Se’rith gave serious thought to how she would be getting to Labyrinthian. She considered taking her usual route to Whiterun through The Pale and then breaking north west. She could make an alternative journey if she went via the Saarthal ruins and cut across country until hitting Dawnstar, then taking the road to Morthal. According to a map she found in the Arcaneum, in a book about Jagar Tharn the Labyrinthian could be found in the ruins of a Nord city, Brumjnaar. After taking some time to think about it she opted for the Dawnstar/Morthal route. It would be better for her to take the road less travelled should the Thalmor be after an College members on the road. She made sure she had packed her warmest furs and set off, her packs full. Upon leaving the College she saw a man sat among some of the ruined houses of Winterhold and it appeared that while he was braving the winds and snow, a horse was as snug as could be made among bales in the ruined hut behind him. Se’rith approached and the man introduced himself as Vigram. A wandering merchant that wanted to set up shop here in Winterhold. Suffice to say he wasn’t too fond of mages!
OT-Vigram is from kris’s excellent Interesting NPCs mod. It ads 70 NPCs, 33 of which are voice acted. It also adds three new quests. Downloaded it today and it has already enhanced my gaming experience. Recommend it.
The road to Saarthal and beyond was not really the best choice. The wind had whipped itself up into a frenzy, freezing snow swirls came in over the Sea of Ghosts making visibility poor and the going tough and slow. Se’rith was set upon by wolves and snow cats a number of times, the latter especially difficult to spot in their white coats. Indeed Skyrim was a rugged and unforgiving land despite the noble sight of a stag amidst a snow storm.
Se’rith started to come out of the mountains as the sun began to descend. She entered a valley as the snow flurries abated some what. Walls of rock rose either side of her while thin wispy, pine trees lined the valley’s descent. Admiring the beauty, Skyrim still took her breath away at times, she was almost trapped by a spider that had made its webs in the trees. Sticky strands of silky webbing hit her arm while the spider descended on a strand hissing and spitting venom her way. A week ago she would have been terrified but battle and experience had steeled her and two bolts later spider legs and ichor stained the pristine white snow.
As she exited the valley the land began to flatten out but as the light waned the snow and biting wind picked up again. Visibility was reduced again and the going tough and on more than one occasion, Se’rith proposed saviour of the College of Winterhold ended on her arse in a deep snowdrift! A faint glow caught her eye. A brace of hunters had made their camp atop a small tor. She made her way towards them, palms outwards indicating she meant no threat. After some scepticism they invited her to warm herself by the fire while sharing some warm mead. upon Se’rith’s inquiry about Dawnstar they told her that the road leading to the settlement was just beyond the next hill. If she pressed hard she would be warming herself under feathered downs at the Windpeak Inn. With thanks Se’rith set of West once again, the mead settling nicely in her stomach.
And there over the hill was the road leading to Dawnstar. The first leg of her journey was almost at an end. Just before getting to the road she came across a small shrine to Dibella. Once again the Divines had put her on the right path and provided her with assistance from the Beyond. She knelt before the statue of the Goddess of Beauty and offered a prayer of thanks and reflected on the stark beauty of the land she walked in. As she rose she took the road and was soon walking into Dawnstar. A small settlement that had a small harbour, one Nord ship was moored to the wharf. Dawnstar did not seem too big, certainly much smaller than Windhelm. Yet it seemed to have been spared the wrath of the Great Collapse unlike Winterhold, despite it being by the sea as well.
The Windpeak Inn was just inside Dawnstar as one approached via the road. She quickly hurried in side to be greeted by the welcome warmth of the hearth and the multitude of the populace’s worried voices. From what she could gather the people of Dawnstar were being plagued by very vivid dreams and nightmares that meant sleep was disturbed and restless. The local priest of Mara was trying his best to calm them and get them to trust in the Divines for providence.