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.
The sun was high in the sky, and the Companions were enjoying their first warm day of the year. Winters in Skyrim were long, and the warriors were used to training in sub-zero temperatures, but the balmy weather made the courtyard activities much more pleasant.
Rowan was sparring with Ben, whose swordsmanship had improved quickly when he had started practicing again. At this point they were pretty evenly matched, at least if they were fighting with two swords. Rowan still had trouble when wielding one blade.
In what seemed like only an instant, Selene was standing outside Skuldafn with Odahviing.
“Oh!” she exclaimed with a start.
“Welcome back, Dovahkiin.”
“How did I get here?”
“You simply appeared, no doubt sent back from Sovngarde by the gods. Your Thu’um is the greatest, Dovahkiin. I owe you all allegiance, and I await your command.”
Selene and Brynjolf made their side trip to Windhelm, where they invested in a bow. Brynjolf’s new bow was made of the finest ebony and rivaled Selene’s in quality, and Wuunferth enchanted it with frost and paralysis spells so he would get the same benefits as those from Chillrend. They also sold much of their take from Blackreach and shipped the rest to Delvin. They visited Ulfric while they were in town, and he updated Selene on plans for the moot.
The trip from Sky Haven Temple, with only a day’s stop in Whiterun to give Vilkas the katana, was long and arduous. Selene and Brynjolf fought Forsworn, bandits, bears, a sabre cat, and two dragons, as well as freezing rain on the tundra and snow in the mountains . They nursed a lot of injuries, and they got very little sleep. By the time they arrived at the Vilemyr Inn in Ivarstead late on the evening of their eleventh day of travel, Selene had become quite adept at healing spells and they were in foul humor. Then again, Brynjolf had been in a bad mood ever since they had left the temple. He was happy most of the time, or at least good tempered; they rarely even argued. But during this trip, he was prone to snapping at Selene for little or no reason. Something was bothering him, but whenever she asked him what it was, he just said he was tired.