Waking up in a strange bed certainly feels… Well strange. Although, waking up to the smell of slain foes is much, much stranger. “It had to be done” I tell myself constantly, trying to distance myself from the doubts of the purpose of my journey. “Try not to think about it” says the brain. Yeah well, screw you because you’re to blame for me constantly thinking about it. No, a few lives do not matter for there is a greater cause involved. You know, the whole me-being-the-chosen-one thing. It has been destined long before humankind first set foot on this land that I shall one day emerge victorious from all battles I choose to undergo.
Now, to the more immediate goal. Let’s get up at that mountain. Gods above, I hope that the 7,000 steps saying is hyperbolic and only rhetoric. I may be the whole Chosen one™ but that is only since, what, Wednesday. Nobody asked me if I wanted to be a warrior and the one in a million. I was sort of content with being a merchant. You get to meet loads of people, make decent amounts of money and you get to travel. Up until the point when I tried to cross the border through a point which the Empire deemed illegal.
Anyway, where was I. Oh yes, 7,000 steps. Oh my, please don’t let it be true. Gods know my legs can’t handle that and my pockets can’t handle a horse. I was stripped of all of my belongings upon being captured crossing the border after all. I’ve come to some amounts of money and goods since that point but still it is nowhere near the sum needed to buy a horse in this God forsaken land.
Time to get up from this stranger’s bed, leave the stranger’s tent, eat some of the stranger’s food and apologise to him for killing him upon leaving. Easy enough, only my body refuses to listen to the brain and I simply cannot get up. My legs have to be cramped from sleeping in an unfit position. Or Gods are mad at me for killing this innocent fella. Can’t be, he wasn’t so innocent after all. He was technically poaching deer. What the hell is happening? Okay body, you have 5 seconds to comply or else. Didn’t work? Can’t say I’m all that surprised. Am I paralyzed now because it would seem I’m unable to move a muscle? Okay, great, I can’t even move my face. I can’t even frown at this bizarre phenomenon.
I must’ve been laying like this for at least an hour and still nothing. Still the same state. Only now I think there’s a wolf nearby. That is absolutely brilliant. Three days ago I get to know I am the chosen one who’s supposed to change the world and now I’m about to get eaten by a wolf because I can’t move for some reason. Wonderful. Oh yes, there he is, it’s a big one. Come on wolf, here I am, finish me. I am very easy prey. He’s walking straight towards me now. I hope I’ll be able to feel the pain that would be just great. Only about a meter now separates me and the lonely wolf certainly looking for something to eat. It’s alright, I’ve made my peace. The wolf doesn’t seem to be interested in me though. What’s more, he doesn’t even seem to notice I am there. This feral and vicious beast just walked straight through the opened tent where I am laying totally motionless and did not even sniff me. Nothing he did would indicate his knowledge of my presence. Just what is going on?
The wolf is long gone now, probably hunting some rats as he can’t best an elk or deer on his own. Puzzled by what happened I make a confused face and try to think about a reasonable explanation for this whole weird event that transpired few minutes back. Wait. I can move my face. And legs. YES, I can move! At last! Time to get up, gather my things as well as the dead man’s and go to the mountain. I really have to get a better sword if I’m to be taken seriously as a warrior. My current one is most likely iron, it’s as dull as a rusty spoon and the only reason I was able to kill this hunter was that he was unaware of me up to the precise point that he wasn’t. I had a little problem going through the ribcage with the sword but it did the job. The hunter sadly had no sword so I will have to make do with this one. He did have a bow and some arrows though, I think I could use that. He’s not going to need it anymore, is he? I really should be on my way now, the calling seemed a little urgent.
Arriving at the heel of the mountain and realizing just how tall this thing really is, I feel like there’s far more than just 7,000 steps. Two elves are standing on the bridge that takes dedicated to the stairs leading to the top of the mountain. Maybe I can sneak a peek into their conversation. Great, there’s a sign I can pretend to read while listening to them.
“Are you going up there? I hear the monks are short on food.”
“Definitely not today, they’re going to have to wait or hunt something. My donkey isn’t ready to make the 7,000 steps yet and Gods know I’m not hauling the food there myself.”
Oh great, it actually is seven thousand steps… There is no way I’m going up there now, I need food for the journey. And ideally better shoes too. I should settle in the nearby town for today, talk to the locals, ask for some advice and buy supplies. Time to be off. I said “time to be off” why are my legs not listening to me? Again. I’m walking across the bridge towards the mountain and towards passing the 2 elves in the process. Not that I would want to though, my legs are doing it on their own. What’s going on?!? Why can’t I control my body again? I said I’m going to the town and you’re going to listen to me! Apparently not. That’s just great I have no control over my body and it’s now walking towards almost certain death in snow, ice and only Gods know what beasts. With the corner of my eye I see the 2 elves standing on the bridge looking at me in awe. I try calling them for help but it’s too far and the wind is too strong for them to hear me. The wind seems to be so strong that I couldn’t even hear myself. But I can clearly tell my footsteps by sound. I try shouting again and nothing comes out of my mouth. So I can’t even speak now? Just what is happening here? And why is it happening to me?
My feet and hands are so cold I can barely feel they’re still attached to my body. The wind is not helping it either and the fact that my body is just walking on its own is just bizarre. Have I been possessed? Those are wolves over there. Am I dreaming? Is this punishment from Gods because I killed that hunter? Why am I not stopping, that’s at least 6 wolves and my body is still walking towards them. There’s still time, the wind is blowing towards me so they can’t smell me yet. Body I command you to stop! No result. My brain is instinctively sending signals to stop, crouch and sneak on the side of the mountain to avoid the pack. My body though is absolutely deaf to these signals and is walking obliviously into a certain death. Without any intention of doing so I draw my sword and my shield and start running towards the wolves. First one notices me and immediately tries jumping on me. Bashing him to the left side off the edge of the mountain with my shield I stick the sword straight through another one’s open mouth knocking out one of his teeth in the doing so. Another one is coming from the right. I turn so I could hit him with the shield and take out the sword while doing so. He’s down but looks like he would like to get up. Not with my sword piercing his brain he isn’t. The rest of the pack looks terrified and definitely not in the mood to fight me. This last one must’ve been the Alpha and so a single step and a loud shout in the direction of the rest of the pack is enough to completely disintegrate the pack and force them to run away. Where the hell did this come from? Am I but a spectator in my own skeleton now? Why can’t I command my body? Not that I would complain right now, I myself would never be capable of wreaking such havoc so this… Whatever… might have just saved my life.
It’s apparently time to get moving again. As they say, no rest for the wicked. And wicked is exactly what I am right now. Steps, steps and more steps. I tried counting but I’ve lost count about 20 minutes ago. Turns out I can very well feel pain, my legs already ache from all this climbing but I can’t stop. Not until the Something that possessed me decides that I need to stop. I met a bear before about 5 minutes and I seemed to have regained control over myself for a brief moment there. My brain screamed “Run!” and my body actually listened and I outran it. Upon losing sight of the bear I must’ve lost control again because I wanted to sit down, my brain said “sit down, get some rest” but that obviously didn’t happen.
The rest of the journey although excruciatingly long, painful and cold has been quite peaceful considering I can only watch what my own body is doing. And so my journey up to the legendary 7,000 steps is now complete and before me lies the castle filled with so many secrets even the monks inside cannot know them all. There is a sign about 50 meters from the entrance doors stating the name of this place. Of course it is rather superfluous now for this name is broadly known throughout all the 9 holds. The sign reads "High Hrothgar".
Thank you for reading!
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