Issa steps away from the wayshrine and pulls a breathe of the cold air deep into her lungs. All around her the landscape is rocky, harsh, and covered in ice. She closes her eyes for a long moment and pretends that the mountains, plains, and birds are those of her beloved Skyrim and not part of Wrothgar. But when she opens her eyes again, the land, the sky, and the wildlife mocks her with their strangeness. Familiar, yes, close to home… but not home. Never home; never again. She walks to the edge of an icy stream, makes a small fire under an overhang, and pulls out her pen and paper.
It astonishes me that I can still be so naïve after all that has happened, and yet the workings of this world continue to confound my heart and sensibilities.
I came to Wrothgar. You would have advised me against it, but Davon’s Watch and Ebonheart were leaving a taste in my mouth I could no longer take, ashy and bitter. The Dunmer concept of honor is… clear enough to them, I suppose, but is far too contorted for my taste. I hoped the Orcs would be less convoluted in their dealings. Yes, my love, I know – remember, I already called myself naïve. When the ambassador extended me the invitation I threw it away at first. She was persistent, however. And astute as well, because after all, who better to help a weak King than an exile? Indeed, what else do I have to do with my time?
However, it turns out honor is convoluted in Wrothgar, too. “King” Kurog promised to unite the Orc clans and provided stability to the embattled chieftans. Certainly, I had my doubts, and the fact that he continually attempted to bully me even while he was asking for my help did not win him points. Still, his goal seemed valid, and the blustering of rulers has long since ceased to have any power over me.
Now the few allies I have made are in jail, and I am being hunted as a traitor, again. Kurog is a self-obsessed, arrogant blowbag, and even if he hadn’t threatened me to my face I could not support his bid for the throne after I got to know him. I am, in short, about to be banished from another province.
I suspect that makes you proud in your contrary way, but I wish you were here to stand by my side.
Issa signs the letter, folds the paper in half, and feeds it to the flames of her fire. Then she pulls out a honing stone and begins sharpening her blade.