Sovngarde was beautiful.
It was...it almost is, the opposite of the Soul Cairn. The sky is an ever present noon sun, radiating life and magic, but without burning you. I feared I would have to fight Alduin under the sun, but it did not burn. I almost wish I could have stayed.
The path to Shor's hall was a nightmare, though. Not for what it should have been, but rather because Alduin had cloaked it in a thick, heavy, cloying, stinking mist. Like grease on the skin. Now and then I spotted him diving into the mist to devour a soul. I tried to catch him, but he eluded me. The coward.
Finally, I made my way to Shor's hall. There, I had to defeat his guardian, Tsun, and gained entry. There, I a few of the heroes of old, although I was not permitted entry to deeper or wider halls. Three had volunteered to go with me. We returned to the field across the mist, and drove the mist away with our Shouts.
Alduin answered our challenge, and came. "Dragonrend" brought him down, but only a long struggle brought him down. As much as my companions were spirits, he made them bleed, and though I dodged and took his massive blows on my Stalhrim armor, I, too, say my own flesh bloodied and burned. Finally, I had an opening: he swung his head from right to left across me in an attempt to tear Gormlaith (one of my companions in the fight), and I managed to catch him at the base of the skull with an "incinerate", nearly tearing his head from his neck. Amazingly, he did not die then, but recoiled in pain, swinging back the other way, giving me an opportunity to catch him in the same location on the other side. That finally did the job.
In seconds, he burst into a consuming fire. Not like the fire of a dragon whose soul I devour, but a truly consuming flame. In his own funeral pyre, still screaming at me that he was immortal from a nearly severed head, the World-Eater burned away.
I feel that there should be more to write, but what more is there to write? The facts are pale things - when Alduin died, though, you could feel it, like the fall of a great mountain. It was what you might imagine the death of a Daedric lord to be, if they could die. And if the Son of Time itself could fall, perhaps they can. I killed a truly eternal being, and it felt as if Numidium had fallen at my feet.
When Tsun returned me to Nirn, I was at the throat of the world. There, dragons soared above, shouting. Most interestingly, it was not in sorrow, but in joy. "We are free!"..."overlord vanquished!".
So, if I have killed a magnificent and terrible being, at least I may consider that in doing so, I have freed not only men and mer, but also whatever dragons would be free from his tyranny. For his part, Paarthurnax seemed to feel as I do. On the other hand, he is also free to spread his beliefs. We will see if his Word is better than Alduin's. For my part, I do not think it can be worse.
I do not know what I shall do now. Perhaps I will aid Ulfric, now that the truce is over. Eventually, I wish to return to High Rock, or, failing that, settle with the Telvanni in Morrowind to pursue my studies of Conjuration and Necromancy. Serana has offered to go with me - she wants to see more than Skyrim, and she's a bit fond of me...she's said as much.
In fact, she's bothering me to go to Windhelm right now. More later, I suppose.