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Skyrim: From Riften to Markarth

 

3rd of Evening Star, 4E 202 - I've decided that it's time that I journeyed across all of Skyrim, from Riften to Markarth, on foot, no fast travel, no horses.

     Before we begin I feel a not-so-quick note about why this may take a while for me to get from one side of Skyrim to the next is needed here. My modus operandi when traveling on foot through Skyrim is to literally pick every single flower/ingredient I can as I walk. I'd love to know how much time I've actually spent chasing butterflies, because I imagine it would probably be hours at this point. I get sidetracked a lot. If I spot Mora Tapinella possibilities on a tree trunk off in the distance, I'll go for it. In going for that I may find Ninroot, or some ore, possibly a mud crab or bear. So you get the idea. I don't simply walk down the path in the direction I'm 'supposed' to be going. I use clairvoyance to guide me in the general direction, but I almost always wander off that path, for any number of reasons. Another side note. I have the Steed Stone blessing, so I have the extra 100 pound carrying limit, but I am almost always at around 360 or so, stripped down to what I feel are my 'bare' essentials. This includes various enchanted armor items to protect against all manners of dragons, my base Dragonscale armor set, bow strength armor items, two-handed armor items, all manners of extra carry weight armor items, and tons of necklaces and rings to complement them. I have a boatload of potions I carry, generally half to sell, half to use. They almost always account for 60 - 90 pounds, depending. I try not to carry too much food anymore, since I rarely use it, but I still have around 30 or 40 pounds on me at all times. Add in the things that I can't drop because they're quest items (I still haven't figured out how to get rid of this damn Dravin's Bow), and you can see where things are headed. That's not even mentioning the weapons I carry. Here's the guaranteed list:

Daedric Bow of Malediction (soul snatching bow)

Daedric Bow of Lightning (shocking bow)

Daedric Greatsword (no enchantment)

Daedric Sword of Flames (burn them all)

Daedric Sword (no enchantment)

Daedric Dagger of Souls (give me that *** soul)

Daedric Dagger (no enchantment)

Ebony Dagger of Petrifying (paralyzing dagger)

Mehrunes' Razor (dagger with a chance to kill instantly)

Sanguine Rose (summons a bad-ass Dremora Valynaz for 60 seconds)

Pickaxe (necessity for mining the various ore locations)

Ebony Arrows (300+)

Glass Arrows (300+)

Elven Arrows (400+, bread and butter arrows)

     Basically, I carry Daedric weapons in all shapes and sizes. I rock the dual bows simply because you can't take every soul in Skyrim. When I'm wandering around the wilderness, or in a Draugr infested dungeon I can always rock the soul snatching bow. But any other occasion, unless by some miracle I have a Black Soul Gem, I'm better off just switching to the shock bow. I have every kind of enchanted Daedric bow (the girl in the Ragged Flagon sells all of them at some point), but I always go with the shocker because it makes the most sense. Rarely do you find yourself up against an enemy that is resistant to shocking. There are plenty of fire wielders, and tons of ice enemies, but their aren''t very many shock enemies. 9.999 out of 10 times, the shock is the way to go. The reason I have two Daedric swords and two daggers is simple. I like using the Elemental Fury shout. To be honest, I usually have the greatsword equipped when I do it, but I like the option of being able to dual-wield the sword and dagger with the shout. That thing turns a slow-motion greatsword into a full on fast slashing machine. So I always keep a few weapons on hand without enchantments just for that purpose. Other than that, they're no-brainers. Paralyzing is always useful, the soul dagger is a necessity for when a bow won't do, and the Razor is just full on bad-ass. The chance to instantly kill, is good enough reason to always have that sucker on hand. The arrows of course are also no-brainers, but the biggest no-brainer, the Sanguine Rose. If you didn't pick that thing up, you missed out. That thing is a staff that summons a super bad-ass Dremora Valynaz that fights with you for 60 seconds. Now summoning a Fire Atronach or Ice Atronach or even a Storm Atronach is great, but nobody is more valuable in a fight than the man that pops out of the Sanguine Rose. I can't even begin to tell you how many times that guy has saved my life. You summon him as you're walking into battle and he goes straight at the enemy, and hard. He talks a little trash as he charges in and his voice is nothing short of terrifying. His greatsword burns the enemy and he is just absolutely relentless. If you missed out on this weapon and are looking to get your hands on it, just walk in to the tavern in Whiterun and challenge the dude at the bar to a drinking contest, follow that mission and viola. What was the point of all this? Oh yeah. I have about 360 pounds out of 505, so If I find myself having to unload, I'm going to look for the nearest city that I own a house in and dump my spoils. That might account for a little time here and there but I'm shooting for a more realistic approach on this journey.

