Well, this adventure isn't off to a very good start, is it? I mean, I wake up to find myself on a cart with my hands bound. There are three others with me and I seem to be the only woman here. Incidentally, I'm also the only Imperial in this group and possibly the only one out of all the captives, whom as far as I can tell, are all Nords, the native human peoples in Skyrim. For some odd reason, the man beside me has his mouth gagged as well as being bound.
In any case, it isn't long before one of them, Ralof, fills me in on the details.
It turns out that in my attempt to cross the border between Skyrim and Cyrodiil I had walked into an ambush set by the Imperial army to capture the Stormcloaks. Seeing as I had been on the road for a while and not really paying attention to any news, Ralof had to put in an extra effort to bring me up to speed.
The Stormcloaks are a rebel group founded by Ulfric Stormcloak, the Jarl of Windhelm, who try to liberate Skyrim from the clutches of the Empire of Tamriel, in response to the ban on Talos worship that was in the White-Gold Concordat treaty. In short: I only ended up here because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and so the Imperials assumed I was another Stormcloak. Another Nord, a horse-thief named Lokir, also shares this bad luck with me.
Looking around, I see that the countryside in Skyrim has a rough, untamed beauty to it, even with the presence of civilization as we near towards the location of our deaths, Helgen. I can only reflect that it is a shame I will not get to see more. I could, of course, plead my innocence but I suspect they will not listen, not with the end of the uprising so close at hand.
It was a very depressing atmosphere that hung over our quartet, what with Lokir's insistence that he and I shouldn't in this cart and Ralof's resignation towards his encroaching death. It isn't long before we arrive at Helgen. Perhaps it's just me but something about it seems to say "ill-fated" to me. Of course, I may be thinking that because I'm about to die here.
Soon, the carts roll to a stop and we have to step off. I can see two soldiers, one of them in captain's armor while the other is in leathers, the latter holding a scroll and pen, probably a checklist of some sort.
"Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm." The Jarl makes his way over to the line of executioners. "It has been a pleasure, Jarl Ufric." Ralof tells him as the man passes by. Despite that he's walking to his execution, Ulfric holds himself high, as a man of his positon should.
"Ralof of Riverwood." He went over to the line as well. I admit I was toying with the idea of escape at this point but then the next name came up.
"Lokir of Rorikstead." Unlike the other two, Lokir decided not to go towards the prisoner line, instead choosing to flee for his life down the road. "You'll never kill me!" Even as he yelled this in defiance, the captain was already calling for the archers to shoot, which promptly shot down my ideas of escape as I watched Lokir fall down to those arrows.
"Anyone else care to try?" It was a question that didn't need to be asked but it set the tone for just how serious the situation was. Just then the second soldier bid me approach, a troubled expression on his face as he saw the prisoner count didn't add up with the one on the list. "Who are you?"
"Valyria Somnus, out of Cyrodiil." Despite the seriousness of my situation, I couldn't help noting he was attractive, in a rugged sort of way that was a rarity in Cyrodiil--Valyria, you're about to be executed...Now isn't the time for flirting! Of course, for all the good that information did, the captain wasn't willing to put in an effort to spare my life, and so I was forced to march down towards the prisoner line even as the soldier promised they'd see to it that my remains were transported back to Cyrodiil.
Naturally, no execution was complete without some ceremony as General Tullius addressed Ulfric, condemning his actions as Usurper and Kingslayer, as well as mentioning something called The Voice. At the same time, strange noises were heard far off in the distance but were quickly disregarded as the General motioned for the captain to proceed.
A priestess of the Divines was told to give us our last rites but she was quickly cut off by one of the Stormcloaks, who volunteered himself to be the first to die even as he interrupted her. I couldn't help but feel some respect for this stranger, as it takes courage to act such in the face of certain death. Even now he boasts that his ancestors were smiling down on him from Sovngarde, asking if his exectioners could say the same.
The headman's axe goes down. It is a neat cut, the head falling neatly into the crate even as the captain pushes the body off the block with her foot. Instantly after this, the strange noises are heard again. They're closer now. Even so, they call for the next prisoner.
"The renegade from Cyrodiil!"
Somehow, I hide what I'm truly feeling even as I approach the wooden block, only disguising it with a mask of disgust as I see that they don't bother to move the first corpse from where it lies, forcing me to kneel over it. I can only watch as the headsman raises his axe for the first and final blow...
"What in Oblivion is THAT!?" A man cries out as a large, winged creature lands on top of the tower.
-Valyria Somnus of Cyrodiil