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Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:06 PM

OK, this thread will contain any and all stories that are posted on the geocities site and labelled as edited. These babies we don't have to worry about until it actually comes time to stick em in the game.

I will sort out this thread... in other words, please do NOT post up stories yourself... it could lead to multiple copies which could prove problematic later.

Also, please keep posts in this thread to a minimum. This is mainly just a place where people have quick and easy (although not necessarily organised) access to the stories already finished with.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:10 PM

Section: Arcane Text

Written by Aldrina Dead-Lover (Willybubba)

A Necromancer’s Guide to the Empire

By Aldrina Dead-Lover


In the Era of the Third Empire, a necromancer finds its way no easier than in previous days. The ruling body in Cyrodiil, while possessing limited intelligence when it comes to the use of the dead, allows the backward provinces to maintain their archaic beliefs about the dead. With such primitive beliefs hampering a necromancer’s exploration of the art, it seemed only fair that I should level the playing field by providing a guide to practicing this so-called dark magic in the provinces of Tamriel.

A Hidden War

During my three hundred year stint of life in Tamriel, I have come across many secrets. It may shock some beginners of this art to realize that there is in fact a faction that dedicates itself to overcoming Arkay’s Law and Arkay’s Blessing. Yes, you think this is impossible. However, their plan is clever, and does not directly try to overcome these barriers. I suggest you read Arkay the Enemy, and count yourself among the missionaries of the King of Worms, for surely he is the founder of this cult. We have nothing to lose by helping such a mission, and therefore must do so, in order to establish ourselves and overcome the oppression of the provincial cultures.

Black Marsh

The Argonians of Black Marsh are rather tribal, but will take to strangers if you grease their dry, scaly hands with a septim or two. While this is true, it is highly suggested not to venture far from the coast. Often you can acquire a couple bodies through outright murder of the guides you hire to show you around, or by “assisting” clans with their tribal warfare. Though killing one’s guide can only be suggested when one is familiar with the region. Tribal warfare is random at best, and occurs much less after the Empire’s occupation. Apart from the dangers of the dark swamplands, Argonians have been known to spread disease, whether it is accidental or purposeful is yet to be proven. There are also rumors that they will eat outsiders. The acidic waters here provide an excellent source for skeletal bodies. These are some of the easiest creatures to summon, and it simply requires that you leave a dead body for about two weeks time. Upon return a pile of bones will be ready to be engineered into a reliable and hardy minion.


The Khajiit are actually easier going than the Argonians. In the jungle regions one meets similar problems as in Black Marsh, but the desert is a valuable resource to necromancers. Khajiits mark their graves with simple stones, which are often easy to spot, and seem to care very little if they are dug up. Not only this, but the dry desert preserves bodies naturally, and in a way that rivals that of the best Sload techniques. Not only this, but I myself have purchased bodies at various port towns. The Khajiit may charge a pretty septim for them at times, but often the druggies can be tempted with moon sugar. This is one of the easiest areas to practice necromancy.


The Bosmer are a dreadful little people. Hated by many and with good reason. The filthy wretches, though not performing Arkay’s rituals, often devour their foes. Not only this, but they hate Necromancers. This ignorant behavior makes practicing our art in Valenwood difficult to say the least. Not only that, but the woods of Valenwood provide many dangers and hazards. Coupled with the Bosmer, and it is not worth even a skilled necromancers time to attempt practicing in this region.

Summerset Isle

The Altmer study the bodies of the dead, not to resurrect them, but to extend their own lives. While a rich High Elf may be able to get by with necromancy, any other will suffer great punishment for their occupation. These people are not as primitive as the Bosmer, and perform Arkay’s rituals, making bodies hard to come by. This is another region best avoided unless you are yourself one of the Golden Skinned People.


Worship of Arkay is strongest, and bodies hard to come by. The terrain is dangerous however, and poorly preserved bodies can be found in remote regions, or after large battles. This is another region that isn’t too promising for necromancers.


It’s been long since I’ve left my chambers, I am not even sure if this is an official province of the Empire. I remember hearing a delegation was sent to try to come to a deal with the Orcs, and I only hope that it was successful. If it was, then we should find an abundance of the durable Orcish corpses so coveted by many necromancers.

High Rock

Northern High Rock offers few corpses due to the cremation of dead bodies, and many in the South are buried following Arkay’s Rituals. However, it was rumored that bodies of criminals in Daggerfall may be donated to necromancy in order to deter pirates in this lawless region. The winter months find bodies rather well preserved, but hard to find. The Breton clans still war with each other, and bodies can be stolen from the battlefield afterwards. If nothing else, discreet murder can serve its purpose in the backwater province.

The cold provides preservation for Nordic dead of exposure or battle, but snow can make them difficult to locate. The weather also contributes to less travel and therefore makes it rather easy to hide in the mountainous terrain. I have dedicated much time of late to a spell to magically detect dead bodies, but have yet to yield promising results.


The Dunmer practice a form of necromancy, but the dirty hypocrites persecute all other forms. However, we find a unique advantage in this province that no other offers. This is the only province in which slavery is legal, and nearly any race of slave can be purchased. As long as one is careful to hide one’s true intent, slaves provide useful live subjects to test spells, and afterwards make wonderful specimens for our art. So long as one is not found out it provides a unique opportunity to study.


Necromancy is illegal in Cyrodiil without the owner’s consent. So, if one cannot obtain the bodies of dead criminals, which the Empire donates, one must simply forge a document proclaiming consent of the use of a body. This provides the easiest way to practice necromancy. It is suggested that necromancers study on the Cyrodiil-Elsweyr border. This provides a lot of bodies with few repercussions, if any.

Other Regions

Thras is the land of the Sload. These people likely only practice necromancy on other races. They don’t take well to outsiders, and most Tamrielians hate them just as much. While they are a despicable race of creatures, they have been practicing necromancy unhindered for centuries. It is a shame we cannot somehow spy on them.
Akaviri is a land of beasts that will eat men or mer. Nothing is known of their dead, and I have never heard of one being used after death. It seems to me that they could make powerful servants. Next time they invade we should stand ready to capture their dead.


This is what I know of the various regions. There are more areas that may provide unique challenges and benefits to necromancers, but I have heard little of them, and spent even less time there. I would leave you with a list of books you may find useful; Book of Life and Service, Corpse Preparation V. I-III, Legions of Dead, N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!, and Notes on Racial Phylogeny, among others. I wish you luck in your endeavors, and may this guide serve you well.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:11 PM

Section: Arcane Text

Written by Corryn (Corryn)

Tenusat re Korcius Venrie (The Wild Hunt) – Author Corryn, grandson of the Founder Corryn

At the request of the Librarian I write these words though I would not but for my grandfather after whom I am now named. He would not want knowledge lost, but neither would he would wish such dangerous words spread to corrupt more of our people. For this and other reasons, the entire procedure is not here written in its entirety.

The Wild Hunt is a release of all primal nature, of the horror and insanity of the dark times before order took hold of Mundus, when shape, being, and existence were fragile things. Chaos flowed though the fabric of all things, as it does now, but had no weight with which to balance. Of the Bosmer there were few who upon there final shaping to the forms they wield today still held the memories of the nightmare before-times. In times of desperation they fled to the final extreme of returning to time that is abhorrent to nature and the laws that govern reality. For this they are despised by many Bosmer who hold nature sacred and thus throughout time their number has remained small. Here follows a small measure of that which unleashes Korcius Venrie (the Formless Rebirth) known now as the Wild Hunt.

The Chant:
Sentre ni, Tinke ni, Relouke phe shna lisn’treso. Sute i
(Shape me, Rend me, Remake to flesh dissolved. Loss is

merk, senen len’tensal, weses phe quine somer.
taken, form destroyed, return to time before.)

The final verse is not written here so that none will be tempted to remake.

The Ring:
Those in the ceremony stand in a circle. Many symbols are drawn in the circle as they chant in their hoods. Symbols include Quine (time), Sukran (change),
Len’tenlsa (destruction), Kokra (despair), Res’tensla (creation) and many others not mentioned here to avoid attempts at recreation. The signs are a general cry for a time of dread and fury to avenge their lamenting people, to turn to the unnatural to destroy their suffering and their foes.

The Fire:
Around the circle flames of green lick the room with a dark fragrance in the air. They burn with unnatural heat and continue long after all fuel has been consumed. When the ceremony is complete the flames flow over across their forms, twisting and corrupting. They are created through alchemy with many dozens of ingredients although here I will mention only choke weed, dark emerald dust, and bone meal.

The Rebirth:
The flames recede and burn themselves out. Creatures emerge without flesh or will. They are nothing but bones, spines, claws, and teeth. They are fueled by wrath and slay any that are in their way. They have lost all sense or identity and have become a swarm of rage to flow though the land, until fury burns out and they turn to consume one another.

You scholars now have understanding in part of what few rare souls know. It is not a complete work and has been left so for good reason. I know the thirst for knowledge can be great in such noble minds, but let me lend one last caution:

Do not seek to fill what was not told lest you be lost.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:12 PM

Section: Arcane Text

Written by Caen Argu (stargate525)

Blasphemous Papers: Theology and Astrology
By Caen Argu

This report has been submitted by I, Master Wizard Argu of the Mages Guild, on alternate theories of Theology and Astrology. In it I shall attempt to disprove commonly held ‘facts’ of these two subjects.

The planets are the gods. That they appear as spherical heavenly bodies is a visual phenomena caused by mortal mental stress. Since each planet is an infinite mass of infinite size, as yet surrounded by the Void of Oblivion, the mortal eye registers them as bubbles within a space. Planets are magical and impossible. The eight planets correspond to the Eight Divines, with the ninth as the mortal planet, Nirn.

I disapprove of such a casual dismissal of such an interesting occurrence. It has been proven that if one were to levitate high enough, that Nirn takes on the appearance of a curved horizon. I believe that the planets are nothing but other incarnations of our own planet. Furthermore, I believe that if one could levitate long enough and with enough supplies and preparation to survive the trip, one could travel to another of these planets. While I have nothing to positively prove this claim, it is far more logical than the one that current lore provides.

Nirn is a finite ball of matter and magic made from all of the god planets at the beginning of time, when Lorkhan tricked/convinced/forced the gods to create the mortal plane. Nirn is the mortal plane and the mortal planet. Its creation upset the cosmic balance; now all souls have a vested interest in Nirn.

I agree that Nirn is indeed a finite ball of matter; if you sail long enough east you will wind up on the west. But the remainder of this definition is nothing but self-promoting babble. It is a ball of earth, same as the other planets.

Masser and Secunda
They are small planets, insofar as one infinite mass of infinite size can be smaller than another. Planets do have orbits, or at least lunar orbits are perceived to happen by mortals. Moons are regarded by various cultures as attendant spirits of their god planet, or minor gods, or foreign gods. The moons of Nirn are Masser and Secunda. Masser and Secunda, the moons of Nirn, are the attendant spirits of the mortal plane. They are like the mortal plane in that they are temporal and subject to the bounds of mortality; in fact of this, the moons are dead and died long ago. The moons used to be pure white and featureless, but today their 'skin' is decaying and withering away. Their planes are likewise dying. Mortals perceive this as the moons being spheres with patches of their 'surfaces' completely eaten away; as the moons spin, they seem to become slivers or ragged crescents. These are not caused by shadows, because you can see stars through the black patches of the lunar spheres.

I propose that Masser and Secunda are smaller spheres of earth, much like the planets, that were somehow ‘slaved’ into their parent planet. While I do not yet know if their connection is physical of magical, I assure you it is THERE. I also contend that the moons are not dead, but have life upon them. Through careful observation through a telescope (a Dwarven magnifying device) of the two planets, I have observed that the planets have ebb and a flow of pieces on their surface. I contend that there is water there, and where there is water, there is life. I believe the slivers and crescents we see are indeed caused by shadows, and that the ‘stars’ seen where the moons should be are in fact cities on Masser and Secunda, which the eyes is not powerful enough to see without surrounding blackness.

Space is the interpretation of Oblivion, which is black and empty and surrounds the mortal plane. Space is infinite, but it acts just like a planet, in that Oblivion is 'surrounded' by Aetherius. You can see Aetherius by the stars.

The lore seems to be correct on this. I believe that space is the absolute nothingness that the planets and the universe are suspended in. It behaves like water in that it has currents, and draws the planets about the sun, and the moons about their planets.

The stars are the bridges to Aetherius. They are perceived as holes on the inside surface of space. Because they are on the inside of a sphere, all stars are equidistant from Nirn. Larger stars, therefore, are not closer to the mortal plane; they are just larger tears in Oblivion. The largest tear in Oblivion is Magnus, the sun. Shooting stars are bits of matter and magic, either from Oblivion or Aetherius, that sometimes move through the cosmos. The largest shooting stars are really planets with independent orbits, like Baan Dar the Rogue Plane.

This was a theory I was unable to explain until recently. I was experimenting on gasses from Red Mountain when I accidentally sent a shock spell into it. It exploded, nearly leaving me blind. But what I saw was a great sphere of white light, right before the explosion. I now believe that the stars are great pools of that gas, lit on fire by magic. They do eventually begin to burn out and become unstable, falling from the sky in shooting stars. The larger and slower moving ones I have dubbed comeates. They are different in that they were once planets that were consumed by the magic fires, still traveling around in their orbits. To prove my theories, I have successfully created a star from a large quantity of that gas, and it is now in my research facility, being fed a constant stream of gas to keep it from burning out.

Constellations are collections of stars. Since each star is a bridge to magic, constellations are very powerful phenomena, and are revered. There are generally accepted to be thirteen constellations. Nine of these are made up completely of stars.

Constellations are powerful events only because they are great bodies of magic in close relation to each other. The effects of these are not yet known.

Magnus is the sun, the largest hole in Oblivion, and the gateway to magic. Magnus was present at the creation of the mortal plane, and, in fact, was its architect. Prehistoric Nirn was a magical place, and highly unstable to the first mortals. Magnus then left, some say in disgust, and Oblivion filled in the void with the Void. His escape was not easy, and tatters of Magnus remain in the firmament as stars.

Magnus appears to be the largest pool of magic in space. It is pulling in space in a spiral path, creating the orbits of the planets. If these rotations were to stop, all the planets would fall into Magnus and be consumed. However, since space is in fact nothing, there is no need to worry of its running out, and of a subsequent lack of orbit.

The Sky
The sky is another visual phenomenon caused by mortal mental stress, the night sky in particular. The sky is as impossible as planets; in essence, when you look into the sky, 'you look outside the material plane'. At night, Nirn is surrounded by Oblivion. The day sky is the multicolored elemental cloak of Magnus the sun. It changes colors as elemental influences rise and fall. Thus, when one looks at the day sky, they see into the remnants of Aetherius, and stare at magic. Those phenomena of the spirit realm that inhabitants of Nirn interpret as a universe came into being during the Dawn Era. It was created through magic and myth, and this process is interpreted in a variety of ways too numerous to mention here.

I believe the sky to be an ‘outer skin’ surrounding our planet, and possibly others, from the rigors of the nothingness of space. It is made up of air, with the outer reaches being the gas of stars. During the day, especially at sunrise and sunset, the sun burns off the outer layer of the sky, causing the redness. This act also reduces the insulation we have from space, which is why nights are cold. The blueness of the sky during day is the reflection of the great oceans and bodies of water on Nirn, bouncing back to us from that outer gas. That is also why we see the stars at night, when the gas is diminished and the reflective properties have slackened.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:13 PM

Section: Biographies & Autobiographies

Written by Sun's-Day (Stargate525)

Autobiography of Sun’s-Day; Vol. 1

I was born in Black Marsh, that is all I know of for certain. In my journeys in and around Black Marsh, the best theory presented to me was that I was either an orphan given up at birth, or an unwanted by-product of an illicit affair.
Though I prefer the one in which I’m the lost heir to the Argonian Royal family the best.
My first memories are ones of my surrogate family. We lived in a small town that bordered the outskirts of a forest. There was also this great tree that... is really a story for another time.
My father was an Imperial smith. He had set up shop here after retiring from the legion. My mother was a Breton. According to her, she had married my father at a very young age, but I always expected something more. She had the most uncanny knack of disappearing whenever unwelcome visitors came to call...
My parents never told me where I had come from when I was young, but when I was older they told me I was bought for fifty septims in a little town called Pelagiad in the province of Morrowind. They took me in and raised me as their own, and such good people I have never seen since.
My parents’ choice of town to settle in was fortunate for me, for I was not the only Argonian in town. I quickly made friends with another Argonian my age; Flamescales, the son of a farming family outside of town. They had moved here from Black Marsh for a better life, but I could always sense that Flamescales wasn’t happy here. We would later become inseparable on our adventures. And he had the most charming sister. Her tail was so agile that... it can wait for another time.
I matured faster than the non-Argonians around me, and was apprenticing in my father’s shop by the time I was five. Flamescales also managed to get an apprenticeship with my father. My father would always say that we were the two laziest apprentices he had ever trained. But we learned quickly nonetheless.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:14 PM

Section: Diaries & Logbooks

Written by Blade (Lord Blade)

Blade's Journal

[This appears to be a entry in the journal of an Argonian bounty-hunter named Blade. How this section came to be here, you do not know... as for where the remainder of the journal lies...]

Day 1


Blade has been released by the courts of the Imperial seat.
They consented to this because they thought that my skills could prove useful to them. At first, Blade was wary about working for them. The offer to be an Imperial Bounty Hunter, or remain for the rest of Blade's years in prison, it seemed very suspicious.
Caused Blade to suffer such imprisonment! Five of the scum did Blade kill with his own hands. The sixth coward fled to the guards. And while they
But then they told Blade the true purpose... slavers! Those foul maggots who's murder understood that what Blade had done was just... it was still a transgression of Imperial law.

But now... the Empire wishes Blade to do what Blade does best... hunt slavers. The foul practice is outlawed in the Empire. And there are many who try to sleeze past such laws, and hide their activities in the shadows. But not even the darkest shadow shall keep Blade from bringing slaver scum to swift justice.

Blade was told that he might be required to perform other tasks. To hunt down others who have wronged the Empire. Blade agrees to this for now... but will not take on such assignments lightly. Long hours have been spent studying the ways of the dry landers. Blade knows that there is often more of vengeance than of justice in such assignments. And Blade will be the one to decide if the prey is truly deserving of being hunted.

As for slavers... justice, vengeance... they both give Blade ample cause to hunt them down. Back home in the Black Marsh... Blade was titled a Slayer. The finest of the hunters of Blade's clan of the Blue Rock. Now... Blade shall put his skills to use against larger prey. More cunning prey. And the hunt will be good.

For now, Blade will travel south-east. Maybe Blade can find trace of those who first wronged him...

[The journal page is torn off here]

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:16 PM

Section: Domestic Texts & Guides

Written by Uncle Cassius (LoganRah)

Uncle Cassius’s guide to vvardenfell:

Volume I: Uncle Cassius’s travelling cook book.