6:00am - As I close the gates of Riften behind me and look at the sky, it's barely light enough to see, and today is looking to be possibly another in what seems like a long line of rainy days. I've decided for this journey to bring along my companion, well, Stray Dog. He'll make for annoying company as he seems to bark almost every 10 seconds or so, but he makes up for that annoyance by being a great distraction when battle ensues. If he dies, so be it. I don't even know what his name is, nor can I name him myself, and to be honest, I'll be glad to be rid of all that annoying barking. I've decide not to just aimlessly head toward that objective marker in Markarth, but to instead use my Clairvoyance to guide me along the most logical roads headed in that direction. After all, Skyrim is a big place, and it's quite easy to find yourself wandering miles in the wrong direction simply because you were trying to avoid a mountain or two. I've also decided to leave Shadowmere behind for this journey, because this is all about the experience of walking the entirety of Skyrim, not about how quickly I could make that journey. Also, I am not walking straight through, day and night, without waiting or sleeping. When darkness descends I will be looking for the nearest Inn or city in which to sleep for the night, waking around 5:45am or so to begin again. I might try a straight walk one of these days, but for now, I'm going for a more realistic journey. So I'm off.

6:20 am - I'm immediately distracted by the Khajit camped outside the gate, simply because I'm at the point in my life in Skyrim where almost every potion I make is worth 500 gold and up. Usually, I'll concoct a bunch for the sole purpose of selling, and their prices are generally in the range of 600 to 1100 gold. So I stop at the Khajit traders who are talking about running into dragons on their journey. In fact, her exact words are, "You do not need to be faster than the dragon, just faster than your friends." Bad kitty. I make my purchases, sell my potions and make off 750 gold ahead. With the other 45,747 gold in my pocket, I could really care less, but it's a habit at this point. I try to stop in Windhelm as much as I can to drop off my gold here and there, leaving myself always with 20,000 or so for incidentals, but I have somewhere in the ballpark of 130,000 sitting in my drawer at home, so it's really not a necessity.

7:00am - I'm literally not even 500 yards outside of Riften, and my clairvoyance has completely stopped working. This means, it's straight through the wilderness in the general direction of the objective marker until I hit a road that might pick up the scent again. I'm also armed with Detect Life which in my opinion has kind of ruined the surprise of traveling, but I can't help myself, I'm addicted to it at this point. 

7:43am - Detect Life or not, that damn Cave Bear came out of nowhere. I hit him with a couple Chain Lightning blasts, but my Destruction skill is still too low to do any real damage, so I quickly switch to the Mehrunes and Daedric Soul dagger and make quick work of this giant annoyance. I'm at level 64, so these guys are pretty much just flies at this point, unless I try to use only magic. That overcast look this morning turned out to be a bluff. It's as sunny as could be. Oh look, butterflies.

8:05am - For some reason I always feel bad killing foxes. Of course this little guy somehow managed to avoid all 3 of my shots, so no need for remorse this time. Oh would you look at that, mountain flowers.

8:28am - There is nothing like taking down a running deer 75+ yards out. It's really just for their souls at this point, because unless they have some antlers on them, I just walk away. The meat weight and hide weight add up too quickly and I'd rather save the space for more important things.. Oh look, mountain flowers.

8:46am - That damn deer literally ran right at me. It's like he was begging me to kill him. As is my custom, i happily obliged him. Or is it her? Deers are hers, aren't' they? Well, not the ones with antlers though, right? My whole family hunts, but since I grew up in New Jersey/New York, I was spoon fed all that nonsense about it being barbaric. I wish someone would take me hunting for real. For now it looks like I'm stuck with the digital hunt, you know, Trolls, Frostbite Spiders, and the occasional Hargraven. Try finding those in the Texas hill country cousin…

9:10am - Where in the hell did that Hargraven come from? She didn't show up on my Detect Life. Ohh.. Detect Dead, that's right. I didn't even know she was there until that damn fireball hit me. Oh well, give me that f____n soul… Oohh.. Scaly Pholiota.. give me, give me.

9:56am - Sarethi Farm. Man I'm tempted to gank all these Ninroot plants. I helped her collect like 20 Jazbay Grapes and I really wanna take all these, but I'm trying to be nice. On this playthrough. In the end I couldn't help myself. That sound is like music to my ears. Give me, give me.

