Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Chapter 11: The Warning Howl

Chapter 11: The Warning Howl

After a short period of thought, the Hunter decided it would be best to head further west, and then south towards Markarth. He was fearful of returning east due to the terrifying dragon and the strong Imperial presence. He still had the intention of travelling to the Stormcloaks but it may be long time until he reaches the rebel strongholds of Windhelm and Riften.

The Hunter avoided the grassy plain in which the Forsworn had gruesomely slaughtered a small party of bandits. He took to the hills instead, eager to avoid the large group of Forsworn barbarians.

Unfortunately, the sight of a Forsworn Forager standing by the corpse of an unfortunate Nord lowered his self-confidence. Especially as this warrior was not alone.

She stood alongside this strange goblin-like creature. It had rugged skin, cloudy yellow eyes and razor sharp teeth. Both of them were clearly pleased with their kill, as it looked as if the innocent man was trapped through usage of two cleverly placed bear traps.

While avoiding these two enemies would certainly be possible. The Hunter decided it would probably be best to eliminate the murderers as they blocked his intended path west.

He had the confidence to draw back his bow and release a single shot. The arrow pierced the shoulder of the goblin, causing the creature to quickly face the Hunter and unleash a deafening shriek.

While the goblin was terrifying foe, it was slow and avoidable. The agility and skill of the forager was far more of a threat. Fortunately, the Hunter’s aim was slightly more accurate this time, releasing an arrow that caused the brutal death of the warrior by puncturing the throat.

With the death of the Forager, the Hunter returned his attention back to the goblin. He ensured his safety by keeping his distance as he slowly crippled the monster to death with a handful of arrows

After looting valuables from the corpses of the fallen Forsworn, the Hunter searched the body of the poor soul who had fallen victim to their trap. Sadly, he had nothing of anything worth on him, so the Hunter carefully avoided the traps and continued to travel.

Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long until the Hunter was attacked yet again. An Argonian suddenly rushed out of the bushes to the left. The lizard wore the colours of the Dark Brotherhood while it grasped two fine daggers. The Hunter was aware that he was far more vulnerable in close combat, especially against such an agile opponent.

He therefore threw his pride away and ran. Luck appeared to be his side as a wooden palisade could be seen from a distance. Help would surely be found there.

The gate to the remote settlement was left open, allowing the Hunter to sprint right through. Upon entering, he noticed Orcs, lots of Orcs. This was an Orc settlement and they didn’t seem keen on helping the Hunter.

The Orcs looked on in bewilderment as this dual daggered Argonian continued chasing a random black robed man through the streets of their fortified home. Eventually the street reached an end at the top of a small hill, leading into a small mine. Rather than going into the mine itself, the Hunter bravely jumped off the hill, landing on a small building before rolling down back towards the gate.

Surprisingly, the agile Argonian wasn’t interested in jumping off cliffs like the Hunter, so the reptile assassin frustratingly turned back and rushed down the hill.  This provided the Hunter a golden opportunity to end the tiresome chase. He quickly equipped his bow and prepared for the charging enemy.

A swift arrow shot carved through the moist flesh of Dark Brotherhood assassin, leaving a fatal wound in the neck of the creature. The momentum of the Argonian’s charge propelled the body forward, crashing to the ground at the pair of Orc feet.

A group of Orcs soon gathered around the corpse while the Hunter, quite chuffed with his kill, lowered his bow. In contrast, the Orcs seemed rather unimpressed with the Hunter’s marksmanship. After a moment of silence, one Orc turned around and gave the Hunter a stern look. Unsurprisingly, the Orc stated that he should leave.

A mutual feeling of awkwardness soon set in as the Hunter dragged the corpse of his foe towards the gate. A trail of blood followed him as the Orcs remained silent, looking on with a sense of disgust.

The Hunter soon reached the gate and unsurprisingly it was quickly shut. He left the corpse where it was and continued on his journey to Markarth, hoping that the Argonian would be the only assassin to disrupt his goal.

The area outside the Orc settlement was packed with wildlife. A group of sabre cats lounged in the tall grasses while nearby a pack of wolves contently howled.

Fortunately the Hunter of Blunders managed to successfully avoid these two groupings of animals. He was relieved that he had done so as he was still exhausted from his previous fight.

Sadly his luck appeared to be quickly disappearing when he noticed four terrifying creatures across the river.

