The Savior of Nirn

Pecry Jackson fall in to the world of skyrim

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8. The Way of the Voice

 

On the 22rd of Last Seed (I guess the equivalent of August) I headed back south to Riverwood, where many were in awe that some random stranger who had stayed in their town turned out to be Dragonborn. I managed to get direction from Alvor who told me to head south towards the ruins of Helgen and then east across a mountain pass. From there, stop in a town called Ivarstead and then head up the "7,000 Steps" to High Hrothgar. Seemed simple enough.

At this point, I was pretty well acquainted with Nirn. I could hold a conversation about pretty much anything except for the Divines, which were kind of strange and difficult to understand. The main group of Divines were called Aedra, a group of Eight Divines (nine if you included Talos) that could apparently be killed. Akatosh - the divine of time - was the chief deity. The other seven were Arkay (life and death), Dibella (beauty), Julianos (wisdom and logic), Kynareth (nature and sky), Mara (love), Stendarr (mercy), and Zenithar (work and commerce). Most made sense to me and paralleled to the gods, but Stendarr and Zenithar were oddballs.

Other than that, the Daedric Princes were a whole different mess. 17 unkillable deities who controlled the "niche" domains, like cannibalism, insanity, debauchery, and pestilence. They apparently held more power than the Aedra, yet they were shunned and the Aedra were worshiped. The whole system made little sense to me, but whatever. Their divines, not mine.

The mountain pass was snowing, and the walk was mostly boring. I was absolutely freezing but I was motivated by that town on the other side. I trucked on.

An hour's walk and a few packs of wolves later, I'd arrived in Ivarstead. On the other side if the mountain oak forests covered the landscape. The town was even smaller than Riverwood, though it had a similar mill set up. I stopped quickly and asked a guard to point out the path to the 7,000 steps.

He told me that the path across the bridge led up the mountain. Then he added, "You know the Greybeards summoned the Dragonborn to High Hrothgar? We're still waiting for him to come through town. You have any idea who he is?"

"Not a clue." I started walking towards the bridge when the guard called out, "Wait, traveler!"

"Yeah?"

"Why are you heading up the 7,000 steps?"

I kept walking to the bridge before calling over my shoulder at the last second, "I was summoned!"

The guard practically lost his mind as I took my first step of 7,000.

After fighting stray wolves and one white hairy monster, the temple was finally in sight. I was hungry, freezing, and tired - but that seemed par for the course in my task here so far, so whatever. I'd have to Invest in a coat. Or at least something thicker than the deer skin under my armor. I also took a beating from the white monster, which I'm pretty sure I only survived because of a potion and a healing spell Farangar had shown me. My armor was pretty damaged and could use mending, too. Wow... my situation was a lot worse than I previously thought. I pushed open the door to High Hrothgar.

The main area was a huge, drafty room made of stone. Braziers light the place and delicate carvings covered the walls. I thought the place was absolutely deserted until I noticed a man in a grey robe walked slowly towards me. I met him halfway, since he looked reeeeeeeeally old.

"So... a Dragonborn appears, at this moment in the turning of the age." He said slowly, bowing.

"You call me Dragonborn. What does that mean?"

"First, we must determine if you are truly Dragonborn before we can say. Let us taste your voice."

I noticed a few other equally frail looking men were walking up behind him. "You want me to shout at you?"

"Yes. Demonstrate the voice."

I hadn't tried shouting since the battle with Mirmulnir. I didn't know if I just had to yell out the word again or if... whatever. Over-thinking it.

"Fus!" I cried. The wave of blue magic caused the man to stumble a bit, but he seemed fine otherwise.

"Dragonborn... it is you. Welcome to High Hrothgar. I am Master Arngier. I speak for the Greybeards.

"But tell me, Dragonborn, why have you come here?"

"I'm, uh, answering your summons."

"We're honored to welcome the Dragonborn to High Hrothgar. We will do our best to teach you how to use your gift to fulfill your destiny."

"What exactly is my destiny?"

"I can sense you already know of your destiny, Dragonborn. We can show you the way to your goal, but not the destination."

That was maddeningly cryptic. Could these Greybeards read minds? Or were they oracles who could magically tell the future? I doubted Arngeir would answer any other questions, so I said, "I'm ready to learn."

"You have already shown that you are Dragonborn. You have the innate gift. But do you have the discipline and temperament to follow the path laid out for you? That remains to be seen."

I once had to restrain myself from saying, "What does that mean?!". I hated it when people talked in riddles.

"Without training, you have already taken the first steps to projecting your voice into a Thu'um, a shout. Now let us see if you are willing and able to learn..."

I'll cut through the boring part again. I was taught Ro, the second word of Unrelenting Force, the name of the pushy shout. Arngeir also said all shouts had three words, and had me strike some targets, whatever. He then took me out into the courtyard, where he taught me Wuld, which the first word of a whole different shout, Whirlwind Sprint. That basically shot me forward 50 feet instantly. The first time I used it I got nauseous and nearly threw up, but I got the hang of it. When Arngeir was satisfied, he called me back over.

"Your quick mastery of a new Thu'um is... astonishing. I'd heard stories about the abilities of the Dragonborn, but to see them for myself."

"I don't know how I do it. It just... happens." I responded with.

"You are now ready for the last trial." ANOTHER TRIAL?! I was already freaking tired!

"Retrieve the horn of Jurgen Windcaller, our founder, from his tomb in the ancient fane of Ustengrav. Remain true to the Way of the Voice, and you will return."

"A horn? Where?"

"A Warhorn. Ustengrav is near the city of Morthal, I believe. Go to that city and they will direct you to the tomb. Good luck, Dragonborn. I sense you will return triumphant."

I nodded solemnly and thought about the walk back down the mountain. Dammit.

A reception for the ages awaited me in Ivarstead.

The guard had alerted the whole town that the Dragonborn was up on High Hrothgar. Word spread amazingly quickly, and the town was absolutely packed to the gills.

I guess the town was Stormcloak territory, because Ulfric Stormcloak seemed to have sent one of his highest generals - a guy named Galmar Stone-Fist - to try and recruit me to join the rebellion. I listened to him but didn't say anything. He did the whole "They've taken away our gods, our traditions" spiel, but I mostly ignored it. I didn't dare say I wasn't interested, because I was worried they'd try to kill me.

Ten or so people just wanted to wish me luck in my adventures and around half of the group gave me bags of coins to help "fund my battle against the dragons". I accepted it because I'd need to fix my armor, but I still felt bad for taking people's meager belongings.

Once all the commotion was mostly cleared, I managed to talk to Wilhelm, the barkeep at the Vilemyr Inn. I tossed him a bag of septims and he told me to take the big room on the left. I thanked him and finally went to bed.

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