10:10am - Damn Imperial soldier came out of nowhere sword swinging. I recently joined the Stormcloaks and ever since I've found myself getting attacked in the wilderness from time to time by these heavily armored, hard to take down Imperials. This one was close enough to Sarethi farm that the sisters came and helped me take him down, but my dog as always was simply useless. Canon fodder.. Lucky for me this battle brought me to a road that my clairvoyance finally works on. Oh look, mountain flower. 

10:30am - Hunter's really shouldn't leave their camps unattended. I may be playing this time as Mr. Niceguy, but I'm not passing up free Coin Purses, and what's this. A note telling me where some buried treasure is.. Hmm. Think I'll just have to check this one out. These might actually be treasure hunters.

10:50am - Once again, I feel bad about those poor little foxes. 50 yards out, give me that f____n soul.. Oh look, Scaly Pholiota.

12:07pm - Man that was a big Frostbite Spider. I was going to sneak up on that nasty arachnid, but my stupid dog went after him pretty much ruining any chance of a sneak bonus. Note to self: shout dog off cliff at first opportunity. Ooh look, a plethora of mountain flowers.

12:25pm - As I was picking up those flowers, 2 wolves and a cave bear came out of nowhere chasing this Khajit mage. He ran off and they quickly turned their attention to me and my useless companion. 3 souls, 3 pelts, and oohh look, more mountain flowers. I ran into that chicken s__t mage a little ways down the road. M'aiq the Liar. Figures.

12:51pm - Seriously?!!? Not even 200 yard from that last threesome, 1 bear and 2 wolves. Same exact pack of bastards. So, I dual-wield me some Daedric daggers and in one dual-weilding power shot, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, bear and wolf down, 2 souls in the pocket. I love the dual-wielding powershot. The dog actually did something and took down the other wolf. Maybe I won't push him off a cliff after all. We'll see. I found out why these particular animals were waiting for me. Two dead foxes on the ground probably means they were fighting over their kills and I happened along. Lucky me.  Ooh look, mountain flowers.. 

1:15pm - I love Trolls. This guy walks out on to the path, spots me before I've spotted him, and what does he do? Arms out, jumping up and down all angry like, making noise. Of course I hear the commotion, turn around and take him down with one arrow. Give me that f____n soul. Another deer came running directly at me looking to hand over it's soul. Must've been running from the troll. Either way, no antlers, waste of a carcass. Ooh look, mountain flowers.

1:28pm - These woods are thick with Cave Bears. I caught this guy sleeping on the job. First arrow, he stands up. Second arrow, give me that f____n soul. I love the slow-mo animations they added. One of my favorites is when they follow the arrow all the way to the enemy. I was out a good 30 yards. Beautiful. Ooh look, Scaly Philiota. What's the deal with these huge fallen trees having this stuff in like 3 places but you can only pick it once? Nonsense.

1:47pm - I'm capping souls left and right here. At least this elk wasn't a waste of life. Antlers, thank you. Ooh look, more Scaly Pholiota.

2:19pm - Ran across the Alchemist's Shack. I love bumping into this place every month or so. So much Deathbell and there are always butterflies all over them. I cleaned house, again. Thanks whoever you are. What's up with the torch bug and butterfly in a jar things? I've never found a circumstance when these things would be useful, but I pick them up anyway. No need to side track for mountain flowers this time… The shack is the sidetrack.

2:45pm - Stupid wolf was just standing there with his back to me growling at two goats. That's some real smart wolfin' there. What's up with a wolf having a silver garnet ring on him? He sporting some bling for his lady friends or something? Pimpin' it Riften style? Not that I'm complaining or anything, but I don't think finding jewelry on a wolf makes too much sense. I guess it could be in his stomach or something, after devouring someone's hand. I'll go with that. 