(The pages of this book are marked with many odd stains and some of the words are hard to read)

Good day friend. I hope you find this book useful in your travels as I have found all these recipes to be easy to make and delicious.

Some of these recipes are not very good for you if you intend to do any fighting or exercise immediately afterwards so I would advise making sure that you don’t eat them in areas where you may be attacked.

Guar tongue soup:


Four guar tongues
Three stone flower petals

First, boil the water. Next add in the stoneflower petals and bread and simmer till the bread is almost completely broken down and the stock is nice and thick. While you are doing this fry the guar tongues in a little fat. Add the guar tongues and a splash of sujamma in to the stock and boil till the tongues are very tender.

Bunglers pie:


Two parts bunglers bane
Stale bread
Saltrice flour

First, to make the pastry, crush the bread until there are no large pieces, and then mix it with the greef. Stir thoroughly, adding saltrice flour, until the pastry is of a thick muck-like consistency.
Now break the bunglers bane into small pieces. Coat the inside of a bowl with the pastry and put the bunglers bane into it (if you want an extra kick add some heather to the bunglers bane), add a splash of greef and cover the top with some more pastry. Place over hot coals, and cook for three hours. I do not advise doing any exercise for a few hours after eating.

This recipe MUST be prepared exactly to the recipe or eating it may result in death.

(the pages seem to be getting more smudged and some of the words have become completely unreadable)

Hackle-lo eggs:


• 5 Hackle-lo leafs
• Water
• 2 Large kwama eggs
• 1 c......t (the words hear are smudged with a strange black stain)

First hard boil the k........ eggs then make a large hole in the top of each egg and hollow out the centre. Now chop up ... Hackle-lo leafs. Now soak the c......t (once again the words hear are smudged) in the water for two hours. Finally put the leaf mixture into the eggs and cook until the eggs are going yellow.

...i...... and choke-rice in scamp skin:


• flin
• chokeweed
• saltrice
• 2 ...... ...kins

this is ...e of my favorites and is great for eating ......t...... First boil the saltrice and cho...weed in the flin for about ............... . Then fry the skamp skins quic..., make sure they are cooked ...r...... finally place the ...... on the skins a... r...l.

(after this the words are to smudged and stained to read. Obviously who ever last possessed the book used it while they were cooking and didn’t care for it properly)

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:30 PM

Section: Domestic Texts & Guides

Written by Unknown (Venom_X)

The Mage’s Cookbook

In order to do the recipes that I have a person MUST be a powerful mage or have a powerful mage help them. That is because each recipe has a special ingredient to it. A SOUL.

Alit Super Steaks

1 common soul gem with the soul of a Kagouti (any other soul gem leaves a bad taint to the recipe)
1 lb of Alit meat
2 portions of ectoplasma
2 portions of red lichen
2 portions Wickwheat
4 portions of saltrice
4 cups of water (5 cups may be necessary)

Cook the meat to your desired taste (warning undercooked meat is a health hazard and I will not be responsible if you get diseased from it). Add the saltrice halfway through your cooking. When the meat is finished cooking you need to have it enchanted with the soul of the Kagouti. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. After the meat is enchanted, boil the water for 5 minutes than add the redlichen, ectoplasma, and wickwheat to the pot (you made need 1 more cup of water if too much has boiled away). Boil the meat in the pot for 6 minutes. Don’t worry about the meat getting cooked any further as the enchantment will protect it against that. Pull the meat out and serve. You need 1 Kagouti soul in a common soul gem for each 1 lb of meat.

Slaughterfish Filet

1 lesser soul gem with the soul of a Kwama Worker (any other soul gem leaves a bad taint to the recipe)
1 slaughterfish filet
2 portions of resin
1 portion of void salts (you may substitute vampire dust if you like a spicy flavor)

Cook the fish to your desired taste (warning undercooked meat is a health hazard and I will not be responsible if you get diseased from it). When the meat is finished cooking you need to have it enchanted with the soul of the slaughterfish. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. Pour the void salts or vampire dust over the fish and let it sit for 5 minutes on the fire. Put the resin on the other side of the filet and let it sit for 2 minutes on the fire. Once again do not worry about it cooking anymore as the enchantment will protect it.

Scamp Burgers

1 greater soul gem with the soul of a Dremora (any other soul gem leaves a bad taint to the recipe)
1 lb of scamp meat
2 portions of muck
1 portion of black lichen
1 portion shalf resin
5 bittergreen petals
5 cups of water

Pour muck and resin on top of the meat and cook to desired taste (warning undercooked meat is a health hazard and I will not be responsible if you get diseased from it). When the meat is finished cooking you need to have it enchanted with the soul of the Dremora. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. Get the water boiling and add the bittergreen petals the black lichen and the meat. Boil for 15 minutes. Once again do not worry about it cooking anymore as the enchantment will protect it.

Winged Twilight Delight

1 wing of a winged twilight
1 grand soul gem with the soul of a golden saint (you can use any soul gem that can contain the golden saint’s soul)
7 portions of scrib jelly
4 portions of bungler’s bane
1 portion of bloat
1 frost spell of 15 to 20 damage for 5 seconds

Enchant the wing with the soul of the golden saint. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. Take the wing, the jelly, bungler’s bane, and the bloat and grind them until they are thoroughly mixed. This will take a few hours to do and once finished it should look like a cream. Once finished you use the frost spell on the cream. Serves 2 or 3.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:31 PM

Section: Factual Texts

Writen by Jaeld Alteir (Jaeld Alteir)

"Of Crazy Old Men"
An Essay on the Dangers of Confronting Harmless-Looking Hermits

Written By Jaeld Alteir

If you wander the roadways of Tamriel long enough, you are bound to realize that unassuming old men make up a fair percentage of your fellow travelers, wandering amiably down the road with a typically distracted smile affixed to their features. Perhaps you have given them little thought, or barely even noticed them at all, as is often the case with quiet old men. Or perhaps you paused, and wondered about his errand, or if he had one at all. And your next thought, no doubt, would be to wonder why in the world a helpless-looking old man was traveling alone in the dangerous wilderness of roads that criss-cross our continent, and how he had managed to survive this long at all.

Well, I shall tell you. As a wandering old man myself, I feel I can offer some valuable insight on the subject. But it is no great secret, for every experienced traveler knows that one of the most important rules of the roadway is this: Never underestimate a smiling, harmless-looking old man.

It is a wise and sensible rule, but intriguing in that those unfamiliar with its basis find it difficult to understand and accept. Though I do not have precise statistics, I suspect that the disregard for this rule is responsible for a sizable percentage of all travel-related injuries. And so, in this essay, I shall attempt to outline and explain the derivation and application of this rule.

When given pause for thought, it is simple enough to see precisely why it is so unwise to confront or challenge a smiling old man, and the following items represent but a sampling of the lines of reasoning that can be applied to this issue.

- In this day and age, no sane man travels alone unless he has the fullest confidence in his ability to defend himself. Bandits and wild beasts make this an obvious necessity. Therefore, a man alone is either capable or crazy. If he is capable, it is obviously unwise to challenge him without substantial risk to oneself. If he is crazy, all bets are off. For instance, it may be that he is crazy but still capable after all, which is the worst possible scenario for the would-be assailant. If he is merely crazy, however, the danger is still quite great. Crazy men do not fight as normal men do, and reckless acts of violence can overwhelm even the most skillful assailant--unpredictability is a bewildering weapon. Therefore, since a traveler must be either capable or crazy in order to travel alone, neither option makes him a suitable target.

- Another danger of wandering old men is that they are old. Their days of glory are most likely past, and it is quite possible that they have nothing more to live for. And even the most casual student of war knows that an enemy with nothing left to live for will most likely fight to the bitter end, with reckless abandon. Facing a foe that does not fear death rarely ends well.

- It's not easy to get old. No one lives long enough to become an old man without surviving for quite a bit longer than any young buck that’s likely to be challenging him. So going up against someone who is obviously an old pro at surviving is always a risky proposition.

- Everyone carries a weapon of some sort these days. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean that it's not there. And if it's not anything conventional like a sword or a club, chances are it's just something even worse.

- If he smiles, run. People smile when they're happy and unconcerned. Typically, being waylaid on the highway is cause for concern. So if he's smiling instead, YOU should be concerned.

- Is it not often said that things are not always what they seem? This applies doubly for seemingly helpless old men.

- An old man has had a long time to learn a great many things. You don't live long enough to become a wandering old hermit without a few tricks up your sleeve, after all.

- It is said that "The foolish die young, while the wise and skillful live long." If you are young, and he is old, do you really wish to tempt fate and test the truth of those words?

- You are probably not the first to see this old man. You are probably not the first to think that he seems helpless and unimpressive. You are probably not the first to think that this may make him an easy target. Ask yourself, then, why is he still here, and what of the others who thought to make of him an easy victim?

The young tend to give little credence to the wisdom and strength of the old and weary, but the old have seen and weathered many trials, and there is great power lurking beneath that wrinkled skin. The savvy traveler knows that there is much behind that amiable smile, a slyness that speaks of something he knows that you do not. This friendly, bemused smile is to be feared above all else.

But yes, I suppose there is always the chance that you may find a smiling old man who is merely weak and senile, wandering aimlessly on his way to death's door. Perhaps you may meet one or two in your years of travels who truly are harmless, and no threat at all. But it is unlikely, and a risk that no sensible traveler is foolish enough to take. Better you return his smile with a courteous nod, perhaps a kind word, and be on your way--and let him continue on his, wherever it may take him.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:34 PM

Section: Factual Texts

Written by Dan Cellot (Stargate525)

Dances of Tamriel; the Cyrodiil Slide
A Collection of Common Dances
By Dan Cellot

Note to the reader: This is a generalized guide to basic dances in Tamriel. It is by no means complete. One must also be aware that the particulars of these dances may be different from region to region.

The Cyrodiil Slide: This dance is most commonly performed in bars and taverns all around Cyrodiil, although it has recently spread to imperial cities in Hammerfell and Summerset Isle. It remains popular due to its simplicity and that it can be done in groups as little as two to as large as two hundred and fifty-three. (The record, set during the Heart’s Day celebration in Anvil, has stood for over fifty years. Due to the clumsiness of Ulrich the Unsteady at this celebration, the emperor has since ordered that all dances of the Cyrodiil slide have a maximum size of eighty.)
Participants form lines up to twenty long. When one line is filled, another one should be formed behind it. The lines continue to stack until all participants are accommodated. The first step is four steps to the left, right foot behind your left. Then sidestep back to your original place, left foot behind right, turning one-quarter turn to the left. The participants take two steps forward, kneeling on their right knee in the process. (When done correctly, this step should look like a slide to your knee, a unique maneuver for which this dance is named.)
The rest of the dance requires practice. (Something Ulrich the Unsteady lacked) While still kneeling, twist a quarter to the right, and then rise to your feet turning around you to the left. To finish the dance, take three steps to your left, right foot behind your left. This should put you in the same relative location you were when you started. This then repeats until the song is finished.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:35 PM

Section: Foundres' Fates

Written by Corryn (Corryn)

The Final Journey of Corryn

The following are excerpts from the journal of Corryn, a founder of the Tes F’Ruun library detailing the last few days of his life. It was submitted to the library by his grandson Corryn.

Frostfall Fredas 28th

I have located an ancient temple deep in the jungle a few days travel east from Haven. The markings on the outside of the temple indicate an old tribe of Bosmeri that have not been seen in many thousands of years. This is most exciting. I am sure that much lore may be stored in the temple’s ancient vaults. Sadly the temple is deep in a cavern and I cannot climb down very far into the first tunnel by myself. I must return when I have someone to help in the exploration.

Sun’s Dusk Morndus 7th

I have returned to the site with equipment so that me and my colleagues can descend deeper into the catacombs. A few scholars from Haven as well as my grandson, Cor have accompanied me to help me in my research. Cor dreams of adventures and glory but I am afraid he shall find this archaic research rather dull. He looks up to me so much for the journeys of my youth and has even promised to take my name when he is of age. He will learn patience when he is older. I have gone off track; we will begin our descent at first light.

Sun’s Dusk Tirdas 8th

We spent most of the day negotiating our way down the slope. Cor nearly fell down, but he managed to damage his hand badly so the going has been slow. The rest of the team is impatient to begin searching, but the door is sealed on this level and we have no means to open it.
The most amazing thing has occurred; the moonlight has caused the doorway to open. We have placed bracers so that the door will not close again. We decided to skip rest for the night to begin work.

Sun’s Dusk Turdas 10th

Such a wealth of knowledge! There is much here that could earn a place of honor at the library, but so far the greatest discovery was a tome that appears to describe in detail the ritual of the Bosmer Wild Hunt. Certainly some few Bosmer still know the secret, but I have never heard of the practice ever being recorded. From what little I have been able to translate from the book, it is a most unpleasant transformation process. Oh, before I forget I must note that odd noises have been heard at night. Everyone is now required to carry a weapon with them except Cor, who still cannot use his hand.

Sun’s Dusk Fredas 11th

They came so quickly... there... there was nothing we could do. Many of my friends were lost in the first minute. They... they tried to get to Cor. I managed to grab him while fending ‘them’ off, I did not know such skill with a blade was still left to me. Cor and I sealed ourselves in one of the rooms in the back. We could see moonlight through cracks in the stone, but we couldn’t move them.

Sun’s Dusk Loredas 12th

I write this quickly so that my brothers at the Tes F’Ruun Library will know what happened. Those crazed Bosmer in the other room have started chanting. I recognize some lines of the chanting from the tome on the Wild Hunt. It is shameful that any of my brethren would change themselves into the horrific images I saw in [the tome on the Wild Hunt’s pages. I know the door will not hold back those creatures. When they started the ceremony, the trembling caused a stone from the rafters to fall. I have no strength to climb out so I am giving my journal to Cor so that he can escape and bring word of what has happened.
Note from Librarian:
- A hunting party found Cor wandering near Haven. At the time this is all they could get from him.

Cor "He... he pushed me up through the roof. And I waited, but he didn’t follow so I... I... I asked him to... I begged him to climb but he... he just yelled to run, but I... I couldn’t just leave him... and... and then the door broke... and they came at him."

Hunt leader "What did son? Come on speak up lad."

Cor "They... they were just teeth and... and bone and claws, and... and I have never seen such... and... and grandfather, he swung so quickly and... they could not touch him... but there were so many and... and... he yelled to me to run again... so I just ran and ran... and... and oh god I can still see them."

Here Cor broke down sobbing and would say no more..

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:37 PM

Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Re-Lan (Argonians rule)

Autobiography of Re-Lan

It was a cold night when my egg was hatched. As I burst from my egg my, mother picked me up and held me to stop me from freezing. My father was a renowned warrior and led our small tribe of 50 through the hazards of Northern Black Marsh. That night, the night I was born, it happened. A Group of 100 Dunmer slavers attacked our tribe. My father and his warriors fought bravely and killed many a Dunmer, but in the end He went down under sheer numbers. Afterwards all children and women were enslaved. Any too old or to sick to work were brutally slain, that is how my grandparents lost their lives. We were taken to Morrowind, more specifically to Vvardenfall. There we were put to work in an egg mine. We had very little food and water over the next 20 years, and my mother would often take only a mouthful of food and give the rest to me so I could grow strong. On my 20th Birthday She died, no remorse from anyone. She was just an anonymous Argonian slave. I couldn't take it anymore. I picked up my Miner's pick and slew my Dunmer captors in a frenzy. I freed the other slaves and we each went our separate ways. I had only a sword from one of the Dunmer. My mother had said it was my father's and that the Dunmer had taken it when they killed him. I left Morrowind then. I traveled Tamriel righting wrongs, slaying beasts, and having many adventures. I grew tired after some years for I truly just wanted a purpose other than killing and fighting. One day I found an ancient tome in a temple. It was then I discovered the joy of written word. I had found a new purpose in life. So for the next 10 years I journeyed Tamriel collecting tomes and writing books. And so began my writing career. I journeyed Tamriel writing of what I learned and collecting books. Still I kept on adventures some of which were dangerous, like trying to convince a tribe of orcs to allow me to write their history. One day in Cyrodill I chanced upon several other scholars. They wished to found a library that would hold rare books they wrote and collected. I decided to join them with their library. I stayed with them until I began to get older. Then one day, a certain founder and I had a large fight over minor discrepancies in the facts of a certain text. I decided to leave the library for I could no longer stand him. I said my goodbyes to my friends, who I had worked with for years. I continued wandering until one day I found a small cottage in Northern Cyrodill. I purchased it and now live there alone, though I often visit my old friends in the library, having made amends with the aforementioned person. Their numbers dwindle each year. I enjoy reading and writing, though I am too old to adventure anymore. I am writing this so that people will always remember my story and the founding of the library. So if you are adventuring, remember that there is more to life than killing and slaying, just try cracking a book. You'd be surprised what you can learn. I know I was.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:38 PM

Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Blade (Lord Blade)

The Tale of Blade, the Argonian Bounty Hunter

Blade writes this journal to let others know of origins...

For many years has Blade hunted, working for the Empire as a
Bounty Hunter. Mostly hunting Blade's favorite prey... the foul
slavers, though from time to time Blade has been asked to hunt other
prey. Special prey. Criminals too dangerous for the soldiers to bring
in. Blade has hunted across Tamriel and brought to justice.

And only justice. Not once has Blade accepted the task of hunting prey
which he did not believe was truly deserving of being hunted. Many
times have the greedy and corrupt within the Empire asked Blade to
hunt down those who oppose them, those who have caused them shame, or
those who have interfered with their personal plans for power. These
prey Blade will never hunt. For Blade is no fool.

Blade sits here in this great Library of Tes F'Ruum, writing this
tale. It has been many years since Blade accepted the job as a Bounty
Hunter for the Empire. Slavers by the thousands have fallen to the
blade of Blade. Their fate was written from the moment they enslaved
another. And many others have also been brought to justice. Hundreds
of criminals, outlaws, bandits and others who break the laws or cause
grief and suffering to others. Blade's name has become commonplace in
taverns and inns, whispered in awe by those Blade serves to protect,
and muttered as a curse by those he hunts.

Yes... many have fallen or been brought in for trial at Blade's
hands... but never the ones who Blade has truly hunted all these

Blade came from the Blue Rock clan, a small, but proud clan in the
Black Marsh. At a young age did Blade show much skill at combat, as
well as tracking. And Blade was the youngest of his clan to earn the
title of Slayer, the proud few who lead the hunting parties of the

One day... while leading a fine party on a hunt through the southern
swamps, Blade and his clanmates were ambushed. The attack came without
warning. The first warning was the blast of frost which chilled
Legs-So-Quick, a young hunter who was little more than a hatchling. Blade was
about to warn the others and seek the aggressors when a blast of fire
flung him from his feet. Blade struck a tree and lost consciousness.

