Cat Man Dhou - A Khajiit in Skyrim

This one should start by saying that he is not associated with Ri'saad. This one does not deal in Moon Sugar or Skooma. But he is a merchant, that much is true.

It is perhaps inevitable that a Khajiit in Skyrim will become a travelling trader. There is little else that is open to us, except to become bandits. The Nords do not allow us within the walls of their cities, treating us as no better than thieves. Worse, perhaps, as thieves seem to be welcome in Riften.

This one does not travel with the caravans, and he cannot yet afford to buy himself a wagon, or even a horse. Those things will come, when he has traded some more. He searches in caves and tombs for goods that he can trade, and does things for those that ask him, to raise more cash for his trading.

He wears the studded armour he took from a bandit. He would prefer to wear merchant's garb, but needs more protection while he travels alone. That is also why he carries a good mace, and a shield. If you want to buy these things from him, he could consider a good offer, but then he would have to find more.

When this one arrived in Skyim he was immediately apprehended as a thief, simply because he was a Khajiit. The Imperials did that; it wasn't even the local Nords, with their distrust of all outsiders. At least, it was the Imperial Legion, though some of the men themselves might have been Nords.

The other prisoners with this one in the carts were all Nords. One of them admitted he'd stolen a horse, but all the others were members of a group called the Stormcloaks. This one did not know of them, but the chatty one sitting next to him pointed to the man with the gag.

"That's Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, and our leader."

He explained more to this one, but he did not understand it all at the time. Perhaps he will understand later why these tribes fight between themselves. He know that it is none of his business, even if it does interfere with his business.

That was some ago, and this one has put most of the details from his memory. He was rescued from beheading by a dragon, and that is frightening enough. He wishes to avoid all dragons, so the last thing he intends doing is going to Whiterun and getting even more involved with them.

And if he did go into Whiterun, he is sure he'd have problems with the shopkeepers. Shopping is so different here from the way it was in Elsweyr. There, it is hot, so we shop outdoors. Here, it is cold, so everyone shops indoors.

There, if a food vendor puts anything out on display, it is a sample for you to try. His sale goods are covered from the sun and the sand that blows everywhere. He has uncovered the samples only because he saw your approach. In Skyrim, you cannot tell what is a sample and what is for sale. Everything is displayed, and it is wrong to touch before you buy!

When this one first arrived and went to Riverwood, he thought the only merchant was the smith. That one was working outside at his forge, and there were weapons and shields all around him. Everyone knows you don't touch anything near the forge, because it may still be hot! His work area was fenced off, and this one did not enter until he was invited to do so. So he traded without breaking any rules.

The smith told him that there was another merchant, inside the building with the sign outside. That was how you knew you could go inside and trade. But only at the right time of day. And the larger building at the end was a tavern, with a different sign. Everyone drank inside, where it was warm. In Elsweyr, everyone drinks outside, where it is cooler - at least in the shade of the awning.

This one entered the store, to find that it had just been robbed! For once, he was not accused of the theft, and was even asked if he would help to recover the stolen item. He asked where this golden claw had been taken from, and the man indicated the counter. This one was not surprised, it should have been under the counter if it was not available.

For someone who displayed such poor judgement, he was an astute trader, and this one enjoyed very much haggling over the goods he wished to buy and sell. He had traded his extra weapons and armour to the smith for a better mace, but he had a few pieces of clothing, and gemstones, to sell, and he wished to buy potions and spellbooks.

This one left with a little less gold than he had arrived with, and a lighter pack. But he was better equipped to deal with bandits, or the wolves that seemed to be behind every tree and rock. He had a better bow, and a better mace, and he'd made the studded armour he'd taken from that bandit woman in Embershard Mine fit him properly. It was a good thing she had a large chest; he didn't need so much extra leather to add to it. He'd used some iron to make it stronger, too.

The bandits in Bleak Falls Barrow didn't have any better equipment than this one had already found, but he collected the better pieces to sell later. He was hoping to find things that were enchanted, as they always got a better price, and he had heard that it was possible to learn the enchantments and apply them to other pieces. Doing that could be a lucrative trade, if you had access to an Arcance Enchanter, and soul gems.

