As usual, I woke up early. Professor Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione were still sleeping. I let them and headed to the kitchen, getting a quick breakfast ready for them. Usually, I would have snatched a pastry and gone on my morning jog, but my best friends were with me and I had to take care of them. So I prepared them a traditional Skyrim breakfast. No peas or bacon or eggs or tea. Nords drank mead for the adults and milk for the children they sometimes infused with lavender or spiced with honey, with a pastry on the side. I opted for something quick and made honey nut treats.
Using the dough left from yesterday's sweetrolls, I made nine balls that I quickly put in the oven, let it bake for a quarter then skewered on a wooden stick, covered with nuts and coated with honey. Here. Breakfast. Put it on plates next to the milk bowl and glass of jazbay juice and I was out for a jog after snatching an apple dumpling. I came back half an hour later and did some stretching before taking my swords. The moves came naturally. It felt good, like my joins were rusty and the exercise was removing the rust.
I was midway through when I noticed the door open. Ron and Hermione peeked out. I stopped.
"…More or less." Ron grumbled. "We met your patron tonight. It was a bit creepy, but nice."
I almost dropped my swords. Instead, I sheathed them.
"You met Akatosh?"
"We met him in what looked like a chapel." Hermione explained. "He gave us the ability to use Tamrielic magic and asked us to watch over you."
I smiled and gave him a mental thank you. Dumbledore emerged behind them.
"Thanks for the breakfast, Harry. I get it you already ate."
"I have my routines so I wake up early. I ate before going on my jog."
"Good. May I ask what you got planned for today?"
"You're coming along?"
"No. I was simply curious."
"Whiterun for starters. I may live in Lakeview but it's still pretty much my hometown. Next is High Hrothgar..." I grinned from ear to ear. "On dragon's back."
Ron and Hermione looked at one another.
"…We're going to ride dragons!?"
"I'm sure Kunovaak and Indovah will let you if I ask. Besides, it's been awhile since I last visited the Greybeards. I want to say hi."
Professor Dumbledore nodded. He was fully dressed in Wizard robes, but Ron and Hermione were still in pajamas. Ron tilted his head.
"You were training?"
"Skyrim is a dangerous place." I frowned. "I exercise regularly to stay in shape. I usually do a half-hour jog, stretching, then work on my swordsmanship."
Dumbledore bade us a good day and left. Ron and Hermione left to get dressed. They came back a moment later and I gave them an once-over.
Knowing Hermione, I had taken a set of Mage Robes and a garnet circlet. For the weapon, I had picked a steel dagger that was now hanging at her belt. For Ron, I had taken a set of leather armor like mine that I had adjusted to be roughly his size, given he was taller than me and couldn't borrow mine. It seemed to fit. For his weapon, I had gone for something classical and picked a sword. Ron looked at it.
"Frankly, I don't expect you to use it." I explained. "But Skyrim is dangerous and I'd rather be cautious."
"Yeah, sure. It's not like we know how to use it, anyway. So… we're ready to go if you are."
We bade Rayya goodbye and, Hedwig and Barbas at our side, headed to Whiterun. It was a quiet walk. We crossed Riverwood, passed by Honningbrew Meadery and reached the gates after an hour. Hermione closed her eyes.
"The air feels… fresher. Purer. It's nice."
"The land is cold." Ron grumbled. "But that's to be expected."
"Don't worry, Whiterun will make you feel much warmer."
I was right. The moment we entered, I saw them look around with awe on their face. I gave them a tour, showing them the blacksmith, the marketplace with the alchemist and grocery store, the inn, then the upper district with the statue of Talos, the Temple of Kynareth, the steadily-growing Gildergleam and Jorrvaskr. I saw Ron grin at the sight of the dragon's skull. I was considering whether or not to take them to Dragonsreach when a familiar voice called me.
"Harry! Come to pay a visit?"
My face lit up when I saw Farkas, Ahlam close behind. She had a new fur coat and a pretty red mountain lily in her hair. Given her smile and how close she stood to Farkas, I was willing to bet both were a gift from him. So, they were officially dating, then? Nazeem passed and gave them a stink-eye that Ahlam returned. Yep, officially dating. Farkas turned to Ron and Hermione.
"So, you made new friends, I see. Good. You need whelps your age to keep you company. Dragonborn or not, you're still a kid. Gotta behave like one once in a while."
