Bound in Blood - Ch. 3: Swords and Spells

Bound in Blood

Chapter 3: Swords and Spells

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Theryn was chewing on a piece of chicken that he bought in Riverwood as he and Val were walking down the main road towards Whiterun. The journey was peacefull, aside from some deers jumping across the road. Theryn wished for a bow and some arrows. Deer meat would've been a great change from the usual frogs and rabbits.

They walked for a good portion of three hours, arriving on edge of the forest, overlooking Whiterun. The sun was high in the sky, it's rays shining on the great city like a beacon, guiding traders and wanderers alike towards it.

"It's amazing." said Val.

"Never been to Whiterun before?" asked Theryn.

"No." answered Val. "I was born outside of Riften. That's where we lived for my entire life. Never been outside the Rift."

"Well, you'll be getting a better look soon." smiled Theryn.

They made their way down the road. It took them about twenty minutes to reach Whiterun. As they got closer to the road leading to the main gate, they saw the city guard setting up tents and palisades with spikes in front of them.

"What are they doing?" asked Val.

"See the spikes?" explained Theryn. "They are anti-cavalry defenses. This is a military checkpoint."


"What for? There is no war." asked Val.

"There might be." said Theryn. "With Ulfric back at Windhelm, the Stormcloaks will want revenge. And now that the Imperial presence in Skyrim is rising and with the recent Stormcloak raids before Ulfrics capture, war is inevitable."

"And what about the Thalmor?" she asked.

"You know a lot for a Riften girl." smiled Theryn.

"I overheard the prisoners in Helgen." said Val.

"You have big ears for a fourteen year old girl." said Theryn. "Well, officially, the Thalmor are in Skyrim to ban Talos worship and regulate the White-Gold Concordate."

"And unofficially?" Val asked.

"There have been several kidnapings around Skyrim. All of them were known Talos worshipers and people of high rank. Roumors are that the Thalmor are involved. But enough of that now." explained Theryn.

They walked up the road and arrived at the gates. The guards the opened the gates and the two of them walked into the city. Val was instantly amazed by the big city. The people, the noises, the smell. She looked around her as they walked through the street. They come up the market, and Val left Theryns side to see the flower stall. Theryn smiled and called Val back.

"You see that inn?" he asked, while pointing the the sign that read: The Bannered Mare. "Take this coin and rent us a room for two nights." he said and gave her a small pouch. Val smiled and ran off to the inn.


Theryn turned towards the nearby steps and made his way towards Dragonsreach, the main keep where the Jarl of Whiterun Hold had his throne. As he reached the keep, he turned around and saw the view. Balgruuf was a modest and fair leader, but that didn't stop him from having the biggest and prettiest castle in the north. Size always mattered for the Nords.

He entered the keep and saw the Jarl sitting on his throne, a dragon skull above him. He approached the Jarl but got stopped by a Dunmer.

"It's alright Irileth. Let him pass." said Balgruuf.

"Yes, my lord." Irileth said, her gaze not leaving Theryn.

"Now, what is it you want, High Elf?" asked the Jarl.

"My lord." said Theryn as he bowed. "I bring news from Riverwood."

"Riverwood? I didn't know we had a High Elf living in Riverwood." said Balgruuf.

"There isn't one." said Theryn. "I was passing through."

"And what news a traveler might have?" Balgruuf asked.

"A dragon attacked Helgen. The villagers fear Riverwood is next." said Theryn.

"A dragon?" said Irileth with a smile. "You know that those are fairy tales, right? Dragons have been extinct since the First Era."

"Irileth." said Balgruuf.

"Yes, my lord?" said Irileth as she lost her smile.

"Send troops to Riverwood at once." Commanded the Jarl.

Irileth nodded and left the keep. The steward wanted to say something, but was stopped by Balgruuf. Theryn could see that the Jarl knew that something was happening. Something big.

"You have lived a long life, Elf. I can see that." he said as Theryn nodded. "Everything that's happened since the fall of the Septims, sometimes it feels like the world is coming to an end. Don't you feel the same?" he asked.

"I don't know." said Theryn. "Sometimes."

"There are tales that the dragons would return to destroy the world." said Balgruuf. "I know that it was him. Alduin the World-Eater."

Theryn knew that Balgruuf was right. He also knew of the prophecy of Alduin. But, still, he couldn't believe it.