Of course, this one had neither, but he knew that they could sometimes be found in caves and bandit lairs, if the current owners could be dealt with. Maybe there would even be one in Bleak Falls?

The bandits didn't have such equipment, but it wasn't long before this one was facing draugr, instead. In fact , it was just after he'd killed the giant spider (from a safe distance, with his bow. This one is not stupid!). After he cut the bandit free from its web, he'd run off straight into an ambush of undead, and this one found him lying dead on the floor. He finished off the draugr, and read the bandit's journal. It mentioned a golden claw, so this one searched his corpse a little more carefully and found the item. This was what they'd taken from Lucan's store in Riverwood, and apparently it was the key to a treasure deeper into the tomb.

This one likes treasure. He might have turned back, and taken the claw to Lucan for a reward if the journal had not promised more. But treasure called him onward, and he'd not had much problem with the bandits or draugr so far.

This one almost had a problem right away. He barely avoided treading on a suspicious-looking plate on the floor, when he noticed a spiked gate positioned to swing across the passage. He added the two together, and stepped around it.

And so the next draugr was a more powerful one, that could cast frost spells. It still had brittle bones that a mace could smash, but this one does not like being frozen! It is bad enough being here in this cold land without one's enemies making it worse. This one resolved to research frost resistance potions, when he got the chance. The Stormcloak had told him about chewing thistle, but he was a Nord, and this one needs something stronger.

The draugr's sword was old, and brittle, but it was enchanted. With Frost damage, of course. This one took it, despite its low value. It wasn't that heavy, so why not?

Another draugr further in proved stronger than the others, and also had an enchanted weapon. This one was two-handed and heavy, and only had the same frost enchantment as the first. This one left it behind, and contented himself with the contents of the nearby chest. The potions would be useful, and gold always is.

Finally this one understood what the claw was for. He had found a door with rings bearing the same symbols as he saw on the palm of the claw, and a socket in the middle where the claw could be used to turn the cental disc. This one also noticed the holes around the doorframe, and suspected a dart trap. He was careful to check the sequence of the symbols before trying the claw!

The bandit's journal said that there would be treasure beyond the door, but all this one found was a wall with strange writing on it, one word of which glowed as he approached. There was a chest that might contain the treasure, but it held little, and yet another draugr emerged from the sarcophagus near it when it was opened. This draugr, and a tough one he was, had another frost-enchanted weapon, and an ability to knock this one back with a shout.

When this one finally overcame him, he found that the draugr was carrying a stone tablet incribed with writing similar to that on the wall, and a map of Skyrim. If this was the treasure, it didn't look like it was worth much. Perhaps it held information that was valuable to someone, but this one had no clues who that would be. He decided to take the stone, and maybe he'd discover its value later.

This one found his way out of the tomb, and returned the claw to Lucan, who put it right back on the counter! Shaking his head, this one left the store (but not before accepting the cash reward!)

Heading north once more, this one again crossed the bridge out of Riverwood, but turned east to take the road towards Whiterun. He would not enter the city, even if they let him, but he wanted to trade with his Khajiit brethren outside the gates, near the stable. That's if they were there. They were just as likely to be at the opposite end of Skyrim, as the caravans never stayed too long at one place.

When this one arrived, the patch of ground where they pitched their tents was empty. He turned around and headed west towards Markarth. There were a few caves this one wanted to check out along the road, and he wasn't carrying so much he needed to make any trades right away.

Brittleshin Pass turned out to be the home of a necromancer and his skeleton minions. The latter weren't a major problem, as a mace shatters their bones nicely, but the elf liked the frost spells this one hates! This one had to dodge behind the rocks and wait for the elf to get close enough before he jumped out and attacked. Even then, it was a closer call than he'd like.

