Link had fled Hyrule with Princess Zelda and her nurse, Impa, to make their way to a land over the sea, Tamriel. But before they made port, their ship was attacked by pirates and they were separated. Link was sure that Impa had gotten Zelda out of there in one piece. The shore line was very close so it wouldn't have been far to safety. But Link had been captured and thrown into the pirates' brig.
All Link knew about their whereabouts was that the air got colder. When the pirates made it to port, they grabbed him, put a sack over his head, and lead him through the cold wilderness for a few days. That's when they traded him to bandits, who didn't take off the sack until they reached their hideout, an old abandoned military fort. Then they lead him to the dungeon and roughly shoved him in a cell and left him there with no food or water for a few days.
By the time they gave him water and musty bread, he was severely underweight and starting to get sickly. Somehow, he managed to survive the first week, which painfully turned into the second, then the third, and by the end of the fourth, the bandits started getting used to having him around and started letting him out of the cell every so often.
Unfortunately, bandits have a tendency to get drunk after a successful raid, and drunk bandits can get violent. They'd throw empty wine and mead bottles at Link, which was bandit for "Hey, whelp, get me more mead." Link had gotten good at dodging the bottles, but they'd still occasionally hit him. The only thing keeping him going was the belief that Zelda was safely at their destination, Cyrodiil.
Link had been there for three years now. At first he had tried to convince himself it wasn't that bad. But the longer it went on, the harder it was to convince himself that it would ever end. Today was a special day for him. Today was the day that the Kokiri celebrated the Deku Festival. It was the biggest holiday of the year. Of course, none of the bandits knew that, or even cared. They'd still beat him and throw things at him if he did anything wrong, like blink at the wrong time or say anything out of turn. He rarely said anything anymore except 'yes, sir' and 'no, sir' and 'sorry, sir. It won't happen again, sir'.
Link was sweeping the floor when he heard a group of bandits coming back after a raid. He quickly moved to the shadows and kept sweeping. He hated it when the bandits raided neighboring villages. Mostly because of the stories he heard them gloating about when they came back victorious. They'd brag about how many women they 'had' or how many guards they killed. Link had mixed feelings about when they came back defeated. On one hand, a failed raid meant not as many innocent people were hurt, but on the other, the distraught bandits seemed to find it uplifting to hear him scream and beg for mercy as they beat him severely.
This time they were defeated and Link felt as if a cold hand had just tightened around his throat. The bandits were looking for him so they could at least feel like they had power over someone. Link just hoped that for once they'd drink their defeat away and leave him alone.
"Whelp!" The bandit chief snarled. He had spotted him, sweeping diligently away in a dark corner. Link felt the cold hand tighten it's grip. He could barely breathe he was so scared. "I'm talking to you, you son of a bitch." The chief stalked toward him and grabbed a fist full his orange blond hair. Link dropped the broom on the ground and whimpered. Link had lost control over his tears months ago and they now freely fell down his face.
In the game, Ocarina of Time, Link is put into a deep sleep for seven years, much like the Disney princess, Sleeping Beauty. This happens because at the age of ten he is not tall enough to wield the Master Sword, a hand-and-half legendary sword imbued with the power of the Goddesses.
Folkvar had been hired by the captain of the guard in Rorikstead to clear an old military fort of bandits. The job payed well so Folkvar took it. The bandits had been raiding the captain's town for years sometimes the town guard fought back the attack, sometimes it didn't if the traveling sell sword was triumphant, the bandits wouldn't be bothering anyone ever again.
Recently, Folkvar was being plagued by a strange dreams. He had had the same dream three times now and he was starting to find it annoying. He had no one to talk to about it other than his horse, Alfsigr since he preferred to keep mostly to himself. So that morning he found himself saddling Alfsigr while telling her in detail about his dream that night.
"It was the same as the last two nights," he grunted. Alfsigr didn't say anything because horses can't talk. "I'm approach by three women, one's green, another's blue, and the third's red. Strange color for women to be. They tell me that they need my help and then they disappear. They are replaced by a child's face and then I wake up. What do you think it means, lass?"
Alfsigr just snorted and stamped the ground with her hoof.
"Not one for talking, eh?" Folkvar laughed. "Me either." He mounted his horse and rode off down the road to the fortress.
If you ask the stable master of Whiterun about his horses, he'll tell you that he's just got the one for sale and her name is Queen Alfsigr, or Allie for short.
It had been a week since the last failed raid and Link had nearly given up hope of rescue. He had started to pray to the Goddesses of Hyrule, wondering why he had never thought of that before. Probably because last time he had prayed to them they had had to flee the burning Castle Town because he wasn't strong enough to save them. That night, after he was done praying to the Goddesses, he curled up in a corner of his cell with a musty old blanket wrapped around his small, malnourished frame. Right before he nodded off into nightmare filled sleep, Link heard a sound different than the ones he had grown accustomed too. It wasn't a sound from one of his nightmares, but it wasn't a bandit shouting for him, ready to assert his dominance by beating something, usually Link. It was the sound of a battle and it sounded like the bandits were loosing.
Link pushed himself closer to the cold, stone wall and hoped that whomever was waging war against the bandits would check the dungeons as well. The guard who was assigned of watching him that night looked just as scared as Link normally felt. Link silently enjoyed seeing the bandit wet himself, when normally it was Link who was shivering from fear. But Link still felt scared. What if it's a rival bandit gang attacking? They might keep Link as spoils of war, or just kill him, or leave him to starve to death in an abandoned dungeon.
The bandit's sword was shaking in his hands, the way Link's broom would shake when he knew he was about to get a severe beating. Link heard the bandit pray to the gods of this land. Link didn't think that that would help. Just then, the door, which the bandit had already locked, burst open and a man, full of battle rage and covered in blood stamped into the room. His feet made nary a noise on the stone and his breath was heavy and so hot you could see it. Between the eye holes in his horned helmet, the warriors bright blue eyes glistened as if he could kill with a glare, and was ready to, if need be. The warrior's eyes met with Link's hopeful ones.
"Lad," that was the first kind word anyone had directed at Link in three years. "You might want to close your eyes for this part." Link closed his eyes fiercely and huddled tighter into the musty blanket. He heard the bandit fall with in seconds, but he still didn't open his eyes. He was waiting for someone to kick him awake and for it to just be a dream.
