LandLocked Chapter 1

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic


Based on the Best Selling Video Game Skyrim. Read all about Urmha and her struggles on land in this fun, action packed story about self discovery.

Submitted: June 09, 2018

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Submitted: June 09, 2018

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Winterhold was once a city of importance, a place of great pride. This was long before Urmha's time of course. Where she stood now, looking over the Sea of Ghosts with a sack slung over her shoulder, all she cared about was affording a warm bed for the night.

From behind her she could hear the bickering of town's folk. There weren't many left in Winterhold since the Sea swallowed up what the Oblivion Crisis hadn't destroyed. All that remained were a handful of damaged homes and the college. And, in Nord fashion, the locals turned on the college mages when they could find no one else to blame for their misfortunes.

Jarl Korir's hatred for anything Magic encouraged the bigotry to spread. It was so common at this point that many who entered the college refused to leave the safety of its walls. The only one who was brave enough was Nelacar, who did most of experiments at the Frozen Hearth. Of all the folks in Winterhold, Urmha liked him the most. He stayed to himself and kept his nose out of her business.

Reaching into her bag of spoils, Urmha uncorked a cracked flask and brought it to her lips.

She took a gulp, only to gag and spit the liquid into the snow. “Ug!” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “Tastes like horse piss.” Tossing the bottle over the cliff's edge, she watched it tumble to the shore line amid a group of sleeping mudcrabs. “Considering it's from an Orc ship. It probably was horse piss.”

Turning tail and heading back into town, she did her best to keep her head down. Birna and Ranmir were up to their usual squabble, standing out front of the local store. It was such a common occurrence that the guards didn't bother to intervene anymore. Ranmir would go about his usual rant, cursing his sister for not leaving him alone. After he'd sulk to the Inn for a drink. He had enough of a tab to burn the place down and build it back up again.

Pushing past the quarreling siblings, Urmha hurried into Birna's shop, knocking the snow from her boots before doing so.

“If he wants to waste his time, he could at least do so out of his own pocket.” Birna came in behind her, tossing another log on the fire before going around to the counter. “We barely make ends meet without him blowing it on Dagur's watered down ale.”

“I could always take him out of town.” Urmha offered, only half jokingly. “Knock him over the head, leave him for the wolves. No one would miss him.”

Oddly enough, Birna paused for a second, contemplating.

“No, no.” She said. “ I'd have an eternity of ma's lectures in Sovngarde if I let you. He was her baby, no matter how pathetic he was and still is.” She sighed. “Any luck in the waters?”

Urmha emptied her bag on the counter top. She had very little from her previous haul that wasn't water damaged or broken. All that remained were a few amethysts, a couple steel daggers and a pair of rough leather boots. “As long as it's enough to buy me a drink and a bed.”

That's all her goal had been since the RoughStrider sank. The last remaining member of her crew, she was too young and inexperienced on land to amount to much. (Or so she told herself). It'd been a few weeks since she touched down in Winterhold and she had very little to show for it. Aside from a handful of gold pieces and her father's sword, she was lost and aimless.

“From the looks of it....” Birna held one of the amethysts to her eye. “All together I could give you....five-”

“Five?!” Urmha's response caused the shop keeper to jump. “The three jewels alone are worth more than that.”

“With Ranmir drinking away my earnings and so few people coming into town, I haven't much else to offer.” Turning to the shelves behind her, Birna picked up a set of iron wrist guards and a few leather straps. “I can offer these and the gold as a trade. That's as good as it gets right now.”

A few gold were better than none. Though, as she accepted the trade and tried the wrist guards on for size, Urmha realized she wouldn't be able to afford a decent meal for the night, let alone a room at the Inn.

The door swung open as she pulled the last latch into place. The sudden burst of cold air blew through the room, extinguishing the grate much to Birna's dismay.

“I've got it.” Urmha borrowed an abandoned oil lamp sitting on the hearth. Dousing the wood, she sent a flame from her fingers into the bed. There was a sharp crack, then a surge of warmth. “You should invest in more wood.” She added. “Unless you want me to get some, I'll trade for more of those leather straps.”

Birna opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted.

“You have a lot of nerve.” The customer who had just entered stood with the door ajar, uncaring of the chill she was inviting in. “Look at you Birna, allowing that kind of thing in your home. Why, if my Assur let some magic slinging elf into our house I'd-”

home. Keep your gossip to the long house where it belongs. I'm sure the Jarl is glad to hear it.”

“Don't sass me little girl.” Thaena snapped back. “If it wasn't for Korir this whole town would be floating at the bottom of the sea. We're the only family that cares about Winterhold anymore.” Turning her nose up at the both of them she added. “If you don't want my gold I can always go somewhere else.”

“You have about as much as the rest of us.” Urmha said, wiping the access lamp oil off onto her trousers. “The bodies floating in the Sea of Ghosts matter more to Winterhold than you do. At least I can find something useful when I loot their corpses.” Snapping her fingers, a jolt of lightening struck the wood next to Thaena's head. “Now get going before I send you back the Jarl in an ashtray.” As to be expected, the woman fled, dropping her coin purse in the process. Urmha wandered over and picked it up. She opened it and two gold septims fell into her palm. “Just like the rest of us...” She placed it on the counter. “One for you, one for me.”

“Take them both.” Birna assured. “That's the most entertainment I've seen in a while. Besides, if you leave it here, Ranmir'll waste it on his bar tab.” As her customer turned to go, she commented. “Have you thought of joining the college? Contrary to what the Jarl thinks, the college keeps Winterhold from going under. There's more gold to be found there, that's for sure.”

“It's not up my ally.” Urmha said. “Pa always said there wasn't much in studying books. I'd rather find my own way through this shitstorm we call life.”

“It's always an option.” Birna said, her back to her guest as she arranged what few items she had left. “There isn't much for a scavenger in these parts.”

“I've noticed.” Exiting, Urmha wandered to the Inn where Dagur agreed to let her sleep on the basement floor for the evening. It was better than nothing.

Which, as of late, seemed to be her motto.

Better than nothing .


© Copyright 2018 Richard Mapes. All rights reserved.

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