Volume 3 – The College Days
Chapter #80 – A Call For Help[A/N: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT IN ‘AUTHOR THOUGHTS’.]
We said our goodbyes to the Moonblade boy and girl then headed directly west along with the mountain range that links between the holds of ‘The Pale’ and ‘Winterhold’.
Our goal is to travel swiftly and with haste to ‘Wayward Pass’, a passage between the mountains that leads from the snow wastes north the mountains to the planes and the forests in the south.
This pass normally has no travelers and it didn’t have any bandits or monsters in the game, but unlike the game, places like this should have something like that. Luckily for us, Flame Atronach Horses scare the shit out of bandits and beasts.
The ride continued smooth to the west and we took turn when we spotted the pass. There is no road in this place but the path was cleared up and we could pick up the pace. The path went up until we reached a narrow path that extended for a short ride that took nothing but fifteen minutes.
During the ride, we saw skeletal remains of beasts and men hanged on the walls and was put in a weird and spooky manner. There was also an altar and a shrine the belonged to of the divines called Arkay.
Anyway, the path continued but the sun had already set. Traveling at night is madness but camping in this kind of place was not something I would want to do. We rode full speed ahead for the first time on the journey.
Jull fell in love with how fast the Flame Atronach Horse can run, it was a thrilling experience but needed a lot of control.
After a while, we reached the planes south of the mountains and started to take it easy. We kept using the ‘Night Vision’ spell and kept headed south until we reached a road.
It took us a while to find a road sign, it took a while but it all went well.
My destination was the Nightgate village, a village that was built around a traveler’s inn and was considered part of ‘The Pale’, but it has a unique location between the three holds of ‘The Pale’, ‘Winterhold’, and ‘Eastmarch’.
I was traveling to this inn as the first stop of my training plan. Around the inn, there were some interesting locations and places I intend to visit.
To the east, there are Forsaken Cave and Yorgrim Overlook ruin.
To the Northwest where we are coming from are Ironbind Barrow and Silverdrift Lair.
To the west, there is a grove called Shrouded Grove.
And finally to the southeast, there is Korvanjund Ruins.
All these places are locations of great interest for those who know the value and the secrets in them.
Most of them are ancient Nordic ruins of past eras, only ‘Shrouded Grove’ is just a natural sight and a place where I expect to find a troll in.
During the coming months, I intend to conquer as much as I can of these places. Some of them are pretty dangerous and some enemies are just impossible to face in such a place to the current me, but with a great plan, I’ll conquer them clean.
I reviewed these plans with Jullanar as we approached the inn. Once we detected signs of human activity, we banished the Flame Atronach Horses and switched to walking. Mages like myself are treated coldly in these parts while adventurers are always welcomed, I prefer the adventurer treatment this time.
Walking into the village, it was already night but the villagers were awake and the patrolling guards spotted us, they treated us suspiciously but as I declared my identity as an adventurer, I was welcomed and guided to the inn.
The inn was the center of the town, there are some lumbering workers and a herbalist in the village but all worked for the inn in the end.
After I entered the inn, I noticed that like many other taverns, Nightgate Inn consists of a huge taproom with a fireplace in the center and the counter at the opposite end of the room from the entrance.
A few wooden tables are scattered around the taproom, all of them set with chairs and candles. In addition to the taproom, the inn also has some smaller rooms with beds and reserved for paying customers.
When I got in, the inn was nearly empty, I found a table, but the stuff on the floor, and sat on a chair resting my aching bones. A while later, a shadow came towards us and spoke, “Ah, hello there, traveler. Come to the Nightgate for food or lodging?”
The man who talked is a Nord, half bald, and with a beard. His appearance reminded me of that NPC, the innkeep Hardling.
“Mead, warm food, a bit of smoked or dried fish, and a room for two.”
“Staying the night?”
“Nah! Been traveling for weeks. I’ll pay for a few days upfront with food and all.”
“A week, huh? Fine, welcome to the Nightgate Inn, lad, name’s Hardling. Anything you need, just holler.”
“Thanks,” I said, “Tell mo Ol’ Hardling, are there any news about mages in these parts?”
