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A Hometown Mystery ~ 4th of Heartfire Jan 27, 2013
Jorlen awoke on a crisp morning in Morthal with an objective set ahead of him: to get back to Riverwood. He woke Uthgerd, and the couple was soon ready to begin travelling. Before they left, they filled their bellies with a breakfast of cooked beef and bread. Then, with their things gathered and packed, they were on their way. A little ways down the road, a man standing by a boat caught their attention. "You folks travelling? Let me take you where you want to go by boat, only 100 gold!"
"That's a steep price," said Jorlen.
"I can get you to Whiterun by this afternoon, quicker and easier than you can by foot."
Jorlen weighed his choices in his mind, then said, "Very well." He and Uthgerd were on their way.
It was mid-afternoon, and a light breeze swept across Jorlen's cheek. The afternoon sun radiated its warmth on his face as he walked along the road from Whiterun to Riverwood. After the boatman had let he and Uthgerd off, Uthgerd had decided to head to Breezehome and wait for Jorlen's arrival. Meanwhile, Jorlen would pursue the mystery in Riverwood.
As Jorlen entered Riverwood, rain began to fall, just in time for him to enter the Sleeping Giant Inn and pursue his mysterious friend. Inside, the innkeeper, Delphine, met Jorlen, and asked what she could do for him.
"I'd like to rent the attic room. Here's ten Septims for it.
"Attic room, eh? Well... We don't have an attic room, but you can have that one on the left."
Jorlen entered the room, puzzled. Was this a trap? A ploy? He was pondering these thoughts in his room's chair, when Delphine entered. She said, "So you're the Dragonborn I've been hearing so much about. Here, I think you're looking for this." And with that, she handed Jorlen the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, bidding that he follow her.
Jorlen followed Delphine to a large room, with a large table as well as a bed. She opened a wardrobe, and to Jorlen's surprise, slid back a false panel, revealing a staircase. Jorlen was astonished; this woman had been tending the inn for years!
At the bottom of the stairs, there was a hidden room which held chests, shelves, weapon racks, and a practice dummy. A table occupied the center of the room. Delphine leaned onto the table and spoke.
"The Greybeards seem to think you're the Dragonborn. I hope they're right."
Jorlen replied, "The Greybeards are right. I am Dragonborn."
"I hope so. But you'll forgive me if I don't assume something's true just because the Greybeards say so. I just handed you the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Does that make me Dragonborn too?"
"What do you want with me?"
"I didn't go to all this trouble on a whim. I needed to make sure it wasn't a Thalmor trap. I'm not your enemy. I already gave you the Horn. I just need you to hear me out."
"Go on. I'm listening."
Delphine then went ahead to explain that the dragons weren't just coming back to Skyrim, but they were coming back to life. Something was raising dead dragons from their burial mounds, and Jorlen, being Dragonborn, could make them stay dead by absorbing their souls. Delphine needed Jorlen to make the dragons die once and for all.
"So," Jorlen asked, "where are we headed?"
"Kynesgrove. There's an ancient dragon burial there."
Delphine agreed to meet Jorlen at the dragon burial, and then put on a set of leather armor. Before she left, she pulled a remarkably elegant curved blade off of a weapon rack on the wall. "This is a type of sword used by the Blades before they were disbanded. Think of it as a pre-payment for trusting me on this." With that, she was up the stairs and out the door. Jorlen fastened the sword on his back next to his warhammer. It put a slight strain on his muscles to carry the extra weight, so he drank a minor stamina potion before he left, to carry him through.
As he walked through the rain, Jorlen wondered about Delphine's connection to the Blades. It seemed unlikely that this woman, who had lived a short walk away from Jorlen's home for years, was secretly a warrior agent in exile, sworn to the service of the Emperor. And yet, how else would she have cleared Ustengrav, retrieved the Horn, and had an armory hidden under her inn? These thoughts went back and forth in Jorlen's head all the way to Whiterun. By the time he was through the main gates, the clouds had dispersed, and the moons commanded the night sky. Back at Breezehome, Uthgerd had made Jorlen dinner and was conversing with him over an ale.
"I'm going back to High Hrothgar tomorrow," said Jorlen. "I'll follow up on Delphine's belief about the dragons soon enough, but I set out to get the Greybeards the Horn, and now that I have it, I need to return it."
"And if the dragon at Kynesgrove is risen before you meet with Delphine?"
"If she was able to find out that Kynesgrove will be the next dragon burial to be emptied, she can probably foresee the next ones to come back to life after Kynesgrove."Rextoret likes this.
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