Skyrim: Journal - Rimion


Active Member
Let's get the basics out of the way (these may be adjusted as the game goes on - never used Frostfall before so I don't know it's restrictions)-

  • No fast travel
  • No Archery (crossbows okay)
  • No 2-handed weapons
  • No perks for 1-handed weapons
  • Alchemy limited to eating plants for marginal benefit
  • Forging limited to tanning/creation of survival equipment
  • Enchanting allowed but no overpowered items (SkyRe may take care of this for me)
  • Will progress through main quest (as character sees fit and situation allows) so shouts are allowed
  • Timescale adjusted to 12

  • Using SkyRe conversion - All modules
  • Level uncapper - (using SkyRe default of lvl 300 cap with skill leveling stopping at 150 - bumped up perks to 2 per level due to Frostfall's tree addition + Staves block tree addition + SkyRe's expanded perk trees)
  • Using Frostfall Mod (survival - hypothermia)
  • Cloaks of Skyrim Mod - to complement Frostfall
  • Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel Mod (also works with Frostfall)
  • Using Character Creation Overhaul - Previous TES style character creation/leveling (Birthsigns, more narrow classes, etc)
  • Have a couple spell mods (Apocalypse, Forgotten)
  • Deadlier Dragons Mod - Since Giants seem to be more dangerous than dragons. . .
  • Interesting NPCs Mod
  • Immersive Weapons and Armor Mods
  • Jaysus Weapons Mod
  • Staves of Skyrim Mod
  • A couple other mods to improve general immersion (lanterns on roads, more road signs, etc.)

  • Name - Rimion
  • High Elf (Altmer)
  • Class - Mage
  • Birthsign - Mage (improved magicka regen - weakness to magic)
Fog. That about sums it up. My memories past this morning are lost in a fog with vague shapes and the occasional face swirling around in the soupy mess. I have various memories: a childhood on a farm, studying at the university, and various other snippets. But they don’t come easily and the faces in those memories appear out of place.
Then there are the competing voices in my head. One says yes when the other says no. They fight constantly and I am not sure if the decisions I make are the correct ones. It’s like someone has imposed two different lives inside of my head. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning - the beginning of my recent memory which means this morning.

I woke this morning on a cart. My hands were bound and I was unable to move much. Given the presence of Imperial troops leading the carts, I doubt I would have made it far if I had gotten free. A fellow captive, by the name of Ralof, seemed rather talkative but I didn't respond to him, my head was pounding too much. We passed into Helgen and I experienced my first flash of recognition for the day. I only had a brief glance at the Thalmor but his face seemed familiar. I couldn’t place where I knew him from and recognition quickly transformed into revulsion. Something about him - his bearing, manner was completely detestable to me. Perhaps he was the cause of my current predicament?

It didn't seem to matter much as it soon became clear that I was to be executed merely for being at the wrong place at the wrong time (and not even remembering it). It was only through an extremely fortunate arrival of a dragon that I was spared. A DRAGON! Not that the dragon had specifically come to free me from my captors. No, he seemed more focused on killing everything that moved, but during the confusion caused by his attack I was able to slip free and join Ralof inside the keep. This was when I had another brief moment of recollection.

Inside the keep Ralof freed me from my bonds and we were quickly fighting with Imperial troops for our lives. I’m honestly surprised they were so worried about us instead of joining the defense against the dragon. Regardless, as we were set upon I instinctively cast a fire spell burning them down as they charged. As the flames had poured from my hands I realized I felt weak, as if I was not drawing upon my full power. Indeed, I had quickly drained my magicka reserve when I felt there should have been much more to draw from. Even more curious, inside the dungeon I found a spellbook which upon skimming brought immediate recollection of the spell. I had known this spell before and the book had forced those memories to surface. Based upon this experience I can only assume that I was a spellcaster in my shrouded past. And if my instinctive feelings about what my reserves of magicka should have been then I was rather adept at the use.

Ralof and I found an unused cavern which exited a short distance from Helgen. Of course, we did not exit without difficulty. A number of large spiders and one very grumpy bear later and we were back out in the sunlight just as the black dragon flew overhead away from the smoldering remains of Helgen. I felt oddly comfortable with Ralof. I don’t think it was the shared experience of surviving an attempted beheading and dragon attack, but that certainly helped. No, instead it is something deeper in my mind. But at the same time various things he says cause me to sicken and become angry. His insistence in referencing talos in almost every breath triggers something inside of me that I have to force down deep to keep from exploding. Why should I care? What is it in my mind that keeps eluding me? Why is there such an internal conflict inside my mind? I do know one thing, the Imperials and Thalmor just tried to have me executed and Ralof saved my life. That alone tells me who my friends should be.

We waited till the dragon had disappeared before collecting ourselves and heading down a worn path. Ralof offered the hospitality of his sister in a nearby village called Riverwood. I accepted but then decided to forego walking with him down the path and struck out on my own in hopes of finding something to trigger my memories. Unfortunately, what I found did not trigger anything other than a fight or flight response. I stumbled into a bandit’s camp and they weren't looking for new members. I magically sent one of them into a blinded fury so that he attacked his partner and then turned to deal with the third. I doused him in flames as I backed away. I realized I would quickly run out of reserves if I continued at this pace when Ralof came charging like a roaring bear through the bushes behind me and dealt a mighty deathblow to the rogue advancing on me. He must have heard the fighting and came to investigate. He pulled out a bow and quickly finished off the other two. Then after chiding me for my naivety he continued on his way to Riverwood. I spent a moment stripping two of the bodies (the third was missing - I only hope the bandit is not still alive) of everything valuable and then took a brief moment to survey the opposite direction that Ralof had gone.

This was when I had my second flash of recognition. A thunderstorm had swept in after Ralof had marched off. Lightning was flashing in the mountains around me, the thunder deafeningly loud - echoing my own thoughts and emotions. I had only gone a short distance from my camp when I stumbled upon what was obviously a shrine to talos. What awaited me in that small area was a scene of carnage I cannot hope to describe. Bodies lay everywhere. I was revolted by them and yet felt odd compassion welling up inside of me for their violent end. That was when I saw him. Sanyon. The name crashed through the fog in my mind with such forcefulness that I actually dropped to one knee. But that was all. Just a name and the feeling of disgust and anger, which was intermingled with feelings of fond remembrance and respect. What is wrong with me? He was obviously Thalmor by the expensive robes he wore and the note he carried made it obvious what had happened. Apparently, this Thalmor agent had found this hidden shrine and decided to make an example of the worshipers. But at least one of them resisted. The fact that he lay here dead with them said that much. I left the worshipers as they were only taking the more expensive weapons. I could not bring myself to defile their bodies any more than I could remove the expensive Thalmor robes from Sanyon. Instead, I forced myself to go near the shrine to take the coins of offering there. The waves of nausea that swept over me from being this close to the shrine nearly forced me back, but my light coin purse compelled me to finish the task. Then I was back on the road to Riverwood.

