Category Archives: Alfhedil’s Journal

Alfhedil’s Journal – Fredas, 16th of Frostfall, 4E 201

The Hall of Valor, inside the Nordic realm of the afterlife, Sovngarde.

After formulating a plan to capture a dragon, Lydia and I returned to Dragon’s Reach. Standing on the giant porch of Dragon’s Reach, I let loose a shout that Paarthurnax taught me which summoned a dragon. After a minute or two a dragon flew in from the east and he began attacking us. After bringing him to the ground with Draongrend, we lured him in into the cacophonous porch of Dragon’s Reach and dropped a massive piece of lumber onto him. We made a deal that he would fly me to Alduin’s entrance to Sovngarde if I released him afterwards.

Flying on the back of a dragon was incredible. Getting to see Skyrim from their perspective left me speechless as we glided in between the clouds. He flew me to the far east of Skyrim to an ancient ruin nestled in mountains. Before finding Alduin’s portal, I had to face down Draugr and dragons and a strong dragon priest.

I breached the portal and was whisked off the Nordic afterlife of Sovngarde. It was a fascinating place, filled with the towering mountains of Skyrim but with more trees and flowers and hot springs. But also, more mist. I met a Nord looking for the Hall of Valor, but he complained of this mist. I used Clear Skies and made myself a visible path, eventually making it to the Hall of Valor. It was a giant building separated from the rest of Sovngarde by a bridge constructed of the remains of a dragon, also a large brute named Tsun. He wouldn’t let me enter unless I could defeat him in a traditional battle. I did and he allowed me to pass. Inside the Hall of Valor I met Hakon, Gormlaith, and Felldir, the legendary heroes who battled Alduin in the past.

They were ready to face down Alduin again and get it right this time,especially since he was feeding on the lost souls inside Sovngarde. We left the Hall of Valor and began clearing the mist. Alduin kept bringing it back. We continued this trend a few times before Alduin sought us out. I hit him with Dragonrend and plummeted to the ground; the legendary heroes and I wailed on Alduin until he took to the sky again. He called down flaming rocks from the sky and we dodged them as best we could and healed when we couldn’t. I kept hitting Alduin with Dragonrend grounding him and we dealt damage to him as best we could. We prevailed and destroyed Alduin for good. We watched as he died and his body disintegrated before our very eyes. The heroes were pleased beyond belief and we celebrated before I was transported back to Skyrim.

I landed back on the Throat of the World where Paarthurnax knew I’d conquered Alduin. Dozens of dragons joined Paarthurnax on the peak and they flew around the mountain circling me. I’m completed my birthright. As the dragonborn I rid Skyrim of Alduin, this time for good. But there’s still much to do in Skyrim. On this quest of mine I’ve met many people who’ve needed help. My adventure is just beginning…

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Alfhedil’s Journal – Middas, 14th of Frostfall, 4E 201

The peace talks between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials.

When Lydia and I made it back to the Throat of the World, I spoke briefly with Paarthurnax before unrolling the Elder Scroll and getting a glimpse of the past. As I raised it to my eyes, it changed what was in front of me. A colorful aura displayed the ancient Nordic warriors discussing their battle strategies before Alduin returned to the highest peak in Skyrim. Hakon, Gormlaith, and Felldir gave it their all but it wasn’t enough. Facing death, Felldir resorted to using an Elder Scroll with unknown effects. It worked back then; unfortunately it sent Alduin forward in time. Watching this battle was an important step in defeating Alduin because I heard the ancient heroes use the Dragonrend shout, and I can duplicate it.

Before we had a chance to leave the Throat of the World, Alduin surprised us. He spoke and sauntered about before unleashing his fury on us. When I shouted Alduin was grounded and left open to our attacks. We wailed on him before he fled. Paathurnax was in awe of our strength but he warned us that Alduin had most likely returned to the sanctuary where Alduin feeds – Sovngarde. Somehow Alduin has found a way to enter into the realm of the Nordic afterlife.

