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.
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.