Volume 2 – The High King’S Tournament
Chapter #16 – The Team
The road to Morthal was a pain, We had to travel with only a little rest, yet too many annoying encounters happened.
First we met wolves, unfriendly as usual.
Then we actually bumped into some wild undead, I got to use my Hammer to its full might. It also means that some ancient nordic tomb were unearthed somehow, or un-nirn-ed if we take the world’s name into consideration.
This was my first time fighting undead and it was rather, how do I say it? It was strange.
I fought with a spriggan before so I am no stranger to fighting monsters that used to be fantasy to me, and also I can summon some undead but that’s was really interesting to see how wild undead behave.
The weapon they use are ancient. Its metal is rusty and its wood is rotten and green.
Undead must be burned after defeat so the don’t spread some weird unknown disease.
Jon Battle-Born never knew I was a mage up until we set off. I kinda don’t go around saying I can do magic so I don’t get cold treatment from Nords.
After a week of traveling north-west, we reached a mountain range. There were many caves here but unless you want to travel in the wild plains of Whiterun to get to Dragon Bridge, you just have to get to Morthal through the mountains.
Cold Rock Pass is a cave off-road that is as its name so cold but it is considered a road for some traders. I haven’t seen it as an official road in game but this was really a smart detour and also a beautiful sight to see.
But what met us in the pass was a troll. This was my first time seeing a living one.
The whole damn protection squad got ready to fight the moment the troll was spotted.
It looked like an evil grey gorilla with long claws, evil head and three eyes, I offered cover by fire magic at this point.
Trolls have a terrifying regeneration ability that could only be nulled by fire.
I spammed Fire Bolts at the damn thing and I kinda pulled its aggro, Wulfur shield took a hit from the troll and he was sent flying.
Seriously that was terrible, to send someone like Wulfur flying can only be done by someone as powerful as Hilda.
It got pinned down by spears and I roasted it with fire, The smell was terrible and I got injured few times. Things went like this until the fire and the spears made the troll too tired to fight and it died with an unsightly appearance. It wasn’t an easy fight but no one on our side died.
After the fight was over, we started taking care of the wounded. There were 20 men in the team and they were fairly strong, they could have won with some casualties but Fire Magic ended the party early.
The healing was done by me and those who could use Restoration Magic. Everytime magic be useful and there are Nords around I always tease them and boast how almighty Magic is.
Some get provoked and some argue but trouble-making is fun that way.
The caravan kept going into the pass for six hours. After we got out from it, we officially were in Hjaalmarch Hold.
From here we took the off-road way and arrived to Morthal after a day.
No one really travel to such town. Morthal is damp and full of marshes so travellers hate it for a reason, I wanted to stay in the town of Morthal to check out some game related stuff but the caravan leader told us that Morthal Jarl has a bad reputation with Witchcraft.
I was offended and wanted to argue but he said that this woman creeps him out unlike mages like me.
I wanted to retort but I had no energy to, I am a mage who could conjure undead and Morthal’s Jarl ‘Idgrod Ravencrone’ was actually a good and wise woman with a mystic talent in magic that could make her see some events in the future in her dreams, her children have inherited talents like hers.
She was creepy and all. Actually all the town of Morthal is creepy if you look at it from a far.
It was completely different from the game, it had the woodmill, the lake and all these features but it had more taller houses and they were rather darker due to the atmosphere around the city itself which was dark and cloudy, the reason is actually the marsh around the town but the caravan leader wouldn’t be convinced by just that.
It has been 10 days since we left Whiterun. I haven’t eaten something well cooked lately and our tent has a new resident so it was a very weary journey.
Unlike the road from Riften to Whiterun which had three rest stops, the road from Whiterun to Solitude had two rest stops one of them the travellers would rather avoid. One can imagine that this journey was too much on the nerves and I couldn’t study one single word.
As we were finally moving on road, the caravan hasted to the west and we crossed Hjaal River, half a day later we crossed the first branch of Karth River and went straight to the second.
Karth River starts from The Reach Hold west of Skyrim and from the higher lands in Hjaalmarch hold, passing beside Hjaal River and they both meet in the marches which is connected to the sea.
To pass Karth River you need to cross Dragon Bridge, Dragon Bridge is a very ancient looking bridge that connects Haafingar Hold to the rest of Skyrim. Haafingar Hold was the lands of the High King and the hold where the Capital City of Skyrim, Solitude is located.
Dragon Bridge was entirely made of stone and has a carved dragon skull on top of it, one could tell it was a part of ancient history.[A/N: I really didn’t find much in the wiki and I was a bit busy so if I said something wrong point it please.]
Passing the bridge we arrived at a village called after the bridge, right after it.
Dragon Bridge village was on a rocky river side, yet it has developed nicely due to its particular location on the only land road in Skyrim that leads to Solitude City.
