Pretty women and a dashing of a dream…
I wake up from my peaceful slumber in the Bannered Mare; I am seriously loving this bed. I sleepily make my way to the balcony to sit and eat some breakfast. Not more than a few moments later I see Saadia standing before me asking if she can get me anything; normally I would give her my usual response but this time I am rather distracted by her outfit.
I remember seeing it yesterday but I was in such a hurry I didn’t pay much attention to it. I snap out of my stupor and ask Saadia for a refill on my water bottle and she saunters off to get me some fresh water. I wonder why she changed her clothes did Hulda change the dress code or is she trying to get my attention? I have no real time to ponder the thought as Saadia is back and hands me the now full water bottle and smiles as she walks away. If she wasn’t getting good tips before she will now with that new outfit.
I grab some cooked beef from my bag and begin to eat my breakfast when I hear the bard begin to play his lute; just as I am about to thank the nine that he doesn’t sing I hear it… the distinct melody of Ragnar the Red. No, gods no; please let it be the acoustic version….it’s not. I listen to him sing for a bit and I have to admit he is a slight improvement over Karita, but not by much. As I sit and eat my breakfast I can’t help but feel anxious about the day. It is my first real day as a blacksmiths apprentice; well technically Adrianne said I am not her apprentice but I plan to wow her with my amazing apprentice skills.
I finish breakfast and head downstairs; I glance at the bard as he begins to play his flute. Sure now you want to play an instrumental; couldn’t have done that while I ate breakfast could you. I hope it is a nice day out today; yesterdays rain didn’t do much for the scenery of the city. As I step through the doors and into the city I am almost blinded by how bright the sun is today; guess the divines heard my makeshift prayer. Maybe I should do more makeshift prayers since those seem to get answered a lot more than regular ones.
I walk past the market area and head to The Warmaiden to earn my apprenticeship; I glance over and that guy is still chopping wood. At this point, I am going to have to say he is indeed a dedicated man and not some simpleton who enjoys chopping wood in the rain. I pass the Drunken Huntsman and I see Adrianna hard at work holding the building up. I greet Adrianne and she promptly explains that she is going to teach me how to make some armor.
She gives me some instructions on how to make a Hide Helmet and hands me the materials I will need. I glance back over my shoulder nervously at Adrianne who decided to be more hands-on with this lesson. I take the elk hide she gave me and apply what Rustlief taught me about making leather; she nods and tells me whoever taught me before was very skilled. She walks back and forth as I continue to turn the hide into leather; all the while trying to distract me with the mundane conversation about her father and her role as her fathers’ advisor. I finished the leather and handed it to her and she looked it over carefully; she only noted a few mistakes where I dug too deep with the skinning knife but told me not to worry it was still good enough to use.
She pointed to the forge and gave further instructions on how to use the leather to make a Hide Helmet. As I sat there for the next few hours trying to concentrate on the task at hand; her standing over my shoulder, keeping an eye on my progress, while she continued to talk non stop about her and her father didn’t make things any easier. I finally finished, after what felt like an eternity, and I was ready for a break; Adrianne didn’t want to hear anything of a break. She looked over my work and nodded as she handed it back to me; she tells me it is good but it can be better and points to the workbench.
We walk over to the workbench and she gives me some pointers and instruction on how to make the helmet stronger. She leans against the beam behind me, holding up the building must be some form of past time for her, and I start working on the helmet again making it stronger. I was shocked when I finished so quickly it only took an hour or so whereas making the helmet seemed to take forever. I present the newly fortified helmet to Adrianne and she looks it over carefully and smiles. She tells me this is fine work indeed and she should hire me as her assistant; I am thrilled I bypassed apprentice altogether. I thank her and tell her I won’t let her down and she shakes her head and tells me she isn’t hiring me. B-but you just said….I thought I did well. She tells me the work I did was fine but she isn’t looking for an apprentice nor an assistant; she then hands me the dagger I made yesterday and the helmet and tells me to keep them for myself. I stand there confused and she tells me I have a real talent and hands me a few leather recipes. She smiles at me and tells me not to forget her when I become a famous blacksmith making Skyforged Steel; I don’t even know what that is.
So that’s it? You are done with me? Well, this sucks; I spent all of yesterday and the better part of today trying to become her apprentice only to be told after I did her bidding she doesn’t want an apprentice. She used me; granted she did teach me some basics and gave me some recipes but she used me. This is rather disparaging; well crap what the hell am I going to do now? I turn and I see the Drunken Huntsman. I guess I could use a drink to drown my sorrows along with my hopes of becoming a blacksmiths apprentice.
