It was a cold night, and there was a boisterous crowd in the tavern hall of the small Inn on the hill. The bard called shrill over the noise, playing a song of mirth and mead. Smoke from the peat-fires rose slowly to the thatch roof and escaped through small flue holes. Three young men, arrayed in leathers and mail, boasted loudly of their deeds. They are reforming the Dawnguard, they spoke to the Inn’s attendants, and we are going to lend our swords. They yelled and sang on through the night, thinking themselves saviors of the world. They touched their swords and straightened their armor, grabbing serving girls and throwing food scraps onto the floor. But all the noise seemed to die when the Wanderer spoke.
You are young yet, and know not the dangers that await in the wide circle of the world. The voice was gravel and sand, and came from the dark corner between two guttering torches. The speaker leaned forward into the light, revealing himself a bent and withered old traveler. It seemed, at that moment, that all in the tavern had quieted, straining to hear the man’s words.
And what do you know of it, old man? The man was deep in his cups, young and boastful.
I met a man once, when my travels brought me to the disreputable winesinks and skooma-dens of Bravil. Movarth was his name, and he was all muscle and sinew. A hard face he had, and an even harder story. And so the Wanderer told his story, and the men and women of the Inn listened intently with wide eyes.