Dragon Bridge had a mill that transports wood to the hold and a very big inn that can be mistaken for a wooden castle the Four Shields inn.
The plan was to stay at this inn and head to Solitude the next day to reach it in three days, that concluded this journey as a sixteen days journey.
After arrangements, everyone was ready to sleep at any bed even if it is in Oblivion itself, I was no exception to that.
Let’s just not think about how to get back. thinking about such a journey really gives me headache, I have to find a way to travel better than this.
Maybe if I was under the protection of the ‘Steed Stone’ one of the 13 Standing Stones, I would have a better time traveling in the future.
The ‘Standing Stones’ is something that the annoying Author forgot to mention. But please, don’t blame that guy. Currently he’s at a summer resort and trying to figure out his touring schedule. How enviable!
Back to the topic, The Standing Stones are standing upright magical stones located throughout Skyrim. Legend tells of the stones granting special powers to heroes of old, giving them the ability to rewrite their fate.
Standing at approximately 3 meters in height, the ancient looking stones each display a different Tamrielic constellation carved into its body. A total of 13 stones are dotted across the land, one for each month of the year, and The Serpent, which has no month associated with it. The stones only seem to respond to certain individuals, but it is unknown what the qualifier for this is.
Under the effects of the mod ‘Andromeda’. it replaced the mundane vanilla Standing Stone effects with two new abilities per stone. And upon discovering all Standing Stones, each of them also grants a unique power.
The Steed Stone had two effects, Explorer and Gallop. By ‘Explorer’ The Steed increases carry weight and with ‘Gallop’ the Steed increases movement speed and Stamina regeneration when out of combat. They are very good at lone traveling.
I was under the protection of the Shadow Stone myself. It granted me Blind power increases movement speed in combat and Hide in Shadows which works near a wall or obstacle, it causes sneaking and sneak attacks to be more effective.
Back to the traveling topic I was planning to buy a horse at some point but I am looking for a good breed. Nord horses on the other hand are hardy but slow. they can endure the cold weather of Skyrim.
While thinking about that my heavy head already sank to deep sleep.
I woke up with no energy at all.
Looking at the people around me, it looked like a scene from a zombie movie. They people were still tired and our bodies were screaming for some rest.
I take my Knapsack and take out few options.
Stamina restoration potion is the best choice for this moment.
I go down to the inns hall and find my three friends setting on a table and leaving a place for me.
After I set I take out the green potion. Wulfur and Svidi saw it and held their tankards to me.
I pour some in each drink. Battle-Born looked questionably and I told him what it was. He held his tankard immediately after knowing.
Drinking potions in reality is different from the game. Potions are medicines so the must be used under strict rules.
Drinking them watered didn’t affect their effects so there were advised that way.
After consuming the potion we were back on track and energy filled our bodies once more.
Other travelers considered potions to be only for emergencies so no one would use stuff as wastefully as me.
Speaking of my wealth I am actually not poor at all even though I just left the orphanage a month ago, I used to work with the thieves and I always trade stuff with travellers. Also I could gather some rare ingredients like Nirnroots and and other ones from around the Eldergleam sanctuary.
I also sold many stuff I hunted in the journey to the merchants that traveled with us.
I have a total of 24 gold, 19 silver and 37 copper Septims.[A/N: 1G = 10S = 100C]
Carrying too many stuff made me wish for some extra dimensional storage like the ones they get in novels. There are magics that can do stuff like that but quite high leveled.
After eating and drinking we headed to the carriages and waited for the rest of the people.
The walking dead arrived and the caravan set route to Solitude.
Haafingar’s roads were much better than the rest of the holds, I could read the whole story of Queen Potema of Solitude.
A powerful necromancer, she was. That all the hold of Haafingar was deserted after she turned it into a realm of undead. She was a Septim blood so she had a claim to the Imperial throne. After her son died in the fight for the throne she griefed and unleashed all the undead she had on the world.
After death she was sealed somewhere under Solitude.
Closing the book I dozed off until we set camp.
Three day has passed and we could see a unique looking and extraordinarily large hill, or not?
Let’s just describe it as a hill rocky hill that a large river pass beneath it. It also serves as a wind breaker for the docks in the river.
Above this large rocky hill, a city was built. That was our destination, Solitude.
It had a large castle at the entrance of the city which was Castle Dour, the headquarters of the Empire in Skyrim. There was also a large windmill, large towers and a blue dome. That blue dome is of The Blue Palace, the king’s residence.
The sun was going down so we had to hurry up and enter the city before dark.
Entrance to Solitude is guarded by two gates and three towers. The first of these towers, situated at the crossroads, is Sky Tower. It’s mostly a lookout, although in times of war, barricades are erected across the nearby road to act as a first line of defense.
The second tower and first, smaller gate are collectively known as the Squall Gate. Here, attacking armies meet their first real resistance. Last and certainly most impressive is the Storm Gate.
