Sorry if the format is wonky, I copy pasted this shit. As for criticism, hit me. But before I get issues with the whole "Talos hate thing", please know it wasn't done without purpose that has yet to be revealed. Thanks, mates
If I wasn’t lost before, I was most certainly lost now. It had been two days since I fled my home town of Helgen. No one had seen the attack coming as the great beast rained fire upon the people. My friends, my family, people I had known my entire life were caught in the beast’s inferno and scorched until death pulled them away to Sovngarde or Aetherius. I had narrowly escaped death. The flames caught my legs and, unable to walk, I had dragged myself into the ruin of a collapsed building to find shelter from the destruction. Looking back at it, the building must have been the general store owned by Rufinu Vitellius, another imperial like myself. Rufinu was good with coin and he always said, “A few septims can cure any foul spirit, my friend.” It was too bad that those septims couldn’t cure him of the splinter wood protruding out of his chest. Too bad they couldn’t mend his pierced lungs or restore his now silent heart. I continued wandering through the woods. If I could find a road then I could find my way to civilization. Unfortunately, I was gifted with a natural talent at getting myself lost. Mother told me that even when I was born I was facing the wrong direction. I wish she were here now to tell me that. Hell, I wish anyone was here to tell me that. Or tell me where the damn road is at the very least. My legs shook with exhaustion. I hadn’t stopped moving since leaving and they were still weak from the flames. I was grateful that I had taken the time to read the books that Lady Nenya had given to me for my coming of age. The High Elf was the steward for Jarl Siddgeir so she had plenty of resources available to her and had decided to bless me with a few of those resources. The Exodus had been a long read but a very good one. It had taught me a bit more about restoration and I had been able to heal my legs, though they were still weak. I had once hoped to find my own healthy Vralla someday. Now I just hoped to see tomorrow. Or the road. Where the hell is the road? I trudged forward a few more paces before collapsing to my knees. I stared up at the heavens. The stars were glowing bright and shining down upon me, trying to lull me into a false sense of security and safety; convincing me to just lie down and rest my tired body for a little while. No sense in trying to put me to sleep, you little bastards. I’m too weak to move anyhow. “Divines,” I begged, “I’m not ready for Aetherius yet..” I fell forward, my face resting on the cold dirt. I prayed silently for Arkay or Stendarr or any of the Divines to come save me from my wretched predicament. My restoration spell could heal nonfatal wounds, but it couldn’t cure exhaustion, starvation, or dehydration. It was also completely useless if a pack of hungry wolves decided to enjoy a bit of Imperial flesh for dinner. I glared at the stars as my vision faded and the night sky became lightless.
“Mother! I’m back!” I called, walking into the kitchen. “Brother!”Fralvi cried as she ran towards me. “Where have you been? Mother’s been really worried, brother. You’re in trouble now,” she punched me in the side and went running off to fetch Mother. I sat down at the table and began picking at the baked potatoes that had been set out for me. They were cold now, but still good to the taste. “My son!” I rose quickly upon hearing her. “Hello, Mother,” I smiled as she walked up to me, hugging me tightly. “We thought you’d been had by the wilds! What took you so long?” she gave my hair a good solid yank before crossing her arms and demanding and explanation. I rubbed my head thinking of the best way to answer her and not sound foolish. “Well… I had to make a delivery for Rufinu. He sent me to deliver goods to an Imperial named Lucan Valerius in Riverwood. He’s the owner of the Riverwood Trader, you know? Well-“ “Brother got lost again, Mama! Didn’t you, brother?!” my little sister laughed and began singing; “Oriton’s quick and Oriton’s smart, but send him to Riften and he’ll end up in Markar-“ “That’s enough, Fralvi,” Mother snapped, silencing her. “Let your brother finish. Go on, son, what happened?” Fralvi stuck her tongue out at me and I glared at her before continuing. “As I was saying, I had to deliver goods there and while I was there the place was robbed by a man named Arvel the Swift! I couldn’t simply leave without lending a hand so I stayed there and attempted to help the local guard and Lucan track down the sneak-thief. After two days we found that he had hidden himself and his bandit friends up in Bleak Falls Barrow. Bleak Falls Barrow is a very dangerous place, but I offered to go inside and retrieve the stolen goods for Lucan. Even though I offered my services, Lucan said he would be too ridden with