The Bird's Eye

Previously: Hraggstad

As dusk approached, Indrathel reached a great abandoned tower and climbed the steps to the very top. From there she could see Northwatch Keep in the distance. It was less than a day's walk, but she was done walking. She was tired and would resume her journey in the morning.

She had to pause and appreciate the view though; Skyrim truly was a beautiful province. She was beginning to see why no one could leave it alone, not the Nords who colonized it, not the Empire who conquered it, and not the Dominion who coveted it.

Cold climes aside, Haafingar alone had a nice long coast and numerous harbors. When the war ended, and the chaos was tamed, trade would likely flourish once more.

There was also a magic in the beauty of the land itself, from the mountains, to the forests, to the ghostly sea. Even the haunted ruins in the distance swayed the imagination.

When she turned around, she could see Fort Hraggstad in the distance, where she'd left several bandits to drown in pools of their own blood. Now that her own blood had cooled and her heartbeat was steady, she no longer felt the rush of the kill nor the adventure. She just felt tired.

As she gazed upon the ancient ruins of Skyrim, her mind wandered to a rainy, night from years past, where she stood shivering and starving outside a tavern. She had an unpleasant history with the tavern owner, who wouldn't let her in anymore. That night, a bard from Skyrim was singing songs about the Atmorans who conquered Skyrim many centuries earlier. It was they who built all these haunting structures around her.

Strange...even as Indrathel recalled the evening of the bard, her mind slowly replaced it with a new one. Now she remembered tales of the Atmorans from reading in what appeared to be a university library. She was sitting on comfortable chair with velvet cushions, near a cozy fireplace. All around her were towering bookshelves, and the hushed whispers of her fellow students.

It was arguably a much better memory than her original one, but the odd thing was, it didn't actually make her happier. None of her new memories did. She quickly realized that the emotional content was missing from the new memories. As she increasingly recalled a life of relative comfort, she felt no real joy or grief about any of it.

She headed back down into the tower, deciding to make camp here. After all, someone else had already settled it for her. Apparently, there had been previous inhabitants; those inhabitants had crossed paths with some uninvited guests...and now everyone was dead.

Vampires, Indrathel shook her head as she marched down the stairs. To be fair, the bandits had put up a good fight. No one had left the melee alive or undead.

The bandits' bodies were still warm, as was some of the food on their tables. The candles and braziers were still burning and whatever loot they'd accumulated was still there. Indrathel left no pocket full. Some had coins while some had precious jewels, even the vampires.
Skyrim is wild, she chuckled to herself. In the vast beauty of the wilderness, there was just so much death. 

Her sleep was short and dreamless. She slept lightly, fully aware she was on a flat sleeping roll in a snowy tower, with only a brazier to fight off the cold. It was uncomfortable, but she was tired from walking and fighting.

Night came and went, chased away by dawn.

Indrathel woke, clear-eyed and full of energy. She was eager to reach Northwatch Keep; she wanted to enjoy a hot bath and an even hotter meal. She smirked to herself, wondering how much "redecorating" the High Elves had done by now. After all, they were out here all alone, a full two days' walk from the Embassy. Without Elenwen looking over their shoulders, they didn't have to live in grim, dim quarters. They could pretty much do as they like.

She figured by now they probably had a steady rotation of whores, and that the cellars were likely stocked to the ceilings with Summerset wine.


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