I found Ralof near the town standing in the rain over a couple of wolves. He appeared to be contemplating skinning them so I hurried into town ahead of him, eager to get out of the rain. I sold what I could to the town blacksmith and general good store. The storekeeper had a handful of spellbooks, but the suspicious man wouldn't let me glance at them. Instead he insisted that I pay full price for each one, and a heavy restocking fee would apply if I changed my mind. I bought one which promised the power of frost. Same as before, as soon as I opened the book I recalled the spell. Who am I? Someone must know. I just don’t want to run into an enemy that knows or I might never find out who I am.

After leaving the shop I found Ralof’s sister and she offered to help me any way she could. I’m not sure if I should have taken her so literally, but I ended up taking anything that had value and trading it at the shop. Good thing she wasn't around to see me snatching her things inside her house. I almost feel like a thief, but then she did offer to help.

Coveting the coins I had in my pocket too much to take a bed at the inn, I trudged back out of town and up to the bandit camp that Ralof and I had cleared out earlier. Having a nice fire, three tents, and a tanning rack I figured it would make a good camp until I have what I need to make the journey to Whiterun. Word has it that the plain Whiterun sits on is tundra and gets rather cold. I need to collect my wits and some things before my journey there.
Frostfall is going to be an interesting experience. It forces you to do things differently. In the vanilla game I thought nothing of crossing any body of water (small, large, warm, cold, freezing). In Frostfall, water and rain make you wet - being wet makes you cold - too much cold and you die. Freezing water drains your stamina and kills you quick. Well-known routes I used in the vanilla game, just in the Riverwood area, I found myself changing to avoid getting wet. Crossing a stream becomes more of a decision (especially without fast travel) - do I walk all the way around to a bridge (that may or may not exist) or do I cross the stream and if I get too cold make a fire on the opposite bank? What if I don't have the wood I need? Do I have the time I need to collect the wood before I freeze to death? Time of day also plays into it. And then water doesn't necessarily offer all the protection that it used to (enemies usually don't pursue into water). While it does still offer the same protection from melee enemies, it offers the risk associated with being wet. More than ever I must count the cost of specific actions.

And I have no idea how it is going to work out in the mountains. I'm not sure how long I will have before freezing - clothing plays into this. It's not as extreme as a basic needs mod (eat, sleep, bathe) but it does force me to play the game differently and consider things from an entirely new perspective.
Forgot to mention that CCO also limits carry weight to Oblivion levels (150 on my High Elf as opposed to vanilla which I believe is 300).
I woke early this morning, hoping to get a jump on the things I needed to do. I collected my things and walked down the path to Riverwood seeking something I had noticed yesterday. I found it not too far from my camp. It was a small path leading up the hill. I was curious and wanted to see where it went. At the top of the path I had my answer. There was a wooden door set in the mountain, obviously leading to some kind of cave or mine. However, upon reaching this point I was attacked by a man who appeared to be standing guard. Actually, “attacked” may not be the right choice of words since he never physically made it to me. Instead he dropped dead at my feet, his body glistening with ice particles. I’d say that investment in the frost spell paid itself off (and would continue to throughout the day). The cold seems to lock up their limbs which restricts their movement and prolongs my life. I’ve actually found a combination of fire and frost appears to work the best.

Having taken care of the lookout and already somewhat committed to the task at hand I stepped over the frozen body and entered the mine (for that was what it was). Inside I found a tripwire as I headed down which I narrowly avoided. The tripwire appeared to be connected to some sort of mechanism which held some rather large boulders overhead. Had I been a bit less cautious I might have been crushed right then and there. I made note of the location and moved on. I found two men inside discussing their security precautions which I found rather ironic. I enraged one of them and allowed them to beat on each other until the charm wore off. As they advanced on me I easily cut them down with my fire and frost combination. I found two more after lowering a bridge. They were even easier as I led them up the tunnel to their own tripwire. I set off the trap as they stepped underneath the rocks and they were caught in the avalanche. Three more in a central chamber taken care of with fire/frost and I picked up what I could to sell in Riverwood. A back exit from the mine put me just up the hill from from the town.

A little more gold, another spell, some information about a Mage's College in Winterhold, and I was heading out again. This time I went up the mountain behind Riverwood. I had seen some smoke up on the side of the cliffs and wanted to investigate. On my way up I found some frostberries. Recognition of them was immediate and I knew that they provided some protection from the bitter cold. How I knew I couldn’t say. Perhaps I travelled in my previous life. I suppose that would fit, since I’m doing a load of travelling now. I picked the berries and continued my climb.

I discovered the source of the smoke in a small alcove in the rock face. There were two bandits staying here, no doubt planning to plunder Riverwood. I couldn’t see any other reason to camp in this particular location. All that is up there now are two well-cooked and deep frozen bandits. From them I collected a crossbow and some bolts. Now I couldn’t string a bow to save my life, but a crossbow is a point and shoot weapon. I quickly discovered it was one of the most important finds I would make. Game was plentiful in the woods. I was constantly seeing deer, fox, and rabbits. But they were skittish and would dart away at my approach. The effort it takes to propel fire and ice limits the distance it will fly, effectively relegating it to a short range weapon. But with the crossbow I was able to bring down a number of larger animals, collecting their pelts as I went.

It was almost dark after a full day of hunting and I was heading back to my camp when I thought I might have a real breakthrough on my past. Down the road, walking toward me, appeared to be three Altmer and one roughed-up looking Nord. The Altmer were obviously Thalmor by their appearance and my heart leapt into my throat. I wanted to run. I wanted to attack. I wanted to run to them screaming for help. I was confused and just stood there, frozen with indecision. In short order they were walking by me and I forced myself to greet them. I was hoping that they might recognize me, and yet I was fearful that they might recognize me. I almost blurted out, “Who am I?” Thankfully I held myself back and barely whispered a greeting. What I received back was unconcealed disgust. They looked down on me. Told me to stand aside. The tone threatened swift action would follow if I did not comply. The prisoner refused to look up at me, staring at his tattered shoes instead. I could tell he was a Stormcloak. I backed out of their way and allowed them to continue on while imagining myself roasting them from behind, the prisoner thanking me profusely while we stood over their smoldering bodies. Instead, I watched for a moment, helpless, as they led the Nord to an uncertain fate before I turned and continued on to my camp.

The experience has taught me this: The Thalmor are not my friend and are possibly the reason for my current predicament. The Empire has sided with the Thalmor. The Stormcloaks fight the Empire and Thalmor. The Stormcloaks (Ralof) accepted me despite my race and unknown heritage. They accepted me when the Empire would have executed me. I’m not prepared to fight the war for the Stormcloaks but I could definitely be considered a sympathizer. Tomorrow I plan to make my way to Whiterun if possible and eventually I plan to head to the College in Winterhold. If anyone knows how to fix my memory it will be those in the College.
Ah, one more restriction. Rimion has no knowledge of lockpicking. One of my installed spell mods has different open lock spells but he doesn't have any at the moment - Rimion is just out of luck when it comes to locked chests at this time.
As I sit here in the inn at Whiterun I can’t help but be proud of my accomplishments today. skooma distributors shut down, various highwaymen won’t bother anyone anymore, and a camp cleared out. I guess I should start at the beginning. . .

