Dragonborn Chapter 331: Confusion
*12th of Sun’s Dawn (February), 4E 199*
Since the day when chaos broke in the Reach, Thane Jon Dare of Winterhold was never seen again. Questions asked with barely anything answered. Why did the Forsworn start the chaos? Why did the Nordic clans of the Reach participate in the big fight? Where are Jon and Nefertiti?
These questions were barely answered by the only known survivor who was suffering from PTSD, Wulfur.
And three months passed.
Right now, it is Sun’s Dawn (February) of the new year and no single progress on Jon’s or Nefertiti’s whereabouts.
Are they alive? Yes.
How do they know? Nurina’s Divination said so. Also, when the search trackers reached the avalanche sight, no sign of Jon was found and the place was all dug up. Jon was not there anymore.
Can Telepathy reach him? Supposedly, even if he is trapped in Oblivion itself but it doesn’t reach him at all. Something is blocking it.
What can the Dare Dragon Company do? Absolutely nothing, they can’t be allowed in another hold with more than 200 men which are far from enough to deal with the Forsworn. Even when they wanted to pass through The Pale, Jarl Skald the Elder blocked the roads.
What about the Firemanes? They are investigating and searching.
What about Nurina? Alfe Fyr forbade her from doing anything more than trying to search. That still didn’t stop her from using [Astral Protection], a Master class Mysticism spell, to look for Jon day after day.
What about Jonrad and Hilda? Jonrad was the first to go and look for Jon, he simply took his katana and cloak then left with a short note. Hilda could only leave her children, Thor and Idun, at Nurina’s and Skadi’s care before taking her ship, the Guilty Crown, and sailing to the Karth River.
What about Alina, Jullanar and Aela? Well, here is the thing. Alina can’t leave Winterhold because she is nursing Jullanar. Why? On the way back to Winterhold, Jullanar collapsed on the ship coming home to Winterhold. The timing was confirmed to be the same time as the mountain fell on Jon. Aela ventured in the Reach about five times in those three months and fought with many Forsworn but couldn’t find a single trace of Jon.
Almost everyone in Winterhold was grasping on their hearts. If Thane Jon disappeared, things may get as bad as before. The central figure of the hold was known for both his valor and mischief, he was the central pillar of Winterhold’s economy and even though Jarl Korir started to act righteously lately, none trusted him for good reasons.
This situation that lasted for three months started to attract many enemies to Winterhold. If not that Winterhold is a desolate place, all colors of evil would have lurked in a long time ago.
The questions about Jon Dare never stopped, even Ulfric Stormcloak sent his people to talk to the Dare Dragon Company and see if there is anything they can assist with. Of course Ulfric denied that he has any power to control the actions of Jarl Skald, it wasn’t entirely a lie but he didn’t want to risk such an action very soon.
None of that mattered anyway, Jon’s family can take care of there own and everyone was sure that Jon will show up. It was Nurina who had faith in that the most.
Still, the most devastated person was none other than Wulfur. He witnessed everything and came out the lone survivor with a tragic story to tell.
He was used to trick Jon in a trap, he fought for three days and lost all his men, he witnessed his brother get buried under a mountain, and the rest of the story was still tragic.
Once he saw the mountain fall, he lost his sense of reason and ran towards it only to find Nefertiti collapsing behind him. Not sure what to do, Wulfur carried her and started moving the rubble despite his multiple injuries.
He buried and buried without any results. The rubble was too much for him to handle. He looked back and saw the surviving three Hagravens trying to get their hands on Nefertiti calling her ‘Fey’.
He was enraged and threw his hammer at them then grabbed Nefertiti and ran. The three Hagravens shape-shifted into three flocks of crows and started to chase him. He could only jump in the river and pass out only to find himself being saved by some Companions who were investigating the chaos in the Reach.
Once he woke up, he couldn’t find Nefertiti and his mental condition became worse. He got identified and sent to Whiterun for healing, he made contact with Jon Battle-Born and the news of what happened spread.
since his arrival to Winterhold, all he kept saying was “It should have been me”. He kept himself shut in his house and barely ate anything. Bjorna and Svidi were the only ones on daily contact with him they struggled to put him back together.
At Wulfur’s front yard, Alina, Svidi, Bjorna were all gathered talking.
“Have you… told him yet?” Alina asked.
Bjorna shook her head.
“I still think it will cheer him up a bit, you two are older than me and Jon and can just get married before it happens.” Alina said.
“Are you mad? Wulfur would never marry if Jon is still missing.” Bjorna said.
“Jorna, it has been three months, I can tell that you are pregnant already. Soon everyone will find out too.”
Bjorna nodded in silence.
“How are things on your end?” Svidi asked.
“The company is doing well. Some partners are skeptical about me and Jon’s case but as he said, nothing will stop the big machine.” Alina said.
“Do you need anything we can help with?”
