TURDAS, 17th of HEARTFIRE
There seemed to be two options at this point. I could continue investigating the murders and be a sitting target for whatever forces were out there. Or I could deliver a clear preemptive strike to the Forsworn by clearing one of their bases and in the process learn more about their forces. I had a potato cabbage soup for breakfast and prepared some rabbit haunches for later. I decided I was going to strike the Forsworn at Broken Redoubt Tower. It was just a matter of following the river back east to its location.
On the way, I encountered some Alik’r warriors looking for a Redguard woman who they believed they had fled to Whiterun. It was afternoon when I arrived at Broken Redoubt Tower. The tower was built into a steep rocky face which rendered attack from behind difficult. I didn’t want to go in through the front door, so I climbed up to the upper balcony and eliminated the two Forsworn guards camped up there. Taking a deep breath, I entered through the second floor door.
Inside there was a huge chamber with gas rising from the floor. I launched one arrow into the heart of one of the Forsworn directly below me and then quickly slid back into the shadows. Then there was another on the walkway directly across from me. It took two arrows in rapid succession to bring her down, but she fell silently without calling attention to myself. I sidestepped any traps as I cleared out the western area. In the eastern wing, there were a set of stairs curving upwards, with a tripwire strung across its path. I stopped as I saw a Forsworn coming down the steps. She didn’t see me though and I was able to kill her with a single arrow. I jumped the tripwire and made my way out to the top balcony of the highest tower. Inside I witnessed a bizarre scene. It was some kind of ritual chamber. I killed what appeared to a Forsworn captain. Upon closer examination of the captain, I saw that there was a gaping hole where the heart used to be. In its place was a strange spiky thing, the color of yellow and blood-red. The gaping wound was loosely stitched together. There was some strange magic keeping him alive. I reached inside, pulled the briar heart out and stored it away. There was also an altar of Dibella. The statue was smeared with blood. Bloody bones and skulls lay in offering at its feet including a goat head surrounded by candles. I found some valuables including a well-balanced Dwarven Sword and some expensive looking necklaces but no evidence of the Forsworn’s plans or clues to their contingency in Markarth. I will return to Makarth tomorrow and see if my preemptive strike has attracted any further attention from the Forsworn. I secured the room using Detect Life and when I was finally satisfied I went to sleep.