Unbroken: TSoFW: Chapter Two - The Hold of Whiterun (On Hold)

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    One Day Later, Outside of Whiterun

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    The carriage rolled calmly across the cobbled road. Fenrir stared out at the gorgeous countryside, watching as the golden hills rolled past. He resisted the urge to smile happily, reining his emotions in. He couldn't help but adore the nature of Skyrim. Alfariin looked back at Fenrir, and began to speak quietly. 
    'Coming up, we've got White River Watch - bandit camp. Hopefully, those scum won't be awake yet.' The sun had barely begun to rise in the sky, so Fenrir saw the logic in Alfariin's statement. However, he was sure that if a bandit attacked them, he could easily take them out. He wasn't sure if they outnumbered them, but he could easily take out two brigands before he would even tire. His sword was strapped to his back, and he could feel the cold steel, even through the padded armor of the Stormcloaks. They continued peacefully along the road, which Fenrir was glad of. Alfariin appeared to be sleeping, but Fenrir knew that the coach driver was simply focusing on the driving of the cart. The horse moving the cart plodded along simply, occasionally neighing, but continuing to walk. Fenrir thought deeply about what he was to do. The Empire wanted to take Whiterun, then. And the only thing that stopped the red banner from flying from Whiterun's banner was Fenrir. He gulped at the thought of it. It was all on him - that wasn't the first time he'd thought like that, just the most recent. He decided on his gameplan. The Inn would be a good place to both get a night's sleep, as well as see if he could poke around and find something out. Then, he'd go and maybe ... what would he do? The best place for inside information would be on the inside, but how would he be able to do that? Maybe ... get a job as a guard, see if he could get posted in Dragonsreach, then snoop around Balgruuf's quarters, yeah, that's how he'd do it. If he encountered any hitches or problems, well then he'd have to improvise. He called out to Alfariin. 
    'Alfariin, how far until Whiterun?' Alfariin turned back, his close-cut blonde hair swaying in the wind. 
    'Probably, ah,' he looked out into the horizon, 'An hour or two, provided we don't get any crap from the idiots up at White River - though I'm sure you could handle them, right?' Fenrir nodded, agreeing with that thought. As they turned a corner, Whiterun came into view. A walled city, he knew it was divided into three parts - The Plains District, otherwise known as the marketplace, The Wind District, which was the residential area, and the Cloud District - belonging exclusively to Dragonsreach, the Jarl's palace. The walls were made of stone, with wooden spears and spike hapharzadly arranged to keep out bandits - and with the rumours afly, Dragons - as well as the Great Palace of Dragonsreach, the Home of Balgruuf, stood out among the skyline. The large wooden building was made exclusively from a magically-tempered wood, that allowed it to withstand magical fire from both Dragons and hostile mages. That was how it got it's name, after all - In the Old Times, Olaf One-Eye imprisoned the Dragon Numinex within the walls, earning the name Dragonsreach, for it left all inside of the Palace in reach of the clouds, touching the sky. With the tales of the Dragons being supposedly back from the dead, Dragonsreach perhaps would need to earn it's name once more, thought Fenrir. He went back to observing the wilderness, oblivious to everything around him. At least until the yell sprang forth from the bandit standing out in front of the carriage. 

     

     

