Natasha explored the forest all night, and had to fend off countless wolves and a gang of bandits. When she reached Riverwood in the morning, she learned the roads had become too dangerous for most citizens to travel. Several townsfolk needed Natasha’s help, and she happily promised to assist each and every one of them.
When the shops in Riverwood opened for the day’s business, Natasha was able to sell the weapons and armour she looted from the bandits. The shopkeeper and his daughter were extremely upset about a recent burglary. Thieves stole their most prized possession, but couldn’t help bragging over their crime. Natasha learned they were hiding out in a tomb nearby, and she was eager to teach them a final lesson.
At last, Natasha located Ralof and his sister, Gerdur, near the mill. “We need help to defend Riverwood!” Gerdur insisted. “You must go to the Jarl of Whiterun, and tell him what happened at Helgen. We need his protection!” Of course Natasha agreed to deliver the urgent message, and set out on her mission without delay.
She couldn’t help but worry for the good people of Riverwood as she hurried north. The dragon destroyed Helgen when it attacked, and Riverwood wouldn’t have a chance. She pushed her body to reach Whiterun as quickly as she could.
It was almost midnight when Natasha finally saw the grand city jutting toward the sky. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to speak with the Jarl until morning, she slowed her pace and caught her breath. As she relaxed slightly, she realized how exhausted she was from lack of sleep and the long distance run. She could almost hear a fresh bed at the inn beckoning her!
After a deep and dreamless sleep, Natasha woke up feeling well rested and excited to help protect her new friends. It was a sunny morning, and the beauty of Whiterun impressed her immediately. Flowers decorated the yards of every home and shop, while butterflies flitted about. The architecture of the buildings was equally stunning, and Natasha smiled brightly as she walked along the winding streets.
“Excuse me, Lady, could you spare a coin?” came a sweet voice behind her. She turned and saw a beautiful little girl, who had soulful brown eyes and golden hair.
“Of course I can!” Natasha replied and gave the child a gold coin. “Are you going to buy yourself a sweet roll, or some taffy perhaps?” The little girl explained that she planned to buy potato soup for dinner. “You have to buy dinner? What about your parents–does your family need food?”
“No…” she became quiet and looked down for a moment before saying, “My parents died, and my uncle said I should beg in the streets to fend for myself.”
Natasha’s heart sank in her chest. She was appalled to think of the heartlessness of some people. She remembered how much it hurt when she lost her own mother, and was severely mistreated by the only person she had left. She sat down with the precious child, named Lucia, and talked with her about her situation. “I could adopt you, if you like,” Natasha offered.
“Really?” Lucia exclaimed. “Do you have a place where I can live?”
It hurt her to answer, “No, not yet. But I will make it my top priority to get us a really nice home, okay?”
“I can’t wait. You’re the best!”
They relaxed together on the bench, and got to know each other better. Soon the market circle filled with shoppers and a passionate man who preached about Talos–the Nord’s most beloved god. “I have to go talk to the Jarl,” she explained to Lucia, “but I promise I’ll see you again very soon.”
Natasha climbed the stairs to the castle called Dragonsreach. Jarl Balgruuf listened to the message from Riverwood and immediately gave the order to send reinforcements to protect the town. “Now that you’re here,” he said, “we could use your help to learn everything we can about this dragon problem. Talk to my court wizard about what you saw at Helgen.”
“Thank you, I will!” She politely changed the subject, “If I may ask a personal favour of you… I’m going to adopt Lucia–she’s an orphan here–but I don’t have a home yet. Could you have the guards keep an eye on her, please?”
“Every child is safe in my Hold,” he assured her, “but I’ll see to it that she’s fed and cared for while you’re away. You should also see my steward–there might be a house available for you to buy in Whiterun.”
The Jarl’s court wizard sent Natasha to the same tomb the thieves went to with the shopkeeper’s treasure. The wizard needed a stone tablet from the tomb for his research into the return of the dragons.
The ancient tomb was infested with walking skeletons and undead Nord warriors, so she crept slowly and used her bow to shoot at each draugr before they could rise. Natasha had a good time picking them off in that way, and she found plenty of treasure in burial urns. She took a sword from one draugr’s remains because she was completely unskilled with a shield, and trying to use one was too dangerous for her.
Wielding two swords worked especially well when a giant spider dropped down from a ceiling in the tomb. She hacked and slashed at its massive, hairy body and slaughtered it rather quickly, although she continued to hit it long after it was dead. The spider had captured the thief Natasha was seeking, so she cut him loose from the thick web.
“You’ll never catch me!” he proclaimed as soon as he was free. He ran from her and she grinned briefly, then drew her swords and chased after him. He had the Golden Claw on his body, which she retrieved for the shopkeeper in Riverwood.
After slaying the undead creatures and collecting all the valuables she could carry, Natasha finally reached the chamber of a legendary king. The chamber utilized all the elements in its awe-inspiring design. She approached cautiously, but nothing jumped out at her.
She breathed a sigh of relief and examined the ornate wall at the back of the chamber. Strange writing carved into the wall started glowing when she got near it. She was captivated and could hear ritualistic chanting with her mind, which culminated in a distinct shout that she could understand. The glowing words meant ‘unrelenting force.’
Her mind cleared again just as she heard the king’s sarcophagus burst open behind her. The draugr shouted at her and she lunged at it, slashing and stabbing with both swords. The undead king fought back with all his might, but Natasha overcame him. She was severely wounded in the battle and drank a healing potion in one swig. “Bet you wish you had one of these, eh?” she asked the dead-again corpse at her feet. Then she took the Dragonstone the Jarl’s wizard needed, and rushed back to Whiterun with it.
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