More positive was that the necromancer had an Arcane Enchanter, and this one could learn the Frost Damage enchantment from the draugr sword. He also learned the ones on the elf's robes, and from a circlet he found in a nearby chest. The boots that were in there with it were also enchanted, but this one wanted to use those. He could carry more, and that's too useful right away. Especially for someone who wishes to trade.

When this one emerged from the cave, it was getting dark. This one does not like the smell of necromancer dens, so he went back the way he came, looking for somewhere else to spend the night. He'd passed an abandoned and ruined house near the road that might provide some shelter. It was a better bet than the fort, which was probably infested with bandits.

This one was doubly fortunate. Not only was there a bed in the house, but he found a chest beneath the floor. There were only a few items of clutter in it, but among them was the diary of one Wilf Wainwright, the former owner of the property. The light was fading, so this one resolved to read it in the morning, when he woke.

Now this was interesting! As his name suggested, Wilf had built wagons, but had been put out of business by hired thugs stealing his tools. He'd sold up, and moved out of Skyrim, but left this clue to where his tools might be found. With those, a Khajiit might be able to make his own wagon and not have to pay the inflated prices they usually demand.

There was a damaged, but repairable, forge behind the house, too, which wouldn't take much work to get it back into operation. The house would be a different matter, as it had no roof, and most of the walls were gone, but this one would spend all his time travelling in his wagon, and would not need a house.

And all this one would have to do, is fight four separate bands of bandits in their lairs scattered across Skyrim, to retrieve those tools. And then he'd have to gather all the raw materials to make the wagon. Mine ores, smelt them into ingots, forge the parts, buy logs, assemble the whole thing, and save up enough money to buy a horse.

So where does this one start? Wilf's saw is in Orotheim, a cave to the north-west. He'll have to cross the tundra, avoiding the giants and mammoths, and probably wolves and sabre-cats, to get there, and then fight however many bandits were guarding it.

This one started walking towards Orotheim.

This one found fishes in the stream he had to cross to get there, and one of them was a Slaughterfish. They're tasty, but they do take a bit of effort to subdue. Fortunately this one met that one in shallow water, and it could not escape. There were mudcrabs, too, so now this one has a good supply of their shells.

Sneaking is always prudent when entering a cave where it is known there are bandits. Using a bow helps, too. This one was able to down the first bandit without the others noticing. The next one fell almost as easily, but the mage with him saw him fall. Frost again!

At least she was the last in the vicinity, and this one could catch his breath before continuing deeper into the cave. He expected the bandit guarding the saw would be the leader, and probably better equipped than the others. Hopefully he was the only one left.

No, he had an archer with him. This one retreated out of the archer's range and hoped the boss would follow alone. He got lucky, and that's the way it happened. But the man was swinging a war-hammer, so that wasn't much luck. This one timed his attacks carefully and jumped back when the big hammer started to swing. He was still glad he'd brought a good supply of restore health potions with him.

The final archer was an anti-climax, and this one looked around for the chest he expected to contain the saw. Nothing here, but he did find one tucked out of sight behind some shelves. No saw in it, though. Then this one noticed the chain hanging down on the wall. It revealed another small chamber with the chest this one sought, and there were a couple of sacks of coin, and an enchanted weapon was in the chest with the saw.

This one now knew that the next item he had to find, Wilf's hammer, was at the Rift Watchtower, a good distance from here, and nowhere near the stables at Riften. He consulted his map, and decided that it was still worth taking the carriage from Whiterun to Riften. He had items to sell, and the caravans camped outside both stables. There was a good chance one or the other would be there.

Ri'saad was back at Whiterun, and took most of what this one had to sell. He'd have lightened his load more, but Ri'saad did not have enough coin. Perhaps Ahkari's caravan would be at Riften, too.

They weren't, and the Rift Watchtower was quite a trek from there. This one decided to go through Shor's Stone. Some of what he wanted to sell was armour, and the smith there might buy it.

He spent a bit more time than he'd intended in the mining village, as they had a spider problem in the mine. It was a lot easier to deal with than the last lot of bandits, and Filnjar paid well, and bought everything this one wanted to unload.

