This is part 5 of Skyrim Adventures featuring my khajiit thief, Kally. To find out more click the ‘Skyrim Adventures‘ link in the header bar.
Part 5 The Depths
Kally walked away from the khajiit camp, not being entirely sure what he should do next. Getting his petty revenge on Solitude certainly did have its appeal, but there was something about the story of that Moon Amulet that struck a chord within him. Maybe he didn’t like another khajiit being stolen from, or maybe it was the chance of all that unattended wealth. Whatever it was Kally decided that revenge would have to wait.
Night had drawn in, and even through his fur he felt the chill in the air. The cave wasn’t too far away but he had to be careful, the dark nights of Skyrim were not the friendliest of places.
No more than a few hundred feet from Riften, he spotted a rickety wooden door, it was a mine and Kally could almost smell the opportunity for wealth. Who knew what would lie inside, silver, gold, jewels.
As soon as he was inside he saw a lump of gold ore, just lying on the table. True, it was lying amidst a few lumps of iron, but the mine still begged for further exploration. As cautious as ever, he stopped and listened down the torchlight tunnels. There was a feint humming sound and as he turned the corner he saw where it was coming from; a bandit sorting out his equipment. Kally knew better than to engage in combat face to face, he could get hurt. His bow was a far better choice.
He drew the string back and let an arrow fly. His aim was good enough to see the arrow punch its way through the bandit’s back, dropping him instantly before he had chance to make a noise.
After he rifled through the bandit’s pockets, Kally listened for other bandits, knowing they never worked alone. He walked through the mine, and it became clear that this mine was an iron mine and would not be full of the endless streams of gold and jewels he had imagined. Although he did comfort himself with the thought that iron did at least fetch a fair price with blacksmiths. The further thought occurred that he hadn’t got anything to mine the iron with, so he pressed on further down the mine in the hope that he would find a pickaxe otherwise these thoughts were all for nothing.
The bandits that occupied the tunnels were not many but they gave Kally a nervous feeling in his stomach. He was starting to become confident with his bow, but if he missed and one of the bandits raised the alarm he would have to run away and leave the iron to them.
Despite his nerves, his aim continued to be lethal. Three more bandits dropped, before they had chance to unsheathe their weapons. Whatever they were here for, it couldn’t be the iron.
Something caught Kally’s eye, a wall glinted in the torchlight. He got closer and examined the wall, and much to his delight it was a vein of silver. There was precious metal in this mine after all. He picked up a pickaxe dropped by one of the dead bandits and started to hack away at the wall. Lumps of silver ore fell to the ground, which he pocketed. He also ran back through the mine and helped himself to the iron ore, the bandits hadn’t mined yet.
He probably should have left then, his pockets bulging with silver and iron ore which would make a nice price back at Riften but there was still that nagging thought. Why would bandits take such a risk taking over a mine so close to a major city? There must be something else here, and whatever it was Kally knew it would make him rich.
A few more bandits got in the way of Kally’s arrows, but they gave him no trouble and he emptied their pockets of any gold or potions they might be carrying.
The tunnel walls started to change. Instead of the raw rock faces of the mine, carved walls started to appear; tall grey stone columns and archways peeked through the mud. Soon Kally had left the stone tunnels and found a ruin, a very old ruin, hopefully, a very treasure-filled old ruin.
It was guarded by another bandit who sat on guard reading through a brown journal. He hadn’t seen Kally who had managed to stay in the shadows. He crept forward as much as he could until he had a good line of sight. He readied his bow and fired at the bandit but his aim was off and the arrow stuck into his leg. The bandit was now running towards Kally. He fired another two arrows at the attacker, but they both missed, and bounced harmlessly off the ruin walls. Kally would have to fight him close up.
They slashed at each other, Kally dodged blow after blow while his own strikes did very little against the thick armour of the bandit. Things started to get desperate for Kally, he had taken several blows to the arms and legs and was starting lose, but the bandit wasn’t winning by much. Kally’s weapon had battered the bandits armour, and blood dripped through the chinks. The bandit lifted his weapon to deliver the final fatal blow, but Kally took the opportunity to strike with his mace, the full force of the blow snapping the bandit’s neck.
Kally’s healing magic came in handy again, as he magically repaired his wounds. He bent down and picked up the journal that the bandit was reading. Scanning through the many entries, it turns out he was right. There is something in this mine, and they had even hired mercenaries to go in and get it, but they hadn’t heard from them in a few days.
He dropped the journal, and continued on through the ruins and down a giant stone ramp, that dropped at least 200 feet and through a large stone doorway into the ruins itself.
The mercenaries hadn’t got far, all three of them lay dead on the floor, their bodies battered and bloodied from what looked like a brutal fight and Kally shivered when she realised what it was they had fought. A large mechanical warrior stood motionless in the centre of the room, steam billowing out of its wounds. A large gate stood locked behind a set of thick metal bars and a weird-looking podium stood in front of them. First things first. Though. Was the golden warrior still active? If it was and he got too close, he would have to fight it in close quarters? It wasn’t worth the risk.
He fired an arrow towards the wreck of the centurion that instantly sprung to life and lurched towards where the arrow had been fired from. He had damaged it but not enough. Kally readied another arrow in his bow and for the giant golden warrior, the arrow caused even more damage but it was still lumbering towards him. With only a few feet to spare, Kally unleashed a third arrow. At such close distance, the arrow easily penetrated the centurions head sending it crashing to the floor, spewing oil and venting steam before it lay motionless on the floor. Thank the gods, that the mercenaries had done so much damage to it earlier.
Kally started to feel that luck was with him, and that he could do anything. He had gotten this far, further than a whole band of mercenaries had got. He couldn’t stop now.
The mercenary leader carried a leather-bound book, and a weird cube, that shimmered and made Kally’s paws tingle as he held it. This would probably sell for a fair bit, but it was also clearly supposed to go into the recess in that pedestal. There has to be more to this, and he was going to find out.
He popped the weird cube into the podium and took a few steps back. The cube spun and lowered into the podium, as the large metal bars dropped into the floor. The gateway shimmered with magic, as if a thin, film of water was acting as the door.
The gateway was now open. Kally wasn’t sure where this gateway went, but he couldn’t turn back now. He cautiously stepped forward and disappeared through the shimmering doorway.