guilt if I were to die in the barrow and he could never let anyone but himself do such a dangerous job. So I wished him good luck and made my way back here. So you see, I wasn’t lost,” I finished matter-of-factly, folding my arms. “Sounds like quite a journey. I’m glad you didn’t go in that barrow, Oriton. Now sit down and eat before these potatoes become foul and when you’re done I need you to get some firewood from out back. I’m going to bed and you better sleep soon too,” she said, pointing a stern finger at me. Mother picked little Fralvi up, “You are supposed to be in bed already, you sneaky little girl.” Fralvi giggled as Mother carried her off to bed. I sighed as I sat down to eat my cold potatoes. Something was prodding at my hip. I struggled to open my eyes, feeling something poking around my sides. Damn, it’s the wolves, they’ve found me! I pried my eyes open and cast a glance down to see what horrible creature was about to make me into a midnight snack. It wasn’t the wolves. I sent up a silent praise be to the divines and immediately sent up a curse following it. A young female Khajit was prodding at my pockets. I’m being pickpocketed by a filthy cat! Of all the Divines, I knew then which one had heard my prayer. It must have been Talos. Only the former human turned “Divine” would be stupid enough to send a Khajit to “aid” me in my time of need. I struggled to speak. “Gehhck-“ was all I managed before I was sent into a fit of coughing. I was badly in need of water. I swallowed some saliva and got ready to try again. The Khajit sat back on her haunches and looked at me, her ears twitching curiously. “Hm. I didn’t think you would ever open your eyes to the sun again. Too bad it won’t be for long,” she shrugged and went back to prying into my pockets. I was outraged. “I’m here d-“ I coughed, “dying and you’re pickpocketing me?!” I coughed some more, my voice scratchy and hoarse. I tried to kick at her, but my legs only slightly twitched in response. “I’m not pickpocketing you. This Khajit is simply looting your corpse. Do you have gold on you? Or items of value? You must have something, perhaps a small gem..,” she proceeded to flip me onto my back and check my shirt pockets for anything of value. “Looting? But I’m not dead, you filthy cat! Get your paws off of me!” I feebly moved my hand to smack at hers but she quickly smacked my hand back down and went back to her work. “This isn’t fair! I’m not even dead, you can’t do this! Divines have mercy on your soul, Khajit, for when my father finds you, he will turn you into a rug! But before that, he’ll sk-“ “You could go back to dying quietly, yes? If not, I am going to cut out your tongue and feed it to nearby wolves. You are not dead, it is true, but you will be soon enough and I do not have the patience to continue waiting until then,” she prodded at my other side pocket before sitting back. “It seems as though you have nothing of value though. This Khajit is merciful, you see. I will kill you now so you shall not be eaten alive by the bear that lives in the cave up ahead for he is sure to find you soon.” She pulled a dagger out of a sheath hidden in her boot. “Stendarr the God of mercy must have guided me to you for now I will carry out his will and grant you your peace,” she raised the dagger high. “Wait, wait!” I cried out, desperate to stop her. Curse you, Talos, you false deity, you foolish man, for sending this stupid cat! “If you kill me now, you will be passing up a great reward!” The Khajit peered at me before slowly lowering her dagger. “My father would pay greatly to have me, his only son, returned to him! You mustn’t kill me if you wish to gain any riches!” For a brief moment, I thought I saw doubt in her eyes and I closed mine preparing for the pain of her dagger in my chest. “Your father is a wealthy man then, yes? How much would he pay this Khajit for his only son?” I opened my eyes to see she had put her dagger away and was now standing, looking down at me. My mouth moved before my mind had time to consider the words. “He is very wealthy; he only wears the finest of clothes and armor. If you returned me to him, he would undoubtedly shower you in gold and gems. Maybe even 1000 gold and, and-“ “Rubies? Flawless rubies?” the Khajit asked, her ears perking up. “Yes! Plenty of those as well! So please, don’t kill me, I’m much more useful when I’m alive than dead..,” I trailed off, suddenly very tired from all the talking and shouting. A pause; “Where is your father at?” “Whiterun,” I murmured, “he is in Whiterun.” The Khajit stared at me quietly, her tail flicking behind her. “You are heading to Whiterun?” I simply nodded, too tired to speak anymore. She shook her head, “Perhaps Stendarr means a different form of mercy for you, Imperial, for you are facing more towards the Mountains of Jerall and Riften and you surely would have met your end in either place. Whiterun is back the opposite direction.”
