Chapter 1 – On Arrival

Slowly opening his eyes, Avingard looked around the inn room. After a long day of traveling with very little rest, it felt good to get a good night sleep. He slowly sat up in his bed and rubbed his face with his hands. Looking around his room a second time he noticed that it was sparsely furnished with a bed, a chest, and a table, or just enough for a traveler.

He stood up and walked over to his iron sword. Picking it up he examined it before placing it in its place at his side. The sword was old and had seen some action, but not by his hand. Using a sword was still new to him, but he has had a little practice while he lived in Hammerfell among the Redguards.

Avingard opened the door to his room and entered the large hall of the inn. Valga was already awake and working behind the counter.

“Good morning,” she called out to Avingard. “I hope you slept well.”

“I did, thanks,” he replied.

“If you need anything, food, drink, or information,” Valga began, “just let me know.”

“I will,” Avingard responded.

Looking at the tables that were placed along the one wall of the hall, he noticed that many already had dishes laid out. Walking over to one of the tables he sat down and pulled out a loaf of bread that he had been carrying with him. After placing the bread on a plate, he then pulled out a bottle of Nord mead and placed the bottle on the table.

As he began to eat the bread and drink some of the mead, Avingard could feel a set of eyes on him. Turning to this right he noticed that the inn’s bard was watching his every move.

“Do you have a request?” the bard inquired.

“To eat in peace?” Avingard snapped back.

“Suit yourself,” the bard said taken back. “I guess you aren’t a morning person.”

Roggard was known for his temper when he was annoyed, and Avingard has inherited that trait. He has struggled to keep it under control, but growing up it has always gotten him in trouble with his mother when he showed his frustration.

After finishing his bread and his mead, Avingard stood up and turned towards the door. After directing smile towards Valga, who was busy behind the counter, he opened the door and stepped outside.

It was still early in the morning, so many people were still in their homes, with a few others just starting their day. The inn was located on the once side of the main road through Falkreath, with Gray Pine Goods and Lod’s blacksmith across the street. Further down the street is the Jarl’s Longhouse, which is also the largest building in the city.

Noticing that Lod was at work in his forge sharpening a sword at the grindstone, Avingard crossed the street to speak with Lod. He was curious to hear what Lod had to say about his father.

Blacksmith Sign in Falkreath
Blacksmith sign in Falkreath.

“Good morning. I am Avingard and have just arrived in Skyrim.”

Looking up at the young man standing beside him, Lod returned the greeting, “good morning to you. Welcome to Skyrim. I’m afraid you picked a bad time to sight see.”

“I didn’t come here to sight see,” Avingard replied. “I came to join the Imperial Empire.”

“You did, did you?” Lod replied with a general curiosity. “To be honest, you don’t look like the soldiering-type.”

“I came as a promise to my father, Roggard Heart-Tooth.”

Lod immediately stopped working and placed the sword on a nearby table. He stood up and looked Avingard from head to toe. A smile came across his face. “I can see your father in you.”

“Most people say I look more like my mother,” Avingard replied quickly.

“You may look more Breton, but you definitely have your father’s Nord blood in your veins,” Lod said. “I knew your father well. He trained me as an apprentice when I was about your age.”

“Valga had mentioned that you knew my father.”

“Your father was a good blacksmith, and a good teacher,” Lod told Avingard. “He was tough, especially with his temper, but always fair. He could make an iron sword so well that it would cut a large tree in half. What happened to your father?”

“He passed away recently,” Avingard explained as his voice went quieter. “He married my mother and moved to High Rock. When Hammerfell went to war against the Aldmeri Dominion, he worked as a blacksmith for the Redguards.”

“Blacksmithing was something he always enjoyed doing,” Lod said. “I’m sorry to hear about his passing. So, Avingard, you are here to fulfill a promise to your father?”

“Yes, my father always sided with the Empire,” Avingard started to explain. “He was also angered by how Torygg was killed by Ulfric. Before he passed away he asked me to come here to Skyrim and join the Empire to help defeat the Stormcloaks and end the civil war.”

“Have you had much experience fighting?” Lod inquired.

“Not yet,” replied Avingard.

“Well, then,” Lod began, “you may want to learn how to use a sword before going into battle. While I can’t help you with using your sword, I can help outfit you with some armor, that will hopefully help keep you alive long enough to learn.”

“I do have some training with a sword,” Avingard explained. “I can probably hold my own against when it matters.”

“While I don’t doubt that you have some skill, especially living in Hammerfell among the Redguards,” Lod started, “I just know that being in the thick of battle can be a completely different experience than practicing with an instructor.”

Realizing that Lod is right about fighting in battle compared to training, Avingard realized he would need to have some more training before he joined the Empire. “What do you think I should do?” he asked Lod.

“Go out and explore,” replied Lod. “There are trainers in Skyrim that can help you, but none here in Falkreath. Some people here learn from their parent’s, others through trainers, but the majority learn as they go.”

“Then that is what I will do,” Avingard said as he turned to walk back to the road. Stopping he looked back at Lod and asked, “any suggestions on where to start?”

Lod gave out a small laugh and replied, “Explore. I’ll be here if you need any weapons or armor.”

Avingard left Lod to continue his work, and turned south towards the city entrance. A single guard stood watch at the entrance and didn’t pay any attention as Avingard left Falkreath. While the day had started out sunny, the clouds quickly developed overhead blocking much of the sun.

Avingard Ready to Explore
Avingard ready to explore.

The road was quiet and was lined with a a small escarpment to the east and trees to the west. It eventually turned to the west and then started to head north. Just as it started to turn north Avingard noticed a a small stone road continuing off to the west.

Remembering how Lod told Avingard to explore, he decided to follow the smaller road to see where it would lead. He continued to follow the path until he noticed a stone building off in the distance. As he moved closer he noticed that it looked like the remains of an old fort.

One large tower, at the front of the fort, had a huge opening in the side, while a second tower at the back also contained a hole. Approaching the front of the fort, Avingard noticed that a makeshift wall was built with a lookout tower to prevent others from entering the fort. Standing on the top of the lookout tower as a large Orc with his bow fixed on Avingard.

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