Chapter 20: Freedom
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The instant that I hit the “Randomizer” button I find myself unable to see anything around me. I am not unconscious, or if I am I am not so unconscious that the next thing I see is some part of Skyrim, instead I am in an utterly black void. 

My enhanced mind is quick to tell me that this is in all likelihood the void between universes. I can appreciate this chance to be still and to prepare myself for the moments to come. 

As soon as I realize that I may simply be in the place between universes I begin to sort through my new stuff. My fully unlocked system has access to my inventory and even in this state of pseudo-unconsciousness, I can see what is in my inventory. 

I can only see potent items from The Hunger Games jumpdoc, and very generic gear I can intuitively tell is native to Nirn, but the items I can see are all handy. My generic items include a simple sword made of steel, a steel shield, a bow and some arrows, a few different sets of clothes, a handful of “Septims”, and some food. 

The best items I have all come from Panem. I have things like a personalized symbol I can pin to a shirt to improve some of my abilities, and a number of the poisonous berries that Katniss and Peeta were ready to use to kill themselves at the end of the 74th Hunger Games before President Snow okayed the rule change to allow two victors to win the Games. 

While one of my streams of consciousness explores my inventory, which is tragically sparse, the other two do equally important tasks. A small part of my mind is filling with contextualizing information, and one of my three streams of consciousness dedicates itself to actively absorbing the information that the jump is giving me. 

This information is the result of a handful of perks I possess, one of which is an upgraded version of a perk from the “Generic First Jump” jump. With that perk I automatically learn a moderately advanced amount of historical and cultural knowledge pertinent to any setting I visit. My lack of meta-knowledge may keep me from planning about jumps very far in advance but it doesn’t keep me from learning stuff automatically upon entering a setting. 

Curiously enough all of this is aided by a number of perks from this particular setting, which ensures that from here on out my knowledge of things like folklore, history, and myth, will always be fairly high starting out. If I wanted to I could easily make a living as an author of some sort, purely by writing down the knowledge of Nirn that I innately possess, especially if I narrow my focus and write exclusively about Skyrim. It’s handy to have these kinds of perks so I am not flying blind once I enter a setting.

The final stream of consciousness I possess explores other sections of my personal system. By doing this I am able to peer at things like my spell list, and in doing so I note that I now possess three separate “Magical systems”. 

“Magical systems” are the frameworks by which magic operates. Each setting that has magic does so in a slightly different way, and these different settings normally prohibit magic not from their setting from working but my powers as a dragon override that limitation. That means that I possess the power to use magic from any setting in any other setting. I can even gift others with the power to use magic, even if they previously couldn’t have done so!

And beyond that I have three whole settings whose magic I can make use of. If I am smart and I work hard I know that I can grow in power quite quickly, I just need to devote myself to training these skills I possess. 

I have a “Generic magical system” which lets me make use of simple spells that stem from my system itself. I possess the magical system of “The Elder Scrolls” which is a complex magical system and thanks to my perks from this setting I can already make use of it at a decent level of skill that is guaranteed to advance to a much higher levels in time. 

In every single case, my level of expertise with the various schools of magic from Aurbis begins at the “Adept” level. I also know spells up to this level of power from this setting already, which is quite helpful for me off the bat. It helps me feel safe in this strange, and apparently quite a dangerous setting I am going to be living in for ten years.

The final magical system I can use is the magical system of “Dungeons and Dragons” which I intuitively realize is the name of a distant setting. I am not sure how I realize this, but my instincts are telling me it is true, and I have learned to trust my instincts. Sometimes my unconscious self is more in tune with the knowledge I possess as a jumper. 

As my mind studies the spells I already know from each of these systems of magic I realize that I seem to possess a few “Quality of life” style advantages. The first advantage is that all of these spells cost “Magicka” which is the fuel that spells from “The Elder Scrolls” use to take effect. This means that I don’t have to track numerous fonts of arcane energy just because I have magic from different settings. 

The second “Quality of life” advantage I have is that all of my magic has been sorted into the schools of magic that exist in “The Elder Scrolls”. This means that all of my spells have been sorted into neat categories like “Restoration”, “Alteration”, “Conjuration”, and more. It makes it easier for me to sort through them. 

The third “Quality of life” advantage I possess is easily the most broken one. As the stream of consciousness that reads through my list of spells does so I begin to identify the spells that belong to the different magical systems that all coexist within me. The ones that belong to the “Dungeons and Dragons” setting often have strange requirements like requiring a diamond worth a certain amount of money to cast. I don’t need those strange components. 

There is an exchange there, as since I don’t utilize the material components I do need to pay a bit more magicka in order to cast the spell but I can still cast it freely. This means that I don’t need to carry around strange and often valuable items to be able to use my abilities to the fullest possible extent. 

