I can’t believe it’s come to this.

Good thing my incorporeal dog is skinny.

I’m in jail. Yarp is with me, but he’s stuck in the bars where I tried to summon him because I thought I could get him outside, but I couldn’t. When he disappears it’s a relief for both of us.

The good news is I have all my stuff, including a few lockpicks. The bad news is there’s a giant ice death machine out there, and I don’t have a chance if things turn ugly.

Then again, the giant ice death machine looks big and slow. Is that good news or bad news?

What are you thinking, Mu?

I think I’m going to make a break for it.

The lock isn’t easy but it isn’t hard either, so I crack it. I’m about to sneak past the giant ice thing when I look up and realize that was never going to happen. It’s already seen me. Its footsteps are as of the poundings of doom! Or something more poetic than that. I can’t think straight because I’m sprinting for the door.

There are four more atronachs right outside!

EEEEE!

I run and run. And run and run. I run so far eventually the world ends and I have to swim.

Hahaha….brr…err…brr…yaaaaaar…..

At least they don’t like water. Maybe they end up little helpless icebergs if they fall in. I don’t know. But I scramble up onto another iceberg, shivering and wondering why I broke out of jail anyway. The whole point was the good night’s sleep! I can’t sleep here! It must be past midnight now and no bed in sight. Stupid Mu and her stupid inner hero!

Wait… Do heroes break out of jail? Maybe I was being incredibly non-heroic because I wasn’t facing up to what I’d done.

Go me?

Then I notice my island isn’t totally deserted. There’s a little boat, that I note for later, and a well-lit door. I don’t want to think about who hangs around inside an iceberg but it’s better than anyone who hangs around outside, so I go in.

Don’t let go of the rope?

Oh, one of these. No problem then.

Apart from the huge golden cube that makes me think of Portents and End Days, there’s a crazy man inside the iceberg with me. His name is Septimus Signus and he makes no sense whatsoever. But he does mention an Elder Scroll. I had one of those, back in the day. I stole it from the Imperial Library because…

Well, it doesn’t matter why, does it? That was a very long time ago. Septimus doesn’t really have one now either, but he knows where to get one, and he seems to think I’ll delve into a Dwemer ruin to get it. He asks me to do something weird with a couple of objects–I don’t really catch it, but their shapes are important, so that’s ominous–and he believes that will be payment for this fabulous information I never asked for in the first place.

Whatever, guy. I just want to sleep, and this is the least comfortable ice cave I’ve been inside today. I can actually say that and know what I’m talking about.

I take his boat back to Winterhold, fully expecting to be thrown back in The Chill where at least there was a bed. But everyone has forgotten about my recent crimes. I guess the atronachs don’t tattle if you skip out on your sentence. The Frozen Hearth still has a bed available and I fall in it like a…

…like a cursed feline prison escapee.

The next morning I wake with clear purpose in mind: Put as much space between me and Winterhold before the guards or the Dunmer I pickpocketed suddenly remember the night before. I don’t know why amnesia is so common here but I won’t rely on it. So I hit the road right after breakfast.

WANTED: Have You Seen This Cat? I haven’t.

The snow won’t let up but I make good time and keep myself warm at a jog. Some Vigilants of Stendarr help me kill an Ice Wolf. They shout for a while about Daedra but I’m not bothered. I’m not much of a Daedra worshipper lately, either.

Okay! Thanks! Bye! Golly, they’re such nice people, aren’t they dear?

A guard outside a mine thinks she knows me, but I don’t reply. If the guard who actually arrested me can’t make the connection between me and the Famous Khajiit Pickpocket of Last Night, this one shouldn’t. Further on I find a less famous Khajiit wearing rags who offers me “something sweet.” I ask him to clarify because I’ve made the Are you flirting with me? mistake before. Turns out he’s selling Moon Sugar. Who am I judge, after how I spent my night? I tell him to have just a swell day, and he wanders off happy.

Call me when you have some Sun Broccoli for sale.

Too bad. It would have been nice to travel together, but I don’t think a pusher is a good choice for companion. Anyway, Yarp acts sort of jealous and refuses to stay put while the guy is around, so I think that’s a clear sign.

We keep on the road, Yarp continuing to act strange. He yarps more quickly than usual and loses his way once or twice. I don’t know what’s wrong but I figure we all have off days so I chatter away and try to make him feel better.

We come to a fort. While passing on the right I hear a whistling and realize an arrow has just grazed past my ear. Looking up, it seems a skeleton is firing arrows. Yarp goes nuts and bites his ankles, which amuses me. He just wants a bone to play with! Right?

Finish this up and we can play fetch with the remains. Is that callous? Oops.

The skeleton goes down quickly and I jump up to where he was standing. Looking over the fort I realize we have a problem.

Oh, was that your skeleton? Was it your only one?

He wasn’t alone. Not by at least two mages.

Ack. Not your only one, then.

Check that: two mages and their legion of undead. And they seem to want me on fire.

Yarp runs ahead and is quickly burned to oblivion. I stumble backwards into another skeleton and flail with my fists while both mages throw fireballs.

Ow!

It’s time to run. I use up my stamina, but their aim is terrific. No matter how far I get they manage to keep hitting me. I take all my health potions and all my stamina potions. Everything I made with my bees and flowers, and it’s not enough. And then–

It doesn’t seem fair. I faced atronachs this morning. Big huge icy things. I got away. Yesterday I was so badass I went to jail. Yesterday I faced down Ice Wolves on my own. I was wise enough to leave a murder investigation alone. I’m carrying a Moon Amulet to return to a very fine looking Khajiit warrior and he’s counting on me. There are a tonne of people counting on me. There’s this little farm up by Riften, and these nice elf women, and I’ve received two marriage proposals. I just hadn’t decided yet! That was all! It didn’t mean I wasn’t going to decide, ever. Did it? Come on!

How about… just a bit more time?

Please?

.

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