10. Time for a plan
28th of the Last Seed
Poppo is released after paying a fine of 50 gold to the Dawnstar guards. When the thugs tried to attack Poppo near Whiterun, he of course ran away. He jumped over a fence and ran down to the road where Cicero was standing, who was all of a sudden very busy with his cargo and clearly not planning to help Poppo. The thugs where closing in on Poppo, so he had to think fast.
Then Poppo saw Cicero’s horse and thought it would be a good idea to borrow it for a little while. So Poppo jumped on the brown mare and galloped away. For about 200 meters because then two guards dragged him from the horse and arrested him for horse thievery. Since Poppo stole the horse in the jurisdiction of the Pale he had to come with the guards all the way to Dawnstar and pay a fine. Not a very nice turn of events, but at least he lost the thugs and lives another day.
Dawnstar is a very quiet and cold town. Poppo is hungry and eats his last food, which he bought at the local inn with his last gold. That means it is time for Poppo to find another demeaning job which pays just enough to buy some overpriced food. Lucky for Poppo Dawnstar is in need of miners. Poppo is holding a pickaxe yet again, he must be doing something wrong. Life as a miner is just not for Poppo, it strains his muscles and more importantly: it does not pay very well. So if he wants to be a smith like Adrienne from Warmaidens, he needs to start taking things seriously and probably stop running.
At the end of the day Poppo sells half of the ores to the foreman of Ironbreaker mine and keeps the other half as smiting materials. From the little gold he got, he rents a room from Thoring and buys some drinks. While he sits down and drinks his first cup of ale he realizes that if he wants to get anywhere in Skyrim he needs to man up. Or! Pay someone to be a man for him. He looks around the inn, but there are not really intimidating man types hanging around. Maybe tomorrow.
29th of the Last Seed
Poppo had a good night sleep and looks around Dawnstar for someone to protect him as he travels around to sell and forge weapons and armor. Sadly there are no people willing to be Poppo’s personal guard. Not a big surprise since he has only about 120 gold. He does stumble upon someone who has work for him. Leigelf is the foreman of the quicksilver mine and promises lots of coin for the ores Poppo can digg up for him. He also tells Poppo that the quicksilver mine offers a better work environment than the poor workers in Ironbreaker mine have. Well that is true, there is food everywhere! This is probably the only mine in Skyrim where there is better food than in a Jarl’s longhouse .
Around noon Poppo delivers his ores to Leigelf and he pays Poppo 400 gold, not bad. With his coin and iron ores from the day before he goes over to the smith. Poppo sells everything he has but his food and clothes and buys some steel from Rustleif, who is also so kind to let Poppo use his forge. Poppo manages to take his forging skills to the next level and forges a full set of heavy steel armor. Even though he is still a milk drinker at heart, he at least looks scary now.
It is time to leave Dawnstar, maybe he will head for Morthal to see if they have bodyguards there. Just outside the town there is a Khajit caravan setting up camp. Among them is one particularly scary cat. Poppo takes one deep breath and approaches him. His name is Kharjo and he has a very kind and soft voice. He is the caravan guard and protects the other cats from bandits and wolves. It would be great if Kharjo or some other scary Khajit would protect Poppo against all that.
Kharjo tells him some quick-fingered marauder stole his moon amulet which is very dear to him. He asks if Poppo could try to get it for him, the bandits were not that dangerous so Poppo should be fine. What Kharjo does not know is that beneath the though steel armor Poppo is just a milkdrinker, but a milkdrinker who needs to man-up!
A local farmer reports a confused man running into a cave, know to be inhabited by trolls. He apparently yelled something about bandits and a ring and went out of sight. The farmer did not see him return from the depths and reported the event to a passing Whiterun guard the next day. The guard looked inside but did not dare to venture to deep into troll territory. The Milkdrinker was not seen again.