Paarthurnax knew the whereabouts of his entrance and it’d require an aerial entrance. Paarthurnax would not be able to aid us though. Fielding ideas, he told us of the history of Dragon’s Reach. The fortress the Jarl of Whiterun calls home was originally intended to capture a dragon, hence the name. Paarthurnax told us that the ancient hero Tiber Septim captured one there and if he was able to do, so can I.

Lydia and I traveled to Whiterun and we spoke Balgruuf the Greater. He was weary of the idea and wouldn’t agree to while Whiterun was still under threat of attack from the Stormcloaks. He knew it was extremely unlikely, but he suggested I should broker a temporary peace treaty between the Imperials and the rebel Stormcloaks. The only way he thought it would work is if it was overseen by the Greybeards. After getting Arngeir to accept the idea, Lydia and I ventured far to the northeast to speak with Ulfric Stormcloak in Windhelm.

Ulfric was a strong-willed man, no wonder as he initiated this civil war, but when he knew that the Greybeards were wanting peace, at least until the dragons were dealt with, he accepted, so long as the Imperials accepted too. So, we headed all the way across Skyrim and into Solitude. Lydia and I convinced the Imperials to join the meeting and we headed back to High Hrothgar. The dialogue between all sides was intense. Each side wanted outrageous demands such as replacing the standing Jarls of opposition cities with those loyal to their respective sides. Neither side was happy with their results, but it was enough to have the halt their attacks, and allow me to trap a dragon in Dragon’s Reach.

Before leaving High Hrothgar, Delphine (her and Esbern also attended the talks) pulled me to one side and gave me an ultimatum. She wanted me to break all connections with the Greybeards and stay on my track of ridding Skyrim of dragons, including Paarthurnax. I told her to give it a rest. Paarthurnax has been of great help to me and sure, he’s made mistakes in the past, but I’m not going to murder him. That’s the way it’s going to be I guess.

Alfhedil’s Journal – Morndas, 12th of Frostfall, 4E 201

Blackreach was unlike anything the duo has encountered before. It was a magical place, yet still lethal thanks to the vibrant Falmer population.

On our way to the College of Winterhold, Lydia and I came across a deceased horse near the entrance of a lighthouse. This piqued my interest and I decided we should check it out. Inside we found a murdered family and a lengthy tunnel filled with falmer and charrus. The tunnel was immense and it appeared that these creatures burrowed into the lighthouse and took over. Each family member left journals and it was devastating to read these and put the events in order, figuring out how and when each of them died.

Continuing our northeasterly trip we finally made it to the town of Winterhold. I’d wager that it’s the most northern settlement in Skyrim. It rests on the sea and its freezing; snow is always falling and there’s very low visibility. Outside of town lies the College of Winterhold, my destination to learn more about the Elder Scroll I’m looking for.

Soon after arriving, I was directed to an orc who runs The Arcanaeum, the college’s library. Urag gro-Shub was a smart fellow, and he let me sift through a couple of books devoted to understanding the Elder Scrolls. What I read was fascinating, implying that the power withheld in the scrolls was that of the Divines. Unfortunately they didn’t clue me into the location of the scroll I was seeking. Luckily, Urag knew someone who might. He told me to search the northern sea where a Septimus Signus was studying.

The trip to reach Septimus Signus will go down as one the worst things I’ve had to do. This fool is studying in what seems to be a glacier and to reach him I had to navigate slabs of ice floating on the sea. Not to mention the constant snowfall obscuring my vision and the occasional aggressive horker! Regardless, Lydia and I made it and Septimus had a lead, although he wanted us to help him too. He was studying an ancient Dwemer artifact that was buried in this glacier, and whatever lied inside the artifact Septimus believed to be more important than the Elder Srolls. And that’s saying something.

Septimus believed the Elder Scroll I needed was in a Dwemer ruin located near the lighthouse Lydia and I explored earlier. Alftand was full of ancient concoctions like creatures made of metal and gears. They came to life before our eyes, yet I couldn’t ascertain how they functioned. Like the lighthouse, we found journals of a crew of explorer’s that documented their downfall in this harsh metal ruin.

