Skyrim Day 066 – Bearly A Problem

From Traversing Tamriel

21 Frostfall, 4E201
My task today was to find Gunmar, the man Isran said he would need to rebuild his Dawnguard. From what Isran said Gunmar used to be a successful bounty-hunter before he retired to tracking animals instead of people. Gunmar had been experimenting with taming some of Skyrim’s more dangerous beasts before he and Isran parted and succeeded with trolls, at least according to Isran. I find the idea of “tame” troll to be unbelievable.
As I exited the chief’s longhouse I saw that a horse was waiting by itself in the courtyard. Orsimer do not usually ride and it was not at the camp yesterday. Atub did not know how it came to be there and speculated that it wandered in overnight.
The problem with finding Gunmar was that Isran could not tell me where to start looking. The only thing he said was that Gunmar had last been seen in Morthal, though for what purpose he did not say. So it was to Morthal I was heading from the very south of the province.

Walking half the height of Skyrim proved to be rather boring. I was hailed by a group of drunken revelers along the side of the road, then ineffectively robbed by a Dunmer thief who reconsidered her chances and fled. I was attacked by a necromancer, but she and her skeletons were no match for me. On her body I found an unsigned letter demanding that the death of ‘Malyn Varen’, the Dunmer who trapped himself inside Azura’s Star, would be avenged. I wonder who would care about his death. Nelacar perhaps.

I came upon another horse along the road, saddled but without an obvious rider. It seemed content to wait by the road and I do not ride, so I left the horse to whatever fate it chose.

Jonna at the Moorside Inn in Morthal had spoken to Gunmar two days prior about a contract requiring the elimination of a bear den to the south, along the river. She suggested I search the hills and caverns, he would either be there or in her Inn, drinking, which he clearly was not.

Gunmar had been after a bear, so I guessed that my chance of finding him would be best near a river or stream. I left the road near a bridge and continued along the river, stopping when I heard the roar of a Dragon above me. I turned towards the sound, prepared for a fight…but the Dragon took no notice of me and flew away.

I followed a small creek emptying from the hills into the river and was dismayed to find the body of a Khajiit at the source.

His body showed many claw marks and I thought I had found Gunmar’s bear before he did. As I continued to search the area however I was approached by a Nord also sneaking about. Bandits do not typically announce themselves, so I asked the man’s business.

The man was Gunmar himself, on the hunt for a family of bears who were being just as much a nuisance for the area’s farmers as they had been for the unfortunate Khajiit. When I told him Isran had sent me to request his help he simply laughed, saying that Isran told him years ago that he needed no one’s help. He asked what could have possibly happened to prompt Isran to seek assistance.

What happened was a family of vampires with a well-fortified castle coming into possession of what could be a genuine Elder Scroll. This was reason enough for him to reconsider his involvement with Isran and after a moment he agreed to meet with him if I helped track the family of bears.

We found the bears in a cavern underneath the creek’s little waterfall. There were four of them and two of us, but we had no difficulty in slaying the bears. Gunmar started skinning the creatures and I reminded him of his new obligation to Isran, for I was not returning with him. He assured me that he would start towards Isran’s “personal fortress”, as he said, as soon as he received payment for his bounty. I had no interest in bear skins, so I left and returned to Morthal.

The aftermath of a battle littered the streets upon my arrival.

Black hounds lay where they fell, their hewn silver collars familiar to me from an encounter with the creatures some time ago. One of the guards remarked that two vampires had suddenly appeared with a pack of the dogs, setting themselves upon guards and townspeople alike. Those who live in Morthal are a hearty sort however and the invasion was beaten with no loss to the city.

The guards were pleased to claim the solid silver collars.

Tomorrow I will talk with Sorine Jurard, if I can find her. Isran suggested I look in the hills surrounding Karthwasten, the mining village I had hoped contained an Inn. 

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