Courtesy Bethesda Softworks

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and apologize in advance for what may turn out to be only passable fan fiction as I write down stuff that goes through my head as I play this game.

9th Evening Star, 201 4E

Standing here looking down upon Skyrim I wonder if this all could have been averted.

All of it. After talking with Paarthurnax, I think back on the dragons I’ve slain since I came here. I was coming to Skyrim to study magic, not to learn the way of the sword and certainly not to speak with dragons. Even in Breton we take it as read that dragons are things of the past, not filling the skies of today.

Yet they do, and so I did.

The price on my head that dragged me here is all but forgotten, along with much else of that seemingly distant and easy life. Now I stand here, taking in the breadth of Skyrim from the peak of the Throat of the World, and I wonder. Was every dragon I’ve slain driven to that end, or was it chosen by them?

I search my soul, or rather the souls I’ve taken into myself, and find no answers. Yet in my heart of hearts I hear their chant. They urge me on. To conquer. To dominate. I look upon the land beneath my feet, and the thought lingers in the back of my mind: “Mine.”

I was a scholar before. I still am. I’ve never had the desire to rule, not before coming to Skyrim, not before seeing the Imperials and the Stormcloaks squabble amongst themselves even as Alduin and his ilk burn the holds down around them. I’d much rather retreat into the seclusion of Winterhold and continue the study of magic, or have further talks with Adrienne about different styles and types of smithing. Yet if I do not venture into the chilling wastes, channeling these unfamiliar and disturbingly attractive urges into the defeat of rampaging dragons, there will be no more books to study, no more anvils to strike, no more people to meet.

I can’t let that happen. I was born for this and didn’t know it until Alduin first appeared. Knowledge once gained cannot be denied. What went before helped shaped me but remains in my past.

I am dovahkiin.

This world is my charge, and I shall not see it fall while I yet can draw breath to shout.