A werecat and 3 werewolves were carefully watching the river. The Hunter noticed that these beasts were clearly clever by hunting along the riverside. When a mudcrab floated downstream, the creatures pounced on it. The river banks were littered with corpses that had fallen into this werewolf trap.

When the pack crossed the river to attack a poor fox, they noticed the Hunter poorly trying to hide in the grasses above the river. Suddenly, the werewolves quickly turned their attention to the Hunter and rushed towards him at a terrifying speed.

The Hunter panicked and ran for his life back towards the Orc Fort. This wasn’t a fight he was going to win alone.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Chapter 10: Sworn North

Chapter 10: Sworn North

The Hunter woke up early in the morning after a restless night. The terrifying dragon that brought destruction across the northern coast was still vivid in his mind. He had a feeling that the dragon was still alive and managed to kill the rest of the Stormcloak soldiers.  He was therefore very focussed on leaving the area, avoiding trouble and finding somewhere safe.

The Hunter had originally intended to head to the city of Winterhold to be free of the Imperial Legion; however the attack on the ship clearly disrupted this plan. The dragon attack had also pushed him west, further away from the city.

He decided it would best to follow the road to see where it would take him. Unfortunately it wasn’t long until the Hunter came across some trouble. He glanced through some trees up ahead and saw 3 figures walking along the road.

Three bandits slowly walked along the road in a single file line. The Hunter quickly stopped moving along the path, and rushed into the trees in attempt to evade the group. He crouched down in a patch deep snow and hid behind a thin pine tree.

 The Hunter carefully watched the three bandits as they continued on their journey. His hope of remaining undetected was soon lost however, when the Orc at the back of the group suddenly stopped. He unsheathed his sword and looked into the trees. The bandits had managed to spot the Hunter. The Hunter had one hand on his bow, expecting some combat, however, instead of immediately attacking, they told him to back off. The Hunter, surprised by the tolerant bandits, quickly took their advice and backtracked up the path.

The Hunter walked up the path as the bandits carefully watched. When he reached the top of a small hill, he turned around and looked down at the bandits. They had taken a turn off the main road, heading down towards the coast.

Clearly forgetting his original goal of escaping the region, the Hunter was interested to see where these three bandits were going. He climbed up a rocky hill that looked down on the path and stalked the group. The Hunter was unsettled as the path had several large spots of blood stained on the cobble stones. Where ever they were going, the signs weren’t looking good.

The bandits suddenly stopped again on the road. The weapons were raised once more and the Hunter moved back to ensure he wouldn’t be detected again. Fortunately for him, it was clear that this time he wasn’t the one who had alerted the bandits. He moved further ahead in an attempt to discover what was in front of the bandits.

The Hunter repositioned and soon discovered a massive sabre-cat guarding a lair full of corpses. The beast was enormous and the Hunter suspected the bandits intended to kill the creature in order to sell its majestic pelts or take the head as a trophy.

After a short stand-off between the sabre cat and the three bandits. The cat charged down from its lair with its massive paws thumping on the ground with each step. Two of the bandits rushed forward while the other stayed back with a bow in hand.

One of the bandits was killed almost immediately from the opening blow. Her body crashed to the ground following a terrifying strike delivered by the sabre cat. The Orc survived the first blow and remained in the fight as the other bandit continued to fire arrows in the direction of the large creature.

The fight was gruesome yet concluded relatively quick. The proud sabre cat soon succumbed to the wounds created by the bandits and collapsed to the ground.

Following the death of the cat, the bandits appeared to abandon the corpse of their companion who had died at the start of the battle. Her corpse lay alongside the dead creature, resting on its soft fur. The Hunter was puzzled as they didn’t even bother to loot the lair of valuables, nor pay respect to their dead comrade.

As the bandits walked away back towards the main road, the Hunter took out his bow and fired a shot into a bandit’s arm, feeling sorry for the dead creature and the abandoned bandit. The injured bandit covered her wound and looked around to see where the arrow came from. The Hunter was soon spotted up on the rocky hill and the two remaining bandits rushed towards an enemy they wished they’d killed earlier.

Fortunately for the Hunter, his height advantage up on the hill soon proved to be the decisive factor in the battle. He quickly delivered another shot that killed the bandit he had shot earlier and managed to fatally wound the Orc before he could climb up the hill.

