Mintrei’s Journal – Episode 4: Road to Whiterun

by bunnhop

20 Last Seed, Middas

I had only intended to lay my head down for perhaps an hour or two before heading back to the inn in Riverwood, but oddly enough, it was already morning when I awoke. Perhaps it was mere exhaustion that allowed me to sleep soundly, having been exposed to violence for three full days ever since I left Cyrodiil. Or was there magic at play here? Did the witch offer her enchanted bed to weary travelers? And once they were sound asleep, who knows what horrors she inflicted unto them?

It was cold, foggy, and gloomy when I looked out the window. And although I have had early mornings like this back home whenever Cassia, Claudius, and I would camp outside the City, for reasons unbeknownst to me, this kind of morning looks much dreamier in this Province. Maybe it’s the constant snow, or maybe it’s my solitude?

Before leaving the witch’s hut, I went down the basement to brew some potions using her laboratory. And while I was doing so, thoughts of Aunt Faraniel naturally came to mind, as brewing both potions and liquor is her favorite pastime. She was the one who taught me all I know now about recipes and mixtures when I was just a wee Mer. I have got to send them all letters as soon as I get to the capital city.

Although both Aunt Faraniel and Uncle Elthras have never been worrywarts–and have always been carefree in raising me–I can imagine that traveling this far alone from them would start turning them into one.

My journey to Whiterun was a leisurely stroll, despite the urgency of the situation. I assume my mind was still unsure whether I should concern myself with the dragon attack and do my duty to alert the Jarl or set my affairs in order in Solitude first. I know better than to insert myself into the affairs of any land, as politics will always be involved. My parents had only wanted to provide aid to the victims of Thalmor cruelty back in Valenwood and were killed for it. Perhaps apples don’t fall far from the tree–and their fate will be mine as well–but something is tugging at me, telling me that I should do it. It also makes more sense to head to the closest city to send back letters and whatnot, and perhaps arrange my transport to Solitude.

On the way to Whiterun, I followed the White River and came across an old Orc standing beside the road. I had thought him lost or perhaps needing a break, so I stopped by and asked him how he was doing. He told me about his people’s concept of a “good death”–of how it was better to die honorably in battle while you are still able to hold a sword than grow old and “useless”.

I can never imagine my aunt or uncle yearning for the same thing. They would want to die of natural causes, after having lived their life to the fullest. The aged, after all, have the duty to teach the young and care for them. Although I respect his wish, I am unable to grant it., and for that, he shooed me away.

Down the plateau, the sweet smell of honey stopped me dead in my tracks and I just had to follow it! It led me to a meadery, “Honningbrew” is what it’s called, and I decided to take a break there and then. I, of course, sampled their product and was pleased with it. As the owner was too preoccupied doing nothing and did not offer a tour of the facilities, I let myself in and got to meet his staff. I even (secretly) found out that one of them is a fan of Crassius Curio, an Imperial playwright of an Era ago, who is still infamous for his books and plays.

Near the city, I happened upon a commotion–fierce warriors battling a giant! It was a sight to behold, seeing as it was my first-ever sighting of these magnificent manbeasts, and I was eager to join. Once the giant was defeated, one of them approached me and introduced themselves as the “Companions”. She also invited me to join their group, but would need the approval of one Kodlak Whitemane, their leader. Perhaps I should, one day.

In front of the city gates, I was accosted by a guard, telling me that the city itself is closed because of the talk of dragons. I had to tell him that I needed to speak with the Jarl as someone who had survived the attack in Helgen. Thankfully, this was enough to persuade him and he did let me in. I feel very uneasy being stopped by anyone in uniform, as this is not something I am used to. No gate nor door was closed to me back home.

Inside the city, I decided to walk around and peruse some of the shops. I met some interesting people and even learned about some sort of rivalry between two clans: the Gray-Manes and the Battle-Borns. Family rivalries are common in the Imperial City and I have no interest in being involved. Although I heard that an elderly woman’s son is missing and that’s something that piqued my interest.

One Redguard in particular I found pesky. He kept talking about what he refers to as the “Cloud District”–which I presume is where the wealthy, including the Jarl and his advisors, live–and how I probably have never been there. Of course I haven’t, it’s my first day here! If he’d only been to the Imperial City and met me there, he’d probably be begging me to marry one of his sons or daughters.

When Masser and Secunda arose, I knew it was time to head to the inn. When I got there, I found it lively with all sorts of people–young and old–mingling around the fireplace, listening to the bard, Mikael, who’s another graduate of the famed Bards College. One of the Battle-Borns, Jon, doesn’t seem to like him. He told me of the significance of warrior poets in Nordic culture, and I do remember having read about a Nord Skald-King who ruled two Eras ago.

I had a great time meeting all sorts of people in the inn. Hulda, the innkeeper, is a good sort and is a good source of information. Ysolda, who’s around my age, told me about the Khajiit traders from Elsweyr, and I am looking forward to coming across them in my travels. And I met this poor little girl who had just lost her mother, Lucia was her name. Perhaps I can take her in one day.

And when the chatter grew quiet, I knew it was time to head up to my room.


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