Aedric the Hunter - Chapter 5: Whiterun and the Dragon

  • 21st of Last Seed 4E201

    I awoke after my first night in Whiterun feeling well rested, my room in the Bannered Mare was quite cosy compared to the Sleeping Giant in Riverwood. The inn was largely empty, aside from the odd person eating their morning meal, and I went to join them. I realised the night before that I’d forgotten to introduce myself to the innkeeper. As I approached the counter I gave her a quick wave. “Aedric’s the name, a fine establishment you have here,” I said, handing her keys to the room. “Thank you.  I’m Hulda. Now did you want a meal before setting out?” “Why yes I do!” I replied cheerfully. She handed me a menu and sat me down at one of the tables. There was a significantly larger selection than there was in Riverwood, some of it from the other parts of Skyrim – I opted for some salmon from Riften. My meal was brought out by a Redguard serving girl, and I devoured the meal eagerly, looking forward to meeting the Jarl.

    I emerged into the market which was already bustling with activity. Whiterun was a tiered city, with houses build in the old Nord style – sturdy carved wooden buildings with high, slanted rooves. The Dragonsreach was the largest of them all, and much more spectacular than the castle in Riften I’d passed by on occasion. As I entered the Dragonsreach Hall I was approached by a leather-clad Dunmer woman wielding an enchanted longsword. “What is your business here?” she inquired. “The Jarl is not receiving visitors.” I was quite taken aback by her tone. “I’ve news of the Dragon attack at Helgen, and Riverwood calls for the Jarl’s aid.” “Very well, that would explain why the guards let you in. Jarl Balgruuf would want to speak to you personally.” I approached the throne, which was occupied by a well-built Nord man, wearing a gem-encrusted golden circlet and an intricately woven raiment. I explained Riverwood’s predicament to him, as well as my tale from that day in Helgen. He consulted his steward, an Imperial man by the name of Proventus. “Well Proventus? Should we continue to trust in the strength of our walls – against a Dragon?” Irileth interjected. “My lord, we should send troops to Riverwood at once. It’s in the most immediate danger.” Proventus spoke up. “We should consider this more carefully. Jarl Siddgeir will think we’ve joined Ulfric’s side to attack him - ” “ENOUGH!” the Jarl shouted. “I will not stand idly by while a dragons burns my hold and slaughters my people!” I let out a sigh of relief as he requested Irileth to send a detachment of guards to Riverwood. Proventus returned to his duties and the Jarl addressed me once again. “You are Aedric, yes? You sought me out, on your own initiative. A most commendable effort. I’ve instructed Proventus that you are now permitted to purchase a home in my city. There’s one for sale now in fact, for a tidy 5000 septims. But there is something you could help me with. Let’s go see Farengar, my court wizard.” It seemed I didn’t have to request to see him after all. Farengar’s study was in a room just off the great hall. He had a desk covered in parchment, gems and potions and a Alchemy lab and Enchanting workbench behind it. “You’ve found someone to help me with my dragon project?” he inquired. “Aye,” the Jarl replied. “Go ahead, fill him in on the details.”  We introduced each other and he continued with his request as the Jarl took his leave. “I need you to fetch something for me. An ancient stone tablet, said to be interred in the main chamber of Bleak Falls Barrow.” I was hesitant. How could the stone tablet I retrieved be of such import? “What does this have to do with dragons?” I asked. “A thinker and a fighter, I see. People just assumed dragons were a legend, until one of them destroyed Helgen. It’s foolish for a man to discount anything that falls outside what he sees everyday. I’ve started research into the dragons – why are they coming back and where have they been all these years?” “Well,” I said, “I might have your answer right here.” I pulled the tablet out of my pack and placed it on the desk. “The Dragonstone of Bleak Falls Barrow! You already found it?” I nodded. “There’s something you could do for me actually. In Bleak Falls Barrow, as well as a few other old Nord ruins, I found these walls, carved with symbols not unlike those on the tablet. Even though I’d never seen the language before, I somehow knew what it meant. Do you have any idea what this means?” He thought for a few moments. “I haven’t heard anything of the sort, but I could do some research today. I’ll send a messenger to find you when I discover something.”

    I remember seeing a forge as I entered Whiterun the night before, and I was eager to use the Elven smithing techniques Alvor taught me. The blacksmith there was Adrianne, apparently the daughter of Proventus. She said she’d allow me to use her forge for the day, as she didn’t have any outstanding orders. I tanned a wolf pelt to cut into leather strips, while Adrianne fetched the 3 Moonstone ingots I had purchased. She didn’t have any quicksilver however, and she said that Eorlund Gray-Mane up at the Skyforge might have some in stock. It was an exceedingly rare material, and even the best smith in Skyrim at the best forge in Skyrim didn’t have any. He directed me to the Khajiit caravan camped outside the city. It was my only option, so I went and found these caravaners. Their leader, Ri’saad, didn’t have any in stock. But what he did tell me was a rumor of a quicksilver vein near one of the surrounding farms. I went back to Whiterun to begin heating the Moonstone and began searching around the city. I found the deposit under some cracked masonry just behind the Battle-Born farm. I only managed to get 2 small chunks of the brilliant silvery-white ore but it was enough. I got back to the forge at the perfect time – the Quicksilver should be at a much lower heat than the Moonstone, and they would be ready around the same time. I only had to wait about half an hour before I could begin. I mixed some moonstone with the quicksilver to make a very tough alloy to use for the blade, and shaped the rest into the hilt and crossguard. It didn’t take long to cool and I spent the rest of the morning carving intricate patterns on the hilt and blade. It was much like the swords of Aldmeri officers during the war – such trophies were prized by their Imperial counterparts. It was rather dull work but a welcome reprieve from the near-constant fighting of the last couple of days. Around midday I was quite happy (to say the least) with my work, the blade was sharp and brilliant, and the crossguard ornate yet practical. I left it at the forge to finish cooling as I went in search of a meal. I was stopped by two Redguard men. “We are Alik’r warriors. We’re looking for a Redguard woman in Whiterun, not using her true name. Come find us in Rorikstead and we will pay for any information.” They strode out of the city before I could consider their request further. I think I’d find out what this woman is accused of first, if I even find her. I bought a light lunch of venison stew from the market and was approached by a messenger. “You’re Aedric?” I nodded. “Farengar wishes to see you in Dragonsreach. Best not keep him waiting.” I quickly finished off my meal and followed the messenger back up to the keep. Farengar was waiting for me in his study and began to explain. “The writing on the tablet, and assumedly on these walls, is in the dragon language. I’ve no accounts of people learning certain words from these walls besides the ancient legends. The only possibility is that you are - ” Irileth burst into the room and cut him off. “Farengar! You must come at once, a dragon has been sighted near the city.” She glanced at me. “You should come too.” We made our way up to the Jarl’s meeting room. “Where was it seen? What was it doing? Where was it going?” he inquired, like a child. As we met the Jarl a guard told of a dragon attacking the Western Watchtower. Irilieth left to gather some troops and the Jarl approached me. “You’ve already done so much for our city, but I need to ask one more thing of you. I know you’re a capable fighter, and you’ve more experience with dragons than anyone else. I need you to go with Irileth.” I hesitantly obliged, but somehow felt quite confident it could be defeated. I went back to Adrianne’s forge and grabbed up my elven blade. She stared in amazement as I said I was off to kill a dragon with Irileth and her men.

    As we approached the Western Watchtower we could see the damage. Burning rubble was strewn all around the tower. The remaining watchman came to meet us. “It’s still here somewhere! The others just got grabbed when they tried to make a run for it! The troops spread out, bows drawn, and searched the skies as I climbed to the top of the town. “Kynareth save us, here it comes again!” The huge, dark, winged shape glided over the mountains towards us. It landed on top of some of the rubble and unleashed a terrifying gout of flame, horrifically burning one of the men caught in its path in seconds. The whole time however, Irileth, the other men, and I were bombarding it with a storm of arrows. It took off and wheeled around, hovering just above the tower. I jumped inside just as its jaws opened and unleashed another torrent of flame. With easier pickings on the ground, it dove back down and landed next to two guards against a wall. It grabbed one it its fangs, and threw him against the wall of the tower, killing him instantly. The other had time to escape and the dragon took off again. A volley of arrows pierced its right wing, filling it with holes – it couldn’t stay airborne anymore. It crashed to the ground near the tower as I charged across the field towards it, blade drawn. It was balanced perfectly and felt light in my grasp. I was upon it before it saw me and I bashed it on the snout, forcing it to recoil. In the opening I sliced down across the head of the beast and it let out a roar of anguish. I lept into the air, sword raised overhead, and sliced deep into the dragon’s head, killing it instantly.

    The guards gathered around in amazement as something strange started happening. The dragon’s skin began in immolate before our very eyes, and streams of energy rushed into me. A bleached skeleton atop a pile of scales was all that remained of the dragon as the soldiers stood dumbfounded. One of them spoke up. “Y-You’re... Dragonborn!” My father had told me many of the Nord legends, and this one was no exception. “In the very oldest times, the dragonborn would slay dragons and steal their power. That’s what you did isn’t it, steal the dragon’s power!”

     The word I learned in Bleak Falls Barrow, Fus, I now felt I had an inherent understanding of – granted to me by the soul of the dragon. “I think you may be right,” I replied. “See if you can shout, only the Dragonborn can shout without training.” I drew in my breath and shouted “FUS!” as a wave of force emerged from my mouth, knocking about all in its path. I was stunned, amazed at what had just occurred, as a mighty crack of thunder rocked the very ground. “DO-VAH-KINN...” a voice shouted from above. Irileth approached me. “You’d best get back to Jarl Balgruuf and tell him what happened here. Quickly now!”