I walk into the Drunken Huntsman for a drink and as I enter my stomach reminds me that it is well past noon. I walk in and see a Bosmer standing at the counter; I haven’t met many Wood Elves since the Aldmeri Dominion decided to try and wipe them off the face of the planet, but it is said they are some of the greatest hunters in all of Tamriel. I guess since being a blacksmiths apprentice didn’t pan out so well maybe I should focus more on my hunting skills or lack thereof; I walk up to the bar and introduce myself to the barkeep and he tells me his name is Elrindir. He tells me he and his brother Anoriath own the Drunken Huntsman; I ask him about the shop and he tells me he buys and sells hunting supplies and his brother has a stall in the market area that sells the meat from their hunting expeditions. He then tells me the shop got its name because one night he and his brother had gotten a bit too drunk before a moonlight hunt and his brother mistook him for a deer and shot him in the ass, he said they knew then they had to name their shop the Drunken Huntsman. I couldn’t help but laugh at the story and Elrindir just smiled and told me if I needed any supplies for hunting to let him know and he would happily get them for me.
I ask Elrindir if he sold any food for my rumbling tummy; he told me the only thing he keeps on hand is cabbage and some nut treats but he has some ale and mead if it helps. He smirked and pointed to the spit behind me and tells me to feel free to use it if I have anything to cook. I nod and thank him for his kindness before heading over to the spit; I think I might actually still have some raw food packed away in my bag. I just hope it hasn’t spoiled; I check my pack and sure enough, it has spoiled, great just great. I wonder if I can offload it somewhere or if I will just have to throw it out; then I remember Elrindir telling me about his brother. I bet he would buy it since it would make some decent bait for their next hunt, but that would have to wait until after lunch; my stomach is refusing to let me think of little else aside from food. I will head to the Bannered Mare for lunch I wouldn’t want Elrindir to get upset by eating my own food in his establishment; Hulda, on the other hand, I rent a room from and she can’t really complain about my pinching of septims.
I start to make my way back out into the city when out of the corner of my eye I notice a very fetching Dark Elf woman sitting in an alcove, alone, why hello opportunity I thought I heard you knocking. I wonder if she would enjoy some company for lunch.
She seems oddly familiar to me, though I doubt I know her. I walk over to her and introduce myself to her; she looks me up and down with her eyes and tells me her name is Jenassa. I dig through my bag and grab some food and offer her some; she politely declines and tells me that death is her art and like any artist, she is looking for a patron. That’s nice, why don’t you and I…wait what?? She goes on to tell me she is a mercenary and for five hundred septim I can purchase her services; for five hundred septim those better be some damn extraordinary services.
Her straightforward and as a matter of fact attitude again reminds me of someone I am just not sure who. As she continues to try and sell me on her services I can’t help but find her voice a bit hypnotic and my mind begins to wander; then I realize who she reminds me of. She reminds me of the Dark Elven woman who used to come into my families shop to buy things for her daughter, I think it was, or maybe it was her ward, who was studying at the Arcane University, or at least she did until it was destroyed by the Thalmor. I half listen to Jenassa as I try to remember what the woman’s name was… Xena?…no…Xani?…no… Xeli?…no…Xeri?…maybe…I don’t know, I just remember it starting with an X. I wonder whatever happened to her and her daughter/ward.
I was so wrapped up in trying to remember that name I didn’t even notice Jenassa had finished her sales pitch; I hope she didn’t notice me not noticing her. I would really hate to wake up dead one day.
I smile at her and tell her as politely as I can that I can not afford her services. She proceeds to growl at me for wasting her time; I stand and tell her it was nice meeting her and if I ever need a mercenary I will surely find her. She doesn’t seem happy but she nods; I am glad she realizes that things are tight all over. I just hope she doesn’t sneak into my room and slit my throat while I sleep.
I make my way out of the shop and down the steps, I nearly run into the man who was arguing with his wife yesterday. He stops and again asks if I have considered mercenary work; we went over this yesterday sir…wait I do happen to know of a mercenary who is looking for work and it will only cost you seven hundred septims; five hundred for her and two hundred for a finders fee. He looks at me and just continues walking away. So let me get this straight; you would hire me a complete novice to do your mercenary job but not the trained professional mercenary? I guess your family sword isn’t so important now is it! I have half a mind to tell Jenassa about you…yeah, that’s right keep walking…
I continue heading towards the market area and am nearly run over by the wood chopping champion of Whiterun, or as he likes to call himself Sigurd. He tells me he works for Belethor at the general store and he goes back to delivering a large amount of wood. I am starting to think he is the hardest working man in Whiterun. I continue down the road and come upon a man leaning against a pillar; apparently holding buildings up is the favorite past time here in Whiterun.