Moments passed and Link heard the door of his cell open and a pair of hands rested on his shoulders. The first friendly contact he had had in over three years.
"You can open your eyes now, lad," the warrior said. "It's over." Link opened his eyes and looked up at the man. He was big, bigger than most of the bandits. His hair was dark blond and messy from under his helmet. He had a messy beard as well. His hands were strong but they weren't going to hurt him. Link could tell. But the boy still felt slightly afraid. The man took of his helmet so Link could see his face. His face was covered in dirt and blood and had scars and Link could tell he was hiding an inner pain. "I won't hurt you, I promise."
Link just mumbled quietly and looked down.
"I'm Folkvar," The man grunted.
"Link," Link realized he hadn't spoken his name out loud in a long time.
"Well them, Link," Folkvar helped Link get to his feet. "Let's get out of here."
Link nodded and stumbled out of the fort with Folkvar.
Since Folkvar only had one horse Link had to ride in front of Folkvar. Folkvar noticed that Link shivered when his frial body met with the fresh air of Skyrim and the boy's cloths were thread bear, so he wrapped Link in his blanket and threw away the musty one. They rode to Rorikstead in silence. Link looked absorbed in all of the scenery. He hadn't seen the outside world since being captured by the pirates, and that was just the coast line. He wanted to ask Folkvar if he was dreaming and he'd wake up in the morning to beatings and manual labor, but he didn't know how Folkvar would respond.
Folkvar remained silent; lost deep in thought. This was the child from his nightmare.
They arrived back at Rorikstead by sunset. The captain of the guard approached the two riders with a grim expression on his face. Folkvar dismounted Alfsigr but left Link on the horse. Folkvar felt uneasy, though he always felt uneasy. It was just how he did basically everything. Link silently observed Folkvar's interactions with the guard.
"The bandits won't bother you anymore," Folkvar grunted.
"Excellent," the captain looked relieved. "Here's your pay."
"I found this child," Folkvar folded his arms and nodded behind him.
"He's not one of ours," the guard eyed the nervous boy wearily. "He an elf?"
Folkvar turned to look at Link. "Where're you from, lad?"
"Kokiri Forest, sir," Link answered. "East of Hyrule."
"Where might that be, boy?" The guard snapped.
"I-I-I-I," Link started to panic. He hadn't expected the people of Tamriel to not know about Hyrule. He looked down at Alfisgr's mane and took a deep breath. "There was a coup and we had to flee but we were attacked by pirates and I don't know about the others."
"So you're not an elf?"
"No, sir," Link said. "There aren't any elves in Hyrule."
"I envy Hyrule," the guard remarked. He then walked off to tell his men that they can reclaim the fort in the morning.
"You wouldn't if you saw Castle Town in flames," Link whispered.
He hadn't intended for anyone to hear, but Folkvar did. He felt pity for the boy. Link had probably lost everything in one night and gone through who knows what while he was the bandits' slave. But Folkvar only felt the pity long enough to start feeling slightly more responsible for Link's wellbeing than he did a few seconds ago.
"We'll stay in the Frostfruit inn for tonight, lad," Folkvar looked up at the sky to discern the time. "We'll decide what to do with you in the morning."
Link nodded his head in agreement. "Thank you, sir."
Folkvar grunted and helped Link get down from Alfsigr. The two made their way into the inn down the street after Folkvar loosened his horses saddle. Link stayed a few paces behind Folkvar and had his arms folded defensively across his chest.
"Two rooms," Folkvar put twenty gold coins. He looked down at Link, who had left the blanket with Alfsigr. The cold was already starting affect him again. "And do you happen to have any spare cloths that might fit the lad?"
The inn keeper, Mralki, eyed Link skeptically. "Yeah. I've got some of Erik's old cloths in the cellar. I'll go and get some. But it'll cost ya extra."
Folkvar grunted and put ten more coins on the table.
"I'll be right back," he said. He turned and went down to the cellar. A few moments later he came back up with a green tunic and a pair of dark brown pants. He placed them on the table. "You're room's are over there." He nodded his head to the two doors to his right. His tone made it clear that he was not willing to serve them much more.
Folkvar took the cloths and lead Link to one of the rooms. "Change in there, lad. I'll get us something to eat."
"Yes, sir," Link took the cloths and entered his room. There was a wardrobe, a dresser, and a simple bed. The room wasn't five star, but to Link, it was the nicest place he'd ever stayed.
As Link changed into the warmer cloths, he heard yelling coming from out side in the main room.
"If you where a true son of Skyrim," it was the inn keeper. "You wouldn't be helping that mer! I wouldn't trust him. All his kind are the same."
"The lad's not an elf," Folkvar rumbled. His deep voice was full of strength. "He said so himself. He's from over the seas."
"And how do you know there even is a place over the seas?" The inn keeper snapped back. "I have half a mind to turn you both out right now. No true Nord... No, no true human would associate themselves with his kind!"
"Father!" A new voice intervened. "That's enough. They're paying customers and that's never stopped you from serving people before. I'm sorry, sir. My father fought in the Great War."
"Erik, you don't need to..." The inn keeper protested.
"I'll go and get you two something to eat and something to drink," Erik ignored his father.
Link left his room to find Folkvar staring angrily at the inn keeper. Folkvar had changed out of his heavier armor and was wearing a dark traveling clock with the hood down. The inn keeper's son came up from the cellar with some food and two drinks.
"Bread, venison soup, a tankard of Black-Briar Mead, and a tankard of goats milk," Erik placed the food on a table far away from his father. Folkvar sat down on the edge of the bench and Link hurried over to sit across from him.
"Please ignore my father's rudeness," Erik said. "If you need anything, just ask me." He nodded politely to Folkvar and returned to his place next to the door.
Link looked at the plate of food in front of him for a few moments before he hastily started eating. Folkvar, who was not eating nearly as fast as Link, raised an eyebrow. Link noticed this and his face reddened. He slowed down and remembered the manners that Saria had taught him years ago.
"Sorry, sir," he mumbled through a mouthful of soup.
"When was the last time you had a decent meal, lad?" Folkvar asked.
"Um... I dunno, sir," he shrugged and started eating again. Folkvar snorted.
