How the Civil War Ended

  • How the Civil War Ended


    Taken from the journal of Ralof of Riverwood


    By all accounts it started in Riverwood. Thinking back, I'm glad I left words of love with Gerdur and Hod before leaving to rejoin the Stormcloaks. Frodnar...he's still so confused. Then again, we all are.


    They say it probably started with a caravan of traders who passed through. Some believe they were headed to Falkreath, others say to Whiterun, and some think a caravan went each way. Really no knowing, now. The traders are all dead, of course. A few executed, the rest shared the fate of those holds. Falkreath seems more likely to me, maybe just because it's what we heard about first on the front. That was the more common route, at least. A courier came in not long after the trader's set up shop in Falkreath. He only spoke to the Jarl, but within the hour, the trader's whole caravan was in prison.


    The Jarl came to question them personally. They had no idea what he went on about. The desolation of Riverwood? Dark magic? They were merchants! Probably didn't even deal in weapons. Siddgeir wasn't convinced. The courier had come ahead of the survivors, and they all told it the same: nearly everyone in town collapsing in the misty night, gasping for air, skin discoloring, and then going still.


    Not even when he began to execute them one by one could Siddgeir get a confession. He stopped when the survivors arrived. Frodnar was with them. By what he tells me, no one in Falkreath guessed what was happening. He didn't get to stay long, though. Siddgeir put him on a carriage to Honorhall the same day. Say what you will about Siddgeir as a man, but I have to thank him for that. The next day, the first of the remaining traders fell ill. For a while it went unnoticed to all but the other merchants. Falkreath's guard was preoccupied with an escaped murderer. Their focus changed when they found a cell full of dead men, together with the prison guard. Siddgeir fled as soon as he heard, making for Solitude.


    The next anyone heard of Falkreath, the city was a ghost town, a mass grave. A few made it to Rorikstead, and from there, they tried to send word to Markarth. It came too late. Within days Rorikstead, too, was gone. Karthwasten, gone. Morthal, gone. We didn't hear about any of it until after the invasion of Whiterun. Streets were still in rubble, we hadn't even started moving bodies yet. A courier comes in, clear from Riften, with a letter from Honorhall that Frodnar is there. There are no details, but I know what it means and I can hardly believe it. I left immediately, and no one protested. It's probably the only thing that saved my life.


    We don't know much about what happened to the refugees that fled to Solitude, but as soon as Ulfric heard there was a sickness there, he marched out with all the Stormcloaks he could muster to lay siege. He didn't know anything was amiss until only a handful of haggard men rejoined them from Whiterun. Galmar, and most of the conquerers of Whiterun were dead...more disease. They say Ulfric was shaken, but committed. They pressed on to Solitude, and found desolate camps, shrouded in mist outside the city walls, and twisted bodies piled at its gates. Within, stillness. The walls were unmanned, and no sounds of war rose over them. The Stormcloaks cleared the way, and the gates were opened with no resistance. Ulfric never went inside. I heard from one soldier that he coughed once at the threshold and turned away. The city was dead, and the Stormcloak army joined them before their boats left the shore.


    The war was over then, of course, but we didn't hear about it for weeks after that. Frodnar's account had stirred one of the Black-Briars, Ingun's her name. We all owe her. I had only been in Riften a couple of days and was preparing to take Frodnar so we could go back to Riverwood and bury his parents, when she came in and told us to stay. She shared her suspicions; it sounded like madness at the time, but she had a point. What would it hurt to wait a couple of days to know for sure? She and her mentor brewed up some vile tasting concoction that they tried to get everyone in the city to take. Most of us, but not everyone, took a share.


    The next night the fog rolled in. It came in over the lake, and I thought it was eerie, but Frodnar was inconsolable. He thought it was death itself and we were all doomed. We watched it through the window of our room in the Bee and Barb. It was around midnight we saw the old crone who runs the orphanage come stumbling out of the place, clawing at the air and clutching her stomach. I made Frodnar lie down. She collapsed moments later, and didn't get up. At one point we heard something fall into the canal, but after that, it was quiet the rest of the night, and when morning came, the mist was gone.


    They found the orphanage owner dead, a meadery worker in the canal, and a couple of the farmers outside the city, but everyone else that took Ingun's mixture survived. The Jarl ordered the bodies burned. We kept taking the potion the next few days, but nothing else happened. By the time the Jarl finally sent men to investigate, there was no knowing what the rest of the province was like. Every farm they found was withered, and every settlement was littered with the dead. They came across a few people still alive, camping on roadsides, and sent them back toward Riften. When the scouts finally returned to report, no other city in Skyrim still stood. The Thalmor, the Stormcloaks, the Imperial troops, men, women and children, all wiped out.


    We've been...well, making it since then. The loss of the farms was a blow, but enough wildlife survived that hunting parties can provide for the city. The Jarl's done a good job maintaining order; I didn't think she had it in her. We were fairly hopeful that the Empire could do something, but yesterday we heard about Bruma...


    ~~what lurks in the mist?~~


    .:Table of Contents:.


  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 19, 2015
    A dark turn of events. Most of Skyrim wiped out ad a killer mist, nice.
  • Borommakot
    Borommakot   ·  November 27, 2014
    Thanks fellas ;) All will be revealed in a few days!
  • Spectre
    Spectre   ·  November 27, 2014
    This is rather haunting, I like it.
  • Veloth the Prophet
    Veloth the Prophet   ·  November 27, 2014
    Peryite playing in the big leagues now?