When Blade awoke, he was mostly covered by the swamp, and various bits
of debris. It was about a day after the attack. After taking his
measure of the situation, Blade knew what had happened. Slavers. The
foul vermin had laid in wait. From the signs, they had been there for
some time. Blade knows not how they knew where to await our group. But
they were there, and their attack was very efficient. They captured
Blade's clanmates. But they had made one dire mistake... Blade was
still free.

Blade tracked the slavers through the swamps for several days. They
had a head start, but Blade is not deterred so easily. But the trail
vanished. Never before had Blade seen such a thing. It was as if they
simply disappeared. Now, after much experience, Blade knows that it
was magic which helped them escape. They had teleported away. And this
meant that one of their party had to be a mage of some power.

Blade had little idea of where to go next, so he headed for the
capitol, hoping that there might be some clue as to who the slavers
may have been and some word of his clanmates. Along the way, Blade
had put several other slavers to the sword and helped various
villages Blade passed with tasks large and small. From slaying beasts
that threatened the town, to simple jobs of delivery. Anything to hone
the skills.

After arriving at Cyrodill, Blade began to ask around. Many treated
him as a beast, thinking his manner uncouth. And Blade knew that to
deal with those of "high society" Blade would need to be able to
emulate their ways. So Blade studied long and hard. Letters seemed to
come naturally, when they are normally something of difficulty for
Argonians. Blade learned of etiquette as well as streetwise ways. Soon he
was able to speak with high and low born and blend himself well
to all manner of social standings.

But alas, Blade had little luck, even in the highest positions of the
Empire... he could not find clues to what had happened to the slavers he
sought. And one day, while relaxing in a tavern, Blade heard several
Dunmer at a nearby table talking about slaves they had captured. As
Blade rose to confront the scum, they hurled insults at him, calling
Blade a beast! This was too much, and with nothing but Blade's bare
hands did he lay into the vile slavers. Five did Blade manage to slay,
before the sixth of their group managed to call for the city guard and
then flee.

The guard arrested Blade for murder. But Blade's fate was not to rot
in jail. No, the Empire had a use for his particular skills. They
offered Blade the job of Bounty Hunter in exchange for freedom. Blade
hoped that he would help the Empire curb the rampant slavery that had
become far too common of late. Naturally, Blade accepted...

Well, the bards now sing many songs of Blade's exploits. Though there
are many things which are still unsung, for they happened in the
deepest secrecy. But sadly, Blade has never managed to find the
slavers who attacked him so long ago or find his lost clanmates.

But all has not been in vain. Blade had once been sent to hunt down
one known only as "The Librarian." This one was said to be spreading
heresy. Blade investigated this one and found the truth. It was not
heresy which was spread. This "Librarian" was building a collection of
works from across Tamriel. Lost tales, songs, diaries and other works.
This was a truly noble deed, which brought fear and suspicious to those who
live lives full of lies and treachery. Blade refused to harm this
one... instead, assisting The Librarian in his quest.

Blade spent much time with him, aiding in the construction of the
Library of Tes F'Ruum, in which Blade now writes this tale. Over the
years, Blade made many trips back to the library, always bringing lost
tomes and scraps of parchments long lost and forgotten. Even a section
of a journal once used by Blade is now on the shelves of this place of

But sadly, even with the knowledge stored here... Blade has never
found those he seeks. Therefore, Blade has decided to set out on one
final hunt. Blade's friends tell him that he is too old now to hunt
again, that his time is past. But if Blade must die, then it will be
hunting the prey, not of old age. Blade now leaves this tale here, for
those who are to come. With luck Blade will return someday, with news
of his destiny complete...

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:39 PM

Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Unknown (JulZ)

The Fate of Ra'Jarran

Ra'Jarran the Suthay-Raht was born on the island of Sheogorad, north of the island of Vvardenfell in Morrowind province. He was always an adventurer and a poet at heart. At the age of twenty, he joined the Thieves' Guild. After an incident where Ra'Jarran severely injured another Guild member for calling the famed Imperial poet Succulus Nurus a highly inappropriate name, he was expelled. Bitter and wanting a new life, Ra'Jarran got on a smugglers boat to the mainland (Paying for the journey with gold he stole from the ship's captain).

In Mournhold, he came across a rare book called "The Secret of the Fat Lutes". This book he found very interesting. But fate decided that Ra'Jarran would never finish this book. It was stolen by a Bosmer nightblade, who earlier had tried to buy the book from him. Ra'Jarran followed this Bosmer to the very border of Cyrodiil, but here all traces of the thief vanished.

Ra'Jarran decided to settle in Cyrodiil and continue his search for the book. As it turned out, he met a fellow book-lover. The two became friends, and together with ten others they founded the Library of Tes F'Ruum.

Ra'Jarran collected many rare books for the Library, including the poetries of Hainud Lasamabi, the ashlander poet. But in his heart he knew that the Library wouldn't be complete until it got a copy of "The Secret of the Fat Lutes".

One day Ra'Jarran heard a rumour about a Bosmer nightblade establishing a criminals' hamlet in southern Skyrim. He felt certain that this nightblade was the thief that stole his precious book. He hired a band of mercenaries and went to Skyrim.

No one has heard from Ra'Jarran after that, but it is assumed he was killed by the nightblade's servants.

The End

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:40 PM

Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Various Sources (Jaeld Alteir)

"Many Faces, Many Sides: An Approximation of the One Known as Jaeld Alteir"
A Compilation from Many Sources by Drodicus the Learned


An Introduction
Drodicus the Learned, Editor

This land of ours once was blessed with the presence of an Altmer known by the name of Jaeld Alteir: scholar, wanderer, and friend. Some may say he still roams the wild places in search of knowledge, or perhaps peace, but there is little to substantiate these tales, and I must regrettably choose the more rational conclusion.
But if there was one thing that most intrigued and inspired this great figure, it was the eternal power of the written word, and so it seems fitting to erect a memorial of words to this dear departed friend and mentor. I shall not be alone in this endeavor, however, and have instead compiled a number of works in various forms from those who knew him well, and even from those who met him but once. All shall throw their literary light on the one who was Jaeld Alteir, and perhaps when illuminated from all directions we shall begin to understand the complex and marvelous being that he was.


Young Elf, Big Future
From the memoirs of Ralhi Olthai

...One can always tell that you're past your prime when your own students can out-think you using only what you've taught them. A strange paradox, it seems, but this young Altmer named Jaeld is running my old mind ragged. He wrings more out of what I tell him than I realized I put in there in the first place, and it's rather spooky when I get to thinking on it. But the worst of it is that he doesn't even seem to realize he's doing it!
Oh sure, I've had plenty of pupils before who were hot stuff and knew it, and they'd try to best their tired old teacher at every turn, but those lads just kept an old man on his toes! This Jaeld just slips modestly past, and it isn't until after he leaves for the day that I realize just how far ahead of me he got in our conversations. It's enough to make me start thinking about retirement.

But, ah, I've got another few decades left in me. The kid's just an exception to the rule--too smart for his own good, but too intent on everyone else's good to get a big head over it. He'll go places, surely...but as for me, I suppose I'll just stay on here at the university for a while longer. Things ought to settle down once Jaeld gets restless and moves on to bigger things...


Of Dabbling in Bureaucracy
From the correspondence of Disciple Josephus, of the Imperial Cult


I write to you with some concern about Adept Alteir, the High Elf who joined our order not so very long ago. While I cannot say that he has done anything wrong or improper, per se, I still worry about his future with us. Not to say that he isn't a dedicated and hard-working servant of the order, certainly, as his service record will attest. It's just that...well, I'm not convinced as to the depth of his loyalties.

There is little doubt that he is devoted to the work we do, but that's just it. I think he's more devoted to the work than to the hierarchy behind the work. While he is the utmost model of courtesy and respect to his superiors, they report what they can only describe as "an amiable strong will" about him. He has the perplexing ability to always seem to end up doing as he pleases while leaving us convinced that it's precisely what WE please as well. But a careful overview of his activities has led me to conclude that there have been a number of occasions on which he has left to conduct blessings and various acts of mercy on behalf of the Cult that were initially deemed of tertiary importance or prohibitive expense.

I merely express concern that he is simply "dabbling" in the order for his own purposes, and will undoubtedly leave the moment we start to conflict with whatever he deems is right and proper to begin with. It seems almost as if he is using the Cult as a convenient means towards learning and practicing the healing arts, rather than as a lifelong vocation.

Disciple Josephus


Magician of Words
A song by Thalacus Windsong

As I was walking towards forever,
O'er land and sea,
A traveler I met
And can never forget
For he twas a savior to me.

Bandits lept from the shadows
Wicked blades aloft,
And I quivered in fear
Seeing no help was near,
Save a voice from the tree line, quite soft.

"Harm not this lad good sirs,
But rather be on your way.
For none can withstand
A mysterious old man
Who holds arcane magicks in sway."

Now there isn't a bandit
In all of the land
Who is foolish enough
As to try out his luck
On a magicka-wielding old man.

Alteir was his name,
And with words and naught else
He wrought magic that day
And so I shall repay
With a song to his memory and health.


Fragments from the Journal of Mortimer of Wayrest, Pupil of Jaeld Alteir

3rd Rain's Hand
Master Alteir rarely speaks to me other than to comment on a rare piece of foliage or to tell me to go home and return to my own studies, but I refuse to leave his side. I think he is merely unaccustomed to company, having spent most of his life as a lone wanderer and hermit, moving with the seasons and with his literary interests. But, then again, he has never really tried to enforce his mandate that I return home, and I suspect that he may simply be issuing a disclaimer of sorts: "I appreciate your help, but I wander to strange lands, and do not wish to be responsible for whatever may befall us." But it is difficult to be certain if that is his meaning, for he is by nature a taciturn man, and speaks little.

4th Rain's Hand
We spent most of the afternoon watching tiny insects walking across the surface of a small pond. Master Alteir seemed intrigued by the idea--not so much that it was strange to us to see creatures walking upon the water, but that it was so utterly normal for the creatures themselves. "Would the drama of a life lived on water be so different from one lived on land, if their positions were reversed?" he mused. A discussion of the relativity of one's perceptions ensued.

5th Rain's Hand
Today we stumbled upon an isolated homestead beset by wild beasts. The farmer was trying to fend them off and keep them away from his livestock, but he was a frail old man and the beasts were many. Master Alteir merely grimaced sadly as we crested a hilltop and the scene first become visible, and then he strode boldly yet calmly into the midst of the commotion. The beasts turned and snarled at him, but with a simple gesture he suddenly began to radiate an overwhelmingly powerful aura of calm, and he seemed almost to shine with light as the fervor of the beasts subsided and they began almost instantly to cower silently at his feet. It was an amazing use of the most subtle of powers, and I was humbled by the sheer potency of the power he exuded in that moment. He left the grateful farmer with a simple smile and a copy of a book of poetry. I'm not quite sure that the man can read, as he seemed a bit puzzled by the gift, but I think that's a possibility that rarely occurs to so avid a reader as Master Alteir.

9th Rain's Hand
I could swear that the clouds seem to move aside when we pass, and the flowers bloom more brightly as Master Alteir approaches. But perhaps it is just unseasonably nice weather we are having. Either way, I can't recall having been stuck in a rainstorm yet on this trip, and each night Master Alteir sleeps soundly beneath the stars, with a peaceful expression on his face and no apparent fear of the possibility of rain.

11th Rain's Hand
We spoke of legends today, and of the formative strength that suggestion may have on the mind. Master Alteir is a treasure trove of obscure myths and legends gathered throughout his travels, and he was kind enough to share a number of them for my edification. We spent quite some time discussing where exactly the line between myth and reality might be drawn, especially as the fact of "now" fades into nothingness and becomes the past. I still can't decide if he actually believes any of the bizarre theories and points of view we so often discuss, or if he merely considers them to be amusing intellectual exercises.


From the personal writings of Jaeld Alteir

"A word is whatever you make it."


A Letter from Telvanni Wizard Velth Teroth, solicited by the Editor for the purposes of this compilation


So you ask about Jaeld Alteir, hmm? Fantastic chap, great wizard. Never did enough wizarding, in my opinion, but he was certainly good at it nonetheless. Those stuffed-shirt scholars that always seemed to like clustering around him preferred to think of him as a harmless little botanist who liked to read, and that's true enough, but you should see the fire this kid could spurt if he wanted to.

See, he joined the Telvanni for a time, back on one of his jaunts to Vvardenfell, and made a bit of a name for himself too. Not really cut out for Telvanni politics though, bit too pacifistic and all that, but he got himself a decent foothold and a modest tower to retreat to. But one of the bolder wizards over interpreted that pacifism bit, and decided it'd be fun to push ole Alteir and his entourage out of his tower. Heh. Boy am I glad I was within sight of that. Best fireworks show I've seen in a long time. See, Alteir wasn't necessarily a pacifist per se, he just usually found ways around his problems that didn't require him to BOTHER fighting. But start pushing around the folks he feels are under his protection? Flame on.

Yes, that kid turned into a living column of flame for a moment there at the start of it, once the other uppity Telvanni lad started pushing his luck. (can't remember his name..."Crispy" will suffice for the purposes of this story) The heavens split open above him, and each of Crispy's thugs got a personalized lightning bolt all to themselves. Make no mistake, that Alteir kid was a force to be reckoned with when he needed to be. Could've been quite the wizard if he'd get his nose out of those books. I mean, come on, a wizard needs to be well read and all, but there are limits. At some point you just need to get out there and fry stuff, right? At least that's how I do it, and it works just fine for me.



"I learned all I know from Jaeld, and I learned that I know nothing."
~Jeralic, fellow scholar and long-time student of Jaeld Alteir

"Once, I asked him what he would do if there were no books for him to study.
'Write them,' he replied.
At first, I thought he had somewhat missed the point of my question. Later, of course, I realized that it was I who had missed the point."
~Aliga, fellow scholar and occasional student of Jaeld Alteir

"How do you judge a man, I wonder? By his words or by his deeds? And if his words were few, but his deeds were many? Why, then I would call him Jaeld Alteir, and count myself lucky to have known him."
~Melethew, fellow scholar


From "The Written Word, Master and Slave" by Llothen the Poet
(this passage was found affixed to the wall in Jaeld Alteir's primary hermitage)

Oh the worlds that words have wrought, and that yet lie unbidden beyond the page! Muses, let loose your captives, or else tighten your grip so that we must struggle all the more to free them, and in struggling acquire that which is beyond our grasp! Words we command in droves, and yet they elude us still--we chase them ever onward, and they continue without end. What marvelous magic is this, that none can master yet all can wield! It can strike down kings or create gods, and yet even the simplest peasant can conquer it without fear. Words, that great gift of the gods! May they never fail us, but always surprise us!


From "Great Quests of Great Mortals"

...the Altmer known as Jaeld Alteir is said to have undertaken a journey of several years in search of an ancient tome written by a little-known order of monks who had devoted themselves to the fusion of knowledge and physical substance.

Alteir apparently took an interest in the subject over the course of numerous discussions with colleagues as to the feasibility of becoming, in essence, a living repository of knowledge far beyond the capabilities of biological organisms. "Just as the written word achieves a sort of immortality," he is said to have written, "Could it be possible for a living being to cross that line as well? To embody the written word so fully and completely as to virtually become it, and therefore become, by extension, beyond the grip of time themselves?"
The pursuit of this theory inspired a number of academic papers on the subject, but it was the search for remnants of that ancient monastic order that occupied him most, for although even their very name had been lost to history, they had been intimately involved in precisely the types of studies in which Alteir himself was now engrossed. His intellectual curiosity burned in him like a hunger, and he pieced together whatever clues he could in search of a copy of their primary holy book, "From Materiality to Memory". But they had been a remote and scattered order, and leads were scarce...


A Letter sent to Jaeld Alteir, from his personal correspondence. Date uncertain.

Dear Sir,

I write to thank you for your extraordinarily generous monetary contribution to our humble, fledgling library. I must confess that I was not aware you were a man of such means, though upon further reflection I suppose that one such as yourself might perchance amass much after he has traveled so widely for so long.

On a hunch, I made some inquiries to sate my own curiosity and discovered that you have been a generous benefactor of a great many libraries and literary collections of all sizes, great and small. I have even heard rumors that you were intimately involved in the founding and funding of the great Library of Tes F'Ruum, which, if I may say so in confidence, I consider to be a very worthy endeavor.

So on behalf of myself and the innumerable others to whom you have helped bring the light of knowledge, I offer my sincerest thanks.

To the pursuit of truth and knowledge,


Aye, I remember Jaeld. Tall, slender...moved slow when he could, and fast when he had to. The weight of years rested on that furrowed brow, but his eyes shone more brightly than a newborn babe's. They could light up a room, those eyes...cheer you when you were at your worst, even before he spoke a word in that quiet, level voice of his. Like a soft breeze on a cool summer night, that voice.

He came to our village many a time, secluded though we are. He always seemed to know when he would be needed most, and arrived during drought, or after a poor harvest, or when one of our closest kin was ill. He brought food when there was none, and brewed potions when they were most vital. He offered them freely in trade, and their price was but a quiet chat, and a tale spun from the ancient folklore of our ancestors. A wonderful listener, he was, and not just to the old tales that he soaked up so eagerly. The youngest child among us could sit on his lap and babble on about nothing, or relate his experiences chasing butterflies down by the stream, and Jaeld would sit and listen patiently as if it were the most enthralling story he'd ever heard.
A great man, that Jaeld, but probably too modest to realize it...I suspect he never fully realized just how extraordinary he really was.

-Village Elder, as recorded by Drodicus the Learned for this compilation


Further fragments from the Journal of Mortimer of Wayrest, Pupil of Jaeld Alteir
(Exact year uncertain, but clearly several years after the previous excerpt)

12th Frostfall
Blast it all, Master Alteir left me in the middle of the night! Oh, I've been so foolish to let my guard down--after establishing myself as his traveling companion for the past few years, the frequency of his insistences that I "Go home and not tarry here with a wandering old man" had reduced, and I thought perhaps he would no longer attempt to strike out on his own! And, truly, I still believe that that is much the case. He had grown rather accustomed to my presence, I think, and clearly enjoyed having someone to talk to on the rare occasions that he spoke, so if he left me here that must mean he is quite convinced that the path grows too dangerous ahead! I can write no more--I must hasten in search of his trail!

15th Frostfall
I have found but few scattered signs of the path Master Alteir has taken, and followed them as best I can, but it is uncertain at best. He has traveled this world too long, and can be as cunning as a Bosmer ranger in leaving no mark behind if he so wishes. He has been careless at times, however, and left the occasional track for me to find. Though convenient for me, I fear it means that this quest for the long-forgotten "From Materiality to Memory" has begun to consume him all the more. I pray that he shall not be overly careless in his pursuit, however, as we now travel in forbidding lands...