If I could have, I would have laughed as she picked up my heavy body and placed me on her back. I hooked my arms weakly around her neck as she started back toward Helgen, only managing a small smile instead.
My eyes fluttered open as the sounds of chickens and life stirred me from my rest. We were entering another town that looked eerily familiar. I realized with a jolt where we were. Riverwood... she brought me to Riverwood! “Khajit, don’t stop in this tow-“ I coughed madly, choking on air as my parched throat rebelled against being forced to speak. “You need food and water, do you not? I have heard of a trader here who sells things like that. We may be able to get a…discount on things in his shop if we must,” she continued walking forward as I shook my head side-to-side desperately. “You don’t understand, I can’t go-“ My coughing cut me off as the Khajit stepped onto the porch of the Riverwood Trader and walked inside. Lucan and his sister, Camilla, were arguing just as they had been last time I had entered here. “We must get it back from them! I shall go into the barrow myself, if I must!” screeched Camilla in a fury. She was already fired up and in a foul mood, I cringed waiting for her to see me. “It’s too dangerous, Camilla! We will just have to let it go, we can get on without it,” Lucan argued back as he cleaned the counter. The Khajit cleared her throat loudly. “Oh.. I didn’t realize we had customers. Please, just pretend you didn’t see wh-“ “Well, well, if it isn’t the delivery boy from Helgen. What are YOU doing back here? And with a sneaky Khajit no less,” Camilla put her hands on her hips and glared at the Khajit and I. The Khajit turned her head to look at me and I quickly found something interesting on the wall to look at. “I have brought this boy here for food and water. He was almost in Sovngarde when this Khajit found him. Please help him if you can.” Sovngarde?! I thought, appalled at the notion. Camilla huffed, appalled at the request. “That useless brat refused to help us, why should we help him?!” “Now, Camilla,” Lucan intervened, “if we just turn them away, it could harm the shop’s reputation with the peo-“ “Oh, who cares about that?! Besides, who would believe a Khajit anyways? You know how people think about them! They’re nothing but liars and sneak-thieves, a bad lot, all of them!” My carrier huffed quietly, probably offended by Camilla’s words. “You have lost something important to you, have you not?” she asked. “If you help this one, we will return what you have lost.” I stopped breathing. She isn’t serious about this... Lucan and Camilla stared at her. “How can we know that you’re not lying to us, Khajit? That you won’t up and leave town after we help your friend?” asked Lucan, cautiously. “You cannot, but I do not like the way you speak of my people. I shall prove you wrong by bringing back what belongs to you and show you that Khajit are not all sneak-thieves and liars.” She promptly pulled me off her back and threw me onto the floor in from of them. I groaned in pain as I landed on the hard wood. “Take care of him. I shall find us some armor and tomorrow morning we shall set out to the barrow to find this lost belonging of yours.” With that, she left out the door. I could only stare after her from the floor of the Riverwood Trader. “Will she really be back?” Camilla asked, doubt filling her tone. I couldn’t give her an answer.
Lucan spoke up after a few moments of silence, “Well then. I suppose we should get some food into you before we end up with a corpse on the floor. You look awful, hmm..Oriton, was it? Yes, I remember, Oriton the delivery boy.” He chatted as he picked me up off the floor and took me upstairs. He threw me down onto a bed none too gently. “Camilla, bring me some health potions and apples, would you?” he yelled back down to his sister. Turning toward me, “Do you prefer red or green apples?” I attacked my fourth apple with less intensity than I had the first three. The health potions had really hit the spot and I was quickly recovering. I would have much prefer to be eating venison stew or mammoth steak, but Lucan insisted that apples would be better due to the water they held. I don’t know if that’s true or he just didn’t want to waste good food on me, but the apples were crisp and delicious. Although I’m sure I would’ve found garlic cloves delicious too at that point. Camilla sat watch over me and I had been trying to charm her for the past hour. Even though she was rather rude and harsh earlier, she wasn’t hard on the eyes. Though she was a few years older than me, I think she would have looked nice on my arm. Perhaps even nicer in my bed. Unfortunately, she was hell-bent on hating me. Maybe that was for the best considering the Khajit and I were going to be halfway to Whiterun before these siblings discovered that they had been fooled because there was no way in the entirety of mundus that we were going into that cursed barrow after some stupid claw, gold or not.
