I suggest reading this while listening to the skyrim theme song. It really enhances the effect.
I turned to the left, spying the enemy soldiers emerging from the cave. I had known they would be there, as the old man in Windhelm had been very helpful, directing me right to where their camp was, a dark cave inset under an icy overhang North of Windhelm. Nothing would have been better, I thought as I readied my weapon. An Imperial longsword, enchanted to inflict damage with both fire and ice along with every swing I made with it. I readied my shield as well, a large banded thing imprinted with the wolf of Solitude, awarded to me by the Jarl of the city of the same name for service rendered in a time of crisis. It was this fearsome visage that awaited the Stormcloak soldiers as they exited their icy abode, weapons raised and eyes peering around the snowy clearing in front of the cave.
“Who comes to the Stormcloaks baring steal and raised shield,” the captain in charge of the camp shouted out. “We will cut down any enemies of Ulfric Stormcloak.”
“Your treachery is at an end,” I yelled pointing my longsword at them, “And your Jarl will fall as well when the time comes.” As I said this Imperial soldiers emerged from the trees behind me, baring steel and notching arrows into bows. “Your treachery is at an end,” I said, “And now you will die Stormcloak.”
With a roar they charged us, and steel met steel as the two sides clashed in the snow. One soldier tripped and fell, only to have his head chopped off as he rose. An arrow from the Stormcloaks took an Imperial soldier in the eye, causing him to shriek in pain as he fell alongside his fellow soldiers. I went straight for their leader aiming a quick slash at the neck. He blocked with a shield of his own, slicing at my face instead. Opting not to block I backed up, letting the attack pass harmlessly before my own face, mere inches away from my skin.
“For Skyrim!” the captain yelled slashing again this time at my armor. I batted this aside with my shield, taking the opportunity to plunge my blade through the armor on his chest into his gut. Blood fell from his mouth as he collapsed, leaving me free to find another enemy to fight. Unfortunately that wasn’t very hard. Many of the Imperials had fallen, leaving the rest of them hard-pressed to survive against the Stormcloak soldiers. Luckily, I had other options available to me. As a knot of Stormcloak soldier cautiously approached me I sheathed my blade, giving them pause, and slung my shield over my back. As they were standing there confused I unleashed a wave of ice from both of my hands, freezing them immediately and causing armor to crack and weapons to shatter. Skin froze over, and where Stormcloak soldiers once stood before only frozen statues of ice remained, screaming in silent agony yet still and now, silent.
An arrow flew by my face after the soldiers were frozen, prompting me to turn and immediately grab my shield to block any further arrows. This it did as I swung it in front of my body, protecting me as I advanced towards the two Stormcloak archers still standing at the front of the cave and firing arrows at me. I shot an icicle at one of the archers, but to my surprise he dodged to the side to avoid it. I did not have much time to ponder that however because my allies had beaten the soldiers and were rushing the archers. I rose, swinging my shield onto my back again as I turned to the captain of the Imperial troops. “We should investigate the hideout,” I said, “They might have gotten orders from the Jarl to move, and if so we have to warn the other patrols.”
“Aye,” the captain said, directing the soldiers to the cave entrance, “Bloody Stormcloaks took out half of my men. They will pay for that later.”
They entered the cave, ducking under wooden crossbeams used to hold to the roof of the cave up. “This looks to be an old mine,” I said, gazing around.
“Or an excavation project,” the captain said in front of me, examining an old Nordic sarcophagus near to the wall. The remaining soldiers spread out across the room, checking the sides of the room for any letters or orders the Stormcloaks might have received. There was no further passage. Obviously the excavation, if it was that, hadn’t gotten far or the cave would have led deeper. Suddenly a group of Draugr burst into the room, decaying husks of bodies that should have been dead or dying baring old Nordic steel at the living soldiers in front of them. The Imperial soldier closest to where they broke in screamed as one of the Draugr looked at him closely, then severed his torso from the rest of his body with a great swipe of a broadsword.
The captain drew out his sword still slicked with blood again and with a quick cut severed a Draugr’s right arm near him. “For Skyrim!” he yelled, and charged them. I was going to leave the fighting to them, as they would make quick work of normal Draugr, but then a Wight emerged from the hole. He looked directly at me, as if he knew me from somewhere before, and charged at me.