When they finished their meal, Link started to nod off onto the table. Mralki polished a tankard maliciously and glared at the back of the boy's head. Folkvar lightly tapped Link's shoulder. Link groggily lifted his head.
"Time for bed, lad," Folkvar prompted.
"M'kay," Link pushed himself away from the table with his arms and he and Folkvar went to there respective rooms.
While Link lay awake staring at the ceiling in his bed he tried not to think about Folkvar had said after the guard left. We'll find out what to do with you in the morning. Link dreaded Folkvar abandoning him. He knew that was the most likely action for Folkvar to take since he and Link were compleat strangers. What if Folkvar dropped him off at the nearest orphanage and he never saw him again? Link tried not to think about it and went to sleep.
Folkvar was never a heavy sleeper. His nights were mostly filled with the horrors of his past or keeping watch for saber cats. So it came as no surprise when he again saw the three women while he slept.
They approached him silently. He couldn't take his eyes off of them. One was glowing blue, another green, and the last red. The blue woman had on a loose robe that reminded Folkvar of a mage's robe. Her hair was pulled up in braid and her face emanated beauty and knowledge. The green one was the youngest and wore a long tunic tied together with vines. Her hair was long and loose. The third, the oldest, wore battle armor and had cropped hair. Her eyes were fierce where her friends' calm and her brows were furrowed with anger.
We need you're help, their voices chorused together and made the most beautiful sound.
They faded and Folkvar dreamed no more that night.
The three Goddesses of Hyrule are Din, Nayru, and Farore. In the creation story of Hyrule it is said that Dim, with her strength, forged the red earth, Farore, with her love, brought life to the land, and Nayru, with her knowledge, brought order.
When Folkvar woke that morning, the face of the boy he had saved was burned fiercely into the back of his mind. He tried to shake the feeling. He was never one for superstition. The divines had abandoned him when he needed them the most so he found no need for loyalty to theme. And him repeatedly seeing the same thing in a dream was nothing new. He often relieved the same horrors from his past whenever he slept. He returned to his morning routine. Check to make sure he hadn't been robbed while he slept, get out of bed, retrieve his dagger from under the pillow, put his armor on, pull his traveling cloak on over that, buckle his great sword onto his back, sling his bow over one shoulder, sling his pack over the other shoulder, buckle his knife and quiver full of arrows to his belt, and leave the room.
It was then that he saw the boy. Link was sitting at a table close to their rooms and was eating some bread and cheese rather forlornly and sipping from another tankard of goat's milk. He looked up at Folkvar with a slight glimmer of hope in his eyes. Folkvar sighed and walked over to Erik, who was manning the inn this morning in place of his father.
"How much do I owe you for the food?" He pulled out his wallet.
"Five septems," Erik said.
"Do you think you might have a coat or heavy cloak that would fit him?"
Erik pulled a smallish cloak out from under the counter, as if he already had it ready. "It's on the house. Just don't tell my old man."
Folkvar nodded. "Lad." He put a hand on Link's shoulder. "Time to leave."
"Yes, sir," Link finished the goat milk in one last swig and took the cloak from Folkvar and pulled it over his shoulders. Together, they left the inn.
"Folkvar, sir?" Link asked; his head down.
"Hum?" Folkvar acknowledged.
"What's gonna happen to me now?" Link kicked a rock down the street as Folkvar tightened Alfsigr's saddle.
"I can't take you in , lad," Folkvar announced.
"Oh," Link felt his heart break a little.
"There's an orphanage Riften," Folkvar said absentmindedly. He hadn't really let himself think about it until just now. "It's run a by an old woman. People call her Grelod the Kind."
"That... That sounds nice," Link felt his heart break completely in two. He tried not to let Folkvar see him crying. He tried not to cry at all but that was really hard.
"It's a few days ride from here," Folkvar turned to Link, to see him trying fruitlessly to hide his his tears. This put Folkvar into a kind of panic. He didn't know how to deal with children who started crying. He quickly reached into his pack and pulled out a spare dagger, one can never have too many weapons when living in Skyrim, and handed it to Link. "In case we get attacked I want you to be able to defend yourself."
Link sniffled and whipped away his tears on his sleeve. He nodded and took the dagger and attached it to his new belt. Folkvar picked Link up and placed him in front of Alfsigr's saddle. He then mounted his horse himself and the two were off down the road to Whiterun, the nearest city on the road to their destination.
In the game, Skyrim, Grelod the Kind only has one point of HP, meaning you can kill her with one punch. This starts the Dark Brotherhood quest line.
They made it a little over half way to Whiterun by the time the sun started to get low on the horizon. Folkvar found a decent camping place and started setting up camp. He made a makeshift sleeping roll out of his spare blanket and told Link to sleep in his sleeping roll.
"I'm going to gather fire wood," Folkvar stood up.
"Can I help, sir?" Link asked.
Folkvar looked at Link for a moment before turning to leave. He beckoned for Link to follow. Link eagerly scurried after him. Link diligently gathered dry wood while Folkvar scanned the woods for anything that might prove to be a threat or food or both. The last option was the most common thing to find in Skyrim, if you weren't to picky when it came to what you put in your soup.
When Link's arms we full of good fire wood he looked up at Folkvar, who nodded and the two went back to the camp. Folkvar hadn't seen any signs of nearby bandits or other nasty things that were attracted to fire, so he lit a fire and started to cook a stew out of dried food he had in his pack. The two travelers sat in silence while the food cooked.
The next morning was also spent in silence. Link noticed that Folkvar liked quiet. Folkvar appreciated that Link respected his need for quiet. But Link couldn't hold in his excitement when he saw Whiterun in the distance.
"Folkvar!" He turned to look up at the bulky Nord. "I've never seen a place so huge! Not even Hyrule Castle Town was that big."
"Solitude is bigger," Folkvar grunted. "But, aye. It used to be the golden city of Skyrim, but there's a civil war going on and no one is benefiting too much from it."
"Civil wars are bad," Link said. Folkvar grunted in agreement. Nothing else was spoken until they reached the Whiterun stable where Folkvar had to arrange for Alfsigr's stay that night with the stable master, who was the one who raised her. Then they where stopped in front of the gates by a pair of guards.
"Halt, strangers," the guard said. "Only those with business with the jarl can enter the city."
"We are only here to restock our supplies and rest our heads at the inn," Folkvar tried to reason with the man.
