Everything I've done, I've done for my people. The Spirits of the Wild saw that. It's why they sent me their aid. Why they helped me slay Frostfang. It wasn't my hand that dealt the killing blow. It was the hands of a thousand fallen norn who inspired and guided me. I did it for them, and for those who still remain.
I brought the battle to Jormag for my people. Fought for days on end and cracked a fang straight from the dragon's mouth. And when I was nearing the limit of my strength, instead of dealing the killing blow, Jormag stepped back and spoke. And for my people, I listened.
I didn't expect the voice of an Elder Dragon to be so warm. So caring. Like the voice of Bear or Snow Leopard. The voice told me that of all the creatures in this world, I was worthy of its kindness. That it saw how much I cared for the norn, and it was going to let me live. It said I had a great burden, and a choice to make.
I could return with more warriors. Continue the fight and watch them all die. Jormag didn't want to eliminate my people, the voice said, but a dragon will always kill to survive.
Or, I could return to my village with the fang. Present it as proof a dragon can be harmed. And then lead them south, to safety. Jormag wouldn't follow, the voice said. Jormag sees, now, that the norn are special. That we must be preserved.
What Jormag doesn't realize is that norn will always fight. If my people knew what Jormag said, they would return with swords and arrows and fire. We're too proud to make deals with dragons.
So I need to hide the truth. Never tell them about the voice that feels like home. About what it said to me. Jormag is right: if we keep fighting we'll be wiped from existence. I have to lie. For my people.
I'm doing the right thing. I'm giving the norn a future. Why does it feel as though I gave up? As though I could've won, if only I'd pushed through the pain and exhaustion?
The voice spoke true. I'll carry this burden for as long as I live. I only hope whoever takes it up when I'm gone can handle the weight of it.