The man frowned and made an annoyed face, “Seen enough magic in my day to know to stay away from it. I’d stay away from the Jarl’s wizard in Dawnstar too. If you wanna be a damn fool, go to the College in Winterhold instead.”
I knew it!
I thanked the man and waited for the food.
Looking around the inn, I spotted some old people sitting here and there. I was looking for someone in particular but I couldn’t recognize him out.
Guess I’ll take it the slow way.
After all, from now until the coming month, I am a resident of the Nightgate Inn.
*Tink* *Tink* *Tink* *Tink*
‘This piece is good.’
‘Should I do it this way as I normally do or should I carve it the way Jon likes?’
I am getting dizzy and it is almost night.
‘I should clean myself up before Svidi and Bjorna come from the College.’
The workshop is in the shadow of Castle Dour, the place started swarming with customers a month ago and the Imperial Legion started to make all sorts of requests as if a blacksmith was born with ten hands.
If Jon was here, he would have already beaten me up and dragged me somewhere to drink.
My brother hates this kind of jobs but I guess he will be fine whatever he does. Nothing beats in both having fun and doing jobs too.
Still, he’s a fool when it comes to iron and steel. He just wants to hammer the piece a few times and magically it becomes ready.
He never stood things that would take a long time like blacksmithing and long combat, but strange enough, he likes alchemy and hunting.
Guess I never know how his head is working.
I somewhat miss his never-ending jokes about dragons.
Speaking of dragons, Bjorna likes them very much too.
Is it something that has to do with redheads?
“You are sighing like Jon now?” A voice came from behind me.
“Well, I was thinking about him.” I replied without looking, this was my sister.
“If Bjorna heard you, she may get jealous of him, you know!”
Wha… what is this girl saying!
“Haha, you blushed!” Svidi started acting like a fool. It started recently when she was accepted as a student of some famous bard.
I am worried about her but something is telling me not to, Bjorna started accompanying her lately so I guess she will be fine.
“I am sorry, is this the workshop where Wulfur works?” A young man of my age and height came through the door, he looked at me and his eyes kit up, “Ah! Here you are.”
I feel like I know him.
He looks like some warrior and smells like the sea…
“Yes, you remembered me! Haha!”
He started laughing and became delighted once he saw me.
“Well, I am called Captain now! Haha!” He said while grinning.
What would bring this guy here? He got along with Jon but not with me.
“To whom do we owe the pleasure, Captain Ongeim?”
“Haha! To Boss Jon of course.”
“Boss?” Svidi was taken aback.
“Jon?” I was taken aback.
“Hahaha, don’t treat me coldly now, come on.”
“Well, come in!”
I invited him into the shop and offered him a seat and some mead.
“To tell you the truth, I wasn’t supposed to contact you until three months from now when you want to go to Winterhold and meet up with the Boss. But I might need your help sooner than expected!”
“Just tell us what’s going on first and why do you call my brother your Boss.”
“Ah! It happened four months ago, the Boss literally changed our lives, one day he came to Dawnstar….”
What Ongeim said next was some weird story yet it fits perfectly with what Jon my act. First he said that Jon made a challenge with the Jarl of Winterhold, then he went to Dawnstar and became an owner of a ship, he took the ship and made a clash with some cultists and pirates and escape from the teeth of death by smashing his way through them, there was also a girl I don’t recognize called Lady Jullanar with him, after he did the mighty deeds he tricked the evil Jarl and became a Thane, then he opened some business and a bathhouse in Winterhold along with some small projects. These projects made him the most popular man in the town and became a strong figure who employed hundreds of people. All in four months.
“The Boss is an absolute genius in the eyes of many and he is the only one who can keep a dying town like Winterhold stand on its feet again. The reason for the town’s dilemma are pirates and they own the Jarl. Even if the Boss could somehow trick the Jarl to leave him alone, the news would eventually be leaked to the pirates. This problem was anticipated by the Boss and he gave me a plan on how to act three weeks ago just before he leaves for a training journey, but an unpredicted problem happened.”
“What is it?”