    'Yer money, or yer life!' He yelled, in a stunted, harsh voice befitting someone who spent his days in caves demanding the same repetitive phrase whenever h met travellers. He wore simple armor tempered from leather, and it completely covered his chest and legs, but left his arms bare. Potential weak spots, thought Fenrir. He wore no helmet, and had incredibly unruly hair. He had a long, hooked nose, and resembled a skeever rather closely. His smell wafted over the breeze, and Fenrir nearly gagged. He smelled like a skeever, too. Fenrir grunted. Of course the bandits would show up. Luckily, the others must still be asleep. The thought comforted Fenrir, and it remained comforting as he jumped out of the back of the carriage. Alfariin winked at him. 
    'All yours.' He said jokingly, to which Fenrir grinned, rather cockily. He drew his longsword, and he imagined that now the bandit realised he was dealing with a trained Stormcloak soldier, an ambassador of Ulfric himself. He didn't care, though. His sword would still taste the blood of the bandit - though Fenrir didn't envy killing, and he would give the bandit an offer of surrender, but he knew he wouldn't take it; a matter of pride was all. Fenrir spoke loudly. 
    'I am Fenrir Wolfpelt, an ambassador of Ulfric Stormcloak himself. I give you one chance to surrender. If you accept, you will be allowed to scurry back to your rat-hole. If you don't, well...,' Fenrir swung his sword in an arc, showing the bandit what would happen if he didn't surrender. The bandit just grinned rudely, all the while holding a short hammer that looked far to heavy for his thin arms. 
    'Yer no ambassador, ya liar. And now, yer gonna be a dead one, at that!' With that, and a roar that sprang forth from the bandit's mouth, he began to sprint towards Fenrir, his hammer gripped menacingly in his hand - although, the grip was weak, Fenrir could tell. The man was not used to the weapon. The bandit swung clumsily overhead, and Fenrir parried it. The bandit lunged forward, feinting a strike to Fenrir's side, and then remarkably quickly turning the hammer to come down on Fenrir's head. Fenrir couldn't stop it, and slowly dodged, accepting a grazing blow that left him groggy. He desperately reined his senses in, and came back with an aggresive jab that the bandit blocked weakly with the flat of his hammer. Fenrir grew tired of the combat, and decided to end it. He swung in a large arc, and with such strength that it would have split the man from his legs. Instead, it simply drew a thin line of red across his chest, and a piercing 'Aghhh!' from the bandit. Fenrir grinned, grateful for the successful wound. He repeated the attack, but the wounded bandit staggered out of the way. Fenrir, knowing victory was near, raised his hands above his head in a decapitating manner. He began to let the blade fall, a savage glee in his mind. As the blade fell, his human side came over as the adrenaline washed away, and he found himself ashamed in his previous murderous joy, and stayed the blade a mere inch from the man's neck. He pulled his heavy greatsword away, placing it in the leather sheath on his back. The bandit stood up, his arm held across the painted red line on his chest. He groaned, his face soaked with sweat and relief. He looked up guiltily at Fenrir. 
    'Yer mercy is boundless, kindest sir. I thank ye for sparing me worthless life.' Fenrir guessed that the bandit had just spoken more words than he'd ever spoken in his dirty, criminal life. He knew the bandit didn't mean any of the lies he said, but he needn't start another fight. His anger and adrenaline had taken control of him far too quickly last time. 
    'Leave us, now, bandit, lest I seperate your head from your neck.' He went with the flowery words, simply because he imagined that was how an ambassador of one of Skyrim's most influential individuals would speak. He was glad when the bandit scurried away, back up a dirty hill that led towards a small campsite. Tongues of fire could be seen - evidence of a campfire. The bandit wasn't seen again, and after Alfariin laughed and congratulated him - as well as halving his fee for the trip, handing ten septims back, Fenrir got in the back, his mind engrossed in how easily he'd lost control - for it scared him.  

     

    They crossed a small stone bridge that was built over a flowing river that continued on from a waterfall that pounded the rocks beneath it, about two-hundred miles from the bridge. Fenrir noticed a building, and his heart stopped. The building was built in the traditional Whiterun style - it had wooden walls, and simple glass windows reinforced with metal. Large, sloping roofs were made from yellowed wooden tiles that gave a lovely golden look that blended remarkably well with the orange grass that was the staple of Whiterun's tundras. A sign was built out front, and it read - 'Honingbrew Meadery - the Best Mead in all of Skyrim!' Fenrir was overcome with the need to enter the meadery - after all, what other chance would he have to visit the meadery? But, alas, like Ulfric said, his mission was of utmost importance, and he couldn't waste time in a alehouse, so reluctantly, he waved Alfariin forward, and watched as the meadery faded away. He got a better look at Whiterun, and he couldn't help but be impressed - it was no Windhelm, to be sure - but the stone walls and the golden rooftops provided a gorgeous architecture and style lacking in Windhelm's gray snow-capped buildings. They continued along the pathway, Alfariin occasionally providing offhand comments about the environment that didn't really help, but were a welcome backtrack to the quiet trip. They passed a large field, that Alfariin identified as Pelagia Farm, one of Whiterun's most famous farms, other than Rorikstead, of course, Whiterun's legendary farming village. Alfariin pointed out another farm, saying that it was unreliable. He called it Chillfurrow Farm. 
    'Who owns it?' asked Fenrir, curious. He wanted to know as much as he could, in case it was helpful. 
    'A downright, stuck-up and rude Redguard named Nazeem. If I were you, I'd stay away from him like the plague.' Fenrir decided to do just that - everyone knew that after innkeepers, carriage drivers were the best source of information and rumours. Nazeem - he made a mental note to stick away from him. 
    'So, you gonna drop me off at the stables?' Fenrir asked, to which Alfariin answered: 'Yeah.' To their left, Fenrir noticed a large stone tower with a windmill blowing lazily in the wind. The upcoming stables was a small house made similarly to the Honingbrew Meadery, and a very basic - but nice enough - stables occupied by two jet black horses, both shining and with luxurious, long manes. A man wearing simple brown and green clothing sat on a chair outside the stables - appearing to be asleep. He had dark hair, and it was close-cropped to his forehead. Large, stone walls were built over a drawbridge that gave access to Whiterun were built about twenty metres from the Stablehouse. Guards dressed in iron mail with striking yellow sashes patrolled, holding flags with Whiterun's banner - a stallion's head on a field of gold - and they carried shortswords. Two stood atop the stone gatehouse that controlled the drawbridge, and presumably entrance into Whiterun. Suddenly, a terrifying thought struck Fenrir. He was still wearing my Stormcloak armor! Fenrir had travelling robes in his pack, which was strapped to his back, but he hadn't changed! He glanced at the guards, thankful they hadn't seen him yet, and whispered to Alfariin. 
    'I'll get off now, thanks.' Alfariin looked quizically at Fenrir, who simply shrugged nonchalantly. 'I'll walk the rest of the way.' continued Fenrir. 
    Alfariin smiled plainly. 'If you want.' He shook Fenrir's hand, and wished him good luck on his endeavours - whatever they were - and said farewell. Fenrir leapt off the back of the cart, and sprinted as quickly as he could behind the stable, leaping a small wooden fence erected probably to stop horses jumping over, but it was no problem for Fenrir, so presumably no problem for stallions, either.He sprinted behind the stables, looking directly ahead of him, and never noticed the passed-out girl lying on the ground until he tripped over her.

