Saturday, November 12, 2011

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Three: There And Back Again. And Again. And Again.


And so it was, well rested the next morning, I went to the general store.

Lucan: And I say you are NOT going to the old ruins to try and get our claw back!
Camilla: But we know the bandits are up there! Who else could have stolen it? I mean, it's not like a thief just came waltzing into town!
Me: GoshwouldyoulookatthatsundialIreallymustbegoing...
Lucan: Aha! A customer! Please forgive my sister. She isn't usually so hellbent on getting herself killed.
Camilla: *blows raspberry*
Me: Yes, I heard you got robbed two nights ago?
Lucan: There's a gang of bandits hiding out in the old ruins. It must have been them that done it!
Me: Wouldn't bandits have taken everything in the store if they'd managed to get in here instead of just one valuable doodad?
Lucan: Not these bandits! They've been after my golden claw for years!
Me: Well, that is a shame. Still, if you won't go and defend your own property...
Lucan: I'd pay all the gold we have to get that claw back!
Me: ... I'll gladly go and recover it for you for exactly that much money!

Me: Say, that reminds me. You are Camilla, yes?
Camilla: Yes?
Me: That elf bastard - ah... ah...
Camilla: Faendal?
Me: Yeah! He asked me to deliver this to you.
Camilla: Oh, a letter? He's never written me a letter before!
Me: Oh, really?
Camilla: *reading letter* Oh! Why that's.... The very nerve! He calls me a round-eared strumpet who never bathes and goes on to say that he wouldn't marry me if I was the last female of any species on all of Tamriel!
Me: That elf bastard!
Camilla: Indeed! Though, this doesn't sound like Faendal...
Me: Well, many put their words differently on parchment than they do when speaking.
Camilla: Yes, but this looks nothing like his handwriting...
Me: Clearly he was in such a rage that he could barely hold the pen steady.
Camilla: It's written in crayon.
Me: Obviously he did that to suggest you were childish!
Camilla: And he signed the letter "That Elf Bastard" and then crossed it out and wrote "Faendal", Spelled F-A-Y-N-D-L-E.
Me: That's how you spell Faendal in Elvish.
Camilla: Oh! Well, you can tell that Elf Bastard that he's no longer welcome in my store!
Me: Is that what you call it?
Camilla: Well, yes. But I meant this shop.
Me: I'll be sure to pass that on next time I see him. Now, where are these ruins you were talking about?

Camilla escorted me to the edge of town and pointed out the ruins on a nearby mountain top. I snuck my way along the treacherous mountain path, surprised as the relatively cool grasslands suddenly transformed into jagged, rocky earth, covered in snow.

Most of the animals had already gone to ground. The only predators that stalked me were the humanoid kind - presumably part of the gang of bandits that had robbed the store or perhaps other random outlaws. I usually didn't like fighting my fellow thieves. But if these idiots were trying to rob people on a deserted mountain road or breaking into shops to only steal one item, I figured I owed it to the profession to cleanse the job pool.

Getting into the ruins was easy enough. I walked in on two of the bandits arguing. A bolt from the shadows silenced the first. The other fell to my sword easily enough. They had a nice camp set up, which I decided to make use of in gathering up my loot thus far - the gear I'd liberated from the bandits on the way up the mountain was already pushing me to my limit.

I made a quick trip back to town to sell what I had taken so far before returning to the tomb. I found another bandit and several giant rats but nothing too difficult for a thief of my skills. It was not until I got further into the cavern and saw large cobwebs that I began to worry. And then I heard the screams of a dark elf.

Thankfully, the giant spider that had claimed him proved unable to fit through the cavern mouth I fell back toward. The beast eventually fell to my arrows and I was able to turn my attention to the bound and webbed thief.

Arvel The Swift: Get me down from here!
Me: Hand over the claw first!
Arvel The Swift: I can't move my hands! You'll have to cut me down first!
Me: ... fine! *SLASH*
Avrel: Ha-ha! You fool! I'll never share that treasure with anyone! Let me show you why I am called Avrel The Swift!

I pulled my bow and shot an arrow after him. Swift he was but not swift enough to dodge a cloth-yard shaft through the back of the head. I searched his body and found the golden claw as well as a journal. Reading through it, I discovered why Avrel and his companions had only stolen the claw - it was the key to a great treasure in the center of the ruins!

With visions of a great vault full of gold coins I could swim through filling my head, I pressed on. Suddenly I heard a great groaning behind me. I had assumed it was just the bad cooking at the Sleeping Giant but spun around just in time to avoid the blow of a zombie clutching an ancient greatsword. Two more of the beasts joined their undead brother and it took all my skill to evade and down the monsters once and for all.

Finding myself overburdened again. I returned to town once more. I was faced with a serious problem. I could sneak past traps and decipher old scripts easily enough. But fighting the undead was not something I was trained for. In order to have a chance at winning past the last of the tomb's guardians, I was going to need a companion. A compatriot. A meatshield to stand between me and the slathering undead hordes at the very least. I mulled this problem over in The Sleeping Giant as I ran into my new best friend.

Sven: It worked! I spoke with Camilla earlier and she's much more agreeable than she was before.
Me: Well, I'm happy for you, Sven. Really.
Sven: Here's the cash I owe you! And if there's anything else I can do for you, just name it.
Me: Anything?
Sven: Anything!
Me: As luck would have it Sven, there is something I think that would benefit us both. You see, it's one thing to tell about great sagas and sing of adventure. It's another to have one of your own! So I'm thinking... maybe you should come on a quest with me. Just to get experience for your own ballads.
Sven: Really? You'd have me as a companion?
Me: Well, you're no Rose Tyler but you know which end of a sword to hold, right?
Sven: Oh yeah. I took fighting classes at Bard College.
Me: Well then... we leave at dawn!

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