With all three bandits now dead, the Hunter carefully climbed down the rocks onto the path where the battle with the sabre cat took place. The soles on his boots were soaked with the blood of his enemies after accidentally falling next to the corpse of the bow bandit.

He slowly walked over to the corpse of the sabre cat, taking the valuable pelt before heading up to the lair. The lair was littered with the bodies of various creatures. Bloodied bones were scattered across the ground while blood was stained on the rubble of a destroyed watch tower.

The body of a Stormcloak soldier was found too.  The Hunter wondered whether he was part of the same group of Stormcloaks who were in combat with the Legion last night. It was probably best for him to have died at the hands of a sabre cat rather than being annihilated by the dragon like his fellow comrades. Interestingly, he had a book about the designs of locks, something that would come in handy the next time the Hunter comes across a settlement.

After looting the lair of the sabre cat, the Hunter headed back up to the main road and continued along the road as he had originally intended. It was clear he was reaching warmer climates as the volume of settled snow slowly decreased the further he travelled across the road.

Unfortunately for the Hunter, the road always seemed to lead to hostile areas. A battle appeared to be occurring in the distance. It was the Forsworn, attacking a band of bandits.

The Hunter was surprised to see the Forsworn so far north. His geography knowledge wasn’t the best but he thought the Reach, the homeland of the Forsworn clan, was much further south.

The battle was fierce yet the Forsworn clearly outnumbered the feeble bandits. Countless archers appeared from the tall grasses while a handful of Forsworn warriors rushed towards the bandits.


After a lengthy yet gritty battle, the Forsworn spared no mercy on their foes as they executed the last of bandits. The Hunter remained hidden in the trees, hoping to avoid the ruthless Forsworn warriors after seeing what they are capable of.

As the battle concluded, the skies quickly clouded over and snow began to fall over the battlefield, showing how north the Forsworn had come. One warrior carefully checked the body of one of his fellow warriors before heading south with the rest of the group.

The Hunter had witnessed the Forsworn in combat and it worried him. He will have to make a decision on whether or not to head south into the Reach soon.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Chapter 9: Scorched Earth

Chapter 9: Scorched Earth

Walking along the rugged coast of Northern Skyrim after leaving the Horker Cave, the Hunter intended to create some distance between himself and Solitude. It was clear to him that capital city would be a no-go area for many years, especially after killing a handful of Imperial Legion soldiers during his escape from the beloved ship that he had once called home. The fact one of the dead was also an officer only furthered his worries that he would not be welcome in other parts of Empire-held Skyrim.

The Hunter soon reached the tip of the mainland and was forced to change direction and head west. Following the barren coastline, he didn’t expect to find anything worthy of note here. However, he was quickly surprised when he discovered two sabre cats relaxing by the coast. They were far smaller than the cats he had come across in the past. One of the cats in particular caught the Hunter’s eye; it had a mixture of soft black and white fur and sat in a small spot of grass, looking out at the endless ocean.


The Hunter stopped for a moment, hoping for the cats to move on as he wasn’t in the mood for a fight following the exhausting chase earlier in the day. He was also keen to find a place to rest as night was falling ever closer.

The Hunter stood with his tough boots carefully gripped to rocks below; his left view was blocked by a tall cliff face, allowing him to concentrate on the cats ahead of him. A few moments went by before the two cats appeared to be alerted by something or someone.

The Hunter pondered for a few seconds, wondering if he had been detected by the beasts of dexterity. He pushed himself closer to cliff face to hide. Suddenly, a boom of wind whizzed over the Hunter’s head from the cliffs above. He quickly looked up and saw this enormous green dragon fly out towards the ocean. Clearly the Hunter didn't alert the cats.

The Hunter remained still, hoping the Dragon would continue out to sea.  However, his heart sank when the great lizard turned and looked upon the Hunter with great vision. The Hunter didn’t delay, pushing himself off the rocks, down to the coast below.

The Hunter’s quick movements were the right moves as the dragon missed him with a scorching burst of fire.

The Hunter continued to run as the dragon headed back out to sea, preparing for another fly-by of deadly flames. The Hunter stopped at the edge of a forest near the coast; looking out to sea he noticed that something had stolen the dragon’s attention.

Further observation revealed to the Hunter that it was the black and white sabre cat in saw earlier. It had foolishly tried to run into the sea to evade the dragon, unlike the other cat who had smartly rushed into the forest. The cat was an easy target for the Dragon as it desperately moved its paws through the cold waters.