4:40pm - Ok, couple things here. Another thing that almost always makes me wander off the beaten path is when I see an icon in black, you know, an undiscovered location. I will always, always, wander off to discover a location, regardless of what I'm doing. So I head for this place on my map which is quite literally up a mountain. Here's a helpful hint I stumbled acrost. You can almost always climb up a mountain, regardless of how steep it looks. Here's the trick. Move side to side, back and forth hitting jump like a tweeker mainlining Jolt. Shift your view diagonally up hill to the left and go to the right hitting that jump button like crazy. Turn to the right uphill diagonal view and shift to the left hitting jump like crazy. I actually climbed up the side of a mountain doing this. Of course, I eventually found myself on a crazy cliff spot where climbing looks impossible, so I save my game and do my Whirlwind Spirit shout to get me to another cliff about 50 yards away with nothing but straight down between them. It kind of works. I made it most of the way up the other cliff, but almost completely lost my health doing it. I was millimeters away from death. Going side to side once again, I finally make it to my destination. And what am I rewarded with for all my efforts? A damn Draugr Death Overlord. Sucker just pops out of one of those ebony caskets, turns his head, and proceeds to come right at me, and hard. What the F? And after I finally get this big guy down, snatching his valuable soul in the process, guess what is sitting there just waiting for me on the other side of this archway? As luck would have it, a dragon. Of course it's an ice breathing Ancient Dragon, so I switch to my Ebony Frost Boots, and put on my Necklace of Warmth, more or less negating his ice breath and proceed to pepper him with Ebony arrows. He eventually goes down after backing me up to the edge of the cliff and almost swallowing me whole, and the second I've got his soul, here comes a Draugr Scourge down the steps shooting arrows at me. Where in the hell am I? Arcwind Point. I don't know if I stumbled across a location that I'm not supposed to be at until later in the game or something, but damn this joint is filled with some high-level enemies. All I wanted was to discover the place and be on my way. Now I have a bunch of dragon bones and scales, and I'm gonna have to dump a ton of stuff off at the first city I can. I am getting the hell out this place ASAP. It's 5:38 pm and it'll be getting dark soon. I need to find a place to hold up for the night. Of course, first I need to figure out a way to get down the side of a sheer cliff that for the life of me I don't know how I got up in the first place. Oh look, quicksilver ore.

7:26pm - Somehow I made it down the side of that mountain, but unfortunately it's dark and I'm a ways away from a city I have a house in, or an inn for that matter. The closest inn is Riverwood and that means I have to go through Helgen, which almost always has bandits, regardless of how many times I've killed them. Speaking of bandits. As i'm walking I come upon a tree fallen across the path and on the other side is a caravan of Khajit, all dead, horses and all. Me thinks me smells bandits so I pull out my Daedric Shock bow just in time as these three come running at me out of the trees. I don't know how my dog managed to get down from Arcwind, but somehow he pops up just in time to distract two of the bandits while I take them out easily, one Ebony arrow apiece. I hate forgetting to switch arrows and wasting the good ones on shmoos like these. After all is said and done and the bandits are in the dirt, my dog comes over to sit down in front of me, and he's got a f____n arrow sticking straight out of his head. I wish there was a way to take a screenshot on the XBox 360 because I would really love a picture of this. Microsoft, get on it. 

8:11pm - No sooner did I turn around to walk away from those three dead bandits then I get an arrow in my back and attacked by three more. I don't know where these bastardo's were hiding, but I didn't pick them up with my Detect Life. It's dark and hard to get a bead on them, so it takes me a minute to take care of these vagrants. In the process of taking out the last dude, who's somehow hitting me with arrows through a tree, I notice silence. Silence. My dog is dead. I walk over with my head held low, in a solemn nod to my brave companion that risked his very life to protect me. With my hands raised in reverence, i set that annoying f____r on fire. Serves you right you loud mouth little shaggy f___wad. You're lucky I didn't shout you off that cliff. After the fire goes out I take me some dog meat and move on to a nearby undiscovered location. I'm hoping this place isn't like the last. Ooh torch bugs.. 

9:54pm - After discovering a much safer location than the last one, I decide to avoid a battle, sneak around the three enemies chillin around the fire and head for Riverwood the hard way; down the side of another mountain. I'm fairly good at this by now, so I navigate myself down the side of what is essentially a gigantic mountain without losing even a point of health. Welcome to Riverwood. Thank the lord. It's almost 10pm and I need me some beauty rest. I'll head out to Whiterun in the morning to unload all of my stuff at Breezehome. Man am I glad this day is over. A Draugr Death Overlord and an Ancient Dragon right on top of each other, 6 bandits, tons of wolves and bears, the loss of my dear (see: useless) companion, two cliff dives, and I'm done. I'm getting me a bed at the Sleeping Giant Inn and calling this one a day. I get myself a room for the low low price of 10 gold and pick up yet another in a very, very…. very long list of miscellaneous missions to kill the giant located at Sleeping Tree Camp. Some Orc is talking mad smack as I'm walking to my room, but I've had enough for the night and I'm just going to ignore him and hit the hay. I don't really like killing Giants, so I'll save this bounty for later. Besides the fact that they never mess with you unless you mess with them, they're also only worth about 100 gold. Not worth the effort. Of course, they usually have like 200 -300 gold on them and tons of other items, but still. Enough already. Good night.

 

Bed Time -10:16pm, Sleeping Giant Inn, Riverwood.