This morning I awoke, early as has become my custom. Perhaps it was my custom before, but I wouldn't know. It does seem to feel right. I immediately set about hunting. I would need some more skins for the items I needed to create for my journey. I was tracking a deer which was proving quite elusive when I happened upon an ancient tower. It appeared to be unused and I ventured inside to see if there was anything of value. The lower floor held a couple useless items, but if I had been more attentive I would have noticed the food stores which indicated an inhabitant. Instead, I blundered on up the winding staircase and emerged into the brilliant morning light. I noticed the tent and fire immediately but it was already too late. Electrical current coursed into my back nearly sending me into uncontrollable convulsions. I spun and was confronted by a necromancer. I was so stunned by his initial attack that I didn’t bother to drop my crossbow. Instead I fired two bolts into him and he dropped to the ground. At that point movement in the corner of my eye drew my attention. Apparently, the mage had been attempting to raise a dead body to fight for him but with his death it collapsed into a pile of dust on the ground. I quickly scanned the area and determined there were no other threats.

Next to the mage's tent sat a large wooden chest. No doubt it would be full of useful equipment and expensive items to sell. But as I tugged on the lid it refused to open. That accursed mage had locked the chest. I searched his body but could not find a key. So I searched the tower. Still no key. I kicked the chest a couple times but only managed to hurt my foot. I pounded on the lock with the butt of my crossbow but I just ended up splintering a piece off of the weapon. Mumbling in frustration I headed back out of the tower. The chest would just have to sit there for some lucky passerby.

On the way back toward my camp I managed to take a couple more deer and fox. I’m glad I didn't ruin my crossbow trying to get into that stupid chest. At my camp I spent some time fashioning a new smaller tent and bedroll. These would suffice in the woods but may not be so great in the snow. I headed out from my camp but as I neared Riverwood I realized I had a bit of a problem. Lugging the tent and bedroll was quickly becoming a problem. I couldn't imagine wandering all over Skyrim with such a setup. So in Riverwood I stopped at Alvor's (the blacksmith) and fashioned a crude backpack from some fox pelts I had left over. The backpack holds my camping gear with some room left over.

At this point I set out from Riverwood heading for Whiterun. The trip turned out to be shorter than I expected and relatively event-free. That is, if you consider bringing down a giant as a non-event. The brute appeared to be terrorizing a small farm just outside of Whiterun. He was already engaged in battle with a number of warriors but it looked like they could use a hand so I sent some sparks from my hands into his back (remembering the effect that had on me previously). Within seconds he was down on one knee and one of the warriors finished him with a clean blow. I’m actually not sure how much my help was needed. Most of them appeared to be barely winded and little concerned about a giant within such close proximity to their town. Perhaps that is just the way of things here in Skyrim.

I made my way through town and informed the Jarl about the dragon attack on Helgen. I spoke with his court mage briefly and they requested that I gather some stone from some barrow. Sounds a bit on the dodgy side to me. They claim this is a rush job and I need to get up there right-quick but that makes me question things a bit. If it was so important why trust a random stranger with the task? Why not have his Housecarl or even the court mage recover this stone? Why not send them together? Or even send a complement of soldiers? I've seen enough of them lounging about that this seems a bit fishy to me. Not to mention, as thanks for bringing him news of the dragon, the Jarl granted me a set of steel armor. What are they expecting me to find in this barrow? Isn't it just an empty tomb with a bunch of dead people inside? Regardless, I’m not putting it at the top of my priority list. I have concerns of my own, the foremost of which is getting to the College in Winterhold to get my memory back.

In order to put that plan into motion I need to do some mercenary work, unfortunately. I’m not much on running around putting myself in harm’s way for a meager amount of gold, but there doesn't seem to be much choice. I grabbed a bounty letter from the local inn and made my way out of town before I realized I forgot to ask which way to go. Rather than appear the fool, I struck off to the Northwest and almost immediately stumbled on an outcropping where some smugglers had set up shop. I had little difficulty with them and left them frozen solid on the ground while I rifled through their possessions. Not much to be had, especially since I couldn't open the locked chest which sat there. I wasn't about to damage my weapon any more repeating my folly. Instead, I gather what little I could and made a mental note to ask back in town if there was some sort of reward for their heads.

I hadn't gone more than 300 yards North when over the rise a couple highwaymen set out after me. I attempted to enrage one but it merely made him more mad at me. I backed away pelting them with fire and ice. Within seconds the pair were down. I searched their bodies and then headed back to where I first saw them. A frail, old woman lay dead on the ground. A note in her satchel explained she was seeking a family heirloom stolen from her. Whether these bandits were the perpetrators of the original crime I couldn't say. I certainly didn't find a nice heirloom.

A distance over the hills and I came upon an encampment. I was spotted and immediately fired upon. I dodged arrows as best as I could and focused on the men bearing down on me. The first fell quickly, but the one following him managed to shrug off my first blast of fire and ice. My reserves were dry and I started to panic. I didn’t feel the arrow strike my arm for a good second before the pain caused me to gasp. I quickly downed a couple magicka potions and felt my power returning. The bandit in front of me went down and I turned my attention to the one shooting arrows. That was when the arrow went into my thigh from behind. I had two attackers not just the one! I used the rocky terrain to my advantage and dodged around and behind them to keep my attackers from gaining a direct shot. I managed to put the first down and turned to face the last when an arrow struck me in the chest. My strength was failing quickly and I felt if I did not strike now then I would never strike again. I leaped from cover, moving at an angle to the bowman to force him to recalculate his aim while dousing him with fire and ice. He never released his nocked arrow. The ice froze his hands clutching the bow in the ready position. I expect sometime later as he began to thaw the arrow loosed in some form. I wasn't there to see it. As I staggered away from the scene of battle I recalled my healing magic and set about tending to my wounds - magically forcing the arrows from my flesh and knitting the skin back together. It was getting dark and I had no time to survey the bandit encampment. I quickly gathered what I could carry and headed back to Whiterun.

I sold what I could and then decided to purchase another spell. I made off with a frost rune spell which will allow me to set my own traps. I cannot understand how I could not remember the spell, it jumped into recollection the moment I opened the book. It is so painful to pay good money for something I should. . .no something I do know. Tomorrow I head back to the bandit camp to clear out anything I left behind.

Every time I go back to the court mage he chides me about getting up to the barrow to recover that stone. I’m not sure if I can stall him much longer but I need a couple more of the spells he is selling. I’ll be glad to put Whiterun behind me and head to Winterhold and a nice warm fire. As I think about it, I believe I left the fire burning at my camp near Riverwood. I sure hope I don’t return there someday to find the woods a blackened disaster.
Sorry, was a bit behind. It's a lot easier to play the game than it is to journal it. It's hard to limit play time to just one in-game day. Thankfully my recollection was fairly clear for both days. On the other hand, I ended partway through the following day last night which means I need to remember the events that transpired inside the bandit camp. Perhaps I should start taking notes just after playing. . .but I never was a good note-taker even in school. I guess I always relied on my ability to replay things in my head.
I was up and out of town before dawn. I made it to the bandit encampment just as the sun was peeking over the mountains. I quickly surveyed the encampment and noted several things. There was a chest sitting under one of the wooden scaffolds and there was an entrance to a cave or mine. I decided to work on the chest first. The reason I didn't open it immediately is because of a small mechanism attached to the front of it. Not knowing the purpose of the mechanism and realizing the penchant these bandits have for traps, I examined it closer. I couldn't determine the full extent of the trap so I decided to test a theory. I had previously determined that the cord extending from the chest was some sort of twine, so I stood back and loosed a stream of fire on it. There was no effect. I moved closer as the area cooled down and examined it again. It appeared that the cord was impregnated with some sort of waxy substance. I could see the flame was working, just not as quickly as I expected. I stepped back and again unleashed fire on the string. Within a couple seconds the string snapped and a large spiked ball swung from a hidden alcove to about where my head would have been. The trap disarmed, I proceeded to loot the contents.