There were fewer bandits at the Rift Watchtower, too, not that the Orc boss was any less of a problem than the Nord at Orotheim. The chest with Wilf's hammer was in plain view, too.

Now this one needed to find tongs in a place called Broken Oar Grotto. That could be on a lakeshore, but something told this one it was going to be a lot further away, and his map confirmed it. Further than Solitude, up on the northern coast.

So this one went back to Riften, to take the carriage to Solitude.

When this one got off the carriage outside Katla's farm, he went up the hill to see if the caravan was outside the gates. He didn't have anything he needed to trade, but it is always good to see familiar faces. Especially the female ones.

They were not there, and this one had to come back down the hill and decide which way to get to Broken Oar Grotto without their insight. He decided to go around to the east, under the arch. That way was more sheltered, at least until the hill past the road to the lighthouse. This one does not like the cold at all, and wishes that he did not have to come this far north.

Once this one passed Shadowgreen Cavern, he headed down to the shoreline. The ocean seems to keep the air just a little warmer, and every little helps. This one still does not want to go into the water, though. Wet and cold is even worse than just cold.

Fortunately, the entrance to the Grotto was on this side of the stream that flowed out of it, and this one did not even have to wade across that. He crept inside with his bow drawn, as he knew there would be bandits inside, guarding Wilf's tongs.

He was not expecting the cavern to be so large. After he dispatched the two bandits guarding the entrance, he had time to look around at this end of it. It appeared that the entrance had been much larger, until the rock collapsed, crushing a longboat beneath the rubble. This one could see full ships inside the cavern that must have been able to sail in and out before.

So how many bandits could live in a place this big? Could one Khajiit defeat them all? Maybe, one at a time. He would have to be extra-stealthy.

"This one does not have to defeat them," he reminded himself. "This one just needs to find the tongs and escape."

He had overheard the two bandits talking as he entered, and one of them had said that the boss kept all his treasure in a chest on the deck of a partially-sunken ship. Perhaps this one would be able to reach that chest without being seen.

This one does not relish the prospect of getting wet, especially in the cold water of this land, but he does not like fighting against the odds either. Once he found the ship, he'd swim to it and open the chest, and then leave.

That was this one's plan, but it was not exactly what happened. By staying in the shadows, and using his bow, he was able to reach the other end of the cavern. There, however, was a makeshift tower, contructed out of parts of derelict ships. It overlooked the ship this one was certain held the chest, and it was home to many of the bandits. Any of them could look out and see this one trying to reach the chest, and raise the alarm.

This one needed a new plan. He could go to the other side of the cavern and hide behind a pillar up on the high pathway. From there, if he was careful, he could pick off the bandits with his bow, one by one, until he had the chance to go down to the water unseen. He chose a side-passage to get there that would hide him from view from the tower.

Of course, that had to be full of bandits, too. Fortunately, the narrow passage would not allow more than one of them to oppose him at a time. Unfortunately, they were well-equipped, and tough. This one was glad he brought a good shield.

He used most of the health potions he found in that passage, but not all. That was at least one benefit of coming this way. Another was that these bandits would not be behind him, appearing when he did not suspect their existence, as he was trying to deal with the others.

This one crept out of the other end of the passage, and looked around. As he had suspected, he was close to the place he wanted to be, overlooking the tower from the end of the stone bridge across the cavern. If he was seen, and they came for him, they would have to cross that bridge, and he should have time to escape.

One of the bandits was alone on the deck of a ship, floating in the water below. It had been stripped of its masts, and was being used as a dining area. The bandit was seated at the table with his back to this one. One arrow was enough, and he did not cry out.

Another of the bandits was walking down the ramp to go for his meal, and would soon find his dead colleague, so this one needed to deal with him next. If he would just come out from behind that post ... A second clean kill for this one.

But it seems the other bandits heard something. Three of them were coming, carrying what looked like steel warhammers. And this one cannot shoot through the stone; he needs to move now!

The only option this one had was to leap into the water. He swam half-way back to the entrance, and climbed out beyond where the bandits could see him. Now he needed to dry off, before he froze solid.

