Fredas, 29th of Last Seed, 4E
The pounding of my brain against my skull wakes me up early in the morning; sitting up in bed, and I hold my head and feel a few bruised bumps on my skull from having missed the bed a few times last night. With the exception of this hangover and the newly acquired bumps I think I am relatively unscathed; I check my coin pouch and the same can not be said about that. I started the night with a little over three hundred septims in my pouch and ended the night with around eighty septims; so I spent around two hundred twenty septims on ale. I won’t sit here and say it was worth it seeing as I am sitting in bed alone, but I also won’t say it wasn’t worth it since I managed to make some friends last night. I throw my legs out over the side of the bed and sit there a moment letting my body adjust before I stand up and make my way to the balcony for a very small breakfast and water…lots and lots of water…
I make it out to the balcony and I notice that there is little to no noise; no Mikael singing or playing his instruments, no talking or grumbling of any sort really. I guess I am not the only one who had a lot to drink last night. I slowly sit in my normal breakfast chair and I hear the familiar sound of Saadia rushing to my side to take my order. I groan and ask her if she can be just a tiny bit quieter and she smirks and tells me she will do her best. I know the only thing to eat in my pack is some cured meats, not something you really want to eat for a hangover, so I ask Saadia for the menu and her eyes brighten, yeah go a head and turn those down too please.
I look over the menu and ask her to bring me an apple and a refill on my water bottles, I am definitely going to need water today. She smiles brightly and hurries off to fill my order; moments later she returns with my apple and my water and I thank her as she quietly leaves my room. Trying to eat an apple quietly is near impossible I found out and I also came to the conclusion that I am not going to be able to function today with this hangover. I remember something my uncle told me when he caught me being hung-over after my fifteenth birthday, “Zander, the best cure for a hangover is a taste of the hair of the dog that bit you.”. He said he learned that from a Nord woman he was sweet on back when he and my dad were soldiers fighting in the Great War.
I scrounge through my bags hoping to find some left over ale and as luck would have it I have one bottle left from my night of drunken splendor. I drink the bottle and sure enough my hangover is no longer as bad as it was; I can definitely function now. Then I remember why I drank so much last night; I have no real future to speak of. Adrianne turned me down for an apprenticeship after having me work for her for most of the past two days. I could be mad at her but I can understand her position and she did give me some blacksmithing schematics to study so it wasn’t a complete waste of my time I suppose.
I sit in my chair and eat my apple and re-hydrate myself for the long day of doing nothing. Then I remember the conversation I had with Anoriath and his friend Faendal, who lives in a small village called Riverwood, being able to give me some pointers about hunting and my bowery skills. Granted he also told me Aela could help me right here in Whiterun, but I don’t think she likes enough to help me so I guess I can head to Riverwood. It isn’t my first choice in careers but it is a plan and it is better than sitting around Whiterun without a purpose.
I finish my breakfast and go back in my room to pack for my trip to Riverwood when I realize I do not have a lot of money for this trip. I dig through my bags and I look at all the items I can sell, including the knife and helmet I made while working for Adrianne. Gift or not, every bit of coin will help me out seeing as I don’t know how long of a trip this is going to be. My first stop before leaving is going to have to be to get directions from Anoriath; then to Belethor’s General Store to sell the un needed items and lighten my load for the trip.
I head down stairs and I see Uthgerd sitting in her chair drinking; I wave to her and she nods and smiles at me. As I am about to leave Mikael begins to play some music and I notice one of the Battle-Born buffoons just having a merry old time. I would love to cause him some grief for what he has done to poor old Fralia but I would probably only end up in jail for hurting spoiled rich boys’ feelings. Just thinking about it as I leave makes my blood boil.
As I exit the Bannered Mare my hot blood is quickly cooled by a harsh mist of cold water hitting my face. Of course it is raining; I guess Skyrim wasn’t about to let me go two hole days without pissing on my parade. I look around and the rain doesn’t seem to be affecting anyone else; I guess I shouldn’t let it affect my plans either. As I walk down the stairs I hear Fralia giving her sales pitch and then my ear is caught by her mention of the best blacksmith in Whiterun. Hey that’s right there are two blacksmiths in Whiterun, Adrianne and Eorlund, maybe Eorlund will teach me.
