Chapter 24:

(6th of Hearthfire)


Sara was tempted to tie a rope around Vilkas in order to make sure they didn't get lost in this place. She creates a small ball of light as it follows her closely. "Looks like there's a old road down bellow..." She looks ahead to see a small building ahead with a Dwarven Sphere guarding the door. "Wonder what's in there.." She aims her bow and hits the Sphere, the thing springing open to attack. She aims another arrow at it's head and knocks it back slightly. Vilkas joins on the assault until the damn thing had stopped moving. They slowly make their way down and enter the small building. It looked to be an old alchemy sight, but the person that had been living here was long dead. She covers her ears at the loud ringing sound to see a large crimson Nirnroot growing. "Now that's new.." Vilkas almost knocks over a skeleton and picks up a old journal. "Seems this poor fellow was named Sinderion." Her eyes go wide as she takes a peek at the journal. "Well I'll be, so this is where he ran off to.." He tilts his head at her. "You knew this man?" "He was a Altmer that lived out in Skingrad, he was famous for his research on Nirnroots...until one day, he just vanished." She takes a look around, wondering what had mad the elf travel all the way out here. She pokes through his journal. "Looks like he was studding this crimson Nirnroot...God's that's annoying." Outside the large stock of ingredients, there wasn't much here. "Mmm now the question is, where to go from here?" They slowly head back out, wondering which path to follow.

They start with the right path, to another lift. It only lead them outside. She opens the gate as she looks around. "Where are we?" Vilkas wraps his arms around her. The only thing they could see was just snow. "Hard to tell, we should go back down." She nods as she just leans into his arms. "Aww, okay.." Once back underground she pulls out a blank paper and makes a rough drawing on where they've been. She keeps the area lit with her magic as they move slowly. They pass several plan looking towers, a group of Falmer roaming the area. Lucky for them, since the pale skinned elves were blind, they didn't notice the light. The nearby Chaurus did notice as she feels one spit it's venom at her. It burned like hell as she attacks the large black insect. She had never had to deal with these things before, and found them rather annoying. She limps a bit as she pulls out a cure poison potion and drinks it slowly. The burning feeling slowly went away as they kept moving forward. It wasn't long until they reached a large ruin. The place was a fortress as she could hear, voices. She raises her brow as Vilkas just shrugs at her. They move slowly, the main courtyard was lit up from a large glowing orb from above. She pulls out her blades quickly, to see the Falmer had kept slaves nearby. These people were so far removed, they had no choice but to attack. The Falmer were to far from their 'stock'. She felt bad for these people, but couldn't help but wonder how they got down here in the first place. They move out slowly, making sure the area was clear before she looks up. "Hey, lets go up there, we'll be able to see out more."

They move up a ramp to a small lookout. It mostly looked out the large ruin city. Still she couldn't keep her eyes off the strange light. "Now I know how moths feel when they see a bright light.." Vilkas stands with her as he tries to get a closer look. He couldn't tell how this thing worked, but it was a masterpiece. "I don't think we're going to find anything up here...Sara?" She was just silently gazing at the glowing orb. She didn't know why, but she takes a deep breath. Vilkas jolts and quickly covers his ears. "FusRoDah!" Her shout hits the orb, creating a loud ringing sound. Vilkas lowers his arms in time to hear a dragon roar. They both look at one another as a large dull copper scaled dragon comes out of hiding and lands outside the old fortress. They both rush out to where the dragon had landed as it turns an angry gaze at them. "Who calls Vulthuryol?" Sara slowly raises her hand to the dragon. "How...did you get down here?" The dragon moves slowly as it lets out a loud huff. "Dovahkiin...face me, if you dare!" Her eyes go wide as the dragon takes a deep breath. "YolToorShul!" It uses a powerful fire breath on them as they had to roll away from the deadly flames. She pulls out Dragonbane, she could feel the sword come to life at the idea it would sink into dragon flesh. She cuts into the dragon, the sword giving the dragon a powerful shock. The dragon roars out against her as she swings out the blade again and gets a good cut along it's face as Vilkas follows and uses his greatsword into the dragon. It wasn't long before they had done enough damage to the beast and it falls over. She could swear, his last look, told her 'thank you' as it's body turns to ash.