Connected to Alftand was a gigantic underground world where luminescent mushrooms grew as tall as buildings and all sorts of interesting creatures ran about. When I returned to Septimus he called this place Blackreach. This place was very large, connecting three ancient Dwemer ruins. It was also very dark, save for the glowing mushrooms and plants. Unfortunately falmer have overrun it. I found my way to an ancient Dwemer puzzle and after many minutes studying it, I figured it out, and received the Elder Scroll!

When I returned to Septimus he wanted me to extract the blood from each type of elf (creatures with names ending in mer) as he thought that would be a way to unlock the puzzle he was studying. Did I mention Septimus is off his rocker? When I left him a black cloud blocked my path and began communicating with me. It revealed itself as Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of knowledge and memory. He elaborated that it was really he who wanted to unlock the Dwemer contraption that Septimus was studying and that Hermaeus was controlling him. Believing he would soon have no use for Septimus he asked if I would become his mortal puppet. I declined.

With the Elder Scroll in my possession I need to return to the Throat of the World and read it. This is the spot where Alduin was originally defeated, or sent forward in time, and hopefully the Elder Scroll will give me a vision of this event.

Alfhedil’s Journal – Loredas, 10th of Frostfall, 4E 201

Alduin's Wall, the ancient relief detailing the terror of Alduin, the rise of the first dragonborn, and the defeat of Alduin.

While Esbern didn’t know much about how to rid Skyrim of the dragons, he knew a place where we could get some ideas. He told Delphine, Lydia, and I of Alduin’s Wall – an ancient relief that accounts the reign of the ancient dragon Alduin, the rise of the first dragonborn Tiber Septim, and the battle between these two legendary figures. Esbern believed Alduin’s Wall resided in an ancient Dwemer ruin called Karthspire located to the east of Whiterun, near Markarth, a city I have yet to visit.

The journey wasn’t too bad from Riverwood and it marked my first time battling the Forsworn, a clan of Bretons who dressed in animalistic attire and were relentless in attacking us. I’ll have to research them later. Another group I didn’t know a lot about (but learned about thanks to Esbern) was the Dwemer. Esbern told me they’re a lost race of elves that were quite advanced for their time. I wondered why Alduin’s Wall was inside a Dwemer ruin, but as it turned out, Karthspire was a Blade refuge way back in the day; much of their equipment was still around.

Alduin’s Wall was impressive. It was very large and the detail in the relief was unbelievable. As we all examined it, Esbern told us of the story of Alduin. He was a powerful dragon that terrorized the Nords. They were helpless until Tiber Septim appeared as the first dragonborn and was able to battle Alduin. Esbern believed the relief depicted Tiber Septim defeating Alduin with a shout. He knew nothing of this and Delphine advised me to ask the Greybeards as they might know. I didn’t realize it before but Delphine has hostility for the Greybeards, and apparently the Blades and the Greybeards might not get along.

Lydia and I returned to High Hrothgar and spoke with the Greybeards. Arngeir was reluctant to tell us anything about this shout and he did show resentment towards the Blades. He believed that Alduin’s return represented the end of the world and if it was time, so be it. However a thundering voice came from the heavens and Arngeir had a change of heart. He was worried that I would become a merciless dragon killer and wander from the way of the voice, but I’ll do what I must to protect the world.

Arngeir and the Greybeards had basically taught me all they could and sent me off to climb to the Throat of the World and speak with the leader of the Greybeards, the source of the thunderous voice. I was amazed at what I saw when I made the trek – a dragon! This dragon wasn’t hostile towards Lydia and I however. He began speaking with me and revealed himself to be Paarthurnax, the leader of the Greybeards. He was a well of information and I learned so much from him; dragons are eternal and his time on Nirn has made him the wisest living creature in the world. What was most interesting to me is what he had to say about Alduin.

