With their valuable cargo securely stored in Deana’s backup the party starts the journey back to Whiterun. Glaring sunshine greets them as they march across the sulphur pools that abound around the Eldergleam Sanctuary.
‘By the Nine, that is a powerful, pungent smell’ complained Zora colourfully. Hot geysers bubbled angrily as the burst the surface of the green tinged pools. Undaunted the trio carried on and Vilja even piped up, a very out of tune, version of the Dragonborn Comes in an attempt to lift spirits. It somewhat worked!
They took a northern route, keeping the Darkwater River to their right before hitting the road near the Darkwater Mill. They then turned to the West, fording another river before once ascending the lower slopes of High Hrothgar, as they skirted the large mountain. The climb proved steep, but luckily the weather held and a majestic view of the rear of the Dragonreach towering over the tundra greeted them as they crested the last hill before Whiterun itself.
Though the journey proved largely uneventful, the party did come upon an unsavoury scene near the ancient Nordic tower at Valtheim. Several dead bodies were strewn across the road as it passed under the shadow of the towers. They had obviously been ransacked as clothes and other items of low value were all thrown across the cobbles. A Kahjit had been beheaded and its head set upon a spike about halfway up the tower, a small puddle of blood collecting at the base of it.
Zora explained that bandit bands would often base themselves in these old Nordic towers and lay claim to roads and thoroughfares that passed by them. The more ‘cultured’ bandit leaders resorted to charging a toll, whereas the more savage ones (clearly the ones in Valtheim) just engage in wanton pillage and slaughter. Perhaps something could be done to make this road safer at a later date.
Light drizzle began to fall from the sky as the trio made the gates of Whiterun. The guards pestered them with questions about dragons and dragon sightings. Dragons?!?!?!?!? Were these guards on the mead? Deana assured them that no dragons had been seen, and that no dragons had followed them, and that she had no idea of what had happened at Helgen. Yet there was something in the urgency with which they spoke that made Deana very, very wary. Entry into the city was forbidden to them until the Gilgergreen sapling was produced and even then it was a very reluctant permission!
It was a very grateful Danica Well Spring that received the sapling. She showered blessings of Kynareth upon our friends and rambled on about a ceremonial replanting and rebirth. Deana respectfully bade goodbye and headed to the Guild at the Huntsman for a well deserved ale!