There’s a whole road out of the village that I haven’t even glanced at yet, so that’s where we’re headed today. Exciting! After the last few drearily overcast days, it’s a pleasantly warm and sunny morning when Ymelda heads out East-ish, uphill, in search of herbs, fungi, and maybe a little fun.
It is a very steep hillside, and quite weary work. There’s a ruin off to the left, high up on a mountain, but something about it is way too ominous. I barely even consider heading towards it. Maybe later, once I’ve depopulated the area of valuable plant life.
I’m a little wary today. Some of the guards and locals have intimated that the area around town can be dangerous, and something’s telling me I’m overdue a mugging. In Cyrodiil I could barely walk ten feet without some idiot bandit trying their luck, but here I’ve not seen one for a couple of days.
Sure enough, when I reach a plateau and a junction in the road, heading left sees me under fire from an unseen archer. A pass between two cliffsides up ahead is spanned by a rope bridge and some kind of wooden tower, and it’s coming from somewhere around there. This is either really terrible banditry from someone who doesn’t understand how ambushes work, or it’s a warning from an organised gang who I really don’t want to mess with.
Despite taking cover behind a tree, I’m unable to pinpoint where the attack is coming from, and can’t see any movement at all. Nobody’s giving chase, either. Yeah, I think I should take this as a hint and turn back.
Fortunately, there’s still ground to cover back in the other direction. Lots of mushrooms here, and I even catch a butterfly basking in the sun. Foolish lepidoptera. I am a mighty hunter.
Oh hey, another tower.
Uh oh. I can hear bees. Time to earn your sneaking badge, hide boots. I’m not going in there with one of those bee spirits lurking, but there are some flowers just by the entrance that taunt me so. Damn plants, thinking they’re so big, with their snooty pollination, and their direct absorption of light. You think you’re better than me, little flower? Well I’ll pick you. I’ll pick you good!
Oh hey, I’ve circled round. This looks like the other end of a road I passed by on … wait, what day is it today? Well anyway, it’s a nice from from up here.
After a few hours of picking, and an abortive attempt to scale the mountain that did little more than coat me with a light film of snow, I’m about to cross onto territory I’ve already stripped. And then I hear voices up ahead. Two dark figures are lurking. Can’t make out what they’re saying, but they’re coming this way. As I happen to be up on a ridge overlooking the road, I’m in a good spot to let them go past.
They don’t look like bandits to me. More like soldiers, although I don’t know what army has those headscarves and pretty funky scimitars. Let’s say hello, see what happens. If they’re hostile I think I can escape directly down the rock face – I’m no stranger to the gravity-assisted exit.
Oooh, they’re Redguards!
I … see. You are looking for a redguard woman, eh.
Well, good luck!
These guys are “Alik’r Warriors”, and after my moment of panic, I’ve realised that they’re probably not looking for me. I haven’t annoyed anyone from Alik’r, and even the people I have probably think I’m dead.
Huh. I’ve just realised that this whole situaton could be exactly what I was looking for after all. A whole new life, with no baggage, and no guards on my case.
Anyway, Alik’r is a region in Hammerfell. I guess these two are looking for a fugitive to arrest, since assassins wouldn’t dress so conspicuously. They must have just crossed the border on foot, so I’m more than a little glad it’s not me they want. That’s not an easy walk. I follow them back to Falkreath, where they make themselves at home in the barracks. Along the way I munch on some apples and do my best to ignore their disapproving glares. Well excuse me for going in the same direction as some fellow countrymen. I was here first, you know.
Just look at the filthy look that guy on the left is giving me. You’d think I’d just gatecrashed a funeral. As they’re being so moody, I ditch them once we get back to town, losing interest in their mission. Since I have a few hours to kill, I wander round the village.
A little sparring practice wouldn’t hurt. Take this! And that! Furthermore, this!
Still watching you, pal. Don’t get any ideas.
NO MOURNING. This is a public corner. Please take your grief to the designated area, as defined under convention 314 of the ‘murdered daughter’ village ordnance. Thank you for your co-operation.
Not much else to see in this town. Back at the inn for another night, a local farmer interrupts my meal to tell me how he likes to keep to himself. I have not the words. I’ve one direction left to explore in, though, and that’s back up the way I first entered the village. I think I’ll get an early night and set out before dawn. Got to get the herbs. Got to get the power. Got to get the wimmin.