Talk at the Huntsman was also of the rumours of dragons. The older hunters quaffed at such a notion, claiming that should dragons exist they should be classed as monsters not animals and as such The Companions should deal with them. The younger drinkers were all full of bluster, all vowing to be the first to donate a dragon’s head to the Hunstman to adorn its walls. Elrindir took all the boasts in good cheer but did seem somewhat sceptical about all this dragon’s buisness.
‘Tall tales if you ask me,’ he remarked to Deanthala as he handed over another ale. ‘Many people pass through that gate everyday, and not one from Helgen, or to have been at Helgen. Yet that’s the only thing people talk about today; Dragons!’
‘I’ll agree with you for now Elrindir,’ replied the Dunmer. ‘Yet, if you pardon the pun, there is rarely smoke without fire. What I can tell you is, I’ve yet to see any flying lizards so until I see one I’ll keep my own counsel.’
‘On another note, the Guild needs a consignment of bear pelts, Elrindir, not seen that many around here,’ she continued.
‘Bears. No not around here, giants and mammoths scare them off. Its the Rift you want. Bears thick on the ground but be wary as there’s some big buggers out there. Matter of fact if you’re going to head out there I can recommend the Bee and Bard in Riften. Keerava’s a friend, tell her I sent you…’
Three days later, after following the White River East and tracking the Darkwater south until reaching Lake Geir, our friends reach the Rift. The dark greens of the pines gave way to warmer oranges and browns as the temperature improves. Vilja’s mood also greatly improved with the warmer clime, unfortunately her singing did not and the sun seemed to make her burst into song more often! Zora’s constant threats to ‘rip that damn tongue out of her mouth,’ a constant accompaniment!!!!
Elrindir was correct, however, about the number of bears in The Rift. They were all over the woods. Large, heavily built and tough to bring down. Fortunately for Deana, the warm air made them somewhat lethargic and several of her kills were literally caught napping in the warm sunshine. Yet, there were several hairy instances. A rather old, and large grizzly entered into some sort of blood lust, despite the three shafts buried in its torso, and almost tore Vilja limb from limb. Its powerful claws shredding her hide armour like paper. She was tossed aside like a rag doll and was only saved by Zora as she dove her two hander deep, almost upto the hilt, into the bear’s back. Rich, red blood flowed from the mortal wound, but the beast did not die until one last defiant roar. Its massive maw open to reveal large, yellow fangs. One could not help but gain a very healthy respect for the power of nature!
Those 10 pelts that Elberond was asking for at the Guild were quickly gathered. Deana could not help but be amazed by the breathtaking beauty of The Rift. Its woods were punctuated by glens and clears. Small ponds and pools abounded, places teeming with animal life. Dragonflies buzzed peacefully across the still waters while Elks brought their fawns to water here. The perfect picture of serene beauty. Deana’s heart soared, feeling somewhat at home for the first time since alighting from the ship that brought her to Skyrim.
A very familiar cry from the skies made her feel even more at home…