Once in a while, he says… And Ron and Hermione weren't exactly new but let's roll with that. No one in Whiterun knew the truth and it was good. Introductions went swimmingly. Hermione explained she was a beginner in magic – Tamrielic magic, actually – and Ahlam offered her some pointers. Working part-time at the Temple, she knew a few things in the matter. Ron, meanwhile, was eying the Skyforge battleaxe Farkas was carrying. He noticed.
"You have red hair and you look like you could have quite the nasty temper under that cute face of yours."
He wasn't completely wrong. Ron was easily riled. He took his battleaxe and handed it to him. Ron could barely lift it, much to his annoyance. Farkas laughed.
"Gonna have to put more muscles before you can use a big axe like that."
Ron's eyes narrowed. He looked Farkas dead in the eyes. Uh-oh…
I turned to Ron, surprised.
"Really, Ron? A battleaxe? …Why?"
"Well… the two edges look nice. And it looks funnier to use than a sword."
"Yeah, the technique is different, that's for sure." Farkas nodded. "You don't wield a sword like you wield an axe. A sword requires more dexterity to use. It isn't simply about overwhelming your opponent, you must also guide the strikes. An axe is the opposite. You don't guide an axe, it's the axe that guides you, especially the two-handed ones. Every axe has a flow of its own. If you want to wield it properly, you must learn to follow it. With swords, you are the one who set the flow."
He took Ron's sword and left to Jorrvaskr to come back with a one-handed steel axe.
"Use that until you got the strength to use the bigger ones. It's a good choice. Axes fit those with a fiery temper."
Ron made some light swings with the weapon, trying to get a feel of it. Hermione sighed.
"I know, right?" Ahlam nodded. "Imagine my surprise when I heard Farkas play the lute! He is good at it."
Hermione made a double-take. Before leaving Whiterun, I brought them both spell books so they could expend their arsenal, even buying Bound Battleaxe for Ron. I didn't know if it would be lighter than a physical one or not but, if it was, it would make a good substitute until he could use a real one.
Once we were out of Whiterun, I brought my hands to my mouth and Spoke.
KUN OV AAK
PAAR THUR NAX
I didn't have to wait long. Soon, Kunovaak and Indovah were here.
"Drem Yol Lok, Harry." Kunovaak purred. "I see your friends from Earth finally came."
"Professor Dumbledore invited them. They're here for the week-end. I thought I would show them around."
"And so, you plan to take them to High Hrothgar on our back. We don't mind. Get on."
Hermione was mildly nervous at the prospect of flying, but Ron reassured her. They climbed on Kunovaak. I climbed with Barbas on Paarthurnax and Hedwig flew at our side.
I didn't hide my smile as we rose. Flying on a broom was nice, but flying on a dragon was simply different. I closed my eyes, feeling the wind on my face and the strength of the body beneath me. Skyrim below was as awesome as ever. The landscape was simply gorgeous. On Kunovaak, Ron was having the time of his life. I could see the massive grin on his face and the thumb-up he gave me. Hermione, however, didn't look so good. She was hanging for dear life, even though Ron was holding her by a shoulder, and had her eyes firmly shut. Finally, High Hrothgar came in sight. Hermione raised a brow as we landed in the courtyard.
"It has to. Powerful as they are, they can cause an earthquake with a handful of words."
"Yeah, you told us as much." Ron shuddered. "Bloody cold…"
Of course. I was used to it but they weren't. Good thing I'd taken a spare coat in case. I gave it to him.
"Here. Sorry if it's too short. Hermione, you alright?"
"The robes are warm enough, thanks."
The doors suddenly barged open to reveal Sissel and Iriel. Sissel ran straight at me.
"Harry! You're there!"
I smiled warmly.
"Hello, Sissel. How are you doing?"
"Great! Iriel, over here!"
Iriel had come to greet Kunovaak. He came to me and gave me an once-over.
"He doesn't look like a Nord. Is he the one thuri considers his brother?"
"Yes, he's the one who introduced me to Paarthurnax and took me away from Rorikstead. He's really great! When Dad hit me, he punched him and Shouted him over the head!"
Iriel gave me a weird look. Then he turned to Sissel.
"You never said your father hurt you."
"Oh, he did it all the time, especially when I told him of my dreams about Master Paarthurnax. He hated when I told him about these dreams… I'm glad I'm here. The Greybeards are nice, even though only Master Arngeir can speak."
