Monday, November 14, 2011

Arrival at Riverwood

Day 1 Part 2

Arrival at Riverwood

As Svard made his way down the mountain path, he looked out at the small valley below, watched the river running across the rocks, noticing the salmon jumping upstream, fighting their way towards their home. A rabbit ran past him quickly, scurrying into the bushes and he noticed a deer in the distance.

He came across three stones along the path. Each had different markings on them. He studied them for some time as they obviously had some purpose. He was drawn towards the one with a warrior engraved upon its face. Without thinking, he reached out and touched it. It began to glow and he felt a change come over him. He felt like he could become much better in combat than he was already.

By the time he left the stones, it was past midday. The sun was already beginning to fall and he knew he should hurry up or he'll have to sleep outside, and he was eager to find what awaited him in this town.

He quickened his pace and ran down along the road by the river. Suddenly he heard a howl. He knew that sound very well. He turned to his right and saw a pack of three wolves staring him down. In a moment they were on him. They bit at him, snarled, growled. He swung his mace, bludgeoning one in the head and knocking back the others. He smacked them repeatedly, their whines quieting as they were beaten to a bloody pulp.

When the fight was over he took the time to skin the wolves. He would never waste a good hide and he would definitely use this later. By now the sun was getting quite low in the sky, but he was almost to Riverwood.

In not long at all he reached the town. He saw the wooden buildings, the mill and the people just as the sun was creeping behind the mountains. As he took his first steps inside the town he heard people talking about the dragon. He kept on and met an old drunkard standing outside a building. The man said this place was the Sleeping Giant Inn, a place where he could get food, mead and a bed. Svard thanked the man for the information and went inside.

There was a large firepit, many chairs and tables and a man holding an object with strings on it that made melodic sounds. He approached the man and asked him about himself. Apparently this man was a "bard" from the "bard's college" in a place called "Solitude". The man knew none of Svard's old home songs, so instead he played something else he thought Svard might like. He called it "Ragnar The Red.".

Svard went to the innkeeper and asked him if he could buy food and such here. The drunkard outside was correct and he handed over some of those coins he had found in Helgen in exchange for a cooked rabbit haunch, a bottle of nordic mead and a bed. He sat in a chair and chewed on his haunch as he listened to the bard sing then shared his bottle with the drunk from outside. By the time he felt tired enough to sleep it was nearly midnight. The bard said goodnight and left, the drunkard was completely smashed and Svard went to his bedroom. 

It was nothing like he had slept in before. This strange bed thing was interesting. He wasn't sure how he liked it, but it wasn't too terrible he thought. He had only slept on furs and leather before, and a stone cold floor while in prison. Anything was better than that prison floor. He went to sleep and slept soundly the whole night, planning to wake up early for his fresh start in his new life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Escape

The first chapter of Svard's Journey is here!

Just giving out a warning, there will be some spoilers for those who haven't played Skyrim, and possibly some for those who have. The first chapter is basically a summary of what happens in the intro/tutorial, so if you haven't played it, go do that before you read it.

Also another thing, I didn't take any screenshots during the entire intro, but they will be present in later chapters.

The Escape

It was early in the morning. The sun was up but not by much. Svard sat in a carriage within a line of carriages next to people he didn't know and never would. He knew they were taking him to his execution, and most likely all these other people as well. 

One man across from him had a piece of cloth tied over his mouth, he couldn't speak. The others spoke abundantly. They were apparently a group of people called the "Stormcloaks". What that was, Svard had no idea. They passed through the village and entered a large clearing. Standing in this clearing were several men like the guards in his prison, and a large man with a mask and an even larger axe standing next to a stone block.

Svard and the others were pushed off the carriage and lined up in front of a man and woman. The woman seemed to be in charge. They called their names out, when Svard's came up, they seemed to have some trouble figuring out who Svard was. They decided to kill him anyway.
They were pushed towards the block and the first man was called out. He shouted some cries of defiance as they pushed him down on the block and the executioner chopped off his head. Upon seeing this, one man from Svard's cart was overcome with fear and fled for his life. It didn't work, however, as the men standing around shot him with arrows and he never made it.

