What a giant wants…
I wake up earlier than normal; I didn’t get the normal peaceful rest that I have grown accustomed to getting lately. I think I am actually nervous to be traveling again; it is, after all, easier for Skyrim to kill me outside the safety of the city walls. I swing my legs over the side of the bed and sit there for a moment rubbing my sore knuckles; I get out of bed and shuffle to my balcony seat for breakfast; I am going to miss this routine. I sit down and as normal I hear Saadia enter my room and make her way to me, ready to serve; I am definitely going to miss this service. She asks if I need anything other than a refill on my water bottles; I guess she knows my routine as well. I tell her I do and she looks at me in a shocked but happy manner; I figure I will stock up on food while I can since I don’t know how long of a trip this will be. I ask her to bring me my usual re-fill as well as a few apples and some fresh bread; she smiles and hurries to fill my request. She hurries back with my order and I thank her and tell her what a good job she has done; she smiles and heads back downstairs.
I sit in my chair and start to enjoy my breakfast apple as I hear Mikael begin to play his lute; I don’t think he will be singing anytime soon and for some reason, this brings my heart much joy. I know I should feel bad about beating him senseless but I don’t so I am just not going to dwell on it. I finish my apple and head back into my room to change into my traveling clothes err armor; I rummage through my bags double checking to make sure I don’t need to buy anything or sell anything before I leave; I am relatively certain I took care of all that when I went to Belethors the other day. Once inventory is complete I make my way downstairs, stopping briefly to remind Mikael of the agreement we have.
I walk over to Hulda and thank her for her hospitality for the last few days and she smiles reminding me once more she is ready to sell the Bannered Mare to Ysolda. I head outside and I am glad to see the weather is nice; maybe Skyrim figured it had a better chance of killing me if the weather was good. I head over to talk with Anoriath about getting directions to Riverwood; he pulls out a map and marks where the town is and tells me there is a lot of hunting near the town and it always sidetracks him when he goes there. He also tells me that if I stay on the road it should only take a half day to get there. That’s good news, though I wish I knew that before I spent so much money on food but better safe than sorry; knowing my luck I might get lost.
I thank Anoriath for the directions and as I turn around I almost run into Ysolda; she seems pretty upset with me about something but won’t tell me what. She again tells me about her ambitions in owning the Bannered Mare; I tell her that Hulda is more than ready to sell it to her and maybe she can get a good price, but I don’t think she was listening to me. I tell her my plans to travel to Riverwood and she tells me to be safe and walks away; it’s funny I do not remember kicking her puppy so I really don’t know why she is so upset at me. Oh well, no time to chase her down and ask her I have to be on my way.
I had hoped to tell Jon goodbye before I left but he doesn’t seem to be lollygagging in his usual spot today. I continue to head down the road passing Sigurd as he chops wood; oddly enough his woodpile never shrinks, maybe someone should look into that. I see Adrianne hard at work at the Warmaiden as I am leaving the city. I should stop in and tell her goodbye but I am still just a little bit bitter for how she crushed my dreams. I pass through the gates and I look back as I am leaving Whiterun; I know I had only been here a few days but I could definitely see myself living here one day. Who knows maybe that day will get here sooner rather than later, but knowing my luck probably not. Besides, that would mean that Skyrim has failed or given up on trying to kill me and I don’t foresee that happening anytime in the near future.
I rummage through my bags and put the rest of my gear on; out here I would be stupid if I walked around without my weapons or my fancy hood. I sling my quiver and my bow over my shoulder and head out of the city towards my potential destiny. I walk down the road and after a good while I can’t help but feel like I have done this before; probably because a few days ago I did this same thing but now I am just going in reverse. I continue walking and I come upon the farm where I met Aela, Ria, and Farkas; this place looks a lot different in the daytime.
I continue down the road and I come upon some houses and a sign that says Honningbrew Meadery. A meadery, how in the world did I miss this? Oh, right, it was dark and there was a fight between a giant and three companions I rushed to see; this is what I get for rushing around all willy-nilly. I wish I had time to stop in and sample some of the fine brews but I really want to reach Riverwood before dark; that and I probably couldn’t afford any of it anyway.
I come to the bridge I crossed a few days ago and the road forks in three directions; I check the map Anoriath gave me and head down what I hope to be the right path. As I walk up the path randomly picking flowers, don’t judge me, I nearly get run over by a Khajiit woman, who instead of apologizing tells me her name is Mercenary. Really your name is merc…you know what I don’t want to know. As I turn to walk away she continues to tell me that there is trouble nearby and she was hired to take care of it. Wait so your name is Mercenary and you are a mercenary; well isn’t that…special. I can tell by the look in her eyes that she wanted me to offer to assist her with whatever it is she was hired to do. Sorry, sister, you got the wrong guy; I am just trying to find a town. Go check in Whiterun there are plenty of mercenaries you can hire; a mercenary named Mercenary hiring a mercenary that is just sad.
