“In which Leona takes a slight detour, misses a dragon, and learns she may be an impostor.”
Even in the darkness of the night, I got a good look at this dragon as we fought around the trees. He was sharp-faced and his head was crowned with horns. His eyes glinted angrily in the dark and I felt he could see me much better than I him and not just surface appearances. When he fell, I absorbed his soul.
I said before that absorbing a soul feels like a hot wind baking you and melting into your skin. Each soul also makes you feel a little deeper, more hollow perhaps. Before this began, my soul was as near to me as skin and just as comfortable. But now, it feels further away, but much larger. I’m not sure this is a good thing, the feeling is unsettling for sure.
I arrived in Falkreath before dawn. I hadn’t intended to visit the village even if their Jarl had sent me a letter of invitation, but it was the town at the end of the path, and I was tired after fighting the dragon. It gave me a chance to sleep and purchase supplies before continuing. Near the small town of Rorikstead, I saw Alduin, the huge black dragon. He was circling a hilltop just outside the town. According the burial map Delphine had translated, there was a burial mound not far from the town. I hurried to meet him, but the dragon had already left by the time I arrived.
There was definitely some kind of mound there and now it was emitting a dark purple light like smoke. The light rose into the sky and disappeared into the clouds above. I fear the dragon had already cast the spell to revive the dragon. Although he’d not stayed around this time for the dragon to wake. When, after several hours of waiting, the dragon still had not appeared I forced myself to continue my journey in order to meet Delphin and Esbern on time.
We met me just outside the city of Markarth, the home to the Jarl of the Reach. The Reach is not the easiest land to live or travel in. It’s very mountainous and the rivers have carved huge canyons between them forcing communities to rely on just a few stone bridges to connect the towns and people. It’s mainly miners who live there as well, as the soil isn’t very friendly to growing things so the communities are small, hungry, and cold. Also there are many bandits hiding in all the caves. They call themselves the Forsworn and claim to be the legitimate occupants of the Reach, having lived there before the Nords came. They are not predisposed to allow any Nord occupation of the Reach, much let Nord rule.
At first, I assumed that the group that attacked us at the bridge cross-roads were Forsworn. They wore white masks that looked similar to what I’d seen the Forsworn wear. But, then they asked me if I was Leaona Secondborne and if I claimed to be Dragonborn. According to them Miraak was the true Dragonborn and I was an impostor. Since the Greybeards and the last two remaining Blades all agree that I’m dragonborn since I can absorb the souls of Dragons and Shout, I wasn’t inclined to agree and let them kill me. They had been sent, I assume by Miraak, with the express instructions to kill me to keep me from reaching Solstheim a city which I hadn’t intended to visit. I do wish how this Miraak had learned my name.
We were also attacked on our journey by a lone dragon that I suspect it was the same dragon that Alduin had woken up nearby. But perhaps it was a different one. Either way that was one less dragon to worry the Nords. Otherwise the journey was uneventful and we made our way to the ruins Esbern claimed were the home of the ancient Blades and the location of Alduin’s wall where they had inscribe their battle with the dragon Alduin and how they defeated him.