While Castle Dour, found just within the city’s main gate, has always been a massive walled structure.
Looking up and to the left of the main gate, one can see more rounded style of architecture that was the same as in the Castle Dour extension, as well as the windmill.
Now we pass through the gates and enter the main shopping district of Solitude.
Long road it was yet clean and has few trees left and right.
There also was many stalls still working. I thought the city was going to be quite once it gets dark yrt it was lively.
Let’s just head to the inn.
It’s called the ‘Winking Skeever’, why you ask? because the owner used to have a skeever and it used to wink.[A/N: Skeevers are large rats, very large that if you are afraid of rats like me then all you can do is just spam Fireballs at them from afar]
That was what he said in the game. I don’t think having a Skeever will qualify you to manage an inn even in Riften.
Booking two rooms and leaving our stuff at them we go down to get information.
I was looking for specific information about the tournament.
The High King’s tournament is an event that happens once every year for the king’s birthday. It also serves a yearly talent show for Skyrim’s warriors.
The tournament two major events for two different age stages.
The Junior stage is for 20 years old and younger as long as you are suitable.
The Senior stage is for 21 years old and older as long as you are suitable.
No one really uses magic even though it’s allowed but the people don’t like it so it’s mainly battle prowess.
I won a token to enter the tournament in Riften, each hold has a fixed number of holds so I was able to participate.
Each participant can have his team in the tournament. They could be chosen by the participants and the limit was five.
I was planning to go in with Wulfur but we picked Jon Battle-Born from Whiterun and our chances were better.
I wanted to have the upper limit but all the people I could find were Senior stage.
Let’s hope for the best anyway.
They were five stages; duels, shooting, horsemanship , team duels and the most devastating of all, Battle Royal.
The duels were by challenging each others. One can challenge each participant or helper once. Even helpers can enter the ranks of this stage. Its time limit was the whole damn tournament.
The shooting was at the range by time and score, each participant and helper had only one chance to shoot whatever they are good at. From arrows to axes to knifes and even magic.
The horsemanship wasn’t much different. except it was for many targets and you ride in a track while shooting at them or hitting them with a melee weapon.
The team duels were elimination matches.
The Battle Royal was on the last day as and it was a last man standing match free for all.
There was an Arena in main yard of Castle Dour.
First day was the speech day.
The king and the jarls along with the other emissaries will gather that day to congratulate the king, and challenge each others along with the other famous warriors.
The second day is the day of duels that all the senior and junior teams would gather and issue challenges to each others. The duels can keep going the for the whole tournament but must be issued beforehand and you can’t challenge the same person twice, which means after you challenge him, he can challenge you.
The shooting matches will be held from the third to the fifth day.
The horsemanship from the sixth to the eighth day.
Both have three days and it would be determined by the score of the highest team member.
The team duels are the main event of the whole tournament. it starts at the ninth day and ends at the twelfth. 32 teams eliminate each other and rise for the champion title.
In Skyrim there were know second or third place nonsense. We Nords win the whole damn thing or go back to where we came from.
The champions would receive Skyforge Swords for the participant and his helpers. These were one of the few ways to get your hands on a Skyforge steel. If I get one then I’ll turn the whole damn Skyrim upside down for the best Soul Gem and ask Nurina to enchant it.
After the Team Duels, the thirteenth day is a break and rest for the fourteenth day. The Battle Royal.
The Legendary Last Man Standing Free For All Battle Royal. No alliances allowed. Just some good old pure Nordic mayhem.
I read a brief note about this before but that big announcement on the wall of the inn made my blood boil.
Many teams were with us in the inn, some teams were with their sponsors. we all looked at that announcement notice and some people read it for those who can’t.
These events were for both Juniors’ Stage and Seniors’ stage.
I gave everyone their mission.
Wulfur, Battle-Born and I will focus on training for now.
Svidi and Battle-Born will register in the College of Bards and will focus on our propaganda.
The best place to neuter a bard is in the stage of fights so Svidi will sing for us as a cheerleader. A beautiful girl with long black hair and lean figure will give us popularity.
Battle-Born will go with a sword and dagger as his Duelist style was. Wulfur is my shield bearer but I used to call him ‘tank’, and I will go on with a hammer.
Finally the team must have a name. My naming scene is terrible and everyone knew that, actually I haven’t given my hammer a name for that very reason.
After planning it all in ten minutes, we to make a team name. I conjured all my past life knowledge to get a good one.
After two hours of cursing and mocking each other we came to a decision.
Our team’s name will be….[A/N: I spent 3 hours thinking about a name and never got one, I know how terrible my naming sense is and I always rely on name generators but you guys deserve better. you guys help me with the name or it will be a disaster next chapter if I picked it up myself.] [A/N: Also find a name for the damn hammer.]