Proving that not all dragons are bad, Paarthurnax helped Alfhedil out by providing incredible information.

When Tiber Septim and the Nords rose up to Alduin and defeated him, they didn’t kill him; Paarthurnax believes they instead sent him forward in time! He believes they did this with an Elder Scroll, although he didn’t know the location of one (I later spoke with Arngeir and he told me to visit the College of Winterhold for more information on that). Paarthurnax also told me of the shout I was searching for. Dragon Rend as it’s called has the ability to decimate a dragon by forcing them to comprehend mortality (dragons are immortal) and tear them to shreds. This shout and the Elder Scroll are linked, and while Paarthurnax had a wealth of information and shed a light on so many things that would take hours to write down, I now need to head for the College of Winterhold to learn more on how to defeat Alduin.

Alfhedil’s Journal – Turdas, 8th of Frostfall, 4E 201

Esbern resided in the depths of the Ratway underneath Riften.

Lydia and I traveled to Riften recently in search of Esbern, probably the only other living member of the Blades. The prisoner I freed from the Thalmor Embassy told me to speak with Brynjolf, a man I’ve spoken with before.

When I spoke with Brynjolf weeks ago, he led on that he was a member of the Thieves Guild. Before I could get him to spill the beans on Esbern’s location he wanted me to show the Thieves Guild a little consideration. Brynjolf sold drinks in the shopping center of Riften, and he wanted me to set up another vendor, Brand-Shei. Brand-Shei crossed paths with the Thieves Guild in an unfortunate manner (I can’t remember why he was being set up) and Brynjolf assured me that the only punishment Brand-Shei would receive was a few days in a prison cell.

I was to plant a ring belonging to another vendor (an Argonian named Madesi who I’ve fetched gems for) on Brand-Shei. To get Madesi’s ring I needed to break into a lockbox in his stall. Brynjolf created a distraction claiming magnificent benefits from the drink he was selling at which point I stole the ring and planted it on Brand-Shei. A few minutes later, Brand-Shei’s “thievery” was uncovered and he was taken away.

Brynjolf was pleased with my act and disclosed that Esbern was in fact alive and was living in the depths of the Ratway underneath Riften. As Lydia and I breached the Ratway we fought many homeless residents and met many members of the Thieves Guild in an underground tavern. Among a group of mentally unstable residents we found Esbern. We talked a little and left for Riverwood to meet back up with Delphine. While leaving the Ratway, groups of Thalmor attacked us but Esbern showed off his magical prowess and took care of the threat nearly single-handedly.

Once back in Riverwood Delphine and Esbern caught up slightly before moving onto the task at hand: stamping out the dragons in Skyrim. Esbern didn’t have any immediate plans but spoke of Alduin’s Wall. He told is about the ancient wall that accounts the rise of the original dragonborn. Esbern believed we might find clues on this relief.

Alfhedil’s Journal – Morndas, 5th of Frostfall, 4E 201

Elenwen, an Altmer (high elf) and ranking member of the Thalmor.

When I last spoke with Delphine, she believed the Thalmor were somehow involved with the resurrection of dragons in Skyrim. To get more information she wanted me to sneak into the Thalmor embassy and see if I could dig up any related intelligence. Sneaking in was a solo mission so Lydia and I parted ways for a few days. I’ve become so used to her company, it was sort of sad not to have someone by my side in battles.

A party was to be held at the Thalmor embassy in the northeastern most area of Skyrim and Delphine not only had a way to get me in, she also had a man on the inside that would be able to sneak my gear in. I traveled to Solitude (also in northeastern Skyrim) and met Malborn, Delphine’s contact in a bar. We had a succinct chat and I gave him necessary equipment: weapons and armor.

Although before that meeting, I witnessed an execution. As soon as I entered Solitude, I was taken aback by the hoopla a forming crowd was making. A criminal was being beheaded for opening the gates and letting Ulfric Stormcloak evade capture by Imperial forces, Solitude is aligned with the Imperials after all. There was some dissension from the crowd on whether the punishment fit the crime however.

