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Through a SpellSword's Eyes: A Journey Through the Beauty of Skyrim

Going through a roleplay intensive run of Skyrim Special Edition reminded me just how beautiful the Elder Scrolls games are. And inspired me to tell you a story ...

Skyrim, though a harsh and cold land, is also a beautiful one. A land dotted with majestic waterfalls, expansive mountain ranges and ancient history. And during my most recent playthrough of Skyrim Special Edition, that beauty became more evident than ever before.

So, I decided to take you on an adventure with me, an adventure to discover some of the most majestic places in all of Skyrim

My character, Garett, a Breton spellsword, made his voyage into Dawnstar by way of boat (thanks to the Live Another Life mod). Coming from a family of merchants, mages and craftsmen, his wanderlust became too strong and despite the pleas of his mother, he set out in search of adventure. He set out for a legacy worthy of songs and bard's tales.

Riverwood from Skyrim

His travels took him to the hamlet of Riverwood, a quiet town built around a lumber mill. He'd heard rumors of a darkness seen in the skies about the hamlet at night. Hopefully, he thought, they were only the imaginations of simple, superstitious folk. 

Riverwood itself was an unremarkable town -- simple people going about their simple lives. He overheard who he assumed was the blacksmith's wife, scolding him for his behavior from the night before. And in the distance, a wood elf was splitting firewood. If he listened hard enough, he could hear the laughter of children playing behind the trade goods store.

But soon Garett left Riverwood and found himself wondering why such a peaceful town would be built in the shadow of Bleak Falls Barrow -- a resting place of the ancient Nord dead. Looking back, even the architecture of the place had given him an uneasy feeling...

Of course, he'd heard tales of Draugr, the reanimated corpses of those who followed the dragon priests that guarded those barrows. But he wondered: "What manner of secrets did they guard? What powerful magics did the ancient Nords seal away in these crypts?" Answers to these questions were what Garett hoped soon to find.

As the day wore on Garett came upon Falkreath -- the hold of the dead. Falkreath was home to the largest cemetery in Skyrim and the surrounding land had an almost supernatural stillness to it. The air was moist and cool, the forests, though teeming with life, were as silent and somber as the gravestones that dotted the cemetery.  

The sun was starting to descend behind the mountains and this was not where Garett wanted to stay for the night. While a warm meal at an inn sounded nice, Dead Man's Drink wasn't what he'd envisioned when he thought of a cozy, sleepless night. That's when he remembered: On his way to Falkreath, Garett had seen a large body of water to the north. That's where he would go. 

Lake Ilinalta was a beautiful sight to behold. If memory served Garett right, it was the largest lake in Skyrim and the unfortunate resting place of a former Imperial fort. With daylight fading quickly, Garett set out to gather wood for his camp, and although his decision to spend the night in nature was a far cry from the comforts of an inn, he was determined to enjoy a hot meal.

As the fired crackled, Garett reflected on his decision to leave all he'd known and loved in High Rock. He wondered how his mother was doing and whether or not the innkeeper's daughter remembered him.

With a full stomach and heavy eyes, Garett added more fuel to the fire and checked around his camp once more. A simple magical cantrip he learned long ago would wake him if anyone came too close while he slept. 

"Tomorrow," he thought to himself, "I will circle the lake and see what treasures still lie within that ruined fortress."

Add some of your favorite pictures from your Skyrim playthroughs in the comments below. Also, if you like what you read, leave a comment below so I know to continue with Garett's story. 

Published Nov. 12th 2016

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