In which Leona encounters her first bandits and leaves the relative safety of Windhelm to brave the frozen North-lands.
Bandits had set up camp in an abandoned farmhouse just outside Windhelm. It was more a case of mutual surprise than one side getting the upper hand. I was creeping through the forest looking for goats and avoiding wolves and worse, when I surprised the one standing watch at the door. He ran at me, sword in hand and got him with a few well-placed arrows. But that alerted the other two hiding inside. The last one was the hardest to deal with as she hid in the doorway and popped out sending arrows flying. I did the same from behind a rock. Eventually he went down.
As the adrenaline faded and I stopped panicking, I realized I’d killed my first people. Like wolves, they’d attacked me, but they were still people. Avoiding the bodies I looted the burnt farmhouse instead. It was mostly a waste as they had little I needed or wanted. I returned to Windhelm early and collapsed into bed. I decided it was time to leave the town. Agna asked me to deliver a letter to the Jarl in Dawnstar so I consulted my map and headed north to Winterhold. The road was uneventful expect for the bitter winds, and the occasional wolf pack and goats which I used to trade for a mug of mead and room for the night.
I woke far too early.The presence of the mage college invaded my dreams and I slept uneasily.
I dreamed I got lost in a mage’s tower filled with purple smoke, that I killed an old woman in col blood, got drunk on the streets of Whiterun and picked all the flowers in town. I killed a giant outside a house I built from scratch, escaped from a prison mine, returned a dog to his mater, and flew above the clouds while a god’s voice rang in my ears and thanked me for my aide.
I awoke unsettled and unsure of who or where I was. Dawn hadn’t broken, but I left the inn and the town immediately and struck for Dawnstar. It wasn’t the smartest thin I’d done. I blame the dreams, for it was far from smart to leave the safety of Winterhold, no matter how suspect, and travel across the Northern-most, coldest, most barren lands of Skyrim during a blizzard. But I did.
I walked very slowly across the ice fields, snow cracking underfoot and wind howling drawing tears from my eyes and freezing them before they left my face. At first I thought it was a hunter and his dog, by the time I realized it was a wolf, the courier was dead. I killed the wolf and took the courier’s travel cloak too exhausted to wonder what he’d been doing so far north. I arrived in Dawnstar a couple hours after daybreak and just as the storm lifted.
*The dream sequence was inspired by the fact that my level 26 Leona character was bugged and the first usable version of her was a level 3 save.