There was a campfire outside the cave, but this one had not seen one inside. He found a brazier instead, and spent some time huddled close to that. When he was dried enough, he crept back along the path, to try his sniping again.

This one soon found himself repeating his dive into the water. At least there was only the one bandit remaining, but he was the boss, with better armour, and an enchantment on his warhammer this one did not wish to experience. The Nords do like their frost!

There was no opportunity to dry off this time. Captain Hargar was pursuing this one along the path. Naturally, this one swam to the other side, and raised the drawbridge. He tried to shoot the Captain, but he hid behind the raised bridge, and this one missed. If Hargar tried to lower the bridge, this one would be able to shoot. If he didn't, he couldn't reach this one.

This one shivered, but kept his bow at the ready. He started to walk along the path towards the end of the cavern where the tower was. If Hargar tried to cross over and follow him, he could get a few arrows off before he needed to go back in the water. If he didn't, he should be able to reach the tower first.

Captain Hargar knew that, too and set off along the path on his side of the cavern. This one shot a couple of arrows at him, and perhaps one found its mark, as he slowed and started to limp. That made him an easier target, of course.

Now the hunter had become the hunted, and Hargar was trying to avoid more of this one's arrows. He hid, and this one was able to get well ahead, and reach the chest first. That's where he discovered that he'd need a key. This one knew that the Captain carried it.

There was a forge here at the tower, so a drier Khajiit was soon on the hunt for the bandit. He had taken all the potions from the passage, so Hargar had no respite there, just a place to hide. If that is where he'd gone. This one did not know, but it was the sensible choice. This one's bow would of no use in there, and would have to use his mace and shield instead. And Hargar had the larger weapon.

A thought occurred to this one. He does have them sometimes. When he went through the first time, he noticed oil on the floor. He supposed that it had leaked from the lamps hanging above it, in which case, he knew it would burn. He drew his bow, after all, and crept in, looking for the lamps. He could just see Hargar around the corner, waiting for him, and right under one of the lamps.

This one grinned, and fired an arrow at the lamp. He also grabbed his mace and shield quickly, as the burning Hargar would be coming his way as fast as he could. He blocked the passage just beyond the edge of the flames, and held his ground. Hargar was not amused, but there was nothing he could do but die.

The key this one needed was on the Captain's body, as he suspected. He entered the cold water for the third time in one day, but this time it did not seem so bad, as the tongs were exactly where they should be.

While this one dried himself beside the forge, he spent some time improving his equipment. The bandits had left a number of ingots near the forge, and they were all useful. This one now had a stronger shield and armour, and his mace was a little heavier, and more jagged. He might need those improvements to deal with the bandits at Knifepoint Ridge, where Wilf's spokeshave was waiting.

This one decided to take the carriage to Markarth and trek to Knifepoint Ridge from there. Falkreath would have been closer, but not by enough to pass up a visit to the caravan camp outside the Reach capital. This one had quite a bit of loot from Broken Oar Grotto, and he always preferred to deal with his fellow Khajiit. They would cheat him just as much as the Nords, but they wouldn't accuse him of stealing if he managed a good deal. That trader in Falkreath was convinced that everyone wanted to steal from him, and this one did not like doing business there at all.

This one's map showed the turning to the south just past Fort Sunguard. The paved road soon gave way to dirt, and then to indistinct trails. This one encountered a few packs of wolves on the way, and detoured around a small skirmish between Stormcloaks and Legion soldiers in the woods. Normally, this one would have waited to see what they left behind, but he was on a mission now. The spokeshave was the last of the tools.

Knifepoint Ridge was up at the top of some cliffs, with a switchback path leading up to it. Even from down here, this one could see the guard tower where they kept boulders ready to roll down the path onto anyone they didn't like. And for most bandits, that meant anyone who came along.

Still, the turns of the path provided a lot of cover for someone sneaking up. They would not see him, until he turned the last corner, and perhaps not even then, if he was quiet.

