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The travel journal: a week in SKYRIM (episode 1)

From Riverwood to Whiterun (day 1-2)

A very different let's play adventure..

I have decided to spend seven days as a tourist in the province of Skyrim. An outsider in the land of legends, roaring fires, frosty nights, sweetrolls and sweet trolls — as well as people who do not understand the concept of personal space. The following is a journal of my experiences here, and the people I meet along the way.


6 PM

The rain and wind are relentless, and I can hear wolves roaming around the pine forest. I light my torch to get a better view of my surroundings. My map tells me that I am standing at the ruins of Helgen — the scene of a large battle that occurred when a dragon, Alduin the world-eater, unleashed his fire-breath upon the once prospering village — at least thats what my guide book tells me. This province is full of legends and myths. I am excited to find out the truth of it all during my time here. Tonight I am heading to the village of Riverwood.

7.30 PM

I have my first encounter with the wildlife, near a little river, as a wolf suddenly jumps out and starts growling at me. As I have never been much of an outdoorsman, I panic and let out a high pitch scream and weakly punch it in the nose. Lucky for me, this catches the beast off guard, and it clumsily falls into the river and gets carried away by the torrents below. I decide to pick up the pace and quickly head for the gates of Riverwood.

8 pm

I arrive in Riverwood, a little stirred by the dramatic canine encounter. I am absolutely soaked. I decide to rent a room at the local inn “The Sleeping Giant”. Inside the tavern I am greeted by a crackling fireplace and a woman named Camilla, who is the first local I speak to. She sends honeyed words in my direction informing me that “It is a fine day with you around.” With new-found confidence, I make my way towards the inn-keep Orgnar as I wish to rent a room.

I also order some spiced wine and some bread. It will go nicely the salmon I somehow accidentally plucked out of the river earlier, when I was fighting the wolf. Fishing seems to be rather easy in the waters of this province.. I mean, I do not even have fishing rod. Anyway, the salted fish is very tasty and the bread is freshly baked and still steaming when I break it apart. The wine is curiously served in a bottle with no glass lying on a wooden plate in this tavern. What an interesting custom.

10 pm

Feeling the effects of the wine, I decide to talk to the other patrons before heading to bed. A man named Alvor, who is apparently the village blacksmith, enthusiastically informs me that “Gerdur’s family settled in Riverwood years ago. They are passionate about sharpening axes”. I absolutely have no idea who that is, Alvor. I unconvincingly fake an interest and decide to leave this boring chatterbox alone immediately. Fortunately, the perfect distraction materializes. The local bard Sven takes the stage. Maybe it is the spiced wine talking, but I am entirely captivated by his wonderful baritone voice and long golden hair.

Unfortunately the experience is somewhat lessened by the fact that Alvor is as bad at clapping as he is at smalltalk. He is terribly rhythmically challenged.

Before heading to bed I stop by Orgnar to say goodnight, and also to purchase a flask of mead. I need a nightcap to wash down the awkward conversational skills of the blacksmith. The inn-keep tells me that there is currently a love triangle unfolding between Sven, Camilla and someone named Faendal. I am honestly not surprised that Sven is involved. Who can resist that absolute dreamboat of a man. I am, however, a little disheartened that Camilla is a part of this. I assume her words to me when I entered the tavern were simply meant as a friendly greeting then. Oh well, it would not be the first time I read too much into things.Time for bed.

Tomorrow I am traveling to the bustling city of Whiterun. I am excited to see the famous tree called Gildergreen. I fall asleep to the sound of rain hitting against the small windows above my bed. I hope for better weather in the morning.


7.30 AM

After a quick breakfast consisting of some local honningbrew mead and one of Skyrim’s famous sweetrolls I head outside. To my dismay it is still raining heavily, and the village is obscured by a thick morning mist. I can, however, see Sven standing in front of me. I am feeling nervous in his effervescent presence, so I hesitantly approach him. He tells me “ You should come watch me play at the Sleeping Giant Inn sometime.” Really Sven?! I fight the urge to slap his smug face, and decide to leave Riverwood behind as soon as I have purchased a hood that can protect me from the epic downpour taking place around me.

8.30 AM

I am traveling the main road toward Whiterun. A deer is elegantly jumping past me. In front of me, I see a small stone bridge crossing the river. On the other side I find a wooden sign confirming that I am heading in the right direction.

Further down the road, I see a what appears to be a farm materializing out from the mist. Upon further inspection, I discover that this is, in fact, the Honningbrew meadery -one of Skyrim’s two large breweries, the other being the slightly more succesful Black-Briar meadery located south in the city of Riften. I must remember to try that one as well.