“When do we change courses and head on to Whiterun?” I asked, as we trekked up the hillside to the barrow. The armor my companion had, and I quote, “borrowed” from the blacksmith, Alvor, across the road from the Trader was uncomfortable and heavy on my shoulders. The leather rubbed my skin. “You couldn’t get any lighter armor? This leather is the worst material,” I complained, trying in vain to adjust the armor into a comfortable position. My companion merely looked back at me for a brief moment before returning her gaze to the path at hand. “Hey,” I hurried to keep up with her speed,” what was with that look?!” “The armor you’re wearing is light armor. I am the one wearing the heavy armor.” She paused, “Has anyone ever told you that you complain like a kit?” That shut me up right quick. I looked over her armor and realized it was much more bulky and thick than mine. My frustration over my own armor combined with my struggle to climb up the hill had blinded me to what else was around me. It also blinded me to the fact that we had reached the barrow. Bleak Falls Barrow; I stared at it in awe. I had been to Riverwood a few times in my life and each time I had made the journey, I had always acknowledged the barrow from afar due to the menacing aura it put off, but never did I think I would feel that foul aura this close up. “So shall we carry on now? I didn’t really want to get this close to begin with… Let’s get on to Whiterun, we still have a long journey ahead of us,” I looked impatiently toward the direction I believed Whiterun to be in. The Khajit stared at the entrance of the barrow in silence, her ears forward and alert, her tail still. “Let’s go, kit,” she beckoned me forward, “we have a claw to retrieve.” A long moment of silence passed between us. “I refuse,” I stated plainly. Her tail flicked at my words. “I said ‘let’s go, kit’,” she pointed at the barrow doors. “I said ‘I refuse’, Khajit. I’m not going to get myself killed in some godforsaken barrow over a golden claw that we can’t even..,” I fell silent for a moment. “You’re going to steal the Golden Claw, aren’t you, Khajit?” My companion let out a deep sigh, “Do you wish to stay out here? It will get dark eventually and where will you go? The trader and his sister will not take you back in without the claw and you will never make it to Whiterun on your own. You follow me or die. Take your pick.” I looked around me. The sun wasn’t going to set anytime soon, but who knew how long it would take her to get the claw? She left me with no choice but to follow her or to take my chances with the wilds of Skyrim. I steeled myself best I could and nodded. “Alright, but if I die, you will pay for it.” She only snorted at my words. “Listen good, as soon as I open the door, we’re going to be attacked. There’s group of about four bandits just inside. I believe one of them is going to use spells but most of them will only shoot arrows at us. You must only worry about the one casting spells; can you do that, kit?” She sounded skeptical. “Can you stop calling me ‘kit’? And no, I can’t, but I do have a better idea. I’m going to stand over to the side,” I pointed just down the hill, “whilst you kill the bandits.” She just stared at me, her tail flicking faster. “You assume this Khajit can take on all four bandits alone with no aid?” “No, I assume that when you get your head lobed off by a zealous bandit, I’ll be able to make my escape from here. If it makes you feel better, I intend to go to the Bards College someday,” I struck a dramatic pose; “I will sing great songs in your honor, Khajit!” I knew I had crossed the line when the Khajit’s ears flattened against her head and her eyes narrowed into a predatory gaze. She stalked toward me. “Now wait, wait,” I held my hands up and took a few steps back, “it was only a jo-Gah!” I started to trip as I backed away, but her hand snatched forward and grabbed my armor. “Perhaps I should have given you the heavy armor instead, kit. Let’s see how well the thin armor you have on holds up to a barrage of arrows. Best to cover your neck, yes?” Her strength was greater than I had prepared for and she pulled me around toward the entrance as I stumbled over my own feet trying to regain my bearings and stand against her shoving. “Be my shield, Imperial!” she shouted, shoving me hard into the entrance door. I cried out as I fell through the door. It was suddenly as if time had slowed down. As I crashed through the door to Bleak Falls Barrow, I heard a bandit within yell out and suddenly my entire body was on fire. The searing burn was suddenly accompanied by stabbing pains in my back, landing one after another after another. I had never felt such an intense and terrifying pain in all of my nineteen years. I watched the Khajit dart through the doorway and past me just before I hit the floor. My vision blurred and everything fell dark as I collided with the floor. “Wa…up…Wake…Wake up, you Imperial kit…Wake up!” Something jerked at the hair on