Chapter 1 – On Arrival

Through the door, Avingard noticed he had entered a rather large room, complete with a fireplace to the right that kept the room warm. To the left was a well-lit room, but a large shadow leading from the room told Avingard that he wasn’t alone. He quickly readied his sword, once again, for battle as the shadow began to move out of the room.

As the shadow completely left the well-lit room Avingard noticed it belonged to a rather large Orc. This Orc was wearing heavy iron armor, an iron helmet and carried a large, two-handed warhammer. The Orc was built for combat, and came ready to fight.

Realizing that this was going to be the toughest by far, Avingard first thought of turning around and running from the room. The Orc was having none of that, and quickly swung his huge warhammer at Avingard, missing him by inches. Avingard quickly lunged forward with a thrust, striking his large foe in the side. The Orc howled in pain, but didn’t stop his attack.

The Orc Bandit Leader - Ghunzul
The Orc bandit leader – Ghunzul.

The Orc once again swung his warhammer, but Avingard managed to step back and avoid the attack. He realized his best option to survive was his speed, and he decided to try and use that to his advantage. With each swing the Orc took with his warhammer, Avingard would dodge and follow up with either a slash or a thrust of his own. After a few minutes, the Orc started to become weaker as the wounds he was sustaining started to take their toll.

Suddenly the Orc began to have difficulty with his balance, especially when he hoisted his axe, and Avingard took one final thrust and sent the Orc to the ground. The little bit of life left in the Orc left his body and his hands finally released their grip on his warhammer. Avingard fell to the ground exhausted and in pain.

He slowly made his way to his dead enemy and examined the iron armor. Besides some wear and tear, the armor was usable, so Avingard quickly donned the suit. He found the helmet to be a bit too big and uncomfortable, so he just kept it to sell. He managed to also find a few valuables and a key on the dead Orc, as well.

Rising to his feet he looked into the well lit room to the left. A large bed dominated the room, so he determined that this was the sleeping quarters for the Orc. Noticing a large chest at the foot of the bed, and realizing it was unlocked, Avingard searched the chest and pocketed some gold and other valuables. Being satisfied with what he found he left the area through the same door he entered.

Back on the second level where he had just killed the Orc archer, Avingard descended the stairs to the bottom level. To the left he noticed another door, one that he missed before because of his attention being focused on the Orc archer. He readied his sword and opened the door, and walked through it.

The room wasn’t well lit, but there was enough light for Avingard to see a small set of stairs in front of him. He slowly walked down the stairs, expecting to battle another Orc when he reached the bottom. To his surprise there was no Orc but two doors, with one a gated door. On the wall beside the gate was a locked box.

Remembering that he had pocketed a key from the heavily-armored Orc, Avingard inserted the key into the lock, and as he turned it he heard the lock on the box unlock and he opened the box. Inside the lock was a button, which he pressed and the gate opened. Stepping through the gate he noticed another door, which appeared to be unlocked, so he opened the door and went in.

As he entered the room he noticed that there smaller rooms, about the size of prison cells, on each side of a narrow hallway. Each of these rooms were behind barred doors so he could see into them. Something straight ahead, however, caught his interest as there were two barred doors with a pedestal behind them. When he approached the doors he soon realized they were locked. Seeing no lock on the doors, he began to look around for a lock.

To the left of the door was a lever, which he pulled down. The back gate opened. Look to the right of the door he noticed another lever, which opened the front gate when Avingard pulled that one down. With both gates opened, Avingard advanced further down the passageway.

Just as he stepped forward he activated a dart trap, which sent darts flying left and right. Luckily, Avingard hadn’t advanced far enough to be hit by the darts, but he looked around for other traps. Spotting two more trip ropes near the ground, he stepped over both of them, and finally reached the pedestal.

On top of the pedestal were several metal shards. They almost look like the broken pieces from a blade of a dagger. He was confused why they would be locked up, and protected by traps, so he picked each piece up and placed them in a pouch. As he removed the last piece the top of the pedestal rose, darts fired from the ceiling and onto the pedestal.

Turning around, and avoiding the trip ropes for a second time, Avingard retreated down the passage way and through the door. He returned through the same way he entered the keep and out into the fort. The sun was descending below the horizon, so Avingard decided to return to Falkreath for the night and continue his trek to join the Imperial Empire tomorrow.

By the time Avingard had returned to Falkreath, it was night and all stores and homes were closed and locked until morning. He opened the door and entered the Dead Man’s Drink inn.

“Welcome,” Valga greeted Avingard. “You look a little worse for wear. Been one of those days?”

“Yeah,” Avingard replied as he walked up to the counter. “I could use a good drink, and a room.”

“Lucky for you, I have both,” she remarked as Avingard placed some gold on the counter.

Avingard smiled, but didn’t say much after that. He drank the mead that Valga had given him, and then walked off to his room. He struggled to remove his armor, but once he did, he collapsed on the bed and fell sound asleep.

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