They past by Windhelm just as the sun was besting the mountain peaks to the East. As Dunmer they had no desire to be anywhere near the city once its inhabitants were awake and up and about. They neither wished to run into any Stormcloak patrols are have to be forced to answer uncomfortable questions. As such their passage past Windhelm was unannounced and unnoticed. They noticed a kahjit travelling caravan just outside the main city gate, it seems the Nords not only disliked Dunmer!
As they descended into Eastmarch the rising sun drenched everything in colour. Oranges, browns and green covered the land as far as the eye could see. The peaks of the Veolthian Mountains marked the Eastern edge of Skyrim and on the other side of those peaks stood their devastated homeland ravaged by the eruption of the Red Mountain. Eastmarch proved to be a picturesque place. Brelyna had never been into Eastmarch either and both Dunmer marvelled at the beauty of the hold. There was plentiful wild life as well with mammoth herds enjoying the hot springs that gushed to the West of the road. They came across a couple of hunters that had made camp in the lee of the mountain side. They pointed out the direction to old Dwemer ruins on Se’rith’s questions. As such they were not to far away, maybe an hour or so trek up the mountain. Thanking them for their aid the Dunmer headed once again down the road to Primby Village.
Primby proved to be a quaint little village perched atop the cliff overlooking the hot springs of Eastmarch. It had a small stone keep guarding its entrance and a large statue of Talos dominated the main square. The College contact here was a former instructor of Alchemy called Vita. When asking the local populace for information they called her ‘The Witch’ and directed the dark elves to a small shack next to the general store. Primby itself was located astride the main trade route between Riften and Windhelm and as such provided a lot of amenities. The small fort was well equipped with a forge and smithy to deck out the local guards in equipment. The local leader carried the title of Governor, something uncommon in Skyrim.
It also had several farms and judging from the blossoming fields the soil here in Eastmarch must be very fertile indeed. The people were quite friendly and cheerful, especially the local children when they found out they were from the College. One even asked Berlyna if she could change her friend into something icky! A welcome change from the typically cold Nord behaviour they had experienced so far.
Vita run a small alchemy store in Primby. She was a cranky old woman, Se’rith thought that the nickname of witch was quite an appropriate one. She revealed that Mirabelle had contacted her magically to forewarn her of their arrival. She also spat out that she was amazed that such an unpromising student as Mirabelle could rise to such heights within the College. Yet she was still loyal to Winterhold, despite the years of absence, she told them that the Synod had visited her two days ago asking about a staff and if she knew anything about the Dwemer ruins nearby. They were indeed Mzulft. She hadn’t told the Synod that but warned Se’rith that the Synod, ‘shady characters if you ask me,’ she added, had made their way up the mountain. The Dunmer expressed their gratitude and assured her that the Archmage would know of her help. At the mention of Savos she let out a scornful snort and politely asked them to leave if they were not going to buy anything. They had some breakfast in the Travellers Rest Tavern, located just behind the Talos statue and run by a, to Se’rith’s total surprise, a very friendly orc. With their hunger sated they followed in the Synod’s footsteps until a very familiar cry from the sky made them look up and scream with joy.
Fluttering above them was a Cliffracer. Those reptilian flyers native to Morrowind. It made both Dunmer yearn from home, depsite how annoying the Cliffracer actually is (OT those who have played Morrowind know what I mean). Some Cliffracers must have fled from the eruption of Red Mountain and made their homes in the Velothian Mountains. They watched it glide effortlessly, its familiar cry ringing out through the crisp mountain air. At one point it swooped down to the Keep at Primby and for the first time Se’rith noticed the pennant flying atop its battlements. It wasn’t a heraldry common to Skyrim, perhaps this Governor’s own personal crest?
OT-Cliffracer courtsey of a little mod called Cliffracers by Phitt. A small mod but immense in immersion.
They resumed their journey up the mountain until they came to an unmistakably Dwemer construction built right into the mountain itself. Of the Synod, there was no sign.