Since we were new to the village, we decided to meet and greet these people, and see what we could learn about the attack on Fort Frostmoth.


We were greeted with stares and suspicious looks at every turn. Finally, one of the guards seeing us walking into the village, came over to speak with us.

"You are not of the Skaal." he said. "Speak with Tharsten Heart-Fang in the Greathall." he continued, pointing to a rather large building just behind him. "He is our leader, and will deal with you."

Since there was a generally unfriendly tone about the village, we decided to take his advice and head over to the Greathall.


It was certainly a Greathall, judging by the size of the building, able to hold the entire population of the village under huge roof.

We found Tharsten Heart-Fang at the far end of the hall, enjoying a joke of some kind with some of his fellow villagers. As we approached, he put down his goblet of mead and greeted us.

"What do you want, stranger?" he asked.

"I am Eldorf Dragonmeal, though the Dunmer of Vvardenfell know me as The Nerevarine." I replied. "We are here to investigate an attack on the Imperial fort to the south of Solstheim.  We are trying to learn who kidnapped the Captain of the fort."

Tharsten's face became firm with the look of a true leader of people. "The Skaal wish you no harm," he said, "but you will mind your manners while you are within our walls. We will make no exceptions. Now, what is this I hear about an attack on the Imperial fort?"

We told him of our journey to find weapons smugglers, and upon our return, found the fort in ruins, solders dead or dying, reports of wolf-like men attacking, and of course, the fact that the Captain had been kidnapped.

"Those soldiers...pfah!" he replied, spitting on the floor before him. "They cut their trees and dig their holes, and have little to show after a day's toil. They do not respect this land or its creatures, and for that, I find them offensive. But, though I have no love for them, the Skaal would never do such a thing. We prefer to let the Imperials kill themselves slowly. But these creatures that attacked...these were not wolves of this island. Now, have you finished your business here?"

Laurenna decided to bring up one point I had left out of the attack. "One of the soldiers thought the attackers might be werewolves." she said. "Do you know anything about them"?

"They are perversions." he replied, looking slightly worried at the question. "Man was not meant to live a dual life as both rational being and animal. These beasts are evil and dangerous, but they are also very rare. More have been seen in recent times, though."

I remembered the skull I had been told to present to the village leader, and presented it to him, telling Tharsten that we had been told that it was a sign of peace to bring it to him. He took the skull gruffly, somewhat upset that one of his ancestors was in someone else's hands.

"So, you have brought the bones of one of our ancestors?" he said, handing the skull to one of his bodyguards. "Stupid Imperials. They need to learn to leave things as they are. Still, it is good that you have returned this to the Skaal. Perhaps there is hope for you and your kind. You are welcome here for the moment, but there is much to atone for."

"What do you mean?" I asked. "Atone for what?"

"The Imperials in their fort have brought nothing but harm to these lands." he replied. "They cut the trees and dig the earth. They are wasteful, lazy, and careless. They have no comprehension of the Oneness of the land. It is this Oneness from which the Skaal derive our strength, and the Imperials have defiled these lands."

"Excuse me," I asked, "but what is this 'Oneness' you speak of?"

"This is what gives the Skaal power!" he replied, clenching his fist, as if feeling the power right then and there. "It is the balance of our lands, the trees and the waters, wolf and bear. The Imperials have no respect for this balance, and we pay the price."


"What, exactly, has happened?" I asked.

Tharsten's face hardened, angry, though not at me.

"Through their carelessness, the Imperials have upset the natural order, the 'Oneness' of the land." he replied. "This is their nature. It must be balanced once again, and the All-Maker appeased."

I could see this coming a mile away.

"I wish for you to make things right, Eldorf Dragonmeal." he continued. "You will be the one to restore the power of the Skaal."

"Uh, me?" I asked. Once again, a simple journey becomes very, very complicated.

He put both hands on my shoulders, towering over me like a giant. "It is right that you do this," he replied, "as it is your people who have caused the damage. Speak with Korst Wind-Eye, in the Shaman's Hut. He will give you further instructions. He should spend more time with steel and less time with studies, but I'm sure he can provide you with good advice."


On our way out the door of the Greathall, I turned to look at Laurenna. She looked at me with a sly grin.

