Skyrim: The life of a Dovahkiin

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is an open-world RPG with an amazing story. I am here to tell you that story; the story of my Dovahkiin.
It contains spoilers, so if you haven't played the game and you do intent to, don't read this. If you have played the game through, or not going to play it at all and don't care about spoilers, do enjoy my story.


7. A town

The light was blinding for her eyes. When she could see clearly again, it revealed the most wonderful sight of tall mountains and pines trees, all covered in snow. She could see her own breath in the coolness of the air, yet it was poisoned from the smoke coming from Helgen.

They heard the bashing of giant wings, and Ralof hurried to pull them aside and into cover behind a rock. The sudden movement pained Cordelia's sides and she grunted as she kept leaning closely against Ralof. When she looked up, the dragon flew past them with black wings and loud roars.

“There he goes. Looks like he's gone for good this time.” Ralof spoke and helped Cordelia back up on her legs. “No way to know if anyone else made it out alive. But this place is going to swarm with Imperials soon enough. We'd better clear out of here.”

They began walking down the hill through the landscape filled with bird chatter.

“My sister Gerdur runs the mill in Riverwood, just up the road. I'm sure she'd help you out.” He said and smiled at her.

Cordelia was wondered by how quickly the colours and weather changed; not far down the road they walked by trees that became green and flowers bloomed as the snow was gone.

After a while in silence, Ralof spoke: “You know, you should go to Windhelm and join the fight to free Skyrim. You've seen the true face of the Empire today.”

“You really think I should join up with Ulfric Stormcloak?” She asked, and weren't entirely sure if she should; these people here, the Nords, clearly were fighting for the right thing in this war: freedom and to own their own land.

“Damn right. You don't have to be a Nord to fight for Skyrim's freedom. You should come to Windhelm with me and join the fight to free Skyrim.” It sounded very important to him.

“You make a good case. Maybe I will go to Windhelm.” It was a big maybe, for she had her own problem to fight.

“I hope so.” He replied with a hint of a smile. “Skyrim need people like you to fight for her freedom.”

He suddenly stopped and glanced up at the mountains before them.

“See that ruin up there?” He pointed and Cordelia followed. “Bleak Falls Barrow. I never understood how my sister could stand living in the shadow of that place.”

She noticed that he shivered just by thinking of the place.

“I guess you get used to it.” He sighed and they then began to walk again, yet Cordelia's eyes lingered on the ruin.

They walked past three gigantic stones, each with a birthmark on them.

“The Guardian Stones...” Cordelia said and limped up to them.

“You know of them?” Ralof asked.

“I've read about them, although I've never seen one.” She looked a bit at them and then stepped up before the Warrior stone and touched it.

A bright light shot from its top and into the sky, and the markings in the stone lit up.

“Warrior, good! Those stars will guide you to honor and glory.” He said and she smiled at the thought of that, although she let out a light scoff at the disbelief of her ever receiving honor and glory.

“Come now, let's move on. Riverwood is close.” He said and they continued their walk, yet this time she walked on her own.

“Remember, this isn't Stormcloak territory.” He warned her. “If we're ahead of the news from Helgen we should be fine as long as we don't do anything stupid.”

“Wait.” Cordelia stopped up and tried to listen. “Can you hear that?”

“What?” Ralof couldn't.

“The sound... I think someone is following us...” Cordelia slowly reached for her swords.

“No need for that, it's probably just an animal. Remember, don't do anything stupid.” He grabbed her shoulder and she let out a sigh before putting her weapons back.

“Just jumpy, I guess...”

“If we run into any Imperials, just let me do the talking, all right?” She snorted at his remark and shook her head in disbelief of it would end well then.

Further down the road that followed the river, Ralof got a smile on his lips and pointed ahead. “If you look up ahead you can see the mill.”

Cordelia looked up and found it right away, Riverwood was only seconds away.

As they passed the entrance to Riverwood, all seemed peaceful and friendly.

“Looks like nobody here knows what's happened yet.” Ralof said low in case someone would hear him. “Come one, Gerdur's probably working at her lumber mill.”

She followed him over a bridge crossing the water, when she could hear an older lady shout from behind her: “A dragon! I saw a dragon!”

Cordelia turned around to see what was going on.

“What? What is it now, mother?” A younger man asked and approached her.

“It was as big as a mountain, and black as the night. It flew right over the barrow.” The woman claimed, and the description matched the dragon Cordelia had survived earlier.

But her son didn't show her any support and nor did he believe her. “Dragons, now, is it? Please, mother. If you keep on like this everyone in town will think you're crazy. And I've got better things to do than listen to more of your fantasies.” He said in a cold tone and walked away from her, it broke Cordelia's heart to see a son treat his mother like that.