He stops me by asking if I know what the problem in Skyrim is. Before I can answer him he tells me that everyone in Skyrim is obsessed with death. Well, I can see that considering it seems to be stalking me like a mentally unstable ex-girlfriend. He chuckles at my comment and tells me his name is Jon Battle-Born; I cringe and I think he noticed my hesitation and tells me he is not like his kinsmen and he hates how the Gray-Manes and Battle-Borns are at each other’s throats.
We shake hands and he tells me that the two clans have been here since the beginning and used to be close as kin but ever since the civil war and Ulfric Stormcloak betraying the Empire the two clans can’t even look at one another without a fight breaking out. That explains the hostility I see but it is no excuse to act like a coward and bully an elderly woman. Jon nods in agreement and then tells me the two clans need to work together especially since there are dragons on the loose. That’s right…wait did you say dragons? Have you been in the mead barrel? I tell Jon I have some business in the market and I might see him in the Bannered Mare later; he nods and wishes me well as I walk away.
I walk across the market area to who I can safely assume is Elrindirs’ brother Anoriath. I walk up to his stall and I am proven right as he introduces himself and tells me he runs the stall while his brother runs the Drunken Huntsman. I show him the raw meat I want to sell him and he tells me he has his own bait and he won’t be buying my raw meats but if I cook it today it can still be made into good food; well at least that is some good news. I look at his fresh kills and ask if he might be able to teach me to better use my bow; he smirks and tells me he is no teacher but if I am really interested I can go ask Aela up in Jorrvaskr. Thanks but no thanks Anoriath; somehow I don’t think Aela will be interested in helping me out with anything.
Anoriath must have sensed my hesitation regarding Aela as a teacher and tells me he knows another person who might be able to teach me. He goes on to tell me of a hunter in Riverwood named Faendal; he tells me he is a good enough hunter and should be able to teach me some basics if Aela is too intimidating for me. Intimidating who said she was intimidating? Just because she took down a giant doesn’t mean I find her intimidating….
I turn and head back to the Drunken Huntsman where I have permission to use their spit; I really need to cook this raw food before it completely spoils. Luckily for me, I have enough salt to help preserve it for cooking. I walk into the shop and I am stopped by a very obnoxious man named Nazeem asking if I have been to the Cloud District and before I can tell him I was up there yesterday he cuts me off and insults me by saying I probably don’t because I am not high class enough. Excuse me? Who the hell died and made you the Emperor? He proceeds to tell me he owns the Chillfurrow Farm; wait I thought farmers were supposed to be down to earth if so what the hell happened to your arrogant ass?
I turn and walk away from him before he finds another way of insulting me. I smile at Jenassa as I make my way to the spit to cook my food; oddly enough cooking seems to be very relaxing. Once I finish cooking I make my way back out to Whiterun. Judging by the suns position in the sky I can tell that it will be dark sooner than I had thought. I look towards Adrianne and I remember how the day started; she did give me a bunch of recipes and I bet she wouldn’t mind if I practiced on her equipment. As I stand there looking at Warmaiden’s I am bumped into by someone.
I turn to see who tried to run me down and I am greeted by a very attractive, and apologetic young Nord woman. She apologizes profusely telling me she was distracted by her thoughts and then tells me her name, Ysolda.
Ysolda…I have heard of you, you’re the one that Hulda wants to sell the Bannered Mare to. She nods, smiles and tells me she spends a lot of time in the market area, trying to learn all she can and gain more experience so she can run an Inn someday before walking away. I watch her walk away for a moment; I have to admit Skyrim does grow some mighty fine women. I glance back at Warmaiden’s and decide to just head to the Bannered Mare grab some food and maybe partake in some spirits.
Having made my way back to the Inn I take a seat next to Jon who greets me and tells me it is good to see me. I order an ale and eat some dinner while I talk with Jon; as we drink and eat Mikael begins to sing and Jon groans loudly. I look at Jon and ask what’s wrong. He tells me he thinks Mikael is a milk drinker and a disgrace to bards everywhere; he says that Mikael is only in it to make gold and impress wenches. Jon continues to rant about how Mikael makes the tradition of being a warrior poet a joke. I like Jon so I nod and agree with him as we drink a bit more.