19th Frostfall
The crags grow more treacherous here, but I am beginning to piece together all that Master Alteir has shared in the past about his study of this extinct order of monks, and I must admit that the clues he has garnered over the years do seem to indicate that I'm on the right track. Alas, he is undoubtedly still far ahead, and I have not seen any sign of his passing for days...these bare stones leave little evidence.

20th Frostfall
I am beginning to despise the monastic practice of dwelling in such insanely secluded locales...
I hear noises in the dark now, too, whenever the moon passes behind the clouds. Beasts lurking in the shadows, no doubt. These mountains are not quite as lifeless as they seem, and unsteady footing is not the only danger now...

22nd Frostfall
I am deep in the mountains now, lost if not for landmarks that I remember from my talks with Master Alteir, signs of a long-forgotten order that he gleaned from other ancient tomes scattered across the land. I must confess that I often wondered if they had truly ever existed. Master Alteir has spoken so often in recent years about the possibilities that this lost book may help him to achieve. He dreams of the chance to meld material flesh and ethereal knowledge, to transcend the limits of mortal existence and transform himself into a living repository of knowledge, purified and limitless, without form or end. And what a gift that would be to the races of this world! A perfect store of knowledge, infinite and incorruptible, never to fall victim to the slow erasure of time. A noble idea, but is it even possible?? But that question, of course, is precisely why he seeks this book...

28th Frostfall
Alas, but I have found poor Master Alteir's walking stick, splintered in two upon the rocks halfway down a mighty cliff! His beloved staff, that traveled with him always before I was even born, its gnarled wood worn smooth over countless journeys! For a time I wept, and dared not glance down into the abyss below...but at last I could resist no more, and was met with the mournful sight of the scattered pages of a shattered book drooped listlessly on the rocks below, and slowly being sent twirling down deeper into the abyss by wailing gusts of wind...

I will return to the hermitage now, and linger here no more. His books must be gathered and delivered into the capable hands of the Librarian at Tes F'ruum...he would like that...yes, he would like that indeed...

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:41 PM

Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Unknown (raithen)

The Known Breton

More specifically known as ‘The Lost Friend’

Raithen Arthat… now there is a name I have not heard for a long time. A curious fellow acted like he was the personal friend of everyone. You could walk into a classy bar, and might call you over, order you a drink, and begin discussing the daily events. Everyone who was someone knew Raithen, well, at least in his mind. He though like that, and although many people in the province of Morrowind knew him, he was often reminded that that is no longer where he was.

I am here to tell you the tale of this fellow, an interesting tale for all those willing to listen. It begins in a small town in High Rock, a town that cannot be named, for Raithen never told any more then this, and most of his family is dead by this time. He wished to become a wizard, and practice the art of magic. So he traveled to Summerset Isle, hoping to enlist in a mage’s guild, or magic school of some sort.

After training and learning from a group of mages, he came to be in the Dunmer province of Morrowind. He nestled down in the city of Vivec, on Vvardenfell, to study the ancient race of the Dwemer. This, evidently, made him rich. He learned a lot from the remains of the Dwarves, even that he should live his life to the fullest, as things will pay off in the end. How he learnt this remains a mystery. (Some say he translated some ancient Dwemer fortune papers, though the evidence is limited.)

Taking the advice of the Dwarves, he traveled to Cyrodiil. And his fortune was fulfilled. The house he bought in the capitol of the province held some mysterious secrets. It looked like a normal manor, extravagant, old, used. But this one was different somehow. One evening, he was strolling to his library for some reading, when he stepped on a lose board in the study. He called for his maid, whom he asked to call for a carpenter. As she left, Raithen looked into the hole. What he saw caught his interest. It was a book; he reached in and grabbed it.

It was a fictional book, of at least one hundred years old. Some say this is what triggered his sanity to finally go over the edge, but not yet. He read the book, it told of tales of a portal. A portal into another world. It also told that this portal could be found in one of the ancient ruins of the long dead race of wild elves. He regarded it with curiosity, and read it over and over again, and he always kept the book in a breast pocket.

Another day came with another happening. A fellow, an odd fellow, odder then Raithen himself, approached him. He asked Raithen to found a library. And after the fellow had given him the entire details of the library he agreed. He then contributed most of the books he had written to the library, he kept some for personal use.

After basking in his own glory for several years, his sanity finally gave out. He told his closest friends that he was going to go for a hike across the empire. He went out alone, with nothing but rations, camping equipment, and his horse. He was gone for two weeks.

He came riding his horse back into town at full trot. Shouting, “I’ve found it! I’ve found it!” He rode his horse into his own stable, and before anybody could shout something at him, he was already inside. He kicked his maid and servant out. Then he locked all his doors and windows, then boarded them over.
He was there for three days, and when his friends tried to talk to him through the door, he just yelled useless ramblings at them.

One night, Raithen finally came out of his house, in darkest night. He had a pack slung over his shoulder, and he made his way to his horse. There was one Imperial guard who saw what was going on, but before he could catch him, Raithen was already trotting into the night. But he dropped something from his hastily put-together pack. The guard, named Celcious Cavreen, picked up the last, tattered remains ever to be found of Raithen. It was the book, the book that caused all this madness.

Raithen was never seen again… Some say he went back to High Rock under the name Nehtiar Tahtra, others say he died alone of natural causes. But the most popular seems to be the most imaginary; he found a new world, a new dimension. Of course, this is completely false, as Raithen Arthat was completely senile when he wrote this in his journals.

Whatever it may be, keep your eyes out for a wizard named Nehtiar Tahtra. That just may be someone you know more then you know…

***Information taken from various journals and diaries of Raithen Arthat.
Many pieces done by Raithen Arthat can be found in the library of F’Ruum. We encourage you to read them.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:48 PM

Section: Historical Text

Written by Phaen (Phaen)

From Rihad to Hegathe: A History of the Tiber War: Part 1

4 First Seed, 2E862
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

It was the crack of dawn. Slowly, a trickle of sunlight topped the hills to the east, spilling through the window of the conference room, illuminating the men inside. His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim sat at the conference table with his three advisors. A large map of Tamriel was pinned to the wall.

With a flourish, Tiber Septim pointed at Hammerfell. “Gentlemen,” he said, “you are no doubt, well aware of the civil war currently raging in Hammerfell.”

Atteli Jullalian was the first to reply. “Of course. After the death of King Thassad II earlier this year, the Forebears took the city of Sentinel by force, starting a revolution. Naturally, Crown Prince A’Tor sailed forth from his capital at Stros M’Kai, and started a bloodbath.”

“Of course,” Septim replied. However, in response to the mad Prince’s butchery, the Forebears have signed a treaty with us, allowing us to bring our armies in and crush Hammerfell, once and for all.”

The advisors sat up in shock.

“Now,” Septim continued, “the Forebears have been pushed back so their forces only control Sentinel and the Dragontail Mountains. Now, we need to discuss an important matter: From where shall we invade?”

This time, Albeci Peleius replied first: “As the Forebears control the Dragontail Mountains, we should exploit this opportunity! We should bring an army from Wayrest over, and crush Elinhir from behind!”

“However,” Crassius Quarnia pointed out, “we would need at least several months to prepare the assault. Then, crossing the Dragontail Mountains would take quite a bit of time, and the Forebears could betray us and attack us, bogging us down. Attacking from the northwest is not the right idea.”

“Then,” Albeci retorted, “We should invade from the east, and smash Elinhir once and for all. And then, eastern Hammerfell would be ours and we could smash the rest easily!”

“Why are you so obsessed with Elinhir?” Atteli asked. “It’s only a single city, and unimportant. Our goal is the capital at Stros M’Kai. We should send a fleet over to invade it and capture it.”

“No,” Septim interrupted, staring at the map. “Our objective is not Stros M’Kai; it is the Prince’s army. If we invade Stros M’Kai now, we would win the capital, but not the army. It would slip away into the desert, and harass our forces until we are forced to flee. Our strategy should be to invade from the southeast, capture Rihad, Taneth, and Gilane, and force the Prince to flee to Stros M’Kai. There, we can corner him and defeat him.”

A vote was taken on the plan. Like always, it was unanimous.

From Rihad to Hegathe: A History of the Tiber War, Part 2
19 First Seed, 2E826
Hegathe, Hammerfell
Crown Prince A’Tor sat in the large throne room. Surrounding him were General Staron, Admiral Domas, and his Archmage Trithik. A large map of Tamriel was pinned to the table they were sitting by, and the walls were covered with fine tapestries.

“Now,” Admiral Domas announced, “I have just received word from our informant in the Imperial City that the backstabbing Forebears have signed a treaty, and the Imperials are about to attack us from the southeast! What do you think shall be done?”

Startled, the Prince asked, “What? How could this be?”

“Nonsense!” Staron declared. “How do we know that this Albeci Peleius informant of yours is reliable? For all we know, he could have been paid by the Imperials to give us false information, and divert our forces from uniting Hammerfell again!”

“I understand your point of view,” Domas replied. “However, if we ignored this information and it turned out that the Imperials are going to invade Rihad, then it would be a disaster! We should at least bring some of our soldiers there and send scouts to see if the Imperial Army really is marching towards our southeastern border.”

“Even if the Imperial Army is going to invade our southeastern border,” Staron retorted, “they would still need at least several months to gather their forces. We would have enough time to crush the Forebears in their mountain strongholds and then bring our armies down to Rihad.”

“How do we know that they will wait to gather their forces?” Trithik asked. “If they sent their armies in a forced march, we wouldn’t know about it until fifteen days later and by then they would have already been halfway to Rihad, and it would be too late to send our armies there.”

“I agree,” Prince A’Tor said . “We will send an army from Hegathe to Rihad right away, and send scouts into Cyrodiil to see if the army is on the march. In the meantime, we will move our headquarters from Hegathe to Gilane, so we may better respond to any threats. Now, about the possibility of hiring Altmer mages as mercenaries you brought up earlier, Trithik…”

7 Rain’s Hand, 2E862
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil
The footsteps sounded like a continuous clap of thunder in the distance.

Drums beat and trumpets blared. The Imperial Army was on the march.

The reserves had been called up, and soldiers had been marching into the city from the eastern parts of the Empire every day. A regiment from Winterhold, a brigade from Windhelm, and a division from the rainforests of the Nibenay valley. They came from everywhere. Now, the army marched, ready to demonstrate the full might of the Empire. Their sturdy armor gleaming in the sun, and their fine weaponry reflecting the sun’s rays, the Imperial Army was on the march.

A horde of battlemages marched on behind the warriors, and a contingent of elite archers marched behind them.

His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim himself was with the soldiers, riding a large horse. Behind him, a regiment of elite cavalry trotted on.

“Open the gates!” The cry resounded off the thick sturdy walls.

Grunting and sweating, the gatekeepers wound the large crank, slowly opening the gate.

At last, the gate was fully opened. As the footsteps of the soldiers resounded off the stone-paved road, Yokudan spies peering at the army from outside the Imperial city scribbled down notes on pieces of parchments.

The Imperial Army was on the march.

From Rihad to Hegathe, a history of the Tiber War, part 3

11 Rain’s Hand
Gilane, Hammerfell
Crown Prince A’Tor angrily stormed into the meeting room. Seeing Admiral Domas there, he asked him, in a quiet and deadly tone: “You said to me a bit less than a month ago that the Imperials were about to invade from the southeast, yes?”

Domas immediately sensed his predicament, but not knowing what the problem was, saw no way to extricate himself from it. Seeing no other possibility, he answered, “Correct.”

“Then why,” A’Tor angrily yelled, “Why would they take the northwestern road out of the Imperial City instead of the southwestern road? If they were to invade at Rihad, it would be much quicker to take the southwestern road! The only possibility I can foresee is that they are about to invade our stronghold at Elinhir!”

“Sir,” Domas replied, desperately trying to save himself, “The Imperials are crafty. For all we know, they intend to force us to bring our armies north, and then march south to invade at Rihad. There is a town midway between Elinhir and Rihad named North Hall. We should station the majority of our armies there, and move them north or south, depending on which path the Imperials take at the intersection.”

Prince A’Tor was about to respond, but he was interrupted, when General Staron walked in.

“So,” Staron inquired, “Have the scouts reported back as to whether the Imperials are marching?”

Domas responded: “Apparently, the Imperials have taken the northwest route out of the Imperial City. Depending on which way they turn at the intersection, they could attack either Elinhir or Rihad. I advise to move our headquarters and the majority of our soldiers to North Hall, which is midway between Elinhir and Rihad. Once the Imperials make their move, we can respond. What do you think?”

Staron replied, “Seems like a fine move to me.”

The Prince gave his consent to the orders, and they began to be carried out.

From Rihad to Hegathe: A history of the Tiber War, Part 5

15 Rain’s Hand
North Hall, Hammerfell

Prince A’Tor, Admiral Domas, General Staron, and Archmage Trithik sat in the large room. A large map showing their army positions was pinned to the table they were sitting at. The four Redguards were in the middle of a heated discussion on whether or not to hire assassins to assassinate the Emperor, when a messenger walked into the room, gave a message to General Staron, bowed, then left.

After quickly skimming through the message, Staron stood up, and announced, “Remember the discussion we had four days ago about the Imperial army taking the northwest road out of the Imperial City instead of the southwest?”

Confused, A’Tor asked, “Well?”

“Well what?”

“That’s an annoying habit you’ve picked up from somewhere. And what about that discussion we had?”

Staron replied, “Well, my scouts have reported to me why they did that. Apparently, the reserves in High Rock and western Skyrim have been called up, and marched past Falkreath to meet the rest of the army.”

Surprised, Admiral Domas replied, “But that means they now have an army twice the size of ours!”

“Correct,” the Prince replied.
“And as the Forebears control northern Hammerfell, we cannot strike at their vulnerable parts in High Rock and western Skyrim. Our only hope is to give up the cities, and start using guerilla tactics against the Imperials.”

“No,” General Staron replied. “We cannot give up the cities. The best thing we should do is to assemble our forces at Rihad, and outmaneuver them there.”

“No,” Trithik objected. “The risk is too great. They outnumber us two to one!”

“Correct,” Staron retorted. “This is why we should attempt to assassinate Tiber Septim. With the head of the dragon severed, the body will hurt you no more. Similarly, when the army sees that their beloved Emperor is dead, they will flee in terror.”

“Fine,” Trithik replied. “We will attempt to assassinate the Emperor. How do you think we should do this?”

“We have the men who can do it,” Staron reported. “All we need is to get them close enough without anyone noticing.”

“I think I can fulfill that part. I know several High Elves, who can sell us some enchanted items to help us do that.”

With the discussion over, the meeting was called to an end.

20 Rain’s Hand.
Firsthold, Summerset Isle

Seeing the city of Firsthold, Archmage Trithik sighed in relief. Using a levitation spell, he had flown from North Hall, to Stros M’Kai to replenish his supply of restore magicka potions, and then all the way across the Abecean Sea to the High Elven city of Firsthold. Although he had been afraid that he would run out of magicka and fall into the Abecean Sea, his fears had proven unfounded.

Landing on the shore, the Archmage took a break to catch his breath, and then walked into the city.

The Altmer enchanter Telindil was in his store like normal. Trithik inquired to Telindil if he had any enchanted items that could cast a powerful Chameleon spell over the user for a long duration of time.

Sighing, Telindil replied, “I do have one such item. It is the Amulet of Shadows, a powerful artifact enchanted by the famous enchanter Dalak long ago. It will cast a powerful Chameleon spell over the user for a long duration of time, but it will cost you a lot. I will accept no less than ten thousand pieces of gold for it.”

Trithik could barely hold back his protest at the outrageous price for it. Remembering his lessons for haggling, he simply shook his head and said, “I see, I shall look for similar artifacts at other enchanters stores.”

Telindil smirked. “You may,” he said, “but there is only one Amulet of Shadows, and I have it.”

Trithik soon found that he spoke the truth. In the other stores, the enchanters simply shook their head when he inquired. Sighing, he paid the ten thousand pieces of gold for the Amulet of Shadows, and began the long journey to Rihad with a much lighter purse.

From Rihad to Hegathe: A history of the Tiber War: Part 6
25 Rain's Hand
Rihad, Hammerfell

A deluge of rain fell from the sky. Merchants in the plaza scrambled to get their wares under cover, children scrambled to get indoors, as the rain poured from the sky.

The headquarters of the Crowns was located in the center of the city. Inside, Crown Prince A'Tor sat listening, while General Staron and Admiral Domas argued on which plan they should use.

"My Prince," General Staron reported. "My scouts report that the Imperial army is encamped southwest of Sutch, a week’s march from Rihad. They outnumber us two to one." Drawing a diagram showing the troop positions, he continued "The vanguard makes up about a fourth of their total forces. It is encamped about two hours march in front of the main army. Although mostly made of light cavalry, there are several companies of archers, mages, light infantry, and heavy cavalry." Pausing, he continued. "Sir, the road leading to Rihad is surrounded by woods on both the north and the south sides. The terrain is also very hilly, with the two tallest hills next to each other over here. I suggest that we hide half of our forces just behind the crest of that hill, concealing them from the enemy. When the Imperial troops arrive at the bottom, we charge down, surprising them. The other half of our forces will be concealed in the woods, and will emerge behind the Imperial soldiers at the crest of the other hill. The Imperials will now be trapped in between the two hills, completely surprised, outnumbered with no where to run. Their only hope would be to surrender. Next, we will continue charging and attack their main force. They will be tired from the march and much smaller due to the fact the elimination of their vanguard. They will not expect an attack so soon, and our skill will triumph over their numbers. They will be cleansed from our lands!”

“I understand your idea, but I must respectfully object." Admiral Domas announced. "Your plan is fraught with risk. The vanguard only needs to hold their lines for two hours, and then the rest of the Imperial army will obliterate us! Any number of things could go wrong. Prince A'Tor, I advise that we use the fortifications at Rihad and hold out against the Imperial invaders. We are outnumbered two to one, and we need every advantage we can get."

"Which explains why we should adopt my idea!" Staron countered "If we can rout their vanguard, than we gain an advantage. Besides, who ever won a war by defense? Nobody."

"The only reason nobody has ever won a war through defense is that nobody has tried yet, due to idiots like you!" Domas retorted. "Our objective is not to invade Cyrodiil, merely to defend our borders from the Imperial Army."

It was at this exact moment that Archmage Trithik stumbled in, exhausted and dripping from the pouring rain outside. Muttering curses, he cast a spell. The water simply slid down off his clothes and into a large puddle around his feet. Next, he sat down at the meeting table.

After staring at the Archmage, Staron asked. "So, did you get the items you were looking for?"

"Do you think I would have come back without it?"


"Not for me," Trithik replied. "I spent a fortune on all those restore magicka potions I consumed on the journey to there and back. Besides, I was horribly gouged by the enchanter. Would you believe he made me spend ten thousand pieces of gold on it?

