The Good Beast


The Stone said to travel south, but it didn't tell us how far we'd have to go. I wasn't even sure which kind of beast we'd find, though if things kept true to the story I had read, it was probably going to be a bear.


On the east side of the frozen lake we could see the edge of the Thirsk village, and it's famous mead hall.

"We should stop and ask around about things here." said Laurenna. "Locals seem to know about everything."

I agreed with her, so we headed up the slope and headed into the mead hall.


At the door, we were met by a half-drunk Nord, handing us both a goblet of mead. "Hail Stranger!" said the Nord. "I am Ulfrun, and I welcome you to the mead hall of Thirsk. So long as you behalf yourself, we'll get along just fine. If you want to buy some mead, just ask."

She turned to point to a rather large gentleman near the back of the hall. "If you haven't already done so, I suggest you introduce yourself to Skjoldr Wolf-Runner. He's the chieftain of this mead hall, and will want to greet a new arrival."

We thanked her for the mead, and decided to follow her advice. Laurenna couldn't wait, downing with goblet of mead with the swiftness of a person dying of thirst.


This chieftain was a pretty fun guy, compared to the last couple of chieftains I had met.

"Hail, good Eldorf Dragonmeal, and your lovely Nord wife!" he shouted, apparently knowing who I was. "Skjoldr Wolf-Runner is my name. I am the chieftain of Thirsk, and I welcome you to our home. You'll not find a better mead hall anywhere, not even in Skyrim. For one hundred years, Thirsk has withstood all manner of attack, from the snow and hail to those infernal Ricklings. But the mead hall still stands, and its hospitality is unmatched. Please, stay and relax. Enjoy our fine drink, and seek shelter from the cold."

He reached over to a table, bringing two more jugs of mead, shoving them into our hands. "Here, my friend - taste the nectar of Shor!"

Well, he IS chieftain, after all. Laurenna couldn't wait, she drained it as fast as any Nord warrior could, while I went a bit slower, savoring the flavor. The soldiers of the fort didn't like it, but I couldn't tell why - it was pretty good, actually.

Skjoldr went on to tell us that the hall was build over five hundred years ago by a group of Nords who left the Skaal village, and that Hrothmund the Red was their first Chieftain. He also mentioned that they had a pretty good smith in the village that could craft custom pieces of armor for us, if necessary.

While he was singing some old Nord warrior song with Laurenna, I checked out the rooms upstairs, where I found a Breton by the name of Bereditte Jastal. He had a couple of books that had just been finished. They were called Thirsk, a History, and Sovngarde, a Reexamination. I decided to buy them for some late night reading later tonight. I asked him what Sovngarde was, and this was what he told me: The Nords believe that the god Shor constructed a magnificent fortress where valiant Nord warriors may live forever, feasting, fighting...basically doing everything Nords like to do. The trick is finding the way in. According to legend, the entrance to Sovngarde is hidden, and only those who take up the search may ever find the way in.

But he added that according to his research, the way to Sovngarde isn't quite what they thought. I guess it'll make good reading later.


Before Laurenna got too drunk, I decided we'd better head on out and finish our search for this beast that was suffering.

Once back down by the lake, we encountered a young boy and his dog. They seemed to be playing with a small ball, when suddenly, the dog starting barking at something to the south. The had heard something just south of our location. The boy came up to his dog, asking what he was barking at.

Suddenly, we all heard a loud roar in the forest nearby.


The boy froze in his tracks, holding the dog back. I don't think the dog needed to be told to hold his position, as that sounded very much like a bear.

With the Ring of Weapons at the ready, I told the boy to take himself and his dog back to the mead hall.

Quickly, we headed to the source of the disturbance to the south of our position.


We ran as fast as we could, past dozens of trees, until we finally came to the source of all the noise.    


Vastly outnumbered, but still able to put up a fight, a huge bear was being attacked by a hoard of Rickling raiders.

It looked as though the bear was winning, but I decided we'd better give him a hand.


We got there just in time, as one Rickling was about to attack the bear from behind. He fell dead at the attack of my broadsword.

For some odd reason (or maybe not odd), the bear didn't attack me, choosing instead to just stare back at me.


"Eldorf, he's bleeding." said Laurenna.

I checked the bear's left side, and just as the story foretold, there was an arrow stuck in it's neck.


Never having tried to help a wounded animal before, I approached the bear with caution. Slowly, I reached out to the bear, bowing my head so as to not look the bear in the eyes, showing him that I meant him no harm. The bear seemed to understand, and did not attack. My hand touched the bloody fur, and found the broken-off shaft of the arrow that had pierced it's neck. Taking a firm grip, I pulled the arrow out, and did the only spell I knew for a situation like this. I hadn't used it for a long time, but I was glad I had it. I used the Heal Companion spell on the bear, and it's wound closed up.


Satisfied that the bear was healed, I headed back to the Beast Stone. Just like in the story, the bear followed me, right behind Laurenna.


We arrived back at the Beast Stone.

Once again, I touched the face of the rock, and words appeared on the surface of it.


"You have returned the Gift of the Beasts. Once again, the Good Beasts will feed the Skaal when they are hungry, clothe them when they are cold, and protect them in times of need."

The stone began to glow, giving off a radiance that shot into the sky.

The bear seemed to like it as well.


Laurenna smiled. "You sure you don't have some Nord in you?"

"Who knows?" I replied. "Anyway, our work here is done."

"Where to next, oh person with the map?"

I checked, and found that the next place on the map was to the south southwest of our current location. "Looks like the Tree Stone, according to this." I replied. "If we start now, we might make it before sunset."

"Well, lead on." she said.







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