With my hopes of becoming a blacksmiths apprentice renewed I approach Fralia and ask her about Eorlund. She smiles and tells me that is her husband and she isn’t sure he is looking for an apprentice but it couldn’t hurt to ask. She tells me I can find him at the Skyforge; I thank Fralia for the information and she smiles at me and nods nicely at me as I walk away. I am glad Fralia isn’t holding a grudge against me for not helping her find her son; the way that harpy from Dawnstar did for not going to find her ring. This changes my plans slightly but not by much; instead of talking to Anoriath I am just going to head to Belethor’s and lighten my load before heading to the Skyforge. Which reminds me I will have to ask someone where I can find this Skyforge; I would assume I have to go up since it is called a Skyforge but you never really know.
I head into the general store and the man behind the counter welcomes me and tells me to look around and that everything is for sale. He goes on to say if he had a sister he would sell her in a heart beat, and he would bye one of my relatives if I was looking to sell then he laughs saying that is a little joke he likes to use to break the ice. I approach him slowly not being able to tell if he was actually joking or serious; I haven’t met many Bretons in my life, well not outside the Arena anyway so I ask him what brings him to Whiterun. I think I offended him because he gets a bit cross with me telling me he came because of the wonderful weather and hospitable people, of course; he continues his rant by adding he has a great fondness for dragons and petty political power struggles, but without a doubt, the most compelling feature of this frozen wasteland is the volley of inane questions leveled at me on a regular basis.
I stand there a tad shocked he went off on me like that; I mean all I did was ask a simple question don’t get your bloomers in a bunch. Wait did he mention dragons? Does everyone in this city drink before noon? I tell him I am going to look around and he just nods; I browse through an old book and upon reading it I feel I understand the different nuances of speech a bit better. I put the book down and talk to Belethor again, who seems to have cooled down some once he realized I was here on business. He tells me that business has been interesting with everything that has been going on. Then shows me everything in stock; I politely tell him I am more interested in selling and he smirks as he looks over all my items. He makes me a deal for everything and I thank him; the deal was a tad one sided but I need the money and besides most of the stuff I sold was just weighing me down. I thank Belethor and he tells me to come back anytime and I nod as I walk back out to the city.
As I walk out of Belethor’s I notice Jon leaning against one of the pillars near the store and I greet him; he smirks and gives me a head nod before asking me if we are going to drink again tonight. I tell him I am not sure and that it depends on how the rest of the day pans out; it also doesn’t help that I am still relatively low on money. He laughs and tells me not to worry about it that drinking isn’t everything; there is also fighting and loving. I still find it very hard to believe Jon is a Battle-Born, maybe he was adopted. I ask Jon if he has ever heard of the Skyforge and he nods and tells me that it is a legendary forge that Eorlund Grey-Mane works on. I ask him if he knows where it is and being the smart ass he is he points up and laughs before telling me that the Skyforge is up the left side of the mountain that is near Jorrvaskr. He asks me why I want to know and I tell him he smiles and wishes me luck; I tell him I will let him know all about it went later at the Bannered Mare.
As I turn around I nearly knock someone over; I look around and I hear a small shrill voice but I can not see anyone. Then I look down and I am shocked to see the little girl who was bullying that young Battle-Born kid. She looks me dead in the eyes and tells me she isn’t afraid of me; she then goes off on a tangent saying that there is nobody she won’t fight, boys girls, dogs, elders, she didn’t fear anyone. The scary thing is that I believe her; that little girl could put the fear of the Nine into a Thalmor.
I make my way up the steps heading towards Jorrvaskr; as I climb to the top of the steps my stomach tells me it is time for lunch. I am not going back down the stairs just to eat lunch at the Bannered Mare so I decide to sit down on a bench and have a picnic in the rain. As I eat my lunch getting soaking wet a woman sits next to me and tells me her name is Danica; she is a priestess at the temple of Kynareth. We sit silently in the rain for a few before the silence is broken by Heimskr shouting his sermon. She lets out an audible sigh and shakes her head; I can’t blame her for not liking Heimskr, his sermon would make Talos himself want to run Heimskr through with a dull spoon.
