I beat up on my practice dummy all afternoon and wore out several weapons and bows, as well as myself. I decided it was time for a break. There was a smith across the courtyard of the castle grounds, so I decided to go there instead of trying to repair the weapons myself. The air was cold and crisp, and the snow crunched under my feet as I strolled across the courtyard.
I spoke to the smith, a Nord, by the name of Ardian, son of Wolfmane. He repaired my equipment quickly, and then mentioned something that deepened the mystery of this castle: His son, Geirleif, has been missing. I asked about him, and Adrian said that his son was a member of the castle guards. He was last seen after dinner the night before. Geirleif had said that he had important matters to take care of and left shortly after eating.
No one had seen him since.
Naturally, both Ardian and his wife were very worried about their missing son. I thought about it for a moment. This was supposed to be a vacation, right? Well, it wouldn't be the first interupted vacation, and probably won't be the last. I said I would help find him. Hopefully, I won't have to trudge all over Vvardenfell or Solstheim to find him. I can get myself into such trouble sometimes.
Well, the area wasn't that big, so how far away could he be, right? I stopped at the barracks, checked in with a couple of the guards there. They said Geirleif was one of the night shift guards, and perhaps some of the night staff would have seen him last. Well, since it was daylight, most of them would be sleeping, so I decided to check out any other possibilities. I stopped at the barn, but none of the cows, chickens, pigs or horses were talking. Humpf! For a magical place, you'd think some of these creatures could say something. Oh well. I checked around the back of the castle, and found a wine celler. I went into it, thinking maybe he found a little too much drinking material for his own good.
I found lots of wine, lots of ingredients to make more wine, instructions on how to make wine, but no Geirleif. If he was off drunk somewhere, it certainly wasn't here. I went into the kitchen and spoke with the cook. All she could say was "Where is that boy with my fish?" Ok, so maybe he was supposed to be fishing somewhere.
I went upstairs to take a nap. When I came back down, it was 8PM, and the night staff was out and about. I stopped Jsmine, and asked her about Geirleif. "Purrrrr, yes, Jsmine see him. He goes poking around east wall, and smooshes all of my berries on tree. Berries not need smooshing."
Ok, so out the back door to the east wall. I found a small waterfall, two bunnies, lots of rocks, but no Geirleif. I found a hollyberry bush that Jsmine must have been talking about. Some of the berries did look like they were stepped on, as if someone had been climbing up the branches (it was a pretty tall bush). There was a stairway nearby leading to the top of the wall, so I decided to investigate further. He
might be up there fishing off from the top of the wall. It was snowing now, so I was willing to check just about any possibilities and get this over with.
Well, as expected, Geirleif wasn't up there. I was beginning to wonder if he fell over the edge of the wall. I noticed a trapdoor, so I dropped into it.
Down, down, down. I started to get dizzy. I finally came to the bottom of the stairs, and found a door labled "dungeon". Well, it's to be expected, I suppose. You really can't have a castle without a dungeon. It's probably a law somewhere that you have to have one if you have a castle.
When you're the owner of the castle, you don't expect the guards to turn on you. Well, imagine my surprise when I entered the door, and this guard yells out "Hey, you're not supposed to be in here!!!", draws his sword and runs at me. Dungeon guards need more fresh air; they seem to always be on edge.
I let him have it with a spell of Medusa's Gaze.
While he was frozen there, I summoned a daedric battleaxe. Curse me for not being prepared! I should know better.
After having fun with the guard, I checked out the rest of the dungeon. 6 cells, all empty. Well, that's a good thing, in a way, no one coming from these cells to surprise me in the night. But the mystery remained: why did the guard attack. I checked the door at the end of the hallway. It was locked. None of my unlock spells would work on it, either.
I could hear the rumbling of lava flows, and felt a gentle rush of air against my face, but it was so dark that I couldn't see a thing. I heard what might have been something patroling back and forth, but had no luck finding out what it was. I tried my unlocking spells, but nothing worked on this blasted door. I was looking for Geirleif, right? I was hoping he wasn't in this next chamber. Finding him now became a lower priority for me. I had to investigate this next chamber and find out what caused the guard to attack me. I headed back to the castle. Never go into battle in your pretty robes, and I felt there may be a fight coming up. I still needed a key to the door, since no spell seemed to work on it.