By dankempster 4 Comments
Day Twenty-Six - Giant Killer, Horn Blower
I woke up the next morning still unsure as to where I might go or what I might do. Leafing back through the pages of my journal, I recalled accepting a bounty on a Giant in Eastmarch hold, back when I was serving the Stormcloaks in Windhelm. At the time I had felt the task above my abilities, but now, armed with a refined suit of Orcish armour, a razor-sharp sword, and a wealth of adventurer's experience, I decided to make it my next objective. The Giant resided at Broken Limb Camp, pretty much on the other side of the province, and almost a full day's trek from my current position at Markarth. Even so, I chose to begin my journey as soon as possible, planning to pass Whiterun and follow the course of the White River to the place where the offending Giant was said to reside.
As I grew close to Whiterun, I encountered a noble on horseback, accompanied by an Imperial escort. When I tried to stop him for a word, he grew very hostile, and seemed about to set his bodyguard upon me when an enormous dragon passed by overhead and knocked the noble from his horse, killing him outright. I took cover, drew my Ebony Bow and began to subject the dragon to a barrage of arrow-fire. It touched ground close to a Giant camp, causing one of its residents to join me in my attack on the beast. Between the Giant's powerful club attacks and my own sword strikes, we were able to reduce the dragon to naught but bones and soul in no time.
Considering I was passing anyway, I chose to stop in Whiterun for a couple of hours, drop off some of the items weighing my pack down, and pay a visit to Farengar at Dragonsreach. There I purchased some new, more powerful Destruction spells and for the first time ever, tried my hand at enchanting a weapon. I'd picked up an ebony sword in one of the many barrows I've spent the last several days exploring, and chose to imbue it with a magicka-damaging enchantment. This way, I have a second sword that will prove useful should I ever face a magic-wielding foe as powerful as Hevnoraak again. As I stood huddled over the Arcane Enchanter, I began to have second thoughts about pursuing the wanted Giant. Hadn't one of his kin just saved me from being killed by a dragon? I dismissed the thought, rationalising that if men and mer can be either good or bad, the same must also be true of Giants.
I arrived at Broken Limb Camp in the middle of the afternoon. The Giant I'd come to deal with was not alone, standing by the smouldering remains of a campfire with another of his brethren. I snuck up on them, using the surrounding rocks as cover, and hit them off-guard by Marking them for Death with my Shout. With a sword in one hand and a healing spell readied in the other, I moved in for the kill. The Giants' earth-shaking club strikes proved difficult to dodge at first, but falling back on my Slow Time Shout made things much simpler and enabled me to flank the Giants and attack their exposed backs. It was a close call, with the Giants' clubs reducing me to my knees more than once, but I was able to put both of the Giants down and emerge victorious.
With a token toe carved from my target's foot as proof of the bounty fulfilled, I made for Windhelm under the rapidly darkening evening sky. At the Palace of the Kings, I presented the steward Jorleif with the toe and he thanked me with a reward of one hundred gold coins. With the evening fast turning to night and no other immediately pressing matters to attend to, I checked into Candlehearth Hall and slept. Or at least, I tried to sleep - my dreams were plagued with visions of the Greybeards, and of dragons laying waste to the whole of Tamriel. More than once in the night, I awoke in a cold sweat. Wondering if the Greybeards or the Gods themselves were reminding me of my role as Dovahkiin, I resolved to head for Ustengrav in the morning and seek out the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.
The entrance to Ustengrav was nestled in snowy swampland to the northeast of Morthal, and took me most of the morning to reach. Within seconds of stepping into this ancient Nord barrow, I could sense something was afoot. Bodies lay strewn across the ground throughout the first few chambers - bandits, novice mages and Draugrs all serving to carpet these ancient halls in death. I crept deeper through the old passages carved out of the stone, soon enough meeting live Draugrs determined to defend the Horn I'd come for. As the Greybeards had warned, the dungeon certainly demanded mastery of my Shouts - a trio of rapidly-closing portcullises proved navigable only through a Whirlwind Sprint, and I was also forced to Shout my way across pressure-sensitive sections of flooring, lest I should end up impaled on spears or set aflame.
It was a long and taxing journey from the entrance of Ustengrav to its deepest chamber, but I rationalised that all would be worth it when I had the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller in my hands. Imagine my shock, then, when I arrived at the end of the dungeon to find the Horn already taken! In its place, a sheet of paper had been pinned to the pedestal. The scrawled handwriting upon it, presumably left by the person now in possession of the Horn, asked me to head for the Sleeping Giant Inn at Riverwood. With no other option open to me, I left Ustengrav and began to follow the path past Dawnstar and back to the south towards Riverwood. Night was already against me when I emerged from the barrow, though, and when coupled with my fatigue, I was forced to stop at Whiterun in the early hours of the morning. Tomorrow, I fully intend to pick the trail back up, and find out who reached the Horn before me. Until then,
- Day Twenty-Five - Putting Spirits to Rest
- Day Twenty-Four - Fragments of a Legend
- Day Twenty-Three - Secrets Beneath the Sleeping City
- Day Twenty-Two - A Gray-Mane Saved and a Mage Made
- Day Twenty-One - Whiterun Errands and a Missing Gray-Mane
- 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