Sean Knight joins the narration of Skyrim Tales this week with a Thanksgiving story from the land of Skyrim.
It was afternoon on a bright sunny day when Sean entered his abode in Whiterun. He was feeling tired from riding all day and had just returned from Riverwood after taking care of some bandits hiding out in a cave on the outskirts of the little village. It had been no trouble for the armored warrior and he had taken care of the problem rather quickly by killing the dozen robbers.
Closing the door behind him, Sean looked around with satisfaction at his home. The fire was roaring, recently lit no doubt by his housecarl who had taken the rest of the day off. Strings of herbs were hung up above the fire while the two chairs beside invited him to sit down. In one corner stood a weapons rack proudly displaying some of the trophies he had picked up along the way. An Ebony Greatsword was certainly a wonder to look at with its dark, engraved blade; past it was a bookcase filled to overflowing with the many books he had collected on his travels. He was an avid reader and always on the lookout for anything that had a binder and some pages.
Taking another quick glance at the bookcase he spotted The Legend of Red Eagle and decided to take some time and read it again.
But, yes, Sean was finally back home. The deed he had purchased from the Jarl’s steward, Proventus Avennicci, might call this place Breezehome. But to him it was simply home.
Moving up to his room on the second floor, Sean removed his plate armor, which he had forged himself. He removed the helm to reveal a tanned face with black hair and a trimmed goatee. After removing all the armor, the adventurer donned his fine clothes, which comprised a brown tunic, pants, and boots. Once done changing, Sean went back downstairs to cook dinner for Thanksgiving Day.
There was a lot to do before it was time for dinner and this was one of the few times the warrior overindulged in food and drink.
Over the next few hours, he prepared an assortment of ingredients for the various meats roasting over the fire in his living room. Beef, venison, lambchops, pheasant, and a leg of goat were being cooked on a revolving spit as he seared salmon and slaughterfish in a pan right next to the meats. His mouth watered as the intoxicating smells permeated throughout the room as the various herbs, spices and meats were mixed together.
In a pot, simmered a venison stew and, as he waited for everything to cook, Sean grabbed the lute that was lying in one of the two chairs right next to the fire. He had purchased it from Lucen Vallerius who, along with his sister, ran the Riverwood Trader. Sean had met the siblings who had asked him to retrieve the Golden Claw. The request had led him on an interesting adventure leading to a crypt where he encountered a Dragon Priest and discovered a Wall of Words.
Sean had felt mesmerized when he first gazed upon that wall and, with a shock, had realized that he understood three words. At the time he did not have a clue as to what it had all meant. All he knew was that he had gained a skill, which had proven invaluable.
As Sean strummed the lute in an absent-minded fashion, playing a melancholy tune, he realized that it had been about two months since that fateful day in Helgen. Two months when a dragon had attacked the town and inadvertently stalled his execution. He could still feel the leather strips that tied his hands behind his back. Feel the cold steel of the axe on the back of his neck as the executioner lined up the killing blow. He had braced himself for the deathblow only to be startled at the dragon’s roar. Had stared in shock as a dragon landed and started to breath fire and lash about with its tail.
As he remembered the events, Sean rubbed the scar that ran across his left eye. He had received it from falling debris that had fallen on him as the dragon had rammed into a tower as he and some other prisoners had run down, making their escape.
A month later, after Helgen and the events in Riverwood, Sean had found himself in Whiterun facing off against another dragon. This time he hadn’t run. Instead he went out with a patrol, led by Ireleth. It had been his hand that had dealt the final blow to the beast. But in the midst of victory he received a shock when the essence of the dragon had flowed into him.
Yet still he had no idea what it could all mean only that people had started to whisper the word, “Dragonborn.”
For his slaying of the dragon, Sean had received the rank of Thane from a grateful Balgruuf the Greater, Jarl of Whiterun. Along with the title he had been given permission to purchase a house in the town itself: an honor to be sure, given how scarce such houses were.
Sean stopped fiddling with the lute and reached over the small table between his chair and the other, placing the lute in the empty chair. Here he was in his new home on Thanksgiving Day and no one to share the holiday with.
Through the walls he could just hear the laughing and merrymaking taking place over at the Bannered Mare, which Hulda ran. Mikael, who thought of himself as a musician, was singing the same song he always sung. For a bard he was rather limited in his musical choices. However, Sean didn’t feel like going over to the establishment. He wanted to stay in his home and relax despite the twinge of loneliness he was feeling.
Rising up from his chair as he noticed that the sun was setting, washing the room in a soft orange glow. Sean went over to the fire and saw that everything was fully cooked. Grabbing a silver platter he removed all the meats from the roasting spit and piled them on before placing it on the long table. He grabbed a bowl and then filled it with the venison stew. As he was filling a silver bowl full of fruits and vegetables he noticed an apple pie that his housecarl must have picked up during the day.
Putting that on a separate plate, he set the table with the platter full of roasted meats, a small bowl of stew, the bowl of fruits and vegetables along with a wheel each of Eidar and goat cheese, a jug filled with the best ale in town, and the aromatic apple pie.
Sean sat at the head of the long table, alone, and gazed out the window at the star-filled sky. As the two moons illuminated the outside with their glow he offered up a prayer to Mara, the goddess of love. Normally he would pray to Stendarr the Merciful as most Imperials would; especially those who had served in the Legion.
Yet sitting at the long table, all alone, Sean couldn’t help but pray that one day soon he would be able to celebrate these holidays with someone other than himself.
Yes, perhaps he could start looking around for a companion. Someone who would be there to keep the loneliness at bay and to provide him comfort when he needed it.
But not just yet.
First he needed to find out more about the Dragonborn and the strange occurrences that had happened to him at the Wall of Words and that dragon. There were too many questions and not enough answers.
However, he would also keep his eyes open along the way for any potential candidates.
For now, he was thankful to still be alive to celebrate this holiday. Not many could say that after encountering a dragon let alone the countless draugr and frostbite spiders. By the Imperial gods he worshipped, he had even come across several ice wraiths!
The goddess of good fortune, Kynareth, had indeed smiled upon him despite the loneliness he felt.
Reaching this decision Sean started to eat the prepared food with gusto and vigor while planning his future in the province of Skyrim.