"Told you." she chided me. "We should have skipped the Fort and headed right for the Amulet's location, found it, and headed back home."

"I suppose you're right." I sighed back. "Still, there is something wrong, what with these reports of werewolves and the Captain's disappearance. You know me. If I see something wrong...."

" just have to fix it." she finished. "I know, and you're right. Besides, this would be more fun than baking a pie in the kitchen."


It didn't take us long to find the shaman's hut, as two villagers pointed us in the right direction.

We crunched through the snow and knocked on the door.


Korst Wind-Eye gave us permission to enter, and greeted us in a friendly and cordial manner.

We told him about the attack on the fort, and about our mission here. We also told him that we had been advised about 'Oneness'.

"Ah, it is a harmony that the Skaal draw power from, by the grace of the All-Maker." he said. "When this balance is upset, our power is lessened."

"Your chief, Heart-Fang, wishes us to restore the power of the Skaal." I said, "He advised us that you could assist with this mission."      


"Heart-Fang wishes for you to do this, does he?" he said. "Well, then, I will assist you."

He went over to a small table and looked through a number of old scrolls there. Once he found the one he was looking for, he returned to face us.

"There is a ritual that must be completed." he explained. "On Solstheim, you will find six Standing Stones, each representing one of the six gifts of the All-Maker. At each of these Stones, a ritual must be completed. Once the Ritual of the Gifts is completed, the Oneness should be restored."

"What exactly are these rituals?" asked Laurenna.

Wind-Eye looked at her and smiled, seeing a fellow Nord at my side.

"It would be too much for any not of the Skaal to remember." he replied. "Here, take this." It was a map of the location for each of the six Stones that we needed to find. "This will explain the rituals and guide you on your way." he added, handing me an old book. "If you are to remain with the Skaal, you should understand our beliefs."

The book held the tale of a young lad that had to perform each of these six rituals. I decided I would read it before setting forth on this adventure.

"What can you tell us about some of the creatures here?" I asked, deciding to pick his brains on the local area.

"Ah, bears." he replied. "they are but one of the sacred creatures the All-Maker has blessed us with. They embody the warrior's strength, and some of the Skaal can even summon them to fight by their sides."

"What about Grahl?" asked Laurenna. "One of the soldiers at the fort mentioned such a thing."

"I have heard them called that, the Grahl." he replied. "We do not know what they really are. Perhaps an evil spirit, perhaps a great beast. Whatever they are, they are dangerous. Their claws and tusks rend armor and tear flesh. They will attack alone or in packs. Take care when they are near."

"I saw some odd creatures on Lake Fjalding on our way up here." I said. "They did not attack us, and seemed rather peaceful."

"Ah, horkers." he said. "Another of the All-Maker's wondrous creations. These creatures provide a great deal for our people. They are strong swimmers, and fierce fighters, on land and in the sea."

"One Nord just north of the fort mentioned something about Spriggans." I said. "Could you tell me about them, and why it is said that they die 3 deaths?"

"Oh, yes, the tree spirits of this island." he said. "When the All-Maker breathed life into the creatures of the land, his Breath blew through the trees as well. Some of those trees kept a part of this life, and these are the Spriggans you see today. The life within them is so strong, that they must be killed more than once."

"I have heard wolves howling in the distance since coming to the island." said Laurenna. "I assume there are packs of them here."

"Yes," he replied, "they are one of the most blessed of the All-Maker's creations. They are fast and agile, and they are careful and clever hunters. You must be cautious, as they tend to hunt in packs."

Korst told us that there was a smith in the village that could repair armor if needed, and one of the villagers here was able to purchase items from us, as well as sell certain supplies, but not much more than that.

We thanked him for his assistance and headed back outside.


We decided to sell off some of the items we had gotten during our trip up here, so we pitched our tent and set up housekeeping for the time being. It was a good thing we did, too. As I was returning to the tent, a huge blizzard started to tear into the village. We decided that this would not be the best traveling weather. Instead, this would be a good time to sit down and read that book that Korst had given us. After all, why go out blind when you have a lantern handy?


We sat down to a warm meal of eggs and nix-hound meat that we had brought with us. Laurenna was quite tired and headed off to sleep. I, on the other hand, had a book to read. And what an interesting story it was.

The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer  

I hope you found it as interesting a tail as I did.

















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