"With that many weapons?" The guard sounded annoyed.
"We don't mean any harm," Folkvar said. "I'm a traveler. Surely you understand how dangerous it is to travers through Skyrim. Especially now, with the war on."
"That's what I'm worried about. Whiterun wants no part of this war, and mean to keep it that way. How do I know that your not spies, here to map the city?"
"Aren't there enough maps of Whiterun already?" Folkvar asked. "And I've got a child with me. The more nights we spend inside a building the better."
"You can go through," the other guard finely said. "My friend here is just doing his job."
"I appreciate it," Folkvar nodded. The guard opened the gate and the two travelers entered the city. Link was even more impressed with the city up close than he was when it was far away. There was a smithy to the right of the gates and a woman was working the forge. Up the path was a hunter's shop. The road went further up to a market square. But Link was too interested in what the black smith was making. Without realizing it, he found himself wandering closer to the forge. Just close enough to feel some of the heat wafting off of the coal, but not close enough to alert the smith of his presence; until Folkvar called out to him.
"Link, we're going up to the market."
"Okay, sir," Link hurried off after the older man. The smith looked up from her forge to watched as the boy scamper off down the street. She saw a sword master ready to bloom in him. She put her work on hold and started up the street to the Skyforge in Jorrvaskr.
"Two rooms," Folkvar placed twenty septems in front of Hulda, the proprietor of the Bannered Mare Inn in Whiterun.
"We've only got one room available," Hulda said. "A double bed on the second floor."
Folkvar thought for a moment. He looked over that Link, who was sitting on a bench, warming himself by the fire while listening to the bard, Mikeal, play on the flute. He looked content, but melancholy. Folkvar sighed and took five of the septems from off the table and ordered a tankard of mead.
After Folkvar was done with the mead he took Link across the marketplace to Belethor's General Goods to get him a sleeping roll and some other supplies he'd need to travel with Folkvar to Riften, like a bag and a change of cloths.
"Have you got any traveling supplies?" Folkvar asked Belethor. "It's for the boy." He nodded his head behind him towards Link, who was eyeing a wooden wind instrument sitting on a shelf with intense interest.
"I might have something..." Belethor looked very interested in what Link was doing. He was probably worried Link might break something. "You interested in that, boy? Haven't been able to sell it. No one knows how to play it. Got it from some traders a while back, said it's called... An ocarina, or something."
"I had one of these," Link sounded distant. "It was just like this one. It was from a close friend. I lost it about three years ago."
"Tell you what," Belethor said. "I'll give it to you for half price."
"We don't need it," Folkvar said. "Just some cloths, a bag, a bowl, and a sleeping roll." Folkvar looked behind him, where Link was still staring intensely at the ocarina. He reached out a hand and touched it gently, as if he was afraid it would vanish. When it didn't, he picked it up in both his hands and placed his fingers on the holes. He looked over his shoulder at Folkvar and Belethor.
"May I play something, sir?" He asked.
"Go right ahead," Belethor said. "Alway's wanted to know what it sounded like."
"Thank you, sir," Link placed the mouthpiece to his lips and started to play. It was a very happy song. It made Folkvar feel like he was in a forest that was not infested with things that would kill in an instant. For a moment, Link felt as if everything that had happened to him during the last four years had never happened at all and he had never left the forest and the Great Deku Tree had never died. He felt as though Saria, his best friend in the whole wide world, was standing right next to him. When he finished the song and opened his eyes he knew this was his ocarina. The one Saria had given him when he left the woods.
Link looked directly into Belethor's eyes and said, "Are you sure you didn't get this illegally three years ago?"
Belethor laughed nervously. "You know what, kid? I think you should keep that you play it so well. It's on the house." He turned back to Folkvar, who was internally in a state of surprise, but externally a model of indifference. "I've got just what you need in back. I'll just go and get it. Oh, and if you ever need to get rid of anything you acquired legally, I'd be happy to pay for it."
Folkvar crossed his arms and nodded his thanks.
When all was payed for, Folkvar sent Link back to the Bannered Mare and made his way up to the Cloud District of the city, where the Jarl lived. He had something to ask someone.
He got past the guards easily enough; they didn't ask him what he business he had in Dragonsreach. When he entered the building he made his way directly to the court wizard's quarters. Farengar Secret-Fire, the resident expert on all things magical and scholarly, was sitting at his desk, pouring over a book, when Folkvar knocked on the door frame. Farengar looked up to see an old friend he hadn't seen in over twenty-five years.
"Folkvar?" The wizard stood up and looked closely at the man. "The last time I saw you, you were going to ask your old sweetheart to marry you! How did that go?"
"Not well," Folkvar snapped. His did not look like he was in the mood for catching up with old friends. "I need to ask you something."
"What do you need?" Farengar looked sad that his friend was in a sour mood, but he was still willing to help.
"What information have you got on the land called Hyrule?" Folkvar crossed him arms.
"Well," Farengar said, "I've recently gotten my hands on a book written by an adventurer who traveled there with a group of merchants. It's a smallish continent and the people there are very diverse. Apparently, at the moment it is ruled by a tyrant Sorcerer King called Ganondorf, the Prince of Evil. He started a coup d'état a little over three years ago by killing the old king with dark magic and chasing the king's daughter, his onlchildless and rightful hier to the throne, out of the country. I've heard rumors that she fled to Cyrodiil but they had some trouble with pirates and I'm not sue what happened to her."
"Thanks," Folkvar said. He turned to leave, but before he exited the wizard's quarters he looked over his shoulder at Farengar. "It was nice seeing you again, Farengar."
In the Ocarina of Time Manga, it is reveled that Link dropped Saria's ocarina when he is hit by Ganon's black magic. Ganon takes it, thinking it is Zelda's fabled Ocarina of Time.
Link sat in a chair in a corner of the Bannered Mare. The dark skinned woman, Saadia, had given him some milk and a slice of bread with melted cheese on it. He thanked her politely, but tried to decline it, saying he and no money on him. She smiled and told him it was on her. Link smiled back and thanked her politely.
There was a gust of wind as Folkvar walked back into the inn. He spotted Link quickly and went over to him. Hulda told Saadia to serve Folkvar. She went over to him and took his order of bear stew.
