5E 20, 14 Last Seed
Rowan opened her eyes slowly, her skin stinging and her head throbbing. Someone knelt next to the bed, and she blinked a few times until the figure came into focus. It was Master Lodur.
“Welcome back,” he said warmly.
“Alive. Your mother is fine, but I’m afraid your brother and Blanche’s injuries were severe. They haven’t regained consciousness.”
Rowan and Dolff took a few days to enjoy being married, and though she dreaded the coming journey, she was happier than she had ever been. Farkas and Vilkas took some time to get reacquainted before Vilkas and Athis returned to Jorrvaskr, with the promise that they would stay in touch. Ben spent his time working on extra magic protection gear for himself and the other Dragonborns, especially for fire, in anticipation of whatever assault the Coat of Storms might throw at them.
5E 20, 2 Last Seed
After months of hearing nothing but secondhand information and idle gossip about Rowan and Ben, Vilkas had decided it was time to find out for himself what was going on. He knew Ulfric had passed away and Dolff had taken the throne as Jarl of Windhelm, but he hadn’t received so much as a letter from any of them since it had happened. Rumors were rampant, of course, and when Coranil and Kaaley—whom he’d had suspicions about for quite some time—suddenly disappeared from Whiterun for several weeks, he began to plan a trip to Windhelm. Athis had refused to let him travel alone, so the two of them had set out a few days ago, and they arrived at the Palace of the Kings just after noon.
5E 20, 26 Sun’s Height
Ben took the time to enchant a black hood to give himself some protection from the sun; and he, Rowan, and their parents set out for Riften the next day. Since Odahviing couldn’t carry four people, Selene and Brynjolf borrowed horses. Ben teased his father, who was in his mid-fifties, about such a long journey on horseback.
“Are you sure your bones can handle the ride, old man?”
“I can still kick your arse, little boy, especially during the day. You’re in a weakened state till sundown, so you’d better watch your mouth. I haven’t turned you over my knee since you were ten, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still do it.”
5E 20, 21 Sun’s Height
Selene was in a place of shadow, and she could barely see two feet in front of her face, but she was as comfortable as if she were in her own home. She would find her way with her sense of smell, and the Shadows would guide and protect her. But tonight, it seemed they were more interested in speaking with her than keeping her hidden.
“Selene,” the Shadows whispered repeatedly.
She tried to make her way through the darkness, but they called her name insistently, some of them tugging gently on her arm or cape. “What?” she demanded finally.
“Come to us. Embrace the Shadows. Embrace Nocturnal. Seek her out in the Hall.”