Chapter Three - Bleak Falls Barrow Part One

The start of the path up to the barrow was back Anise's Cabin. I started to climb, glad that I had foregone the heavy armor some of the people I had killed wore. While chain mail and robes weren't exactly comfortable, at least they didn't weigh a hundred pounds while I was climbing a hill. About halfway up was a small tower, with a few bandits hanging about. The one standing against a tree outside caught a lightning bolt in the chest before he knew what was happening, and the first to charge out was cut down with a single stroke from my sword. The last was killed when his friends battleaxe went flying through his chest thanks to a TK throw. Handle first.

Threat dealt with, I kept climbing the mountain, finally reaching the massive arches visible from Riverwood. Two more archers and a hammer wielder waited for me. Luckily, they clumped up and lightning fried them all. Then it was inside the ruin. Another axeman and an archer were standing around inside, as well as a couple of dead bandits. I used telekinesis to scoop up one of the dead men's handaxe, then sent it sweeping out of the shadows the cut deep into both of their necks. I kept heading deeper into the ruins, finally coming across another bandit. I sensed the danger in the room, and watched as he pulled a lever and dozens of darts shot from the walls, may impaling him and killing him where he stood.

After a few minutes waiting to ensure the darts were done firing, I stepped into the room. The stones above the door, as well as the one that had fallen to the floor, indicated the order to place the pillars along the left side of the room in. I did, and pulled the lever. I had a distinct feeling that these traps and puzzles were less to keep people out as they were to keep something in. Whatever it was, my sword and spells would be more than able to deal with it.

Soon enough, I ran into a couple of giant rats. For some reason, the word 'skeever' came to mind. They were easily killed with quick lightning bursts. Then I started running to spider webs. Massive ones, until finally I reached an archway completely blocked by webs. Someone on the other side called out random names, presumably the bandits I had killed on my in. A burst of lightning dissolved the webs, and I stepped into a rectangular chamber littered with webs and corpses. At the far side was another archway, this one filled with webs suspending a dark elf off the ground. In the middle of the chamber, another dark elf fought a massive spider, and it wasn't going well.

The dark elf was holding his shield arm at an awkward angle, obviously in pain. The sword clutched in his other hand was keeping the spider at bay for now, but based on the staggering movement he was probably also poisoned. That, or my dislike of heavy armor was even more justified than I realized. In any case, this must have been the dark elf from our cart. I couldn't tell because of the horned iron helm that covered his head and part of his face. I sighed, raised my hand, and hit the spider with a sustained burst of lightning, cooking it from the inside out. When it died, it rolled onto its back and its legs curled in like a closing fist.

I turned back to the dark elf from Helgen, and watched as he quaffed down a pair of potions. The poisons effect seemed to disappear, as he stood up straighter, and his broken arm straightened out quickly. It seemed one potion cured poison, and the other healed him. Interesting. He stepped towards me, sheathing his sword and extending his hand. "Thanks for the assist, friend," he said. "I thought that spider had me. Name's Nisath Redoran, of Solstheim, though I haven't been home in nearly fifty years."

Fifty years? That was interesting. The elf didn't appear that old, so his race must have exceptionally long life spans. Something told me I could trust this man. I would say it was the Force, but the Force didn't seem to exist here. I didn't think. I took the offered hand. "Darth Bellarum, Lord of the Sith," I said. "So, why are we here?"

Nisath shrugged. "I took a job for a shopkeeper in town. Some bandits stole something from him, and he wants it back. They ran here, so I followed. Speaking of which…" He rounded on the trapped dark elf. "Give me the claw."

"Well, see I would, but…" the trapped elf trailed off, rolling his head to indicate the webbing holding him in place.

"Ah, I can fix that!" I said brightly. Then I shoved my sword through his chest at the same time I fired a lightning burst into the webbing. I dismissed my blade and caught the body. A couple of minutes of rifling through the corpses' pockets, and I pulled out a claw that looked to be made of solid gold. I turned and tossed it to Nisath, who caught it and gave me a bemused look. "What?" I asked. "He was a bandit. No one will miss him."

"Oh, I would have done the same," Nisath said. "Most people just aren't that casual about coldblooded murder."

I smiled wolfishly. "I'm not most people."

Nisath calmly stared at me for a moment before answering. "Obviously. You were at Helgen weren't you?"

I nodded acquiescence. "I was."

"You went into the keep with the Stormcloak."

"I did."

"Hm. What do you plan to here in Skyrim?"

I wasn't sure how to answer at first, but then decided on the truth. "Rule," I said quietly.

A devilish grin equal to my own spread over the dark elf's face. "How interesting. I intend to do the same. A land split by civil war is ripe for a new leader. But that requires allies. Not to mention having someone as powerful as yourself could be useful for fighting the dragons that seem to be showing up. What say we work together on this?"

I decided to trust my gut on this one. "Lets. Now, are you going back to Riverwood to return that claw, or would you rather figure out what the source of the energy I can feel pulsing through this place is?"

The elf merely smiled. "After you, Darth."

A/N: That's right, the Sith Lord is making friends with the Dragonborn. This should be fun to write.