 

5:18am - I 'Awake Feeling Well Rested'. I was happy to throw off the yoke of being a Werewolf, and I love it when I get the rested bonus. I stay up for weeks on end, so it's not often that I get the bonus, but I love it when I do. Even better, I'll get to enjoy all 8 hours of the bonus since I'm not fast traveling somewhere. As I walk out of my room that surly Orc from last night is still there talking smack. I may have wanted to ignore that *** last night, but I'm gonna gut him if he doesn't back off today. And of course, he doesn't. Eventually he pulls his sword and shield and comes swinging at me. I immediately use my quick menu to put on my two-handed necklace and ring which make my Daedric Greatsword an absolute wrecking ball, and spend 20 or 30 seconds in a pretty decent battle before getting a nice first-person animation of cutting his legs and then slicing his body as he dies. F_____g Orc. Tell that Death Overlord I said hi.

5:56am - As I hit the streets in Riverwood and equip my Clairvoyance it directs me in the opposite direction of Whiterun. Since I don't have a house anywhere else nearby I'm going to have to back-track a little so that I can drop off these heavy Dragon bones.

6:35am - Little bunny bastards. Those things are quick. I wasted like 7 arrows trying to get that little fuzzy f___. I have the slow-mo zoom in on the bow too. I chase this guy all the way into the hills and now I have to go all the way back to the path. I used to leave those little guys alone, but now it's full on bunny genocide time. Next time I'll hit my Slow Time shout and just stab the little fluffy f___.

7:04am - Just as soon as I pop down out of the hills I was chasing the rabbit in I walk up on tree Revelers just standing in a circle drinking. I've played this game for a long time and I've never seen these dudes. It's 7am and these three alcoholics are just standing around getting drunk. Dude offers me a free bottle of Honningbrew Ale, and off they go to beat their wives and children. What a world. Ooh, is that some Mora Tapinella?

7:54am - Ahh, Breezehome. It's good to be back in Whiterun. This was the first place I bought a house and also the first city I became a Thane in. Lydia is here as she always is just chillin in my bedroom munchin on some bread. I love that girl. I wish I would've waited on the whole marriage thing, because she's so much cooler than that Ysolda chick. Cest la vie. I unload a couple of weapons I bought on the way in and all the other various things I picked up yesterday, and I'm off again. Before I leave town I'm gonna drop by Belafour's and Arcadia's to sell some more potions and then I'm out the door. As usual every time I step into town I have on my Masque of Clavicus Vile and my Necklace of Peerless Haggling. Don't leave home without em.

8:51am - The morning is going by kind of quick and I spent a lot more time in Whiterun than i needed, but I've headed back out into the great outdoors to make my way towards Markarth. 

10:03am - What the hell is it with the Orcs traveling throughout Skyrim? I ran into a settlement of theirs sort of southwest of Markarth a while back and everyone was cool. But now it seems like every Orc I run into wants to talk mad trash and fight. I'm not on the road for more than 5 minutes and I pass by this Orc chick in full armor. As always, I like to chat with anyone I come across, just in case they have some sort of mission for me. I walk up all cordial and what not and this damn Orc lady goes straight into the Milk Drinker trash talking. I go for a little intimidation and next thing you know, it's on. I wasn't aware that they could fully heal themselves, so it took me longer than it should to gut this b____. Two-handed boots, ring, and necklace, equals one dead Orc chick.

10:26am - I spot me a nice deer from about 40 yards out, pull out my soul bow, and down goes another deer. Luckily it had antlers, so it wasn't a senseless massacre. On my way to grab the corpse I must've run into like 10 bugs flying around. 6 monarchs and some leftover torch bugs from the night before. Jackpot. By the time I was done jumping up and down chasing them all over the place, I had no idea where that deer carcass was. Thank god for Detect Dead.

11:04am - I miss the days when Thieves would jump out of the bushes threatening to gut me like a fish and we could go toe to toe. Now that I'm in the Thieves' Guild though, I always just remind them of my criminal accolades, and they move on. Next play through, everyone gets a blade to the gullet, friend or foe. I can't wait.

11:14am - I know I covered this with the wolves, but what in the world is a deer doing with 3 gold coins on it? Did it go to the store? Is it saving up for Christmas? Seriously, am I supposed to make my own logical leap here and assume this dude is eating gold? Ohh look, mountain flowers…

11:48am - This is looking to be a good day for the deer/Elk extermination plan I enacted a couple of months ago. I'm only a couple hours out of Whiterun and I've already taken down five of these guys. Side note: there is something very unsettling about catching butterflies. Not the act mind you, but what you are essentially doing. You collect these guys for potions, but in doing so you're pulling their wings off. I'm pretty sure this is an early sign that you may be a serial killer. Since I've definitely killed more than three of every single type of living, and non-living thing in Skyrim, I guess I'm just going to have live with my (malady). 

