Aedric the Hunter - Chapter 2: Riverwood

  • 18th of Last Seed 4E201

    I awoke just before dawn, and quietly slipped outside so I didn’t wake the Alvor’s family or Hadvar. Riverwood was only a small village, and I figured I’d have time to meet the townsfolk and explore around town a bit. I walked over to the sawmill – I was just in time to watch the sunrise over the eastern mountains. There was some light cloud but it was still quite the sight! As I returned to the village I spotted an elf walking up the path into the hills. I hadn’t seen him the day before and the first thing I thought was “Thalmor spy.” Even after 25 years some wounds are still wide open... I stalked him through the hills for around half an hour until he returned to town. No reporting to any Justiciar superiors, nothing. I was still suspicious of him though.

    By the time the elf returned to the village most people were up and awake. I didn’t want to seem like I was freeloading of Alvor, so I went to the inn for a meal. A quaint little building, run by a big Nord man who introduced himself as Orgnar and a Breton woman named Delphine. I find Delphine quite interesting – no innkeeper I know of carries an Elven dagger on their hip – where had she found such a prize? But that was a mystery for another time. The inn seemed pretty quiet at this hour so I sat at the counter and spoke with Orgnar. “I’m looking for a bit of work,” I said. “I don’t think I’m staying in Riverwood for long and I’d like to help out a little while I’m here.” “The Jarl’s men brought this bounty letter not a week ago,” he said, handing me a folded piece of paper. “But if you’re looking to help out a bit closer to here, some bandits have taken over the Embershard mine not too far along the south-west road. We sent word to the Jarl over 2 weeks ago but he hasn’t sent any help. You might have seen the path up to it when you came in yesterday. Alvor doesn’t have much ore to work with at the best of times so we need someone to clear it out.” “Sounds good, I’ll go check it out later today. Anything else?” I asked. Orgnar told me about an Imperial named Lucan Valerius that runs the Riverwood Trader. He said he had something important to him stolen. He also mentioned that Hod and Gerdur, over at the mill, are always looking for more hands to help out. Before I left, I decided to ask about the elf I saw earlier. “Faendal? Before you ask, he isn’t with the Thalmor. He seems alright, pitches in his part and doesn’t cause any trouble.” Still not completely reassured, I left for Embershard mine.

    This area of Skyrim seemed to be quite abundant in Thistle and Mountain Flowers. I picked the ones I came across – potions from these would prove invaluable in the coming weeks. About halfway to the mine I spotted two wolves chasing a fox. I drew my bow and nocked an arrow. I fired at the rear wolf, hitting it in the head. It fell to the ground without a sound, the other oblivious to its demise. As the fox went down, I fired another shot at the second wolf, taking it by surprise. It crumpled with a quiet whimper. The pelts were still in quite good condition – I skinned the 3 animals, hoping to craft some new armor later on – the Imperial leathers I was still in weren’t in the best condition. As I continued through the woods I spotted the mine entrance through the trees. They had posted a guard outside, I’d have to take her down quietly if I didn’t want the alarm to be raised. I slowly drew my bow as not to attract undue attention from quick movements, and fired a swift arrow straight at her abdomen. It pierced her lung and pinned her body to the wooden pole she was leaning against, killing her almost instantaneously. I entered the mine undetected.

    I descended down into the mine, deftly stepping over a tripwire in my path. I’d cleared a few bandit lairs in my time at Darkwater Crossing and I knew most of their dirty tricks. The tunnel opened into a large room with a bridge over a pool of water, a small camp down to my right and a raised drawbridge over the pool which lead deeper into the mine. I spotted two bandits down at the camp. One of them seemed to be worried that they were going to be attacked, but the other reassured him that the trap and guard would alert them to any intruders. How wrong he was. I fired an arrow, and he dropped to his knees, not quite dead. I fired another and retreated into the shadows. The other came looking for me but didn’t seem to spot me. As he turned around I emerged, greatsword drawn, and rended his back from shoulder to hip. He fell off the bridge into the water, screaming. The bandits further in must have heard the commotion as the drawbridge lowered and they charged across. I held my greatsword in a very relaxed posture by my side, and the lead bandit made a reckless strike at the opening in my defences. I whipped up my weapon in front of me, as he ran straight into it and impaled himself along the better part of the blade.