"You have a sweet son," Saadia told him. She smiled at Link.
"He's not my son," Folkvar grunted. He folded his arms and leaned back his chair. Link gloomily continued to eat his bread and cheese.
Later that night Link lay in the bed while Folkvar sat in one of the chairs. Folkvar was fiddling with his bow and arrows. Link knew that he shouldn't feel as attached to Folkvar as he did because he had only known him for a few days and they had barely spoken at all. But Link had felt very sad when Folkvar corrected Saadia about him being Link's father. Link hadn't noticed before how much they looked alike. They both and blond hair and blue eyes. Link fell asleep fantasizing about how his real father could have been like Folkvar, but more elvish.
Folkvar grumbled to himself about how there was only one room open. He didn't sleep that night, but he did watch Link curl up into the fetal position. Link's small body quivered slightly as he breathed. He looked relatively peaceful in his sleep. Folkvar thought about what it was that made Saadia think Link was his son. The boy did not quite look like a high elf, but he definitely looked more mer than man. Link's face was angular and soft, like a nord/high elf mix while Folkvar's face was strong and defined, like a full blooded Nord. Link's hair was orange-gold and naturally neater than Folkvar's messy dirty blond mane. According to Folkvar, there was no family resemblance.
The next morning Folkvar gently shook Link awake and the the two made their way down the stairs. Link, as usual, was a few steps behind Folkvar. Like the boy was hiding behind Nord. Hulda looked up from where she was cleaning some of her fancier plates.
"Eorlund Gray-Mane was looking for you two," Hulda said in passing. "He mentioned you both by name."
"Thanks," Folkvar said as he exited the building. He looked down at Link, who was watching the people around the city go about their business. "Eorlund is an old friend of mine." Folkvar explained. "He must have heard we're in the city. Though, how he learned your name is a mystery."
"Are we gonna go and see him, sir?" Link asked. He had his bag clutched across his chest with both arms.
"I suppose we should," Folkvar said. "He's up at the Skyforge." Folkvar turned up the street and went up to the Skyforge. The Skyforge was behind Jorrvaskr, a mead hall with an upside down boat as a roof. It was home to the group of mercenaries called the Companions. Some of the Companions who saw Folkvar and Link looked at them skeptically while others payed them no heed.
When they made it to the top Link saw the smith who had been working at the forge when they entered the city as well as an old man who was stoking the fire. She must have heard Link's name when Folkvar called to him yesterday. The man looked up from his work when the woman stopped talking. She walked up to Link and Folkvar and got right to the point.
"Link, right?" She asked.
"Yes, ma'am," Link said.
"Why are you using a dagger, boy?" She said.
"Folkvar gave it too me," Link said. He moved a little bit behind Folkvar and peek out form behind him. "So I can defend myself."
"You'd be better off with a sword and shield," the woman said. "I've asked Eorlund to make you something with the Skyforge."
"Thank you," Link said meekly as the woman made her way back to her forge.
Folkvar folded his arms and looked Eorlund directly in the eyes. "Eorlund, you're the best blacksmith in Skyrim, I can't afford your steel."
"Are you growing miserly, old friend? You've got more than enough. Though I won't make you pay," Eorlund looked Link over with a calculating eye. "He's built to be a warrior, Folkvar. You can see it too. It's obvious."
"Being a warrior is a Vasari and violent profession, Eorlund," Folkvar responded. "The path of the warrior may only be for a few. Many who travel it regret it later on. Besides, the lad's not my responsibility. I lead a life full of death and destruction. That no place for a child."
"But, sir," Link tugged on Folkvar's traveling cloak's sleeve and looked up at the large man with pleading eyes. "I need to know how to defend myself and the people I care about or I'll just fail again." Folkvar looked down at the boy's pleading face.
"The boy can't do that without proper weapons and armor," Eorlund added. "I'm willing to make those for him."
"He has a dagger," Folkvar grunted. He turned away from Eorlund and put his hands on Link's shoulders and proceeded to lead him down the path.
"Folkvar," Eorlund called after him. "The offer still stands. You see the fire in his eyes too. It is hard to miss."
The Skyforge is the only place where you can made nordic hero and Skyforge steel weapons and armor. There is no mace made of Skyforge steel (which is annoying as I prefer maces over swords and axes and hammers).
Folkvar lead Link to the stables where Alfsigr had rested that night. He left Link outside of the stable's and proceeded to groom and saddle his horse. When he lead Alfsigr out of her stall, he found Link sitting on the fence of the paddock petting a shaggy, bay pony. He had a big grin on his face. He looked up and saw Folkvar waiting for him. He jumped down off the fence and went over to Folkvar.
"Folkvar, sir?" Link said.
Folkvar grunted in acknowledgment.
"How come you don't want me to have a sword and shield?" Link said.
"Because they're dangerous," Folkvar said bluntly.
"Okay," Link passively looked over at the shaggy pony in the paddock. Folkvar noticed this and sighed.
He turned to the stable master and said, "How much to borrow the pony?" Link looked noticeably happier that they were getting a new addition to the traveling group.
"You'll have to buy the tack," the stable master said. "And pay five hundred septems. All together that's about six hundred septems plus a hundred septems as a deposit. You return him in one piece and I'll give you back the deposit."
"Understood," Folkvar forked over a big bag of septems and the stable master saddle the pony and brought him over to Link.
"His name's Dapple. He'll be good to you if you're good to him," the stable master handed Link the reins and gave him a light smile. Dapple nuzzled Link and Link responded by rubbing the pony's nose. The stable master laughed, "But I think you two'll get along just fine."
The two rode down the path in silence. Link was still busy being awed by the beauty of Skyrim. He marveled at the clouds and the trees and the mountains. Hyrule just had one big mountain and much smaller mountain ranges. There was one huge mountain to the east. Link was sure it was so huge that you could see it from all four corners of Skyrim.
"Sir?" Link asked timidly.
"Aye, lad?" Folkvar responded.
"What's that big mountain?" Link pointed to their left.
Folkvar gave the mountain a passing glance. "That's the Throat of the World. The tallest mountain in Skyrim and all of Tamriel as well. The Greybeards live in a temple at the top called High Hrothgar. People make pilgrimages there."
"Who are the Greybeards, sir?"