She lets it's soul sink into her body as she rubs her eyes. She still wasn't used to the feeling. All it's knowledge, it's memories, now belonged to her. But for some reason that didn't quiet answer how it got here. Let alone why a glowing orb had summoned it. She slowly places her hand over her heart as Vilkas walks over her, placing his hand on her back. "You okay my love?" She gives him a small nod as she looks up. "I know where the tower is.." He helps her to her feet. "How?" "The dragon...it's apart of it's memory.." She leads him to a far back corner, a waterfall had covered most of the area. They followed a bridge to what looked to be another lift. "This is it.." They step in as she pulls the lever, moving up. Once it stopped they were in a new area, a small room with not much inside. They move forward to the main chamber that housed what had become to be known as the Oculory. A curious device created by the Dwemer for unknown purposes. They follow the ramp up to the main floor. Vilkas lets out a low gasp. "By Ysmir, this is impressive.." Sara could only nod. "It's...a work of art, but..." She looks farther up to see a set of what looked to be a control panel. They both head up as she sees a slot for the Lexicon she had. Once inside, the whole thing powers up as they both jump. "Oh wow...um..lets see." Only three out of the four buttons were lit. "Any idea how this works?" He could only shake his head. "Oh boy...um...find a exit just in case..." He wasn't about to leave her side as she starts to push the buttons. She starts to take notice the machine would reset after so many pushes. So she keeps count as it moves, to try a different button and so on. After about an hour or so she sees something slide down and a strange green case opens, holding a scroll.

They move slowly as she sets up to where the scroll was and removes it carefully. Vilkas takes the Lexicon as they see a door to the side. They follow the door to a lift and ride it up to the surface. They exit the lift as she sees it was pure darkness outside. It was impossible to tell where they were now. She gives him a helpless look as they head to a old looking tent near by. Despite the poor weather, it was good enough to keep them warm, and large enough to get a fire going. She uses a nearby cooking pot and cleans it out before using it. She pulls out her bag as she gets some food out before glancing at the Elder Scroll. She sits it on her lap as she runs her fingers over the ivory case. "I can't believe it, an actual Elder Scroll..." He scoots closer as he takes a look. "No one is ever going to believe this.." He chuckles softly as he leans in and kisses the side of her head. Since their first night together, something about him had changed. It wasn't hard to miss he seemed, happier, and a lot less grumpy. It was a nice change she had to admit. "I feel there is far more to Blackreach we have yet to see, but maybe we should just be happy we've walked away.." He nods and just pulls her close to him. She leans into him as he helps her cook. "I didn't know you could cook." She looks up at him as he huffs at her. "Of course, we all know how to cook when out in the wilds.." She giggles as she runs her fingers through his thick hair. "You're cute when you pout." He lets out a low growl as he nips at her hand. After they eat she slowly lays down. She could still feel the same tingling feeling from before as she shivers. "Cold?" She shakes her head at him.

"It...absorbing another dragons soul, it still feels...odd." She opens her eyes to see he was now laying close to her. He had removed his armor before he had joined her. "I know it's a part of me, I guess it's hard to explain..." He props himself up on his hand as he keeps his eyes on her. She could see his form, lit from the nearby fire. "I hope it doesn't hurt..." She could see a dull shine to his eyes. "No, it's...like a warmth of sorts." The feeling was so hard to put to words. "I'm not really sure how to put it into words, but it's there, like they'er all a part of me now. Gods that sounds...almost creepy.." He lets out a soft laugh as he leans in and kisses her. "Get some sleep, I'm sure you'll feel better in the morning.." She rolls her eyes at him. "After that, I really don't feel like falling asleep." There was to much going through her mind. "There's a part of me that wants to go explore more." He could only shake his head at her. "I can't help it!" He just pulls her to his side as he kisses her neck. "I'll distract you.." She lets out a small yip as he starts to nibble at her. "Hey, I'm not food!" He lets out a deep growl at her as he hovers over her. "But you do taste divine my dear~" She blushes at that as he slips his hand under her tunic. She couldn't help but giggle at him however, might as well do something to pass the time. After a few hours or so, he was sound asleep. She just snuggles into his warm embrace, still unable to sleep. The fire was slowly going out, but with the flap closed, it was still nice and warm. She watches him sleep, his steady breathing was oddly relaxing. He looked so peaceful laying on his side. She finally lets out a yawn as she closes her eyes and falls into a deep sleep.

(7th of Hearthfire)

She wakes up slowly when she hears someone shuffling about. Her eyes open to see Vilkas had returned from outside as he smiles at her brightly. "Good news my love, I did a bit of scouting, we're only several miles away from Whiterun.." She sits up, her eyes shining at him. "Really, we'll don't that beat all?" That was some kind of good luck she had to admit. "Man just how big is Blackreach if we're near Whiterun?" He taps his chin as he looks up. "Several miles by my guess, but at this point, I'm not complaining.." She quickly gets dressed and picks up the Elder Scroll. She wasn't going to just stuff this in her bag, having no idea what that might do. She was just going to hang onto it until they made it back to Ivarstead. "How long do you think we were down there?" Vilkas helps her out as they get ready to leave. "Not long, we go lucky I think." Between the open lift and the dragon, they had found the tower in no time at all. It didn't take much time to find the road and follow it right to Whiterun. They waste no time at all as they went right to the stables. She hires a carriage to take them to Ivarstead. It would save them some time after all the walking they did. This way, all they had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. That was until she feels a strange shift to see Farkas had jumped in. The large Nord had spotted them as he was leaving, and joined them. "You made it back...where are you going?" She chuckles at her Shield-Brother. "Back to High Hrothgar..we found the Scroll." Sara holds it out as he lets out a low gasp. "Wow...that's impressive..." Vilkas raises his brow at his twin. "You wish to join us?" His eyes light up as he nods. It was hard to say no, and there was no telling how this was going to work. "Alright, but you tell no one about what you see.." Farkas tilts his head at this. "What do you mean?"

