If you missed Khalim’s first letter, be sure to check it out. As a Companion to Athena in the Year of the RPG, and as an old friend of Khalim’s father, I have decided to help the young Redguard in his efforts to find his sister.
Here is the second letter from Khalim:
To The Keeper,
I must apologize for the delay in my reply to you; much has happened since your letter.
When last I wrote, I was a patron of the Sleeping Giant Inn and was doing my best to blend in and avoid the notice of the local lawmen. As you can imagine, hiding is difficult for one such as I in a land of people that are paler than a new moon. There was a local there though who did not seem to mind my presence so much as the others.
On my second night at the inn, Alvor, the town blacksmith approached me with an ale – a peace offering he said – and sat himself down at my table. When I did not drink from the ale nor respond to his greeting he bellowed a laugh full of amusement, drank both mugs and then left only to return with two more mugs. He set another ale in front of me and with a raised eyebrow and rueful expression, watched me study it suspiciously. “Skyrim hasn’t been kind to ye lad, has she?” he asked with a deep northern accent.
When again I didn’t respond, he took a long drink from his cup and began speaking. Whether to me or just into the silence, I was not sure, but I found that his steady cadence and deep voice were a reassurance after so many days spent wallowing in frustration, fear and anger. Eventually I drank the mug of ale and when it was done, he waved over the innkeeper and had my mug filled again. It was my first encounter with any sort of spirit, but I found that I rather enjoyed the rich and bitter taste of the Nordic drink. The more he spoke, the more I drank and before long I found that the room had grown too warm and too comfortable to do anything but sleep.
The following day found me visiting Alvor at his smithy, to thank him for his kindness the night before. He introduced me to his wife and child and invited me to work with him, explaining “There’s nothing to set a man straighter than working with fire and ore.”
So I threw myself into every task he gave me: cutting leather strips, melting ore into ingots and eventually crafting basic weapons and armor. I had no experience as a smith but Alvor was a patient and attentive teacher and before long I found myself lost in the rhythms of hammer on anvil and was able to forget about my troubles, if only for a while.
As the day came to a close, we worked in companionable silence for a while before Alvor sat back with a contented sigh and turned to me. “There’s a peace in honest work” he said, “and ye have a talent as a smithy lad, should ye ever want to take up the hammer.” I began to thank him but he held up a hand, forestalling anything else I was going to say. “Yer reasons for being in Skyrim are yer own but know that ye have a friend in me and my kin. Know too that my nephew, Hadvar, survived Helgen and when he showed up on my doorstep days ago he told me that you were the reason he made it out alive. The boy wanted to thank ye himself, but needed to report to the General in Solitude about the Dragon and left in a hurry.”
Alvor then thanked me for saving his nephew and explained that he had promised Hadvar he would repay me the kindness. He wrapped up the armor and weapons that we had spent the day making in some well oiled cloth and thrust the bulky package into my arms. “A warrior needs armor, and if I haven’t missed my guess, you’ll be needing it and the blade before too long. Take it – a life for a life.” Stunned by the gesture, I didn’t know how to properly thank the large man but swore that I would do everything I could to one day repay him this kindness. He nodded his head and explained that while he did not feel he could ask me for anything else, that someone needed to warn the Jarl in Whiterun about the Dragon attack and that if I found myself going that way, to please pass on the warning,
With a map in hand, a pack full of supplies and the armor that Alvor gifted me, I left the small town of Riverwood the following morning. The way to Whiterun proved an adventure all it’s own, as I encountered a small pack of wolves and was later set upon by a group of filthy bandits. I am now richer two complete wolf pelts and a small bag of coins for my trouble though. Currently, I am writing to you from The Bannered Mare, an inn found in Whiterun’s lower district. These people have strange names for their taverns…
Tomorrow I will meet with the Jarl, but in the meantime have taken your advice and am inquiring with the locals about rumors surrounding the Dark Brotherhood. Many who I have asked turn away at the mention of the assassin’s but a few have been helpful… apparently there is a boy who lives in a city far to the north that has been attempting to summon an assassin from the Dark Brotherhood. After I meet with the Jarl, my plan is to head north in search of the child to learn what I can of the dark ritual involved in contacting those demons. For the first time in weeks, I feel a step closer to finding Najwa.
Leki bless you, Keeper.