An unusual sense of sympathy engulfed the Hunter as he watched the cat struggling to evade the winged beast. He took out his bow and fired a single arrow at the hovering dragon in hope of giving the cat a chance to reach the coast and therefore safety.

The Hunter thought he had done his good deed for the day as the cat somehow managed to get itself back on dry land. However, the Hunter’s limited aid was inevitably in vain when the dragon released another burst of fire, causing the fatal blow to the poor cat as it neared the forest.

As the burning corpse of the cat fell to the ground, the Dragon quickly turned his attention back to the Hunter. The Hunter had now started to regret failing to use the opportunity of the cat to run and lose the dragon.

The forest provided some cover from the dragon’s flying attacks yet this relief was temporary when the flying lizard started crashing to the ground, pushing snow, dirt and leaves across the coast. The fire-breathing creature lit the forest in flames as the Hunter continued to flee.

The Hunter remained in the forest, trying to escape as nightfall continued. The sun had now set but it certainly didn’t feel like it. The heat from the dragon’s mouth and  the burning of the trees and grasses surrounding him was simply unbearable.

Fortunately, the Hunter soon came across a path. It was no doubt a road to civilisation and therefore aid. He followed it, keeping to the trees to avoid being vulnerable to lizard’s attacks from the air.

As the Hunter continued to run, he glanced to his right and saw fireballs pushing through the sky in the dragon’s general direction. A quick search led to a mercenary. He was a heavily armoured warrior, grasping an axe in his right hand and magical powers in his left.

The mercenary desperately shouted out across the lands, hoping more would hear and send help. However, no help arrived and the Hunter looked on in horror as he watched the flames of the dragon engulf the mercenary. His body was burned to the crisp, and his weapon appeared to have even melted under the extreme temperatures. The poor warrior didn’t even last as long as the cat on the coastline.

While the dragon had already claimed two victims, it had not forgotten the Hunter and continued to chase him in the forest. The flames got ever closer to the Hunter and he was nearing the end of the forest, forcing him to go on the adjacent path.

The Hunter was now vulnerable on the clear pathways. Fortunately, the dragon appeared to have tired and appeared to prefer landing on the ground to release a burst of fire.

The Hunter soon reached a crossroads, and a person appeared from the banks below. It was a random farmer, similar to the one who had helped the Hunter face the Thalmor Wizards on the road to Solitude.

The Farmer’s courage was limitless, he charged at the creature wearing nothing but rags while grasping a meagre iron axe. The outcome was obvious, failing to even reach the dragon, and claimed by its breath of flames.

The chase continued along the path. Several people were spotted in the distance. As the Hunter got closer, it became clear that this was a battle between the Stormcloaks and the Empire. It was easy for the Hunter to forget about the civil war considering he often found himself running away from people and creatures.

Nevertheless, this was the perfect opportunity for the Hunter to finally lose the dragon, which would clearly be delayed and distracted by a company of soldiers. The Imperials and the Stormcloaks were so focussed on the intense fight that many of those engaged in combat didn’t even spot the great beast until it killed several soldiers from both sides with its powerful breath.

Despite the arrival of the giant creature, it was clear that the Stormcloaks had already been winning the battle. The corpses of the Imperial Legion amassed on the snowy grounds beyond and blood slowly flowed through the cracks of the cobble road.

A Nord mage on the Stormcloak side was clearly the decisive factor in the battle. He soon turned his attention to the dragon while his comrades attempted to rout the last of the Imperial forces. He generated sharp ice spikes and sent them directly into the skin of the creature as other Stormcloaks looked on with their swords soaked with Imperial blood.

The civil war battle was coming to a conclusion as Stormcloaks continued to cut down the last of the Legion. However, the dragon made it clear that it would be ended by a third party. It released a terrifying roar that not only killed the last of the Imperial Legion but delivered critical casualties on the Stormcloak side.  

The Stormcloaks desperately tried to regroup and a small band of brave warriors eventually charged down to the dragon in an attempt to kill the great beast. The dragon’s face and wings were soaked in the blood of its victims yet it was clear the beast itself was injured from the constant fighting. However, the hint of injury to the dragon seemed non-existent when it continued to annihilate the Stormcloaks

The Hunter had waited long enough; he rushed down the road, leaving the Stormcloaks to a fiery end.