With Alvor lifelessly sprawled out on the burrial chamber floor and three Draugr roaming the room now awakened from what should have been an eternal slumber, I'm stuck in a dark corner with my bow out and an arrow notched.  I have to be careful do I proceede?  If they surround me as they did him, there's no way I'll be able to take them.  Even with two daggers I can only stab two at a time...if only I could weild a third with my tail!  What to do, what to do?

I decided to very slowly, very carefuly place three arrows in a bunch or dirt and dust next to me, fletch sticking up.  With any luck their old dried skin and bones won't be as tough as boiled leather.  Drawing as easily as I could I honed in on my first target, the closest to me - some mostly naked creature with an old war axe in his hand.  I loose the arrow, right in the chest and it's down!  Quickly I fire the other two in succession, popping both the remiaining Dragr in the chest, as well.  One a long-dead female with a sword, the other wielding a battle axe.  With the room clear I decide that it'd be best if I sneak through the burrial chambers...with any luck I won't distrub any more of the dead.

Moving to other end of the room, I notice a pressure plate on the ground and carefully move around it.  My old Nord friend told me these places are usually riddled with traps and such - not as ellaborate as some of the Dwemer ruins he and I used to dive into, but dangerous nonetheless.  I see a Draugr in a burrial slot that looks a lot like the others that came back to life...I give him as wide a birth as I can and move down the hallway, luckily he doesn't move.  Down a small set of step I enter another large chamber filled with dead, or resting, ancient Nords.  Slowly moving through the room I stick to shadows and watch my steps.  About halfway across notice the next hallway has swinging axes in it - how wonderful!  While I'm watching the axes, trying to gather their timing, I step on a twig or something and it cracks!  My whol world freezes, I look around...I thought one of them moved to the sound.  I quitely and quickly draw my bow...nothing...they don't move.  I ease the arrow back into the quiver and start moving again.  I have never encountered large swinging axes before, but I feel as though I already know I don't like them.  I'm watching them as I stand next to the hallway's door, trying to time my next move.  I step between the first and second, then the second and third, but as I step past the third I catch the edge of that last blade.  I stiffle a yelp as to not wake the dead.  On the wall I see a pull-chain, I yank it (hey, why not?).  The axes pull into the walls and stop swinging, thank goodness that wasn't a wake-up call of some sort. 

More steps down, more Draugr, this time standing in alcoves in the walls, holding weapons in front of them at attention.  I fear for how close I have to get to them to walk by, but I must continue forward.  There's money involved, there's possible power according to Alvor, I muster the will and move on.  Coming to a right turn I hold breath as I walk by the Draugr with the sword and see another ahead at another right turn, again I hold my breath.  These things seem to be eveywhere!  Another ahead at another right turn, then another at a left.  I never knew I could hold my breath so long...fear does wonderous things to you, I suppose.

I enter a cave in the middle of the ruins' underbelly with a stream flowing throug it, next.  As soon as I enter I hear a *CRACK* under my feet.  I look down, I step on a brittle vine of some sort, then I hear a deeper *CRACK* ahead of me.  I look up and see a Draugr coming out of a coffin standing upright across the cave from me.  I quickly duck down behind a large rock, I don't think he saw me.  Just to be sure he didn't, and wouldn't, see me I drew my bow and notched an arrow then loosed it, all in one smooth and swift motion.  Draugr down...thank the eight, or the nine.  There's a chest, but I ignore it and move to follow the stream to a gate with a pull-chain next to it - this opens the gate and let's me through.  There's a smal opening in the rockface of the cave wall after I follow the stream for a while, below is another Draugr who never expected the arrow to come crashing down through the top of its skull!  Jumping down to the ledge it was on, I took a left and followed the caverns to another built section of these ancient ruins.  Beyond some more swinging axes I find more burial chambers, this time with Draugr already awakend.  I quickly duck into a side room and watch as one more Draugr awakens and makes his way to the swinging axes.  Time to have some fun on this one...I shoot an arrow past it and down the hallway, it makes a noise the lifeless walker feels an impulse to inspect.  Stupid thing didn't make it in three steps before being sliced in two!  I look up to a cross-way that has a Draugr standing on it and see a burning clay pot above its head.  I shoot it down and it drops on the Draugr, engulfing it - and the pool of oil under it - in flames.  That leaves one more, this one spots me and comes for me.  Quickly pulling out my daggers I slash right, then left, then both, then spin hitting right then left...overkill, sure, but it's dead...again.