"We can discuss this later." Staron replied. "Domas, if we can hole up in the fortress, then we will just be attacked in the fortress while the rest of the Imperial Army goes on to take over Hammerfell."

While A'Tor had been silent until now, he interrupted the debate.

"I have decided that the best strategy would be to, first, follow Staron's strategy and defeat the vanguard. Then, some of our forces will dig in on the hill. Meanwhile, we will conceal some of our archers and cavalry in the woods to the north of the road. When the Imperials arrive, we will first charge down from the top of the hill, as before. Next, we send the archers and cavalry from the woods and attack them from the north. This will also be the signal for our assassin to assassinate the Emperor. Surprised, the Imperials will shift some of their forces to the north, which allows us to charge down from the hill, routing the Imperials once and for all."

"But-" Staron objected.

"No buts," A'Tor replied. "I have had enough with your bickering already. Now, go with Trithik, and instruct our assassin."

From Rihad to Hegathe: A History of the Tiber War, part 7

25 Rain's Hand
Rihad, Hammerfall.

Although the rain had subsided, the ground was still flooded with rain several inches deep. Although some of the merchants had returned, most were still in their houses, warm, cozy, and dry.

On the outskirts of the city sat a small dingy hut, the type that nobody would take a second glance at. Inside it, Archmage Trithik instructed the Redguard sword-singer Gancolm, on how to assassinate the Emperor.

"Now," Trithik instructed. "You should position yourself behind the Imperial Army, and use the Amulet of Shadows to avoid detection. Find the Emperor, and make sure you always keep him in sight. When a flaming arrow arcs over from the north that is your signal to attack. I assume that you should be skilled enough to kill the Emperor, and escape in the confusion.”

Gancolm only nodded.

The trap was set; now all they just had to wait for the prey to be caught in it.

2 Second Seed
Rihad, Hammerfell

Fatigued from marching all day, a sigh of relief was exhaled from the Imperial vanguard as they saw the majestic walls of the mighty fortress of Rihad, from the top of the hill they were standing at. There was only one more hill to climb, and they could stop marching and fortify their positions. The exhausted vanguard plodded forward, relieved that they were almost there.

And then, it happened.

A large group of Redguard archers appeared at the crest of the hill, sending a hail of arrows onto the Imperial vanguard. Then, a swarm of Redguard warriors charged down from the hill. A group of sword-singers spearheaded the charge, their Shehai cleaving through the ebony armor like a sword through butter. Surprised, the Imperial vanguard fell back.

Although the Redguards had the advantage of surprise and skill, the disciplined Imperial soldiers held their ground. The forces were still heavily strained, and Imperial commander Cidius Sosia was forced to send his last reserves into the fray.

Arrows flew wildly from both sides and the clang of sword against sword could be heard far in the distance, as the two armies ground at each other. Although the Imperials were managing to hold their ground, Cidius knew that they were hard-pressed. If anything happened, they would be completely routed. Feeling that his forces were stretched, Cidius ordered his forces to fall back to the crest of the second hill, and use the advantage of height.

Seeing the Imperials retreat to the crest of the hill, General Staron hissed in fury. His forces would emerge from the woods at any moment now, but instead of emerging at the Imperial rear, they would emerge at the Imperial flanks. He had not expected the Imperials to act so cowardly and retreat, rather than stand their ground. Now, there would be the chance for some of the Imperial warriors to escape and warn the main force!

Staron’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted, as his Redguard warriors emerged from the woods on both sides of the Imperial flanks. Charging directly at the Imperial line, the Redguards completely outflanked the Imperials, their swords striking down scores of the Empire’s finest warriors. Finally, seeing that they were almost surrounded, the Imperial warriors broke and retreated. But by then, it was too late for most of them. Regiments and regiments of Imperial warriors were completely surrounded, and forced to surrender. Only the tattered remnants of two Imperial regiments managed to escape the trap, fleeing into the forest. The rest of the Imperial vanguard was either dead or prisoners.

Seeing that there was hope of completely obliterating the vanguard, Staron ordered some of his warriors to pursue the Imperials while he positioned the rest in a position to ambush the Imperial Army. The Redguard warriors chased the Imperials like hounds after a fox, and many of the Imperials perished. Finally, feeling that all of the Imperials were dead, the Redguards returned to their positions, not knowing that two Imperials had managed to elude them.

From Rihad to Hegathe, A History of the Tiber War, Part 8
2 Second Seed
Rihad, Hammerfell.

His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim was becoming more confused every minute. He had asked his vanguard commander to send back a messenger every half an hour. But the message that he should have received half an hour ago never came. Pondering the problem, he first decided that Cidius had simply forgotten to send the messenger. But that was unlikely, as Cidius was a good commander and hadn’t forgotten yet. Next, he considered the possibility that the messenger had been captured by enemy forces. However, he concluded that that scenario was unlikely. Outnumbered two to one, the Redguards would probably focus on defending the fortress of Rihad. The possibility that the messenger was lost didn’t hold up either. The road to Rihad had just been paved with stones a year ago, and there were no branches in the past. Frowning, the Emperor decided to wait another seven minutes and see if a messenger came.

The army continued marching, their feet thudding against the ground sounding like distant thunder. As they stood at the crest of the hill, they could see the ramparts of the fortress of Rihad. Sighing, they knew that there was only one hill left in their way.

Suddenly, two men rushed out of the woods to the south. Although their armor was heavily dented and arrows were sticking out of it, the Imperial insignia on the breastplate could still be seen. Gasping for breath, they reached for the Emperor. As his bodyguard restrained them, one of them hoarsely croaked, “It’s a trap!”

As the Emperor and his bodyguard stood there completely surprised, the soldier continued “The entire Redguard army is waiting just in front of you behind the crest of that hill! They slaughtered the rest of the vanguard, we were lucky to get away!”
His mind racing, Septim considered the options. If this was true, that would explain where his vanguard had disappeared to. And it would also mean that his entire army was marching right into a colossal trap. But before he shouted an order, he restrained himself. It was possible that the men were actually paid by Prince A’Tor and dressed in the uniforms so that his army would be slowed down and they could wipe out his vanguard in that time. His mind pondering the options as fast as he could, the Emperor stood there, his mind wracked with indecision. Finally, he decided that the two soldiers were speaking the truth.

Readying his thu’um, his Imperial Majesty commanded his army. “It’s a trap! Halt! Ready weapons-”

But it was too late, as his men stopped where they were standing and were in the process of following the orders, an enormous mass of Redguards charged down the hill at full speed, propelled by their adrenaline rush. As the army fumbled in an effort to unsheathe their weapons, Redguard swords cut down Imperial warriors by the score, their strength allowing them to cleave through the Imperial armor with a single strike. The corpses of Imperial soldiers were so many that after the battle, you could walk from one side of the battlefield to the other without touching the ground.

However, the Imperial Army would not be defeated so easily. Rallying the warriors, the army counterattacked furiously. The sword-singers who led the charge were quickly cut off from the rest of the Redguard army. But they refused to retreat and continued fighting, their gleaming Shehai cutting down rows of Imperials with each swing. But the smaller numbers of the Redguard army began to come into play, as they were forced to fall back.

From Rihad to Hegathe, a History of the Tiber War, Part 8

As the Redguards charged down the hill, Gancolm had activated the enchantment of the amulet and quickly began searching for the Emperor. After half a minute, he recognized the distinct custom adamantium-ebony blend of armor worn by the emperor. Holding a dagger in his hand, he smiled as Imperial soldiers rushed past him as he stood completely invisible to their eyes.

A flaming arrow flew into the sky from the woods to the north, passing over the Imperial army. Before it had touched the ground, a volley of thousands of arrows was fired directly into the crowd of packed Imperials. Next, an army of Redguards charged from the woods directly at the Imperial flank.

Part of the Imperial army began to move to face this new threat. But as soon as they began to move, the other Redguard army counterattacked and charged down the hill at the Imperial army. The armies continued to grind away at each other, determined to fight until the last breath.

As soon as he saw the flaming arrow, Gancolm held his dagger in hand, preparing to throw. Suddenly, he noticed that he was no longer invisible. Cursing, he realized that the enchantment must have worn off and reactivated the amulet. Aiming carefully, the Redguard prepared to throw his dagger…

Sorink was an extremely proud Redguard archer who was part of the ambushing army to the north. As he saw the Emperor standing in the distance, his mind filled with thoughts of the glory he would receive if the succeeded in killing the Emperor. Aiming carefully, he fired.

His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim had been in the process of giving orders when he suddenly saw a Redguard holding a dagger suddenly appear from mid-air, mutter a curse, and vanish. Surprised, he was pondering if he was hallucinating when he saw an arrow flying through the air directly towards him. He raised his large adamantium-ebony shield to block the arrow.

Gancolm cursed in fury. The Emperor had suddenly raised his shield and deflected his dagger! Calming down, he began to approach the Emperor so that he could summon his Shehai and cleave through the Emperor’s armor.

Tiber Septim was completely surprised to see not just the arrow lying on the ground in front of him, but also a large throwing dagger that had seemed to have also been deflected by his shield. As he remembered the vanishing Redguard, he quickly put the pieces of the puzzle together. Readying his magicka, he cast a powerful Dispel spell. The pale green orb expanded into a large sphere a hundred feet wide in diameter. With the dispelling of the Chameleon effect, the Redguard was revealed for all to see.

From Rihad to Hegathe, a History of the Tiber War, Part 9

Seeing that he was visible, Gancolm cursed in fury. He was completely surrounded by Imperial soldiers. He attempted to activate the enchantment again, but the charge was already depleted. The only path out he saw was to kill the Emperor and quickly flee in the chaos that would ensue. Remembering the Ansei who had instructed him, he manifested a Shehai into his hand. With a single swing of it, he cleaved through the armor of two of the Emperor’s bodyguards. As they fell, he stepped forward and prepared to take the life of the Emperor.

Seeing the Shehai in the Ansei’s hand, Tiber Septim drew his sword, (insert sword name). Made out of ebony and adamantium blessed by the Eight Divines, enchanted by the Imperial Battlemage Zurin Arctus, the sword (insert sword name) was truly a work of art. As the Ansei prepared to swing the Shehai, the Emperor raised his sword.

The two swords clashed against each other, the pride of the Redguards pitted against the sword of the Emperor. Surprised that his Shehai had failed to cleave through the Emperor’s blade, Gancolm paused in a millisecond of hesitation.

That hesitation proved to be fatal. Seeing the brief pause, his Imperial Majesty thrust (insert sword name) directly into Gancolm’s stomach. As Gancolm lay on the ground dying, the spirit-sword dissipated.

However, there was no time to inspect the Ansei’s corpse. For the Redguards were counterattacking once more, and the Imperials were falling back. His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim rode up to his soldiers, cheering them on. Then, he ordered a final counterattack to be launched.

Weary and fatigued, the outnumbered Redguard soldiers were no match for the overwhelming numbers of the Imperial Army. The fresh Imperial soldiers drove back the skilled Redguard warriors. Finally, the Redguards were routed from the field. With Imperial cavalry closely pursuing the routed Redguard armies, General Staron realized that his army was in no shape to defend the fortress at Rihad, and besides, the Imperial cavalry was following too closely. Seeing no other option, he gave the order to evacuate the fortress of Rihad. He then raced after the Redguard army, attempting to rally it.

The General finally managed to rally the army at the town ironically named Chaseguard, northwest of the fortress of Rihad. Although they had managed to drive off the pursuing cavalry, General Staron knew that his army was in no shape to meet the Imperial army in the open. Seeing no other option, he ordered the army to march to the strategic fortress of Taneth. And thus ended the Battle of Rihad, with the victorious Imperials gaining possession of southeastern Hammerfell.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:49 PM

Section: Historical Text

Written by Unknown (Argonians Rule)

The Origins of Nerevar
By: unknown

The years are countless to the time of Nerevar, so no dates shall be included.

It was a cold day that night. Many people said it was the coldest ever. Galin Inoril was giving birth to a baby boy. The small fishing village of Galath was sleepy enough and only 30 peasants of the Indoril family lived there. Sales had been the boy's father. He was a rogue, wanted for many crimes. He had met Galin while passing through Galath, probably stealing a fisherman's catch. He had fathered the boy after sweet-talking Galin. He was executed by guards the next day for various crimes. On the night the boy was botn his mother died from delivering him all alone and with no healers. For three days her body rotted and the new-born chimer gnawed on her corpse for sustanence. Finally an Indoril tax collector came through town. He discovered the chewed corpse and the infant in her little shack. The tax collector took the boy and gave him to another family of Indoril. The family was not as poor as the previous one because it owned a busy inn, in a large city.

For five years the innkeeper's wife raised the boy with the name Nerevar, a name that would go down in history. On Nerevar's 5th birthday he was put to work as a stable boy, cleaning up the manure of guar left by those who came. Nerevar worked like this for 10 years. On his 15th birthday a man came to the innkeeper's door, he had become aware of an able bodied boy capable of being a soldier. At this point in history every boy in Indoril had to serve 5 years in the army by law. Nerevar knew this was his chance to be something more than a stable boy. He was taken to a large manor, where he and 12 others were to be trained in war.

One day his first challenge came. He and the other 12 were to go on a raid against House Dres. Such raids were common then, but this was his first. A small villa belonging to a Dres councilor was the target. It had 10 guards. Nerevar and the others approached the villa at night. They each wore bonemold and wielded a chitin bow along with a steel longsword. Nerevar's men drew their bows back and picked off to outside sentries. They drew their swords and crept into the villa. The Dres councilor was awake reading, when he saw the 13 warriors. He screamed and all hell broke loose. He ran to get his ebony sword and signaled his guards. They came out and Nerevar's men began battling them. Nerevar himself chased after the councilor who was in his armory. The man lept out and slashed Nerevar's neck. The two parried back and forth, equal foes locked in mortal combat. Nerevar was slowly overpowering the Dres Councilor and had almost bested him, when the councilor swung at Nerevar hitting him in the neck, letting loose a fountain of blood. Nerevar stumbled but quickly regained his strength and swung with his all his might, decapitating the councilor. The guards had been dispatched quickly and effectively by Nerevar's men and they had lost no one. They returned home, heroes. Nerevar had left the battle victorious, but still bore a scar from that battle, his raspy voice.
Nerevar had gained quite a reputation as a tough warrior. One day he was invited to meet the grandmaster of Indoril. Nerevar knew such an invitation was an honor and he took it. The man's name was Seylin Somiek. He was impressive, to Nerevar, but not nearly as impressive as one lady in Somiek's court of nobles. Somiek greeted Nerevar and the two became good friends for over a year. He was given a manor and his own land. One day Somiek asked Nerevar to become a councilor for Indoril. Nerevar quickly agreed and was given this status. Several weeks later, Nerevar asked what the name of the lady he had spotted was. Somiek told him it was Almalexia. Nerevar then went to her and began his courtship. She agreed to marry him only if he had enough power. She wanted a grandmaster. Nerevar agreed. He grew ambitious after this and decided that he should be the new grandmaster. He asked Somiek to step down. Somiek had planned on retiring from his position anyway and considered Nerevar an honorable and worthy successor. He then named Nerevar grandmaster of house Indoril. And the rest is history...

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:52 PM

Section: Jokes & riddles

Written by Unknown (Michael Edwards)

yrodillic Riddles

A collection of riddles from Cyrodiil. Traditionally, when a guest is to stay the night in a home of anyone, courtesy dictates
that the hosts provide an activity for everyone to relax after a (presumably) hard days work. Riddles quickly became the
pastime of choice as they were challenging, and could last all evening easily if one knew enough. Riddles come in all
forms, easy and difficult, and I hope to present an accurate selection of these in this collection.

I am persuasive, yet I use no words.
Thy gold, thy wit, thy wisdom, all these can I steal, yet I am neither man nor beast.
Many call me thief, but I am invited into the homes of all.
What am I?

By day, I am the silent stalker, yet I am banished by night.
I have no voice, yet I announce your presence to all but the blind.
What am I?

Given an hour with love and care, I can attract all,
yet leave me but half an hour longer, and I repulse them.

I am the scabbard for the most deadly of weapons.
All have it, few use it.
What am I?

A great race was to be run, and all of the contestants were lining up. The wizard, the warrior, and the thief were all to take part in it. Five miles were they to run, from the Temple to the foot of the mountain. Each was to be rewarded in their own way; the warrior with a sword, the wizard with a staff, and the thief with his life and freedom. The Wizard boasted of his magical skills, which would allow him to teleport to the end with great speed. The Warrior boasted of his great strength and endurance, which would surely see him to the finish. The thief had no skill in magic or great strength, but had already the gleam of a winner upon his face. The three contestants lined up at noon, and when the race began the wizard instantly teleported to the finish.
Yet the thief still won, how?


wodahS A
eriF eht no taeM
llukS A
The wizard indeed reached the end first, but the thief escaped during the course of the five mile race, and won his life and freedom.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:53 PM

Section: Jokes & Riddles

Written by Pedrias Gasaan (UberJordan)

I have traveled the land hearing many a racial slur, but none more often than that of the Orc.

The amount of jokes about them seems endless.
Here are a few of the many.
I in no way intend this to offend Orcs or those who are connected with them. I am quite fond of the Orcish myself, this is simply a compilation of that which is against them.

- Pedrias Gasaan
What do you call a Nord euphoric and infuriated from consuming excess amounts of mazte?

An Orc
The Altmer counts 10, the Argonian counts 10, and the Orc counts 10. What is wrong here?

Orcs cannot count.
What do you call an Orc who can read and write?

How do you tell the difference between an Orc male and an Orc female?

You can't!
An Orc ties the straps on his boots. This makes him?

I must say, Orcs are good for something. Their armourers are second to none.
At what?

Draining Imperial funding!
Why did the Orc die in the wilderness?

He mistook an Ogrim for his wife.
What do you call an Orc in an Imperial jail?
A problem
What do you call every Orc in Tamriel in Imperial Jail?
Problem solved.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:55 PM

Section: Jokes & Riddles

Written by Nevral Ter (Oni_Tora_)

A Compilation of Jokes and Racial Phrases
by Nevral Ter

I have traveled a lot in my life, and I have encountered many different types of people. With these meetings, I have heard racial comments, many of which were made at me. I have written down some of the less rude of these. I in no way intend to offend anyone.

What do you call a sober Nord?

You‘re in more trouble than a Kahjiit in a Dunmer fur company!”
What do you call an Orc in a tree?

Why did the Orc have to walk?

He broke his horse
What do you call a Bosmer with nice belongings?

A thief
Why wasn’t the Orc hungry?

He had just visited a farm
Why didn’t the Dunmer have any slaves?

He was one
Why did the Nord leave the bar?

He was being escorted out.
“You’re working harder than an Argonian on a plantation!”

