31 Last Seed

I stopped through Windhelm, in order to rest and trade my findings in for something more practical to a wayward adventurer. As I was leaving the market, I happened upon a gruesome scene. A nord woman had been found, brutally murdered in the graveyard. The attack was so violent, I could see clear down to the bone in many places. Whatever sick madman did this... She had been stripped of her clothing, but her coin purse and dagger were found not far from the body. I offered to help the guard track down the killer. I now know that Aventus couldn't possibly have anything to do with this. Something this ferocious could only be done by a strong, fully grown man.

... I spoke with the witnesses and examined the crime scene. No one saw anything, but I spoke with Helgrid, the caretaker, and she told me the wounds looked to have been made with nordic embalming tools. An interesting lead. I also found a trail of blood which led to an abandoned house. I'll need to speak with someone about getting the key.

... This house has been, by and large, untouched. There's a chest filled with leaflets and a bound journal. I wonder if this is the killer's lair? Could I defend myself if we were to cross paths?

... I've concluded my investigation. After searching the abandoned house, I discovered the diary of the butcher; a necromancer who hopes to create some sort of perfected undead. It turns my stomach thinking of it. I also found a strange amulet and a hidden room with an alter. I took the amulet to Calixto, who owns the oddity museum; he informed me that the necklace is a special item given only to court mages. Wuunferth the Unliving will never harm another innocent again. I presented my evidence to Jorleif, and the mage was arrested without incident.

... I went to check on Aventus. He thanked me profusely and gave me a silver plate. Apparently I could not hide my emotion, or else that child has telepathic abilities, for I had no intention of telling him the truth. While there may not be any hope for him, I still feel the need to make sure he's well. He doesn't have anyone in the world, and no one in Windhelm wants anything to do with him. I think it best I leave the city as soon as possible; it eats at my conscious to be near that boy. I'll have some mead at the candlewick and be on my way.

30 Last Seed

I returned to Shroud Hearth Barrow, and pulled the dark elf free. I lay his body to rest in one of the tombs lining the wall. I also found his diary, as well as two bottles of a 'phantom' potion. His name was Wyndelius, and he was looking for some sort of treasure in this crypt - he went so far as to concoct that potion, in order to scare away and adventurer's who came by. He had been living here for a year, and seemed to have lost his mind. In the end, he truly believed himself to be some sort of ghostly guardian. What a terrible fate.

... I managed to break through one of the locked doors, and found a strange arrangement on the back wall - a door with three slots, and three rotating wheels with pictures on them. After studying the dragon claw Wilhelm gave me, I was able to unlock the door. These claws appear to be keys!

... Another long, grueling trek through ancient caverns. More draugr. More puzzles. There were skeletons this time, but they're not quite so powerful as their fleshy cousins. At least I had thought enough to stock up on potions when I was last at Riften. I collected another tidy sum of coin and treasures. More importantly, I found another strange wall. It eases my mind, knowing that what I experienced before wasn't some grand delusion. The same unnatural pull, calling to me on some base level. This word meant 'Kyne'. Not as sinister as the last, but still puzzling. What does this mean? Now, more than ever, I feel I must get to Winterhold.

29 Last Seed

After buying myself lunch and a drink, I spoke with the inn-keep, Wilhelm, and he informed me of a haunted barrow nearby. I know he meant it as a warning, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I simply had to take a look for myself. I no more than set foot inside the door, when I voice called out. 'Leeeeave, leave this place at ooooonce." My first thought was that the town had not a poltergeist, but a dunmer with poor taste in humor. I crept through the perfectly safe tomb, and found an elf - who looked very much like a ghost - sitting at a table, eating a loaf of bread. I, for one, have never heard of ghosts needing sustenance in order to manifest. As soon as the mer saw me, he attacked with a terrible lightening spell. (My hair is ruined, I fear.) I was startled by his reaction, and so I ran back to the antechamber. There was a series of levers needed to activate all of the main gates, and as I went to pull one, I heard a sickening sound. I turned, only to find this 'ghost' impaled on the iron gate. In my panic, I immediately lifted the door, but to my horror, the dunmer went up with the mechanism - the ghostly glow faded from him, along with his lifeforce. I pray to Arkay that it granted him a quick death - my restoration skills wouldn't have done him a bit of good. I told the guards and Wilhelm what had happened, but they all seemed relieved to know that the threat was eliminated. Wilhelm even gave me a little trinket of a dragon's claw as a token of his appreciation; I'm going to throw the thing in a lake as soon as I leave. I shall be haunted by the images I saw. At least it will break the monotony of revisiting Helgen in my dreams...

