I walk around the brewery, inside, rather unsurprisingly there isn’t much but barrel. Unfortunately the owner is keeping his peepers on me so I can’t get in a barrel and drink my way out! In fact the staff at the brewery seem to have little interesting in getting drunk. I try to organise them to have a few rounds of drinks, but they refuse! I feel useless! They don’t have any beds or even a nice warm fire, so I know when I’m not welcome, despite the horrible rain outside I leave them to their bitter brewery, long may they rot in it!
The path outside is bleak and wet, much like my trousers. Hopefully there is somewhere close by that an 80 year old can get a little refuge. I check my map, I’m about half way to my destination of Riften, all I have to do is navigate the foot of the mountain, this is probably the coldest section of my travel but then once I’m passed it, it’s nothing but forests and streams, or so it appears on the map.
I walk in the biting rain for a good long while, nothing happens save for Meeko and I get wet and cold. We happen upon a blue glowing man killing another man, they haven’t seen me so I hid in some temporary stealth foliage, or ‘a bush’. I can’t get around the chaps locked in mortal combat, my only option is to climb up the mountain away from them. The path is steep, my ankles are very weak and cold, I need to find shelter, I could build a tent but without fire it would be useless, and try as hard as I can, rubbing my wood produces nothing!
In the distance I spot an interesting rock formation, when will I learn interesting is deadly!? As I am looking around a woman jumps out and sprays me with something really cold, as always Meeko leaps to my defence. Note to self, avoid ‘interesting’! But I’m so cold I have to lay down so I make camp among the stones, I try one last try to make fire and hours after rubbing my wood, something emerges! Flames! Before long my wood is hot and I’ve pitched a big tent, and a content night’s sleep was had! Well as soundly as I while sleeping in a tent next to the corpse of a woman my dog has just murdered!
I wake up, the fire must have gone out in the night because I am freezing cold and damp! I can’t do this living rough, I need the comforts of a house. My journey must continue! On the path I spot a guard encampment, I take a close look, they have a roaring fire. It is a pleasant relief, but as I stand there they try and enlist me to fight for them. I don’t know what skills they think I could bring to their ranks. Expert drinker maybe? I decide to leave them before I’m sent to war. Two things happen when I walk out of the camp, 1)I realize Meeko hasn’t been with me all morning 2)three wolves attack me! I turn and run back to camp, the horses bolt, the guards spring into action, I cower near the stew pot. The wolves are put down with ease, but where is Meeko? Maybe if I can’t find him these guards can protect me?
I find Meeko back at the stones where I made camp, he’s just stood there all innocent. I’m worried about his mental condition, he has killed an awful lot of people, he was locked in a three day tussle with a mammoth and now he’s forgetting to follow me. I hope nothing goes wrong with him before I reach Riften, I’d be dead many times over if it weren’t for him!
On the road ahead I see a big bridge over the large river to me left, there are people all over it. I can’t imagine this will end well! I’m terrified to approach it, but I’m dying of cold so I have get past some how or my old man skin will freeze.
Oh god, there’s people running around with bows shooting at something, this isn’t good, either they are bandits killing people or people defending themselves from some other kind of horror, maybe crabs? Either way I have to get by them as quietly as possible. My only worry is Meeko will try and slaughter them all. This is it, if he kills someone I shall have to abandon him, I can’t abide the thought of all this murder, I’d rather use my old sneaky skills rather than let him slaughter more people. Ok here goes!
Unbelievable! We sneak past without a single drop of blood being spilled, and as if the weather was a literal metaphor for my life, the clouds parted and the rain stopped, the sun came out and everything seemed right with the world once more! Yes, I was still very cold and damp but now the sun was out.
Things were finally looking up, the birds were singing, the sky was blue, the sun was shining and there was the sound of laughter in the air.
The sound of laughter? I’m sure I heard giggling! Slight exploration found the source of the mirth! My jaw hits the ground!
Hot springs! oh warm water to sooth my aching old body, a geyser for an old geezer, I approach the warm water only to discover this! People, almost naked people! I feel very embarrassed especially as I had stripped off not knowing there were people right here, I thought I could sneak in a cheeky nude dip with no one seeing my modesty loin cloth. Meeko jumps in the water, I fear he will kill them all, but no, he lays down next to a woman and enjoys the hot water, it’s only polite that I have a chat but for a gathering of naked people, they are surprisingly grumpy!