After stopping in Solitude the next night, Ben, Coranil, Rowan, and Dolff headed back to Windhelm. The trip seemed to take forever, mostly because it was so quiet. Ben tried to engage the others in conversation, but aside from Coranil answering his many questions about the Thalmor and his past, they barely spoke. Relations between Rowan and Dolff were colder than the winds on the Throat of the World, and Ben had no idea what had happened. Well, he had some idea. He thought maybe they had fought because Dolff was jealous of Rowan’s dotage on Coranil, but they weren’t talking about it, so he could only speculate.
Rowan and Ben arrived in Riften a couple of days later and gave Selene the vial of snow. They left the next morning to go back to Whiterun, and Selene and Brynjolf headed for Windhelm. She called once again on Odahviing, who, as always, was happy to give them a ride; and they arrived in Skyrim’s capital city in a few hours.
Ulfric had stepped up security. Extra guards patrolled the streets, and some of them who didn’t recognize Selene and Brynjolf glared at them suspiciously. Selene could sense her husband’s unease as they approached the Palace of the Kings, but it wasn’t the extra guard that made him uncomfortable. Although he respected Ulfric as High King, his animosity toward the man had never waned. He hated him with a passion, and Ulfric was none too fond of him, either. Still, they were men of integrity in their own way, and they tolerated each other enough to work together when necessary.
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.”
Farkas and Athis stayed at Hjerim for a week before returning to Whiterun. During that time, Selene told them about some of her activities with the Stormcloaks and caught up with the goings on at Jorrvaskr. Athis slept a lot, and it was good to have Farkas to herself for a while. With their new relationships, most of their residual sexual tension had relaxed, and they could be together as friends without worrying about doing something they would regret. Together, they caught up on the more personal aspects of their lives. She had missed the long, fireside talks they’d had on the road where they told each other all their silly hopes and dreams, and it was refreshing to do so again. Farkas was still with Saadia, and he was starting to entertain the notion of asking her to marry him. He was, however, less than thrilled with Selene’s current love interest. Truth be known, at the moment, so was she.
Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Eastmarch, hereby recognizes the contribution of Selene of Whiterun, a/k/a the Dragonborn, to the Stormcloak Rebellion and the City of Windhelm. She has brought honor to herself and to the Stormcloak army, has been instrumental in its rapid advance across Skyrim, and has rid this city of a murderer plaguing its streets.
In appreciation of her service to the Stormcloak Rebellion and the City of Windhelm, Selene of Whiterun, a/k/a the Dragonborn, shall hereafter be known as STORMBLADE.
Decreed 3 Sun’s Dusk 4E 202
Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak