SotF: Purple Rockfoils

  • The chill cut deep to the bone.


                   Falrielle uttered a curse. A decade ago this wind would’ve been a pleasant breeze on her face but alas, too much time down South under aspen trees and the touch of the summer gust. As she pulled her cloak closer, her mind wandered to the roaring hearth of the Hall, of how the ale flowed freely, and of songs of Saturnalia no doubt led by Carcette.


                   Instead she chose to walk the labyrinth of ice and snow, seeking – there.


                   Through the thickets and shadow, Falrielle could see the silhouettes of buildings long abandoned of a No-Name hamlet long forgotten. For the most part, Skyrim herself had reclaimed this land from the grip of civilisation. The saplings braved the clearings, birds and other tiny creatures have made nests within the collapse roofs, and it was not uncommon for Falrielle to find a boar or two living in the decrepit dwellings.


                   The elf strolled through the memories; the sound of the smithy still ringing in her ears, and of the hunters chattering of game but that was not why she was here. What she seeks sat edge, on the literal border of civilisation and the wilderness: a woodcutter’s hut. Here the trees are not as brave for only dirt and snow surrounded it. Falrielle smirked, perhaps even the trees have memories.


                   She yanked the wooden door open, the cold iron biting through her leather glove as she did. Darkness and a familiar sight and smell greeted her as she stepped inside. The hut only had a single room and no windows unless one would count that hole in the ceiling a window. Nothing worth selling or stealing, just a hearth in the middle, a single-bed on the right, and a pine cupboard bearing a pile of ash ahead.


                   Falrielle readied the fire, burning some wood from the heap she had left the year before lighting two incenses of sandalwood and sticking them on top of the ash pile. The elf sat against the foot of the bed and saw a single dried flower of Purple Rockfoil. She threw it into the fire.


                   The elf then drank from her canteen and spat – water. She was sure she filled the thing with something a little stronger and someone had been tampering with it again.


                   ‘Damn you, Breton bitch!’


                   She sighed and took another swig. She sealed the canteen, leaned back, and closed her eyes.


                   ‘Happy Saturnalia! Sorry it’s been a few seasons since I visited. Been busy and the like. How are you doing? I’m fine, all things considering. Killed a bear the other day and no, didn’t leave no scratch on me. What, this? Not from the bear, it’s actually from my last mission. Don’t give me that look, I’m fine. You worry too much. Huh, of course I have time to talk and no, it’s not against any code for me to speak of it.’


                   ‘About four months ago, the Vigil received a missive from a village called Rjoorstad. Where’s that? Somewhere in Falkreath, most never heard of it – I’ve never heard of it until I was briefed. Keeper Torvald sent two Vigilants: me and Carcette.’


                   ‘Carcette, you remember her, right? She came here a few times with me. The blonde one with the hazel eyes… yes, she has a cute smile but that’s not important. We left the next morning, fortune was kind – we met a merchant caravan who too was travelling South and a few coin and promise of free labour was enough to book us a cart. My arse is still sore from the ride.’


                   ‘Rjoorstad, what can I say? Nothing special. They woodcutters too, a whole village of them: I mean the trees in Falkreath grow mighty tall and they need not worry of bears or the cold. Food was fine. They fish from Lake Ilinalta and the roasted trout was decent. Hm? No, they didn’t serve it with cowberry jam – that’s the Southerners from Riften.’


                   ‘So, the mission. We spoke with the chief and he told us that people have been going missing. He suspects it to be the work of necromancers as Falkreath teems with the air of death and pointed us on our merry way. He was half-right.’


                   ‘For the first month we found nothing but me ears tell me elsewise, that something was amiss. Carcy agreed and we learned that it was more than mere necromancers – the disappearances were not only the work of a cult of Namira, the Daedric Prince of Decay, not only was the chief himself was involved in the cult but that same cult was in cahoots with a coven of vampires!’


                   ‘Hah! Of course, they were no match for Vigilant although Carcette got careless and nearly loss her head were it not for me. And that’s how I got this scar. Oh, the chief? Slipped and broke his neck, the lucky bastard and who sent the missive? The sheriff or should I say, the new chief. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.’


                   ‘So that’s how it’s been for me the past few months. Yup, nothing too crazy.’


                   Falrielle sighed.


                   ‘I should go now, it’s almost dark and the fire is out. It’s great to hear from you and I promise to visit soon.’


                   The elf rose and reached into her pouch, pulling a single flower of Purple Rockfoil. She left it on the bed and walked to the door.


                   ‘One more thing. Ma. Da… I love you and I miss you.’