"They're monks who follow what they call the Way of the Voice. They watch the world go by and do very little to help. They'll occasionally interfere, but only of it's apocalyptic."
"What's the Voice, sir?"
"You ask quite a lot of questions, lad." Folkvar grunted harshly.
"Sorry, sir," Link looked down at Dapple's mane and patted the little pony to make himself feel better. A few moments of tense silence passed.
"Thorig's beard, lad!" Folkvar snapped guiltily. "The Voice is the language of the dragons. It hold's great power and those who know it have the potential to rule the world. But it takes years to master a single word. The Greybeards speak it fluently, along with all the dragons. That's why they keep to themselves."
Link remained silent. He was looking down at his last hand. He gripped the reins tighter and looked back up at the Throat of the World. He felt a shiver run up his back and a knot in his throat tightened. He thought about what Folkvar said about power.
When the sun started to go down Folkvar desperately searched for a good place to camp. Caves were definitely out of the question as they were normally inhabited by bandits, bears, trolls, draugr, or other dangerous creatures. The side of the road was open to robbers, more bandits, more bears, saber cats, dragons, more trolls, and more and more things that would like to kill him and the boy. As a matter of fact, the entire province of Skyrim was full of things that would like nothing better than to kill, maybe even eat, Folkvar, Link, and any other traveler. Folkvar had no plans of being one of the many travelers who met their end out in the wilderness of the frozen land.
Behind them was Riverwood, but it was a few hours ride, unless they rode fast. Even then, it was cutting it close. Ahead, and much closer, was Helgen. But Helgen had been hit by a dragon. Folkvar knew this because he had been there. There was no telling what now inhabited the ruins of the once prosperous town. List of monstrous dangers ran through Folkvar's head. He looked next to him where Link sat on his little pony, fiddling with a loose string on the sleeve of his cloak. He was quiet, unaware of all the dangers that potentially threatened his life every second they spent outside of the safety of a town. But the sun was going down fast and Folkvar had two choices, unknown dangers in Helgen, but the potential safety of walls and what ever was left of the buildings, or the side of the road, where they could still be attacked by unknown dangers but would not have the safety of walls.
"Lad," Folkvar said gruffly.
"Yes, sir?" Link looked up at Folkvar, his eyes wide with curiosity.
"We're going to continue on to the ruins of Helgen," Folkvar grunted.
"What happened to Helgen, sir?" Link asked.
"I'll tell you when we get there," Folkvar said.
Folkvar was prepared for anything, so the bandits weren't to much of a surprise. If anything, they where a relief. Bandits weren't too hard to deal with, especially if one was preparing for a dragon or two. Folkvar had considered giving Link his longbow, but it's draw was to heavy and it was a foot too tall for him, so he left the boy with the horses around the bend while he took on the bandits. Link didn't complain and ask to help, which made Folkvar happy. He was still a little tightly strung about Link wanting armor and weapons. Folkvar dispatched the bandits quickly and made sure that Link wouldn't have to step over any of the dead bodies that littered the ground, including the burnt corpses from the dragon attack that the bandits hadn't cleared away. The place still smelled of stale death, but it was safe.
They tied up the horses at what remained of the stables and where camped inside the keep, which was mostly intact as it was huge. Folkvar suspected that the Imperials had used it as a second base from Solitude to Cyrodiil. There were beds, but they where musty and covered in gravel so they lay their mats on the ground near their fire. Link looked only slightly uncomfortable. Folkvar would never even dream of showing discomfort, or anything else that could characterize him as anything but a grizzly bear.
"Sir," Link mumbled. "What happened here?"
"A dragon," Folkvar grunted. "Few people made it out alive."
"Oh," Link huddled in a little ball and shivered. "There are dragons in Hyrule too, but they're mostly in the mountain regions. They're also mostly feral and avoid contact with people unless we make them angry. I found a baby one in a market once and set him free. But he followed me. I don't know what happened to him."
"I'm assuming that Hylian dragons and the dragons of Tamriel are very different. Dragons here are deadly and power hungry. They raise villages like this because they can. Most people in Skyrim thought dragons where just a myth. Until now. They are not feral, like bears. They are intelligent. More intelligent than man. And immortal. If your see a dragon, Link, I want you to hide and do not come out again until it's safe. Understand?"
"Yes, sir," Link mumbled. He found it hard to imagine anything that was naturally peaceful in his land to be fierce in this one. Though then again, in Holodrum, a neighboring country to Hyrule, there were bears that would let you ride them if you gave them a banana. The two continents where like polar opposites. The only time Hyrule was like Skyrim was when dark magics plagued the land. Link imagined that dark magic now plagued Hyrule under Ganon's tyrannical reign and it was all Link's fault.
Link brooded for what felt like an eternity. Folkvar sat and kept watch in case the bandits had friends. He was confident that if anything happened, it would get the horses first and they could retreat farther into the keep. But you never know. He glanced at Link to find him gently snoring in front of the fire. Folkvar sighed and got up. He walked over and lifted the boy in his arms and placed him in his sleeping roll. He picked himself up and walked over to a hole in the wall and looked up at the night sky. The full moon was shrouded in mist and the Northern Lights. When Folkvar finally went to sleep, he dreamed of a happier time in his life.
The next morning Folkvar shook Link awake and the two packed up their camp and set off down the road. Link looked more on edge than he had been before the dragon story. He was glancing from the road to the sky nervously as of a dragon would swop down at any moment and attack. Folkvar was also on alert. He didn't want to tell the boy that they just so happened to be passing right under a dragon's perch. Fortunately, dragons normally slept unless they sensed a great presence or were attacked. Folkvar hoped that the dragon at Autumnwatch Tower had no intention of attacking.
Folkvar remained tense for the entire stretch of the road where the dragon could notice them and Link seemed to pick up on Folkvar's fear and became even more nervous. He gripped his left hand tighter in the reins and looked down. His Triforce was glowing. It wasn't supposed to glow unless it sensed another part of the Triforce or a powerful or malicious presence. Suddenly, there was a great roar and all the near by trees shuddered. Link felt all the color drain form his face. There was a dragon and it had undoubtedly spotted them.