Next called was "The nord in rags.". They pointed to Svard and called him up. With a sigh, he walked his way slowly over. This is it, he thought. This is the end.

The person behind him kicked him to his knees and pushed his head down to the block. He could see the executioner raise his axe. He did not close his eyes, however, for he was still a warrior and wanted to look death right in the face. Something happened however...

A furious roar! A deafening shout, a black winged daemon was in the air! The executioner dropped his axe and fell as the building behind him came crashing down. Screams were heard and the village suddenly became an inferno of fire and chaos. Svard stood himself up, trying to reorient himself. What was this thing that had saved his life? Well, perhaps it hadn't saved him yet. 

He started to run, entering an old tower that was now on fire for cover.
Several other men were inside and told him to jump to the next building. He ran up the spiral stairs and the daemon burst through the side. He waited for it to leave then ran and jumped onto a half destroyed wooden building nearby. He climbed down and encountered 2 men with a child. The child was standing infront of the dragon. They were yelling at him to run back, but it took him a few seconds to react. He ran and barely made it. The monster let out a breath of fire that scalded Svard's skin from 20 paces away.

It roared and flew up into the sky again. Svard turned to one of the men next to him, he said his name was Hadvar. He told Svard to follow him and he would help him escape. Why this man was being friendly to Svard, he did not know, but he accepted his offer anyways, as he had no choice. They ran through town, hiding behind walls, taking cover and running through groups of warriors trying to battle the dragon until they reached a large stone building, the keep. 

Inside, Hadvar gave Svard some armor and a sword. They went further in and soon were attacked by some nordic men. They called themselves Stormcloaks. These were the same people from before, thought Svard. In the first room they fought three, Svard killed the last one with a powerful strike to the heart. He grabbed a key off the dead man and left after Hadvar. In the next room, which was a kitchen, they fought two more men. Svard stopped to gather a few things to put in his bag, for if they did escape, it would be good to have some food. He took some salt and uncooked meat, some bread and a couple bottles of wine and stuffed them in his bag. They proceeded to the next room.

There were two more Stormcloaks fighting some guards in a torture chamber. They were killed quickly and the torturer, Svard assumed that's who he was, bragged about how fun it was. Hadvar noticed some things on a corpse in a cage and told Svard to pick the lock. Svard did not know what that even meant, so he showed him how. After breaking a few picks, Svard was able to get it open. Inside was a book, which he could not read because Svard is illiterate, and some gold pieces. When asked, Hadvar told him that gold pieces were currency, he could buy things with it such as food. Svard was not sure he completely understood, but if he could trade these things for food, that sounded good to him.

They walked through old stone halls for some time before reaching the entrance to a cave. They ran in just in time before the ceiling collapse down, blocking where they had come. Svard and Hadvar continued forward, fighting more Stormcloaks as they went. 

Deep into the cave, they found a sleeping bear. Hadvar had advised him not to wake it, and Svard agreed. They carefully snuck past it and wound up in a den of spiders. Giant things as big as a man. Svard raised his sword and charged at them, kicking and stomping, slashing and cutting, spider legs went flying into the air. They weren't as much trouble as he had expected, but they certainly gave him a chilling feeling. Hadvar didn't seem to mind though.

It wasn't long before they had finally reached the exit. They stepped out into the sun upon a snowy hillside and breathed clean air. They had escaped! But their moment was cut off by another loud roar and they saw the winged beast flying off into the distance. They hid behind a rock for a moment, watching the skies before giving a sigh of relief. 

Svard turned to Hadvar and asked what that thing was. He told him it was a dragon. Svard was taken aback. He had heard vague tales of these creatures from his elders in Tieg, but they said they were long gone. Something strange was certainly happening if these beasts of legend had returned. He pondered for a moment on the stories he was told, but nothing seemed relevant at the moment.

Hadvar said they should split up and head to Riverwood. His uncle lives there and can help him out. He thanked Svard for his aid, and Svard thanked him as well, for he would have likely died in that village without his guidance. Hadvar went off down the road and Svard stopped and looked towards the sky. He thanked the fates for allowing him another chance. It seemed his destiny was not over after all and Sovngarde still waited for him.