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:57 PM

Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Vorian (Perseus)

72 Lessons of Leadership
Written by Vorian (Allegedly a disciple of Sotha Sil)

A dumb friend is worse than a cunning foe.

A realm, built on power, cannot call upon the love and loyalty that people give to to a regime of ideas and beauty. Enhance your realm with beauty and culture.

A secret is worth most when kept secret. If it remains secret, it needs no evidence to be proved.

A stone is heavy. Sand even more so. But the wrath of a fool is much heavier.

A surplus of knowledge never leads to simple decisions.

All is ruled by four things: the teachings of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the just and the courage of the brave.

Always expecting danger means always being prepared. Only those that are prepared may expect to survive.

An enemy you admire easily strikes fear into your heart.

Any law turned absolute is absolutely invalid.

As with many dishes, revenge is at its best when taken slowly after much preparation.

Bravery is the choice between being a coward for a minute or dead hero forever.

Conquerors despise the conquered because they allowed themselves to be defeated.

Diplomats are chosen for their ability to lie.

Enemies strengthen you. Allies weaken you.

Even the poorest can be rich of loyalty. Loyalty paid through bribery and wages is empty and weak. Loyalty that comes from the heart is stronger than adamantium and more valuable than diamonds.

Every individual is part of a whole.

Every ruler inevitably becomes responsible for his subjects.

Everyone is a possible enemy. Every place a possible battlefield.

Expect the unexpected, but only the unexpected that will take place.

Followers should always consider their leader greater than themselves, why else would they follow?

Good leadership is mostly invisible. If everything goes well, no one will notice the leaders' work. That's why he must give his subjects something to cheer about, something to discuss, something to remember.

History has rarely been kind to those that deserved punishment.

History shows the undeniable. Unfortunately, it shows it too late.

Honor cannot be bought.

Hope is the most powerful weapon the trampled have, though it is the greatest enemy of those that face destruction.

Humiliation is never forgotten.

If things went well and got better, it would be better if things went well again.

If you surrender, you have lost. If you try, regardless of the odds, you at least succeeded in trying.

It is hard to make power beloved. That is the dilemma of every ruler.

It is no secret that we all carry secrets. Though they are not all as secret as we might want them to be.

It's true that someone may become rich by practicing evil. But the power of truth and justice is that they last.

Knowing what you are supposed to do is never enough.

Lack of motion is often mistaken for peace.

Law surpresses the weak and supports the strong.

Leaders generally are fortunate so few of their subjects realize he rules by their approval.

Leaders often do not accept the practical use of imagination and original, new ideas, until it is brought to them by bloody hands.

Memory and history are two sides of the same coin. Over time however, history will turn to a more positive impression of what happened. Memory however has the painful task of preserving the worst aspects.

Military victories mean nothing, unless they represent the wishes of the people. A ruler only exists to unfold these wishes. He executes the will of the people, or will not rule for long.

One cannot hide from history. Or one's nature.

One moment of incapacity can be fatal.

One of the responsibilities of government is punishment. But only if the victim asks for it.

One uses power by holding her loosely. Use it too forcefully and you will fall to it and become its victim.

Only a fool leaves behind witnesses.

Only one form of science exists to man. Dissatisfaction.

Organisational structure is vital to the success of a movement. It is also the first target to be attacked.

Pay your spies well. One good spy is worth more than a thousand soldiers.

Peace is not always the same as stability. Stability is not always harmonic and it is never far from chaos.

Politics is the art of appearing as honost as possible and still being able to hide a great deal.

Power is the least stable goal that can be reached. Belief and power excommunicate eachother.

Renewing and daring actions bring forth heroes. Thoughtlessly following dated rules brings forth only politicians.

Secrets are an important side of power. An effective leader spreads them to control his people.

Some lies are easier to believe than the truth.

Sometimes, doing something wrong is better than doing nothing at all.

Speak the truth, for that is much easier and often the most powerful argument.

Storms cause storms. Revenge causes revenge. War causes war.

Support strength, never weakness.

The enemy that is to be feared most is the one that looks like a friend.

The first fight that cannot be won has yet to take place.

The natural fate of power is fractionation.

The world was shaped by mistakes, accidents and chaos. And so it will be destroyed.

The worst protection is trust. The best protection is suspicion.

There are weapons hands cannot hold. They can only be wielded by the mind.

There is no way to share information without judgement.

Those confronted with a need to act, always have different possibilities. As long as the job gets done.

Those in power inevitably try to turn all new knowledge to their wishes. But knowledge cannot have any wishes. Neither in the past nor in the present.

Truth is a chameleon.

We do what we must. To hell with friendship and trust. We do what we must.

What is a man other than a memory for those that follow him?

What is shown is likely of less importance than all that remains hidden.

What senses do we miss that we cannot see or hear the other world everywhere around us?

When facing a choice, not choosing is just another choice.

When one is exercising vengeance, one must enjoy all moments of expectation because the actual performance usually differs greatly from the original plan.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:58 PM

Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Vorian (Perseus)

72 Lessons of Life
Written by Vorian (allegedly a disciple of Sotha Sil)

A life is nothing without a goal. Sometimes a goal becomes a man's whole life. But what if that goal is reached? O poor man, then what?

A man can fight his greatest enemy, make the longest journey, survive the severest of injuries, and still be helpless in the arms of the woman he loves.

A man is but a stone cast in a pond. And if a man is but a stone, all of his works cannot be more.

A man, who continues to sneak up on a beast in a place where there is none, can forever wait for results. Persistence while searching is not enough.

A mirror will never see itself.

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. It must be experienced in motion to have meaning.

Behold, o sentient being. You can create life. You take life. But see, you have no choice but to accept life. Therein lies your greatest strength and greatest weakness.

Dreams are as simple or complicated as the dreamer.

Each road that limits future possibilities can become a deadly trap. Men do not merely search their way through a maze, they gaze at a wide horizon full of unique possibilities.

Even the innocent carry their guilt. No one comes through life without paying in some way.

Every man dreams of the future, but it is not shown to us all.

Every path that is followed to its ending leads nowhere. One must climb a mountain far enough to see that it is a mountain, far enough to see where other mountains are. From the top of a mountain you cannot see the mountain.

Everything may seem to be simple, as long as it is still a dream.

Exploring is dangerous. But so is life. Someone unwilling to take risks, will never truly learn, will never grow and never really live.

Facts mean nothing when they are contradicted by phenomena. Never underestimate the power of impression rather than reality.

Fate and hope speak the same language.

Fear guides like a blind man with a stick. With his stick however he avoids holes in the ground.

Four things cannot be hidden: Love, smoke, a pillar of fire, and a man walking through the plains.

Going back the way you came is just another way of moving forward.

Hate is as dangerous a feeling as love. The capacity for one means capability to the other.

How easily can sadness turn to rage and resentment find its roots.

If one can accept his sins, he can live with them. If he cannot, he will suffer unbearable consequences.

If the center of the storm does not seem to move, you are on its path.

If you have examined your fears, they will become less frightening. A part of our bravery comes from gaining knowledge.

If you let go of a ladder, you may fall upwards.

Imperfection can, when lit correctly, be extremely valuable. This is because nothing in the universe is coincidental.

Infinity lures us as a shining ray in the night and blinds us to the abundance it can unleash on the finite.

Is it good to be human or more human to be evil?

It takes a desperate, lonely sort of courage to challenge accepted insights on which society rests.

Look within yourself, and you will see the universe.

Love is the highest reachable goal for all. It is an emotion that captures the full depth of heart, soul, and spirit.

Luck travels everywhere.

Miracles and coincidence are side effects of life and reality.

Nature makes its mistakes. Good and evil are human categories.

Never be in company of those you would not want to die with.

Never underestimate the ability of the mind to believe what it wishes. No matter how the facts differ.

Nothing exists without its opposite.

One cannot drink from a mirage, though one can drown in one.

One looks at the survivors and learns of them.

Paradise on the right, hell on the left and an angel of death behind me.

Reality is always one step ahead of logic.

Rule out the impossible. What remains is the truth.

Sadness travels everywhere.

Specific knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage. If you take it too far, you end up on a road you can no longer explain.

Standing on the top of the mountain will not help you find your feet.

Staying alive is not equal to living.

The best way to keep a secret is to let one believe he already knows the answer.

The day you stop learning, you will die.

The ego is no more than a piece of consciousness that floats in an ocean of darkness. We ourselves are the mystery.

The goal of reasoning is changing the nature of truth.

The greatest problems in life cannot be solved. One can only grow beyond them.

The greatest question in life is: Who am I?

The haughty only build castle walls in which they can hide their doubt and fear.

The highest function of science is understanding consequences.

The individual is always shocked discovering its mortality.

The key to discovering is imagination.

The less we know, the longer the explanation.

The mystery of life is no problem to solve but a reality to experience.

The power to learn is a talent. The ability to learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice.

The ultimate question: Why does life exist? The answer: For life's sake.

The universe is our image. Only naive individuals imagine that it is the way they think it is.

The unknown surrounds us at all times. That is where we turn for knowledge.

There is no reality. Only order you create and force on everything.

Things that never happen will happen. They just take more time.

Thinking and ways in which thoughts are transferred inevitably create a system that is filled with illusion.

Those that laugh alone in the middle of the night are thinking of their own evil.

To every question there are ten new questions but only one answer.

Trust everyone, and you will not live long. Trust no one, and you will not know friendship.

We are trained to believe. Not to know.

Why look for a meaning that does not exist? Would you follow a path that leads you nowhere?

You with fear in your heart, be strong and fear not. See, your god will come, and how! He will come and save you from the blasphemists.

Your mind knows, your soul feels, and your spirit guides. However, you may never know where feelings guide you.


72 Lessons of Leadership
Written by Vorian (Allegedly a disciple of Sotha Sil)

A dumb friend is worse than a cunning foe.

A realm, built on power, cannot call upon the love and loyalty that people give to a regime of ideas and beauty. Enhance your realm with beauty and culture.

A secret is worth most when kept secret. If it remains secret, it needs no evidence to be proved.

A stone is heavy. Sand even more so. But the wrath of a fool is much heavier.

A surplus of knowledge never leads to simple decisions.

All is ruled by four things: the teachings of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the just and the courage of the brave.

Always expecting danger means always being prepared. Only those that are prepared may expect to survive.

An enemy you admire easily strikes fear into your heart.

Any law turned absolute is absolutely invalid.

As with many dishes, revenge is at its best when taken slowly after much preparation.

Bravery is the choice between being a coward for a minute or dead hero forever.

Conquerors despise the conquered because they allowed themselves to be defeated.

Diplomats are chosen for their ability to lie.

Enemies strengthen you. Allies weaken you.

Even the poorest can be rich of loyalty. Loyalty paid through bribery and wages is empty and weak. Loyalty that comes from the heart is stronger than adamantium and more valuable than diamonds.

Every individual is part of a whole.

Every ruler inevitably becomes responsible for his subjects.

Everyone is a possible enemy. Every place is a possible battlefield.

Expect the unexpected but only the unexpected that will take place.

Followers should always consider their leader greater than themselves, why else would they follow?

Good leadership is mostly invisible. If everything goes well, no one will notice the leaders' work. That's why he must give his subjects something to cheer about, something to discuss, something to remember.

History has rarely been kind to those that deserved punishment.

History shows the undeniable. Unfortunately, it shows it too late.

Honor cannot be bought.

Hope is the most powerful weapon the trampled have, though it is the greatest enemy of those that face destruction.

Humiliation is never forgotten.

If things went well and got better, it would be better if things went well again.

If you surrender, you have lost. If you try, regardless of the odds, you at least succeeded in trying.

It is hard to make power beloved. That is the dilemma of every ruler.

It is no secret that we all carry secrets, though they are not all as secret as we might want them to be.

It's true that someone may become rich by practicing evil. But the power of truth and justice is that they last.

Knowing what you are supposed to do is never enough.

Lack of motion is often mistaken for peace.

Law suppresses the weak and supports the strong.

Leaders generally are fortunate so few of their subjects realize he rules by their approval.

Leaders often do not accept the practical use of imagination and original, new ideas, until it is brought to them by bloody hands.

Memory and history are two sides of the same coin. Over time however, history will turn to a more positive impression of what happened. Memory however has the painful task of preserving the worst aspects.

Military victories mean nothing, unless they represent the wishes of the people. A ruler only exists to unfold these wishes. He executes the will of the people or will not rule for long.

One cannot hide from history or one's nature.

One moment of incapacity can be fatal.

One of the responsibilities of government is punishment but only if the victim asks for it.

One uses power by holding her loosely. Use it too forcefully, and you will fall to it and become its victim.

Only a fool leaves behind witnesses.

Only one form of science exists to man, dissatisfaction.

Organizational structure is vital to the success of a movement. It is also the first target to be attacked.

Pay your spies well. One good spy is worth more than a thousand soldiers.

Peace is not always the same as stability. Stability is not always harmony, and it is never far from chaos.

Politics is the art of appearing as honest as possible and still being able to hide a great deal.

Power is the least stable goal that can be reached. Belief and power excommunicate each other.

Renewing and daring actions bring forth heroes. Thoughtlessly following dated rules brings forth only politicians.

Secrets are an important side of power. An effective leader spreads them to control his people.

Some lies are easier to believe than the truth.

Sometimes, doing something wrong is better than doing nothing at all.

Speak the truth for that is much easier and often the most powerful argument.

Storms cause storms. Revenge causes revenge. War causes war.

Support strength, never weakness.

The enemy that is to be feared most is the one that looks like a friend.

The first fight that cannot be won has yet to take place.

The natural fate of power is fractionation.

The world was shaped by mistakes, accidents, and chaos. And so it will be destroyed.

The worst protection is trust. The best protection is suspicion.

There are weapons hands cannot hold. They can only be wielded by the mind.

There is no way to share information without judgment.

Those confronted with a need to act, always have different possibilities, as long as the job gets done.

Those in power inevitably try to turn all new knowledge to their wishes. But knowledge cannot have any wishes. Neither in the past nor in the present.

Truth is a chameleon.

We do what we must. To hell with friendship and trust, we do what we must.

What is a man other than a memory for those that follow him?

What is shown is likely of less importance than all that remains hidden.

What senses do we miss that we cannot see or hear the other world everywhere around us?

When facing a choice, not choosing is just another choice.

When one is exercising vengeance, one must enjoy all moments of expectation because the actual performance usually differs greatly from the original plan.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 05:59 PM

Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Unknown (stargate525)

50 Lessons of War

1) An enemy of my enemy is a friend,
2) Such friends must not be trusted.

3) A friend of my enemy is also an enemy,
4) Unless he is more powerful than I am.

5) Speed is good,
6) Power is better,
7) Both are best.

8) Know the terrain before you attack it,
9) Know the terrain before you defend it,
10) Know the terrain before you cross it,
11) Know the terrain at all times.

12) A trustworthy friend is more powerful than a legion,
13) Defend them with all your power.

14) When you know your enemy, you hold the key to their defeat.

15) The best methods of war do not use weapons,
16) they use the people,
17) they use fear,
18) they use intimidation,
19) they use confusion.

20) A soldier's courage can be broken,
a sword’s cannot.

21) Train your forces in ranged warfare,
22) for if they can fell an enemy before they arrive,
There is no risk to them.

23) Diversify your forces,
24) So that if the enemy undermines one part of your force,
the entire command does not fall.

25) Know your enemy’s weaknesses,
26) Exploit it when at all possible

27) Show your enemies no mercy,
and they shall show none to you.

28) Show your enemies mercy,
and they shall defeat you.

29) The powerful do not always win,
30) for even the strongest enemy cannot hit what he cannot see.

31) Trust not to someone else,
what you can trust yourself to do.

32) Lose sight of your enemy,
and you may find him with a dagger to your back.

33) Seek the advice of others,
34) But do not trust such advice.

35) When victory is expected,
Defeat is twice as bitter.

36) Expect defeat,
and your victory will be twice as sweet.

37) Wise men are powerful,
38) But not all-powerful men are wise.

39) Expect the unexpected,
40) But do not let the expected surprise you.

41) Victory is a subtle term;
Victory is in the eyes of the beholder.

42) Anything is a weapon,
when used correctly.

43) Sometimes the most direct tactics are the best.

44) Do not let yourself be captured,
45) such a defeat is worse than death.

46) Death is foul,
47) But surrender is far worse.
48) Never have your back to anyone,
49) But do not keep your back to a wall

50) Superiority lies with the one who is best prepared.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:00 PM

Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by M'Ainp (Venom_X)

The “Truth”

Written by M’Ainp cousin of M’Aiq

In the province of Cyrodiil there are many interesting things to find and see. Here is a list of things that you should look for:

If you start in the exact middle of the capital and walk directly at High Fane’s Office in Vivec for five and a half miles, then you will find the Holy Boots of the Tribunal. These boots will increase all of your abilities by 10%.

There is a man in Skingrad who has a magical lamp that will give you any amount of gold you wish if you can bring it the mythical head of D’Roken.

Anvil was built on an ancient Daedric temple that was destroyed long before man existed. It is said that some of the true weapons of Daedra princes are still present in the temple. Be warned however that Daedra will not take kindly to you attempting to retrieve these weapons.

In Topal Bay there is a Dwemer ruin in which Kagrenac kept his books about his experiments.

There is a troll north of the city of Kyatch that will buy anything you have. He carries much money on him and purchases items at a fair price.

In Pale Pass there is a stone. There is only one key, and it is the star.

The Dwemer are not dead. They are out of phase with our reality.

Sheogorath has a spoon that is well hidden in Cyrodiil.

If you wish to battle while on your stead, then look to the north for the amulet, which is the key.

There is a head vampire in Cyrodiil who can only be killed by a silver throwing knife.

If you can find the true judge of man, then you will see the hammer fall upon the land.

The Tribunal were all vampires.

The Nine Divines stole their powers from their creator Tanoreth.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:03 PM

Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Polonius Rialle (Stargazey)

Oddities and Mysteries
As transcribed by Polonius Rialle and Murkus from an interview with M’Aiq the Liar

You want to know the secrets that M’Aiq knows? Fine. M’Aiq will tell you all he knows about the Oddities and mysteries of Morrowind.

The Mystery of the Dwarves-There is no mystery. M'Aiq knows all. The dwarves were here, and now they are not! They were very short folks... Or perhaps they were not. It all depends on your perspective. I'm sure they thought they were about the right height.

The Talking Mudcrab Merchant-M'Aiq has heard of this. They've got all the money. Mudcrabs taking over everything. They already run Pelagiad."

The Naked Barbarians of Morrowind- M’Aiq has heard of this. Foolish Nords becoming besotted with witches. M’Aiq has no sympathy for them. Serves them right.

Capn’s Guide to the Fishy Stick- M’Aiq has never read this book. However, M’Aiq loves fishy sticks and fishy stick sauce. In fact M’Aiq has some fishy sticks with him right now. Would you like one?