Then I headed into the cave. It didn't take long for me to realize there were more bandits inside. How the carnage above from last night had escaped their notice was beyond me. I avoided a trip plate and made short work of the initial guard before proceeding into the main chamber. There were 3 bandits cutting up a mammoth. I’m still wondering how they managed to get that beast all the way inside the cave...

I noted that two of the three were standing in oil from the mammoth which I expected was probably rather flammable. I retreated a short distance and placed a rune on the ground before advancing and launching a burst of flame into the oil. As expected, the entire chamber lit up in flames and I pulled back slightly from the heat. Two of the bandits staggered up the ramp, coughing from the smoke but still attempting to mount a defense. I dropped them before they had gone 3 paces. Behind them roared a very angry and rather large man. His skin was charred from the blaze but he seemed to shrug off the pain as if it meant nothing to him. I retreated past my rune and waited for him to follow. At this point I made a mistake that nearly cost my life. I launched into my usual fire/frost combo in an attempt to slow him down as he hit my rune. But apparently my rune reacted to my own frost magic, detonating prematurely. I knew it would do that, but I didn’t know. As soon as it happened, I wondered how I could not have remembered it.

After overcoming the initial shock of my own stupidity I realized I needed to do something quick. I was low on reserves and turned and ran. As I ran I scanned the ground, looking for the pressure plate I has seen coming it. Roaring with anger behind me, the bandit was closing in. I thought I might be done for when I spotted it just ahead. I stepped solidly on the plate as I raced up the slope. Behind me I heard the sound of falling rocks and turned to see a large boulder glance off of the bandit. He staggered but did not fall. Rather than pausing to marvel at his physical prowess I summoned my remaining strength and finished him. The cave netted a decent haul mostly made up of mammoth tusks.

I must have looked a pretty strange sight strolling into Whiterun with tusks sticking out of my backpack and in my arms. I gave one to a woman who offered to show me some bartering tricks in exchange. The rest I sold and then spent the gold on a new spell. This time I bought something that would be invaluable in the long run. It allows me to create an ice spike which I can then project forward at a great speed.

As it was only midday I headed back to the gate, stopping briefly to sell my crossbow and bolts. I hated parting with them as they had served me so well, but the bow was heavy and I was running low on bolts. I assume I should be able to do without it now that I can project ice.

Speaking of ice, I’m am growing a fondness for the school. Fire, despite magical protection, tends to leave my skin tingling and I have noticed tiny burns at times. Sparks drains me quickly leaving me exhausted and exposed. Frost does not have the uncomfortable sensations nor the higher cost. I wonder if I was predisposed to it in my previous life?

As I finish up this entry I am about to head out to claim the bounty offered in this letter. I was able to determine the location of the keep from one of the local shopkeepers. I pray I make it back to collect.
20th of Last Seed

(Finally ask someone for the date. Hopefully I can remember what day it is as I write here.)

I headed East from Whiterun sticking to the roads. Once across the bridge I was on my own with no town guards in sight. That was when I had my first encounter with an atronach. It was burning someone in black robes. The individual did not last long and soon fell to the constant fireballs. I readied my ice spike and sent it flying at the atronach. It went down in a single hit, gave off a dying blast and then rolled down a cliff. I hurried over, but could not see an easy way down to where it’s body lay. So then I searched for the fellow it had killed. Again, no luck. I gave up and set off for my original goal.

A wolf or two down the road I found the towers. They stretched into the sky, a long narrow bridge connecting them spanned across the river. I steeled myself against the coming battle. The bounty wanted heads, not prisoners. Then I moved forward to the front door.

I was surprised to find it completely unguarded. Then I noticed a flash of movement down the road. Seemed the lookout decided to take advantage of a deer straying too close and was busy putting down the creature. It didn't take long and I realized I had squandered my crucial advantage as the lookout noticed me and charged forward. It took me 3 spikes to drop the bandit. Not a good start. This also alerted every other bandit that I was here and meant business. I crashed through the door and charged up the stairs. An archer on the bridge loosed an arrow as I stuck my head out the exterior door. She went down with just two spikes. Then I was retreating down the way I had come. Two large and rather angry bandits were charging across the bridge with weapons designed to crush me like a melon.

About this time I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew. I retreated while spraying frost behind me. The first brute staggered and fell as he was coming down the stairs. The second, much tougher, followed me down and readied his weapon. But my ice was having its full effect and he could barely move. The crusted ice on his thick armor and numb muscles kept him from reaching me. At the very limit of my reserves he dropped to his knee and I finished him, encrusting him with frost. I headed back upstairs and finished off an archer at the top of the tower. Then I noticed another archer sending arrows my way across the river. He sent an arrow into my shoulder as I crossed the bridge to deal with him. I mentally forced the pain out of my mind, ensuring myself that I would heal it in a moment. Stepping from the tower I built an ice spike with both hands and sent it into the bandit’s chest. He was dead before he hit the ground.

I looted what I could and trudged back up the path to town. Time to collect my reward. I was quickly sidetracked by a path with ancient stone post and lintels. Intrigued I headed to the top. On the small stone hilltop I found nothing. . .except a necromancer. He showed me first hand what it is like to be on the receiving end of ice magic. I felt sluggish even as I countered his blasts of frost with my own. In the end, I proved to be the stronger mage and he succumbed to the icy fingers of death. But his summoned minions, ignored for the main battle, did not dissolve upon his death. 2 skeletons, with nothing but killing on their minds. . .or do they have minds? What gave them purpose? With the necromancer dead, why did they still move and exist?

I’d like to say I killed them out of concern for the people of Whiterun. To keep two sets of magical bones from rampaging across the countryside. But no, I killed them out of fear for my own life. They went down easy enough. Perhaps the death of the mage had weakened them considerably, or maybe they were just weak to begin with. The one person who probably knew is frozen solid on that hilltop.

I headed back toward the town, determined not to get distracted again. That was when I noticed something entirely peculiar. Down the road in pretty much the same spot as before were an atronach and a person in dark robes doing battle. Was I hallucinating? Perhaps this was part of my mental affliction I suffered a couple days ago? As I neared them the person once again fell to the atronach’s flames. And once again I killed the atronach with an ice spike. But this time they had not slid down the cliff.

Based on the clothing and possessions of the woman (for that was what she was) I determined that she must have been a practicing witch. Perhaps she had summoned the atronach and lost control of it? But why would the scene play out like a mirror image of what I had witnessed on passing the opposite way? I left their bodies there and made good time back to Whiterun.