"Link." Folkvar hissed. "Hide. Now." Link leapt off of Dapple, who bolted the moment Link was safely on the ground. Link found a tree with low branches and huddled against the trunk. Folkvar took up his bow and found some smaller cover for himself. Link was amazed that Folkvar could even consider fighting a dragon after what he had told him about dragons and how dangerous they were. Link gulped and drew his own dagger, though he wasn't sure what good it would do against something that could make a noise that loud.
Link watched Folkvar notch and arrow and stand ready for when the dragon to come into range. The pounding in the air grew more intense and the dragon swooped and roared once more before hovering over the road. Folkvar pulled back the bow spring expertly and fired his arrow. It lodged in between the dragon's scales. The dragon roared in anger and opened it maw. It breathed cold breath at Folkvar, who dove behind a rock. When the dragon flew off again and Folkvar peeked out from behind the rock, his hair was caked with frost but he was mostly unharmed, if not a little chilly.
Folkvar notched another arrow and aimed it at the dragon that was circling over head. The game of cat and mouse continued until Folkvar managed to lodge an arrow into the dragon's eye, forcing it to land. It landed in a place that Link couldn't see from his hiding place so he quietly inched around the trunk for a better view. When the dragon and Folkvar came into new they where locked in close combat. Folkvar was nimbly sticking his sword in between the the dragon's scaly armor while avoiding the dragon's frosty breath and razor sharp claws and teeth.
Link silently rooted for Folkvar from his hiding place. Everything was going well. Link was sure that Folkvar would eventually kill the dragon and then everything would be fine. Folkvar dodged one way, while the dragon went another. And the dragon got Folkvar right in the chest with its tail. Folkvar was sent flying and crashed not a tree. Link covered his mouth to hold back a scream. He resisted the urge to run to Folkvar to see if he was okay.
The dragon lumbered over to the figure lying prone on the ground. It hissed something in its own language and opened its jaws to either devour Folkvar or freeze him. Link didn't wait to find out. He clutched the little dagger in his hand and charged. He ran right up the dragon's tail and down its back. He reached the dragon's head and squeezed his knees behind the dragon's jaw so it couldn't shake him off, though it did try. The dragon lashed around so hard that Link felt as though he would be sick. It screeched angrily and breathed frost.
Link took the dagger in both hands and lifted it over his head as best he could. He brought it down into the dragon's only good eyes effectively blinding it. The dagger was ripped from his hands as the dragon clawed at its face. Link screamed and fell of the dragon and landed on the hard ground. He landed next to Folkvar's huge two handed sword. Link looked up to see the dragon bring its head down blindly on top of him. Link grabbed Folkvar's sword and proper it point up between him and the impending dragon. The sword went right through the dragon's skull. The dragon's head lost momentum and slowly came to a stop, right before it crushed Link. Link huddled into a little ball and the head fell to side harmlessly.
A rumbling noise came from the dragon and it grew in heat. The dragon's flesh lit on fire and it's essence rushed out of its body. It went straight into Folkvar, who was still laying motionless in the ground. Link pulled himself up and ran to him.
"Folkvar?" Link shook the burly man's shoulder. "Folkvar, wake up!" He shouted. Folkvar groaned and sat up slowly.
"Lad?" He looked around in a slight daze. "What happened to the dragon?"
"It hit you with it's tail and it was gonna eat you and I panicked and I'm sorry, sir!" Link explained hurriedly. He glanced back at the dragon's skeleton. Folkvar followed his gaze ads put two and two together.
"Link," the man scolded. "I gave you explicit instructions to hide. Dragons are dangerous."
"But it was gonna eat you!" Link cried. He leaned forward and hugged Folkvar as best as he could. His arms didn't reach that far around the big man, but it was an effort. Folkvar was stunned that the boy could cry about him getting eaten. It wasn't like they were friends or anything.
"I've had worse," Folkvar pried Link off of him. "We have to find the horses and get back on the road. We've wasted valuable time." Link sniffled and nodded in agreement. He silently cursed himself for showing so much emotion in front of such a stoic man like Folkvar.
After Link collected his dagger from the remains of the dragon and helped Folkvar find arrows that could still be used, he looked for Dapple. The horse had run back towards Helgen. Alfsigr was closer. Link figured it was because she was more used to adventurous exploits like getting attacked by dragons. Later, as they road in please down the road to Riften, Link wondered why the lights came from the dragon and went into Folkvar. He wanted to ask, but Folkvar was probably very angry with him. He was sure Folkvar wouldn't hit him or anything, but his past experiences with people made him wary of any amount of anger directed towards him; or even around him. Folkvar must have noticed that Link had something on his mind because he glanced down at the boy and sighed.
"What is it, lad?" Folkvar asked.
Link looked startled that Folkvar noticed that he had a question. "Nothing, sir!" Link reassured him.
"So you just feel like staring at me like I'm ghost?" Folkvar grunted. Link hadn't noticed that was looking at Folkvar strange.
"No, sir! I wasn't..." Link grew more and more flustered trying to come up with an excuse. "I was just..."
"You're wondering what happened with the dragon's soul?" Folkvar said. "It's nothing you need to worry yourself about."
"Yes, sir," Link said and nodded him head. He made sure he lord down at his hands for the rest of the journey.
That night they camped next to a river in an abandoned river. They tied the horses up outside and Folkvar lit a small fire on the tower's ground floor. Link found it hard to sleep. The image of the dragon's head nearly crushing him was imprinted in the back of his head.
The next morning they made their way to Riften. Link wondered if they were close or not. They had been traveling for a long time now. He was very glad that the bandit's hideout where he been held as a slave was very far away, but he didn't want to leave Folkvar. Folkvar had rescued him and taken him in when he could have easily left Link in Rorikstead to fend for himself. He had even bought him cloths and gotten him a horse and gave him a dagger. Even though he had only been traveling with Folkvar for a little under a week, he found it hard to imagine life without him. He wondered if Folkvar felt the same. Probably not. That's why he was going to drop him off at the orphanage.
"Folkvar, sir?" Link finally said around noon. "Is Riften far?"
"We'll reach it in a few hours," Folkvar answered.
"Okay," Link said quietly. He fiddled his fingers for a few minutes before looking up at Folkvar. "Sir? Are you mad at me?"
"What?" Folkvar grunted.
"Are you mad 'cause I didn't obey you and I attacked the dragon even when you told me to not come out of hiding if there was a dragon around? 'Cause if you are I'm really, really sorry and I promise I won't ever do it again!"
