Shinbira: Journal of a Survivor. Part 1, Chapter 6

  • We come into a cavern where there’s a narrow bridge spanning a shallow stream. On the other side of it there are more Stormcloaks, the largest group yet. Hadvar & his friend charge in, just ahead of me.

    I draw my sword…

    There are more of them than there are of us, many more. And they seem organised! Big berserkers engage us head-on, bulging biceps wielding massive two-handed weapons with aplomb. From the side, through the stream, more nimble fighters rush at us with their swords & maces drawn and ready, shouting their battle-cries as the bloodlust takes them. At the back of the large cave, barely visible, archers volley their projectiles of death towards us.

    My survival instincts kick in: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. It’s Us or Them so, for now, Hadvar & the assistant torturer are my friends. Having decided on the direction of my Greatsword’s blows I enter the fray.

    Battle is fierce! The Imperials engage the berserkers while I jump down into the stream to take on the swift warriors. They are good, fired by fervour. Even with my heavy iron Greatsword my light Imperial armour allows me to dodge their swift parries. Most of them. When they get too close I hold my massive weapon horizontally in front of me to block their blows & blunt their edges. I have no need of a shield! When I see an opening I strike, & I hit hard! They stagger, they stumble, they fall.

    Looking back I see only one berserker remaining & Hadvar engaging him. Ignoring the sting in my side and the thick red liquid dripping on my armour I move on to the archers. I rush at them, Greatsword held high, a cry in my throat and fire in my eyes. I see the fear in theirs as they ping their arrows at me in increased haste, desperately trying to edge away as I approach. The arrows hit home, embedding themselves in my armour and my flesh. I cry out in pain but continue onwards, my rage increased.

    I have them cornered, up against the cavern wall. Their bows are useless now! They produce their melee weapons: their little sticks, pathetic little daggers. Ha! They might as well be feathers!

    Their end is near, and they know it. I dispatch them with ease.

    Hadvar is now behind me. All the Stormcloaks are dead, the torturer’s assistant also. I will shed no tears for such as he.

    For once the Nord isn’t impatiently urging me onward. We both collapse onto the stony floor, propped up against the rock wall, exhausted and wounded. Glad of the healing potions I found I drink deeply. Hadvar does not ask to share, and I leave him to recover in his own way. 

    Tending to our wounds we sit in silence, the air heavy with the noise of our breathing. The only other sound is the gentle trinkling of the little stream, its brackish waters now scattered with shades of red. Reluctantly, slowly, surprisingly, I feel a grudging respect for my comrade-in-arms: whatever else he may be, like me he is a survivor.

    After a while I force myself to my feet. Carefully searching the cave, I find and loot the bodies of the fallen. Their gear is more even than I can carry!

    Eventually, our strength restored, we move on. Again just the two of us; the odd couple, thrown together by the necessity of crisis, for Survival.

    But for how long? I don’t know…

    Table of Contents


  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 5, 2015
    Haha - we'll see! Thanks for the interest
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 5, 2015
    I bet by the time they get out, Hadvar and Shin will be best buddies. I still can't shake the feeling that Shin will be a vampire though.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 5, 2015
    Thanks Edana!
  • Edana
    Edana   ·  June 5, 2015
    This is my favorite chapter yet.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 4, 2015
    Thanks. No, my poor old PC won't run Skyrim so I play on my Xbox. I'd love to play a modded game. 
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  June 4, 2015
    Nice entry. Are you  playing with any game overhaul mods? I play with Requiem, which makes gameplay very different.