Paper Tiger

So, I have accidentally blundered into having some pretty big plans for myself. But first things first. The crazy mage came from the forest, and I can see some kind of hut there. Let’s go a sneakin’!

Hm.

Checking the place out furnishes me with some Hargrave feathers and a book entitled “Response to Bero’s Speeech”. Judging by the creepy stakes and animal parts everywhere this is a witch’s nest, and I ought to be careful. My guess is some mage or other has upset her and she’s been exiled or fled to plot against him, and the book will explain more, but it’ll have to wait until I have somewhere safe to read. I can see the meeting now. I bet Bero was all “Witches are lame yo, I say we don’t let them mage no more”, and she’s like “wtf blood I thought you had my back”, and he’s like “Nah man, y’all are straight up punk ass losers, get outta here”, and she’s all “Aight man, dis aint ova, I’ma get me a witch hut and make it big man, next time you see me I’ll be ballin’, peace out”. I so have to read this.

No sign of anyone else, so I turn back, nodding to the mammoth, who’s still lumbering about nearby with his friends, along with another giant. I guess these guys are herders, so have no reason to maraud or interfere with my hunting.

Back to Kynesgrove, and as I still have a room rented I figure I’ll help myself to their tanning rack – it’s all inclusive if they don’t say otherwise, right? – and put my newfound tanning skills to the test. Success! I convert some hides to leather, and have enough to stitch together a nice little leather pouch for storing some goodies in.

Not bad huh? Should be handy for some potions, when I have some. It’s nicer than the satchel that I’ve just realised I have no pictures of because it’s hidden under the cloak, but oh well.

While I’m posing for this, some random dork walks over and tries to copy me. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty distracting. Can’t a woman excercise a little vanity in peace? And what’s with the stupid helmets around here? I thought Nords were supposed to be practical people. I think he’s a Nord, anyway. He’s certainly tall enough, and looks kind of slow.

Eventually I have enough of his oddness and head inside for a lunch of cheese and some water. Living it up, yo. I still have the room, so get a few hours’ sleep before heading out again, this time to the river to the West, hoping to find some more mudcrabs.

Instead, I find a hut built right on the river, and inside it are the fresh remains of a thoroughly mutilated, possibly eaten corpse. Nearby I see movement, and am preparing a poisoned arrow when I realise with a chill what it is.

The sabre cat charges me. It’s a frickin’ sabre cat!

I don’t get many pictures, as it’s a goddamn sabre cat, and it took a poisoned arrow to the face with barely a shrug. These things are like the lions in Cyrodiil – fast, strong, and deadly. But it can’t swim as well as me, so we chase each other back and forth across the river a few times, until I wear it down by peppering it with more arrows, then finally chug the fortify one-handed potion I made at Nurelion’s, and finish it off with my sword.

It then starts to drift downriver, almost depriving me of both its pelt and my arrows, but fortunately the current leaves it beached right outside the hut. It’s then just a case of lugging it ashore and spending an hour pulling various pieces off its body. This is easily my best kill yet, and if not for the quick escape of diving into the river, it would almost certainly have killed me with ease. Close call.

I’m guessing they’re unusual around here, or the poor sap who lived here wouldn’t have built their hut without a door, or would at least have dug a moat filled with catnip. The hut is pretty nice though, with an open fire, bed, and even some furniture and barrels. A tanning rack too, and I get to work making some leather out of the dead cat.

The rest of the evening is a chore, trudging back and forth to Kynesgrove to unload the huge piles of meat, and skim-read the book I found in the witch’s shack. It’s irrelevant to witches as far as I can tell, being some mage’s response to another mage who claimed that the Destruction school of magic is for big stupid babies (it is). It’s pretty dull. I was hoping it would be all about how the witch planned to bust a witch-cap in Bero’s mage-ass, but I guess not.

Finally, I head back to the shack. It’s not ideal, sleeping in the bed of someone who was mauled to death not ten feet away, but it’s free, and I’m sick of trudging back to Kynesgrove. I pick the lock of a chest and find a meaningless treasure map, and a petty soul gem, which I take so I can destroy it somehow.

I also find some robes in the wardrobe, and I much prefer the pretty blue to my drab brown peasant garb, so swap them over. If I must travel in mufti (it’s warmer, for one), I’d like to look good doing it. Looks pretty good in fact.

Finally, and perhaps most usefully, I inherit a book called Grayfox’s Anatomy, which just happens to be the very volume recommended by the medical starter book I already have. I settle in and start reading it right away.

All in all, it’s been a pretty lucky day. I gotta start being more careful.

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