My journey to Bleak Falls Barrow was not without incident. Two rather angry giants took a disliking to me after I paid some interest in the contents of their treasure chest. A wholly unfair act of judgement with a punishment not fit for the supposed crime; a thwacking with their massive clubs. I decided to resolve and not interact with any more of these wandering nuisances as I recuperated and ventured forward; after all, I have a mission to achieve.
As I approach the top of the mountain side upon which Bleak Fall Barrow resides I feel the air growing colder. A steep set of stairs stands before me, and I know exactly what will be waiting at the top. I’ve been in Skyrim long enough to know that bandits like to set up camp outside ancient ruins, especially on mountain tops. Drawing my sword as I approach, I’m proven right. These two are short work however, and upon ransacking their corpses I quickly realise weren’t the most efficient thieves in the land. There’s loot here at Bleak Falls Barrows, but it’s not going to be with the living.
Sure enough, more bandits wait inside with nothing of value; even their lives. They fall, one-by-one, and leave nothing behind but a lifeless corpse. I venture further into the depths and find all sorts of menacing traps lying in wait, but it’s only when I reach the crypt do things become interesting.
Suddenly I become surrounded. The dead are rising from the crypts as Draugr warriors; armed and shielded and vying for my blood. I’ve heard of such things before, but never encountered them face-to-face. As I try and cut them apart, I realise that their dry, shrivelled skin must have a weakness: fire. I turn my attention to a flame spell I had learned some years ago and, though not practiced in it, it makes quick work of the enemy. I feel drained however, unable to mentally channel my energy. I must look for some other way to combat any further Draugr I encounter.
A few corridors and stairways pass by and suddenly I’m encased in spider-webs. Not my ideal scenario, but an enemy I am much more familiar with; a giant frostbite spider. I deal with it quickly and free a captive from its web, only to find that he has the Golden Claw that will be required to open the door to the final chamber. He’s not exactly grateful to me for freeing him though, and quickly hotfoots it in the opposite direction. Git.
If he won’t share with me, I don’t want to share with him. Boom, you dead, sucker. He’s no warrior, and looting his corpse gives me not only the Golden Claw, but also the key on how to use it hidden away in his journal.
I venture forward, noticing flammable liquid on the floor and detaching lanterns attached to the ceiling to aid the speed at which I feel the Draugr that pursue me. Eventually I reach that final room. I inspect the area before activating the Golden Claw in the door, but no treasure lies here. It must all be within this final chamber.
As the door slides out of my way and I ascend the stairs it reveals, I find myself in a huge open space; running water, bridges and various pieces of once glorious furniture adorn what must be a burial chamber. Something calls me from beyond the decaying luxury however; a word inscribed on the back wall.
I cannot tell you what happened to me in that moment. It was like I became possessed by that word. All of my surroundings disappeared and all I could see was a language I don’t understand. The waves of time flew by and yet it felt like only a second had past. Little did I know that during this time something had awoken.
Regaining my composure I turn to see a Draugr awakening: a fierce looking beast of a former man, heavily equipped and eager to punish me for disturbing his sleep. He is, however, very slow. I sprint towards it and hack away with my sword before it even manages to get to its feet. It’s handy being light-footed sometimes.
I find the treasure I came for upon the felled Draugr; the Dragonstone. Now I must return to Dragonreach. Wasting no time I find a quest giver happy to receive me and Jarl equally happy to reward me, but at the same time a new mission has been placed upon me: a dragon has been sighted, and I must venture forth with a detachment of Whiterun guards to investigate.