    I returned to the keep, and the Jarl inquired about what occurred at the watchtower. I told him of the battle, absorbing the dragon’s soul and the thundering sound as I returned to Whiterun. “That was the voice of the Greybeards, the ancient masters of the Voice, summoning you to High Hrothgar. There is no declining the summons of the Greybeards.” I’d heard of these Greybeards, but I’d never actually make the climb to High Hrothgar. “You’ve done a great service for me and my city. I name you Thane of Whiterun, and assign Lydia as your housecarl. And take this weapon as your badge of office.” He handed me a war axe of Dwarven make, with lightning dancing along the head. I bowed and took my leave as Farengar approached me. “So as I was saying, the only explaination is that you’re-” I interrupted him this time. “Dragonborn, I know. Thank you for your help, Farengar. I won’t soon forget it.” I was then approached by an armoured Nord woman. “I’m Lydia, I’ve been assigned as your housecarl. It’s an honor to serve you, my Thane.” She told me the duties of a housecarl, but I preferred to work alone. She said she would stay in Dragonsreach until I purchased a home or had need of her. When I left Dragonsreach it was already dark, so I made my way back to the Bannered Mare for some food and drink, but as I entered the inn, half the town was waiting for me. We had a feast of sorts that night, all in my honor. As we drank, sang and danced it hit me. I was a Dragonborn, and I’d just slain the first dragon seen in Tamriel since the second era.

    It was late at night when I decided to retire to my room, and the Redguard serving-girl, Saadia approached me again. “Anything else for you tonight, Dragonborn?” I politely declined. “On another note, some Redguard warriors were looking for a woman hiding in the city. Would you happen to know who it is?” She led me to a storeroom and drew a dagger from the folds of her dress. “Don’t do anything stupid or you’re going to lose fingers. Who are they and how much are they paying you?” I drew my greatsword. “I’d put that away before anyone gets hurt. They were just offering money for information.” “These Alik’r warriors are Thalmor assasins. I’m a noblewoman in Hammerfell, and I fled to Skyrim after handing my city over to the Thalmor to prevent bloodshed. I will reward you if you help me get rid of these warriors.” That was a story I could certainly identify with. I agreed to help her and she let me go, and I returned to my room. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do next. I could join the legendary Companions here in Whiterun, or return to the Rift, and visit Darkwater Crossing or even join the Thieves Guild – I’m sure my talents would be quite valuable there. And then there was the question of the civil war. The Stormcloaks wanted to be free to worship Talos and govern themselves, while the Imperials were the only chance for a unified Empire against the Aldmeri Dominion. But it was late and I soon dozed off to sleep.


    Where should Aedric's journey take him?

    1. Join the Companions
    2. Travel to the Rift to visit his friends at Darkwater Crossing and join the Thieves Guild
    3. Take a side in the Civil War (state in your comment)
    4. Travel to Ivarstead to make the climb to High Hrothgar
    5. Help out Saadia and explore Whiterun Hold
    6. Go elsewhere (state in your comment)

    Let me know in the comments below!

    *Author's note - I've got some interesting backstory/marriage stuff in the Rift, and I think the Thieves Guild armor will really complete the 'dashing swordsman' look of the character

    Next chapter is up. Read it here


  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  July 2, 2012
    Either Expert or Adept, depending on what other characters I was playing at the time.
  • Julien Hall
    Julien Hall   ·  July 2, 2012
    What difficulty is Aedric playing on? :P
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  January 25, 2012
    No problem...I will enjoy reading whatever happens to Aedric! 
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  January 25, 2012
    It seems to be fairly unanimous on #2 (Sorry Kynareth), and BF3 is screwing up so I'll start day 6 and maybe seven - I'm trying to have each chapter roughly 3000 words and much of the next one (in game time) will be travelling.
  • Piper Jo
    Piper Jo   ·  January 24, 2012
    #2.  I want to hear about his buddies.
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  January 24, 2012
    Thanks again for taking us on this journey with Aedric!  I think he should help Saadia, or at least explore her claims on help...she may not be the most reliable source.    He is definitely worthy of Dragornborn status, but I do not think he realizes it y...  more
  • Ponty
    Ponty   ·  January 24, 2012
    @Julian He was an ex-imperial soldier, but deserted the Legion to get his family from the Imperial City before the Dominion arrived there, as he knew the defenders would be quickly overwhelmed - much like Saadia handed her city over to avoid the bloodshed...  more
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  January 24, 2012
    Oh sorry and number 2 he should def hook up with some buddies.
  • Guy Corbett
    Guy Corbett   ·  January 24, 2012
    Another excellent post man. Enjoyed it thoroughly  I like the difference in choices you've made a similar points to Larz. It didn't feel like I'd read it before and loved those little bits with the court wizard. Thanks for the pointer with the Quicksilver