"I am upset that you disobeyed me," Folkvar admitted. "What you did was rash and dangerous and dumb."
"Sorry, sir," Link mumbled dejected.
"But if you hadn't done it, I'd probably be dead," Folkvar didn't even so much as glance at Link. But his words made Link feel infinitely better.
Link had actually saved someone! Maybe if Folkvar adopted him at the orphanage and taught him how to fight like a real warrior he'd have a chance of defeating Ganon and maybe even reunite with Zelda and Impa. Link smiled to himself. He was going to ask Folkvar to adopt him when they got to the orphanage. Either Folkvar would say no and he'd never see him again, or he'd say yes and then Link would have a family. Link hoped Folkvar would say yes.
After the hours past, they came up to Riften. They boarded the horses at the stable's and Link said a slightly emotional good bye to Dapple.
"You're a good pony, Dapple," Link patted the pony's nose and turned to enter the city with Folkvar.
The first thing Link noticed was the stench. Riften wasn't nearly as clean as Whiterun. There were also much more beggars. The guards who where on duty where drunk and the ones off duty where drunker. Link realized that if Folkvar said no, this would be his home until he turned sixteen in two years. Folkvar asked for directions to the orphanage from a guard.
"Honorhall Orphanage is just outside Mistveil Keep. Can't miss it." the guard pointed down the street to the keep.
"Thank you," Folkvar nodded to the guard and lead Link to the orphanage.
Link noticed that his Triforce was reacting to something negative. The closer they got to the orphanage the more intense the tingling on his hand got. The cold hand that normally gripped his throat when the bandits were close to giving him a beating came back. He had a very bad feeling about the orphanage.
"Folkvar, sir?" Link looked nervously at Folkvar, who's face showed only fierce determination, like always. Link was certain he was a pale as a ghost. "I-I-I..."
"You'll be fine, lad," Folkvar reassured him. He reached out and knocked on the door. A woman opened it. She looked tired, but she had a kind look in her eyes. Link hoped that she was Grelod the Kind.
"Hello, sir," the woman said. "I'm Constance Mitchell." Link felt the hand close tighter around his throat. "Are you here to drop of the boy?"
"Yes, may we come in?" Folkvar's asked.
"Certainly," Constance opened the door to let Folkvar and Link in. The room looked like it served as a dinning room as well as an office like place. "Grelod, ma'am, we have visitors." Constance said. An old woman stalked out of the room on the left. Link thought he could hear the soft sobbing of a child coming from the room. He felt afraid but he resisted hiding behind Folkvar with all his might. He had to make Folkvar want to adopt him or he'd be stuck here.
"Orphan or potential parent?" She snarled.
"I think orphan," Constance told her. "Am I right?" She looked at Link.
"Yes, ma'am," Link mumbled.
Grelod walked over to Link and looked him up and down as if she was inspecting a rare cut of meat. She even grabbed his arm and checked his muscles. Link wanted to pull away, but he was frozen with fear. This woman could not be human. She felt too evil.
"What's this?" Grelod snapped. She had a firm hold on his left wrist and had a perfect view of the mark of the Triforce. It was glowing so intensely Link could even feel warmth wafting from of it. "There will be no magic while I'm in charge!" She barked.
"But, ma'am, it's a birth mark!" Link yelped fearfully. Her grip tightened and her eyes narrowed menacingly. Link looked to Folkvar for help. Folkvar was grinding his teeth angrily.
"Birthmarks don't glow, whelp," Grelod snarled. "Make it stop."
"I can't control it, ma'am," Link whined. "It does that when there's... Um..." Link was going to say 'when there's something evil nearby' but the closer Grelod got to it, the more intense the glow.
"What, boy," Grelod snapped angrily. "Tell me or there'll be extra chores and less food for a week."
Link started to struggle to get away. "L-let me go!" He cried. He noticed dirty little faces peaking from the doorway where Grelod had come from. Some of them had tear stains on their faces, other's had bruises, and one of the boys had blood tricking down his face from a cut on his head. Constance saw them and tried to discretely shoo them back into the room. In an instant, Folkvar swooped in to Link's rescue and practically pealed Grelod's boney fingers off of Link's wrist. Link could already feel a hand shaped bruise forming his wrist as he rubbed his pulsating hand. The glowing dimmed, but didn't stop entirely.
"Let me make myself clear," Folkvar snarled at Grelod. His size alone made him intimidating, but when he tried, he was scarier than the dragon. "If you harm a single hair on the lad's head extra chores will be the least of your worries." That's when he looked up and noticed the terrified orphans who Constance had rushed to to comfort. "No, wait. How about this." Folkvar dragged the terrified old woman to the door, opened it, and tossed her out. "If you hurt any child again, you'll have me to answer to."
"Honorhall is my orphanage!" Grelod shrieked. "What right do you have to kick me out of my own home!"
"I have every right," Folkvar snarled. "I am the Dragonborn." Folkvar slammed the door shut and turned to Constance. "I've changed my mind." He said, all malice had gone from his figure and he returned to the Folkvar Link knew. "I'm taking the boy."
Whew. The way I see Folkvar saying "I am the Dragonborn" is intense and awesome and it makes me shiver with fangirly glee every time I read Chapter 1.
Anyway, favorite and follow, or whatever it is you want to do, I don't care, Its your life. If you do want to know, I will be doing my ultimate best to compleat this story and its sequel. Chapter 2 is compleat but waiting revision and Chapter 3 is only about three thousand words from compleat. I am sceptical about this on , so if you have anything positive to say please review so that I know why you liked or didn't like so that I can further improve my writing skills.
Folkvar means hero of the people and it is a Scandinavian name, so I thought it would fit Mr. Dragonborn well. If you want to picture Folkvar in your head, imagin the Dovahkiin from the trailers and official art but about ten years older and with a bigger, wilderness beard.
Link is the exact same Link as OoT but instead abandoning him, Impa actually stopped to horse long enough to grab Link and carry him and the princess to safety. Since there was no one to chuck the Ocarina of Time at, Zelda just kept it. I'm gonna stop now so I that I don't give away any major spoilers.
Thanks in advance for liking what I've spent months working on and if you didn't like it thwhy how on earth did you get far enough to read ten thWorded words? I mean, really, that's like twenty pages!