Journal of a Survivor (Part 3), Chapter 32: Ice and Fire

  • Sundas, Last Seed 23rd: Whiterun - The Pale

    As we walk on quickly, away from Stinks and his stinks, the terrain gradually changes. The tundra plains become undulating, then hilly; grass and vegetation gives way to rocky ground, and we start climbing. It's getting colder, and soon we're trudging through drifts of snow, trying not to slip on icy rocks. Before long we're walking through trackless snowy forests, visibility dimmed as much by the trees as by the now wind-driven snow. I have a general idea of the direction we should be taking from the rough marks on my map, but it's hard even to see that now in these conditions.

    Faendal looks at me, or tries to. 

    "Are you still pleased you've decided to go up north now just to see your shrine, brother?" he shouts through the blizzard.

    "And you think climbing the highest mountain in Skyrim would be better?! And it's not just a shrine, Faendal - you should know that!" I shout back.

    Trudging on through the forest of snow every direction seems the same. Our path is largely set by huge walls of rock marking high mountains that we nearly bang our noses on, but we struggle onwards. 

    Finally, amidst the toil some excitement! Moving shapes between the trees ahead: large, menacing silhouettes in the snow. Something flies through the air and hits me, liquid: poison! Luckily it misses my skin. The spiders - two of the great ugly things - advance on us, waving their mandibles and spitting their venom. After what we're been though recently killing them is like kicking kittens! Faendal shoots his arrows, I swing my greatsword, and soon there are two big arachnoid corpses at our feet. I quickly remove their poison sacs and we go on. 

    Snow, ice, rocks, trees, rocks, ice, snow: never-ending toil, struggle and strain, tramping through winter's domain. Toes and fingers frozen even through leather, faces fixed in frigid rictus, lungs burning with blasts of icy air. Feet trudge on in Survival's dance, crunching in rhythm over snow and dirt: sounds soft in our ears against the roaring wind. The feet advance unbidden; as the body works the eyes watch and the mind wanders... 

    Oh, Windhelm! So like this bitter place, frozen and hard. The burning flame of a mother's love iced and doused by cold Nord hands and cold Nord hearts, a father frozen in fear. Yet my fire still burns: I remember! I blaze, hot and smouldering with memories of warmth, of love and care, of nurture and culture.   

    I am roused from my reverie. The blinding snow has become darker: the night is beginning to take its grip on the frozen forest.

    “Shinbira: I can see lights ahead!” Faendal is shouting.

    We have come to what appears to be an Inn. Not what I expected to see all the way out here! Inn it may be but to me it’s a godssend. The hall is sparse, but the fire is hot and the Innkeeper convivial. We sit down to eat and drink with appetites voracious then find welcoming beds for our well-earned slumbers.

    Don't forget: 'If you like it then you oughtta put a 'click' on it'...

    And if you don't please tell me why, or how else will I get better? Also if you do!


    Table of Contents


  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  August 23, 2015
    It'll be interestng to see what they've been up to when I get back! 
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  August 23, 2015
    When the writer's away, the characters will feast to their heart's content! 
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  August 23, 2015
    Eat? Rest!
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  August 23, 2015
    Thanks Exuro. I struggle with descriptive passages so that's good to hear 
    My email doesn't mind at all! The more feedback I get the better, much appreciated. 
    I will be doing that thanks, I just hadn't got around to it. With me away for a whi...  more
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  August 22, 2015
    Arg, I caught up! I was on a roll, I'm sure your email will appreciate the spam. Now that you're working on multiple projects you may want to consider added Previous/Next links by the TOC link to keep the stories straight.
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  August 22, 2015
    I really enjoyed the flow of the poetic lines and they did a great job concisely setting the scene.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  August 17, 2015
    Thanks mate, I really appreciate it :)
    This took longer than usual - as you know descriptions aren't a strength - so I'm really happy to hear it came out OK 
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 17, 2015
    As good as always Idesto. You're getting a nice group of followers now. Keep up the great work. You've done well with the descriptions, a pleasure to read.
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  August 15, 2015
    Ha, actually I only read one of his books, 'The Old Man and the Sea', so I suppose I shouldn't drop names like a know-it-all.
    Anyway, keep doing what you're doing! You've become an inspiration for me and I look forward to every new chapter!
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  August 15, 2015
    Wow thanks! Name-dropping Hemingway? That's impressive  I've never read him