In the previous chapter, you escaped Helgen with Ralof. It is now time for the two of you to split up. Before going in his own way, Ralof tells you about his sister who has a Lumber Mill in a town nearby.

After the exciting events of the last chapter, take a short breather. Open your inventory and go over the items there, equipping those items that give you the best bonuses. A long journey lays ahead.

As you go over the items in your inventory, watch the stats to the right. If it says for example, Damage 9 and then (-5) in red, it means that the weapon you are looking at does 5 less damage then the weapon you currently have equipped. If it says +5 (in green) then it does more damage. As a rule of thumb, a weapon with a red stat is bad and with a green stat is good. There will be a small "triangle" mark near the items that provide the best rating. Go over all the weapons and armor and equip the best ones. For example, for me I found that the Iron Mace does the most damage, and the Imperial Boots, Bracers and Armor offer me the most protection.

You also might want to start thinking at this stage on your character's class. What style of fighting you want your character to have? Heavy Armor provides more protection, but weighs more and is more cumbersome making your character slower and making it harder to sneak, and uses more stamina. Light Armor gives your character more maneuverability, speed and stealth, but provides less protection. If you are planning on becoming a warrior and charging in to challenge the enemies heads on, you should use heavy armor. If you are planning on becoming an assassin and want more mobility, you want to use light armor. As a mage, you might want to use no armor at all, only robes. Using items will improve corresponding skills, for example if you use a two handed weapon and wear heavy armor, as you fight enemies, both those skills will increase. If you plan on using one handed weapons and light armor, wearing those will increase those skills. However since you are early in the game and don't have that many good items to choose from, it is ok to just wear what gives you the best bonus for now, and worry about the skills later in the game.

Open your Magic panel as well to review what spells you have available. This will be depending on the race. Find a good spell and equip it onto your unarmed hand (you can have a spell in one hand and a weapon in the other). For example, I equipped the Conjure Familiar spell on my Breton Character. If you are not a fan of magic, you can equip a shield in your other hand, or perhaps use a two handed weapon if it suits your style.

Open your quest journal to view your next quest:

Before the Storm
Ralof suggested that I head to the nearby town of Riverwood. His sister owns a lumbermill there and should be able to help me.

Talk to Gerdur in Riverwood.

Open the map, and you will see your current location as well as the location of Riverwood, to the Northeast.

Follow Rolaf for a little more, he will lead you in the right direction. He will suggest you head to Windhelm to join the Stormcloak rebellion and fight to free Skyrim. This will be added into the Miscellaneous tab in your quest journal. But for now, we will continue with the main campaign and hrad to Riverwood.

You will arrive at a  junction with a signpost, with three signs pointing towards Helgen (From where you just escaped), Riverwood and Falkreath. You want to go to Riverwood. Around this point, Ralof will part and you will be on your own.

Follow the Riverwood sign. The fastest way to Riverwood is achieved by sticking to the paved road. But Skyrim is a huge world and there is a lot to explore, so at any time feel to deviate from the path as you see fit. For the purpose of this walkthrough though, we will stick to the road ahead. Admire the scenery and the wild life as you walk. Open the map once in a while to make sure you are on the right track.

Along the road, you will cross through a bandit camp. They are hostile and will attack you if they see you. But they are not hard to defeat, so feel free to fight them if you want some experience. There will also be a Tanning Rack in their camp. The Tanning Rack is used to turn animal hides to leather, and to cut leather into strips. Both leather and leather strips are used in creating and improving weapons and armor. At this point you probably don't have much you can create here, so ignore it for now.

When you loot enemies, note the carry weight. Once you reach the limit (which is based on your stamina attribute), you will still be allowed to pick items but you will then be moving really slow. If you find that you have picked up too many items, go to your inventory and drop some of them - preferably the heaviest items and those with the least value. Weapons and armor are usually the the heaviest, so dropping those will clear up some weight. Don't drop items that are too valuable because you will want to sell them later, and also be careful not to drop items that you currently have equipped.

Keep following the paved road, north and then to the northeast. It should take you parallel to a river. Here and there you might get attacked by wildlife such as wolves, but it shouldn't pose much of a threat to your character. Soon you will reach the town of Riverwood. Pass through the gate.

Feel free to talk to the townsfolk that are wandering about. Some will have information for you. Others could give you side quests. For example Sven, who wants you to help him with his problems with his girlfriend Camilla who is being courted by Faendal. Skyrim has a lot of stories to tell. And with so many different NPCs, it is interesting to see what they all have to say.

Follow the compass to Gerdur. You can also bring the map then select the local map to see where she is. Cross a wooden bridge. You will come across Ralof, Gerdur, and another person, sitting near a tree.  Ralof will be telling her the story of what happened in Helgen. Gerdur will tell you she is happy to help and that you are welcome to stay in her house. She will give you the house keys. She will also  give you some food as  a gift. She will ask a favor from you, to talk to Jarl of the Whiterun and inform him about the dragon.