Delphine had a carriage prepared for me at a farm just outside of Solitude and she took the remainder of my gear before sending me off. It was a fairly short trip to the embassy where I had no problems getting in. Another guest was arriving when I was and he smelled strongly of liquor. This soiree was hosted by a high elf named Elenwen who immediately began chatting with me. She recognized that she didn’t recognize me and luckily, Malborn was able to get her attention before she figured anything out. I mingled with other guests and talked with Maven Black-Briar, who hinted at my past and a few other bigwigs from Skyrim including a few high elves.

When I spoke with Malborn he needed me to create a distraction before we could leave unnoticed. The guest I arrived with had been cut off from obtaining drinks and I thought it’d be generous of me to get him one. All I asked of him was a distraction. Oblivious to my intentions he arose and made a toast at which point Malborn and I took our leave through the kitchen.

Malborn smuggled my goods inside the embassy and they were in a hallway connecting the kitchen to a set of rooms. Fully equipped I began making my way through the embassy, avoiding guards if I could and killing the ones I couldn’t. I ventured outside and into another building until I found some evidence. It suggested to me that Thalmor had nothing to do with the dragon’s revival; they were as weary of them as we were. I found this evidence inside a chest along with some documentation on Delphine.

Inside this second building was a prison where a prisoner was getting whipped when I entered. The guards didn’t notice me entering and I overheard them asking about an old man. Before they lacerated him too much, I quietly killed these guards and freed the prisoner. We began talking when we were interrupted by a squad of guards with Malborn. I rescued him and we had to take our leave as the high elves were onto us. A hole the guards used to dispose of bodies was our exit and once free, I talked at length with the prisoner. He told us the old man the elves were inquiring about was, like Delphine, a Blade and alongside her, probably the only other one remaining.

I met back up with Lydia in Solitude and told her of my espionage on our way back to Riverwood. Delphine was in shock when I told her that another Blade was rumored to be alive. She believed it must be a man named Esbern. The prisoner told me that the high elves believed Esbern had a link to the dragon’s revival and he resided in the deepest sections of the Ratway underneath Riften, our next destination.

Alfhedil’s Journal – Tirdas, 1st of Frostfall, 4E 201

The Gildergreen, restored to life.

Even though I know I need to head to Solitude in order to sneak into the Thalmor Embassy, I shirked that responsibility and instead aided Danica Pure-Spring in her quest to restore the Gildergreen, an ailing tree within the walls of Whiterun.

Danica is a priestess at the Temple of Kynareth in Whiterun and I agreed to help her out ages ago. To restore the Gildergreen, she believes sap from the Eldergleam Tree (an ancient tree blessed by Kynareth herself) is required. She tasked me with retrieving a mystical dagger that is said to be the only weapon capable of damaging the Eldergleam. When I was in Riverwood, I made the short trip southeast to Orphan Rock, where Danica believed Nettlebane was. Sure enough, a hagraven had in her possession Nettlebane, the mystical dagger I needed.

With that in my possession Danica then pointed me to Eldergleam Sanctuary, the cave where the ancient tree grows. The cave was fantastic. A short hallway led into a massive room that looked as though it was eternally spring. Grass was green, flowers were blooming, and a stream was eternally flowing under the magnificence of the massive Eldergleam. There were a few followers of Kynareth inside who asked me not to extract sap from the tree, but I want to beautify Whiterun, and a little less sap won’t destroy the Eldergleam anyways.

Roots from the tree were overgrown and prevented access to the base of the tree, but a quick slash with Nettlebane and the roots magically reacted and curled back towards the tree. Once at the base, I slashed the tree and a few Spriggans appeared and began attacking. Unable to rescue the followers of Kynareth, I at least rid the Eldergleam Sanctuary of these beasts before traveling back to Whiterun with sap in my possession. After delivering the sap to Danica, the Gildergreen should begin its transformation back to life soon.