I parried his first blow with my sword and turned it into a cut that drew blood from the decayed corpse, but it seemed to faze it little. I hastily dodged another swipe from the thing’s sword, blocking a third with my shield as I struck at his body, knocking off a few ribs but dealing little damage. The Wight suddenly made an attack more quickly than before, and I wasn’t fast enough to avoid it. I bled a little from the cut to the thigh, but to make up for the weakness I pushed him hard, driving him back towards the hole in the wall. Peering behind it I could see an empty crypt, now that the bodies had risen from their places. As I was attacking the Wight tripped over an old piece of bone, causing it to stagger and giving me the opening I needed. I cut off its head, finally laying him to rest. The others mopped up the average Draugr, and I bent to heal my wound.
My hands glowed golden as I put away my sword and shield, and as I set them to my injured leg they shimmered with light that could only be seen as magical, like a dozen fireflies flitting about the wound. I sighed as the wound slowly closed up, feeling cold and then finally sealing with only a slight mark to show where the sword had once connected with the leg. Drained as I was I still healed the worst of the injuries that the other soldiers had sustained. One had had his left arm almost hewn off by a Draugr great sword, and the other had taken multiple nasty cuts from an old war axe.
I healed them as well, and once they were ready to move we investigated the crypt. Cautious of more Draugr, the few soldiers that were left carefully poked around at the few remaining bodies in the crypt’s resting places. The captain wearily watched them.“May Savngard take them all, does nothing stay dead any more?” he said, shaking his head at the bodies, “First the dragons, and now Draugr in every crypt and resting place.”
I nodded in agreement, but his talk of dragons had drawn my eyes to the back of the crypt, for it seemed to be glowing, or rather, some runes seemed to be glowing in some sort of black stone… I pointed to it, “Do you see that?” I asked, “The glowing runes there behind the main coffin?” The nearest Imperial squinted at where I was pointing, and as he stepped onto the platform with the coffin the top of it broke in two, gray stone hitting the floor on either side as a Draugr Wight Lord rose from the remains. The glowing bright blue eyes under the cracked and rusting Nordic helm paused for a moment, and then sought out the people in the room. The eyes slowly rested on each one of us and then centered on me.
The soldier that was next to the thing roared and attacked the Wight, attempting to cut off one of its legs before it could get out of the coffin. The sword stuck in the leg armor with a dull thud, leaving the soldier standing there looking angrily at the Wight. The Wight Lord turned to the soldier and then suddenly he was flying backward, ripping his sword out of the leg armor in the process as he flew into the wall hard enough to rattle his head violently inside his helmet.
“What was that?” the captain said. I shook my head. I didn’t know, but we had to kill this thing. The captain and the two soldiers that were left regrouped and then slowly advanced on the beast as it extricated itself from the remains of its coffin. I circled around behind it, sword poised to attack as soon as the soldiers engaged. Then it did something I had not expected, it roared something at me, and suddenly my sword was whirling across the room. It clanged on the floor behind me and as I went to retrieve it the Wight Lord turned to engage the encroaching Imperials. It didn’t take long. Two scored solid hits on it before they died but it seemed they had no effect. The captain survived the death of his subordinates but could not score any visible damage on the creature as it drove him back to the wall, and finally scored a savage blow to the captain’s helmet- knocking him down and removing him from the fight. I retrieved my sword and engaged it.
My fighting wasn’t flawed, but this wretched undead lord must have been quite the warrior when it lived, for it matched my movements point for point. I swung at its side, and it would block. It swung at my head, and I would parry. I would attempt to stab and it would move aside to dodge it. It was not using its strange voice power but it didn’t need to, I was starting to get weary and it was relentless and untiring in its assault. Finally I tripped on the steps behind its coffin, leading up to the strange black wall. On a large brazier I could see old bones. Large, possibly dragon bones. Meanwhile as the Draugr was approaching to land the final blow I began to hear some chanting faintly out of my ears. It seemed to be coming from nowhere, but as I scuffled backwards it intensified. The Draugr paused and I realized there was energy flowing around me, coming from the brazier and the wall, the Word Wall, behind me. Suddenly a word popped into my head, and I felt the power to use it. I meant to merely say it, but it came out as a mighty roar sending the Wight Lord flying across the room and smashing into one of the resting places.
I stood up, feeling power coursing through me. The Draugr was struggling to get up, but many of its bones had been broken, making any movement difficult. I strode up to it and it growled, looking up at me with its blue eyes. I plunged my sword between those eyes and they slowly faded to gray as its soul finally left its body for Savngarde. I checked both the captain and the soldier that had gone flying, and decided that they would live. I left the cave, snow falling around me as I surveyed the surrounding mountains and trees. A roar sounded off in the distance, a dragon roar, I knew and…I, I am the Dragonborn.