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A Chance Meeting

By LokaCola

Fantasy

Account of an unknown traveler

The snow was swirling around me, with enough force to stop me from going at a fast pace while also making it harder to see more than a few metres ahead. I held my hand in front of me, trying to stop most of the blowing snow from getting into my eyes. It was hard enough to see as it was, and my steps were plunging heavily through the snow already on the ground. And the cold… it was so cold, to the point where the sole reason I kept going was the promise of warm fire and maybe some hot mead. If only I could make it.

I was asking myself why, of all things, I had decided to take what seemed like a shortcut from Dawnstar and Winterhold. While my business was not of urgency, getting there faster still seemed like a good idea as well as the fact that I would venture into someplace I hadn’t visited before. But at this moment I doubted my reason for thinking. Instead of taking the longer, somewhat safer way around the mountains like any sane person would do, I had instead decided to trek through the mountains, and past the glaciers that dotted the northern part of Skyrim. In hindsight, it had turned out to be a horrible idea, and possibly the worst one that I’ve ever came up with.

Well, on the bright side, the snow wasn’t falling as heavily now as it did earlier. When it was at the worst, it was impossible to see anything at all, and the wind had howled so loud I could have mistaken it for the roar of a dragon. Luckily, or at least it seemed to be luck at the time, I had stumbled upon a lighthouse. Hoping for some warm hospitality amidst the cold of this land, I had ventured in only to find myself in possibly one of my darkest and most disturbing “adventures”. The former inhabitants of the lighthouse were unfortunate enough to have lived above a nest of Falmer and Chaurus. The remains of the victims were still something that made sick, even more so than the remains of a hunter I once had found in the forest, which seemingly had been attacked by a bear.

As I was plunging through the snow, suddenly the wind stopped and where it previously had been a snowstorm; it now was calm and peaceful. And that had happened in just a matter of seconds. This turn of event felt very surreal, and very eerily. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but appreciate it. The sky above me was clear as night, which was fitting since it indeed was night. The stars above shined brightly against the dark skies, and alongside the twin moons gave me enough light to see the path before me. If my readings of my map were correct, I should be at least halfway towards my destination.

When I had neared one of the glaciers, I suddenly heard the sound of a terrible roar that would make even the mightiest warrior shiver in fear. It was a dragon. I drew my sword in anticipation of battle, but the creature never appeared. It was at this moment that I wondered whether it was just my imagination, or if it was just the wind. I carefully rounded the corner of the nearby glacier, and once my eyes were laid upon it, I was certain that what I saw was very real. But it wasn’t just an ordinary dragon. With the sail-like fins, the bony ridge on its head and the green scales, I identified it as a Blood Dragon, which was tougher than the more commonly found dragons.

However, what I also saw puzzled me at first. The dragon was on the ground, fighting a pack of troll. This puzzled me for two reasons; firstly I had never seen a pack of trolls before, since so far I had viewed them as solitary creatures. Secondly, I had never seen a dragon fight trolls before either. I just stood there, with sword still in my hand, just watching the Blood Dragon spew fire over one of the trolls; however the other trolls seemed to overpower this dragon. I supposed the trolls still wouldn’t be enough to kill the dragon, but they surely could wound it enough before all of them would fall.

As I watched this event unfold before my eyes, something happened within me. At the time, I couldn’t really tell what it was, and not even afterwards. But whatever happened inside me, I could feel even in the blood coursing through my veins that it was right. With the sword held up and ready to strike, I charged right towards the ongoing struggle between dragon and troll. But my intent wasn’t to charge at the weakened dragon; instead I ran past it and slashed a troll at its chest, before proceeding to thrust my sword through its stomach.

I swirled around and dodged the attack of another troll, and then I hacked at its arm, and then its legs, making the troll fall on its back. I took the opportunity to finish it off before it could get back on its feet. I turned around to face the final troll, but before I could charge at it, a large puff of fire flew right at it, just barely missing me as I felt the heat of the blast fly past me. The troll was scorched to death before my very eyes, and it fell among its kin.

I turned around at the source of the fire, not surprisingly being the Blood Dragon I had just helped out. But had it helped me out as well, or had the creature just missed me? I couldn’t tell, and so my eyes met the gaze of the big dragon just a small distance away from me. I didn’t drop or sheathe my sword, and both I and the dragon just stared at each other for a moment that almost felt like an eternity.

Suddenly, the dragon flapped its wings and moved up towards the sky, where it proceeded to circle around me, all the while still fixing its gaze on me. I returned the favour and followed the dragon’s movements as it flew in the sky. It started to roar at me, but it was something unusual about this roar. What most would found as threatening or bone chilling, I felt like it was full of… gratitude. And so, the great dragon changed its direction and flew for some other place.

For a moment, all I could do was to just stand there in complete silence. All thoughts that I held before, my business, my destination, the cold winds, the lighthouse, was at that moment completely forgotten. Instead, I just watched as the dragon disappeared from my field of view. Had the dragon just spared me? I asked myself. Something like this was something that you would never hear about when people got in talks about these creatures, although for good reasons to be perfectly fair. I had with my own eyes seen the death and destruction that a dragon could bring, however maybe all dragons weren’t the bloodthirsty and power hungry creatures that we all thought them to be.

Finally, I turned around and climbed up on a nearby hill, were I could see a pass between two mountains that, if my reading of my map was correct, would lead me to my final destination. I walked with the same pace that I did before this extraordinary event, like nothing had changed. But inside me, I knew something had changed. This chance meeting with the dragon had showed me that they were capable of showing gratitude for a mere mortal, and what could stop the possibility of them having a good side of nature as well.

Maybe Skyrim wasn’t doomed after all.

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