Shinbira: Journal of a Survivor, Chapter 15

  • Faendal and I walk nervously through the vast expanse of Jarl Balgruuf's Great Hall. It seems to take an eternity. As we pass the enormous dining tables we are again accosted, this time not by an oafish Nord guard, but by a Mer - a Dunmer, no less: one of my own kind!

    "What is the meaning of this interruption?!" she demands, in a dark and sultry but menacing voice, approaching with sword drawn.

    "Jarl Barlgruuf is not receiving visitors!"

    I hear the man on the throne say "Who's this then?". He seems to have the sense to know that I wouldn't be here if it wasn't important.

    "I have news from Helgen about the dragon attack, Sera."

    The term of respect came out of my mouth automatically, but it seemed to defuse the situation and calm her down.

    "Well, that explains why the guards let you in.

    She's not stupid, either

    "Come on then, the Jarl will want to speak to you personally." She sheaths her weapon.

    "Juohn, Sera."

    "Ju'rohn, Ser!", she replies, unbidden I think: surprised at being addressed in Dunmeri.

    It is good to meet a fellow Dunmer, even if at first she wanted to kill me!

    I approach the Jarl.

    He's clearly Nord, but - unlike my friend at the gate - intelligent enough to be respectful. He wants to know what I have to say.

    "What's this about a dragon?" he asks.

    "A dragon destroyed Helgen. Alvor is afraid Riverwood will be next."

    "Alvor? The smith, isn't he? Reliable, solid fellow: not prone to flights of fancy. And you're sure Helgen was destroyed by a dragon; this wasn't some Stormcloak raid gone wrong?"

    "Yes, I was there. I saw the dragon burn Helgen to the ground!"

    "By Ysmir: Irileth was right! What do you say now, Proventus? Shall we continue to trust in the strength of our walls  - against a dragon?!" 

    I've clearly stoked the flames of an ongoing disagreement amongst the Jarl's advisors. The man who's currently the subject of the Jarl's fierce stare babbles defensively, but is interrupted by Irileth:

    "My Lord, we should send troops to Riverwood; it is in immediate danger!"

    "But the Jarl of Falkreath will see that as a provocation!" this Proventus protests "He will..."


    "Irileth, send a detachment to Riverwood at once!" 

    "Yes, my Jarl."

    "If you'll excuse me I'll return to my duties." Proventus mumbles sullenly.

    "That would be best." the Jarl replies slowly, watching him as he stiffly walks off.

    I think I like this Balgruuf...

    We find ourselves alone with the Jarl, and now he turns to me:

    "Well done: you've done Whiterun a service, and I won't forget it."

    Handing me some fine-looking studded Imperial armour he continues: "Take this as a token of my esteem. There is however one more thing that you can do for me."

    I feel like I can't refuse! I follow him to the study of his court wizard, Farengar. 

    Farengar is also a Nord, but a very different one to Balgruuf. He's superior, condescending and arrogant: seems more like an Altmer to me! Maybe that's just what comes of using too much magic.

    He's learnt the whereabouts of a 'Dragonstone', a tablet that maps the burial sites of the beasts that are now apparently not as dead as we thought they were. It seems that I am now seen as the resident expert in anything dangerous that has to do with dragons. Never mind the 'honour': I sense there could be great profit in this!

    "So what do you need me to do?" I ask him, after he's talked to me at length. I think he likes the sound of his own voice. I don't.

    "Go to Bleak Falls Barrow..."

    "Where?" I interrupt, a wry smile on my lips.

    "Bleak Falls Barrow. You know it?"

    "Actually, yes. By a happy coincidence I was planning to go there anyway..."

    "Well that's good. Go there, find the stone tablet and bring it to me. Simplicity itself."

    He doesn't ask why I might already be going there: he's obviously not the slightest bit interested in the little affairs of 'common people' like me.

    The Jarl - unlike me - has been listening patiently, and when Farengar seems to have finished tells us:

    "This is a priority now. Anything we can use to fight this dragon, or dragons - we need it quickly, before it's too late."

    Then, turning to me: "Succeed in this and you will be rewarded; Whiterun will be in your debt." With that he leaves.

    I like the sound of that... 

    I don't like magic that much, but I use it when I need to: I'm pragmatic. I've had to be, or I probably wouldn't have survived this long! I ask Farengar what spell tomes he has for sale and what the spells do then buy two that I think I'll need for the task ahead: 'Clairvoyance' for when I need directions, and 'Candlelight' for light in the darkness.

    "Ah, that reminds me" he then says. "I have some frost salts for Arcadia the alchemist that she needs for a potion. Would you be so kind as to deliver them for me? I'm sure she will provide you with some form of recompense."

    "I was going there anyway, so yes, of course."

    "You're clearly better suited than I am for such a menial task. Now, I'm a busy man and your pointless questions are boring me terribly. Good day". With that he turns away. We are dismissed.


    Suddenly I feel Faendal's hands tightly gripping the arm I've raised above my head, the knuckles of my fist glowing red in clenched rage. With surprising strength he pulls me backwards and out of Farengar's room. 

    "Don't do something you might regret, Shinbira!"

    "I might regret it later, but I'll bloody enjoy it now: let me go!!"

    We struggle, but my heart isn't in it. The bloody Bosmer is right!

    That's another one for my small but rapidly growing list....

    We make a swift exit from the palace, which I've found out - thanks to Farengar - is called 'Dragonsreach'.

    "I've had enough of dragons and magic for one day, Faendal. Fancy an ale?"

    We head off in search of an Inn.

    Table of Contents


  • Edana
    Edana   ·  June 23, 2015
    Hehe, OK deal.   Maybe use Dunmeri in the name?? As our gahjuli, I think you should be the one to pick the name. Off the bat in that link you provided I see you could maybe draw on ka'im, wukim, molamer, daeseh, moljuhn, rouan, or something to that effect...  more
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 23, 2015
    'The Deadly Dunmers'? Maybe we should register it as 1 if these new fictional guilds? ;)
    I didn't answer your question Lissette: I got the Dunmeri from here:
  • Edana
    Edana   ·  June 23, 2015
    We'll have to come up with something catchy. It's really sort of a mini-faction, isn't it? Maybe something along those lines. 
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 23, 2015
    Yay! 'Shinbira's Dunmers' doesn't quite have the same ring to it tho. 'Shinny's Dunnies'? Maybe not....
  • Edana
    Edana   ·  June 23, 2015
    Haha, wellll I had initially pictured my favorite dragon-yogi as our unofficial leader buuuuut, OK you've convinced me. You can be Charlie. I don't think ol' Pnax would necessarily condone dragon slaying for the sake of dragon slaying anyway. That's more ...  more
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 23, 2015
    I regularly talk to myself IRL so why not here? Mason's right: Idesto is both my username & my main Skyrim character. As for a prize, you may have to be content with the smug satisfaction of a great achievement 
  • Mason
    Mason   ·  June 23, 2015
  • Mason
    Mason   ·  June 23, 2015
    No he's talking about his character in the game, 'Idesto'. It just so happens that Idesto is also his username.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 23, 2015
    Actually Idesto, my main/ 1st character, has recently hired Jenassa (sorry about the stray firebolt Uthgerd!) and she's great!
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 23, 2015
    A "stern talking to" Lissette? Yes, that, ahem.... *puts knife back in pocket*
    I like the sound of that Edana - a lot! As long as I get to be Charlie!