The Greybeards

Salria's quest now takes her to Ivarstead, on the other side of a massive mountain. Turns out the only real way to get there is to walk around the north edge of it to get to this town. It's a long walk, and after about 20 minutes, I finally get there. Don't ask why I didn't take a horse. It would have taken half the time.

The journey itself was actually quite uneventful. I cleared out a tower of bandits who were demanding a toll for walking down a road. A couple more bandits and several wolves later, I come across a troll. Turns out I can deal virtually no damage on it, and what little I can is instantly regenerated. I take to hiding in the nearby river to recover my health, since trolls apparently have an aversion to water. After a while, I simply give up and run straight past it.

I wander around Ivarstead for a while, not really knowing what to do, until I notice the objective marker at the bottom of some stairs. It doesn't take too much to figure out that these are the 7000 stairs. However the two guys talking on the bridge don't exactly fill me with confidence about what I'm about to do.

 

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You'd have thought they'd at least have tried to stop the small, female wood elf from attempting to climb up a ridiculous number of stairs, which is apparently quite dangerous, but no. They just let me on by without so much as a word. It's not like there could be any confusion as to where I might be going. I mean, this bridge only leads to one place: those stairs.

Walking up the stairs, I encounter nothing more dangerous than a few wolves. But then I run into a frost troll (about 5649 stairs up by my estimation). Turns out this one is even harder to defeat than the regular troll, and without the safety of water to hide in, Salria very quickly dies. So it's a simple reload to the point where the dramatic music started.

I pulled my old tactic for dealing with trolls. Run away. It's remarkably effective.  A few hundred stairs later I arrive at High Hrothgar. 

After looting the sacks at the entrance, I enter the fortress. Some guy called Arngeir begins talking to Salria, and some random guy with a grey beard walks between us. He then proceeds to stare intently at Salria. How rude.

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Turns out, all the Greybeards wanted was to hear Salria should. The ask her to "strike us with the power of your voice". So I do so. One of them seems a bit surprised, but come on, you literally asked for it. Anyway, apparently that's all they needed to prove that I was a Dragonborn. Arngeir then asked why I had come here. Not gonna lie, I was under the impression that they had summoned me. Nevertheless, I decide to play along.

After much discussion about what the Dragonborn actually is, we finally get down to training.  Having already learnt "Fus" or "Force", it's apparently a simple case of looking at some runes on the floor, and Salria learns "Ro", or "Balance". However, actually being able to use it is another matter. I have to actually kill a dragon and absorb its knowledge. Or, just tap into the understanding of one of the Greybeards, in this case, Einarth. That way seems a lot simpler.

Now, for the ultimate test of Salria's skill. She has to use Unrelenting Force a whole three times on some ghosts that the Greybeards generate. The next trial takes place in the courtyard, where Salria learns "Wuld" or "Whirlwind". Once again, I absorb the Greybeard's knowledge of the word. The actual trial requires Salria to run through a gate at high speed. Easy.

Arngeir seems surprised at how quickly Salria's picking this stuff up. So he gives me my last final trial. If the last two are anything to go by, this is going to be easy. 

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Oh. Maybe I spoke too soon.