—Heartfire, 17Th, 4E 201—
The winds of the north are harsh indeed. My journeys have taken me past the mountain ranges north of Whiterun, where the snows fall and the cold rushes around you. I nearly froze moving from one encampment to another; I must remember to stock up on firewood.
Upon the mountaintop sat a mammoth’s graveyard, bones littering the old broken stone remains. I had little time to ponder how mammoths came to the top of the mountain: a dragon descended on us. This dragon was different from the others: a creature of ice, not fire. I wonder what other surprises the returning dragons have in store for me.
The ruins of the graveyard were not completely empty. One wall remained standing, a wall just like the one in the barrow. My knowledge of the Thu’um has expanded. There may be more out there. Let’s hope they’re not well defended.
I never realized how vast and intricate the work of the old dwarves was: I came across many of their ruins today, and their machines still function. Strangely, many of these metal spiders and footmen carried soul gems, many of them full. Could the dwemer not have disappeared at all, but have been trapped within their own machines? There is one place I may be able to find answers: Markarth.
I travel now to Morvunskar, to meet the person I may have promised to marry in my drunken stupor. He will likely be disappointed.
—Heartfire, 13Th, 4E 201—
Much has happened since last I penned my journey. The guards in Markarth arrested me for nothing more than asking questions. I killed their first group of three, but somehow, the entire city guard learned of it. I could not take them all. I surrendered.
The prison is not pleasant. Those sentenced there are forced to mine for the Silver-Bloods, making them fat. I came across the king of the Forsworn. My only choice was to lend him aid, in order to win my freedom. I did. It gives me no pleasure to do such a thing, but there was no fine ending to this story. I chose the best for myself.
I don’t know whether that ‘king’ survived his rampage on the city. I left when I could. There is little left for me there. Good riddance.
So it is with great puzzlement that my very next encounter was with an Argonian within an Eyrie called ‘Two-Tails’, claiming to be the ‘Dwarven-born’. He believes the flowers to be intricate listening devices of the Dwemer. He’s quite nuts.
On my journey, I have come across many ruins and caves. One was abandoned by its prior occupants, now teeming with bandits and Forsworn. I must visit again, to see if I can gain access to this ‘Pit’ below.
Finally, I have returned to Whiterun. The road has been long, and shall be even longer in the coming days. But for now, I have earned a rest.
—Heartfire, 10Th, 4E 201—
I’ve finally sorted out some confusion. The statues of the Nord standing over the serpent are of Tiber Septim, first Emperor. The Nords believe him to have ascended to godhood, as Talos. And yet, the Empire and the Thalmor prohibit the worship of Talos here in Skyrim. I’ve seen it here in Markarth, Thalmor patrols weeding out Talos followers. The Jarl trying to keep peace by bowing beneath the empire. And the nords, fighting with the help of the Forsworn. These Forsworn are barbarians, but it may be that even barbarians are preferable to conquerors.
Yet the Nords, these ‘Silver-Bloods’, are some of the most irritating, stuck-up sods I have ever seen. Strutting around like the city is theirs by inheritance. Spitting on the lives of all those poorer than themselves. They even have their own treasury, for their own use. I don’t know who is the bigger problem, the Silver-Bloods or the Thalmor. Things were so much neater in Whiterun.
—Heartfire, 7Th, 4E 201—
The rocky hills around Markarth are swarming with barbarians known as the ‘Forsworn’. I have yet to discover what this may mean. Yet, they are fighting alongside foul harpies in their towers; their lives are forfeit.
I killed two harpies with the forsworn. One was in a cage, claiming her tower had been stolen. The other lay at the top of their chambers. Neither won.
I rest at the Inn at Markarth, and the Forsworn are causing a panic. The mines are overrun, and I arrived in the city to see a woman stabbed right in front of everyone. I took her key, in case her quarters reveal any clues, or perhaps something useful to my travels. In any case, these barbarians are truly a problem.
—Heartfire, 4Th, 4E 201—
A woman in Rorikstead mentioned that a hagraven may be found at Orphan Rock. It may be a long shot, but this may be my best chance of finding the nettlebane I need to save the tree in Whiterun. The hard part will be passing back through Helgen to get there.
—Heartfire, 3rd, 4E 201—
There is a rotunda near Whiterun, an open-air forge. It has been named ‘Lunar Forge’. They say that, when the moons are out, weapons forged in its place are bestowed great enchantments.
But that is not why I am writing. During the day, I came upon a hunter’s encampment, hid under an outcropping of rock. Its inhabitants had been unfortunate, bloodied by some creature – likely wolves, as the plains are teeming with them. There were several pelts and skins as a testament of their trade. In one chest lay a fascinating gemstone.
And the gemstone spoke to me. Merida, she said was her name, she wants me to find her mountain. She wants me to go and put her gem where it belongs. She compels me to go…but I feel uneasy. She speaks of wrath and rage, that I would become an instrument of her righteousness. I don’t trust this talk. But how can I easily defy a god?
—Heartfire, 2nd, 4E 201—
The Imperial Fort on the way back to Whiterun was swarming with bandits. I didn’t stop to think before raising my hands against them. Even their leader, a tough brute with a wicked two-handed axe, was my enemy. I helped out an Imperial fort and I don’t quite know why. I left home to get away from the Empire. Now I’m here, doing this. Maybe I should seek out these Stormcloaks. Put an end to this feeling.
And yet, all thoughts of this were put aside after receiving a cryptic letter. The anonymous author noted my work at the cave of the last of the Blades and wants me to go to a place called Valthume so I can “develop my talents”.
Who is this ‘friend’? Why does he want to help a Dragonborn? Is it a trap? And, most disturbing, how did he learn of the open-air cave? That place is long forgotten, no one should have seen me. I am being watched. Be on your guard, Demeter. The world watches you.