Monday, November 14, 2011

Skyrim Journal #2

This guild, the companions they call themselves, are a very strange group. They have the same odd obsession with honor and dying well, but just below the surface they are just as vile and deviant and anyone else. They hide things from each other and plot against their fellow companions while toasting their accomplishments with ale. One would think that I had fallen in with the dark brotherhood.


After running several simple errands for them that I used as explanations for the spoils I returned with I was summoned to one of the inner circle's quarters. He said that I was ready for my test and that one of their number would accompany me. There had been reports that a fragment of a weapon had been found that was important to their history and it was to be hour job to retrieve it. Seemed a bit pointless to men since there weren't planning on selling it for something useful, but the companion standing behind me with one of the largest swords I had ever seen made it clear that this missions was not an option.


We encountered the same undead monsters that plagued me while retrieving the golden claw for the merchant in Riverwood, but my companion guide/guard dispatched them with hideous efficiency. I scarcely had time to pull an arrow from my pack before they lay in pieces on the floor, and the way he danced in and out of my firing lanes made taking shots more difficult than in should have been. On one occasion I glanced an arrow off of his back. A steady glare was my only punishment, though I was very sure that it did not happen again.


Apart from that he was very tolerant of treasure hunting. I opening every burial pot they we found, picked through the pockets of every corpse, opened every casket and retrieved all the gold I could find. He chuckled, then walked on, content to kill things and let the most important part, the looting, for his dunmer charge. It was a strange team, but it worked, right up to the point where I locked myself in a room and he had to find a way to get me out.


He was not angry, just annoyed at the diversion. He had been searching the room for only a few moments when seven or eight heavily armored nords appeared from nowhere, each one with a sword that appeared to my eyes to be made of silver.


'We have found you, at last,' the first one said as they circled the companion. My guide still did not seem frightened and there was nothing I could do but watch, still penned in  a trap that I had set off in my haste. Before the attackers could land a single blow their victim sheathed his sword, closed his eyes, and began to howl. He's gone made, I thought, until the room was bathed in light and he began to change. In a flash the man was gone, replaced by a werewolf twice his size. The monsters dispatched his attackers with ease, tearing them to pieces, before finally turning his gaze on me. I expected it to tear the bars from the wall before killed me as well, but instead he spoke.


'Wait here.'


Had I not been terrified I would have made a pithy remark, something like 'where am I supposed to go,' but I quickly nodded. He dropped to all fours and ran around a corner, there was flash, and the gate I was stuck behind begin to rise. I crawled underneath before it was all the way up and had already started to run when he called me from behind.


'Stop. You are in no danger. And tell no one of this, you are not yet supposed to know.'


We eventually found what we were looking for, but not once did I take my eyes off of him. I had never seen a werewolf before, and I certainly did not want to see one again.


...


Upon returning to the companion camp the finished my indoctrination with more than a little drinking and song. I found it enjoyable in spite of myself; it was the first time I felt like I truly belonged since fleeing my homeland, and even then it was more an attitude of tolerance then acceptance. These people didn't care that I was a wood elf, it was irrelevant. All that mattered was that I could kill a man before he knew I was there and had no moral hangups about doing so.


This complacent attitude lasted less than a day. After being sent out to kill another batch of werewolf hunters I was told to wait behind their guild hall in a cave beneath their forge. As if this was not enough, the entrance was hidden and spent most of the evening leaning against a rock wall freezing my ass off. Without warning it opening behind me and I was dragged in. I would have attacked had there not been another werewolf there along with a human companion. It was not the same one as before, a bit slighter in build, vaguely feminine, but just as frightening. My discomfort was obvious.


'Steel yourself, elf, I have an proposition. You show great promise, but to fully join our ranks the blood of the beast must run in your veins.'


I must admit that I was very curious, but not what I would call excited. To their credit they let me leave to think about it. I left town as quickly as I could and raided another bandit cave to clear my head. A few close calls later I realized that this would be just another tool, another weapon to use. I had been offered a chance to become more powerful, the intentions of those who offered it were not important. What was important was what I intended to do with it.


The next night I returned and completed their ritual. From what I am told it was a difficult transformation. I do not remember much, bits of piece and running through the forest at impossible speeds. They finally caught up to me over an hour later, calmed me down, and I returned to my normal form. The regret was immediate. What good is this weapon if I cannot control it? What had these people who I had just began to trust done? It was certain that they were much to powerful to take direct revenge, but this is indeed a curse and I must find a way to have it undone.


...


There is also the matter of meeting, fighting, and killing a dragon. It was the first, technically second, dragon seen in the lands in many lifetimes and I put in the final blow. I understand what happened next even less that the werewolf curse I was talked into, but I will say that at least this power I can point at someone.

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