She lowers her head as she talks softly. "The leader of the Greybeards, is a dragon, he's a good dragon." Farkas looks up at her in awe before he started to look excited. They both share a good laugh as they both tell him what they had seen in Blackreach. She really did hope at some point they could return. She would just love to see more of it. Even if it might be a deathtrap. There was something still magical about the place that called to her. The driver comes to a stop half way, he needed to make his way to Windhelm so they had to get off here. They follow the road the rest of the way, making it to the small farming village. There was no stopping here however as they made their way up the steps to High Hrothgar. Farkas had always wanted to come out this way, that and he was starting to miss his brother a touch. He waits until she was farther up ahead before he gives his brother a nudge. "So?" Vilkas lets out a low grumble at his twin. "No I haven't asked.." Farkas lets out a low groan. "And they call me an ice brain, come on, what are you waiting for?" He narrows his eyes as he just raises his hands as if that should give him an answer. "After...whatever is to happens, happens...I have no idea what to expect." They enter High Hrothgar, the quiet of the stones still unsettled her. She didn't mind quiet, just not to the point where she could hear her own heartbeat. It wasn't long before Arngeir steps out as he looks at the three of them. "Dragonborn...you added a traveler.." She rubs the back of her head. "This is Farkas, figured it could hurt to bring one extra person." She holds out the Elder Scroll. "After all, these things are known to cause...blindness." While she hoped that wouldn't happen to her, better safe then sorry.

She would have to lead the way back up the Throat of the World. They both cover their ears as she shouts away the cold wind and clears the path. The clear skies shout was quickly becoming her new favorite ability to use against the weather. She would still have to try this latter when out traveling and when the weather decided to take a turn for the worst. They make it to the top as Farkas takes a look around. The top of the mountain was so far removed from the rest of the world. He jumps and hides behind Sara when he sees a large old dragon looking at them. Paarthurnax was sitting on the word wall as he looks at them. "Farkas, this is Paarthurnax." The poor Nord could only bow his head as the dragon returns the jester. "You have it. The Kel - the Elder Scroll. Tiid kreh... qalos. Time shudders at its touch. There is no question. You are doom-driven. Kogaan Akatosh. The very bones of the earths are at your disposal. Go then. Fulfill your destiny. Take the Scroll to the Time-Wound. Do not delay. Alduin will be coming. He cannot miss the signs." That didn't sound good as she takes the Scroll to the time wound. She takes a slow deep breath. "Watch over me...will you?" Vilkas gives her a firm nod as Farkas does the same. They would both watch over her no matter what. She opens the Scroll and all they see is a bright flash. She was still there, but her eyes were blank. They had no idea what was going on, but all they could do was watch.

For Sara she was still in the same spot, unable to move aside from turning her head. Her vision was covered in odd symbols, the Scroll was showing her a place in the distant past she had no part of. She could see the mass of dragons flying through the air. A male Nord steps out, holding his weapon. "Gormlaith! We're running out of time! The battle..." A large dragon lands as it snaps at them. "Daar sul thur se Alduin vokrii. Today Alduin's lordship will be restored. But I honor your courage. Krif voth ahkrin. Die now, in vain." The male attacks the large dragon. "For Skyrim!" He was joined by a woman, as she swings her mighty weapon. "Know that Gormlaith sent you down to death!" She manages to kill it before they jump away. "Hakon! A glorious day, is it not!" He just rolls his eyes at her as they walk away. "Have you no thought beyond the blooding of your blade?" She gives him a small shrug. "What else is there?" These had to be the old friends Paarthurnax had spoke of. The first warriors to use the Power of the Voice against Alduin. Hakon tries to remind her of how serious this was. "The battle below goes ill. If Alduin does not rise to our challenge, I fear all may be lost." "You worry too much, brother. Victory will be ours." Sara watches as a man, dressed in the same robes as the Graybeards shows up as he crosses his arms. Hakon turns to look at the monk. "Why does Alduin hang back? We've staked everything on this plan of yours, old man." He lets out a low huff at them. "He will come. He cannot ignore our defiance. And why should he fear us, even now?" "We've bloodied him well. Four of his kin have fallen to my blade alone this day." Gormlaith looked pleased with herself as she spoke. Sara just watches in awe, hoping to see them fight Alduin soon.