After a few rounds of ale and mead, Jon looks over in the corner and smirks. He dares me to go woo the woman sitting in the corner; I am just drunk enough to accept his challenge. I walk up to the woman and before I can even speak she asks if I want a little Nord wisdom and proceeds to tell me that you don’t really know a woman until you have had a strong drink and a fistfight with her. Really? This is your wisdom? Get a woman drunk and beat her? You are one sick lady you know that?
I am not nearly drunk enough for this crap; I walk back over to Jon. I can hear her try and taunt me by telling me to keep walking and calling me a soft gut and she is more woman than I can handle; I want to turn around and tell her she is right because I can only handle crazy or stupid not both at the same time but judging by her armor and that giant ass weapon I keep my mouth shut and I sit next to Jon as he laughs hard.
I ask who that woman is and he tells me she is Uthgerd the Unbroken. Unbroken my ass have you talked to her she is definitely broken; she is a few apples shy of a pie. Jon laughs and tells me she is a bit of a hot head and she tried to join the Companions but during her trial, she was pitted against some poor guy and she accidentally killed him. I suppose that explains where she lost her mind. The more Jon told me about Uthgerd the more I felt the urge to talk with her again; only this time I made sure to not be so drunk. Granted I am still buzzed from drinking with Jon, I am just nowhere near as drunk as I was when I first approached Uthgerd the first time.
I order two ales and make my way over to Uthgerd; I could tell she wanted nothing more than to slam my fragile little head against the wall so I held out the ale as a peace offering. She squinted her eyes at me trying to gauge my sincerity I think; after a moment of looking at me then the ale she tells me to sit down. I sit across from her and we drink our ale in silence; before I can get Saadias’ attention to get us another round Uthgerd asks why I am drinking with her. I look up at her from my now empty mug and tell her I am there because to truly know a woman you must have a strong drink with her; she finished the rest of her earlier statement and asked if that meant I wanted to fight her. I told her no I just want to drink; this seemed to perplex her a bit.
I call Saadia over and she brings us some more ale; Uthgerd downs her ale in record pace and asks me again why I am drinking with her. I finally tell her that Jon told me what happened. Her intense face softens and she looks away before telling me it wasn’t her fault. She continues by saying she told the leaders of the Companions over and over that it was an accident. They wanted her to prove her worth, so they pitted her up against a young scrawny boy, hardly old enough to grow his first chin-hairs. That hardly seems fair; anyone could clearly see a young boy is no match for this woman; what in the name of the nine were those fools thinking? I guess they thought a woman wasn’t strong enough to hurt that poor lad. She nods and says she didn’t mean for him to die; she didn’t mean for it to happen and that she just lost control.
We order one more ale and I tell Uthgerd to try not to beat herself up over the young man’s death; in my opinion, the Companions made the mistake and sent the boy to his death. I don’t think anyone had been nice to her about everything that had happened and just assumed because she was a warrior that she didn’t have a heart. I smile at her and put my mug down on the table; I tell her I am off to bed and stand to leave. Before I walk away she tells me that we will have to fight one day to truly get to know one another. I turn and look at her and this time I see a smile and soft eyes instead of a stern look and hard hurt eyes; I smile back at her and nod making my way to Hulda to rent my room for the night.
I sit next to Jon and he looks at me and asks what I and Uthgerd spoke about; I told him a gentleman never spreads rumors and he laughed hard slapping my back. I ask Hulda for a room and she tells me it is on the house tonight and that she saw what I did for Uthgerd. I thank Hulda and head up to my room; I believe I may have drunk too much because I trip up the stairs quite a few times before managing to make it safely into my bed.
I lay in bed for a bit letting the ale induced haze fade away a bit and I remember that my hopes of being a blacksmiths apprentice have gone straight out the window. She did give me some schematics for different items I can make; I guess I could learn on my own by trial and error, but I would still prefer to find a mentor. At least today wasn’t a total bust; I met some new people made some new friends in the Bosmer brothers and Jon, I refuse to acknowledge his Battle-Born blood. Not to mention meeting three very enticing women; granted two of them kind of scare me but somehow I kind of like that, and Ysolda seems very hard working and driven, who wouldn’t like that.
All in all, I think today went fairly well; true it didn’t feel that way when Adrianne dashed my hopes but after that, it went well. I do regret spending a large sum of my saved coin on ale tonight but I think blowing off steam is a good thing once in a while. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Good night Whiterun; good night my new friends and pretty ladies….hey wait what happened to Skyrim…it didn’t even try once to kill me or piss on my head today…weird.