With a spring in my step I head inside to give my compliments to the proprietor of this fine establishment. Inside, and happy to be out of the rain for a while, I see an eerie looking man, standing behind the counter. His name is Mallus, which is strange, as my guide tells me the meadery is supposed to be run by a fellow called Sabjorn. Nevertheless, I order a drink and attempt to strike up a conversation.

Mallus sends me a greasy smile and gives me my drink and says“So.. You have some juicy goods to sell?” I do not appreciate the way he looks at me. My eyes are up here Mallus. Feeling slightly creeped out, I nervously down my beverage and hurry out into safety.

To my delight the rain has finally evaporated and the skies have started to clear, granting me a better view of my surroundings. A light drizzle of snow is beginning to fall silently on these harsh, but beautiful lands.

I see Whiterun, and the famous keep of Dragonsreach located in the cloud district, towering in the distance. I hear that people do not go there very often.

Crossing the bridge and approaching Whiterun, I am met by what appears to be a courier of sorts who is sprinting by me. He startles me by shouting “ NO TIME FOR CHATTING” right into my ear. Before I can respond, he disappears around the corner after running headfirst into a pine tree. What a special lad. Arriving at the gates of Whiterun I hear a bloodcurdling scream“ DIE DAMN YOU!”. I quickly run to see what is happening. A fully armored guard is bashing a crab in the face with a battleaxe. I have a feeling that this neighborhood is a little rough for my taste.

1 PM

Finally inside the gates, I am taken aback by the charms of the city. I am standing in the middle of the main street. There is a blacksmith manically working on what appears to be thousands of iron daggers to my right. The scent of smoke hits my nostrils as I make my way down towards the square. I see a chicken arrogantly strolling about like it owns the place, and I am reminded that my stomach is aching for some lunch. I purchase some goat cheese and a loaf of bread and a handfull of juniper berries I intend to mix into my ale later.

I meet and elderly woman selling gemstone jewelry in front of the tavern. She looks me in the eyes and says “I hope your parents are proud of you”. Given the nature of this journey, I can assure her that they are not. I ask for directions to the Gildergreen, and I am pointed up a large staircase leading to the upper parts of the city.

2.50 PM

I approach the majestic tree anchoring the middle of a small plaza. It is a sight to behold indeed. Tall, regal and with striking purple flowers creating a luminescent crown and filling the air with a relaxing scent. It is said, to be the offspring of the oldest living thing in Skyrim: an ancient tree called the Eldergleam. A small child sitting on a nearby bench snaps me out of it by yelling “Can you be my father??” at me. I mumble and smile nervously and run up towards Dragonsreach without looking back.

Standing outside the keep, I have a beautiful view over the hold of Whiterun. In the distance I see the mythical mountain called the Throat of the World. I decide that I want to walk the fabled 7000 steps up to the monastery of High Hrotgar in the morning.

4.30 PM

If I am to embark on that perilous journey tomorrow, I need to purchase some better boots. I therefore head down to the general store, making sure to take an alternative route in order to avoid the needy little child stalking the area looking for a parent.

A sly merchant named Belethor sells me some quality hide boots and an assortment of meat, bread, apples and tomatoes. He subsequently thanks me for not putting a bucket on his head. I am not sure what that means.

Feeling my sore muscles after a long day on the road, I decide to head towards the local inn “The Bannered Mare”. I might as well sleep in comfortable surroundings with a belly full of ale and roasted meat tonight, as I will have to sleep outside tomorrow.

Entering the tavern, a man named Sam Guevenne immediately challenges me to a drinking contest. I tell him I will think about it, but tonight I need to rest. In any case, something about the offers seems strange - I cannot put my finger on it.

After a meal consisting of some roasted pheasant, delightfully seasoned with local herbs and cooked with plenty of butter, and a big mug of ale with juniper berries, I decide to sit by the fire in order to get the damp out of my hair. The patrons here are strange. A man behind me is having his own private cake party, and my fully armored neighbour keeps staring at me while sniffing a loaf of bread repeatedly. Feeling absolutely uncomfortable, I decide to call it a day in turn in for the night. I have a big day tomorrow afterall.


10 PM

I retire to my room, excited about the adventure to come. What will I see? Which places do I have to visit? I mark my progress on the map and decide that I will take a carriage to the town of Ivarsted tomorrow and begin my ascend up the mountain from there.

With a smile on my face, and comforted by the thought that boring Alvor is very far away on this night, I fall asleep.

My journey thus far. Where should I go next?

Next episode can be found here (full season):

Episode 2: The Throat of the World

Episode 3: Journey to the College of Winterhold

Episode 4: The magical LARP-event (Life as a Real Pyromancer)

Episode 5: The Dark Brotherhood ruined my vacation

Skyrim Pub Crawl episode 1 (Video)

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