More items sold, a bounty collected, chastised by the mage, and a new spell. This time a strictly utilitarian spell. It unlocks simple locks. I was eager to try it out, so I set out from Dragonsreach.

Now I haven’t mentioned this fellow before, mostly because I do my best to ignore him. But that is becoming harder each time I pass. Whiterun has a statue to talos which I am forced to pass by every time I enter Dragonsreach. As sick as that makes me, all this worship of a man as a god, there is a “priest” who stands there all day. Now he doesn't politely try to talk to people about his false god. He doesn't simple preach about talos to those who will listen. No! This “priest” shouts at the top of his lungs so practically the entire town can hear him. I had half a mind to ice his mouth shut when passing this last time. I’ve not really considered murder since waking up several days ago, but if I decide to take it up as a profession this guy it on the top of my list.

I still had time though it was mid-afternoon. So I made my way back to the towers I had just cleared. Now some might think I am losing my mind. . .indeed, I wonder myself if I am, but there on the road was an atronach and a witch battling same as before. She dropped and I killed the atronach. Perhaps someone is playing a trick on me? I checked the witch and verified that she was indeed dead - though perhaps there is a magic to make one appear dead? I had no idea how to determine if the atronach was truly dead. I pretty much assume that it is once it stops moving. I glanced around but there didn't appear to be anyone in sight. Perhaps it was just the strangest coincidence. Come to think of it, I never checked for the bodies of the previous victims. Perhaps they were the same two, playing this little charade out for every passerby?

I made my way to the tower without further incident and opened the locked chest that was there. Not bad, some 50 coins or so. The sun was still up so I headed back up the road. The smuggler’s camp on the other side of Whiterun had a locked chest. Thankfully, there was no atronach or witch as I passed the location once more. Must have been a trick.

I made it to the smuggler’s camp and cast the spell on the locked chest. No luck. The lock must have been too complex. Instead, three bandits charged up from behind me. I wheeled around to defend myself but it is already too late. The first was a mage and he was already coating me with frost. My muscles went numb and in a panic I turned to run. It was like a nightmare where your legs just won’t seem to work properly. I managed to stay just out of reach of a bandit carrying a large battlehammer, but that was about it. My strength drained, my life ebbing away, and death two steps behind me I began to prepare for the inevitable.

Then, across the hill I heard a shout. Ahead of me, like a golden beacon of hope rushed a young man, sword in hand. He flung himself at the two weapon-wielding bandits while I used the distraction to my advantage and spun to attack the mage. Two hits and the mage when down like a sack of grain. The other two had turned back toward me and I dropped the first before he could reach me. The other I doused with ice until my magicka was spent, then I dodged, weaved, and rolled until I had gathered some back and was able to finish him off.

I turned to thank my savior and saw his body lying in the grass. The young man had given his life for me. A stranger. Without hesitation. Without regret. Who am I that I deserve such consideration from another? I don’t deserve it. Nothing I have done warrants it. And nothing I can do will take it back. I don’t really have the words. . .

I left the young man lying there in the grass. I was in too much shock to think to bring his body back to town or even honor it in some way. As I think back now I wish I had done something. Even though it wouldn't have equaled what he did for me. Perhaps I will go there tomorrow, if wild animals haven’t dragged him off, and properly honor him.

The fight had put me close to the camp I had cleared out this morning with all the mammoth tusks. I remembered a chest I could not open inside the cavern so I headed there hoping that I could make it back to town before nightfall.

I was trudging back to town with another 50 coins or so as the sun was just touching the mountains. I managed to get to the shopkeepers before they closed up for the night and then endured yet another berating by the court mage and verbal abuse from the “priest” before stopping at the inn. Another frost spell. I couldn't stop myself. This one could prove useful as it allows me to cast it and then cast another frost spell at the target to stumble them.

Tomorrow I will head out to where I left the young man. Then I plan to head to another bandit camp where a fellow in town said his father’s sword is. We didn't really negotiate a price on my recovering it so I hope he doesn't try to back out of paying me.
Okay, be honest with me. Are the journal entries too long?

When I type it up I play out the scene in my head as I had played it in game and the descriptions can get a little long-winded. Granted, I use a little creative license here and there but nothing that really changes what happened per se. Most of the creative license comes in the form of emotions (although I was very grateful to the young man who saved my life, and I am very annoyed by the priest of Talos every time I pass him - not to mention the court mage insisting that I get up to Bleak Falls Barrow to get that stone for him) I'm not logging deaths as a death would mean the character cannot journal anymore since death is somewhat permanent (except in the case of a particular witch and atronach). I'm trying to strike a balance between noting every step I take throughout the day and saying "cleared out 2 more dungeons, killed 10 more bandits and bought 3 more spells". Which means I'm trying to hit the points that I think the character would actually journal about. Hunting for deer or wolves while interesting in the first day, since he had nothing to compare it to, now seems very minor and will get, at most, a simple note rather than a description of the event.

I added a couple more mods for better playability:

Wet and Cold -
Works in conjunction with Frostfall/Cloaks of Skyrim/Climates of Tamriel. Essentially adds some cold effects (breath vapor in colder areas, etc) and gives NPC's survival equipment if they are wandering in the wilderness.

Run for your lives -
Villagers run inside when dragons attack rather than getting themselves killed by foolishly attacking a dragon with a knife. Guards and certain other NPCs (vigilants, companions) won't run inside either. As I am not fast traveling this may not be as much of a problem (dragons get a check after fast traveling to see if they appear) but it really doesn't make sense for shopkeepers to stand out there and poke the dragon till it kills them. It would also be annoying since I wouldn't have people in towns. Granted I haven't started the dragons spawning yet, but I'm just trying to flow with the character more so than accomplish goals the game provides. The character's main goal is to recover his past which makes getting to Winterhold a priority.

When Vampires attack -
I haven't experienced it (since I just installed Dawnguard and am at level 6) but rumor has it when you hit level 8-9 random vampire attacks start happening. Apparently, this is similar to the dragon attacks with a check on fast travel. Should be interesting as I haven't experienced this yet. Anyway, this mod also sends the non-combatant villagers inside when vampires swoop in to feed.
I take silence as implied acceptance and approval. No post today as I didn't have time to play last night.
21st of Last Seed

I am now sitting in probably the safest place in all of Skyrim. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for the fetid stench and terrible food I would be rather content to live out the rest of my life free from bandits right here. Where is it? Whiterun dungeon, of course. . .

This morning I headed out West from Whiterun, making my way back to where the young man had fallen. I found him lying where I had left him yesterday. Once again, I had to kick myself. If I had been thinking I might have borrowed a shovel from someone in Whiterun. I didn't have anything that could break through the semi-frozen earth to bury his body properly. I had no idea how to honor one who had sacrificed his life. So, I spent a couple minutes standing over his body in silence. Unable to do much more, I headed out to take care of a bounty I had picked up yesterday. Thankfully, the bounty pointed to a set of ruins not far from where the fellow in town had indicated his father’s sword was at. I figured I could take care of these two errands before heading back to Whiterun to collect.

