From Traversing Tamriel
Helgen was, once again, occupied by bandits. There were only three, two dying singly to my blade across their throat or in their back, the remaining to Serana’s magicka. There will be more, I am certain.
As if to underscore that point three more bandits, perhaps a mile or so from Helgen, were camping along the road. They loosed arrows at us as we approached, but their bows were, for some reason, self-made and I could just about catch the arrows and toss them back with as much force. Serana, perhaps frustrated by her relative lack of involvement at Helgen, fought and killed the three of them with her magicka.
The hares they were cooking were the only things of value at the camp.
According to the Priest’s directions we would have to ascend the mountains south-east of Falkreath to find the Glade. The path was supposed to be marked by a pile of stones and still was, or at least we hoped it was as we climbed the only path we found along the road with a pile of stones next to it.
The path climbed up the side of the mountain as the air, as always, grew colder, despite only being fifty feet or so higher than we were on the road. Soon we were slipping across frozen mud and blinking snowflakes out of our eyes. The view was quite nice though and the path unmolested by bandits or animals.
The Glade was set inside a cavern as just about every place in Skyrim is. Serana grumbled about the place not being particularly impressive and, as I snagged my foot on my third tree root, I was forced to agree. The Glade’s entrance was overgrown with roots and weeds and generally appeared to not have been visited by anyone for quite some time.
A hole in the ceiling provided illumination for the draw knife nestled within a hollowed-out rock. I was anticipating a search, so this was a nice surprise. The tree whose bark I need to scrape off was right next to the knife. So far everything had been easy.
Then the moths gathered.
What Dexion had not explained was that the moths, once they were flying around me, would generate a yellow shimmering globe that would make it almost impossible to see. I was forced to rely on Serana to avoid plummeting off of ledges and tripping up stairs. Together we brushed past several groups of moths until I was nearly blinded, which Serana took as a sign that I was ready.
Bracing myself against the possibility of being struck sightless I opened the ‘Dragon’ Elder Scroll.
Opening the scroll produced a flash of light that persisted, briefly, after I closed it. Repeated openings of the scroll coalesced the light into a vaguely identifiable map of north-west Skyrim. I could see Solitude on the shore and what must have been Markarth at the end of a golden road. In-between the two was an orange rune I did not recognize, but there was nothing else of note, so by the process of elimination I figured that was where the Bow would be found.
We have been walking the entire breadth of Skyrim to thwart Lord Harkon only to discover that the artifact critical to his plan has been nearly at this door the entire time! How he failed to discover the location of the Bow before now is perplexing given the time he has had.
We were talking over our plan, trying to decide between staying overnight at Falkreath against pushing on to the cave without sleep when shouting and the sound of very heavy footsteps issued from the mouth of the cavern. Lord Harkon’s people had found us once again.
They brought reinforcements in the way of two gargoyles, not trying to affect any sort of subtlety to their assault. Unfortunately for them the only way to us was via the staircase that wound down from the entrance and no more than two vampires or one gargoyle could stand before us while on it.
It is a bit bewildering that the vampires always find us after we accomplish something in conflict with their goal, but are utterly unable to get a step ahead of us despite having what seems to be limitless manpower and the collective knowledge of thousands of years. Serana expects most of whom we have been fighting are fresh “recruits” to Harkon’s cause, folk who were seduced by the promise of long-life and great power instead of the farmstead or shop they were managing. Whatever the case, none of them are great warriors.
As if to underscore that point we were attacked by three more vampires while on the road to Falkreath, all with cheap iron swords they did not bother to use. This is getting tiresome.
Serana insisted on staying awake throughout the night while I stay at Dead Man’s Drink in Falkreath. Tomorrow we will strike out for Darkfall cave and be one day closer to being through with this nonsense.