     

    'The hell was that for?' She exclaimed in a loud, hearty voice that rang with sarcasm and humour. Fenrir looked down at her. She appeared around twenty-something, so relatively close to his age - him being only twenty-six - She had long, shoulder length hair that ran down her back in a hastily arranged ponytail, and she had a young, but cruelly mischevious face. Black, piercing eyes seemed to both stare into his soul, and ridicule him at the same time. She wore a five-times too big set of simple green clothes, that were obviouslly meant for an absurdly large man. She stank of mead, and the red rings under her eyes only confirmed the fact. She looked at him angrily - but not in a naturally aggressive way, just annoyed - and spoke again. 'Look where you're going, you big ... Nord! For lack of a better, innappropriate insult.' She explained, as if she did this every day. Fenrir groaned. He didn't need this now. 
    'What're you doing here?' She smiled jokingly, and at the same time, cluelessly. 
    'I'm gonna be honest with you - I have no idea.' She was clearly hungover, and Fenrir didn't enjoy it. Her breath, too stunk of ale. 
    'Well, can you, y'know, go?' He asked, aggravated. He realised he needed to get control of his runaway anger, but didn't care at the minute. 
    'Mmmm...no.' She said, relishing in her success with antagonising Fenrir. 'Why, anyways, would I ever want to move? Plus, why do you need me to move?' 
    'Well, cause I've got to get changed,' he indicated, taking his warm woolen robes out of his bag, waving them in her smug face. 
    'And why can't I stay for that, hmm?'she grinned, and she propped herself up on her elbows. 'Whoa! I may or may not have had too much to drink last night?' 
    'How can you tell?' Fenrir asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. She grinned. 
    'I don't usually see little comical stars around my head, s'all. Do you?' Fenrir groaned. She was impossible. 
    'No, I don't. Now, could you just piss of, for like, three seconds? Then you can come back and be bitchy with me all you like.' he spat. 
    She sighed dramatically. 'Oh, fine. But don't use language like that! I'm a lady, and it's unladylike to hear such words.' She performed a little curtsey with her hands, and then almost fell over as the alcohol kicked in. 'On second thought, I won't do that again.' Fenrir's eyes were burning with cold fury now. 
    She got up, and attempted to strut - but failed, swaying side-to-side - away. After about three metres, she plopped herself down against the wall of the stables, mumbling something barely decipherable - but Fenrir made out two words; 'Stupid' and 'Handsome' He felt a little happy at the latter, but annoyed with the first. He stripped down - after making sure the drunk woman wasn't watching, and packed his Stormcloak-issue gear in his travelling pack. He slid the heavy, woolen robe down over his body, and was happy with how warm it felt - though, to be honest, itchy. He decided to try and sneak away, strapping his pack on. He tiptoed as quietly as he could around the back of the stables, but a loud, drunken voice cut through the air. 
    'Hey, don't leave yet!' He groaned loudly - loud enough for her to hear, specifically - and turned around. She was standing up, her left hand propped up on her hip and the other by her side. A cocky grin was on her face. 'You aren't forgetting me, are you?' 
    'Yes, I'm forgetting you.' answered Fenrir. No way was she coming with him - no matter whether mission or pleasure trip. 
    'But!' She seemed to scramble for a reason, and her eyes lit up. 'You won't find anyone as strong - not to mention attractive - as me!' Fenrir smiled. 
    'I'm sure I will. Now, why don't you go and get yourself some help, eh?' She shook her head. 
    'Uh uh. I'm coming with you.' Fenrir shook his head, grinning. Or at least, he was, until she spoke again. 'The guards wouldn't like to know about Stormcloaks in the city...would they?' Fenrir almost gasped. Blackmail! He considered his choices. Take the woman, and have a chance of completing the mission, or leave her and fail Ulfric. He wrestled in his mind for a minute, and was considering deserting the Stormcloaks purely so he could ignore the girl, but he decided.
    'Fine, you can come.' He growled, his voice soaked with contempt. She grinned happily. 
    'You won't regret it! Actually, on second thoughts, you probably will, but ... anyway! My name's Sofia. Nice to meet you!' 
    Fenrir groaned. 

