Son of Skyrim Entry #2

  • Fredas, 1st of Hearthfire, 4E 202

    Ragnar stood in front of the third hottest forge in all of Skyrim. Slowly, he worked the pulley that would activate the bellows. Wiping the sheen of sweat from his eyes he glanced around at his surroundings. The ancient city of Markarth sprawled out around him.

    There was something special about this city. Some said it was made by the Dwarves. Part of him believed that. The other liked the idea of Atmorans and Dwemer alike working on the stone city. Dwemer architecture with Nordic craftsmanship. Growing up in Karthwasten, Markarth had seemed so far away. Now that he was older the city was only two day’s journey away.

    “Get back to work, Ragnar.” A gruff voice reminded him. Ragnar turned to the she-orc which had given the order. Ghorza had taken him under her wings so to speak in the last year. The old orc had taught him quite a bit about the art of blacksmithing. He had some natural talent for the craft, but still struggled to keep his mind focused on a single task.

    “Sorry, Ghorza. Won’t happen again.” Ragnar said hastily before returning to the task of heating up a steel ingot. He glanced to his right where the order was listed. Two iron swords, a steel mace, and an orchalcum shield.  He had already completed one of the swords, but it had taken twice the amount of time that it would’ve taken Ghorza, who could make an iron sword in a little under five hours. Man, she had the magic fingers when it came to-

    “Ragnar!” Ghorza scuffed him over the head before returning to tanning the leather for the shield.

    “Mauloch’s balls.” Ragnar swore under his breath. The ingot had warped while he had been day dreaming. He pulled the ingot closer to him to inspect it. Luckily the warping was minimal meaning that the ingot was still usable. He pulled it out of the heat and began to beat it into shape.

    After several hours of work, the sun began to set. Ragnar was finished with the general shape of the axe-head, but still needed to engrave it with the ceremonial markings. Each smith had his or her own mark that they would leave on steel weapons. It was part of the Nordic ritual behind the creation of such items. There was the basic weave that was integral to the balance of the weapon, but there was generally a mark in the center piece.

    “A good day’s work Ragnar. Once you’ve finished with that, you should take a trip down to the Silver-Blood Inn. On me.” Ghorza offered, dropping a small sack of coins on the armorer’s bench. Ragnar nodded. His tongue was peeking out in concentration as he carefully carved a fox’s head onto the metal. “No need to thank me.”

    Ragnar smirked, but stayed focused. Ghorza would understand. She always did. For the last several months, they had come to an agreement. He would work for her, under her tutorage, for two weeks every month. The next two weeks would be spent traveling and training to be the best warrior he could be. She would give him a place to stay, and he would collect materials and ore for her when he found them. Codependent. He finished the graving and set the axe-head in the chest to the left of the forge. He locked up everything tight and headed down towards the Inn.

    It was almost nightfall as he reached the marketplace. He was about to walk in, when he heard something. Metal scraping against leather. He turned to see a Breton man had pulled out a small dagger, and was stalking towards a woman at one of the stalls. Ragnar ran over as quickly as possible.

    The man grabbed her shoulder and was about to drive the blade into her back, when Ragnar flung himself at the man. The three crashed to the stone floor. Ragnar quickly grabbed the man’s wrist and smacked it roughly on the ground. The dagger clattered out, but that didn’t stop the man. With a strength Ragnar wouldn’t have given him. The man threw himself upwards towards Ragnar.

    Why aren’t the guards getting involved? Ragnar thought as he rolled off the man. He grabbed the dagger hastily and stood. The man stood with him. Ragnar glanced around quickly and noticed that there were three guards standing there, but not engaging. He didn’t need them, however, as he swiped at the man. The man dodged and grabbed his wrist, twisting his arm. The blade was about to fall out of his hand, so, he dropped it. Wrapping the man in a bear hug, Ragnar suplexed the crap out of him. Cracking the man’s head on the ground.

    Ragnar grabbed the dagger and stabbed the dazed man in the chest before he could react. Blood sprayed his face, but he stood there, victorious nonetheless. Two of the guards cursed loudly and handed bags of change to the third.

    The woman who had almost died threw her arms around Ragnar. Thanking him over and over again as she cried. Ragnar patted her back twice, not quite sure what to do. He didn’t know her. Ragnar pulled away and scratched the back of his head.