my head. I groaned and reached up to grab my head. A mistake as pain shot through my back. I let out an embarrassing whimper of pain as my arms flew back down to my side. Someone was laughing quietly at me. I opened my eyes to see the Khajit kneeling beside me. “In the words of the Nords, you are a true ‘milk-drinker’, kit.” I blinked a few times, not entirely sure what had happened. I glanced left and right and spied some stray arrows lying about. Suddenly a memory of unrelenting pain flashed back to me and I closed my eyes and groaned loudly. The Khajit only laughed more at my pain. “How am I not dead?” I cried loudly. I snapped my eyes open, annoyed, “This isn’t funny, you wretched cat!” The Khajit laughed harder as she stood up and offered me a hand. I took it and winced as she pulled me to my feet. “Arkay seems to want you to live, young kit, for the arrows did not pierce your flesh. Granted they did get very close. You are lucky the arrows of bandits are iron and not a stronger material. I would strongly dislike having to burn your corpse. Burning flesh produces a most unpleasant smell, young kit.” I wobbled on my feet and gripped her arm for support. My back felt like it had been used for target practice by the imperial guard and every nerve in my body was tingling and sensitive. I steadied myself before letting her go and rubbing my arms to stop the strange sensation. “I take it you have never been hit with a shock spell before. Your efforts are useless; the feeling will fade after a while by itself. Hit with it enough and your body will no longer feel the effect afterwards,” she said while picking up armor. I realized it was my own and looked down at my bare chest. I hissed at my skin. It was red as though I had lain in the sun for a bit too long. “If you are displeased with the way your skin looks, I highly suggest you do not look at your back. It is much worse, I assure you,” she finished tossing my armor to me. I caught it and slowly attempted to put it on. Everything hurt. My back, my arms, my head, everything was sore and protesting my actions. I shook my head, “I don’t think I can wear this anymore.” I held the armor to her, but she shook her head and pushed it back to me. “You must or you will most assuredly die with the next enemy we encounter. Some of them aren’t going to be as…lively as these ones. Some even more so. Put it on so we can continue ahead.” “What happened to the ban-,” My voice cut off as I looked around. The four bandits lay on the ground in unnatural positions. I cringed looking at them, each one a sliced and mangled body. After a moment, “You are quite talented with a dagger,” I commented flatly. I had seen beheadings before and the occasional fatal burn and murder victim, but never had I witnessed a living being diced as these had been. I suddenly broke out into a cold sweat as I realized that this could be my fate should the Khajit uncover my lie about my father. Chills raced up my spine as I thought of the pain I would be in as I bled to death from the wounds, unable to move. “Go on, put the armor on. I am going ahead so try and keep up, Imperial,” the Khajit walked much too calmly down further into the barrow. “Wait!” I called after her, quickly fighting to get my armor back on. “I need to know something if we’re going to do this!” She stopped and looked back at me, her ears pointed toward me, listening. “Your name. What is it? I am sure you already know mine with those ears of yours, but what is yours?” She stared quietly at me for a brief moment. “Sinerri. That is what I am called. Sinerri the Helpful. Yours is Oriton, yes? I believe I heard the trader say it as I was leaving to find armor. Why is it of any importance to you, kit?” “Stop calling me that. And I simply thought it would be nice to know the name of the person I’m going to die with.” I paused briefly, “The Helpful, huh? Did you make that part up yourself or is that actually true?” I followed after her, asking questions that she didn’t respond to. I contemplated her name in silence. Sinerri the Helpful… is that why I’m here? I began to think maybe that part of her name wasn’t made up considering the task at hand. It had been her idea to go through with this. I was the one who had been in favor of a less honorable path. I nearly ran into her back as she stopped short on the path. “What is it?” I asked, peering around her. The Khajit stared ahead. “A wretched puzzle.” She hissed; her tail flicking and her ears folding back. I raised an eyebrow, “So? These ancient Nord Puzzles are always so simple; the Nords are simple people, after all.” I stepped around her and looked over the puzzle. There were three turning stones with different pictures on each side, a classic Nordic puzzle, one I had read about many times. The Khajit merely stared at the turning stones, her tail flicking in irritation. I stood silently behind her for a few minutes. “Have you really not figured this out yet?” She remained silent for a moment. “No.”