I found the ruins sitting slightly on the rise, a large stone wall cutting up the hill and wrapping around. Unsure of the strength of the encampment, I circled around up above the ruins and was able to scramble up a low part on the wall. This placed me on top of a small dome with an open skylight in the center. Crouching down and slipping forward I found a bandit with his back to me while tending a forge. I sent an ice spike into him and he dropped. Suddenly, I was dodging arrows as two bandits ran into the room below me. I circled the skylight, raining down destruction from above. They eventually fell as a somewhat adept mage entered the room. He easily blocked each spike I tossed at him forcing me to rethink my strategy. I soon determined that while he was quick with his ward he seemed to only be able to block one thing at a time. I crafted a spike with each hand and sent the first flying, as it was striking his ward I loosed the second one. His ward dropped just as the second one reached him, penetrating his defense. Several more of these combos and I finished him off. The camp cleared out and valuable items in my pack, I headed for my next objective.

The location turned out to be a cave. The entrance was unguarded so I slipped quietly inside. Inside I came on a campfire, but didn't see anyone in the first chamber. I slipped next to the tunnel and created a strong rune on the ground. I must have mumbled a bit loudly because a bandit came rushing up the tunnel. The ice explosion from the rune sent him into a heap against the wall. Further in I had a dog spot me, but he was frozen within seconds. As I slipped around the natural formations I nearly jumped out of my skin as a bandit wandered past me in search of the commotion. I blasted him with frost and he was down before he could reach me with his sword.

In the final chamber I found a fellow that must have been their leader. He had better armor and a large weapon. I placed a strong rune at the entrance to the chamber, intending to fall back beyond that point after I hit him a couple times. I moved forward slightly and got lined up with him. The shot would be tricky, though a rock formation. I loosed a spike and it crashed into the formation, just a hair low. He stood up and pulled out his weapon. I panicked and fired off another shot, this time hitting the side of the formation. He was rushing around the formation at me now. I fled.

Around a bend in the tunnel a stopped and turned, preparing to slow him down. I heard my rune shatter. Only a couple of seconds until he made it to the bend. I waited. And waited. Then I moved forward cautiously, expecting him to take my head off at the bend. Instead, I found his body lying awkwardly on the ground. Apparently my rune had been enough to finish him off. I found the fellow’s sword based on the description he had given me and looted the place before heading back to Whiterun.

In town I sold off a couple pieces of armor and several high value items I had found. As I was coming out of the general good shop I saw the fellow wandering up the street toward me. I greeted him and showed him the sword. He seemed rather pleased to have it back. Then I asked him for payment, allowing him to determine a fair price. Perhaps that was my mistake, or maybe I made the mistake when I agreed to get the sword without first determining the price of my services. I guess I am pretty new to this whole mercenary business. Anyway, he mumbles something about a favorite sword and shield technique and begins showing me slashes and bashes. I just stared at him while he went through this whole routine, wondering if he even noticed the fact that I wore no sword and carried no shield. When he finished what was probably a really useful technique IF YOU CARRY A SWORD AND SHIELD, he turns to go as if we have concluded our business. I try to stop him, but he was already walking away and ignored my protests. That was when I lost my temper. I didn't kill him. I barely even hurt him. I just wanted to get him to realize that we were not finished with our business. I sent a mild shock into his rear as he walked away. The look on his face was priceless and I could swear he would have cleared a mammoth with how high he jumped. But when he landed his sword was already coming out. Guards swarmed the area and being the outsider I was determined to be the criminal. I refused to pay the fine (bunch of swindlers are probably all in on it together) and was led back to the dungeon to sit it out for a day.

So here I sit, a dead body on the ground next to me, in the safest place in Skyrim while a chiseling criminal walks around with the sword I retrieved for free.. More than ever I want to be out of Whiterun and on my way to Winterhold. A couple more days at the most and I will head out.
23rd of Last Seed

I’m sitting in the Windhelm inn warming up by the fire as I write this. Yesterday was more of the same. . .removing more bandits and selling what I could. Nothing really substantial to write about. However, this morning I decided to make the journey to Windhelm. I started out early, and using my map I headed out due East from Whiterun. I wanted to stay as far South as I could before heading North to avoid bad weather as best as I could.

I was making good time and it was about mid morning when I happened along a path leading away from the road. My curiosity got the better of me and I wandered up it. At the top stood an ancient tomb. I should have just turned around at that point, but I wanted to see if there was some indication of who it belonged to. Just inside the overhang I found a sniveling Nord who explained that someone had entered his family tomb and was doing who knows what to the bodies. Apparently, this cowardly fellow had allowed his aunt to run into the tomb by herself to stop the dirty necromancer.

After I chastised him for his weakness, I agreed to accompany him into the tomb to find his aunt. Not far in we encountered dead bodies. I know, I know. . .it’s a tomb. Dead bodies SHOULD be in a tomb. The problem with these dead bodies appeared to be their ignorance of the fact that they were dead. The walked and talked - sort of. And someone should tells these Nords to stop the practice of burying their dead with weapons, because every one of these walking dead were armed to the teeth (if they still had teeth). Well, obviously the necromancer was performing unnatural acts in that crypt so I steeled myself and prepared to wade through seas of undead to put down this foul creature.

I discovered that my emphasis on ice as a primary weapon was somewhat detrimental against these dead. Given that they felt no shock of cold it had less effect against them. Switching back to fire was eye opening. That long dead flesh was like tissue and the flames consumed them with zeal. Perhaps I should invest a bit more time learning some fire mastery?

Hordes of the dead rose to stop our journey into the depths of the tomb and hordes fell before us. For all his cowardice, the Nord made account for himself with his ax. He defended me and I defended him. Often we were back to back with the horde around us. We found his aunt, partway in the tomb. She had not passed peacefully. I expected the Nord to break down or run for the exit, but I didn't give him enough credit. Instead, his resolve to cleanse his tomb became even stronger and we pushed in deeper.

We reached the final chamber, the smoldering bodies of his deceased relatives strewn across the hallways behind us. I caught a glimpse of the necromancer up on a platform so I tossed a firebolt into his shoulder. The fight was on. He called half a dozen of the dead to assist him. The Nord was quickly surrounded and I feared he would not survive. But he lay left and right with his ax while I pummeled them from up the steps and soon he was free from their deathly grasp. Another wave of dead strode from their coffins (better nails. . .why don’t they use better nails?). We fought, flame and ax dropping all who came near.

All the dead used up, the Necromancer was forced to deal with us himself. But without his army of dead he was nothing more than a man in thin robes. And thin robes don’t do much good against an ax and bursts of flame. The Nord thanked me for assisting him and gave me some of his family treasure as a reward. I normally wouldn't have taken it, but I could use the coin.

Down the road I spied some hot springs. Although I could have used a bath it was already coming up on early afternoon and I wanted to make Windhelm before night fell. Following the road it passed into Mistwatch Keep. The guards at Mistwatch didn't take kindly to me passing through and were quickly frozen mid-protest. Then I foolishly stepped inside the keep. Inside I found a man claiming that this group had taken his wife. Apparently, I have a soft spot for love because I agreed to help him rescue her. Actually, I agreed to rescue her by myself without his help. Strange how that happened.