Following the linear walkways I deal with any additional Draugr on the way until I come to a hallway with an odd stone door at the end.  Pulling out a journal I took from the formerly trapped, and now dead, Dark Elf I discover that this golden claw is actually a key!  That shopkeep really didn't know what he I make the proper adjustments to the spinning wheels on the puzzle-like doorway and use the claw.  The old stone mechanisms creek and grind, dust flies out of the cracks, and the door starts to lower.  Beyond is a large cavern with some flowing water, I can hear a small waterfall, even.

Entering carefully I being to scan the interior.  It's a big space, there's a table on a ledge up ahead and a strange wall behind it.  I opt to search the outer walls of the cavern first, to the left I find a lot of nothing.  Over to the right, however, behind the odd wall, there's a chest hidden behind a waterfall.  Not alot of loot, but enough to make the slight detour worth it.  I move up the stone steps to the ledge and find another chest, more goodies inside it., and there's a coffin.  Nothing happens, so I knock on the coffin ... still nothing.  Intrigued by this wall, I examine it.  I approach it and feel an odd pressence there, a force drawing me to it.  There's a lot of words written in a lnaguage I'm unfamiliar with, it looks Nordic - rather ancient, but Nordic - and one set of lettering is glowing blue.  I move forward more and feel a power wash over me.  Suddenly I know what the glowing words mean, and what's more, I can read the word that was glowing!  "Fus", which means "Force"...I'm unsure how to use this knowledge, but I have it, and that's a start.

Suddenly I hear it, the coffin cracking open and the stone falling to the floor.  I spin on my heels to see a rather nasty looking Draugr climbing from what should have been an eternal slumber!  He pulls out his two-handed axe and stares me down for a moment.  In a moment of haste I apply some poison extracted from the Giant Spider I encountered earlier to my daggers, and invoke Hitskin - an ancient Argonian survival mechanism to increase regenerate your health in battle.  Then this undead creature shouts at me and I stagger, then it charges!  One strong swing and I'm hit, it's using an enchanted weapon of sorts, my bones are cold!  I reel back and prepare for my strike.  As I warm back up I move left, then right, then swing and slash with all my speed and force!  After several minutes of dodge and parry, and even the occassional hit, it seems we're both becoming tired from the fight.  The Draugr shouts again, I stumble, it charges ... everything felt like it was slow motion, this could be it for either of us...who will go down in this final clash?  He draws his axe back far and hard, I step aside in his downswing.  Coming up behind him I do a final and powerful doule-handed attack!  Practically ripping in half from the daggers tearing at his spine, the Draugr falls over in front of me.  I riffle through his remains and discover an odd stone, with some strange writing on it.  I'm unsure what it is, but I am sure it's worth something to someone - almost anything old and dusty found in a ruin somewhere is.

Making my way out of the cavern through a stone door activated by a pull-lever - apparently the Ancient Nords were as fond of back exits as I am - I find the brisk night of Skyrim.  I even find it to be a bit of a relief compared to some of the "fun" I had inside!  Time to return the claw to the shop keeper and see what I can do about this dragon business by informing the Jarl of Whiterun about Helgen and the needs of Riverwood.  I believe my new outlook, ultimately, shall be to find the Thieves Guild and see what they have for me in the way of honor amongst thieves.  Perhaps this oddity of the orphan trying to contact the Dark Brotherhood will bring about a certain amount of wealth, I had always heard their organization was as honest as you could be in that profession and they must be paid well.  If there is no honor or honesty (I use that last term loosely, of course) in the underbelly of Skyrim, then I shall simply route all of the dishonored and dishonest folk from it!  I am a rebel without a nobel cause, I am a rebel with my own cause!  I shall be the chaos that none can plan for, the hero that none expect, the shadow in the darkness ... I shall be no one, but at the same time everyone.  All of Tamriel will know of my deeds, all of Temriel will wonder how and why they are my deeds.  I am Nelfarion the Paradox, you will not hear me roar, you will not see me coming, you will only feel my wrath if I do not like what you are doing!

If you enjoyed this, you can find links to each of my blog series on this forum thread.