The years passed, and life carried on as life always does. Vilkas and I had children and we continued as Companions, or Blades, or Nightingale – or just husband and wife, which I think we both liked best. Njada left Farkas for another man and after I comforted my friend’s tears, I hunted her down with Aela and thrashed her within an inch of her life, telling her to never return; it was the one time I defied my role as Harbinger and took direct action but I didn’t regret it. Aela died to a sect of werewolf hunters on a job but we did not seek out revenge – I’d had enough of that. I hope she enjoys the Hunt with Hircine and does not regret it for a moment. Brynjolf was replaced by his daughter when he retired and Vex’ son runs the Thieves Guild now. Tilma’s grand-daughter cleans Jorrvaskr, my son is Harbinger now, and Eorlund’s grandchildren work the forge as well as he did. The world moves on, and will continue to do so after I am gone. It is well.
There have been good days, and bad days throughout the years. And one very bad day in particular when Vilkas fell fighting trolls and a dragon came upon him unaware. I wasn’t there. I wish I had been, but it had been years since I had fought a dragon, and Vilkas died as he lived, which is what he wished for in any event. We consigned him to the flames of the Skyforge and my heart grieved in a way I never thought possible. But at the same time I know Sovngarde awaits and that his place there is secured. He will be drinking and laughing and waiting for me, watching the door and hoping yet dreading the moment I walk through. I hope I’ll have my youth again when I do – I’d hate to spend my time in the Hall as an old woman!
And what of the stories? You may have noted they’re a bit embellished – the Bosmer who defeated Alduin is tall and fair and beautiful and cunning. Most people these days don’t recognise me as being Dragonborn; my grand-children don’t believe it at all! But that is how I chose my life to continue on; my task had been done, and I opted to live my life as Dreema rather than as Dragonborn. There’s no statues anywhere in my honour, no books, no histories, just a few glorified songs which used to make me grin and chuckle under my breath. I’m sure in a few generations the story will change further till even my own descendants don’t know the half of it but that also is as I would have it. I would die as I have lived; Dreema, wife of Vilkas, Companion, Nightingale, Thief.
It has been forty years since my battle with Alduin. It has been nearly ten since we gave Vilkas’s body up to the flames. For the past few nights, when the pain in my chest got too bad to sleep, I have sworn I could hear his voice and see him just out of the corner of my eye. My time approaches and I welcome it, for I am weary and ready to go. And so I took one last trip up the Pilgrim’s Path – all the Greybeards are different now, with Farkas’s own son among their number. I went to speak with Paarthurnax one final time – as just another joor he watched grow old and fade away. I didn’t know who else to give the Scroll to, so I gave it to him, and he put it…somewhere. Let it stay there! It is not magic any mortal should have.
I have been preparing for the past week, when energy allows, but the light fades from my eyes and I can feel death is waiting. As I write these last sentences in this book, I would ask that any reader remember that while your wyrd is your own and that it is never too late to take the reins of your destiny and do what you must, even if you are afraid.
I never took well to Skyforge armour, but I’m wearing my old Grandmaster leathers; a footpad and sneak to the end, that’s how I want to go. I have left the Dragonslayer blade to my son to keep safe…just in case. If Alduin ever returns, then a Dragonborn will need a blade.
I’m going to lie down and rest now, and I will summon my strength for a final Shout – I wonder which hero from Sovngarde will come to my call to guide me home? We will see.
Pour a mug of mead for me, Vilkas. I’ll be there soon.