Shinbira: Journal of a Survivor. Part 1, Chapter 4

  • Author's note: contains violence

    Inside Helgen Keep I have a sword, I have armour. I feel ready, ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.

    We hear voices.

    “Got what you need?”, my Imperial companion asks, urgency in his voice. “Then come here by the door!”

    Weapon drawn, I run to join him. Noticing that the door opens outward, I place myself opposite him on its other side, crouched & ready to strike.

    “Hear that? Stormcloaks. Maybe we can reason with them.”

    Reason? With Stormcloaks? Why?

    The door opens, and they run in. They’re not interested in ‘reasoning’, and neither am I.

    We pounce.

    Hadvar fights well! Dodging their blows, our swords strike hard and true, and soon there are three dead Stormcloaks on the floor. I relish once again the taste of battle, the feel of metal in my hand, tough leather on my body, and - especially - the sight of Nords lying dead at my feet.

    Amidst death I feel alive!

    I quickly relieve them of their weapons and armour. Their stripped bodies lie still and pale on the Keep’s grey stone floor, grimly highlighted by the torches on the walls - as if the gods are showcasing our conquest.

    One of the fallen Nords carried a Greatsword, a huge double-edged blade of iron. I take it in my hands, feeling its weight, testing its swing.

    “Ah yes: this is the weapon for me!”, I say to myself. Sheathing the blade on my back it slides into place with a sigh of satisfaction. It has found its new home, content on the back & in the hands of its new master. 

    The Imperial is still in a hurry: “Come on!”, he shouts back at me. We move on.

    We come to an old storeroom, where there are still more Stormcloaks.

    “What are they all doing here?" I ask myself, as we enter the room.

    No time to ponder on that now: there's no thought of talking this time. We fight!

    Hadvar engages them front-on, quickly killing one, while I run around to attack from behind. With a mighty swing my new friend embeds itself into a Nord’s back, emerging out through his stomach, Nord guts exploding all around. The power of the thrust throws him off his feet & into the air; with the surging strength in my arms I lift him high above my head, then dump him, dead, onto the cold stone floor. Soaked in his blood I roar, a great roar of triumph, my battlecry!!

    Exhilarated, exultant in my remembered prowess I pause, panting from my exertions.

    The red mist fades from my vision, & I become aware once again of my surroundings. I hear a distant voice, saying something about storage. Hadvar! I had forgotten he even existed.

    “…you should be able to find some potions in here” I hear as his voice comes into focus.

    We are indeed in a storeroom, a large one. Every spare space is taken up with shelves, barrels, baskets, tables, cupboards. Drying game & herbs hang in many places, over the fireplace & from the ceiling.

    Once again I am in my element. My scavenging instincts take over, & I begin to forage. Opening barrels, kicking over baskets, scrambling, crouching, peering, climbing ladders, spanning shelves, opening drawers, grabbing, taking. The Imperial was right: I find healing & magicka potions, and more besides. Also much food, ale, wine and gold! I am thorough, & soon my backpack is bulging!

    For once Hadvar is patient, & waits until I have taken all I can find. As I near the exit where he is waiting he says “Finished? Then let’s go”. Without waiting he runs on.

    It is in that moment that I realise something I should have a long time ago.

    His voice. His accent.

    Hadvar is – Nord!

    His accent is softer than the Stormcloaks, and the hateful Nords I knew in Windhelm, but the inflection is unmistakable: he is Nord!

    How could I have been so stupid? Those blows to my head must have been more damaging than I realised even at the time!

    But how can this be?! He is an Imperial; not only that, an Imperial soldier! He fights & kills Nord Stormcloaks!

    Growing up in the ‘Gray Quarter’ of Windhelm, the Dunmer ghetto, I heard stories of Nords who didn’t hate us, who could even be kind. I didn’t believe them: “Old wives’ tales”, I told myself.

    In fact, now that I think back, there was one Nord - an old soldier, he said - who did try to show me kindness. I avoided him however: I did not trust him!

    Is such a thing possible?! A good Nord?

    No! There is no such thing as a good Nord! A good Nord is a dead Nord!

    This Hadvar: I can only assume he is a traitor to his own kind. A Nord, and a traitor!

    “Come on! We should stick together down here!”

    We’ll see, Nord, we’ll see…

    Table of Contents




  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  July 20, 2015
    "Face pacing"! *fast*
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  July 20, 2015
    I really appreciate you saying that Naeg; I wasn't sure how that would be received: I haven't seen this style much anywhere else, & I enjoy writing this way. Action benefits from face pacing I think, & Shin here is angry, confused, a bit scared an...  more
  • Naeg Runs-Into-Walls
    Naeg Runs-Into-Walls   ·  July 20, 2015
    I really like how fast paced it is as someone said an an earlier chapter, usually I get bored halfway through a paragraph of a character doing a monologue. But Idesto's thoughts are straight straigh to the point ^^
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 2, 2015
    You'll like Chapter's 72 to 74 then.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 2, 2015
    I thought it was just a prediction so I think you're safe! Shinbira doesn't listen much to any one's suggestions anyway. This hunt sounds like it could be fun though!
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 2, 2015
    WHAT!!! WAIT DAMN IT.. That wasn't a suggestion thats the fur.... Hell in the Hunting Grounds. If it ever gets out that I suggested someone becomes a vampire I'll be ruined. Aela'll divorce me, Hircine will call a great hunt after my skin and Aela will pr...  more
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 2, 2015
    Sotek! Have you been reading my notes?
    It could be good for his build so I have considered it!
    Whether he will or not though I don't know. 
    Good call!
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 2, 2015
    I can't control the angry Dunmer, sorry: Shinbira does what he likes!
    Actually I've tried killing Hadvar & I couldn't. Hescgot that 'essential' tag. 
    Or was that Ralof? Hmmm...
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 2, 2015
    He hasn’t technically hurt him yet… We’ll see. I can’t help but wonder if he will become a vampire. It's early days I know but the fur in my ears twitching…
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  June 2, 2015
    NO! You will not hurt Hadvar! LOL, bad Dunmer! BAD, BAD Dunmer!