Shinbira: Journal of a Survivor, Chapter 14

  • Faendal and I descend the hill and walk across the farmland plains to the great city Whiterun without further incident. 

    Conversation had been slightly awkward, and we walked in silence a lot. Despite being brother Mer he and I seem quite different. He spent some considerable time telling me the sorts of things he won't do for or with me: unfortunately they're the sorts of things I most like doing! I refrained from telling him that. It might be better for us both if he goes back to Riverwood and Camilla, sooner or later. Just not yet: for now he's useful to me.

    Whiterun is a striking city in a striking location: set on a hill, rising higher until culminating in the 'Palace in the Clouds'. It looks as secure as it does beautiful: surrounded by solid stone walls, old but high and strong. There are no less than three strategic entranceways: the only gap in the outer walls heavily guarded with soldiers stationed on either side; further on a moat and drawbridge; and finally the huge and heavy city gates themselves in the inner wall: guarded, of course.  

    "Nothing could get through there, eh Shinbira?!"

    Faendal seems almost proud. 

    "Yes, nothing!

    "Apart from a dragon, of course: they aren't too troubled by walls and moats. That is why we're here: remember?"

    It may take my Bosmer friend a while to get used to my acerbic tongue...

    We walk up the path to the city in silence.

    Just as we approach the city gates we are accosted, and stopped in our tracks by a big Nord guard.

    "Halt! City's closed with the dragons about. Official business only!"

    Stupid, fat Nord: what does he know about dragons? I've seen one, felt its hot flame-breath on my face! 

    That voice, that thick accent, full of a sense of its own power, full of disdain for 'outsiders', full of bullying. Reminds me of Windhelm; reminds me of why I hate Nords!

    Most of them.

    I don't take to being bullied by Nords any more.

    "Out of my way, Nord - or else!"

    " 'Or else' what, Elf?

    At least it's not 'Grayskin' here

    "You think you can stand against the whole city guard? City's closed!"

    I'm defiant, but I'm not stupid. I change tack

    " 'Dragons', you say? That's why I'm here! I have news from Helgen about the dragon attack."

    "Fine! Why didn't you say so then? But we'll be keeping an eye on you."

    And I you...

    The big gates open slowly, creaking in protest, while throughout my eyes are locked onto the guard in a steely glare. Then I walk in without a backward glance, head held high.

    Whiterun is large! A wide cobbled path runs long and straight for almost as far as I can see, with buildings and smaller paths on either side. Everything seems clean, tidy and bright: so different to my home town - if I can call it that - of Windhelm.

    We walk into an argument. A large Nord is desperately trying to have an order of weapons and armour filled urgently by an equally large Imperial woman, a Blacksmith - for the Legion!

    It will take me a while to get used to that.

    She's struggling already and won't make any promises.

    "There's a war on, you know!" he tells her.

    "Yes, Idolaf - I had noticed! I'll do my best: that's all I can promise."

    Her name is Adrienne, and she is good enough to let me make our wolf-hides into leather, and then into leather apparel. Faendal is pleased with the Imperial gear I now no longer need.

    "That's good work: I'll be seeing you again." she says as we walk on.

    If I thought there were too many people in Riverwood - and I did - I was wrong. Whiterun is teeming by comparison, with people of all sorts.

    I am talked at by many of them:

    "Olfrid of the clan Battle-Born. You've no doubt heard of me." No, actually...

    Jon, another Battle-Born. This one seems more of a philosopher. He dislikes the Inn's bard.

    A large, noisy marketplace; more people.

    Brenuin. He wants coin or a drink, preferably both. He stinks; I walk on.

    Fralia, an old woman selling jewelry.

    A small child tells me about how she works with her mother. Why?

    Going up some steps away from the market I hope for some quiet - and am met by a raving man shouting very loudly about his belief in the Nord god Talos! Guards for some reason want to tell me about their wounded knees and what their cousins are doing.

    Why can't people here just shut up and leave me alone?! 

    I run up more steps towards the palace. The steps are straddled by swift running water: it's loud. Still not so loud that it can drown out the sound of the manic street preacher. It's not just his voice I'd like to drown there!

    Finally we reach the palace doors. A guard mutters something sarcastic about sweetrolls as we go inside, but I ignore him.

    The room inside is - magnficient: I've never seen its like before. With some trepidation - unusual for me - I walk on through the huge hall, where in the distance I can see a man lounging on a throne, comfortable in his opulence and power: Jarl Balgruuf. As we two Elves walk on I wonder what sort of reception I'll have here...

    Table of Contents


  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  July 12, 2015
    Not a criticism: I just don't how you read that fast! Maybe I'm too slow ;)
    Mind you, they are relatively short chapters
  • Meli
    Meli   ·  July 12, 2015
    Looking forward to it :-)

    Fast? Lol I'll try to slow down a bit...
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  July 12, 2015
    Thanks Meli! I rather like then following one too, that it's not just his voice that Shin would like to drown.
    You've read all my chapters in one go! I'm flattered, and how do you read that fast? I guess I'd better get on with writing some more then...  more
  • Meli
    Meli   ·  July 12, 2015
    Am really enjoying this Idesto, this has to be one of my favourite lines so far:

    Still not so loud that it can drown out the sound of the manic street preacher.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  July 8, 2015
    I think he'd like that!
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  July 8, 2015
    He should move to my city! 3.9 million most don't even make eye contact.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 22, 2015
    Yes, me too Edana!
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 22, 2015
    He'd like that Lissette! Don't be fooled though: having a sense of humour doesn't make him'nice' :)
  • Edana
    Edana   ·  June 22, 2015
    Thank god real life isn't like Skyrim life (at least in that regard). If strangers really did word-vomit at me about their occupation/personal problems/farms(?) every time I walked around downtown I would straight up become a complete hermit and never lea...  more
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  June 22, 2015
    I think Shin needs a camera to take pictures of Whiterun. Haha, I like him a lot. Very funny personality.