12:17pm - As I'm bouncing about pulling the wings off of poor defenseless butterflies, here comes a Sabre Cat rounding the hill in full on sprint. One shot to the face, and down goes the mighty cat. Give me that f____n soul. I remember when I used to be so scared of these guys. Now they're just soul fodder, like a mud-crab or a goat. Shame. The enemies really need to scale with your level. Maybe not one to one scale, but at least something that retains a little bit of the challenge you first experience.

1:11pm - Man. I spot a dragon not far off in the distance attacking something or someone, so naturally, the brazen Dragonborn that I am, I go after that sucker. As I jump into battle and start peppering this Elder Dragon, I realize that what he was attacking was a Giant. So now instead of simply taking on a fire-breathing Elder Dragon I have to dodge this massive Giant trying to squash me like an ant with his club. I don't know why this guy isn't just thanking me for helping him fight the dragon, but as soon as I dropped the Elder Dragon, here comes the Giant hoping to finish me off. He actually almost got me too. Luckily I still had my ebony arrows equipped and my Ice Form shout ready to go. Take that you filthy overgrown hobo. Maybe next time your buddies will think twice before they swing that club at me. Unfortunately for me, the dragon had three bones and three scales, which pretty much means I'm almost overloaded again. I have a 100 smith skill and can and absolutely have smithed me both Dragon armor packages, but I still horde these dragon items like crazy. It's too bad there aren't any dragon weapons to make. Get on that Bethesda.

2:20pm - Ok, something is going on with the butterflies here. Every 100 feet or so, six of these guys just show up in a bunch. I'm not complaining or anything, but I've never ran into so many butterflies before. After tearing apart their tiny little butterfly wings I turn to see 2 elk majestically feeding in front of a pond. One arrow, reload, two arrow. Looks like dinner and souls for two tonight. I'm glad I unlocked that quick draw thing for the bow. It's not super fast or anything, but it definitely gives you more than enough time to take down a herd of deer/elk before they realize what's going on and make a break for it. Oooh, Ninroot, my all time favorite ingredient find.

3:11pm - As I round a bend in the road, hitting my Detect Life every now and again I detect a whole bunch of red movement over behind this rock/hill. As I move to get a better view I see about 5 mud-crabs just mud-crabbin it up in a little pond. As is always the case with things that move, I proceed to whip out my bow and take these little crabby-daddy's down. As I come up to collect my spoils I notice what looks to be a giant rock in the middle of the pond. I back up to get a better view, because something looks off and holy s___ it's a gigantic mud-crab. I'm talking about something comparable to like three or four bears, size-wize. This thing was enormous. I can't remember if I killed it or not, there was so many arrows flying and crabs moving, but I'm pretty sure I would've noticed this gigantic thing. I wish I could take a picture of this guy. In all my travels I've never seen a mud-crab even 1/10 of this size. I want to drag this thing home and prop him up in the corner. Maybe it's some sort of glitch, but man this thing is crazy.

3:55pm - Another Sabre Cat jumped out behind me looking for some dinner. This time he just froze there slowly turning until I finally decided it was some sort of glitch and took him out. As I turn around, here comes another kamikaze elk running straight at me just begging to be shot. As always, I obliged. Give me that f____n soul. Ohh, mountain flowers.

4:22pm - That's the second thief today to come running up with that whole, "gut you like a fish", line. This Argonian doesn't know how lucky he is that I don't just take that tail as a trophy.

4:38pm - I'm starting to think that today is going to be all about the damn butterflies. I mean granted, I killed a dragon and giant at the same time, but these little buggers are everywhere about 100 feet or so. Six of em in a little butterfly flock. I'm gonna be overloaded with butterfly wings by the time I get to Markarth. A little fox made the mistake of not noticing me in time. I love when you kill something on a hill and it just keeps sliding down it. I don't know why it amuses me so much, but I love it.

4:59pm - I'm lucking out with the deer/elk today. Almost every one I've taken down has antlers, and 75% of the time I'm getting my arrow back. Nothing like a little frugality when it comes to killing. Ohh look, Lavender.

5:38pm - As I roll into Rorikstead I'm faced with a tough decision. It's starting to look a little like dusk in the distance, so do I stop in at the inn and call it a night, or do I trek on in hopes that I actually hit another town that I can call it a night in somewhere else down the road? Problem is I'm using Clairvoyance, so I can't really predict what towns I'm gonna be passing through. I see Karthwasten out there a little ways, so maybe I push on and hope I pass through there. Actually, you know what. Markarth really isn't that far away. Damn, I thought this would take a whole lot longer. Two days walk and I'm closing in on Markarth. That's it, I'm pushing through the night.