Ra’Gruzgob- M’Aiq has heard of this Orc who believes he is a Khajiit because he likes the sugar so much. This is foolish; all know that Orcs are nothing like Khajiit. M’Aiq thinks that the sugar is both a blessing and a curse.

Weresharks- I have only met one, and he was afraid of the water.

Dragons- Dragons? Oh, they're everywhere! You must fly very high to see most of them, though. The ones nearer the ground are very hard to see, being invisible.

Horses- Horses.... Oh, M'Aiq loves horses! Especially with good cream sauce."

Dual Wielding- Two blades at once? Well of course it is possible. M'Aiq can help you if you let him bite off your thumbs.

Mounted Combat- You want to fight from your horse. Are your feet so lazy that they will not bear you?

Thrown weapons and Crossbows in Cyrodiil- You want a Crossbow and throwing weapons? What is wrong with your bow? Does it not kill things far away? Honestly you young ones can never be satisfied, can you?

Fast Travel- Of course M’Aiq know what fast travel is. It is when M'Aiq has too much moon sugar and the Imperials are grouchy. But M'Aiq does not see what business that is of yours.

Skooma and Moonsugar in Cyrodiil- Well that depends. Do you know any Khajiits in Cyrodiil? Then yes, you can find Skooma and moonsugar.

Cliffracers- M’Aiq hates those damn birds. All they do is fly around and harass M’Aiq. M’Aiq has heard there are none in Cyrodiil. Perhaps M’Aiq will move to Cyrodiil.

Authors Note: My interview with M’Aiq the Liar was very tiring, as many of his answers are questions. The reason for the shortness of this book is my exasperation with M’Aiq.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:06 PM

Section: Plays

Written by Tis'Nael (Corryn)

T’Seca (Based on a True Story) - Author Tis’nael
(recovered by Corryn)

Act I

“But it’s ridiculous that you did nothing to that horrible Dunmer”

“T’Seca knows this, but there is nothing T’Seca can do”

Tish’Nal falls to her knees, sobbing, “What do you mean? You don’t have to fi..fight him; you did nothing to offend his honor and HE KNOWS IT! Just don’t..just don’t go!”

“T’Seca must fight him and T’Seca must fight by the rules of the duel.”

“But why? You know he just wants to…to hunt you! He always finds a way for a slave to insult him one way or another when he is bored! And...and with that bracer on your arm can’t fight back. Please, you must escape!”

“T’Seca escapes and his friends will be the ones to suffer. If T’Seca wins perhaps we can find new lives together. If T’Seca loses…please, do not cry.”

Tish’Nal lifts herself unsteadily to her feet.

“You still mu…no, no you wouldn’t leave any of us, would you?”

T’Seca smiles with a great sadness in his eyes.


With tears still welling up, she whimpers, “Even though you ca…cannot cast with that thing on your arm.”

T’Seca nods slowly.

“Even then, yes.”

T’Seca rises from his place and begins walking to the door. Tish’Nal hurries after him.

“You cannot follow,” T’Seca says, taking her gently by the shoulders. Smiling sadly, he moves her aside. “T’Seca will return for you; he promises.”

She droops back numbly against the wall and stares after him as his silhouette fades into the distance. “Please, come back,” she weeps toward his receding form.

Act II

T’Seca arrives at the field and sees the Dunmer slaver awaiting his arrival.

“So, Khajiit, you did not turn tail.” The Dunmer laughs, apparently amused by his own wit, then his eye catches an old dagger in T’Seca’s belt. “Oh, I see. I suppose it was too much to ask for a beast to remember the rules of a civilized duel.”

T’Seca ignores him, but stands ready to act.

The Dunmer pauses briefly then, while pacing in a slow circle around T’Seca, and continues with a patronizing grin, “It was my honor, after all, that was offended, Khajiit, and I chose magic to decide this contest. If you strike me with that piece of scrap metal, you forfeit,” the Dunmer scowls abruptly, “And I will see to it that the rest of your pitiful lot suffer greatly for my pains.”

T’Seca growls and lifts the blade in the air.

The Dunmer grins once more. “So much for your innate Khajiiti sense of honor. Very well. If you care so little about their fates then I see no reason to prolong this dispute. Time for me to end this.” Deep blue begins to shine from behind his eyes and the air hisses and pops as energy builds around him into blinding light.

“For Tish’Nal” T’Seca whispers and swiftly drives his blade forward. There is a soft thud and T’Seca cries out in pain.

“What…what did you do?” stammers the Dunmer, taken aback and too surprised to react. T’Seca raises his arm clutching it and gasping in pain. Slowly he slides the bracer past the ruin at the end of his arm. T’Seca rises slowly and begins to growl, moving toward the dismayed slaver.

“You can’t have…you…your own hand!” The Dunmer falteres, but then realizing T’Seca was moving toward him releases a bolt of bright energy from his fingertips in panic. To his dismay it splashes harmlessly around T’Seca as wisps of smoke trail away from the shield surrounding him.

T’Seca raises his intact hand and ethereal flames begin to dance around in his closed grasp, “Such horrible deeds you have wrought, and even now you have no remorse.” He opens his palm as the flames flow outward, and the roar drowns out the shrieking Dunmer’s last words.

T’Seca reaches down to the body and lifts a key on a chain from around the Dunmer’s neck. He places it in a pouch and, wincing, supports his damaged hand. “Now, the others and Tish’Nal need not pay such a high price.” He turns slowly and limps back toward the distant huts where a figure stands in a doorway, weathering the chill of the morning and awaiting his return.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:07 PM

Section: Plays

Written by Stagerunner (Stargate525)

The Lord’s Mail
A Play in One Act
By Stagerunner

Stage is set with two chairs, a table in between them. Miscellaneous homely furniture and decor can be used also. a little to stage right is a doorway. This is where most of the action takes place. the characters are as follows:

Dargon Lethro: (DL) Dark Elf mailman with a short temper, very committed to his work.
Sucha Methro: (SM) High Elf maid for the Sethra household. Very determined and stubborn, dumb and hard of hearing.
Raynes Sethro: (RS) Lord of the manor
Gildor Sethro: (GS) Raynes’ brother
Lipal Sethro: (LS) Daughter of Raynes Sethro.

(DL comes to the door. he pauses slightly, then knocks. SM hurries over to answer it.)
DL: Cyrodiil postal. I seek a ‘Raynes Sethro’.
SM: Who?
DL: (slightly louder) Raynes Sethro.
SM: What did you say?
DL: (half-shouting) RAYNES SETHRO.
SM: Okay, Alright. No need to shout. You cannot see Lord Sethro.
DL: Why not?
SM: he is currently away to see someone.
DL: May I inquire as to who? This package is very important.
SM: Indie.
DL: Indie? Indie who?
SM: Indie Bas Ment. He said he would go see Indie Bas Ment.
DL: (exasperated) May I come in and wait? I have the Lord’s mail.
GS: (running on stage with a shout) YOU DO?!
DL: Of course I do.
GS: Give it to me! It is an important legacy.
DL: (confused) The Lord’s mail?
GS: Of course it is boy! Haven't you heard the legends? The Lord’s Mail can stop all kind of blows. It’s enchanted!
DL: (Examines the package closely) This? The Lord’s mail can do that?
GS: (confused) what is that? (Realizing the misunderstanding) Oh, you meant...and I thought... (slumps into chair, disappointed) Oh. Sucha, who is this anyway?
SM: This is Daynes Rethso, he wants to see Mr. Sethro... Wait, I’m not married. YOU! (Grabs broom and starts chasing DL.) TAKING ADVANTAGE OF AN OLD WOMAN, YOU LADYCHASER! (Continues to rant and chase DL around the room until LS enters.)
LS: What in all of Tamriel is going on here?!
SM: I am TRYING to get rid of this ladycaser!
LS: Him? He’s the Mailman!
SM: He most certainly is not a frail man; I must have hit him a dozen times by now! (Continues to chase DL until LS snatches broom from SM)
LS: Now Sucha quit harassing this man! (to LS) Why exactly are you here?
DL: I...I... need to deliver this package.
LS: What is it?
DL: (sarcastic) Do I look like a Telvanni? I just deliver the package, not see what it is.
LS: Will you give it to me?
DL: Sorry, but I can only give this to the one it’s addressed to; Lord Sethro.
SM: Then you’re in the wrong place, Lord Kethro’s manor is in Cyrodiil.
RS:(coming up from basement) What’s all the racket?
LS and GS: (in unison) He’s come to deliver the mail.
RS: What male? I am a firm abolitionist. If someone has sent me a slave then I’m afraid I’ll have to...
LS: (soothingly) it’s just a package father.
RS: Oh, well in that case... (Takes package from DL and opens it, pulling out a chain mail shirt) I don’t believe it... it’s the Lord’s Mail!
All except RS: WE KNOW!


Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:08 PM

Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Corryn (Corryn)

Deep Thoughts of a Bosmer - Author Corryn

A Foreign land will always have a strange feel,
The food is unusual and can make your head reel,
But if you seek good cuisine, I'll make you a deal,
Come to Valenwood where you are the meal.

We Bosmer are often spoken of with dread,
But don't let these rumors go to your head,
If you see us, approach and tell us instead,
Whether you go better together with white wine or red.

But do not fear I have already ate,
Though we may meet at some later date,
And then my hunger will determine your fate,
If you’re a guest at my table, or food on my plate.

I once met a man that thought he could fly,
but no man without magic can soar in the sky,
And though I knew he wouldn't live from so high,
My stomach was grumbling and dinner was nigh.

Remember in life you must seek for the, light
To face the dark horrors and fear of no fright,
And strive to overcome and do what is right,
But right now I'm hungry so put up no fight.

Poetry is wonderful and this has been quite fun,
But it seems our time is up and now I have to run,
You may expect one last joke, alas that I have none,
The time for laughing is over now, the feasting has begun.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:11 PM

Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Rhense (Corryn)

In Sanity – Author Rhense

A wanderer walked in the wild
Seeking long for an ancient path
He met a man that seemed most riled
And who did shriek “I’m Sheogorath”.

“A god holds scorn for a false claim”
“I am the dam dog or can’t you tell”
“Have you proof you bear his name”
So then the man did loudly yell

“I am Sheogorath I do not die”
And with a blade he stabbed his thigh
The Wanderer said “Please let me try”
And when no darkness cloud his eye
He leapt from his place and aloud did cry
“Oh now I recall that so am I.”

It is good to meet me once again,
But I hesitate to call me friend,
While I must continue on my stroll,
I believe that is my purse I stole.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:14 PM

Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Unknown (Yipsl)

"Cyrodiil Horseman's Lament":

"My horse he doesn't fight,
yea, you got that right,
and he runs away and hides all day,
when the villain comes in sight.

My horse he doesn't pray,
To the Nine Divines I say!
He casts no spell to help or heal,
But carries me with a hoof and a neigh.

My horse he doesn't steal,
He cannot make a deal.
He picks no locks, just eats the shocks,
And waits in night's gray keel.

My horse, he cannot mix,
Alchemy’s odd tricks.
He just eats the roots,
of plants and their shoots.

My horse he gets me there,
I paid for him quite fair,
He looks so fine in that stable of mine,
And prances without a care!"

The above is an occasionally heard bar room song lamenting how horses really aren't much use to any profession beyond looking nice and getting you where you're going.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:15 PM

Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Jules (Stargate525)

The Road
by Jules

The road forever does wear on
Running along its way
although it may be used often
or fall into decay.

The road does not care whether it’s used
or whether it falls apart
for it will still travel
the way it has always
Right from the end to the start.

Although it may wither, rot and decay,
the road shall persevere
and a trait so admirable
in an object so common
is a trait that should be revered

the road may be forgotten
in the passing of years
But that doesn't mean it isn’t there
Waiting to be used again

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:16 PM

Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Maloki Frun (Oni_Tora_)

Post-War Sonnet

As I walk through the field of the dead
They lay there, so still, as in a peaceful slumber
Their blood stains the land crimson red
So peaceful is the moonlit night of summer
And I pity those that still struggle and still strive
To hang onto life even as they bleed it away
Just to think of their homes to which they will never arrive
For they came onto this field, and in it they will stay
This is the atrocity of post-war
Lives spent for some un reached goal
Which may never be reached, but still worth dying for
And dead though the body still lives the soul
These soldiers have paid a price they cannot afford
And he who lives by the sword dies by the sword

- Maloki Frun

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:17 PM

[B]Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Common Drunkards (Oni_Tora_)[B]

A Drinking Song
-Some drunkard

As long as there be good ale in me cup,
there’ll be good ale in me belly!
And as long as there be coin in me purse,
there’ll be good ale in me cup!
And when me purse be void of coin,
I shall not go peacefully,
I'll fling a chair and start a bout
and get me self kicked out!
But if me purse remains full
into the wee hours of night,
And last call is passed around
I'll stumble around town
Until me house be found,
And as I throw me self into me bed
I'll think of the morning horrors of me pounding head!

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:19 PM

Section: Race-specific Text

Written by Tillius Hunius (JulZ)

The Sub-races of the Khajiit
By Tillius Hunius

This book was written as a guide for Imperial merchants traveling in Elsweyr. The Khajiit are one of Tamriel’s three races of Betmer, or beast races, the other two being the Orcs and the Argonians. However, unlike these two, the Khajiit come in a variety of forms or sub-races. The sub-race of a Khajiit kitten is decided by the moons’ positions when he or she is born. It is important for one who frequently deals with them to be able to tell the difference between the sub-races, and this book should help you in this.
-Tillius Hunius

The Ohmes are the most man-like, or rather, mer-like, Khajiit. They are born when Masser is new and Secunda is full, and are very easily mistaken for Wood Elves, but they do not like this comparison at all themselves. Luckily, many Ohmes tattoo their faces to show their true identity. This makes it easier for the untrained eye to recognize an Ohmes Khajiit for what it truly is.

The Ohmes-Raht look much like the Ohmes, but they have tails, light fur and slightly more feline features. They are born when Masser is new and Secunda is waxing.

These Khajiit look like bipedal cats with slightly more humanoid limbs. They are nearly the same size as the Ohmes. They are born when both moons are full. They are, perhaps, the ultimate thieves — small, agile, fast, silent and have, like all Khajiit, very good night vision. They are often encountered outside of their homeland. As Khajiit have difficulties understanding the meaning of ‘property’, the Suthay are a sub-race to be feared if you have your possessions dear.

The Suthay-Raht are nearly indistinguishable from the Suthay, except for the fact that they are slightly larger. They are born when Masser is new and Secunda is waning.

These Khajiit have leopard-patterned fur, and share some traits with this exotic creature. They are bipedal; their physique reminds of the Suthay and Suthay-Raht. They are born when Masser is waxing and Secunda is full. They have a warrior’s strength, and this is indeed what most Cathay are.

Cathay-Raht are similar to the Cathay, but are even bigger, stronger and more ferocious. They are born when both moons are waxing.

My sources know very little of these Khajiit; only that they are born when Masser is waxing and Secunda is new, and that they are resident of the Tenmar jungle.

Again, my sources know little of these. They are, as I have been informed by a somewhat reliable Wood Elf, born when Masser is waxing and Secunda is waning.

These are very similar to tigers. They are born when Masser is full and Secunda is new.

These look like the Pahmar, only larger and stronger. They are born when Masser is full and Secunda is waning.

These are similar to the Pahmar-Raht, but stand as tall as a High Elf, and can weigh as much as twenty! They are born when both moons are full, and the more bipedal of the Khajiit forms ride them like horses.

These huge creatures are known to most Imperials as “battlecats”, and can be twice the size of a Senche! They share many of these’s physical traits, but have straighter legs and shorter body (Relative to size, of course). They are born when Masser is full and Secunda is waxing, and like the Senche are used as steeds.

These look much like regular domesticated Imperial cats, but can understand human speech (though they are unable to speak it themselves). They are born when Masser is waning and Secunda is new. Some Wood Elves claim they have strong spellcasting abilities, but this is very unlikely.

Like the Alfiq, but larger, up to the size of a small dog. They are born when Masser is waning and Secunda is waxing. As with the Alfiq, I have been told they have a talent for spellcasting.

I have heard of this sub-race, but they likely live in some out-of-the-way part of Elsweyr, perhaps in the Tenmar jungle, if they exist at all, because my sources knew nothing about them. I have read in a Khajiiti lorebook that they are born when Masser is waning and Secunda is new.

These are as mysterious to me as the Dagi, but I believe they are born when both moons are waning.

The Mane
The Mane is believed to be a unique sub-race, consisting of only one individual, namely the Khajiit’s spiritual leader, bearing the name of his sub-race. The Mane is an important character to the Khajiit.

I hope this book can be of aid to any explorers traveling in the Khajiit’s province of Elsweyr.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:20 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Le-Ran (Argonians Rule)

Tale of a Drunken Orc

Written by Re-Lan

Part I

Glishnak sat up in the field he had been sleeping in. The effects of flin had muddled his simple mind. The burly orc sat for a few minutes, trying to recall where he was. Soon, it all came flooding back to memory. He was in Cyrodiil, spending large amounts of gold on alcoholic beverages when a nobleman had approached him. The man had asked him to fetch a case of flin from a nearby town in exchange for fifty pieces of gold. Glishnak had agreed, and had retrieved the flin; unfortunately he proceeded to drink it’s contents while returning to the nobleman. A few minutes later, he had stumbled into the field and had passed out. As this came back to him, Glishnak grew worried. He knew the nobleman would soon wonder what happened to an entire case of expensive flin. Glishnak wandered to the nearest town, cautious, as he suspected that the nobleman had sent someone to retrieve him.

Then, an unfamiliar figure approached Glishnak and said, "Here, orc, I believe you are in need of a case of flin. I can help you. All that you must do is defeat an evil warlock by the name of Galmor."

Glishnak agreed instantly, taking no time to consider this blasphemous offer, but said, "Wait, me have no weapons to fight bad guy."

“Here, take this. It’s called the fork of horripilation," the man answered. Glishnak took the fork and, without another word, set out to the East. He had walked just short of a hundred yards when the man caught up to Glishnak and said, “Wait, orc. It would be wise to look in the West.” And so the half-sober orc walked heroically into the sunset with the fork of horripilation in his hand, with no clue as to where to find Galmor.

Part II

Glishnak soon grew hungry. He had been walking westward for nearly three days, and was now traveling through a deeply wooded area. However, the man had advised him to search in the West, and hadn't mentioned eating or sleeping; Glishnak had interpreted this to mean that he must continue heading westward, and that no eating or sleeping was permitted. Finally, malnourished and exhausted, Glishnak collapsed.

"Oi, I foun’ some’n!"
"Aye, iss one o’ dem orcs."
"Shou’we eat ‘im?"
"Nah, me ol’ mum told me never to eat an orc. That she did."