Level upon level of this keep I rose, battling its inhabitants as I went. Frost was my ally this time, preventing them from reaching me. At the top of the tower I gathered myself together for the final epic battle. But it was not to be. Instead I found the man’s wife unharmed. As a matter of fact, she was the leader of. . .well, nothing now. . .but she used to be the leader of the group that inhabited the keep. She explained how she wanted to be a bandit and didn't want her husband to know. What strange folk these Nords are! I was suddenly left with a decision. Do I convince her husband that she is dead or elsewhere or do I kill her for her crimes? I’m still not sure I chose the correct thing. I told her husband that she was no longer there in the keep (which technically, was true in that the wife that he knew was gone). He ran off to look for her while I took my leave of the entire miserable affair.

Once again on the road to Windhelm. It was nearing late afternoon, but I could feel that I was close to the city. As I was jogging up the path I encountered a group of Khajiit. This was fortunate as I was able to sell most of the loot I carried. One of their guards asked if I could help him find a amulet of some sort that he had lost during a raid by bandits. I guess he doesn't have time to go looking for it himself since he needs to guard the caravan. I didn't agree to help, per se, but I didn't turn him down either. If I happen across it in my travels I will return it to him. I found the Khajiit quite agreeable and the entire situation rather profitable, but I still checked my coin pouch when I was leaving. Even without my memory I know that those furry fingers have an insatiable appetite for things that are not theirs.

And then I was at Windhelm. I’m so close to Winterhold I can almost feel my memories returning right now. It is bitterly cold up here in the North and I expect Winterhold will be even worse. I think I may need to stock up on some firewood before I attempt the journey. I wonder if I should invest in a fur cloak as well? I’m not sure of the plan right now, I’ll decide what to do tomorrow.
24rd of Last Seed

I only have a couple minutes before the rest of the group arrives. I will finish this entry later after this outing. . .

I made the journey from Windhelm to Winterhold with a bit of luck. I was fortunate enough to run across an Imperial courier as I was leaving Windhelm. As detestable as I find the Empire, I was grateful to have someone nearby in case of trouble. Unfortunately, he wasn’t too keen on my tagging along and took off at a quick pace. I followed a distance behind him, supposing (correctly) that any creatures were more likely to target him than me.

It didn't take long before he was running away up a hill with two saber cats in tow. I was content to let him run off, probably to his death. Given that I had previously saved his life from two wolves and he didn't offer so much as a thank you. Still, I kind of hope he made it. I had used the opportunity he provided to traverse a large distance without obstruction and only had to kill one more wolf before I was strolling into Winterhold.

The name fits. Winterhold is bitterly cold. One cannot wander around too much outdoors before becoming a victim to its icy fingers although munching on snowberries seems to alleviate the worst effects. I found the College on the far side of town. By “far side” I mean a good two houses down. There really isn't enough there to even call it a town. No matter, I wasn't there for the town anyway. I made my way to the entrance and, after a brief test, was admitted.

Unfortunately, the College appears to be an “insiders only” club. When I spoke to the admissions woman she refused to hear me out and proceeded to give me quarters and send me off to a class. The instructor was even less helpful, but he did have his hands full with a number of whining students. I played along hoping to get a chance to talk to him after the class. But the class was suddenly turned into a giant excursion heading to some ruins over the mountain. Before I knew it, he was out the door with his students and I was standing there like a fool.

I decided I would need to continue to play along and I would eventually get a chance to explain my situation so I headed for the ruins. Outside Winterhold I happened upon the most curious Khajiit. He claimed he was on some sort of pilgrimage and spouted a bunch of garbage about aedra and daedra. He offered to walk with me and I gladly accepted his companionship. I’m not too sure how savvy he is with the sword he carries but I’m tired of wandering this land by myself and not even really knowing that person. I suppose as long as he is content keeping me company and failing to convert me I am content having him along for the ride.

So now we sit outside these ruins, waiting for the rest of the class to show up. My assumption is that I will not be getting help until I have proven myself in some way to them. A wise man once said that nothing is free. I suppose even charity has a price. . .
I do accept constructive criticism. Especially if you don't like it. How can I improve it if you don't say anything? I promise I won't take offense.

If you do like it than you can enjoy it quietly if you so desire.

I will say that this is the most consistent writing I've done since. . .well, if you don't count essays from school over 10 years ago, then it is the most consistent writing I have ever done. I don't keep journals of my own. But it definitely helps to write about "lived" experiences as opposed to coming up with something entirely from my head.
Long dead warriors coming to life (without a necromancer nearby), strange amulets, even stranger floating orbs, walls with foreign text, and visitations by forgotten mages. What have I managed to get myself into?

I barely survived the class field trip. Thankfully, Qa’Dojo (my Khajiit friend) is rather adept with his knife and a fair amount of magic. He spared my life on more than one occasion. He had warned me going into the ruins that there would be trouble. Why hadn't I listened? His wisdom will not go unheard next time.

The lesson started innocently enough - pick up some of the enchanted relics for the instructor to catalog. Unfortunately, innocence stops there. One of the relics turned out to be some sort of trap. I blasted my way through a wall which opened the way back out which we had come in. But no! My instructor decides that it would be a good idea to head into the creepy corridor and it would be an even better idea to take me. I’m thinking that these mages will be little, if any, help in recovering my memory. They can’t even make simple decisions regarding the safety of their students. Thankfully, Qa’Dojo offered to accompany us as well.

In the very next room I have this vision. Someone claiming to be from the Psijic Order says I have set certain events in motion and that they will be watching. The term Psijic sounds extremely familiar, and I can feel a memory on the verge of breaking through the fog in my mind, but then as the vision disappeared the memory sank out of reach. I informed my instructor about the vision (which neither he nor Qa’Dojo had seen) and questioned him about the Order. I didn't get much information other than the fact that they were a group of powerful mages that disappeared over 200 years ago. We (or rather my Instructor) decided to push on despite the ominous predictions of the vision.

A short way down the tunnel we came to a large open room. Here we were attacked by draugr (as my instructor called them). They appeared similar in appearance to the dead I had fought in the tomb a couple days ago. But no necromancer was to be seen which might have controlled them. We made quick work of them between the three of us. I once again saw the necessity for fire magic, despite its rather uncomfortable side-effects.

After re-killing these Draugr the instructor decided to examine the room telling us to move on. What kind of instructors are these? Since when do you send fledgling mages into a den of undead warriors by themselves? This College is something else. . .

Rather than protest, and at the urging of Qa’Dojo, I decided it was best to move on without the instructor. The two of us fought our way past a number of Draugr and I helped myself to some artifacts in some of the ancient chests. If they are going to send me into a death trap to clear the way for them then I can at least get paid for it. Perhaps I am getting a handle on this mercenary business?

A distance into what appeared to be less a ruin and more a tomb, the instructor came running up behind us, done studying whatever it was that he had stopped to study (i.e. done waiting for the junior mage to eliminate all threats so he could just saunter his way through the tomb). Together we entered a massive chamber. Our eyes were instantly drawn to a large glowing orb slowly rotating on its axis while floating above the ground.