I am about finished with lunch and she begins talking to me about the tree we sit under. She tells me it is called the Gildergreen tree, and it is a part of an ancient tree called the Eldergleam and the tree in deemed sacred by followers of Kynareth. She says it is a shame that the tree is dieing and she wishes she could fix it but she is too busy with her duties at the temple. I know what is coming next and from the sound of the tremble in her voice, it sounds extremely dangerous. Why can’t people just tell me a story without asking me to risk life and limb for them? Do I really look like some famous adventurer put here only to do the people bidding disregarding my own life and well being? I stop her before she can even ask me to do what ever it is she wanted done and tell her I am very sorry for her tree but I am no adventurer type. She looks at me and just keeps repeating the same thing, “It’s a shame isn’t it?”, this tactic won’t help your cause lady and you’re making followers of Kynareth seem like nut cases.
I leave Danica on the bench to mutter to herself and head for Jorrvaskr; I stand at the steps and look up to the building. It is quite impressive; I still like how they used a ship as a roof. As I pass the building I can hear the muffled sounds of what seems to sound like a party. I bet they have some good times in there; probably have tons of ale and mead and their own bard singing of their grand deeds while they have a good time.
I look up towards the where Jon told me the Skyforge was and I see a giant bird made in stone; it is quite the sight and I don’t know how I missed it the other day when I went to Dragonsreach. I stare at the steps leading up to the forge and a lump grows in my throat and doubt sinks in. A million what ifs circle around in my head as I slowly climb to the top. I am amazed by what I see; the forge is actually a part of the mountain and a gruff man who despite his age looks like he could bend steel with his bare hands bangs his smiting hammer against the anvil.
I make my way to the man and introduce myself; he doesn’t say anything he barely looks in my direction as he continues his work. I cut to the chase and tell him I am looking for a mentor and heard from many people around town that he is the best blacksmith in Whiterun if not the whole country and I would consider it an honor if he would teach me the ways of the forge. He stops what he is doing with a final clang of his hammer and looks me up and down. He pulls me aside and tells me about the Skyforge; he says it is an ancient site and it was the reason the Companions settled here. He goes on to tell me that being the forge master of the Skyforge means being the Companions blacksmith because it is the only steel they will use.
I listen intently to Eorlund as he tells me of his bloodlines connection to the forge and I realize he won’t be letting me apprentice. He looked at me and placed his hand on my shoulder telling me he was sorry but all was not lost. He went on to say that there was someone he knew of that could help me in my quest to become a blacksmith. He told me of a man in Riverwood that would be able to show me the basics of blacksmithing. He then told me that maybe he would see me again one day and he could teach me then; he then walked to his work station grabbing a book and telling me that reading it would be enlightening. Eorlund nodded at me and wished me well as I walked back down the steps to Jorrvaskr; the sound of the mead hall just as loud as it was earlier. I have half a mind to go in there and partake in as much mead as I can drink, but I wouldn’t want to accidentally join them in an intoxicated state. I look back up at the Skyforge a moment before I make my way back down to the Gildergreen tree.
I continue my way back to the Bannered Mare looking up in the sky trying to find the sun as it hides amongst the rain clouds. As I continue to look for a way to gauge the time I nearly run over a woman who was sweeping around one of the market stalls.
I beg her forgiveness and ask her name; she rolls her eyes scoffing at my sincerity before telling me her name is Carlotta. She tells me I am just like all the rest of the men in this city and that she wishes they would understand she won‘t let any man come between her and raising her daughter Mila. I know Mila sweet kid, a lot nicer than that Braith girl; I ask what she means and she tells me that every man in this city has asked her to marry them. I apologize for the trouble my fellow men have caused her and she tells me it is ok she just wishes someone would shut Mikael up. I ask her what she means and she tells me that Mikael has been telling anyone that listens that he will conquer her whether she likes it or not. This information isn’t news to me Jon warned me about Mikael; I again apologize to her and buy some produce to make up for almost running her down earlier. I say good bye to her and she nods; the look in her eyes nearly breaking my heart. How could Mikael say such things and act like such an ass towards that woman? Someone should really give Mikael a good thrashing for being such a putts.
