Journal of a Redguard: part 3

I have waited till nightfall and now the stars bloom in the heavens, the cold wind bites even harder. The shadows are my ally and the tower is left behind me, still slaked in the blood of the fallen. I move swiftly up the mountain towards Bleak Falls Barrow and spy a shape along the path, it is just a curious fox that goes about his business with a sharp bark vanishing into the undergrowth.

The wind whips the snow into a near-blizzard and it makes my journey more interesting, as I glimpse the first signs of bandit movement outside of the barrow itself. The barrow is an incredible structure, built long ago by the ancient ones of this land and now like many of these old places, it has become a haunt for the living to masquerade as the dead.

I wait and time my assault carefully, the archers are the most dangerous of my foes and they are swiftly taken out one after the other. My skills in using the shadows have never been my strong point, yet tonight it is as if Nocturnal herself watches over me and lends me a sliver of her luck, just enough to make my task that much easier. Or perhaps she simply takes the luck of those two hapless archers, now dead.

I take what I need, a new bow and a few arrows. Then move the bodies out of sight.

There are at least two more bandits that lurk around the ruin; they are now searching for their comrades in arms. I bide my time and eventually they give up, returning to their assigned watch posts. It makes it much easier for me to keep out of their line of sight, delivering one swift death before the second hears her comrade's cries on the wind. I am caught doing my grisly work, so now I am one again forced to defend myself.

Perhaps its better this way, I am no common thief or assassin to lurk in the dark. Or am I? Must I become like the Dark Brotherhood to find out what has truly happened to my family, or do I enjoy the feel of steel in a man or woman's belly too much? This disturbs me greatly as I rise from the blizzard to meet this Nord woman head on. She is strong, but I am bolstered by my own power. A few blows later and the steel greatsword sang through the air, slicing her down into the snow and staining the blade with rivers of red.

I can hear voices from inside the barrow, so I quickly hide the two freshly dead and move onwards very slowly. Once inside the vast chamber, the air is slightly warmer and two more bandits lurk just beyond the periphery of a flickering camp fire. Its warm light bathes them in a shallow glow, casting deep shadows on the wall. It is time to really test this bow that I liberated...

The arrow flies true and cuts the male speaker off mid-sentence, he isn't dead but he growls in pain. It's enough to break the pair of them up and force them to try and find me in the entry's darkness. I skirt around until I can hide behind the remains of a stone altar, perhaps once used for sacrifices to the gods. They search for me and the man comes close again, this time the bow does its job and he falls lifeless to the ground, the arrow just above his left shoulder.

I am able to use this distraction to approach his female accomplice from the right; she never sees the greatsword as it comes down on the back of her head.

With the entry clear I am able to search around for clues, for the thief must still be in this place. These bandits might have been his companions. I have no choice now but to honour my vow to the Riverwood Trader and proceed deeper into the barrow. I do not know what I shall find in the depths of the old catacombs, what dangers lurk there or what terrible things from the ancient days I might discover. Or what treasures lie ripe for the picking, since I will need considerable money to further my goals.

I proceed into the gloom with a wry smile on my lips.