The below passage is in character – at the bottom is an out of character entry
The snow crunches under my feet. To my right I can see the hold of Whiterun stretch out before me. Soon there will be a battle there – I can almost see the soldiers and siege-engines gathered in the plain before the citadel of Dragonsreach. For the moment this land holds it breath, as it waits for one of the two sides to muster the energy to strike. Ever since Alduin arrived both sides have been distracted, and there is a balance between them. It is almost as if they are prisoners of that balance. Well, soon enough that harmony will be broken. A gust of wind blows snowdust in my face. I ignore its biting cold, and continue down the many steps of the descent from High Hrothgar.
I should visit Riften before I go back to Solitude. After that though my course it set – to Whiterun, then Winstad, and then to prove myself to Tullius. My mouth curls into a sneer – out here on the mountain side with only Lydia behind me I can allow myself a moment of honest expression. The old Imperial is arrogant and proud, but I have need of him. Well, the world will be better with fewer bandits, and perhaps I can allow myself to run free. I stop a moment and look to Lydia. She pauses and tilts her head in question, her armour glinting in the last sunlight. I smile, “Just remembering,” I say above the whistle of the wind. I turn back to the path, and she does not reply.
We turn into the stony gully – a brief shelter from the wind. The body of the Frost Troll has not yet been scavenged. The Stormcloak rebellion was about to become headless at Helgen, when Alduin arrived. Was that blind fortune? Had he been just a little later Ulfric would be dead – and so would I. As it was perhaps Alduin understood enough of Skyrim to save Ulfric – and keep the rebellion alive. This war benefits him. His grief will be that I was not slain when he landed on that tower. However, I will need a united land to bring him to ruin – that seems plain. The moon rises over the mountain’s shoulder. One must tread carefully in the darkness – it is a long way to fall and I do not think even I would survive. I do not entirely trust Paarthunax and Arngeir, but it seems it required a great many people to bring about Alduin’s first fall – and the Wall seems to say the same. Skyrim must be united and my choice is clear in that – Ulfric is little more than a pawn of the Thalmor, This Empire might be weak, but it will serve me better. Besides Ulfric should die – were it not for him I would never have found myself in binds on the cart to Helgen. I am sure Talos understands.
We approach the snowline. The lights of Ivarstead are below, counterpoint to the stars above. I breathe in, and snort out. If this were some badly written novel I would have a moment of crisis now, thinking about right and wrong. Silliness. I am who I am. Lydia stands beside me, but says nothing. She knows me by now, but is still loyal. Time to descend and play the part I have assumed. It is not so great a burden to be the good Nord, for the moment.
My character is Skyrim must not be overly concerned by the arrival of dragons, given how frequently he keeps delaying progress on the path to dealing with them. Well, to be fair he has so far survived every encounter with a dragon. I had the Diplomatic Immunity quest in my log for about fifteen levels, and then the Alduin’s Wall quest for nearly ten. Now I have decided to unite Skyrim before continuing with the Main Questline it will likely be another few levels before I move forward yet again.
Along the way I have both slain my first Ancient Dragon and also levelled my first skill to 100. I have also now, at long last, visited each of the holds. In Markath, capital of The Reach, I picked up various quests but I think I will mostly let the area be until after the war. There is just a lot to do there, and right now I feel there is just too much to do elsewhere. Finally I have completed building up Winstad Manor – with the Bedroom, Storage, and Armoury wings (ie, of all the same style). It should be a suitable base for the next portion of my activity which is going to focus heavily in and around Solitude.