Shinbira: Journal of a Survivor. Part 1, Chapter 7

  • Exitting the cave, our strength at least somewhat restored, Hadvar & I travel through the Keep’s tunnels. We come to a drawbridge controlled by a lever. I instinctively put my hand on my sword and tense my muscles in readiness as Hadvar pulls the lever: experience has taught me that things opened by levers often have something very unpleasant waiting behind them!

    The bridge slams down and we walk over it, to just another winding passageway. I relax & keep going.

    Suddenly we hear a distant roar, now louder, then a crashing of rock and stone. I knew it: I should always trust my instincts! The ceiling near our heads caves in, and for a brief moment - just when I thought we’d escaped it - we look up to see the massive head of the dragon silhouetted against the fiery sky!

    The rubble smashes down into the passageway behind us as we run forward as fast as our tired legs will carry us. It’s the only way we can go now: the way back is now blocked. Thankfully we are unhurt.

    I now see that perhaps my Nord ‘friend’ was maybe justified in trying to hurry me up, A bit. I don’t say anything of this to him, of course…

    “There’s no going back that way!” he tells me, once again revealing his talent for stating the bloody obvious. “The others will have to find their own way back”.

    We go on, through increasingly rough passageways, rejoining the shallow stream.  As usual Hadvar the Impatient runs ahead, but this time I keep pace. Our friend the dragon is closer than I thought!

    Spotting something in a tributary off to the side I can’t help but investigate, and my detour is rewarded. I find a skeleton draped over the rocks, clutching a potion and a pouch of gold coins. I prise them from its bony hands and rejoin the Nord. At least I ran there & back! We hurry through the tunnels seeking escape, only to find many dead-ends. As we turn hopefully into another opening I quickly stop to grab more little treasures from yet another skeleton on the rocks. The thought occurs to me that these are not the work of the torturers, and I wonder what else may be down here!

    Suddenly the path opens up to another cave. It looks big, but in the dim light it’s hard to be sure. We stop, both aware that every room or cave we’ve entered so far has resulted in bloodshed.

    My Greatsword and & I enter slowly, wary but looking forward to maybe killing more Stormcloaks.


    Something in here is not right though. There is a bad smell, & strange shapes suggest themselves in the gloom.

    A rustling , a shuffling, then suddenly a host of gigantic spiders are upon us, dropping from above, from dark corners, coming as if from everywhere!

    Spitting poison, they rush at us with their scythe-like mandibles raised, their huge bulk blocking out whatever light there was before.

    We slash wildly, more in terror than anger, and are relieved to find that even these nightmarish beasts’ armoured carapaces are no match for our metal!

    Although battle is swift we need to recover. Hadvar seems particularly traumatised, and while he gathers himself I explore. I find & quickly remove the spiders’ poison glands, gather spider eggs from the many sacs, & find useful loot in cobweb-trussed animal and more than a few human corpses.

    I spot another opening in the cave & see Hadvar standing there, shouting “This way!”.

    He seems filled with renewed hope that he’s found a way out: we round a corner into another cave and see light shining from the exit at the opposite end!

    Which is guarded by a gigantic bear…

    We enter carefully, although I can't help but stop to find space in my pack when I see a cart full of wine and mead!  

    Noticing that the bear is asleep Hadvar suggests we try to sneak past it. He gives me a bow and arrows; I don't why as I'm not about to use them! Slipping down into a crouch we edge slowly & carefully towards the snoring giant, watching our every step. Hadvar may have expected me to sneak past it towards the exit but I don't. Instead I head straight towards the bear, with a "What are you doing?!" whispered loudly into my ear. Which of course I ignore.

    Just before I reach striking distance the bear notices me, opens its eyes & stands up. It really is emormous! It's then that I make my move: before it has a chance to attack I pounce! A quick swing of my Greatsword and it's mortally wounded, one more and it collapses onto the ground, raising a small cloud of dust and dirt as it falls.

    "Not the sneaking type, huh?" Hadvar wryly comments.

    "I am," I reply, "but I'm also the 'hacking at things very hard with a giant Greatsword' type"

    For the first time we relax, we smile and laugh. 

    And it occurs to me that this is probably the first time in my life that I've shared a joke with a Nord: what is happening here?!

    We go through the bear cave's exit, the light ahead now even stronger. Both of us running now, sprinting, we rush towards it.

    Ours eyes take time to adjust. Rubbing them, blinking, we finally see our new surroundings: and yes, the light is that of the evening sun, shining bright in our eyes as it sits low in the sky.

    We're free: we escaped!

    We survived.  

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  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 6, 2015
    Nice reference Lissette! Can't believe it's taken 7 chapters to get out of Helgen though!
    I have look up to see who Serana is: I have a lot of game left. Also, I don't have DG, yet.
    I'm eager to find out what Shinbira gets up to next too!more
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 6, 2015
    Way to go they're out!!!
    Shin's going to become a Vampire and marry Serana while he leaves Aela alone .
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  June 5, 2015
    Hehe, spiders and bears, oh my! Nice description and +20 for the use of the words mandibles and carapace. You are finally out of Helgen. Wonder what Shinbira's going to do now.