The three companions crouched in the undergrowth, across the river from the prison. They had spread out to better watch for anyone patrolling the area. Danifae used her Aura Whisper shout to check if anyone living was around. She had found this shout very useful when she had retrieved it from that dungeon near Ivarstead. There had been someone named Windelius pretending to be a ghost and he had been scaring away the townspeople. They had found out he had been using a special potion to appear ghostlike but now he was really dead. Danifae had made sure of that. They moved further in, killed several Draugr and found a tomb with Sigmund Gundersson, a keeper of one part of the Gauldr Amulet. He had proved quite a wily opponent, using a disarming shout and causing clones to appear but Danifae had found a nice corner to hide behind and was able to stay out of the way of the shout whilst sniping him and his clones. Her three friends were able to keep Sigmund distracted and he finally went down.
Afterwards, once the townspeople had found out what had been in the dungeon, they were grateful for Danifae's intervention and the innkeeper gave them a free night's board and food. They stayed at the inn that night as it had been a long trip back down the mountain and it was getting dark again. Danifae had felt that the Greybeards had helped her as much as they could for the moment and she had felt they had stayed long enough. She had promised to come back with the horn of Jurgen Windcaller and they might be able to teach her more. She had left the Greybeards with some more supplies before they left.
So, now they found themselves outside the abandoned prison, where Danifae, then known as Caerwyn, had been held captive. She had decided to come back here to see if there was evidence left in there as to what Ancano had been doing to her, as it wasn't that far from Ivarstead.
It appeared that the coast was clear so she signalled her companions to quietly cross the river. The body of Lucky Lorenz had been eaten by something and a quick search of his cabin didn't reveal very much except for some gold in the corner. They got to the ledge where the door was, the door where she had made her exit. She shouted 'Laas' again but the shout didn't reveal any heat sources of living bodies. It was quite a short ranged shout so she had to use it quite often, at least until she learnt the other words.
They quietly entered the prison and searched it from top to bottom. Nothing much had changed since her escape, except the food was now rotten (the food she had been unable to eat due to the gag she'd been wearing at the time), the chests were empty and the water level had reduced. They found some wet scraps of paper which seemed to indicate that the Imperials assigned to guard her had been ready to flee when the floodwaters entered and they had been ready to let her die in here. It appeared that the place had been raided and cleaned out, although if it had been bandits, Thalmor or someone else, they didn't know
Danifae 'I wonder if Ancano knows I escaped from here? He was experimenting on me so he wouldn't have just left me here after all the effort he went through to get me here'
Zora 'Maybe the Imperials assigned to guard you didn't know what he was doing here. They were quite happy to leave you after all and save their own skins'
Danifae 'You may be right, Zora. I may have been blindfolded but I could still hear. I didn't hear Ancano's voice for a while. I didn't hear him during all the confusion during the fighting either'
Zora 'You think he may have been away somewhere during all this?'
Danifae 'I'm thinking that too. Perhaps something else grabbed his attention, but what?'
Larkspur 'You think he's still in Skyrim?'
Danifae 'I don't care where he is, Larkspur. I will track him down but I still think he's based here, due to him dragging me away out here. He's a Thalmor agent after all and they're working here. He'll have orders too. Unless I find evidence to the contrary, I'll continue searching Skyrim for him.
Larkspur 'Sounds good to me'
The search proved fruitless. If Ancano had made any notes at all, he'd taken them with him and any evidence of what he'd been doing. The only thing she found was the discarded armbinder, still lying in the corner where she'd cast it off. It was rather tattered and soaked through by now and she picked it up and showed it to her companions and told them what it was used for.
Danifae 'Hmm. Well this is all that's left of my escape from here. If he came back here, maybe he knows I got out. If so, no doubt he'll be likely searching for me. Good job I changed my face.'
She showed them the cell she had been captive in.
Larkspur 'Not very comfortable looking. Cold, wet and a hard cot. I've slept in similar cells'
Danifae 'I got used to it after a while. Not much else I could do. I was able to keep active and walk about carefully. Despite the blindfold I could see dark and light though it and kept to the walls, working my fingers carefully in the armbinder'
They came to the trapdoor in the corner of another cell, which Ralof and Gunjar had used in their flight.
Danifae 'This is where the Stormcloaks made their escape after the battle. There was no way I could follow them, bound as I was. I had no idea where it led anyway'
Zora 'Didn't they help you get out'
Danifae 'Ralof did what he could. He was ordered to flee by his commander, Gunjar. Gunjar didn't like elves, but Ralof was able to get the blindfold off. He didn't have any keys. Without his help, I don't think I would have made it. It was hard enough getting out as it was. In the end, I actually helped him get out of Helgen after it was burned by Alduin. Gunjar we found dead nearby, so I don't need to worry about him anymore'
They jumped down the trapdoor and followed the tunnel to a ladder, which led to another trapdoor. It was lucky she hadn't used that route when she was bound as there would have been no way for her to get out. They found three skeletons, which still had remnants of Imperial garb and some gold.
Danifae threw the remnants of the armbinder into the river, where it was swept downstream
They saw the evil looking fort just over the hill. Danifae remembered this from her escape and she hadn't liked the look of the place then, or now. It was time to investigate what was going on in there.
Danifae 'There may be something in that fort. Could be Ancano used it as headquarters so as not to draw attention to the prison? It's time to go and see'
So the four of them made their way quietly to Fort Amol