They did notice, and a bandit started to come down the path. This one fired his bow at the man at the top of the guard tower, and he reacted unthinkingly by releasing the rocks. The bandit on the path was not quick enough to jump out of the way. This one was facing them, and better able to dodge.

A mace and shield is a good combination against archers, and the two who remained did not have a clear shot, as this one was coming around the back of the tower, and not through the gate. This put him further from any bandits who might join them from the rest of the camp, too.

It is always a source of amazement that bandits do not cooperate better. Perhaps they do not trust each other enough. This one was able to deal with them one or two at a time, rest and heal, and then move on to the next pair. He was soon standing at the door of the mine, wondering how many he'd find inside. It seemed certain that the spokeshave was in there. It hadn't been in any other chest.

This one drew his bow and started to sneak down the slope into the mine. He could just see an oil slick on the floor, and was hoping to see a lamp above it. No such luck, but at least the bandit guarding the chest was alone, and hadn't seen this one yet.

So should this one use the bow, or try and get a little closer, and use a flame spell to ignite the oil? The bandit was standing in the oil as if it offered no threat. Perhaps a Dunmer, who resisted fire? Steel armour would resist his arrows, too, so this one aimed for the head.

This one had to back up almost to the door before she dropped. It is a good thing that heavy armour makes a person move slower. The spokeshave was in the chest, with a decent amount of gold, potions and gems. All light items, so this one spent some time mining the iron veins before he left. He might need that once he had the forge running again.

Back at the ruined house, this one took another look inside the chest. He'd ignored the clutter in there before, as none of it was particularly valuable. But there was stone, and iron ingots, and leather strips. All things that might be useful in getting the forge working, and perhaps adding some other crafting stations. What would this one need to build his own wagon?

The forge was not hard to repair. All the pieces were still lying around, and it just needed putting back together. It took a while to get the fire going properly, but once the bellows were mended, that took off nicely.

A smelter could be made from the materials already at hand, and then the iron ores could be made into more ingots. But this one would need wood, and stone, to make the rest of the smithing equipment, and much more ore to make the wagon parts. He made himself a list before he lay down on the bed for a night's rest.

Wilf had left one spring in the chest, so this one had a pattern to follow when he made the other two the wagon would require. He did not yet have the materials. Each spring needed steel, as well as iron fittings, and this one had no corundum. He locked all his surplus supplies in the chest, so he could carry as much ore as possible, and set out collecting.

The first thing to get would be wood. He'd have to buy that from a lumber mill, and the nearest was Half-Moon, at the end of Lake Ilinalta. He'd not dealt with the mill-owners, but he knew the mill in Falkreath was run by the brother of the shopkeeper who always warned him against stealing from his shop. Half-Moon was bound to be a better option.

Hert was quite pleasant, and offered this one gold if he'd chop firewood for her. She let him mine iron from the vein next to the house, too, while she cut the timber for him. Delivery to the site was included in the price. This one had been worried that he'd need a horse to haul the lumber, and he didn't have one yet.

There was quite a bit of iron to be found on the way back to the house. Not much in any one place, but out in the open, without any bandits guarding it, which helped. This one didn't find any stone quarries, but he knew where he could dig for that on the other side of Whiterun. He only needed a little, for the workbench and grindstone, so he didn't mind carrying it that far.

And on the way back, he found the corundum he needed. There was a patch out on the tundra, between the watchtower and the giant camp. So now this one could make a start on the wagon.

Soon he had the springs made. They weren't complex to make, but the steel had to be flexible but strong, not unlike the blade of a sword. This one's skill was just up to the challenge, and perhaps improving with this extra practice. Making nails and fittings was certainly helping with that.

With the proper tools, it wasn't hard to make the wheels, either. And the spokeshave was essential. There was no way to shape the spokes and fellies with anything else. This one understands why Wilf could do nothing without his tools.

It wasn't hard, but it was a long and tedious process. This one only had time to finish making the wheels before it was dark again. Tomorrow, it would be the spine, the bed planking, the driver's seat, and ...