“We had an old blacksmith in town who supplied us with all what we needed, after the first clash with the pirates, we found the old man to be not enough, more than that he became sick a week ago. I was in charge of the town along with Trudvar the housecarl but there was a little in what we can do, and if the students of the College helped us, their prices would exhaust the amount of money we have, after all those are mages we are talking about.”
“So you want me to come!”
“I didn’t think of it as the first option but I was depressed and requested to talk with Lady Nurina, the Boss’s mother, she told me to come to you immediately.”
“Mother said so?” Svidi exclaimed.
“You too call he that?” Ongeim was surprised.
Well, only girls got to call her mother, Jon was the exception.
“Even if the headmistress didn’t tell you that, you should have came to me from the beginning. My brother’s affairs are my affairs… also you’re telling me I’ll be the head blacksmith right?”
“Well, I heard you are a very good blacksmith.”
“Humph! Brother is one of the best. No, he is the best.” Svidi stood up for me.
“I get it I get it.”
Sigh! She starts acting childishly again.
The only reason I worked here was that the pay was great and I could see Bjorna all day across the street.
But if my brother is calling then I dare not to answer.
Even though I won’t see Bjorna…
I feel bad but Jon always said a word when it comes to this situation, if I remember it was ‘Bros before hoes.’ But I don’t know why did he use the hoe to describe a girl. I mean the hoe is not that nice looking or need any creativity to make one. He should have used some good looking tool instead.
Anyway, thinking about it won’t do. I’ll go with Ongeim after I end the with the owner.
“Hello, anyone!” I heard a familiar voice.
“That’s Bjorna!” Svidi jumped from her place and went to see Bjorna.
What brings her in this hour.
A few seconds later, some figures came to the place I sat with Ongeim in.
“Long time lad!”
This cheerful as ever voice is Aunt Skadi. She came from her clan then.
Following her, another hooded figure appeared. It looked like another Aunt Skadi.
I worked my mind rapidly and guessed who she is.
This is the rumored sister of Aunt Skadi and the mysterious woman who first taught Jon how to fight.
I must admit! This woman is a hundred time scarier than Aunt Hilda. Even Ongeim stood up in respect.
“Aunt Skadi, wel-met.”
“Looking good, lad! Who’s with you?”
“Ah! That’s Ongeim from the tourney, he works for Jon!”
Skadi and the other woman who is I think is Hilda looked at Ongeim who barely looked composed.
“This is the owner of the store across the street, Aunt Skadi Firemane.”
“Firemane?!” Ongeim lost his composer, “Ehem! Sorry. I am a captain of a small ship and work for Boss Jon Dare. He is…”
“I know Jon.” The other woman spoke, “I taught him how to fight!”
So this is Hilda.
“Anyway, good to meet you lad!” Skadi cut in, “We’re here to take Bjorna back but she wanted to see your sister before we go. We also wanted to see if you want to go to Winterhold. We can take you along the way.”
Eh! So this is how it is going.
“Actually, Ongeim came for the same purpose. It seemed that there are some complications with Jon’s work in Winterhold…” I told them what Ongeim told me.
Silence took over for a while.
“So, how is the boy doing?” Skadi asked while looking at Hilda.
“The Boss would have solved any problem with no need to worry anyone. He can’t be worried about so he is mostly fine, some people came to the town a few weeks ago saying that someone with the Boss description helped them from Thalmor pursuers by killing all of them. This was the last we know about his news. Judging by his character, he managed to deal with it just fine. I am supposed to head to Winterhold tomorrow then to Windhelm and meet him there.”
Seemed like he is busy.
Skadi then questioned Ongeim about Jon and every time he answered, she and Hilda would put on a small grin. Nothing was strange on my side, that was just him jonning around.
The only thing on my mind was Bjorna who would leave tomorrow.
I guess I have one less reason to stay now. Svidi will finish up her studies and I’ll come to pick her up so it wouldn’t be a problem.
After a while, Hilda, Skadi, and Bjorna said their farewells and left. Ongeim also left and I took Svidi home.
On the way, we met with Battle-Born who almost cried when he knew I am going to a fight and he can’t tag along.
This will be fun.[A/N: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT IN ‘AUTHOR THOUGHTS’.]