Fredas, the 4th of Frostfall, 4E 204

Windstad Manor

"DOVAHKIIN!"

The shout of the Greybeards jolted Nakos from his slumber. He sat up with a cry, breathing heavily, his nightshirt sticking to his chest, soaked with sweat. He fell back down on the bed and sighed deeply. He heard movement outside the bedroom door. He sat up again, and saw a figure standing outside his door, "Everything alright, my Thane?"

He nodded, "Sorry, Lydia. I didn't mean to wake you."

She laughed, "You didn't. The Greybeards did. They probably woke everyone in Windhelm," she moved to a table on the wall and lit a candle, "But with all due respect, my Thane, it sounded like you were scared. Another nightmare?"

He nodded, "Yes…" He didn't want to tell Lydia about it. "Are the kids awake?"

"No, my Thane. I'm actually surprised that the Greybeards didn't wake them."

Nakos chuckled, "I don't think a dragon could wake them."

Lydia laughed, "I don't think so, either."

"Papa?" A girl's voice called out from outside the door.

"Maybe I was wrong." Nakos said. Lydia smiled, took out a roll of bread from her pouch, and began eating.

"Papa?" a little girl walked through the door, rubbing her eyes.

Nakos got up and walked over to his daughter, "Hi, Sofie? Are you ok?"

"The thunder woke me up."

Nakos picked Sofie up and sat her to the bed. "It's ok, sweetie. The thunder is gone. It won't be back for a long time."

"You sure?"

"I'm sure," Nakos sat next to her. He looked up at Lydia, who nodded. He sighed.

Sofie noticed them, "What's wrong, Papa?"

Nakos looked at Sofie and frowned slightly, "Sofie, I'm going to have to leave for a while."

"Are you going on another adventure?"

"Yes, I am. And I don't know how long I will be gone."

She smiled. He always told her of his adventures, "Are you going to fight dragons again? And draugr? And spiders?"

Nakos laughed, "Maybe, I don't know. I'll have to see where I need to go."

"Can't you take me with you?"

"No, Sofie. It's too dangerous. Plus someone needs to look after your brother Alesan. And Lydia."

Lydia glared at him from over the top of her tankard, but smiled.

"I will, Papa."

Nakos picked her up, "That's good to hear. But it's time to go back to bed."

"Yes, Pa."

Nakos carried Sofie over to her bed. Alesan slept peacefully in the bed next to her.

"I love you, Sofie."

She smiled, "I love you too, Papa, and… thank you."

"For what?"

"For adopting me."

Nakos smiled, "You're welcome, sweetie."

Nakos left the children's bedroom and entered his armory. He quickly changed from his night clothes into his Nightingale Armor, put on a few enchanted rings, and took his two ebony swords. They were his two favorite weapons, aside from his crossbow. He still needed to thank Sorine Jurard for the changes she made to it.

"You're not taking the scimitars?" Lydia called from behind him.

"No, I prefer the ebony swords. I've been tempering them all week, so they should be nice and sharp." Nakos strapped the swords to his waist.

"Most Redguards feel that they're incomplete without scimitars."

"I'm not most Redguards," Nakos reached for the Blade of Woe and placed it in a sheath strapped to his calf

"True. You're the Dragonborn."

"Well, yes. But that's not why I don't use them," Nakos slung the crossbow over his shoulder, "The ebony swords may be smaller in width than the scimitars, but I find they're much faster, and I'm much more agile when I fight with them."

Lydia smiled, "Rayya may disagree with you."

With one final tug of his sword belt, Nakos put up the hood of his Nightingale cloak and headed for the door. "Lydia, I'm making you my Steward. Watch over the house while I'm gone"

"I will, my Thane."

Nakos opened the door and Shadowmere was there to greet him, as if expecting him. "Hello, Shadowmere, my friend," Nakos pet him on the head, "Are you ready for a ride?" the horse neighed as if he heard him. Nakos got on the horse and turned to Lydia, "Keep my kids safe."

"I will protect them with my life."

Nakos spurred Shadowmere on, and they began the ride to High Hrothgar.


Loredas, the 5th of Frostfall, 4E 204

The Throat of the World

"Drem Yol Lok, Dovahkiin," Paarthurnax greeted Nakos as he approached the Throat of the World.

"Paarthurnax," Nakos greeted the old dragon and nodded toward the red dragon next to him, "Hello, Odahviing."

"Drem Yol Lok, Dovahkiin," Odahviing replied.

"The Greybeards summoned me here. Is everything ok?" Nakos asked Paarthurnax.

"Zu'u dreh ni mindok. I do not know. But I have felt a large shift in the lein, in the world. I can feel two forces across the sea, in the lands of Westeros and Essos."

