had managed, and unlock the door leading into the burial chamber where the Crown resided. The Jagged Crown itself was resting on the head of a Draugr Deathlord, who did not take kindly to being disturbed. Thankfully our combined manpower was enough to bring it and its brethren down.
As I tore the Crown from the Draugr's rotten head, Galmar congratulated me on a job well done and ordered me back to Windhelm to present Ulfric with the crown. On my way towards the exit, I passed another of the Walls of Power the Greybeards had told me of, and was imbued with the power of a new Shout - the ability to slow down time. I raced back to Windhelm as fast as the brewing blizzard wished to carry me, and placed the Jagged Crown in the hands of Jarl Ulfric back at the Palace of the Kings. He thanked me for my service, and tasked me with another errand to run on behalf of the Stormcloaks. This time, I was to take his axe to Whiterun, and present it to Jarl Balgruuf. As a fellow Nord, I knew what this gesture meant. Ulfric was sending a clear message to Balgruuf - join me in my fight for Skyrim's independence, or prepare for war. Whether Balgruuf accepted or declined Ulfric's offering would determined what fate the future held in store for the city of Whiterun.
By the time I had finished speaking with Ulfric, the sun was already well below the ramparts of the city walls. Tired from the day's fighting at Korvanjund, I decided to book another night's rest at Candlehearth Hall. I will decide whether or not to immediately follow through on Ulfric's wish in the morning. Until then,
- 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