Filled with a new sense of purpose, he made his way down the hillside towards the small village in the distance.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The story so far

Once Skyrim is released, I will be writing a story as my character travels through the world. It will be about his various encounters, travels and daily events throughout his adventure up until the end. Below is the backstory I've written to start off with and it ends where Skyrim begins. I will also be posting screenshots along with it when I can. Hopefully someone will enjoy reading it and I've put it to myself as a personal challenge to write it. Here you go.

This is the story of Svard of Tieg, a warrior nord with an unexpected future.

Svard was born in the cold mountains of the north in a small village by the name of Tieg far away from any civilization. They were a very hardened people to survive in such an environment and as such he would have to become strong as well or perish in the blizzards. He learned to hunt by the age of 10 and showed exceptional leadership skills amongst the other boys his age. On his 11th birthday he and the boys ventured out and killed their first beast, a full-sized mammoth and dragged it back to camp. A feat most of the men in his village had not completed until they were in their 20's. They attributed his victory to his exceptional ability to command his friends and the families of the boys were awarded with twice the usual amount of meat from a kill. During the next few years he became stronger, more skilled and a fierce warrior. He learned to be a masterful hunter in the icy cold winter tundra and he could fight the fiercest tiger with only his bare fists.

Upon reaching the age of 30, a new generation of boys had began their life as hunters and it was time for him to leave. A tradition of his village, due to the scarcity of food being unable to support a growing population, was that with every new generation left the old. They would use their skills in the wilderness to survive until they found an opponent who was strong enough to kill them and send them to Sovngarde. With farewells and a small feast, he departed, walking into the icy storms southward into the unknown.

For many days he travelled, managing to make his food last throughout the bitter storm. He found caves to spend the nights in and had very few run-ins with wild creatures aside from a troll or two, which was no problem for a warrior such as himself. When he at last discovered the first settlement, a small town, yet still a town. He was amazed. The large stone walls, the small wood and stone homes were the grandest thing he'd ever seen built by fellow nordsmen. He proceeded into the town and to the nearest person he saw. When he got closer, he realized it was not a nordsman but a strange looking short thing with pointy ears and rather disgustingly yellowish hair.

"Whattaya want?" the creature asked, rather abruptly.

"I just arrived here. What are you?" Svard replied.

"Whatt're ya some kind of idiot?" the thing turned around and started to walk off.

This angered Svard. He demanded respect from those he spoke to and this non-nord, puny animal wouldn't last a night in Tieg. If the cold didn't get him, the animals or the other villagers would. He ground his teeth and reached for his broadsword. In a raging fury, he unsheathed it and swung it down upon the pathetic thing's back, its blood pouring out across him. The creature screamed a shriek before it toppled over and it wasn't long before many men, actual nordsmen were in sight, their weapons bared, ready for combat. Svard was not one to decline a challenge, and it seemed this was a challenge. He roared to High Hrothgar and charged at the men, seeing them only as foes to do battle with. They fought many rounds and he was able to wound enough of them to even the odds, but just when he was about to land a final killing blow on the captain, he was frozen. Literally. His body became paralyzed, he could not move a muscle. He couldn't even move his eyeballs to look around, but something came into his view. Another one of those pathetic short creatures just like the one he had killed moments before. This one, however, had bright red hair and was draped in purple cloth with a tall curved wooden stick in his hand and a dagger in his other. If Svard could have moved, the thing would be dead in an instant, but something he did not understand kept him motionless. The creature spoke some words he could not hear and many more nordsmen came and dragged his immobile body away. He was shoved into a prison cell before he could move again, but by then he was helpless.

After what felt like a lifetime of being blindfolded, transported, put in prison, then blindfolded, transported and put in prison again, a rather short, fat balding man approached his cell. They told him he was to be executed in nine days. It seemed that he would not make it to Sovngarde after all, and his life was a waste. He sat in his cell, unable to do anything except wait.