Turns out the guy who got me arrested had informed the imperial guards that I was a "Stormcloak", some kind of rebel in Skyrim. I was put on a cart to Helgen where I was scheduled to be executed, along with some strangers, one of whom was actually Ulfrich Stormcloak himself, the leader of the rebellion in Skyrim.
After arriving at the imperial bastion of Helgen, I had little hope of escaping and figured that everything was over by now. One of the guys from my cart tried to escape and was promptly shot in the back, discouraging that idea. By the time it was my head on the chopping block, the most incredible thing happened! A dragon from the old legends showed up and attacked the town! In the ensuing chaos, I managed to escape the area and evade the dragon, even though I nearly got burned a few times... What a horrible creature!
I suppose I should be thankful, however, as I would have been dead if it didn't show up when it did. It's almost suspeciously well-timed but who am I to argue? Still, I've attempted to sketch one out, in case someone wanted to see what they look like:
After my near-death experience, I decided to go to Riverwood, a nearby village where I could offload the stuff I managed to pick up from dead Imperials along the way and learn a little bit about Skyrim. I kept a couple of maces for myself and managed to pick up a few spells like Spark, Flames and Conjure Familiar. While in Riverwood I learned the location of Winterhold, where I could enter into the College to better understand my magical talents. However, I also learned that a local trader had lost a golden claw of some value, which was taken to an old temple on top of a small mountain nearby. I decided to put my College ambitions on hold for a little while, as I figured that I needed more practice, plus I really wanted to have a look inside the temple itself. My curiosity is strong and occasionally lead me to trouble, yet it is a feeling I must obey.
The temple looked very impressive, worthy of a sketch to show I was there:
Inside and around the temple were a bunch of bandits, whom I dispatched with relatively little trouble, as I had a good chance to practice my magical abilities during my escape from Helgen. However, I hadn't gone far into the temple before a disturbing, yet not entirely uncommon sight met me: A walking dead, locally known as a Draugr:
The smell of death surrounds them and their blue eyes are frightening. I knew it had to be put down, as no ancestor of mine deserved a fate like this. It turned out that most of the temple was filled with these things and they were all hostile. However, the worst thing I encountered in there was a gigantic spider, which had taken the thief of the claw as its next meal. He was still alive and complaining, although strung up in a web, by the time I had killed the creature. At his request I cut him loose and as a reward, he decided to taunt me and run off, speaking of some sort of treasure in the temple. I gave chase, only for him to turn hostile, meaning I had to kill him. He had the claw on his person and a journal speaking about some sort of treasure behind a door at the bottom of the temple.
Although now in possession of the claw, I chose to continue exploring since I was already there, and I did indeed find such a door, with strange markings that could be rotated, along with a slot for the claw to fit in. The solution was carved onto the claw itself, so the puzzle was hardly a challenge. Expecting to be challenged to open a door if you have the key is a little bit silly, now that I think about it, but such was my thoughts at the time. Inside the area was a large rock wall with some strange words carved into it and when I approached, one of these words seemed to speak to me. I had no idea what it truly meant but I did keep it in mind for a later point in time.
There was also a very strong draugr in a coffin, which I managed to kill after a tough battle, and it had some good gear on its person, along with a weird stone tablet. For someone magically inclined as myself, the things weren't useful as such, but it WAS quite valuable. I put the things in my bag, so I could sell them the next time I'm in a larger settlement. I went back to Riverwood to collect my reward and I am now preparing to set out for Whiterun, a large nearby city, where I have been tasked to inform the Jarl of the dragon attack...