    The other man fled further back into the cave to alert the others.

    I chanced upon the bandits’ treasure room, in which I found an enchanted helmet, some gold, and some other bits of loot. Most notably however was a treasure map on the table. I had a quick glance over it, and could see it was hidden near Riverwood – although I knew not exactly where. I continued through the mine quietly – I was sure they would be trying to ambush me somewhere up here. There was 1 man on a walkway to my left, 2 archers on a bridge in front of me, and 2 other men standing around a forge down below. I fired from the shadows at one of the archers, sending him tumbling off the bridge to his death. The other seemed to stand there dumbfounded for a few seconds, so she got to join him. By that time the others had spotted me. I managed to fire off an arrow at the bandit on the walkway, but it didn’t seem to hit any vital bits, so I drew my greatsword. I used the flat of the blade to smash his kneecaps and struck him down onto the floor. The other two bandits were already upon me. I attempted to duck under the first’s axe swing, but it just grazed my shoulder. As I struggled to regain my footing the other attempted to drive his sword through my gut, but I rolled out of the way as he embedded his weapon in the wooden planks. I quickly struck him down and locked blades with the axe-wielding bandit. For several seconds neither of us could gain the upper hand until I wrenched the weapon from his grasp and stabbed him through the chest. I gathered up what treasure I could find and exited the cave – it was time for a well deserved meal back in Riverwood.

    I returned to Orgnar in the Sleeping Giant Inn and told him what happened at Embershard Mine. “Fantastic!” he said. “Have a drink, on the house. Thank you for what you’ve done today.” As I drank I met a man named Sven, the bard in Riverwood. He told me a little about his trade and what he does here in town. “I live with my mother, Hilde. She’s nice enough, but a little crazy sometimes. Yesterday she told me she saw a dragon! What nonsense!” I chuckled to myself. “I saw a dragon in Helgen yesterday. Destroyed the whole town – she mightn’t be so crazy after all!” We laughed. I told him the rest of my story from the day before – he said he would compose a verse about it. This I was looking forward to. He also told me about an Imperial woman named Camilla Valerius in town. “Faendal thinks he can take her from me. She knows I’m the best man in Riverwood.” “That elf thinks he has a chance with an Imperial woman? Ha!” Sven gave me a letter. “Give this to Camilla for me. Tell her it’s from Faendal – it’s filled with venomous nonsense.” I let him know I’d be visiting Lucan later today and it’d be no trouble. I finished my drink and headed back outside.

    I entered the Riverwood Trader to a man and woman arguing about something – probably Lucan and Camilla about this thing that was stolen. They saw me at the doorway and stopped as Lucan ushered me in. Camilla brushed past me, saying “Perhaps you could talk some sense in to my pig-headed brother.” I went up to the counter and produced the loot I’d picked up in the mine. He offered a fair some of gold for it and I accepted his deal. Before I left I asked what happened with the break in. “Thieves broke into our store a couple of days ago – but they were only after one thing. A golden ornament in the shape of a dragon’s claw.” “I could retrieve it for you. Any idea where they took it?” “Up to Bleak Falls Barrow, on the mountain.” He looked at Camilla. “See, now there’s no need for you to go thief-chasing up to the Barrow. I’m sure Aedric here has it all sorted out.” “Well I think your new helper needs a guide. “Fine! But only to the edge of town.” I followed Camilla through town up the North road. She pointed out the path that leads up the mountain as well as the road down to Whiterun. I told her I’d have it back within 3 days. “I’m sure my brother will have a reward ready for you when you return. Besides, who knows what other treasures are hidden in the ruin?” Before she left, I remembered to give her Sven’s letter. As she turned around to go back to town I stopped her. “By the way, Faendal asked me to give this to you.” I handed her the letter. I hadn’t actually read it myself, but she looked quite angry and upset as she stormed back to the house. I had a wry grin on my face as I went back to speak with Alvor.

