17 Last Seed

I'm currently in Riverwood, having been taken in by a kindly family. I suppose I should elaborate – this entry is a far cry from my last. I don't quite know how to explain everything that's happened to me within the span of a single day; the world is so different now, so much more complex…

Late last night, the legion soldier's woke us, only to tie us up and throw us in a wagon like pigs to the market. I was able to rest for most of the journey, but when I awoke, it was to find that we were being taken to our execution. Most of my fellow captives were rebels to the Empire – among them, their Usurper King, Ulfric Stormcloak. Though I wasn't on the list, the imperial captain ordered my death, simply because I was present. I couldn't – cannot – believe it. How could they be so callous towards the destruction of a human life? I had thought enough only to ask for a notice to be given to my parents; one of the guards was kind enough to allow me write a brief farewell.

I- As I kneel, I saw a dragon. I realize it sounds absurd, and I still can't fathom it, but Helgen lies in ruin – testament enough to the beast's existence. As I kneel there, breathless and senseless, it looked at me with soulless red eyes, and roared, calling fire from the sky itself! I must have fainted, for Ralof woke me and half dragged me to the fort. I owe him my life, for I would surely have perished had he not come to my aid. Never have I been so terrified as I was this morning.

Blocked in, we had nowhere else to go. The dragon smashed through part of the tower, and somehow I was able to leap down to the burning inn below, at Ralof's insistence. I became separated from him at that point, but there was one guard who sought to protect me. (I believe he was the one who promised to see my remains off to High Rock, after my execution. Very thoughtful of him.) I did not feel that I could entirely trust him, seeing as only moments prior, he was sending me to my doom. When we met with Ralof again at the keep, I chose to go with him. It was an incredibly foolish notion, but I felt that of the two, the rebel was the safer choice. I fear that had I gone with the soldier, I would have found my way back to the headsman, after the crisis was over. The soldier's we met in the keep only helped to reinforce that idea.

Ralof had no hesitation in killing all of the guards we ran into. But then, what choice did he have? We – I should say Ralof, for I spent most of the endeavor trying to remain unnoticed – fought our way through the keep, and down into the tunnels that run beneath it. We left just as the dragon was moving on, his destruction complete. Ralof suggested splitting up, but I am a foreigner in this strange and brutal land, and I had just escaped several deaths. Knowing my luck, I would have walked right into a pack of rabid werewolves. So I came with him, to Riverwood. He spoke with his sister and told her everything. His sister, Gerdur, was kind enough to allow us to stay with her family until we were recovered. She went so far as to lend me a key to her home! Me, a complete stranger! I have never felt so… I cannot possibly begin to express my gratitude. When I told her as much, Gerdur suggested I might repay her kindness by informing the Jarl of Whiterun of the recent attack on Helgen, and to seek aid for Riverwood. It's the very least I can do for her and her family. This is, perhaps, the most fortune I've had since leaving the Imperial City.

Tomorrow, I shall venture north, but for now, I feel I could sleep for an era.

A blood-spattered letter

Consider these my final words: Mother – I love you. Father – I'm so sorry. This whole adventure was a mistake; from the very beginning, I've been plagued with nothing but misfortune. I only wanted to make my own path in this world. I never expected any of this. I was a fool to leave, and I'm so sorry for the pain and alarm I have put you both through. You'll never read this, I know. Still, with my dying thoughts, I give you all my love.

Your dim-witted daughter, Marlis.

A ripped page from The Firmament

Someone heard that we're going to be transported soon. I don't know if this is a relief or not. Could they be taking us to the capital, to a proper prison? There, I know Father would find me. He'll be so disappointed, but I'd gladly take that over another night away from home.

A torn and crumpled piece of parchment

They brought two more men in, early this morning. I'm ashamed to admit that I can't tear my eyes from the one. He's large and well-built with long blond hair, similar to most of the Nords I met in Bruma. Similar to all Nords, really. I don't know why I find him so fascinating – he's some kind of criminal, for Mara's sake! Still, I find myself looking at him for no reason in particular.

A small scrap of paper

I awoke last night after hearing a peculiar sound. I think it must have been the remnants of a dream, for I cannot think of anything that sounds quite like what I heard. What puzzles me is that I believe some of the other prisoners heard it too. Maybe I was talking in my sleep and woke them…? I can't keep my mind together anymore. Who’s to say what I know?

A stained note

I don't know where to begin. It's all so surreal.

I'm sitting in a cramped room – a makeshift prison cell – alongside five others. As I was nearing the mountain's summit, I heard shouting and was suddenly ambushed by a legion of soldiers. They were yelling and cursing, demanding I surrender myself. I had, and still have, no idea what is going on. I fell to the ground in fear and they grabbed me and bound my hands. They took my belongings. They brought me, on a wagon, to this small fort and threw me into this cell. I begged to have my journal back, as it's the only possession I truly care for. It was only after I began to weep, that one of the guards relented and gave me a scrap of paper and a piece of charcoal. It may not be my journal, but writing helps to distract my mind and calm my nerves.

I informed the guards that my father is a member of the council, but I don't think they believe me. If I could write to him, surely he would come to my aid. I'm sure I can convince the kind guard to have a letter delivered. They can only hold me here for so long; my family is looking for me, and it's only a matter of time before they learn of my arrival in Bruma. Father will find me, I know it.