That reminds this one. Where does one get the linen for the canopy? He has not seen it for sale anywhere. Perhaps the wraps from the tombs? If he'd known, he'd have picked some up in Bleak Falls Barrow. That was clear of draugr now, so he could go back and look.

Before this one got to that point, however, he had run out of iron again. A wagon needs a lot of it, for nails, and fittings. And he'd used the last of the corundum for the steel in the springs, and now he had none to make the lock for the chest that formed the driver's seat. That is a clever place to lock away one's more valuable goods, this one thinks.

This one set out to search the area of tundra beyond Fort Greymoor. He'd mined all the veins between the house and Whiterun, or at least all he could find safely. He was reluctant to go too close to the giants and their mammoths, and they had camps both north and south of the road. There were more in the direction he was travelling, but this one hoped to have enough ore before he reached them.

It seems that Sabre-Cats feel no affinity for their cousins from Elsweyr. Perhaps they just resemble us, and are not Azurah's children at all. One of them decided to stop chasing an elk, and persue this one instead. His teeth are now in this one's pack, and his pelt with them.

And he chased this one to a patch of Corundum, so this one is not too displeased. He has also forgiven the mudcrabs who showed him where the silver ore could be found.

This one had forgotten how cold it was on the path to Bleak Falls Barrow. He hopes that there will not be a fresh lot of bandits to delay him getting inside to look for that linen. He also hopes that he will find enough. He remembers seeing some, but not how much he saw.

Five should be sufficient, and this one has them now. He also found a couple of potions that he had overlooked the first time, and he has picked up some of the low-grade weapons he left behind. He has almost enough gold to buy a horse, and these should just be what he needs to get there. He can sell them in Riverwood on his way back to his forge.

Now Khajiit has his own wagon! He can store things in it (and lock the valuable ones away), and he can put his bedroll in the back, and sleep in the shelter of the canopy. It is not quite as comfortable as the bed in the ruined house, but when it rains, that is not the first concern.

All this one needs now is a horse to pull it, and he should choose wisely. Perhaps he should ask the carriage drivers for advice? The best horses for riding may not be the best for pulling wagons. They should know the ones he needs.

Bjorlam tells this one that all the carriage drivers use the horses from Windhelm. He thinks that this is more tradition than anything else, but traditions are usually based on sound principles, so it would not hurt this one to do the same.

This one wondered if Bjorlam just wanted the price of a ride to Windhelm. He had not been there before, and he soon remembered why. It always seems to be snowing at Windhelm, and this one does not like the cold. Still, he warmed himself at the fire of Ma'dran and did some trading before he went to the stable to buy a horse.

It is even colder on the back of a galloping horse. This one soon persuaded his mount to slow to a walk. He was heading south, of course, to get out of the snow as soon as possible, but sometimes more haste needs less speed.

The snow stopped even before he reached Mixwater Mill. This one thinks that the steam from the hot springs drives the snow away, but it is also possible that it feeds the snow as well.

This one dismounted when he reached the mill. He is not used to riding, and he was a little saddle-sore, even after so short a trip. Perhaps he will lead the horse some of the way, instead of riding. He would need to get off to fight, and there are often bandits on the road beyond here.

He is also a bit worried that bears or sabre-cats might want to eat his horse. He has heard that Orc bandits do that, too. This one cannot afford another horse, yet.

A bandit outside Valtheim Towers wanted to charge this one a toll for passing. He told her he had no more money; that he had spent it all buying the horse. She attacked him, but worse, someone up on the top of the tower starting shooting arrows at his horse! This one allowed the horse to run away up the road, but he was going to teach these bandits a lesson!

This one threw most of the bandits off the bridge. To say that he was angry at them would not have been doing any justice to how he really felt. He had just bought that horse!

The archer on the far bank had not fired at this one's horse, but he was still an enemy that needed to be dealt with. He was the last, and this one searched the towers for goods he could trade before returning to look for his horse. He found alchemy apparatus he could use, too, and spent some time making potions.