"Good to see they treat you well. Are you enjoying yourself? The Thu'um isn't easy to learn."
"It's fun. I often make snowmen in my free time. Sometimes, I try to have snowball fights with Iriel, but he doesn't like them. He prefers to meditate by the fire. Right now, he's learning YOL. Me, I'm learning IIZ, ice."
"Look, I want to learn, not play all the time. We're here to learn the Dragon Tongue and that's what I intend to do."
"You're not fun."
"You're not serious."
They started bickering back and forth and I found myself looking back at the rivalry between Nords and Altmers. Even in a place as isolated as High Hrothgar, it seemed there were things that were simply universal. Kunovaak and Paarthurnax flew away as Master Arngeir stepped out.
"Lively, aren't they?"
"Some things never change."
"Indeed. Nords and Altmers have never really gotten along…"
"But we get along!" Sissel retorted. "There's just some things we don't agree on."
"Kids will be kids. They aren't too much of a handful, are they?"
"Not the slightest. My fellow Masters appreciate the life they bring to this place." He turned to me. "It has been some time, Harry. You look stronger than before."
It wasn't a boast. It was a fact. Thanks to training with the Companions and the Words I'd learned, I was stronger than when I had left High Hrothgar. I introduced Ron and Hermione as friends I'd made during my trips. Even though Iriel expressed noted disbelief at Ron being a Breton and Hermione being a Nord, we shrugged it off. It was our backstory and we were sticking to it: Pure-bloods were Bretons, Muggle-borns were Nords and Half-bloods were hybrids.
Ron and Hermione both got along with the Greybeards. To my surprise – or maybe not – Hermione expressed interest in learning the art. This pleased them greatly. Feeling like showing off a little, I demonstrated my Fire Breath on one of the posts.
I am the Dragonborn, a mortal with a dragon's soul. There's something special about being able to breathe fire like an actual dragon.
I inhaled and Spoke.
YOL TOOR SHUL
The fire spewed from my mouth, engulfing the post in an inferno. I rubbed my throat as Iriel looked in awe. It was nothing compared to Ron and Hermione's faces. They looked stunned.
"So… that's what a Shout does."
"One of them. Different Shouts have different effects."
Then something clicked in my mind. It was strange. One moment, the Words for Fire Breath were ringing in my head like a fading echo and, the next, a Word was jumping at the front of my mind, singing and ringing and fitting with one of the Words like two pieces of a puzzle.
The two Words fit together in a partial Shout and rang in my head, begging to be used. I decided to do it.
"Close your eyes." I said, remembering how KUN could light up a room. "I just figured something."
Everyone closed their eyes. I didn't. I should have. I Spoke.
The air in the courtyard burst alight like a flashbang. I yelped as my sight went white, falling on my rear, and rubbed my eyes fiercely. It took me some time before sight returned. I sighed.
"All the goddamn time…"
Why did I screw up every time I used a Thu'um for the first time!? Hermione knelt to my side.
"Should've taken your own advice."
"I wanted to see what it does. And I thought it wouldn't affect me."
"Mate, it turned the whole place blind-friggin'-white. Of course, it affected you."
I grumbled and rose. Kunovaak landed in the courtyard with what looked like a grin on his face.
"I heard you use the first Words of Light Wave, zeymah. I was wondering when your sil would make the connection."
"Light Wave? That's the name of the Shout?"
"Geh. It is also the Thu'um I am most familiar with. At its strongest, it creates a shockwave of light that blinds and smites those around you. The last Word is part of yet another Thu'um that I know thuri was going to teach you at some point. I can teach you, if you wish."
I turned to the Greybeards for approval. Master Arngeir nodded.
"You have proved your wisdom so far. We will be the ones to teach you Clear Skies."
Clear Skies? With a name like that, I wondered what it did…
Master Einarth, Borri and Wulfgar gathered, breathing Words in the ground. I learned them one by one.
One by one, they passed their knowledge unto me. Master Arngeir explained.
"This Thu'um will allow you to clear the skies above you, if you were to be trapped in a blizzard or a storm." He turned to a passage. "This will also clear the way to the summit of the Throat of the World, where our grandmaster resides. You were going to head there sooner or later. This is when we planned to teach you. But, if Kunovaak deems you ready, we trust him."
