It is night...

Riverwood has been beset by a tremendous thunder storm, the lightning splits the clouds like a god's hammer and the thunder rolls above in waves. It dances around the mountains as if the very air conspires to bring the Throat of the World down low. I have spent my time for the last three days hunting, chopping wood and patrolling the local area. I have built quite a reputation for being a dependable worker and I have become quite fond of the people around me, Alvor, the dour smith has let me use the forge without problems, in return I have taken to smithing small things to sell there and increase my skill with hammer and anvil.

I do not rest, I have to finish my new steel weapon and armour in preparation for the next part of my plan. I have heard now that the Riverwood Trader has suffered a theft, a golden claw no less. It would increase my standing with the community to recover this heirloom and perhaps I might even find some long lost treasure in the Bleak Falls Barrow, where the thief has fled.

I wonder why he travelled there in the first place, why not flee Skyrim and take his ill-gotten gains with him. I do not know, but as I put the last few finishing touches to the sword I am finally able to get some sleep. The forge is warm; there is no law here that prevents me from seeking rest next to it. So I do, not even the dark storm overhead can keep me from slumber as I drift off.

I dream of strange things, of dragons and of my escape from the Imperials. I will never forget what they did to me, nor can I find it in my heart to forgive them.

Morning comes all too soon and I spend a few hours chopping wood until I have gold to pay for some last minute provisions. After talking to the owners of the trader, I now set out on the road and leave Riverwood behind. It is not as though I leave forever, since as I make my way out of the village I am able to look back and see Hod's Mill, the great water wheel churning at the river and slowly rotating behind me.

I am content...

As I begin my ascent upon this cold mountain road, I am ambushed by wolves. The new steel sword is thick with their blood by the time the battle ends and the blade takes to its work like any fine instrument or tool. I have made a good sword, one that should serve me well in the times to come. I favour two hands, blocking only now and then. I go in for the kill quickly and use the devastating power of the massive sword to end my enemies' life.

Their pelts will make for a good source of leather or income, so I stow those and continue on up the mountain. The air is crisp as I gain more height; I can see the marvel that is the Throat of the World from where I am and the clouds that dance over the top of those snowy peaks. Hammerfell has nothing like this, and as much as I miss my home...Skyrim with its vast beauty, unforgiving weather and cold embrace is beginning to grow on me.

Now I can see a small ruined tower that juts out of the mountain side, guarding a nearby pass that I have to ascend in order to reach the barrow. I have a good sense for trouble as well and as the weather takes a turn for the worse, a blanket of snow arching across the mountains driven by a wicked gale, howling all around. I see the first of a small group of bandits that will make my journey more interesting, as well as perhaps a little more troublesome.

I lower myself close to some rocks and observe them for a short while, I am not much for sneaking to be honest - yet this seems the best course of action at the moment. From my vantage point I am able to see the bandits as they move about their patrols, stopping to engage in idle conversation and rubbing their cold hands.

I would have moved on quietly, I would have left them alone but in my eagerness to observe I missed another guard, higher atop some rocks to the right. He saw me and loosed off a shot with his bow, it struck just above my right shoulder and I cursed him for a brief moment before I moved out of sight. It was now too late, the bandits came streaming out of the entry and soon they were upon me.

Metal met metal in the cold air of the mountain, snow blew past and was covered in the red of victory as a bandit fell to the steel two handed sword. He skidded to the edge of the mountainside and then toppled over, screaming to the gods as he did so. More arrows rained down and I skipped to the side, another bandit approaching.

It was a glorious battle for a warrior such as me. I was revelling in the cold, the kill and the power that my new weapons and armour afforded me. My enemies lay broken and dead in the snow all around me and the only one left was the archer, he pulled back and out of sight, perhaps running for his life. I was not going to let him go so easily, not this time. I tracked him down further along the path and as he dropped to his knees, he asked to be spared.

Mercy stayed my hand...for a moment. He took that opportunity to rise, draw his sword and swing it. I stepped back, then forwards and the two handed sword was driven through his belly - the impact that slipped through his leather armour and into his stomach, caused him to glance at me wide eyed before I kicked him off the blade roughly. Then without so much as a wave of my hand, I was upon their goods. I rifled their pockets like a common thief, taking gold and other things that I could barter with. This is what Skyrim does to you, it makes you understand the harsh laws of survival and that enemies are just another means to an end.

Their tower yielded some health restoration phials and a little more treasure, a bow and a few arrows. I took those and since I was feeling somewhat drained from the battle, due to the cold weather...I spent the rest of the day in their tower...I waited until night fall to continue my ascent of the mountain. There is a method to this madness, but that will have to wait until the next part of my journal soon.

Bleak Falls Barrow awaits me...