I spend an indeterminate amount of time in this strange void before I abruptly find myself elsewhere. The transition from the void to the strange inn I am suddenly sitting in is instantaneous, seamless, and in fact so fast that it takes me a second to register that I am no longer in an umbral void, even while I suddenly and cluelessly peer at a plate that has a loaf of bread on it, a side of cheese, and a mug filled with water. 

The only reason I manage to not gasp in shock when I suddenly realize that I have a body I can control again is because of perks that give me enough self-control to not do something so embarrassing. Nevertheless, I suddenly find myself inside of a place my mini-map tells me is named “Windpeak Inn”. 

My senses begin to adjust as soon as I truly realize where I am, and I feel things like the warmth of my clothes on my skin, and the stiffness of the wooden bench I am sitting on. One of the minor attributes my system possesses is an ever-visible internal clock that tells me it is very early in the morning.

Around me, a number of people mingle with each other while leaving me alone aside from glancing at me from time to time. To be fair to them I am a titanically tall figure compared to them, and I am clad in a dark, loose shirt under which rests over my steel armor, something that my out-of-context knowledge compares to a type of clothing known as a "Tabard" compared to their more casual, less expensive clothing. I am an intimidating figure and that tends to keep people from approaching me. In this life I have been a few scrapes, and most of them are just totally mundane villagers who've lived here their entire lives.

Underneath my dark clothing lies warm steel armor which clings to my skin protectively. I have a lifetime of memories that reside in the back of my mind, detailing a life as a wandering warrior that ultimately led me from my birthplace in a distant Orc stronghold outside of Skyrim to the town of Dawnstar. In this life I am 25 years old and have not yet developed a reputation one way or the other. 

I only have a few septims to my name, but enough for me to rent a bed in the inn I am in one more night. I only arrived in Dawnstar last night and as soon as I arrived I rented my room and went to bed. I had no dreams that I can remember at the moment, and as I listen to the people around me they quietly whisper comments about their own lack of dreams. 

I sit in my seat for a few minutes. While I do I softly eat the food at my table, and I ready myself for whatever awaits me when I get up. I know that when I get up I’ll be cementing how real this all is, and that I’ll truly step into the shoes of Urumar Skabek, my new name and identity as a noble half-Orc half-Nord warrior. 

I allow my mind to wander until the very moment that the last of my food has been eaten. By the time it does, I have given my senses enough time to fill my mind with stimuli and even use some of my stranger senses, like a draconic ability to sniff out valuable and magical items. My immediate goal is clear in my mind: I should look for some work to add both septims to my coffers and a bit of fame to my name. 

I silently get up from the bench and I allow myself a second’s respite to get used to how the heavy armor feels against my skin. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but it does feel thicker than what I am used to wearing so I don’t mind giving myself this moment of grace. In the Games they’d have never allowed us to wear metal armor that could invalidate many sorts of attacks a teenage tribute could bring to bear against their foes. 

I begin to wander over to the door leading out of the inn, and as I do I note something that was both fun and curious: neither I nor my armor, make a single sound as I head towards the inn’s exit. I am totally silent, and beyond that, as I peer at my surroundings my eyes fall upon the inn’s inhabitants. 

As my gaze falls upon the inn’s inhabitants and employees my potent quasi-psychometry flares to life, filling my mind with alien memories belonging to the strangers in the inn. But something else happens as well. 

Whenever my eyes fall on someone I immediately get a flash of keen awareness of the perception of those I look at. I can sense subtle things like their field of vision, how sharp they are, how good their hearing is, and other handy flashes of insight. This quirky power is tethered to my nature as a zombie, even if it feels more in line with being a vampire or being a rogue. 

I do not focus on this quirky sensory power and I quickly find myself standing in front of the exit out of the building. The instant that I open the door I am met with a blast of incredibly frigid wind, and I am quietly thankful that I am fully immune, on even a conceptual level, to frost and cold damage thanks to my nature as a potent lich with a healthy level of skill with frost magic. 

I step outside of the inn and shut the door behind me, as I get my first glimpse of Skyrim. The area stretching out before me is gorgeous, albeit incredibly cold. Behind the inn lies a single road leading to the rest of the Skyrim, while in front of it lies a scenic vista of Dawnstar’s tiny entry point to the infamous ocean known as The Sea of Ghosts. 

A single Nord sea vessel lays tied to a pathetically tiny dock, right beside a large smelter and entry point to a mine. My potent senses allow me to parse several distant conversations in a number of languages, other than Tamrielic, which is sometimes known as the Common Tongue, which a handy perk automatically translates and even gifts me with immediate fluency in the languages I can hear, with just one example being the language known as Ta'agra; the language of the Khajiit.

I step out from in front of the only way in and out of the inn and take a second to appreciate the incredible opportunities laid out before me. I… I really am in a whole new universe, as a whole new person! This is amazing! The smile on my face is a bit of a surprise, but it is not an unwelcome one, given how incredible it is that I actually have traveled to a brand new universe and have a decade to fool around in it before I get to head to another universe.