I nodded, then froze as one of the Words jumped in my head along with KUN and SHUL. It was LOK.
Light of the Sun in the Sky. Light Wave, a shockwave of blinding and painful light. Dawnbreaker in Shout form. I decided to try it later. Right now, the sky was clear so I turned to the path Master Arngeir had showed me and Spoke.
LOK VAH KOOR
The ice-cold storm that was blocking it faded in a thunderous sound… I hadn't expected it to be so noisy. But it was nice to see it at work.
"By the way, Harry, if I may ask a small service…"
"What do you need, Master?"
Master Arngeir grimaced.
"Once a week, someone from the town of Ivarstead climbs to High Hrothgar to deliver provisions. Unfortunately, they seem to be late… and our supplies are running low, especially with two more mouths to feed. Do you mind retrieving them?"
"Not at all. I've never been to Ivarstead before."
I took my map. The black icon of a small town was located at the bottom of the Throat of the World, on the eastern side. I turned to Ron and Hermione.
"Wanna tag along?"
So, we went. As we left High Hrothgar, I noticed a small shrine.
The Voice is worship.
Follow the Inner Path.
Speak only in true need.
Uh. Strange. We found another one under a statue of Talos. The message was different. Another was found by the edge of the cliff. Barbas huffed.
"It seems there are ten tablet telling about the story of the Art of the Voice. If you want the full story, you'll have to walk back and read each one instead of using your map."
I decided to do just that and ignored the other tablets. The path wasn't without its hazards. A frost troll tried to block our path. Before I could shoot it with the Bow of the Hunted, Ron and Hermione decided to try their magic and burned it down. Ron finished it by axing its neck. Then we encountered a frostbite spider and he jumped behind me.
One arrow from the Bow of the Hunted sent it flying down the cliff.
"I warned you spiders could get big."
"Yeah, I remember how you told us about Bleak Falls Barrow. Doesn't make them less scary."
"And Aragog was bigger."
Our next encounter was an ice wraith. It burst apart with a well-aimed fireball.
Finally, we reached the end of the path and walked into Ivarstead. It was a small village, about as big as Rorikstead. A man and a Bosmer were arguing next to the bridge.
"On the way to the Seven-Thousand Steps again, Klimmek?"
"Not today, Gwilin. I'm just not ready to make the climb to High Hrothgar. The path isn't safe."
"But aren't the Greybeards expecting supplies?"
"Honestly, I'm not sure. I've yet to be allowed in the monastery. Perhaps one day." The man sighed. "Seven thousand steps… Next time, they should build it closer to the ground."
Well, now we knew why the supplies were late. I came to the pair.
"If you're looking to deliver the supplies, you're lucky: the Greybeards asked me to recover them."
Klimmek turned to me.
"Yes. They've been waiting for a while now, and it doesn't help that they got two young students with them, so they go through the food faster."
Klimmek's eyes widened;
"Oh, they have new students? Good for them. I should put more in the bag, then. Wait a moment."
He went to his house and returned with additional supplies he put in the bag. I took it.
"Thanks, kid. I'd gladly go myself, but my legs aren't what they used to be and the Seven-Thousand Steps take their toll. You don't have that problem."
I consulted my internal clock. Almost midday. There was an inn. I grinned and turned to Ron and Hermione.
"Anyone wants lunch?"
Ron eagerly nodded, and even Hermione agreed.
"If only to have something warm in the stomach. This walk in the snow left me freezing."
I turned to Klimmek.
"I'll take care of it once we're done eating. I doubt my friends want to walk it again…"
"No thanks, mate! Once was enough!"
So, we headed to the inn and ordered. I picked the beef stew, Ron hesitated between a venison stew and mammoth steak before picking both and Hermione, after berating him for his big stomach, gave in and picked the Elsweyr fondue. Ron and I both dipped a piece of bread in, if only to try. In return, Ron let her try his mammoth steak. It was an experience for all of us.
Finally, my meal finished, I left Hedwig and Barbas behind, took the supplies and walked my way to High Hrothgar, reading each emblem as I went.
Before the birth of men, the Dragons ruled all Mundus.
Their Word was the Voice, and they spoke only for True Need,
For the Voice could blot out the sky and flood the land.
Men were born and spread over the face of Mundus.
The Dragons presided over the crawling masses.
