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And so the meeting has started. Remaining standing up was a mistake, because everyone else is now sitting! They don't seem to be paying much attention to me though, so I dare not move. Vahl kept motioning for me to sit, but I just stared at her hoping she would get the message. After a few minutes of the members arguing and talking about things uninteresting to me, I looked over to Vahl. She seemed agonizingly bored as well, but a lot worse than I am. The dragging time seemed to be making her and the guiding voice crazy. Venturian was blubbering nonsense about "selfies" and "vlogging" and words I didn't even know existed. I have a feeling Venturian is not from our time. How interesting...

Then the General we had spoken to in Solitude spoke to Vahl, asking her her opinion on Markarth. My immediate thought was that this wouldn't be good. I'm not sure if Venturian can hear what I think, but in my mind I was begging him not to mess this up. He told Vahl to ask the General what he thought about Riften. The General seemed to like the idea of using Riften, but Jarl Ulfric did not. I suppose I couldn't blame Vahl. You can't please everyone. And from what I heard, Ulfric was a selfish man. Never had much respect for him.

Ulfric's anger rose with throwing insults about the Empire to the General. I was on the side of the Empire, and I wanted to give Ulfric a piece of my mind, but I knew it would only make it worse, so I held my tongue. I did feel bad though, seeing the fear in Vahl's eyes and the shake in Venturian's voice, thinking they had done something wrong. Then Esbern stood and spoke up. He pointed out that Ulfric needed to look past his age old disagreements to focus on the bigger matter. I admired his bravery. The Jarl of course did not like it at all.

He told Delphine to advise Esbern to hold his tongue, therefore indirectly threatening him. I knew, and I knew Vahl did too, that things were going downhill rapidly. Meanwhile Venturian seemed completely uninterested. All he wanted to do was leave, which worried me. I don`t think he truly knows what`s at stake. The Jarl gave up and sat down again. Now he was saying to surrender Falkreath to him. The General accused him of wanting all of Skyrim. Ulfric told Vahl to decide what to do. This wouldn`t go smoothly; not with Venturian`s complaining. Even though I half expected it, I still couldn`t believe that Vahl chose to take the side of the Jarl`s! Even after she spoke against him at first. Either Vahl really was making any excuse to get out of this, or she was only concerned for herself. Either way, it`s not good. Arngeir stood up and stated the terms that were now on the table. Markarth was to be handed over to Ulfirc`s reign until the dragons were dealt with. The meeting was adjourned, and Vahl was relieved to get out of that seat. At least things didn`t get worse than they could have.

When I thought we were finally done there, Esbern the Brave needed to speak with us. He told us the surprising truth about the Grey Beard leader Paarthurnax. He was the chief lieutenant of Alduin! Vahl, Vent and I surely didn`t want to kill him after helping us out, but it was necessary. Esbern gave Vahl a new shout, Od - Ah - Viing, to summon Paarthurnax when we were ready to kill him. We all left along with Delphine to slay the dragon. Ah, my first dragon slaying. I felt nervous, but not afraid. In fact most of me was quite excited. As we were descending down the mountain to go catch Paarthurnax in Dragonsreach, Venturian gave me my first solo quest. I was to make this large contraption called a "tank" made of dragon bones to launch Miraak at Paarthurnax so he could slash him in mid air, and make this device called a "parachute" to ensure Miraak's safe landing. I don't know how these things are really supposed to work, but I understand the general idea of it, so I'll do my best!

We arrived in Dragonsreach, and sure enough Vahl's childlike essence came out of her again. She started to run back and forth across one of the dining tables, knocking all the silverware onto the floor. Then Vent told me it was part of my initiation and I was officially part of the group. I'm going to get paid now! Not much, only 5% but it's still worth something. After speaking with Jarl Balgruuf, we were ready to capture a dragon!

We all went outside on the balcony where the trap was set. Vahl looked to the skies, and with a deep breath, she used her new shout to summon Paarthurnax. She and I got out of the way so we wouldn't get crushed by the oncoming beast. And in a matter of seconds it swooped down upon us, taking a poor soldier along for a ride. It wasn't Paarthurnax like I expected, but it was something to fight. I was ready!

At least I thought I was. I was a little in over my head. The dragon spent most of the battle in the air, and I didn't have a bow, so I was useless for most of it. While flying he was breathing fire, and he hit me! My armor was fire resistant, but I was so freaked out that I ran and hid in a corner. So much for my first impression.

After a minute I peeked out and saw the dragon had been weakened. Vahl used another shout on him, but Venturian commanded the Bend Will shout, which was the wrong one! The dragon began to move forward on the balcony toward us, so I sought this as my chance, and I went in to defend Vahl! Apparently that was not what Vent had in mind, but it was alright because it was bringing him in faster. The trap fell on him, and I continued to swing my axe at him with no plans of stepping down. Then the dragon started to speak! I stopped slashing and stepped back. It was the first time I had ever heard a dragon's voice. Vahl started to interrogate him and asked where Alduin was. He said that he is in Sovngarde! By the All-Maker I don't know how we can possibly get there unscathed, even with a door between the worlds. According to the dragon, the only way to get to Skuldafn where the door is, is by riding on wings. Venturian instructed me to build some, but I don't think that's possible. So Vahl decided to free the creature! She trusted him to help us! A dragon! The trap was lifted and the rematch commenced. I wish for luck. Until the next time, Journal.

- Poet

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