I walk away from Mercenary and continue up the hill picking more flowers, I said don’t judge me when I come to a man with a cow. Now you don’t see a man walking a cow like he would a dog every day, and you also don’t see a cow covered in some blue paint every day either. Well, today I got two for the price of one; a man walking a cow covered in blue paint like he would a dog. I stand and stare at the cow and its owner for a good long minute or twenty before asking the obvious. Why in the world are you walking your cow? Oh, and why is it covered in paint?
He tells me he is taking his cow to a giant to protect his crops from being pillaged by the giants. Is that a problem around here? Giants pillaging and plundering helpless farms? Come to think of it I have seen a lot of giants around so I guess there is a good chance it happens more often than not. Ok so that explains why you are taking Bessie for a walk, did you really have to paint her blue? Apparently, he did because it is a part of the tradition; I guess the giants are particular when it comes to their sacrificial cattle, and just how do you know the Giants want a blue cow and not say a purple cow?
I could sense him urging me to offer to help him on his personal task to sacrifice a blue cow to a bunch of giants in order to save his chickens; that seems to be slightly prejudiced against cows in favor of chickens don’t you think? So I do what any normal sane person would do; I promptly leave the crazy farmer and his painted sacrificial cow. Sorry but I am not about to potentially piss off a giant and get squished to death by bringing him a blue cow when he wanted a green one; you are on your own pal. I do feel bad for the cow though; it was probably minding its own business, eating some grass having a grand old time making milk or whatever it is cows do for fun when that crazy bastard started painting her and dragging her down the road. Now she is going on a trip to a giant camp to be eaten or whatever it is giants do with cows; if I were that cow I would have kicked that guy in the nuts and run away.
I glance back and they have stopped and are not moving; maybe he came to his senses, not likely, or maybe he is just a complete retard and is lost; either way, at least the cow is safe for a little bit. I continue up the hill a bit and I start to get hungry as noted by the empty pain I feel in my stomach so I look around and find a nice spot to set up a little picnic. I sit on a stump eating my lunch and admiring the view of Whiterun; it really is a beautiful place. Sit and listen to the rushing water of the falls behind me as I enjoy my lunch; Though I haven’t seen much to hunt on this trip so far I can see why it takes Anoriath longer than a day to get to Riverwood from Whiterun. I finish my lunch and pack up my little picnic area; I take one last look at the scenery before I get back on the road heading for Riverwood.
Continuing on the road to Riverwood, or at least what I hope is the road to Riverwood; I am still not sure I went the right way, we shall see. I continue to walk up the hill when I notice it has gotten a bit quiet; that is when I hear the familiar sound of wolves howling. I had almost forgotten the feeling of terror that accompanies being attacked by wolves. I see a wolf charging at me; I ready my bow, nock an arrow and drawback as I back peddle, letting loose the arrow hoping to kill it with one shot, but of course, that is not the case and I have to draw my sword and shield. As I stand at the ready for the wolf to lunge at me I am shocked as it runs past me and runs away; what trickery is this? I slowly follow the wolfs’ path; I almost feel like a real hunter except I have no idea what I am doing. I decide it is probably for the best if I just make my way back to the road and as I turn around I am attacked by the wolf who has managed to circle around me. Tricky little bastard, but it doesn’t matter much because I make quick work of it with my sword. I feel a sense of accomplishment, and I would have relished that for a bit if it hadn’t been for the other wolf who is now attacking me. Did this thing not notice what I just did to his friend or maybe he just doesn’t care; either way the result is the same, skewered wolf. Nice job Skyrim lure me in with your docile nature tones and beautiful scenery all the while waiting to throw a pack of wolves well two wolves at me. Well the joke is on you I eat wolves for breakfast; well not really, I eat apples, but you get my point!
It is a sound plan Skyrim has to distract me from the beauty that surrounds me; even now as I walk back to the road I am enjoying the scenery. Once back to the road I make my way back uphill; hopefully, Riverwood isn’t too much farther. As I continue to walk the path I see a large elk just standing there in the middle of the road; as if to say this was his road and none shall pass. I crouch behind a fallen tree and slowly make my way closer to the elk; drawing my bow and getting ready to fire upon it when it takes off like a bat out of Oblivion. I am rather disappointed that I didn’t even get a shot off but those are the breaks; as I am about to get back onto the road I hear the sound of more wolves.