28 Last Seed

I bought a horse from Shadr this morning. I was just about to set out, when I saw, from the corner of my eye, the most gorgeous draft horse. She is far larger than any of the horses in Cyrodiil, (I think nords must need large horses; the stable owner told me he earned his name by sitting on a colt and snapping its back in half. Poor thing.) her coat is a dappled grey, and her mane and tail are black, but she has white feathering on her legs. I have named her Zinovia.

... as I was traveling, I found a merchant sitting alongside the road. I offered him a ride back to his camp. As soon as he dismounted, he and his friends began pelting me with arrows! That will teach me to think twice before I lend anyone my aid. Zinovia was hit with a stray arrow, and while the wound doesn't appear to be critical, I think I'll stay at Ivarstead for a few days, in order to for her to recuperate.

27 Last Seed

I've taken a carriage to Riften, being that it is a long trip, and I have yet to fully recover.

I arrived in the early hours of the morning, and not wanting to wake Grelod, I decided to take a stroll around town, until the hour was decent. As I passed the Bee and Barb, I overheard a woman extorting a redguard. Apparently the man, Shadr, had borrowed money from the woman, Sapphire, and promised to repay her after he'd sold off the shipment he had invested in. The shipment was robber before Shadr could sell it; Sapphire is clearly behind this. I confronted her, and after a bit of persuasion, she agreed to let the issue drop. Shadr was very grateful for my intervention - it feels good to help those in need.

... I decided not to tell Grelod about the contract. As I entered Honorhall, I stopped to speak with one of the children. Someone had neglected to close the cupboard door and I saw, to my horror, shackles lined along the wall. There was straw strewn along the floor, and even from across the room, I could detect the smell of urine and human waste. I left and sought out the guards, but they're just as useless at the ones at Windhelm. I don't know what to do, but something must be done. Those children cannot live in these conditions! I won't allow it!

... I bought an elixir from Elgrim. I think it will help to ease my mind.

26 Last Seed

I returned the phial to Nurelion; I wish I hadn't. He accused me of breaking it, then insulted me by saying I wouldn't have the intelligence to do so. He gave me 5 drakes for my efforts, and I am surprised he didn't spit on me on my way out! His assistant, Quintus, was more understanding, and paid me 500 drakes. I'm not entirely sure it was worth risking my life over, as I could have easily died of my wounds. I am still weak and weary from my injury, but I chose to travel, despite that.

... I met with Jarl Stormcloak's court mage, Wuunferth the Unliving. I was asked by one of the merchants to deliver some specimens, and to my astonishment, the mage paid me 250 drakes! While I was there, I asked for some training in destructive magic, and told him my interest in visiting the college. Wuunferth also taught me how to produce a proper firebolt, so as soon as I've met with Grelod, I shall, once more, return to Winterhold.

P.S. I lay awake, thinking of Nurelion. I feel badly for my attitude this morning. I can't imagine what it would be like, devoting your entire life to one quest, only to be disappointed with what you've found. It would seem a waste of a life, I think. He might otherwise have married, had a family, and been happy; instead, he shall die a bitter, lonely old man. I think I may make a donation to the temple in his name, after he passes. I have a heavy heart, knowing how much I've profited, while Nurelion's hopes and dreams were dashed.

25 Last Seed

I fainted from the blood loss; a very dangerous predicament. I can't say how long I was out, but I woke to a very curious sensation. I felt as if I was being pulled forward by unseen forces. I remember hearing... chanting? It sounds crazy, I realize. It was almost as though I was enchanted, unable to control my own mind or body. All I knew was the call of that mural. Along the back wall of the cavern, there was a huge wall, covered in strange markings. There was one part that stood out to me, vividly. I don't know how to explain it, but I simply knew, deep in my heart, what that etching meant. I am disturbed by this turn of events. Perhaps I am losing my mind, perhaps I'm simply addled due to my injuries. It meant 'to kill'. It chills my blood, thinking of it. That wall was surely enchanted, infused with some nefarious magic. It's the only explanation that makes sense. I have resolved myself to gain entry to the College of Winterhold, so I might visit the Ysmir Collective. Surely there must be some knowledge of this foul magic?

Further exploring the crypt, I have discovered Nurelion's White Phial. It is cracked, but I hope someone will be able to restore it. Even so, my journey was not in vain, as I have amassed a nice sum of drakes, as well as precious gems, gold and silver ingots, ancient weapons, and enough ingredients to make Mother green with envy. I shall retire at the soonest possible point, and pray that my strength doesn't fail me before I can at least make it to the road. I recall seeing an inn, not too far from this cave. May the Eight protect and guide me.