     

    They strode up to the gate. The guard on duty walked forward, and outstretched a palm. 'Halt, strangers. Gate's closed, on account of...Dragons.' The guard scoffed, but continued, 'And no-one's getting in. Jarl's orders.' Fenrir felt as if a cold hand had touched his grave. He hadn't expected this. How was he meant to get in? He was tempted to bash the guard, but he was saved by a cocky, fairly drunk voice. 
    'Would this do?' Sofia walked - strut-swaying - over to the guard, and reached into her pocket. The clinking of coins could be heard as she pulled a little leather bag out of her pocket, and jiggled it around. A welcoming clink-clink sound could be heard, and through his closed helm, the guard smiled. 
    'What dragons? Why, of course the city's open!' He checked the area, and then handed them a little key. 'That'll get you in, just use the gate's keyhole.' 
    Sofia winked at him. Fenrir didn't understand why, but was thankful - barely - for her help, so I didn't question her. The guard signalled to the guard atop the gate, who dropped the drawbridge. It fell slowly, chains allowing it to come down. The wooden drawbridge finally stopped, and he and Sofia crossed. The guard stood, marvelling at the small brown bag in his hands. Sofia grinned foolishly at him, and Fenrir knew something was odd. The two of them were faced by two huge wooden gates, reinforced with iron. Two guards in yellow armor stood on either side of the gate. Flags flew from the gates, the Whiterun Stallion emblazoned on them. Sofia looked at Fenrir, and he felt an annoying question was about to be asked. He was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. 
    'Ladies first.' She purred - even though Fenrir had no desire to be the first in, so he allowed her to walk up to the door. When the guards questioned her, she flashed the key, twirling it on her finger. He could hear her hastily make up an explanation. Why, yes, we are in fact Dragon hunters. He almost laughed, then stopped himself as she twisted the key in the lock. A satisfying click came before the grating sound as the two doors opened as Sofia pushed them. She grinned as they revealed the inner workings of the city of Whiterun. She looked mockingly at Fenrir. 
    'Shall we?' 

     

     

