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Morndas, 18th of Last Seed, 4E 201 (Part 1) Aug 11, 2012
I find myself putting a quill to a fresh journal one more time. My last one was taken along with the rest of my things when I was picked up a ways south of Helgen. At least I was picked up coming into Skyrim rather than when I'd left. Brynjolf's still not going to like it since the payment was lost - but the goods were delivered so the client's taken care of, relation secured. That's what we need right now.
I was picked up, had all my gear pitched and the payment pocketed by one of the oafs before I felt a knock to the back of my head. I eventually woke to find myself in the back of a cart with some men. Do you want to guess who I was seated next to? None other than Ulfric, the "rightful High King" himself. The only thing that kept me from giving him a swift kick was the fact he would escape the Imperials and whatever punishment they had in store for him. I need to remember to send a letter to my aunt in Windhelm; to let her know he reflects everything she's ever written me about him. He just oozes that entitled, "greater than thou" feeling. I wish I'd had my head on straight enough to take care of him in the tower - but I'm jumping ahead.
We arrived at Helgen and they unloaded us & started going down their roster - one poor fetcher actually tried to make a run for it. Finally someone earned the gold star, realizing I'm not supposed to be a part of the group! He actually turned out to be alright. I later found out his name was Hadvar. Anyway, Hadvar pointed this out to his superior and do you know what happened then? They clumped me in with them anyway! Outrageous! That was something I would expect from Stormcloaks not the bleeding Legion! "We'll make sure your remains are sent back to Morrowind." A lot of good that does for me when I've never even seen the place!
It all looked pretty dour. There I was with a squad of racist pig heads before the chopping block. The general gave some snarky speech directed at Ulfric before they started calling us forward. At least one of them went out with a bit of dignity, marched right up in the middle of the priestess' sermon to get it "over with". Then, the wench that seemingly sealed my fate called me up. It felt like a boulder had dropped into my stomach, as if I had anvils in the sorry excuse for shoes they'd put on me. I wasn't even going to be allowed to see The Bear go first. I thought I saw Hadvar attempting to reason with her - but then there was a strange noise on the wind. It caused everyone to halt a moment - which suited me just fine. I would swear this woman had it out for me with the way she barked for me to come forward. There was nothing to be done. If I didn't move they would just force me themselves. If I ran I would be shot down. I was shoved to my knees - and then forward to rest on the block. I turned my head towards my executioner. I wasn't going to go out staring at bloody cobblestones nor at the bastards that caused me to end up here.
As the axeman readied himself we heard it again, only much louder. I tell you now I am quite sane. I wasn't under any sort of fever. I've been clean for a year. At that moment I may have been weak minded enough to imagine the sight before the axe came down but what follows was very real. A dragon descended upon us black as night and with ruby red eyes. It landed right on the tower overlooking us in the court yard and let out the most soul rattling cries I have ever experienced. The clouds darkened, gathered and swirled around overhead. It gave another thundering roar which actually caused me to tumble over. I regained my senses and scrambled to my feet, following one of the Stormcloaks into the opposite tower as balls of fire began raining from the sky. We were all doubting what we had just seen, that it was indeed a creature of legend. Ulfric was eerily calm for only minutes before facing his end. Though I suppose it didn't really hit me until I was at that block.
I raced up the tower's steps and as I came to the 3rd landing the wall of the tower exploded inward. It was the beast! It shook its head, freeing it of rubble before it spewed flames from its great maw. Moments later it was gone to terrorize another section of the town.
I escaped through the newly created exit, leaping down to the second story of what remained of an inn. It was on the ground that I once more ran into Hadvar who quickly pulled me to his side. We darted down a lane and into an alley created by a house and one of the keep's walls. It was here that I got my closest look at the creature. He landed directly upon the wall I tried so desperately to sink into. Its large, leathery wing was draped mere inches before my face. Another fountain of flames erupted before it was up again. It was here that time slowed a bit for me. I trailed behind my Imperial ally, lost in what I was witnessing as the dragon soared overhead.
My fear had waned just enough for me to get caught in the majesty of this thing we were all trying so desperately to escape. It was almost mesmerizing. I was called back to reality by Hadvar's commands and followed him as we weaved through the remains of a building, taking large strides towards what little safety the keep offered. I had a few moments to observe as soldiers futilely sent arrows and spells into the air. Hadvar spat a few words to an escaping Stormcloak before beckoning me to the keep. The doors closed behind me as I heard the beast land again.
Hadvar proved he had a good head on his shoulders by cutting my hands free. The damn Stormcloak from before had cut his precious king free but hadn't done so for me. My companion encouraged me to scrounge up some supplies. I didn't hesitate to do so. I managed to find a whole set of Imperial leathers. It felt good to be in proper armor. I'm sure all the soldiers had loved those damn rags I was in. They could barely be called clothing from what little they covered.
We made our way through the keep. It wasn't a simple task. We kept running into escaping Stormcloaks but not the one I hoped we would cross. Some sections of the keep collapsed in due to whatever was going on outside. I doubted we were going to get out of the place. We just seemed to go deeper inwards and eventually down into the earth, into rocky tunnels and caves.
We eventually stumbled across a bear, soundly sleeping in one of the caverns. My spirits rose. We were sure to find an exit! We carefully made our way around her. After our whole ordeal the last thing either of us wanted was to wrestle with a bear. We escaped the cavern into yet another tunnel, walking as quickly as we dared lest the cave's resident stir.
Finally, I felt the cold wind and the warm sun upon my face! Finally, I breathed fresh air!
"Get down!" My companion jerked me down and I quickly heard why. I heard its wings before its shadow passed over us. This is it, I thought, it's my luck to escape an execution and dragon attack only to be discovered by it just as my freedom is obtained!
It didn't progress as I'd feared. Whatever business the thing had at Helgen it seemed to be done. It continued in its flight without a glance at us, sailing far off and over the mountain...Uthy likes this.
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