Who would have guessed, that the route Dawnstar to the sanctum of the Vigilants, and vice versa, only takes half as much time, if you do not stop by to watch a giant throwing around other people?
The carriage arrived at Whiterun in the early evening. Just enough time left for this day to give the Jarl an audience. This time, the guard was easily convinced to let me in after I told him Helgen was attacked by the dragon the day before and I wanted to offer my help fighting it.
Whiterun is a well fortified city with three districts where as in the lowest district the common folk dwells, in the middle district there is the upper class and on the top district of the city there is Dragonsreach, the Jarls residence and throne room, my destination. As I walk through the city I noticed the Gildergreen, an ill-looking tree that I later found out to be struck by lightning. Interesting as well was the priest of Talos that preached openly near the tree. For that's what this damn civil war is about, whether or not the people of Skyrim should be allowed to pray to Talos. Whiterun managed to stay neutral to the sides of the Stormcloaks and the Imperial Legion but the town folk is heavily divided by the Graymanes and the Battle-Born, two noble families with a long history, that each stand on one side of the war.
As I arrived at Dragonsreach up the hill in Whiterun, the housecarl, a Dunmer named Irileth, came up to me with their sword drawn. They didn't want to let me to the Jarl either, but, again, telling them Helgen was attacked, made up their mind. Jarl Balgruuf the Greater, an old Nord man with blonde hair and a circlet on his head, sat on his throne as I approached him the first time. He thanked me for bringing him the information about Helgen and gave me a full set of steel armor including mace and shield. As for the help I offered, he consulted his advisors and the court mage, who sent me to Bleak Falls Barrow, an old Nord ruin near Riverwood, to fetch the Dragonsstone, an old artifact that could give us useful information about why the dragons came back. For the rest of the day, I prepared my journey to Bleak Falls Barrow. People gave me instructions on where to find this place, how to get there the easiest and safest way and what I had to expect.
The ancient Nord ruin was on a mountain to the South that you could see from Dragonsreach. They told me to avoid the path directly from here to the ruins, because there would be a giants camp nearby, and I have had enough giant interaction for now. So I was supposed to go back to Riverwood first, where a safe path would lead up the mountain. They told me about grave robbers and skeevers, rumors have it of the undead souls of the Nords that were buried there in the past.
I woke up in the middle of a night and couldn't go back to sleep from there on, so I had a last prayer to Stendarr before leaving the city. The road to Riverwood is safe and easy so I arrived before sun rose. But the way up the mountain was steep and rocky. On a watchtower I spotted the first thugs but I managed to sneak by. Bleak Falls Barrow is a huge construction as if it would hold an entire underground city. There was a wide staircase carved into stone up the platform where big, black pillars formed like pediments. It was a astonishing view from up there as the sun rose.
The entrance was guarded by two grave diggers that were put out easily. The hallways lead deep into the mountain, everything is dusty, full of spider webs and some passages collapsed. As I turned around a corner there was a thug that just triggered a booby trap and was shot by multiple arrows that came out of the walls. The puzzle he failed was quite easy to solve, actually. Apparently this one was not one of the most prudent people there are. The moment I wanted to descend a spiral staircase I was surprised by a pack of Skeevers that wounded me a tiny bit, nothing my healing hands couldn't take care of. But what came next I did not expect. I reached a room full of cobwebs all over the place with a Dunmer caught in them that plead for my help. Just as I was about to cut him loose, a massive frostbite spider came down from the ceiling and attacked me. The first blow hit me very hard, so I hid behind a corner healing myself before going in for a charge attack followed by a block and two more strikes. The beast didn't go down easily, so I ran down the hallway I came from, through an arch that was too big for the spider to squeeze through, so I could take a deep breath. Knowing that the monster would go for the Dunmer I couldn't wait too long before charging in again. It dodged my attack but didn't expect me to turn around as it jumped aside and I gave it a swing that cut off two of its left legs, forcing it to go down so I could give it a final blow to the head. Apparently, the training my mother gave me, helped me after all. Exhausted by the fight but still in good shape I cut down the Dunmer that seemed to have fooled me, as he took to his feet and stormed deeper into the corridor. Me in my heavy armor and out of breath didn't even try to catch up on this buffoon, so I decided to take a break and have some food and drink.
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