The horse was waiting for this one, just far enough away that arrows could not reach. And there were two dead wolves lying nearby. Perhaps this is why the carriage drivers buy Windhelm horses. They know how to look after themselves.

This one rode the rest of the way back to the forge, and the wagon. He would have included the ruined house in that, but when he got there, it wasn't ruined any more! A courier approached, with a letter. It explained what had happened.

When he started on his quest to find Wilf's tools, this one must have mentioned it to the carriage drivers as he rode from one city to another. So they knew he intended to make his own wagon, and they remembered Wilf, who would mend their wagons when they broke down. They had paid to have the home rebuilt while this one was away in Windhelm, buying his horse.

Perhaps it would be better to call it the workshop, as this one's home is his wagon, now. But he cannot take the forge, and all the other smithing equipment with him, and so he will return here when he wants to use them. He knows that wheels break, and harnesses wear, and he will need to do repairs to his wagon from time to time. Now he knows how, and he has the tools, he will be happy to help the carriage drivers, too.

The inside of the house was a very pleasant surprise. The bed had been stuffed with fresh straw, and now there was a cookpot in front of the fireplace, and tables, chairs, cupboards that this one did not have before. The chest from below the floor was now under a table, where an Alchemy Lab and an Arcane Enchanter had been installed. It was still locked, and all this one's goods were still there.

Another empty chest was the other side of the fireplace, near the bed. Somewhere to put his armour, when he changed into the new merchant's clothes that he found on the shelves. Now this one felt like a proper merchant! These were not the ostentatious fine clothes that told customers they could not afford one's wares. These were clothes that said "This one prospers, because he negotiates a fair deal, and his customers come back for more." At least, if Ri'saad can be believed - these are the same as he wears.

This one placed his small collection of books on the shelf. He travelled during the day, and it was too dark to read when he camped for the night, but here he had candles, and could read in the evening. He would need to spend some time here to trade with the carriage drivers, and on a predictable schedule, too. This was something he'd need to think out carefully.

The other Khajiit had no wagons, and this one hoped he'd make some gold by carrying their wares from city to city. They were only able to trade as much as they could carry, and bandits meant they had to carry weapons, as well. If all the wares were on a wagon, they could all be better armoured, and harder to rob.

And this one knew how to make more wagons. When the caravans had the gold to buy one from him, he knew they'd do so. And then they'd need repairs, just like the carriages. There was much gold to be made, if this one played his cards right.

He sat down at the table, and worked out the prices that he would have to charge to break even for a new wheel, or a complete wagon. He would ask the carriage drivers how much they paid for theirs. Repairs were a different matter. This one could charge more for speedy repairs, as the carriage driver would be losing business until the work was done.

Wilf's diary had said that hired thugs had stolen his tools. This one soon discovered who had hired them.

He was driving his wagon along the road between Whiterun and Markarth, and had just passed the shrine to Dibella, near the bridge. He could see three people coming the other way, so he got off the wagon, and walked ahead to greet them, and see if they wanted to trade. The armour they were wearing looked better than the usual bandits wore, so this one did not expect them to be hostile.

One of them shouted, and drew a weapon. This one ran back and got his mace and shield from the wagon, and quickly unhitched the horse. If he need to run away, this one did not want him dragging the wagon with him.

The thugs were all in steel armour, but that makes one slow. This one ran around a lot and dodged their attacks, while trying to separate them, and deal with them one at a time. He also got help from a hunter at Dibella's shrine, who saw what was happening, and used her bow. She was safely up on a rock, where the thugs could not reach.

The distraction of avoiding the hunter's arrows was just what this one needed to separate the thugs. Individually he could handle them, although he was very tired by the time he finished. Each of the thugs had a contract from "The Cyrodiil Guild of Wainwrights" to put him out of business. It would appear that these Imperials want a monopoly in the whole of Tamriel, and do not care if their methods are legal.

Still, they paid their mercenaries in advance, so now this one is a bit richer, having taken 100 septims from each of them. He regrets that he has no way to return the favour, by spending it on mercenaries of his own. He would, if he knew where to send them.