A Troubling Mix-up

This isn’t good at all, Dear Diary. Today started normally. I was hanging around my cabin, doing a spot of cooking, when a group of men began to drive their caravan across my hill. There wasn’t a proper road, so they decided to go bushwhacking. With a Caravan. I came outside and tried to reason with them, but they told me that they were in a hurry or some such nonsense. I told them that it’d be faster just to find a road and stick to it, but they didn’t want to listen.

It was then that some imperial army members attacked. They came out of the bushes, yelling about stormcloaks and dirty resistance members. I made to run back to my cabin, and found that one of the bastards was trying to burn it down. Naturally I attacked! Tackled him to the ground before he could light the place up, and then went inside to grab my things. I tried to run, dear diary, but they caught me. Knocked me out and tied me up and threw me onto a caravan with a bunch of rebels.

When I awoke, I tried talking to both my captors and fellow prisoners. The man tied next to me introduced himself as Ralof, and told me that he was part of a rebel group called the stormcloaks. On my other side, bound and gagged, was Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the group. We were on our way to be executed. Our captors didn’t listen to me. They thought I was just another rebel.

We arrived at Helgen Keep, where onlookers watched an executioner sharpening his axe. One by one we were ordered off the cart, and sent to the chopping block. When it was my turn, there was nothing I could do. I laid my head on the block and waited for the end. But the end never came.

What I heard instead was a deafening roar. I looked up and saw people running in all directions, running from, of all things, a dragon! It was spewing gouts of frost from its open maw, freezing people in their tracks. I rolled off the block, got to my feet, and ran to the nearest place I could think of: a small shack just to the east.

My hands still bound, I shoulder checked the door and crashed inside. There, I was met face to face with a young girl with short hair and spectacles. I did my best to introduce myself. She stared at me. I asked her for her name. She said her name was Shizune. Ralof then burst into the door, apparently having escaped his execution as well. He bade us follow him. We obliged, and ran back into the carnage.

Our first stop was the cart that we had traveled in on. We gathered up our belongings, and ran for a large stone guard tower where Ulfric stormcloak was apparently hiding. He let us inside, and Ralof presented him with his sword. We then climbed up to the tower, and made a daring jump into a small building with a thatched roof. Ralof said that the best way out of Helgen would be through a security tunnel that was accessed through Helgen Keep. We ran our asses off.

At the door to Helgen keep, we met an imperial soldier named Hodvar. I managed to talk him and Ralof out of killing each other, and we entered the keep.

Our safety was short-lived, as a small group of disgruntled Imperial soldiers entered through a side passage and declared us stormcloak rebels. They proceeded to attack us, and we made short work of them. We then descended into the tunnels, and began our trek out of the city.

The tunnel was at least five miles long. We decided to stop for the night. I went fishing in an underground stream while Hadvar and Ralof argued loudly over something. Shizune simply stayed quiet. Getting her to talk was proving difficult.

The next morning, we set off once more. After hitting a fork in the road, it was decided that we would split up, with Shizune and I going to the left, and Ralof and Hadvar going right. Not an ideal split, but I wasn’t complaining.

Shizune and I met some very large and unfriendly spiders along our path, but did eventually find a way out. We went back and met up with the other two, and then climbed into the daylight.

Riverwood was nearby, and apparently both Ralof and Hadvar had family living there. Without consulting one another on this matter, they both offered us places to stay. I guess we’ll figure this all out when we get down to Riverwood.

—Franklin O'Reilly

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