"I would like to thank you for informing me." said Balgruuf. "You can go now."

Theryn bowed again and quickly left Dragonsreach. Next stop was the inn to get a bounty. He had two septims in his pocket. He made his way down the stairs, towards the Bannered Mare. He saw a priest near the statue of Talos, preaching to the townspeople. Nearby, a priestess was kneeling, her hands on a dead tree that was in the middle of the main square. He entered the inn and saw Val sitting near the fireplace, eating a soup.


"Theryn!" she jumped. "You're back. How did the audience with the Jarl go?"

"It went well. Riverwood should be safe. You're going to stay here over the night." said Theryn.

"And you?" she asked.

"I'm going to take a bounty. I'll sleep on the road probably." Theryn explained.

"Be safe." said Val as Theryn nodded.

Theryn came out of the inn and looked at the bounty board. Bandits in the Valtheim towers, people gone missing near Nordic crypts, lone giant attacking travelers. There was lots of bussines to be had in these times. Lots of gold to be made by killing. Theryn took a bounty on a rogue mage hiding in the nearby crypt. Theryn liked hunting mages. Especially in Alinor. They were always so confident that taking them down was a great feeling.

He exited the city and made his way northwest, towards the crypt. The journey would take him a few hours. The plains of central Skyrim were calm, a bit cold but with no wind, the air was warm enough to travel lightly dressed. He checked his weapon straps. He always did before a fight, as the poor condition of the leather was a risk, but it was the best he could afford at the time. The iron sword he took from Helgen was solid, but he will need to get a better weapon after the job. He did take a small elven dagger on a loan from The Drunken Huntsman. He will have to pay for it later.

The sun was setting as he approached the crypt. Theryn crouched behind a rock as he scouted the entrance. There was a lone guard at the door. If he only had a bow, this would've been much easier. He took one of the small rocks and threw it way behind the guard. The guard turned around and went to inspect the noise as Theryn moved to the door. The guard turned back after finding nothing. As he reached the door, Theryn jumped him, stabbing him in the abdomen with the dagger.

"I give you freedom." Theryn said as the guard fell to the ground, dead.

Theryn entered the crypt, but only found a single large room with a big hole in the middle. "This isn't a crypt." he said to himself. "It's an arena."

He then heard someone behind him, but before he could react, he felt a pain in the back of his head and his vision faded to black. Theryn started to open his eyes after a few minutes and heard voices around him. They were cheering, but not to him.

Theryn stood up and saw his dagger in front of him. He went to pick it up, but then saw the mage above the arena.

"I knew that they wouldn't stop sending more people after me. So I made this place to at least entertain myself and my men. Take the dagger, Elf. You're going to need it." the mage said and pulled a lever near him.

Theryn looked at the small gate in front of him as they opened and was terrified as he saw the beast that came out. It was a guar. Though the animals are ussually small, this one was bigger then a sabre cat and clearly raised for battle. This was going to be a tough fight for Theryn.

The beast charged, but Theryn managed to dodge the attack. The guard charged again, this time hitting Theryn who managed to get a slice on it. The guar screamed in pain. It attacked again, getting another slice from Theryn. As the beast stopped for a second to rest, Theryn noticed that the floor above the arena was held by wooden columns. If he can get the guar to knock them down, the floor above will collapse.

The guar charged again, and as Theryn jumped to the side, the beast hit the collumn, collapsing it. This caused the ancient stone to shatter and collapsed it. Some of the rubble fell on the guar. Theryn took his chance, jumping on the beast and burying the dagger deep in the skull. To his shock, the beast threw him off and stood back up. It was then that Theryn noticed its dark blue eyes. The guar was already dead. The mage only ressurected it.

Theryn knew that the mage had to go, so he made his way up the rubble. The guar followed, but it found more interest in the bandits and jumped on them as it started tearing them to pieces. Theryn used the falling debris to launch himself at the mage, who in return conjured a shockwave spell. Theryn saw the conjuration and threw his dagger at him, while the mage threw the spell. The dagger passed through the wave and hit the mage at the heart, turning the guar into ash, as the shockwave hit Theryn, sending him into the wall.

Theryn fell on the ground, his vision blured. He couldn't move and only saw the body of the mage, a dagger in his chest. Slowly, he closed his eyes.

"I can see you, Alynna." he whispered.


Part 2                                                                                                           Table of Contents                                                                                                Part 4

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