Men were weak, then, and had no Voice.
The fledgling spirits of Men were strong in Old Times,
Unafraid to war with dragons and their Voices
But the Dragons only shouted them down and broke their heart.
I was heading to the fourth emblem when I saw a man, a Dunmer with red hair, not copper like Ron but a vibrant scarlet. His armor seemed to be made of leather and solid ice lined with fur, but he was wearing no helmet and a strangely curved sword. Finally, I could see a silver ring on his hand. He turned to me and his purple eyes fell on mine. The Dunmer smiled. It was kind.
"You are quite brave to face the Seven-Thousand Steps alone, kid. Would you mind company?"
"I wouldn't, but I don't need it." I reassured. "I'm tougher than I look. Besides, I have deliveries to make."
"Oh. Of course, the Greybeards would have someone supply them once in a while. The monastery is rather isolated."
We walked together, trudging in the snow.
Kyne called on Paarthurnax, who pitied man.
Together, they taught Men to use the Voice,
Then Dragon War raged, Dragons against Tongues.
"By the way, I'm Revan Indoril. Nice to meet you."
"Harry Potter, though people sometimes call me Lifehand. Nice to meet you too."
Man prevailed, Shouting Alduin out of the world,
Proving for all that their Voice too was strong,
Although their sacrifices were many-fold.
A pack of wolves surrounded us. Rather than fighting, I Shouted.
The wolves immediately calmed down and followed us for a while before running away.
With roaring Tongues, the Sky-Children conquer,
Founding the First Empire with Sword and Voice
Whilst the Dragons withdrew from this World.
"So, this is the power of the Voice. I heard about it, but this is the first time I see it myself… Aren't you young to wield that kind of power?"
There we went again. I sighed.
"I know, I look nothing like the mighty Nord heroes of stories. Cut me some slacks, I'm getting there."
"I may be the Dragonborn, but I look nothing like people expect. End result: plenty of disbelief and disappointment. That's why I'm working with the Companions. Gotta sharpen my fighting skills somehow."
An ice wraith appeared. I shook my head and Shouted.
FUS RO DAH
The monster went flying in the abyss. I dusted my hands.
"Ah." Revan said quietly. "I see."
The Tongues at Red Mountain went away humbled.
Jurgen Windcaller began His Seven-Year Meditation
To understand how Strong Voices could fail.
Jurgen Windcaller chose silence and returned.
His seventeen disputants could not shout Him down.
Jurgen the Calm built His home upon the Throat of the World.
For years all silent, the Greybeards spoke one name.
Tiber Septim, stripling then, was summoned to Hrothgar.
They blessed and named him Dovahkiin.
High Hrothgar was finally in sight. Revan took a moment to admire the sight. I went to the last Emblem closed my eyes and inhaled. As I read it, I could feel power well up in me. It made me feel peaceful.
Sky above, voice within.
I went to the chest and put the supply bag in it. I saw Master Borri watch from the entrance. He gave me a respectful nod and I waved in return. Then I took my map and went to Revan.
"Wanna go back to Ivarstead or do you want to visit High Hrothgar?"
"I doubt the Greybeards will let me. Let's go back. Why have you taken your map?"
"To use a nifty little gift from Akatosh. Hold my arm."
Revan obeyed. I touched the symbol of Ivarstead. In a purple burst, we were there. Revan whistled.
"Your patron deity gave you one sweet gift! Not even Azura lets me do that…"
"Your patron deity is Azura?"
"As a member of the True Tribunal, every Dunmer worships Lady Azura. I am no exception, but I have to admit I favor her much more than Boetiah and Mephala. Well, it was nice to meet you Harry. See you again, if the gods will it."
He left with a smile on his face, humming a song to himself. I only caught the beginning.
From the ashes, an echo:
Watch the glow of the moon and stars…
I smiled and went back to the inn. Revan was someone nice. Ron and Hermione were waiting inside.
"Hey, Harry! The innkeeper asked us to investigate the barrow. We thought you would be interested."
Alright, that wasn't what I was expecting.
"What is it about?"
"The barrow is haunted by a ghost and everyone else is too scared to investigate." Hermione explained. "Since we're not afraid of ghosts, we asked to do it in their stead. After all, you have experience in barrow-raiding."
That part was true.
"Alright." I shrugged. "Let's go."