I again look upward and I am able to find the sun this time and I can tell it is nearing the end of the day; of course I probably could have just asked my stomach, it seems to have a fairly good sense of time as it tells me it is dinner time. I walk into the Bannered Mare and I see Mikael getting up from sitting with Uthgerd; that’s all she needs some shmuck hitting on her while she copes with having killed a young man. I grumble and sit down at the bar and order some ale much to Saadias surprise.
I pull some food from my bag and drink the ales that Saadia brought to me; Mikael begins to sing and I am not sure why but I feel the sudden urge to shove his lute up his ass. Maybe it was his treatment of Carlotta and apparently any number of the women in the city or maybe it was the ale but I got up from my stool and went to confront Mikael.
I introduced myself to him and asked him nicely to leave Carlotta alone; I thought it was a reasonable request, but I guess it wasn’t to him because he scoffed at my request and proceeded to tell me he wouldn’t stop just because of my jealousy, in fact he told me he would have her that very night and poked me in the chest as he laughed.
Now normally I would try to continue to reason with someone but Mikael wasn’t hearing any kind of reason; the more I tried to reason with Mikael the more he made crude notions of what he was going to do with Carlotta. It was at this point that things get a bit hazy, I do remember telling him to back off or else, but after that the only thing I remember my fist flying into Mikaels mouth repeatedly as the bar patrons cheered me on.
I can’t be sure how many times I hit him but I know Sinmir had to pull me off him; as Sinmir held me back from continuing the assault Mikael slowly stammered to his feet saying I have his word that he will leave Carlotta and the rest of the women alone as long as I promised not to hurt him anymore.
Sinmir let me free from his grasp and I needed some air so I went for a walk in the market place; it has been a long time since I let my anger get the best of me like that. I look up and I see Carlotta packing up her stall so I offer to help her pack up; she thanks me for the help and smiles.
When we finish packing her stall I tell her that Mikael will no longer be a problem; she stood there speechless a moment and thanked me for shutting him up. She asked how I managed such a thing and I told her I just asked nicely; I don’t know if she bought that or not but she insisted on giving me some coin for helping her out. I tell her there is no need but she in persistent and puts the coin in my hand forcefully; I thank her and she heads to the Bannered Mare with Mila for dinner. I wonder if she would have still given me thanks and the coin if she knew I have turned Mikaels face black blue and red.
I stand in the market for a little while letting the rain hit my face before heading back into the Bannered Mare for the night. I enter the inn and I see Jon waving me over to sit with him at the bar; as I sit down I see a grin on his face and he tells me he heard what I did to Mikael and tells me he wishes he could have been here to see it happen. I tell him I am still not sure how it happened and he laughs and tells me it doesn’t matter the pricy little milk drinker got what was coming to him, and he hands me an ale. I glance up at Hulda and she appears to be upset with me and Jon tells me not to worry about it any mother would be upset if her son received a beating like that.
Great so I now have to rent a room from the woman whose son I beat up a few hours ago, this is going to go well. I tell Jon I am turning in early and he nods telling me to rest well; we shall see I may very well be sleeping in the rain tonight. I ask Hulda for a room and much to my surprise she doesn’t kick me out; she guides me up to the room and once out of ear shot of everyone she thanks me for beating some sense into her son and then leaves. Well that went better than I had thought it would; I sit on the bed and think of everything that has happened today.
I sit and stare of into space a few moments before getting ready for bed. As I lay in bed I come to the decision that because of the fight it would probably be best if I left Whiterun in the morning. Eorlund seems to think the blacksmith, Alvor I think his name was, might be willing to mentor me; also Anoriath says I can learn to be a better hunter from his friend Faendal, and both Alvor and Faendal live in Riverwood so I guess I will head to Riverwood in the morning. I think I have enough supplies for the trip, if not I will get some in the morning, along with some directions seeing as I forgot to do that today.
Well I have a plan; as much as I like this city, especially this bed, and all the people here I am going to go to Riverwood tomorrow in search of not one but two mentors.
Goodnight Whiterun, good night new friends…good night Mikael sorry about your face…Good night Skyrim my old foe, tomorrow we face each other once more. No cheap tricks like rain storms or blizzards or anything like that I want a clean fight!