"Forces?" Nakos interest was piqued, "What kind of forces?"

"Laas ahrk dinok. Life and death."

Nakos narrowed his eyes, "How can you feel life and death?"

"Buruk wah gelaar. It is difficult to explain to a human. Dov can sense forces in the lein. When you killed Alduin, I felt his laas slip away. And when you met the dragon Durnehviir, I felt both life and death coming from him."

"Well, he was an undead dragon."

"Geh. Indeed. And I feel laas ahrk dinok from across the sea."

"Tell me what you feel, Paarthurnax," Nakos sat cross-legged in front of the Word Wall.

"Pogaas dinok. There is much death walking the earth. It gathers in the north of Westeros, and I fear it will spread if it is not stopped."

"Then I will go to Westeros and find out what they know."

"But, dovahkiin, I also sense laas, life." Paarthurnax closed his eyes and breathed deeply. It sounded like the rumbling of a volcano. "Yun laas. New life." His eyes snapped open, "Dovah."

Nakos sprang to his feet, "DRAGONS?! More dragons?! Are they dangerous?!"

"Drem, dovahkiin. Peace. They are yunkiin, newborns. But if they are not raised properly, I feel that they could become dangerous."

"Well, where did the dragons come from?"

Paarthurnax looked out to the east, "Zu'u dreh ni mindok. I do not know."

Odahviing spoke up, "Dovah have been extinct in that part of the world for hundreds of years, though the humans believe they are a myth. So these new dovah could perhaps be even more dangerous."

Paarthurnax rumbled in agreement, "You must go to Westeros and Essos. Find the source of the dinok, the death. And also look for the yunkiin dovah, the newborn dragons. Perhaps they can be tamed from becoming wild and dangerous."

"I will."

"Kosiir, dovahkiin. Beware. Westeros is a very dangerous place, jahr do hask. I advise you bring friends with you on your journey. Keep each other safe. Tirahkom ko tokaan. There is safety in numbers."

Nakos smiled, "And I think I know the first person to call." He looked at Odahviing, "Would you accompany me, fahdon?"

"Lorot ni onik. I do not think that is wise. I do not think they have seen dragons before, and I do not wish to cause panic.

Nakos nodded. Odahviing did have a point, "How long would it take you to fly to Westeros or Essos?"

"It will take some time, but not too long."

"Excellent. Be ready when I call you." Nakos began heading down the mountain.

"Zu'u saraan. I will be waiting."


Morndas, the 7th of Frostfall, 4E 204

Riften

Nakos arrived in Riften and headed straight for The Bee and Barb inn. If his memory served his correctly, he would find his best friend there. He opened the door to the inn, and immediately spotted Mjoll the Lioness sitting at a table with her close friend, Aerin. They were in the middle of a conversation. Mjoll was speaking, "Sometimes I'm not certain that the people of Riften want to be helped."

Aerin shook his head, "I think some of them do, Lady Mjoll. They're just too frightened to step up and do something about it like you are."

Mjoll smiled, "Aerin, you never cease to amaze me. You always see the good in everything."

Aerin smiled back, "It's only because I've had an excellent teacher."

"And you've had me," Nakos spoke up. Mjoll turned and when she saw Nakos, she jumped out of her seat and grabbed him in a bear hug so big Nakos thought his back would break.

"NAKOS! My friend!" she turned to Aerin, "Give us a minute." Aerin nodded and headed for the bar. Mjoll turned back to Nakos, "It's been too long!"

"So it has!" Nakos sat down, "How have you been?"

"I've been well, though I have to say, I've missed all our adventures. Traveling throughout Skyrim. Visiting Dwemer ruins. Fighting bandits. I've really missed traveling like that. Walking the breadth of Skyrim has always filled my heart with excitement."

Nakos smiled, "Then how would you like to join me in traveling to Westeros?"

Mjoll's eyes widened, "Are you serious? Westeros? Why the hell are you going there?"

Nakos looked around before answering, "Dragons," he whispered.

"Dragons?" she repeated, "There are dragons in Westeros?"

"My master believes so. He senses the life force of newborn dragons. And he wants me to investigate," he paused, "He also says that he feels a large force of death walking in the north of the country. Since I am Dragonborn, and I stopped Alduin, he thinks I should go to Westeros and stop it.

"Death walking the earth? Draugr?"

Nakos shrugged, "I don't know. I guess we'll find out when we get there."

"Westeros," Mjoll said again and shook her head, "Westeros has always dismissed us. We're not allies."

"We're not enemies either. They don't like us, but they don't hate us. To them, Tamriel is just another continent across the Sunset Sea that they don't really care for."

"So why should we help them?"