We headed to the barrow, called Shroud Hearth. It didn't take long for the ghost to manifest. We had just reached the first branching that the ghostly form of a Dunmer called us from behind a gate.
"Leave this place… Leave this place… Leave… Leave… Leave…"
We shared a look.
"Not scary." Ron frowned. "Let's open this gate."
I winced when I saw the series of levers the other room had. I had no doubt they could open the gate, but which one would do it?
"Let me take care of it." Hermione offered.
While she fiddled with the levers, I took the book called Before the Ages of Men. It was interesting. I pocketed it right as Hermione finally found the right combination. We progressed further, stumbling upon a locked door and another gate.
"Darn." Ron swore. "This place is like Gringotts."
Barbas huffed and pulled a lever. The gate opened… and spikes sprung from the wall a moment later.
"Clever." Hermione hummed. "A delayed trap. If we'd gone right away, we would have been impaled."
Meanwhile, I was more interested by the locked door. I didn't break a lock-pick as I opened it and made a point to avoid the stepping stone trap. The chest at the end was begging to be opened… Hedwig stopped me.
"Look at the side."
I looked and grimaced when I saw a wire. Then a grin crossed my face. I took my wand and pointed it at the trap.
The string snapped. My grin widened.
The chest didn't contain much: about a hundred gold, a handful of gems and a silver amethyst ring. I pocketed them. Once we were out, I would exchange the gold for septims, trade the gems and enchant then sell the ring. Maybe an enchantment of frost resistance… Following the corridor led to a door. Ron was about to open it when I noticed the wire.
"Wait! It's trapped."
Ron held back. I used Alohomora to unlock it and frowned when I saw the statue on the side. The angle fit neither a dart nor a spike trap so I hazarded a flamethrower.
"Those traps are bloody durable…" Ron grumbled.
"Some think the draugr wake up when no one is looking to maintain them." I hazarded. "Maybe that's why."
We hadn't made three steps that the ghost fell on us, assaulting us with lightning. I instinctively summoned a ward.
"Fools! No one hides from the dead!"
Hermione countered its bolts with ice. Ron used the distraction to lunge and burry his axe deep in its chest. There was an explosion that made us all stagger…
Then we looked at the corpse. The very "living" corpse. The body before us didn't belong to a ghost. It belonged to a physical person. I froze. This was exactly what I'd been planning to avoid. We'd still done it. We had killed someone.
I didn't have much of a problem. It wasn't the first time I killed someone. I was much more concerned with Ron and Hermione. I was right to.
Ron stared at the corpse in gaping horror, his hands quivering, unable to proceed what he'd done – or all too aware of it. Hermione watched, then she turned away, found a quiet spot and emptied her stomach. I understood. First time was never pleasant.
It did get easier over time, but Kodlak had reassured me that keeping this spark of guilt in your stomach was a good thing. Mortal life always had a price.
I grabbed Ron's wrist, which seemed to snap him out, and gave Hermione a bottle of apple juice to rinse her mouth, which she did. Then I dragged them back to Vilemyr Inn.
"Harry, wait! We found this."
I turned to Barbas, who was holding a diary in his mouth.
"Must be his." I frowned. "I'll look into it once Ron and Hermione feel better."
As I brought my friends to the inn, I soothed them the best I could.
"Ron, Hermione, it's alright." I uttered. "It was a mistake, alright? We really thought it was a ghost. It was an accident. It's alright."
I don't know if it worked but they did start to relax after Wilhelm served them warm milk. As I started reading the diary, I couldn't deny the guilt I felt. It had all started so well…
Sorry for the long wait. I caught the BNHA Bug and it wouldn't let go. Still, I'm glad I managed to finish that chapter. I had to truncate it since it's about thirteen pages long and I try to keep my chapters down to nine pages, so the rest will be part of the Interlude. Then we'll shift to the next arc.
Speaking of, I am happy to say I got the story's structure down. Here is, without spoilers:
Outsider (first steps), Dragonborn (learning the Voice), Companions (Companions part 1), Home (Hearthfire), Sunrise (Dawnguard), Salvation (Companions part 2), Magus (Mage Academy), Quagmire (Morthal), Righteous (Solitude), Forsworn (Markarth), Echoes (Word-hunting and the Pale), Shadows (Thieves' Guild), Legacy (Main Quest finale)
See you hopefully sooner than that.