I had forgotten how clean the air could smell, especially compared to the musty rankness of the caverns beneath Helgen. I was also glad to be rid of the Imperial soldier I helped escape. Hadvar, Hadnot, whatever his name was, he knew the way out and that's all that was important. I kept us both alive long enough to be free and now he's gone to see his family.
Family; what a waste of a word. They were the reason I was there to begin with. I was supposed to meet an Argonian to buy some quality skooma when I got caught up in a raid and thrown in with a bunch of thieves and traitors. I knew my sister sent the guards to nab me. She thought my skooma enjoyment was an embarrassment to our high and mighty family. Now I see that my parents thought so as well since they did not try to free me after word had been sent. Fine. To the Nines with them. When I've made a name for myself here in Tamirel, with gold and a title of my own I would return and see them put in their place. I already had dragons going out of their way to free me. That was obviously a sign I was destined for greatness. Of course I would have to harness or slaughter those beasts later - it damn near got me killed. I had a sword and armor, cheap as they were, and some gold in my pocket. That's all I needed, well, that and some skooma. I had to find this Riverwood and introduce them to their next Nord ruler, Ralos Ravenclaw.
I followed the path Hadvar told me to use to reach his little town. I had never been in this area before. There was a lot of beautiful land here I could turn into something worthwhile. I could put a castle on the other side of this river, maybe a monument depicting my arrival nearby. As I walked I ran across a small monument with three large standing stones. Each had a figure carved into it. One looked like a sneaky thief. Perhaps these are tombstones. At least one thief met his just end. The next had a robed figure on it. A mage, most likely. Why would anyone want to become one of those creepy practitioners? Summoning creatures from who knows where? Raising the dead? Reading musty tomes and scrolls for days? Thinking about it made my skin crawl. The third stone, however, now there was a mythic figure - a mighty warrior brandishing a sword. Reminded me of myself, in fact.
I reached out to touch the carving and a voice asked me if I accept the warrior's blessing. I was shocked but recovered quickly. Even the stones here could see my valiant, heroic heart. I accepted and the stone lit up, announcing to the heavens it had found its herald, or so I assumed. I took my iron greatsword from my back and whirled through a couple maneuvers as all true Nords had been trained to do. It felt as though the stone had charged me with an aptitude for learning with the blade. We shall see.
I found out soon enough. Further down the road I ran into two wolves, howling at me from a ledge. They leapt down and came at me fast but I was able to deal with their uncoordinated attack. The last I skewered through his guts and hurled into the swift river. Damn, I could have used that pelt. I almost went after it but my borrowed clothes already looked horrid and getting them wet I'm sure would have only made them smell worse. I skinned the other wolf and moved on. The short battle actually made me feel more comfortable with the blade, though I could not wait to purchase a real weapon. Perhaps Riverwood would have something suitable.
As I approached, I could only hope there was more to this (cough) town than what I saw. Granted, I did not have access to the sort of gold I was used to when living with my parents. How much could they charge for a decent blade made here, anyway? I'll just have to make due until the tributes from my followers began trickling in.
I was barely in town when a tall, blonde man talked to me. He instantly told me above his troubled love life. I glanced behind me to make sure I was the one he was bothering with this. No, it was me. I chose to ignore his outburst and asked where I could pick up some supplies.
"If you have stuff to sell, the Riverwood Trader's your best bet," he told me. "If you need weapons or armor, go see Alvor, the blacksmith. Now about Camilla..."
I spotted the blacksmith just ahead. I had had enough of this fool. "Yeah, yeah, put it all in a letter or something," I told him. Under my breath I muttered, "Then send it to someone who gives a skeever's ass." I left him there to ponder my sage advice.
I spoke to the blacksmith. He was rightfully astounded by the tale of my harrowing escape from a dragon. He begged me to go to the jarl in Whiterun and inform him of the danger of the loose dragon.
"I'd like to," I said, "but my supplies are a bit thin at the moment."
"Take what you need," he said, "within reason."
I seemed to have a good reason for everything he offered me. When I eyed a shiny new steel sword on his table he bristled and puffed up more than I liked. I inquired how much for the greatsword. The lout actually asked for two hundred and seventy-five septims! Did he not understand my plight? Did he not want to be a part of my imminent greatness? I left him at his piecemeal forge to seek out the trader I was told about.
When I entered the ramshackle establishment, the owner and a woman were arguing. How typical of the poor, I noticed. Always yelling at each other. To break the ice I asked about their argument with feigned interest. The owner, Lucan, told me they were robbed. I cursed the bandits hoping to get on their good sides. The woman, Camilla, the owner's sister I later found out, actually gave me a wink. To further curry her favor I offered to go after the retched thieves. Lucan promised a reward and we finished with me selling off a few items I had picked up escaping from Helgen. I had hoped for some finer clothes to buy but he had nothing but mage-wear. I also discreetly asked about any skooma he might have. He gave me an odd, almost pitiful look and said no. I noticed Camilla had gotten up to say she would show me the way to go. I happily followed her, my eyes glued to her swaying backside. Perhaps I would show her the way as well.
We walked to the bridge leading out of Riverwood. She talked the whole way. I thanked her and she finally went away. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, I noticed how late it was and decided to wait until tomorrow to figure out where to go next. I was feeling a bit sluggish from my day of adventuring and my lack of any skooma. I reluctantly went back to the inn I passed and had a quick meal of cheese, rabbit, and some warm ale. All right, three warm ales, but like I said, without skooma, I needed to drink a lot more and I can't stand wine. Too fruity, and it gives me a headache the size of a pregnant horker. After my meal I rented a room and staggered over to the room to my bed.