5:58pm - Ahh, the mighty wolf. What a petty little annoyance this guy is. Love the animation I got though. I took him by the neck and slit his throat, throwing him down on the path. Take that puppy. Next time don't be so f____n eager. (Malory Knox- Natural Born Killers)

6:14pm - I got jumped by a single Bandit Highwayman taking pot shots at me with his stupid long bow. Nice try buddy. A little bobbing and weaving and I took him down in two shots. I didn't realize I still had my soul bow equipped, so when I started to get his soul I was a little surprised. Guess I forgot about the Black Soul Gem I had. Sweet. One dead man, one full soul gem. What a trade.

6:30pm - My bad, there were three more of these dudes hiding behind some rocks. I guess I should know by now that you never really run into a single bandit ambushing you on the road. There are always more lurking somewhere. One, two, three and these guys are history. Thanks for the gems and gold, suckers.

7:03pm - I didn't even realize it when I saw that far off red when I hit my Detect Life, but it was another Sabre Cat waiting to ambush me. I couldn't even see what I was shooting at. I just pulled back on the bow and, thwack, 50 yards out. Give me that f____n soul. Oh look, Tundra Cotton.

7:21pm - You ever use Clairvoyance and that damn thing takes you a quarter mile back and forth for about 5 minutes? What a pain in the butt. Why does it turn you around for a while, then turn you back in the direction you were headed in the first place? Or better yet, why do I continue to follow it back and forth a few times before giving up and heading back in the direction I was originally going? Stupidity.

8:14pm - There is nothing I like better than creeping in the darkness and picking off Forsworn (or any enemy) one by one. If you ask me, the AI can get a little dumb in this department sometimes. I take out one chick, and this other Forsworn gets a tiny bit suspicious, but quickly goes back to sitting there staring at a wall. I take her down and the other Forsworn watching this all from an elevated sentry position doesn't even blink an eye. Seriously? Two of your buddies dead and you aren't even gonna come looking for me? Very well then. I've got another arrow just for you.

8:56pm - As per usual, I spot a couple of undiscovered locations and make a quick side track in their direction. One was a cave of some sort, and the other a Stormcloak camp. Quick question. Why do the Stormcloak soldiers still appear in red when I hit the Detect Life. I joined their ranks and still they show as enemies when I'm scanning the area. This is actually a problem. I've decimated more than one camp of Stormcloak soldiers only to realize upon moving in to loot their bodies that they were my allies. I don't know if this is a glitch, or simply the way it goes, but I'm a big 'hang in the distance on a cliff and pick people off one by one type of guy'. I don't move in to ask names before I start killing. Lucky for me I wipe out the entire camp, save the commander, which for some reason can't be killed Stormcloak or Imperial, so there's no one left behind to realize who killed them.

10:06pm - There I am, minding my own business, taking out a couple of mud-crabs, crossing the river and looting them when out of nowhere I here some arrows hitting near me. I came across to get their Chitins, but I also came for that Ninroot that's so incredibly easy to find at night. As I cross back to pick the Ninroot I hear some chick saying, "You shouldn't have come here", or something to that effect. I manage to surface and right there on top of me is a Frost Atronach. Clunky icey *** is all over me by the time I pull my Daedric Storm bow, equip the Ebony Arrows and pop a couple of shots into him. It's dark and I can't really make out who's shooting arrows at me, but another near miss and I see her. One, two, three shots and she goes down. I go to rifle through her pockets and realize she's a Wood Elf. I've never been attacked by a Wood Elf before. I straight up kill Thalmor whenever I run into them on the road, but I didn't know Wood Elves would come at me for that. Oh well. More bodies for the count.

10:54pm - Today is filled with all sorts of first times. I'm walking down the path which is pretty much a long ways up from the river, which is far below on my left, and as I cross over this bridge, right in front of me walking down the path are two mud-crabs. They're just walking in a single file line like it's what they do every day. What the hell are these two doing this far from water just walking down the path like a couple of Khajit on their way to market? There's something you don't see everyday. Glad I decided to push through and go for Markarth tonight, or else I would of missed that little peculiarity.

11:35pm - God damn Forsworn came out of nowhere. The first two went down easy enough but there was a Forsworn Ravager across the bridge on the other side of the river, fairly far away, hitting me easily with his crappy little Forsworn Arrows. Still, he was starting to whittle down my health. I finally chased him down across the bridge and put a couple of arrows in his stomach. I could have sworn after helping their leader escape from jail in Markarth that the Forsworn and I were cool. Guess not.

