4th of Morning Star
Sleep was hard coming in such a cold area. Gorbakh complained and so did I. With all the pelts we had acquired it just made sense to do more with them to help us. One of the things I did when I got back to Riften was to make a rudimentary tent kit. It could be rolled up and only needed basic sticks to keep it upright. I used many pelts to create it but when it was done it was quite functional. With the remaining Snow bear pelts we had, which were incredibly warm, I crafted a cloak for Gorbakh. This was not just a fashion statement, although Gorbakh loved how it matched her armor and backpack, rather it was functional. It could be used as a shield against the weather and additional insulation when sleeping. It was like having a portable blanket that was stylish. When I had enough cave bear pelts I aimed to make my own. It would need to be dark since my armor was dark. Part of our success as a team was me being able to hide in the shadows.
I spent the rest of the morning doing various other things around town including potions and enchanting and then decided to head out. Gorbakh would not stop talking about her new cloak. I smiled to myself when she said I knew the way to a woman’s heart. We pressed on along the lake and put down a few foxes. We kept moving until we got to the mill where Grosta the nord worked. Her husband had gone missing and Gorbakh and I had found his body in that bandit cave a few days ago. She was devastated but relieved that he was not being unfaithful. She asked if his death was quick. I lied since it looked like he had been shot with half a dozen arrows from close range. She did not need to know that. She gave me his hunting bow in return for what I had done. I apologized again and we walked away. The last thing I heard was her calling to her son to deliver the bad news.
Ahead of us was a lovely buck that we put down and then gathered up its hide and meat. The stronghold would benefit greatly from such a bounty. We kept working our way towards the Ivarstead area. Found several nests of pine thrush and collected the eggs. Killed our second deer of the day as well.
We headed up a small embankment on the way to an area along the mountains that might have some bandits. That is when I heard a bear rooting around in the underbrush looking for berries and other things. He didn’t see us and we were able to sneak up. I hit him with a poison heavy tipped steel arrow and he did not like that one bit. Enraged he locked on to Gorbakh who endured a few blows from the beast and then she put it down. Striped its carcass of the hide and took the claws as well. Gorbakh looked at me and said something about me being one step closer to my own cloak. I smiled and we moved on.
In front of us was an old ruin. Its steps were steep and it climbed up into the snowy region. Clouds were moving in and it was late afternoon. Hopefully whatever was in there would not take long to get rid of.
The inhabitants made their mystery perfectly clear when they charged down and attacked us. Two bandits started attacking us. Working together we were able to put them down as a team. A third bandit was taunting us from one of the towers. I advanced cautiously as to assume a trap. Halfway up the tower the chieftain charged down and attacked us. Wielding a massive steel sword he swung it ferociously. Quick footwork and ducking avoided my head from being taken clean off. I shoved him before he could swing again and he fell over the edge to fall some 20 feet. I heard a cracking sound and a howl and knew that at least one of his legs was broken.
Gorbakh met him with her sword and despite being wounded managed to hit her with an attack so hard she went backwards and his blade smashed into the floor sending sparks flying. Offbalance I knew Gorbakh was vulnerable and after such an intense swing so was he. I smashed into him with full fury sending his broken body across the floor, his big sword clanged noisily as he dropped it on the hard stone.
Gorbakh bent over to get her breath and shake off the impact. She was fine but that bandit hit super hard.
Snow was coming down and it was getting cold. I could feel the chill and with all the sweating we had just done the moisture it created would hurt us in the cold. I made a fire at the base of the ruins and we put up the tent together. Gorbakh asked where hers was. She winked at me and I just laughed.
After warming myself by the fire we ate and then I went up to look around a bit more before it got dark. Gorbakh cooked up some venison to pack up for the trip tomorrow. The plan was to see about bandits at Nilheim. Maybe even bag some more game. I found some hides the bandits had stored away and seeing that they didn’t need them I packed them away and using a tanning rack I managed to break down most of the armor we had gotten off the bandits.
I went to sleep at dark and Gorbakh was going to wake me after midnight and then I would keep watch until dawn. A storm came and it took a lot of work to stay dry and keep the fire going. Hopefully by morning it would be over.