I look around and across the river is a wolf going nuts; it is running up and down the bank of the river trying to get at something. I crouch down and try to get a better look; it seems to be hunting a slaughter fish in the river. Normally I would let this one play out but it isn’t often I get the chance to shoot at a wolf without it trying to kill me. I let a few arrows loose at the wolf I hit once and it runs away; so much for my target practice. Then I see the slaughter fish swimming back and forth in the river; it seems only fair that I get an opportunity to kill a slaughter fish seeing as a pair of them tried to make me into their dinner my first day in this country. I nock my arrow and draw back on the bow and let the arrow fly right into the slaughter fish, who promptly freaks out. Of course, I can’t kill a fish with one hit what in the world was I thinking? So, I repeat the process this time it dies and the rapid current disposes of the body quickly and in a most amusing way.
I look around for the wolf that was across the river but he is long gone; for all I know he is waiting for the slaughter fish at the bottom of the falls, that’s the cycle of life. I get back on the road and I make it to the area where the elk was standing guard; apparently, it was standing guard over the dead body of a rabbit. Did that elk kill this rabbit or was this rabbit his friend and he was saying goodbye? I don’t know but I do know I can butcher the rabbit and make a small meal from him, so that is what I do.
I stand up after butchering the bunny and notice I am close to a bridge and what looks like a small village; with any luck, this is the right village because I would hate to be at the wrong place. I get closer to the bridge and I see a signpost and much to my delight it says Riverwood on it; I made it Anoriath was right it took about a half a day but I made it to Riverwood. I cross the bridge and look at the village; it seems nice, it kind of reminds me of Dawnstar but you know without the snow. I walk into town and the first sign I see says Sleeping Giant Inn; this is good now I know where I can sleep tonight.
It is getting dark the sun will be gone soon but I really want to meet Alvor and maybe Faendal too so I decide not to head straight into the inn. I take my hood off and place it in my bags, so as not to scare or make the guards nervous and I continue down the road. I see the Riverwood Trader, good to know this town has a place for trade, and I see a shifty fellow walking back and forth in front of the store; that’s not an odd behavior at all. I avoid the awkward man and I see the universal sign for the blacksmith. I take a deep breath and make my way up the steps and I see a large man working; I introduce myself and he just looks at me.
I tell him I would like to be his apprentice; he looks at me and tells me I look more like a bandit than I do a blacksmith. I can see that I can but I assure him I am only here to learn and that Eorlund Grey-Mane sent me. As soon as he hears Eorlunds’ name he stops what he is doing and gives me another look. He spits over the rail onto the grass and tells me it is too late to discuss such matters but he will talk with me again tomorrow. Well, it wasn’t what I had expected; to be honest, I don’t really know what I expected but that wasn’t it.
I look in the sky and the sun is gone so I make my way back to the Sleeping Giant Inn to get a room and some dinner. I walk into the Inn and look around a bit; it feels oddly familiar but somewhat different. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not; I overhear a woman yelling at the bartender asking him if he is paying attention; judging by the interaction between the two they are either unhappily married or she is his boss. I make my way to the bar and he seems surly as he tells me they have rooms, food and drink; he goes on to say he is the cook and aside from that there isn’t much else to tell. Well the service isn’t that of Whiterun but it is a warm place to sleep; can’t ask for much more I suppose.
I ask him for a room to rent and he tells me to talk to Delphine the owner and points to her and goes about his business. I approach Delphine and before I can utter a word she makes a statement about me being the stranger poking around town. Well you are an odd one, aren’t you? I have been here for all of maybe two hours and I am “poking around” what the hell are you my stalker or are you just paranoid? I ask her for a room as nicely as possible; I don’t want her to flip out and possibly murder me in my sleep or something. She nods and hands me a room key and walks away; wow not even going to show me where it is, that is just plain lazy. I miss Hulda and Saadia; I wander around the inn looking for my room. I barge in on another guest and apologize; this would be easier if someone would have shown me where to go, I miss Hulda and Saadia.
I finally find my room and it isn’t much of a room, I can’t believe she charges thirty-five septims for this hole in the wall room. The room is small and has an odd smell, the price for the room was way too high, and there is little to no hospitality but there is one thing this place has that I am grateful for…a door. I shut my door and remove my armor and get into my clothes before sitting down at my table and eating a late dinner.
All in all the day was…different…I don’t think Skyrim was really trying hard to kill me, maybe it is sick, who knows. But, I made it to Riverwood, and even though I miss Whiterun and my posh room at the Bannered Mare, I am determined to do what needs to be done here in this village. Tomorrow I see Alvor again and try to convince him I am worthy to be his pupil. And, if I have time, I will find Faendal and see if he will show me the ways of the hunter. That is my plan and I am sticking to it!
Good night Riverwood, I will sleep with one eye open just in case that paranoid Delphine tries to finish what Skyrim started and kill me.