12:19am - Ahh, Markarth. So many good memories here. Vindrel Hall, my super lush home on the stone hill. I've always loved the way this city looked. All crazy stone stairs built high up into the mountains. I miss this place. I've relocated my family to Windhelm after I joined the Stormcloaks, but this was my home prior to that. I'm actually contemplating moving back. So many great memories. All those hours I spent trying to kill my wife. Running rampant through the streets after escaping from jail, filling the rivers with Markarth soldiers' blood. Ahh the good ol' days. The only reason I moved in the first place was because I thought joining the Stormcloaks might make me kind of persona non grata in these parts. Apparently though I'm buddy buddy with Ulfrich and the wife of the man he recently killed and neither one even cares. Oh well. As I'm putting my spoils of the day away I realize how much stuff I actually left here. I'd forgotten all of this by now. I left it thinking I'd just come back from time to time to pick up a bunch of stuff to sell. Between all the weapons, armor, and potions I left behind, I probably have somewhere around 100,000+ gold here. Damn, that housecarl is still hanging around too. He must be bored out of his mind. 

     Well, it didn't take me nearly as long as I anticipated to get from Riften to Markarth. I thought crossing the entirety of Skyrim would take longer than it did, but there it is, two days. I feel like this was kind of like dry humping Keira Knightley; a crazy waste of time that could have been much better spent in realizing the obvious possibilities inherent in her acquiescence. Sorry about that sentence. Being both crude and ridiculously wordy, it starts offensive and ends offensive. Anyway. Looking at the map it seems that the distance between Riften and Markarth is about as big as it gets. I suppose it is. My next trek however is going to be the longest actual walking distance possible. I'm going to start in Solitude, or just north of it, and walk in a complete circle, sticking to the furthest possible land route, all the way around Skyrim. I'm guessing this will probably be the quest that I was really hoping for. I don't know if I'll blog that journal since it might be extremely long. This journal was a lot longer than I thought it would be and it was only two days. We'll see. So to sum up what has essentially gone on forever, and very well could've fit in to a single paragraph, I spent the entire first day fighting bears and bandits, and on a rather steep sidetrack, battling it out with probably the toughest enemies in all of Skyrim. Along the way I collected a ton of ingredients, mostly mountain flowers, and I lost my beloved companion, Stray Dog. I think it's only fitting that I give this brave little guy a name. Let's call it, Gottfried. Gottfried is of course derived from the larger, more annoying, Gilbert Gottfried. As my faithful companion was the absolute most annoying, useless ally I ever journeyed with, I find it only fitting to name him after what I feel is the all-time most annoying voice I have ever heard. So there it is. Gottfried. May he rot in hell.

     The second day of my trip more or less started off with a little Orc killing, followed by dropping of my spoils in my childhood home in Whiterun. Upon leaving, I was confronted with killing another blustery Orc. Like the day before, I found myself in a battle with not only a Dragon, but another formidable opponent as well. And also like the day before, I was nearly over-encumbered before noon. I don't know what it is about having free space in my backpack (I'm guessing that's where I keep all this stuff), but I am completely OCD about it. I almost turned around and headed back to Whiterun to drop it off. The notion of traveling an entire day, at near full capacity, drives me nuts. All crippling disorders aside, I pressed on. Day two it seemed was all about butterflies. I don't think i looked when I finally dumped all the ingredients in Markarth, but I'm guessing I was somewhere in the ballpark of 50 or 60 butterfly wings, Blue and Monarch. They were everywhere, 50 or so feet and I'd bump into a pack of 6 to 8 of em. Since I can't pass up any ingredient for the life of me I'd inevitably bounce around for a few minutes catching these guys. On more than one occasion these little distractors nearly cost me a fresh bite on the behind from various predators. Also like the day before, just after dusk I found myself ambushed by some bandits. I guess this is their time to shine. Unfortunately for them, they picked the wrong traveller to mess with. Probably my absolute highlight of the day was the two mud-crabs I encountered close to Markarth. They were just walking along the path, way too far away from water, single file like they were just on their way to the next village. As ridiculous a sight as it was, I had to get their Chitins and steal their souls, but I wonder if they wouldn't have just walked right past me and kept going across the bridge. So, the road was short but the action intense. I'm moving on now to my circle around the realm, and depending on how incredibly long it ends up being, I may or may not post the journal. If you made it through this one, you are a crazy Skyrim fanatic like me. So who knows, maybe you'll read the other one. Either way, keep the arrows flying and the blood flowing.

 

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