    Whiterun was easily the most active city in Skyrim. Fenrir had visited three of the hold capitals - Solitude, which was actually fairly quiet, despite being Skyrim's capital, Riften, which was active, but not as many people, and Markath, which was ripe with corruption and cruelty - but Whiterun stood out the most - except for Solitude, which he adored, despite it's position in the war - and its streets were filled with laughter, yelling, and talking. A small bridge ran over a little canal, which Fenrir assumed was a sewer system. He turned to Sofia. 
    'Why'd you wink back there?' She grinned mischeviously - a look that she seemed to perform a lot. 
    'Oh, that bag of coins? It's nothing but scraps of iron.' Her eyes lit up, and for a second, Fenrir found it attractive, until he remembered who those eyes belonged to. He looked at her plainly. 
    'That might bring some hell down on us later, but quick thinking, so ... thanks.' He made a tremendous effort to say the last word. To their left, a large shop designed similarly to Honingbrew - by now, he had realised it was Whiterun's traditional building style - stood, and it had a forge and smelter on the outside. A smithy. A sign hanging from a pole read, 'Warmaidens' A woman dressed in blacksmith's overalls stood hammering away at a workbench. Directly ahead, another similar building was built atop a small rise. Emblazoned above the door in - were they vines? - was written, 'The Drunken Hunstman' Obviously, a hunting shop - or maybe a tavern? No, a hunting shop. Fenrir continued walking down the street, Sofia trailing behind them. They passed various more stores, as well as people dressed usually in plainclothes - except for a lavishly dressed man who wouldn't stop boasting about the importance of the 'Battle-Born Clan' Fenrir ignored him, and caught Sofia giving the man a middle-finger salute. He ignored it. They arrived in what must be the central marketplace - three stalls, one laden with fruit, manned by an attractive woman, the next - opposite the foodstall - contained slabs of raw meat, as well as warm looking pelts. Arrows lay in a quiver next to the stall. A wood elf in furs stood behind it, calling out offers, and in front of a larger building with an extension that had a porch covered by a gazebo-like roof was a small stall covered in various items of jewelery. An elder woman sat behind the stall, reading a book. To their direct left, a store was built, with the words, 'Belethor's General Store' painted on the side. Next to that, a store with various alchemical potions painted on the front, with a sign that read, 'Arcadia's Cauldron' was built. Fenrir quizzingly looked at Sofia. 
    'Which one's the inn, you reckon?' Sofia shrugged. She pointed at what was obviously the potions store, Arcadia's Cauldron. 
    'If you're into tasty beverages made from deadly ingredients, we could eat there.' Fenrir disregarded her snarky comment, and looked in front. The large building with the porch was clearly the inn, on second observation. 
    'That one.' he pointed at the inn, and Sofia nodded. They walked up, ignoring the haggling of the market, and approached the door. Golden letters read, The Bannered Mare' Fenrir stared. An idea came to his mind, and he placed his hand out fancyingly. 
    'Drunk ladies first.' He added the first part, though. 

     

     

    The Bannered Mare was a multi-layered inn. The first floor was the main tavern part, with a large fireplace in the middle. It was clearly designed for warmth, and not cooking, as no cooking utensils were built anywhere near. Three seats were built around the fire place, and a man in heavy iron armor sat on one. A young-looking Redguard woman sat next to him. She appeared worried, but Fenrir disregarded it. A bar was built to the left, with a woman wearing a simple white overall behind it. She was clearly the owner. She had long, blonde hair tied behind in a ponytail. He walked over, leaving Sofia to pester whoever she wished. He spoke to the woman. 
    'You got two rooms?' The woman scratched her chin, deep in thought, then her eyes cleared and she began to speak, in a drawling voice. 
    'Not two, but we've got one upstairs.' Fenrir groaned painfully. One room? Shared with Sofia? He'd sooner kiss Titus Mede the II's feet. But he needed sleep, anyway. Maybe it'd have two beds, after all. She seemed to anticipate his question, and quickly spoke. 'No, there's only one bed.' He seriously considered just heading over to the potions store and doing what Sofia had suggested earlier, but changed his mind.
    'Fine, I'll take it.' The woman smiled, forking her hand out.
    'Ten septims.' Well, at least it was a fair price, right? Ah, there was no bright side to this. He forked the money over, and she handed him a key. 
    'First room, on the right.' He thanked her, and headed over to where Sofia was. She was leaning against the wall, trying to look sarcastically dark. She grinned happily when she saw Fenrir. He frowned sadly when he saw her. 
    'We've got one room, one bed, and I'm sleeping on the bed, got it?' Sofia shook her head frantically. 
    'We could just...share, couldn't we?' She grinned mischeviously, knowing his answer and anticipating it like someone might their favourite meal. 
    'No, of course we can't. And knowing you, no matter what, I'm on the floor, right?' She nodded, and he detected a slight trace of disappointment in her eyes. 
    'Yes, you're right. You're on the ground. Sorry.' He frowned, but she didn't seem to care. 'Up we go, then, eh?' Fenrir nodded, and they walked through a small door that led into a kitchen area with a firepit with a pot and spit suspended over it. Soup was cooking in the pot. A set of stairs led to a second floor, and the two of them ascended the flight. They reached the top, and turned left. A door led into a small room with a comfortable looking bed. Sofia grinned and giggled with glee as she jumped into the bed. 'Oh, so comfy!' She said, deliberately trying to rile Fenrir up. He didn't take the bait. He ripped a blanket off the bed, prompting a sad face from Sofia - that he quickly ignored - and placed it on the floor. He moved to take a pillow, and luckily, she allowed it, handing him the pillow. He placed it on the ground, said a quick 'Night.' and then laid down, closing his eyes as he welcomed the embrace of dreams. 

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    Your's truly, Wulf

     

Comments

1 Comment   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 2 others like this.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  August 31
    I am liking Fenrir, Wulf. He's flawed but not unlikeable, has a beserker streak in him but also the ability to check himself. Your style has changed a bit, although you still have the ability to make the mundane seem magical; your descriptions of the buil...  more