    As I approached the forge he set down his tools and motioned to me. “Aedric - you’re back! The workers are already bringing ore back from the mine. Hadvar told me you know how to work leather and steel. I still have to melt down the ore so I was going to spend the afternoon with Sigrid. The forge is yours, feel free to take what you need.” I thanked him for the offer and immediately got to work tanning the hides of the animals I’d found. With a few more pieces of leather I was able to fashion a good set of leather armor. I also sharpened up my blade – the bandits hadn’t taken very good care of it – and used an old Legion trick to improve the draw strength of my bow. I was quite happy with my work so I went to visit Hod and Gerdur at the mill. I passed Faendal on my way over as he regarded me with a look of disgust. He was chopping wood from the mill as Gerdur and Hod sawed the logs. They didn’t seem to need any help – the bandits don’t exactly bother to cut down trees now do they! I left the mill and crossed over the North bridge to explore the other bank of the river.

    I found some more alchemical reagents and managed to bag a couple of rabbits too. As I walked I looked at the treasure map I’d found in the mine. The stash appeared to be in a hollowed out log on this side of the river, close to Riverwood. Just as I looked up I saw an elk not 20 metres in front of me. I dropped to my knees and drew my bow – it was big and healthy, and had huge antlers. A couple more metres and it would’ve seen me.

    I nocked an arrow in the shadows and fired, catching it in the heart – a perfect shot. I took the antlers, meat and skin – all valuable resources in Skyrim – and headed back to where I thought the treasure was hidden. I found the stash, filled with quite alot of gold, jewelry and rare metals. I stuffed them into my pack and headed back to town.

    It was already nightfall by the time I reached the Inn, and I met Hadvar and Alvor already eating and drinking. I offered Orgnar the rabbits and venison I’d acquired in exchange for lodging for the night and sat down with Hadvar and his uncle. Along with Sven, we drunk and sang well into the night. It was around midnight when I retired to my room – I wanted to be ready for whatever the next day would bring.

    What will the next day bring? You decide!

    1. Go to Bleak Falls Barrow and retrieve the Claw

    2. Go to Whiterun

    3. Explore to the South-East of Riverwood


    Aedric has 6 days to reach Whiterun

    Aedric has 3 days to retrieve the Golden Claw

    Let me know your choice in the comments!

    Next chapter is up. Read it here


  • Juniorrat
    Juniorrat   ·  January 22, 2012
    great story telling!
    I'll go with option 3, keep up the good work.
  • Ailís Haughton
    Ailís Haughton   ·  January 22, 2012
    It's alright, it would have been bigamy on my count anyway! 
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  January 22, 2012
    @Aili's The wolves killed the fox, Aedric wasn't fast enough to take down the second wolf before the fox died
    And sorry, I've already got a vague marriage plan for the future tied into his backstory
  • Ailís Haughton
    Ailís Haughton   ·  January 22, 2012
    Did Aedric kill the fox, or was it the wolf?
    If it was Aedric, how could he! I love them cute foxes, they're so harmless! If it was the wolf....oh. Sorry Aedric.
    Defo option 1, get the claw
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  January 22, 2012
    I'm going to play through the next day tonight, vaugely following Mason's map. I'll write it up tomorrow morning, should be a chapter filled with action, discovery and suspense!
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  January 21, 2012
    Nice map man I like the drunken wobble round Helgen lol 
  • Mason
    Mason   ·  January 21, 2012
    Man i'm a master cartographer! Less of the lip! Now off to bleak falls barrow with you, i'm not a patient man....
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  January 21, 2012
    @Mason Nice map  I might play dead is dead in early levels, but later on fate might have other plans...
  • Mason
    Mason   ·  January 21, 2012
    Comment by Mason1 second ago           Delete Comment
    He! Tempted to do one of these myself! Ponty you should play dead is dead for this playthrough, would be hilarious if you got smited by a rogue troll and then wrote it up along with a picture of ...  more
  • Mason
    Mason   ·  January 21, 2012
    South East then on to Bleak Falls!