From our vantage point I could also see a large Draugr sitting at a table. Rather than take any chances I tossed a firebolt into his chest. This appeared to have little, if any, effect other than to rouse him from whatever sleep these dead experience. Qa’Dojo rushed to battle the Draugr but I could see we were in trouble as the wounds his blade made were healed instantly. The instructor took advantage of the distraction and began to examine the floating orb. As I was about to yell out for him to help us he started flowing magic into the orb. Suddenly, the Draugr wasn’t healing anymore. Between my flames and Qa’Dojo’s blade we were able to finish him off.

After getting over my annoyance for my instructor once again claiming he needed to study something (the orb) while sending me to do his dirty work, Qa’Dojo and me set off through a door in the back of the room. This led us into another large chamber with a large wall. On this wall was text inscribed in a language I didn't know. . .and yet I did. Oddly enough, I was able to make out some of the text and picked out a word which meant “Ice” or “Ice Form”. How I knew it or why must be buried in my mind somewhere. I thought about running back and asking my instructor about the wall, but then I remembered all the help he had been thus far. Since he is sending me to talk to the Archmage about the orb, perhaps I can throw the wall into my discussion as well.

The rest of the tunnel put us back near the entrance to the ruins. A trip over the mountain pass (I discovered a quicker path behind the buildings in Winterhold) and I am about to head in to talk to the Archmage. Hopefully, he will hear me out.
I've been swept up in a series of events that have side-tracked me from my purpose. Indeed, given the possible magnitude of the situation unfolding around me, my personal concerns about missing memories pales in comparison.

The Arch-Mage had me do some investigation into the Orb’s history. Unfortunately, some mage managed to make off with the relevant books some time before. And out of all of these experienced and well-practiced magic users at the college, it was decided that the person most suited to recover the books was none other than the most recent and inexperienced student. . .myself. This college is either packed with incompetence or cowardice. . .I haven’t decided which yet.

The journey to recover the books was not without danger. Encountering mages forced me to rely on electric magic. My original goal of specializing in one school is becoming even more absurd as I realize how necessary each is in a specific application.

We found the thieving mage locked in a cell. His whimpering annoyed me but I granted his life in exchange for his assistance in dealing with the leader of this group. She went simply by the “Caller”. They had something for experimenting on vampires. I think even Qa'Dojo was disgusted with the inhumane experiments on these sick individuals.

We reached the Caller and she kindly offered to give me the books in exchange for the mage who stole them in the first place. As annoyed as I was with him, I couldn't bring myself to turn him over to her twisted experimentation. Between the three of us we had very little difficulty in bringing her twistedness to an end.

As we were walking back into Windhelm I was approached by a fellow claiming to be a part of some group. Dawnguard, I believe he called it. Mentioned something about vampire attacks on the rise and asked for help. I agreed and mentioned how I had seen some vampires who had been attacked just the previous day. After he spent the next couple minutes explaining that it was the vampires who were attacking other people he again asked for my help. I politely offered to help when I could (I haven’t seen a single vampire attacking unprovoked) but had no intention of heading to the Dawnguard keep. I have bigger things to take care of right now.

Back in the College, I was shocked to find a Psijic mage asking for me. What connection do I share with this mysterious group? The local Thalmor ambassador, who has done nothing to endear me to himself, summoned me to the Arch-Mage's quarters. There I learned from the Psijic Mage that somehow I was to be involved in the aftermath of an event that hadn't happened. At first I thought perhaps these psijics are just a bunch of charlatans? Really, I could have come up with a better story than that. But then I thought about the orb and he mentioned talking to someone else.

Several hours later I was discussing the upcoming events with an entity I cannot quite describe. The best I can do is say it was a bit of a bluish glow. He, or it, confirmed what the Psijic had told me. Between the two of them they also implied that there was nothing I could do to stop the events already in motion.

This brings up some interesting questions. Are events scripted in time so that we cannot affect their intended outcome? Are we puppets, doing the whim of a higher being? Or is the Psijic wrong? Do I have some measure of control over my own destiny? Can I choose what I eat in the morning? Do I attempt to change what is said to be inevitable?

I've decided to let events play out for the time being. Not knowing what calamity is expected to occur, I could just as easily bring it about as prevent it. For that matter, even if I did know what it was I could still be the cause. For the moment, I am just along for the ride.
I went to the Arch-Mage with the information I received from the blue glow. The Staff of Magnus must be retrieved. So he assigned his most trusted and powerful teacher to recover this ancient and dangerous artifact. . .oh wait, no he didn't. No, the fool decides to send me instead. Do these teachers actually do anything? I suppose once you have tenure you can just sit in your room most of the day and occasionally go out for a stroll around the College grounds. Oh, and you can over-charge your students for books. . .

Since someone obviously needs to take the initiative, and the teachers are unwilling, I decided to go in search of this staff myself. Qa'Dojo seemed unconcerned about the situation, adopting an almost fatalistic attitude. He explained (by way of a story) that one often needs to see everything else to understand that what they have is all they need. He said that travelling with me showed him ‘everything’ else. I’m going to miss that cat when he decides to go his own way.

It was almost noon when we left Winterhold. I knew I shouldn't leave so late, but I was anxious to get away from these self-inflated teachers. We reached the range of mountains where Windhelm was on the other side when it became too cold to push on further. A cave presented itself at the proper moment and we decided to step inside the opening to warm up. This proved to be a nearly fatal mistake.

Not far inside the entrance was a large spider. We exterminated it without too much trouble but noticed a small opening just beyond it. I wondered if the cave ran all the way through the mountain range, thinking we might be able to reach Windhelm without losing our extremities to the cold. We pushed deeper into the cave. Without warning a Falmer dropped from a hidden alcove and began to assault us. I found my fire worked rather well against the creature.

Rather than turning and hightailing it out of the Falmer infested cave we foolishly decided to continue onward. Flying Charus, which is what they appeared to be, assaulted us in a long open room. Qa'Dojo valiantly ran to assault them while I hung back and tossed firebolts. The fact that they were flying coupled with trying to avoid hitting Qa'Dojo and the inherent darkness of the cavern caused me to miss far too many times. Qa'Dojo fell to his knee, no doubt from the influence of the poisonous venom, as I finished off one of the bugs. The other turned to attack me as I realized my reserves were used up. I quickly drank my only magicka potion and continued to dodge and attack, praying that Qa'Dojo would recover soon. As I thought I was going to breathe my last, poison coursing through my veins I fired one last bolt at the winged demon and it crumpled to the ground. I quickly drank a potion of health and could immediately feel the effects of the poison lessen.

After the both of us had recovered we pressed onward. To go back now would cost us too much time and I was certain we were making distance under the mountains. Several more Falmer and we emerged into the late afternoon sun. I glanced about to determine our location and realized we must have been spun around while underground. We were not more than several hundred feet from where we started. What a foolish waste of time.

We made straight for Windhelm after that. No more stops or detours. Time to buy a bed for the night and get an early start in the morning. I need to check my map again to see if this location is further South. I pray it is. I would welcome the warmer weather.