“No, just focus on Wulfur. I sense a storm coming at Winterhold and we all should prepare. Tell Wulfur to man up and come help me.”
The two nodded to Alina.
“How is Jull?”
“Better, she can stand up now but her fever is back. She vomits what she eats so we give her easy things to digest. Aela comes by with meat she hunted and we eat together… holding up and all.” Alina seemed to be holding up well different than Wulfur who completely crumbled.
“Thank you, Alina. We all depend on you.”
Alina nodded with a smile. The [Fire Keeper Mask] hiding her eyes kept away a lot of sorrow and sadness to her alone. As she left Wulfur’s place, she walked home stealthily in the empty street.
Her face was expressionless and her steps were quiet. No one knew what she was thinking of in that state.
All of a sudden, her [Fire Keeper Mask] started to glow and her expressions turned fearful. Her Eye Powers were acting up again.
“Damn it! Stop!” She groaned.
But her eyes didn’t stop at all. Right now, the [Fire Keeper Mask] can’t contain her powers like before.
She was suffering from her own gifts. Ever since she was born, she was feared for her different eyes. When she was a child she grew up mentally sooner than usual, she understood things earlier than any kid and got concerned about things a kid shouldn’t get concerned about. When she was recognized by the Cult of Kyne, she was already too far to reach and became lonelier than before. When she became a teenager, her beauty bloomed and her fame attracted many. When she learned Magic and Martial Arts, she was peerless which can be another word for friendless.
She always suffered from the gifts she had until the day she met Jon and she was always after him in many things. For the first time, she was in someone’s shadow and she loved it. Not the loner anymore.
Now, the light of her universe disappeared and all sorts of anxiety came at her. She was not a pathetic week girl, she can fight all. Still, herself wasn’t that easy opponent she can face.
Alina took out the thing Jon gave to her before he leaves. She looked at it and felt it closely. A small trinket like that was the thread she held to Jon’s will with.
As she thought positively, her eyes started to get under control once again. She calmed down and walked home.
Upon her arrival, she saw her gryphon Lokthur sleeping peacefully in the yard in its nest. His life was mostly playing and sleeping lately even though she kept training him on battle and teaching him how to carry her on his back. It was already very big and would go hunting on its own from time to time.
With a slight smile, Alina mood became somewhat better and she walked in the house. She met Skadi, Jenna and Nurina who were taking care of the kids. Hilda’s action of leaving the small four months old kids was reckless and her mother scolded her.
Alina passed to the main bedroom where Jullanar was. She saw her sitting on the bed and eating some soup.
“Feeling good?” Alina sat beside Jullanar.
“A little. How was your day?” Jullanar asked.
“No, nothing new.”
Jullanar was not in a talkative mood. Between brooding, crying and falling ill, she did nothing else. Alina was at a loss of words and tried to comfort her partner but she was not that much better herself on the inside.
Alina and Jullanar snuggled together and kept it silent until one of them spoke.
“I wonder how is he doing!”
*Markarth – earlier this day*
Markarth, a Dwarven city build on the surface, unlike other underground Dwarven cities. The Nords prized it ever since the disappearance of the Dwemer but many others coveted it.
The city was famous for its large silver mine run by the Silver-Blood Clan. The mine also serves as a prison. The mined silver ore gets delivered from the prison to the smelter outside the mine to be made in ingots and to the pockets of the Silver-Blood family.
In the smelter, many workers come and go under the watching eyes of Mulush gro-Shugurz, the overseer of the smelter business. One of those newcomers was one the miners call ‘Draugr Face’.
Draugr Face was a silent but abnormally large fellow, mostly mute, his left foot was replaced by a prosthetic one, some of his left fingers were missing, but most importantly, the left side of his face was badly damaged to the point that he was called ‘Draugr Face’, he always kept his face hidden though.
Even though people were wondering what could put such a beast of a man down, all were fearful to approach him. The amount of ore that man can carry was not natural. His power transcends the common sense.
Draugr Face has only appeared one month ago but he is the best worker in the smelter. Mulush gro-Shugurz wouldn’t even try to scold him.
Draugr Face lives in the Warrens, the home of the homeless and beggars in Markarth. He always returns early and sits in Lotus position meditating the Magicka.
No matter how long he tried, he could only meditate without the ability to get the Magicka out of his body. He used to be a very talented mage but now, he can’t even help but to punch the ground in desperation. He took off his shirt and looked at the state of his body, there was that brown vine growing on his body and locking him from casting magic.
Losing limbs was something manageable to him as he always had a plan for everything, the problem is… none of those plans had the part where he can’t cast Magicka.
He calmed his pointless anger and lied on the old bedroll. His prosthetic foot turned into a formless black matter that he used as a pillow.
A lot needed to be done and he has a devious plan. Darkness swelled up from his heart. He already became a monster, so why not act like one?
He closed his eyes and let his head flow to the past.