    “You just made me a rich man, my friend.” The third guard said as he approached. He threw an arm around Ragnar and pulled him towards the tavern. He patted Ragnar’s chest twice.

    “Um, shouldn’t you be finding out what happened? Like, why that guy attacked her?” Ragnar asked worriedly.

    “Don’t worry so much, man. They got it.” The guard indicated the others who were searching the body of the man. One found a ring of some sort and pocketed it quickly.

    “Hey, you dropped this.” A Breton said, meeting Ragnar and the guard in front of the Inn. It was a slip of paper. “Looks important.”

    Ragnar stared at the man before pocketing the note and thanking him. What the heck was going on? The guard didn’t seem to notice as he pushed Ragnar into the tavern. Ragnar’s fist still held the bloody steel dagger.

    The guard sat at the bar and ordered two meads. Ragnar corrected him asking for Honningbrew Mead specifically. Kleppr gladly slid chilled beverages to them. Ragnar tossed his pay down on the table, where it was quickly scooped up by the old Nord.

    “So, what type of training have you taken?” The guard asked. “I don’t think it was too official based off of your style.”

    “I’m self-taught. I usually don’t use daggers though. Too short of a reach.” Ragnar murmured laying the steel dagger in front of him and grabbing his mug. He glugged down a few gulps before relishing the warmth it provided. The guard laughed and slapped him on the back.

    “So you’re a swordsman, ah? Maybe you could show me a trick or two.”

    “I prefer axes. Iron or steel not that crappy elven stuff. Real Nord crap.” Ragnar murmured over his drink. He shouldn’t have bought the more expensive mead. He still needed money for that book. The guard guffawed before draining his mug and ordering another. Ragnar finished his drink and stood.

    “Where you going? This night is just beginning, friend.” The guard asked, a slur already starting on his lips.

    “I got to work all day tomorrow. I can’t hangover, or Ghorza will have my head.”

    “That old hag is your boss? No problem, buddy. Good night. Hey, Keeper! Get me my damned ale, now!”

    Ragnar stepped back out into the cool night and quickly walked to Arnlief’s General Store. It was almost night, but Lisbet was expecting him. He slipped inside the cool metal door.

    “Lisbet?” He called. Her head immediately poked up over the counter. In her hands was an old leather-bound book. “Is that it?”

    “Sure thang. It looks to me like a manual from the old College of the Voice.” Lisbet placed the book on the counter. “Seventy gold and it’s yours.”

    “Seventy?!? We agreed on fifty on Morndas.” Ragnar recoiled in shock.

    “Ragnar, I like you. You’re a good friend and business partner, but I do have a business to run.” Lisbet furrowed her eyebrows. Ragnar’s lip curled. Last count he had fifty-eight coins.

    “Fifty-three.” Ragnar shot back.

    “Sixty and not a Septim less. This was written by an Ancient Tongue afterall.”

    “Lisbet, I only have fifty-eight.”

    “Well, then I’ll sell it to someone else.”

    “How many people in Skyrim can read?!? Let alone want an old manuscript!”

    Lisbet sighed and rubbed her eyes.

    “Fine. Fifty-eight.” She looked tired, but Ragnar placed the coins on a scale. She handed the book over and laid her head in her hands.

    “Hey, what’s wrong?” Ragnar asked placing a hand on her shoulder. Lisbet raised her eyes and stared at him. She chuckled to herself and shook her head.

    “It’s just this blasted shipment. It was going to be the one to turn this shop around, and finally start making a profit. Those f-those Forsworn keep raiding all my shipments, and this last one was no different. There was this statue of Dibella in that shipment that I could’ve gotten at least two hundred from. I mean the quality of gold was phenomenal, but they fricking took it.” Lisbet ranted.

    “Is there anything I could do to help?” Ragnar asked.

    “You could go out there and get my statue back!” She sighed and paused. “I can’t ask you to do that though.”

    “If you tell me where they might be, I can look for it this Morndas. I’m working tomorrow, but then I’m off for two weeks. I can find you that statue. Any other loot I find, well, that can be sold here too.” Ragnar said.

    Lisbet leaned her head on Ragnar’s hand before turning and smiling into it. Ragnar could’ve sworn she intentionally dragged her teeth on him. He withdrew his hand.

    “That would mean a lot, Ragnar. Just stay alive, will you?”

    “Sure thang, Lisbet.” Ragnar laughed, before grabbing his book and leaving the store. Next stop, home.


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