I sighed and walked around her to the stones. One at a time, I turned them all into the correct positions. Snake…Snake…Whale, done. I stepped back and watched the wall opened up and the path cleared. I smiled, “And here I thought the Nords were the stupid ones,” I turned to smirk at the Khajit and barely dropped to the ground in time as a dagger flew towards my face. It had been too close; I felt the air by the top of my head move as I fell to avoid a painful death. The Khajit walked by me and pulled her dagger out of the stone wall, placing it back in its sheath. I slowly lifted myself onto all four and a slight tremble ran through my body as I realized how close to dying I had just been. One swift move and she could have killed me right there. The idea that one simple motion, one single movement, was enough to kill a person struck me deeply. Life was suddenly fragile. “Get up, kit, we must move on,” were my calling words. I pushed the thoughts to a dark corner of my mind where they wouldn’t haunt me and stood on my two feet. “What the hell is wrong with you, cat?! I could have died!” I raged. The slight shake of my voice didn’t help me achieve the effect of dominate angry male, but I think my point was made. She smirked at me, her ears alert. “If you would have died, I would not have thrown it. Now let’s go.” The Khajit turned and continued on. I stared after her. What was I doing following this crazy cat? I should just turn around and run, I thought as I trudged warily after her. We moved on and started down a set of winding stairs when the Khajit, Sinerri, again stopped. She leaned forward and looked down the middle of the stairs. I leaned and looked down the spiral’s center. I saw nothing but a dim light at the bottom. The Khajit however was still staring intently, her ears twitching, and I squatted down determined to see what she was seeing with her cat-eyes. There was a hard thump on my arse and suddenly I was plummeting down that spiral. The fall was blessedly short and I let out a loud grunt as I hit the bottom, landing on my shoulder. I groaned as a dull pain pulsed though my shoulder. Damn cat, I’ll kill h-My thoughts cut off abruptly as a strangely familiar sound entered my ears. Months ago our family cellar had become the home of a very unwelcome guest: a foul-smelling, filthy skeever. Mother had sent me down to exterminate the beast even though I had repeatedly pleaded with her to hire someone more suited to killing rats. Sadly, coin was always on shortage and I ended up creeping down into the cellar with an iron dagger in my hand. I could still remember the foul scent and the raspy breathing of that wretched rat. It was that same raspy breathing that was echoing in my ears now. I pulled out my weapon. No longer was I holding an iron dagger, but a steel sword acquired by the Khajit. The breathing was louder than last time and, to my horror, I realized there was more than one skeever crawling around here. Staring straight up, I could see the blurred outline of the Khajit. Before I could make a rude hand gesture towards her, a skeever near me let out a strangled sounding cry and the sound of claws on the wooden stairs suddenly was very vigorous as the skeevers came rushing towards me. I sprang up, gripping my sword tightly with both hands and swung toward the direction of the sound. My stomach churned as a high pitched squeal was heard and I felt the horrifying ripping of flesh through my blade. The sounds, the smells, the rush, each combined to make it almost feel as though it were my own hand slicing through the skeever instead of my blade. I was certain I was going to throw up. I had last time as well. Fralvi had laughed for days at my weakness. As I tried to regain control of the contents of my stomach, a fierce burning entered my leg and I cried out in pain. I stabbed my sword frantically for the source of my agony and squeezed my eyes shut as I hit my target. The teeth unlatched themselves from my leg as blood splattered up and dotted my face and armor. There was another sound of raspy breathing but I quickly realized it was my own. I fell to my knees; still gripping my sword stabbed into the skeever and laid my forehead against my hands, trying to calm my shaking body and rolling stomach. Someone started clapping; three slow and steady claps; three insulting claps. “So you can fight, after all, yes?” the cat laughed. I glanced up as she strolled casually down the stairs. Her ears were alert and, had she a more human-like image, there would have been a smirking grin plastered on her face. I narrowed my eyes at her, “You shoved me… off the top of… the damned stairs, you… you wretched beast!” I shoved to my feet and pointed my sword at her. A pain shot through my leg but I stood strong and glared at her. For a second, everything was silent between her and I but suddenly, much to my displeasure, she burst out laughing. I lowered my sword, confusion etching my features. “Why are you laughing? What’s so funny, Cat?!” Confusion was joined swiftly by anger. She pulled herself back together and began walking off; waving a hand at me as though I was of no