“You'll see! It was a dragon! It'll kill us all and then you'll believe me!” The mother yelled at him as he walked away. She reminded Cordelia of her mother.

“Gerdur!” Ralof then said and smiled at his sister as they shared a hug.

“Brother! Mara's mercy, it's good to see you!” Both of them seemed happy in this moment.

She then got a worried look on her face. “But is it safe for you to be here? We heard that Ulfric had been captured...” She asked in a deadly worried tone.

“Gerdur...” Ralof said and shook his head. “I'm fine. At least now I am.”

“Are you hurt? What's happened?” She asked, even though he said he was fine.

“And who is this? One of your comrades?” She looked at Cordelia and seemed shocked, as she first now noticed she was an Imperialist.

“Not a comrade yet, but a friend. I owe her my life, in fact.” Ralof spoke of her as if she was holy, and she didn't know what to respond with.

“Is there somewhere we can talk? There's no telling when the news from Helgen will reach the Imperials...” Ralof spoke with hesitation, and his sister reacted in even bigger surprise than expected and spoke a bit too loud maybe.

But she was just a worried sister.

“Helgen? Has something happened...? You're right. Follow me.” She walked past them as they followed and yelled for someone named Hod. “Hod! Come here a minute. I need your help with something.”

A man standing on the lumber mill turned around and spoke to them. “What is it woman? Stand drunk on the job again?”

He sounded to joke, but she were much more serious. “Hod. Just come here.”

And that's when the man noticed Ralof. “Ralof, what are you doing here? Hah... I'll be right down.”

They stopped by a tree stump and waited for this Hod, when a little kid and his dog came running towards them, and he seemed overjoyed to see Ralof.

“Uncle Ralof! Can I see your axe? How many Imperials have you killed? Do you really know Ulfric Stormcloak?” It was clear whose side this kid was on.

But his mother didn't think that Ralof had time for this. “Hush, Frodnar. This is no time for your games. Go and watch the south road. Come find us if you see any Imperials Soldiers coming.”

But the kid protested. “Aw, mama, I want to stay and talk with Uncle Ralof!”

“Look at you, almost a grown man!” Ralof said cheerfully. “Won't be long before you'll be joining the fight yourself.”

It made it shine in the kids eyes and he smiled big. “That's right! Don't worry, Uncle Ralof, I won't let those soldiers sneak up on you.” He said and ran the same way he came from with his dog.

Meantime the man, Hod, had approached them and Ralof sat down to rest whereto Cordelia did the same, and she sighed hard from the pain in her sides.

“Now, Ralof, what's going on? You two look pretty well done in.” Hod said and Ralof started with a sigh.

“I can't remember when I last slept... Where to start? Well, the news you heard about Ulfric was true. The Imperials ambushed us outside Darkwater Crossing. Like they knew exactly where we'd be. That was... two days ago, now. We stopped in Helgen this morning, and I thought it was all over. Had us lined up to the headsman's block and ready to start chopping.”

“The cowards!” Gerdur interrupted and clenched her fists.

“They wouldn't dare give Ulfric a fair trial. Treason, for fighting for your own people!” Ralof sounded aggravated. “All of Skyrim would've seen the truth then. But then... out of nowhere... a dragon attacked...”

He held a dramatic pause, and his sister asked with a shivering voice: “You don't mean, a real, live...”

“I can hardly believe it myself, and I was there.” Ralof said and looked down for short.

“As strange as it sounds, we'd be dead if not for that dragon. In the confusion, we managed to slip away. Are we really the first to make it to Riverwood?” He looked at his sister and sounded surprised.

“Nobody else has come up the south road today, as far as I know.” Gerdur said, and Ralof nodded.

“Good. Maybe we can lay up for a while. I hate to put your family in danger, Gerdur, but...” He stopped talking and didn't have to wait long for an answer.

“Nonsense. You and your friend are welcome to stay as long as you need to.” She said without hesitation. “Let me worry about the Imperials.”

She then looked at Cordelia and smiled. “Any friend of Ralof's is a friend of mine. Here's the key to the house. Stay as long as you like. I can see that you're hurt.” Gerdur said and hinted at the red marks on Cordelia's sides that spread as the blood flowed out.

Cordelia hadn't even noticed herself.

“Unfortunately, there's no healer in town right now, so we'll just need to do our best.” She handed her a key and helped her up on her feet again.

“Thank you, I appreciate the help.” Cordelia said with a smile and nodded.

“Thanks, sister. I knew we could count on you.” Ralof said as they walked by him.

“But... did anyone else escape? Did Ulfric...” Gerdur sounded quite worried but Ralof reassured her that he'd be fine.

“Don't worry. I'm sure he made it out. It'll take more than a dragon to stop Ulfric Stormcloak.” He joked.


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