Nakos thought for a moment and then replied, "I would rather go there and have them dismiss us, than ignore them and have them die and known I could have done something about it…"

Mjoll nodded, "True words."

Nakos smirked, "Well, shall we get going?"

She stood up, "I'm right behind you. Let me grab my gear from the house and then we can be on our way."

They both went to Aerin's house, and Nakos waited outside while Mjoll prepared herself. A few minutes later, she walked out, wearing a complete set of ebony armor and a malachite glass sword strapped to her back. Nakos saw the armor and smiled, "You kept it?"

Mjoll laughed, "Of course I did. It's the best armor anyone has ever given me. And it goes well with Grimsever."

Nakos nodded, "You're welcome." He was about to head toward the city gate when he saw Jarl Maven Black-Briar walking towards them with several city guards. "Oh, shit."

"Nakos," Maven called out, "Welcome. What brings you to my city?"

"I'm going on a journey. I'm bringing my friend with me."

Maven scoffed, "Mjoll is a friend? I find that hard to believe."

Mjoll grunted in frustration, "Maven. How's the criminal underworld treating you this fine day?"

Maven clicked her tongue, "Mjoll. You may have everyone else impressed around here, but you don't impress me. You couldn't touch me if you wanted to."

Mjoll walked up to Maven, their faces inches from each other, "You're a cold, unfeeling bitch."

Maven smirked, "My dear, you have no idea who you're trifling with. Now I suggest you turn around and rattle someone else's cage before you get hurt."

Mjoll stared at her for a moment, then took a step back, "I'm watching you, Maven Black-Briar. One day, you'll slip up and your Imperial friends won't be there to catch your fall."

Maven shrugged, "If that ever happens, you'll be the one taking the fall." Maven looked at Nakos, "And where is it that you plan to go?"

"Hammerfell," Nakos lied, "But not that it's any of your business."

"Ah, but it is my business. You're in my city."

Nakos scoffed, "I come to your city almost every day. You know me. You know that I don't cause trouble."

"True."

Now Nakos got in Maven's face, "Then you also know what I can do. What I'm capable of. Trust me, you don't want a first-hand account."

"You dare threaten me? Do you know what I…"

"Don't know, don't care. And all your threats are empty anyway." Nakos glared into Maven's eyes and she took a small step back. That surprised him; he never expected Maven to be intimidated.

"Safe travels, Nakos." Maven signaled to her guards and they continued their patrol around the city.

"Bitch," Mjoll stammered under her breath.

"I couldn't agree more," Nakos chuckled. He motioned to the gate, "Come on, I still have one more person to bring with us."

"Oh," Mjoll raised her eyebrows, "And who's that?"

"An assassin."


Middas, the 9th of Frostfall, 4E 204

Windhelm Docks

"I still can't believe you recruited a Dark Brotherhood Assassin," Mjoll was shocked, "Why would you do such a thing?"

Nakos motioned to the assassin, "I have a feeling we'll need someone of his skill-set. Someone who can scout ahead, be unseen…."

"Can't you do that?" Mjoll interrupted. Her horse neighed, "See? Even Frost agrees with me."

Nakos laughed, "Yes I can, but two is better than one. And no offense, but you're not very sneaky."

Mjoll smiled, "None taken."

The assassin spoke up, "How will this group get to Westeros?"

"We'll need a ship," Mjoll replied.

The assassin nodded, "And does a man get a ship?"

"I know a guy. Wait here," Nakos dismounted Shadowmere, "I'll be right back." Nakos walked over to a large ship and called out to the captain working on the mast, "Gjalund!"

Gjalund waved, "Nakos! What brings you here? You're not going back to Solstheim, I hope?"

Nakos boarded the ship, "Not today. Me and my friends need to get to Westeros."

"Westeros?" Gjalund stopped working on the mast, "That's a long journey."

"How long will it take?"

"A month? Maybe more? Where in Westeros do you need to go?"

Nakos shrugged, "I've never been there. But I will need to talk to the king, so I guess the capital."

"That'll be King's Landing."

Nakos sighed, "How much?"

"How much?"

Nakos brought out a coin bag, "How much will it cost to take us to King's Landing?"

Gjalund raised his hand, "I'm not charging you."

"What?"

"I'm not charging you," Gjalund repeated, "You saved my life more times than I can count. It's the least I can do for you."

Nakos was taken aback by Gjalund's generosity, "Thank you."

Gjalund smiled, "The Northern Maiden is yours," he went back to working the mast, "Let me know when you're ready to leave."

Nakos walked back to Mjoll and the Assassin Recruit, "Are you ready for another adventure?"

Mjoll beamed, ""All set, let's go."


Next Time:

The three adventures arrive in King's Landing, on King Joffrey's Nameday.