matter. “Kit,” she yelled back, “the sword you’re using? It is no two-handed weapon. If you are that weak, this one might as well skin you now and return you dead to your father. Perhaps he can make a nice rug out of you!” She broke out in another round of laughter and I stared in angry embarrassment at my sword. So it’s a one-handed weapon…? I picked it up and sheathed it, sighing. There was no way I was going to be able to wield it with only my one hand. As she lead the way further into the barrow, cries could be heard. “Do you hear that?” I strained my ears. Someone was yelling for help. The Khajit sighed and kept walking. “What?” I realized my stupidity afterwards as I watched her ears twitch. Of course she could hear it. We walked on and I could make out the cries more clearly. Whoever it was, he needed help and, from what he was yelling about, I wasn’t jumping to his aid any time soon. But the Khajit was. She pulled out her dagger and started forward. “No, no, no!” I grabbed her armor and pulled on it with all my weight. “What are you doing, kit?” Her ears folded against her head and she hissed the words at me. I ignored her anger. I was over fearing that. I’d already been thrown to the rats. And the bandits. “Do you hear what he is yelling?! Something is going to eat him! Do you know what could eat him? Skeevers can’t. Bandits won’t even eat him! What if it’s a bear? Then what? You go become the bear’s food? I’ll be left alone in this place!” “No, I will go kill the bear and you will assist me,” she jerked away from my grip. “Understand?” “No! I do not understand! There is a reason he got captured and I’m not about to-hey! Don’t do this, you stupid cat!” I rushed after her, tugging out my sword as she disappeared through the ruins. As I ran underneath an archway and through a door into the room, I tumbled backwards and fell against the wall in horror. The Khajit stood staring upwards just a little ways in as a giant creature descended from the ceiling. The shouting victim was caught up in a large web and continuously shouted warnings to the Khajit but I couldn’t understand his words. All I could see was the giant being landing in front of the small cat; a giant Frostbite spider. My vision went blurry as my body went numb with fear. “Kit!” was all I heard before something grabbed onto me and tackled me to the floor. I gasped as my vision cleared and I was jolted back into the world. I glanced at the weight on me; the Khajit suddenly smacked the side of my head. “Look alive, you pathetic Imperial!” and with that she jumped back up and went after the spider. I stared at the spot where I’d been leaning. The wall was oozing with slime; the poisonous spit of the Frostbite spider. She saved me… I didn’t have time to contemplate further what had just occurred as a giant furry leg rushed toward my face. I rolled quickly to my side as the leg slammed into the ground. Scrambling to my feet, I watched as the cat nimbly dodged the legs, slicing at the underside and face of the spider whenever she got the chance. A leg landed near me and I lifted my sword and swung at it, but I was too slow. The leg moved before my blade could cut it. “Stab its body, kit! The body, you fool!” She yelled instructions to me, jumping back to avoid a hairy leg. “How the hell am I supposed to get that close to it?!” I cried annoyed, as I searched for an opening. Everywhere was a mess of moving legs and there was no way in mundus I was going under the monster. “The back, you idiot!” I nearly smacked myself as I realized how obvious that had been. I raced around the arachnid, staying close to the wall, avoiding the legs, and almost tripping twice. The spider let out a series of alien squeals with each slice the Khajit landed. As I moved around the spider, I couldn’t help but notice the fluidity with which the cat moved as she ducked in and out, attacking the spider with each opening it provided her. I made my way quickly behind the spider and, raising my sword, I charged in behind it and slammed down my blade on its abdomen, the weight of the sword adding power to my swing. I closed my eyes as the blade sunk deep and the spider let out a final cry, its legs folding beneath it. The Frostbite Spider collapsed to the ground and fell silent. I opened my eyes and stared at it with a mixture of wonder and disgust. I had killed a Frostbite Spider. A giant Frostbite Spider was dead on my blade. I jerked the steel out of the pest and stumbled back a few steps, my eyes locked on the dead spider. “Good kill, kit,” I jumped and sucked in a small breath as the Khajit placed a gloved hand on my shoulder. I looked at her and she nodded her head at me. “Pull yourself together now; we have this elf to attend.” I nodded and cast a last glance at the spider before turning to our captured companion in the barrow. The dark elf was stuck tight in the web and was struggling in vain to escape. His red eyes made me cringe slightly as I was unused to such intensity and color. Lady Nenya’s eyes had never glowed so fiercely. “What an ugly fly,” the Khajit commented, plainly enjoying the situation the elf was stuck in, a smirk in her voice.