Glishnak awoke to see two scruffy-looking men standing over him. He didn't notice the obvious signs that they were bandits, and just assumed that they were two travelers.
"Can you help me up?"
"Oi! He's aloive!"
"Le’s kill ‘im!"

Glishnak's minuscule brain began working as he heard those words. First he thought, I'm thirsty. At that moment, he noticed a puddle at his feet. He bent down to drink just as the first bandit’s sword cleaved through the air; however, as he was hunched over, the bandit's sword sliced straight above him and through his partner’s neck, decapitating him. This didn’t stop him, however. He returned with another, vertical slash. At this time, however, Glishnak slipped in the puddle because of his lack of balance. The swipe missed once again. Suddenly, Glishnak’s short attention span shifted in thought, and decided it would be fun to roll in the mud. As he rolled, the bandit’s lunge failed even to graze his skin. The bandit had lunged too far; his blade stuck in the ground, and Glishnak stood up as the bandit attempted to free his blade. Glishnak spotted a pack of food on the bandit's back and thought, me already sleep; no harm in eating. With that he drew the mighty fork and stabbed at an apple in the pack, but due to lack of any kind of skill he missed and got the bandit in the neck, effectively slaying him. Glishnak proceeded to eat all of the food, then lay down and dozed off. When he awoke, he noticed the decapitated bandit had a pack full of stolen brandy. Glishnak drank the entire pack, and then staggered down the path on his quest to kill the warlock and earn himself a case of flin.

Part III

Glishnak was still walking on the path. It had been two days since he had run into the bandits, and nothing eventful had happened. He noticed a trapdoor in the middle of the path, and proceeded to open in and jump inside. Once inside, he noticed it had led to a massive cavern. Deeper in the cavern was a massive Daedric shrine. He continued forward only to hear a voice:

"So someone has finally come. What is your name, orc?"
"Me Glishnak, what you?" replied Glishnak
"I am Galmor," said the voice.

Glishnak strained to remember where he had heard this name before. Then it returned to him.

"Me on quest to kill you," Glishnak replied heartily.

At that moment, a tall, gaunt Dunmer emerged from behind a wooden pillar. It was after the Dunmer emerged that Glishnak noticed the large wooden beam supporting the shrine.

"What wooden thing?" asked Glishnak.
"That is a support beam. I am using it to construct my own Daedric shrine. Until it is complete, that beam is the only thing keeping this shrine erect. Now enough questions. Die, filthy orc," exclaimed the warlock.

Galmor summoned a Dremora from Oblivion, which proceeded to attack Glishnak with a massive warhammer of Daedric craft. The hammer hit his skull repeatedly until the summoning’s duration dissipated, and the Dremora returned to Oblivion. However, Glishnak's thick skull took the beating without so much as a crack. Galmor then used sorcery to drain Glishnak’s intelligence, hoping to reduce Glishnak to a babbling mess. This had little effect on Glishnak’s already low mentality. Galmor was growing worried; he decided he wouldn't be able to defeat the orc, and cast a spell of sound to make a quick distraction while he ran. Glishnak had awoken nearly every day of his life with a hangover and thus wasn’t bothered by the sound. He chased Galmor through the shrine, fork in hand, attempting to stab Galmor. Finally, after nearly a quarter of an hour of chasing him, Glishnak grew frustrated. He saw the beam and kicked it in anger, causing the shrine to begin caving in on itself. Using pure instinct, he knew to escape and was able to run out the trapdoor just before the shrine collapsed. Galmor wasn’t as fortunate, his last thoughts being, why in the world didn't I have more than one support beam!?

Glishnak returned to the East along the path, and eventually reached the town in which his quest began. He entered the tavern in which he had met the strange man. At the sight of Glishnak, he smiled and exclaimed, "Ah, my friend, you have returned! It was quite enjoyable, watching your adventures."
"How you watch me?" Glishnak said, with a confused look on his face.
"Why, I am lord Sheogorath. I will now take back the mighty fork and give you your case of flin."

He then vanished into thin air. Glishnak didn't think much of having met a Daedric prince. But then again, he didn't think much at all. Glishnak took the case of flin and instantly drank it, having forgotten why he needed it in the first place. He then stumbled into an alley and passed out, living out the rest of the night in blissful ignorance.


Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:24 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Xerxys (Troika)

The Nobleman's Daughter

Written by Xerxys

Some years ago, there lived the daughter of a wealthy nobleman, the only child the nobleman had fathered before his wife had died. She was a pretty girl, but found the would-be suitors of her town rough and boorish, and not at all what she, or her proud father, was looking for in a husband.

Time drew steadily on, and, upon the daughter's 21st birthday, her father consulted the local alchemist, to see if there was any way to help along the process of finding his daughter a good husband.

"Take these seeds," said the wise old woman, who was really much more of a witch than an alchemist, "And when the man who is truly right for your young one first enters her life, only then will the seeds grow." The nobleman looked at the handful of small, dried brown seeds doubtfully, but was reminded of how his daughter's youth was quickly fading, and how he still had no heir to his title.

The daughter, most excited at the witch's plan, planted the seeds immediately in a small pot. She then proceeded to carry the pot with her wherever she went. Being the only daughter of a nobleman, she knew not what it was to work, and so her lazy days were spent simply spending time with her friends or looking through the various shops of the town.

One morning, whilst she was in the town's most upper market a clothier, a tall, blond-haired man, whom she'd never seen before, walked in, carrying three large bolts of cloth. The nobleman's daughter thought that he must have been very strong to be able to carry such a large amount of bolts upon his broad shoulders, and once he had left, the nobleman's daughter immediately ran to the young shopkeeper, asking about the blonde-haired man.

"He is the deliverer of much of my stock. Upon the first morning of every month, he delivers whatever stock I need from the city to the North."

The nobleman's daughter continued to press the shopkeeper for information, who could sadly not provide much more than his name - Jargo. But it did not mater, for as soon as she had left the shop, the nobleman's daughter looked down and found that the first green shoot from her magical seeds had begun to poke through the earth.

Jargo was the man who would be her husband.

For the next month, she prepared and waited for the day when Jargo would once again return to the town. When the first day of the new month arrived, he seeds had all sprouted now, and were growing healthily. She made her way hastily to the clothier's shop, and after an hour of waiting and chatting with the shopkeeper, the door opened and in walked Jargo, with two bolts of cloth slung over his shoulder. Immediately, the nobleman's daughter tried her best to charm Jargo, saying good morning and fluttering her eyelashes until she thought she must have been looking as if something was very wrong with her.

Jargo simply returned the good morning, and went about his business, taking the gold from the shopkeeper and hastily leaving. The nobleman's daughter felt a little distraught; she had waited an entire month to once again meet with the man who would make a perfect husband, and he says little more than two words to her.

Needing some time to think about her predicament, she offers to help the shopkeeper put away the bolts of cloth. They were extremely heavy, much heavier than anything she'd had to lift before, but as she spoke with the shopkeeper, she decided to press on resolutely with her pursuit.

"I shall be here on the first day of every month until I have Jargo's heart," she proclaimed to the shopkeeper as she left to go home, her arms aching from all the lifting.

And so she did. Every month she would wait in the shop talking to Armund the clothier as she waited for Jargo to arrive. Every month they would get a little better acquainted, with the nobleman's daughter being as pretty and as charming as she could possibly be. Then each month, after Jargo had once again left, leaving the nobleman's daughter's heart behind with her, she would help in the shop a little, talking to Armund about her predicament.

The young shopkeeper would always agree with her suggestions of what she should do and say next month, nodding his head politely. Each month, the nobleman's daughter would help a little more in the shop, sorting out the spools of thread or organizing the half-completed items of clothing. The time allowed her to think about Jargo, her extremely vexing quarry.

After Jargo had walked out of the shop, without the nobleman's daughter, for the seventh time, she was feeling particularly upset. After helping put away the bolts of cloth (which she was now really quite good at doing), she asked Armund if she could go and lay on his bed upstairs for a while, feeling very sad that Jargo was still not responding to her advances.

Armund showed the nobleman's daughter upstairs, as she'd never been up here before, and offered her his small bed. It was very simple, with just a small table with a pot of red flowers beside it.

"How curious," mused the nobleman's daughter as she sat upon the bed. "I have a pot of the exact same flowers at home, yet they are not ordinary flowers."

"I know," replied Armund, his shyness becoming suddenly stronger. "And I know why you have these flowers. I too bought the enchanted seeds from the old alchemist. And mine sprouted the day you entered my shop." The nobleman's daughter was flustered. She suddenly laid down onto the bed, feeling very giddy.

"But... But, Jargo. My seeds grew for Jargo," she protested, remembering the strong, blonde-haired man whom she's spent no more than twenty minutes with in total over the last seven months.

"Was I too not in the shop that day?" It was of course true. The nobleman's daughter looked over the flowers, growing as strong and as healthily as hers grew at home. She then looked at Armund. He wasn't as handsome or as strapping as Jargo, but he has a kind face, and she enjoyed his company. She then began to laugh to herself.

"What is it?" asked Armund.

"I have waited seven months for my perfect man, and yet he has been here all the time. I really am very foolish."

The End

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:25 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

The Cursed Bow

By Forrest

Morning Star 5th : 7 in the morning-


Hylf Fork-Beard stepped out into the morning and breathed the fresh air. "Ah,another fine day in Riften." he said to himself. He wondered what he should do today. "I guess I could go hunting again" Hylf said to himself. He stepped back into his house grabbed his bow and quiver of arrows and stepped out again.
He walked across the hills,the trip he made just about every day of his life. Only today something was different. There was a strange feeling in the air. After walking for about five minutes he came across a group of people. Five of them. Hylf knew by the look in there eyes they were up to no good. "Hello there my Nordic friend. I can see that your bow has seen its share of battles. Could I interest you in this high quality Steel Longbow crafted by the finest Bosmer armorer." the young long-haired Bosmer said to Hylf. "My bow has been my friend for years,it was my fathers bow and his fathers. I have no interest in your so-called fine bow." Hylf said proudly.
Showing no further interest in the Bosmer or his friends he began to walk again. Spotting a bear off in a clearing Hylf equipped an arrow,rose his bow and aimed. "If you'll just allow me to demonstrate how well this fine bow works..." He was interupted by Hylf,who shot him a scowling look and put his finger to his lips motioning him to be quiet.
Hylf resumed to hunt his prey only to find the bear to have ambled off somewhere. "Are you happy now?" Hylf said,turning to the Wood Elf. "I guarantee,that if you would have used this bow then you would have got your kill" The Bosmer said defensively. Hylf turned and walked off. "I guess I'll have to demonstrate this weapon the hard way." he said raising the bow and arrow up and aiming it at Hylf. Hylf spun around and dodged the arrow just in time. He put his bow up and un-sheathed his Nordic Longsword.
"You messed with the wrong Nord." Hylf shouted. Racing to the Bosmer he slew him where he stood. The other four,in sheer terror turned and ran. Hylf crouched down to relieve his would-be-killer of his former possessions. He found sixty septims,a key,and a bottle of Cyrodiilic Brandy.
Hylf looted the body,and grabbed the bow,planning on selling it later,and returned home. Hylf thought of what had transpired in the past five minutes. He now realized that the Bosmer and his band of followers were bandits. Arriving at his shack,Hylf placed his bow on his shelf and leaned the looted one against the wall.
He then walked to the tavern to have some mead and chat with his brethren. Sipping away at his mead he told the bartender of his experience that morning. The bartender replied "That's strange,I got a report of a band of six were seen at Pale Pass yesterday. There was a Wood Elf like the one you described,three Bretons,an Argonian and a Khajiit. They were a suspicious looking bunch". Hylf turned this over in his mind a couple of times,dropped it completely from his mind and continued in drinking his mead.

Morning Star 5th : 6 in the evening-

Hylf,getting quite hungry thought he would go hunting again. He grabbed his father's bow and went out. He managed to get his dinner. Hylf returned home after he had slain his prey,when he opened the door there stood the Bosmer who killed earlier on. He was transparent and there was a strange glow about him. Hylf didn't know whetther it was the mead or if what he seeing was real. "You killed me and now I'll have my revenge! At exactly seven o' clock tommorrow morning you will die and your soul will be trapped in this bow unless you dispose of it" The ghostly Bosmer said. Hylf replied "Fine then,I'll throw it into the lake if it pleases you that much. I believe not in your childish superstitions but if it'll make you go away then fine". "Oh no,my Nordic friend you won't be able to!" At that moment a green ball shot forth,hit Hylf and froze hime where he stood. The Ghosth of the Bosmer vanished.
Hylf was getting restless,how many hours had it been? Two? Three? He couldn't tell. It was eating away at him. This was such a horrible way to go for a warrior such as he. When dawn came his fate was sealed,or so he was told. "Nonsense,I must have only injured that elf earlier today. He just cast a spell on me. He's just trying to scare me." He kept thinking to himself,making himself believe it was true.

Morning Star 6th : 6:58 in the morning-

Hylf was going mad,he hadn't been able to move for hours. He could see out his windo the sun slowly creeping up.Hylf looked down,and was horrified. The bow which he'd taken from the Wood Elf had blood stains on it,and was glowing. Hylf's eyes grew wide. He panicked. Suddenly the ghost of the Bosmer returned and said "The time has come,your soul belongs to the bow now!". Hylf,desperately trying to move,was terrified. Not of losing his soul. But of not dying an honorable death.
Hylf felt something pulling at him. Then he went blank. A body bent down and picked up the bow and said "Hmmmmm it's been a few thousand years since I've been a Nord but I'm sure it'll be better than that short Bosmer".

And so if you ever run into a shady person who is trying to sell you a bow then politely refuse and get away from him or who knows...Hylf and your fate could be the same.

The End

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:26 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Superum Lucretia Victrix (MadDocSkooma)

Tales of the Hermit Enchantress, Part 1
Superum Lucretia Victrix (MadDocSkooma)

This is the story of how I came to be the Hermit Enchantress Superum Lucretia Victrix. Some tales may sound embellished, and others actually are enhanced, as they say, but most are true. My time in the lands of Tamriel are growing short, I am an old woman now. But, if you take pleasure in the adventures of daring do and ne'er do wells then read on.

It all started when I was arrested as a young girl. The war effort had taken its toll on the local farms, and we were being rationed by the military. My family was hungry, and I did not believe the Imperial Guard would arrest a child for lifting a loaf of bread. I was sentenced to three days. Three days! For a loaf of bread? Me, a young imperial girl given three days for simply helping out my family? If ever I meet the Emperor I'd give him a piece of my mind, and more. That is what I had thought then. Oh to be young and brash and full of vigor. I guess the bread did belong to the captain of the guard, but still he had plenty of food.

The guards shoved me into a dark cell deep within the prison tower. It suddenly dawned on me that they had indeed found me guilty! As I was lost in my thoughts of anger, I hadn't noticed there was someone else in the cell with me. As my eyes adjusted I noticed the figure of an old woman sitting on the bed clutching a blanket around herself to stay warm.

I asked the old woman, "Who are you?"

"Just an old woman caught stealing." she said.

Sitting in the cell with the old woman who had been punished much like myself, we could hear a great battle raging outside. I suppose, the price one pays for living near a province not yet under the rule of law. Not having much to do the old woman tried to befriend me, she said she was a great enchantress. All I could believe was that she was a filthy liar and a thief, like me, otherwise why was she caught stealing? But, not having much to do I listen to her, as she prattled on about how to enchant ones shoes to travel faster.

She says to make such an enchantment; one needs a great soul of a demon. I couldn't believe that she could capture the soul of a rat, but still there was something about her that kept me interested.

"Old woman, tell me. Have you done so to your shoes?" I asked.

"Aye, young child I did. But, they have been stolen. Along with my collection of soul gems. Unfortunately, there was a slight problem with the soul I used for the enchantment." she said.

"Problem? What happened?" I was quite intrigued by this, had the great enchantress made a mistake?

"Well, as it turns out the shoes, well actually boots, had a rather nasty habit of making the wearer blind!"

Some enchantress I thought. Still, she had shown me a few tricks to enchanting, and I became more interested in the process. The days went by, the old woman showed me a few more tricks of the trade before we were released, a day later than we had been sentenced. The guards said it was for our own good, and besides it would have been too dangerous for an old woman and a child to be around all the fighting.

As we left the prison tower I noticed a charred patch of land nearby, the place where my families home used to be. I felt an assuring hand placed on my back, I looked up to see the old woman. With a glint of tears welling in her eyes she motioned towards a distant hill where a small shack perched precariously atop it and said, "Come child, you may stay with me."

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:27 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Balorduin the Sage (Jaeld Alteir)

Chronicles of the Riftguard, Volume 11
Witnessed and recorded herein by Balorduin the Sage, at the Eighth Coming of the Great Cold

Translated and Edited for the Modern Era by Jaeld Alteir

[Editors Note: Although this work is entitled as the 11th chronicle, no other volumes are currently known to exist, and indeed very well may not. This manuscript was found languishing amongst a stack of forgotten documents in a ruined keep to the far north, and translated from an archaic Nordic dialect by myself for the purposes of the modern audience. A number of pages were missing or decayed beyond recognition, but I have salvaged what I could. The legend of the Riftguard apparently has a long established presence in Nordic folklore, but no new tales seem to have surfaced in the past thousand years or so, and considering the rather unbelievable nature of this tale it seems unlikely that they were ever more than heroic myths bantered about in mead halls.]

...but the omens were not to be ignored, and a call went out from Castle Northfang to the lands of the far north. A great council was assembled, composed of the noblest of the lords of frost and snow, and they gathered in the cavernous halls of the fortress at Riftgate to examine the chasm of the Rift for themselves.

But as the snows blew ever colder and as the frost crept across the surface of the towering Riftwall like cobwebs of ice, it was clear that the shamans had read the signs true. The wolves kept by Lord Northfang howled continually, a mournful sound of impending dread sent up to warn their masters of the coming Cold. The ways of beasts are older than the ways of men, and their warnings are not to be taken lightly. The fear was evident even in the eyes of these greatest predators of the North. They could sense what was stirring deep in the earth.

And so the council ventured out through the iron teeth of the Riftgate; the immense thickness of the base of the Riftwall; the one narrow passage carved in the ancient stones laid by the first wardens of the Rift countless generations before. The Gatekeeper, spear nestled in the pit of his arm, led them through the series of gates that had not been opened for many centuries, and the hinges creaked and groaned in protest. When they reached the outer edge of the wall, the Riftguards eldest shaman bent and spoke an ancient incantation before the enchanted wardstone that served as the most potent seal of the Riftgate between men and Rift.

And so, ringed by thirty of the Riftguard's stoutest defenders, with burning torches held aloft and clutching spears and swords enchanted with flame, the council ventured forth into the Valley of the Rift. To the edge of the great Rift itself they crept, and peered down through miles of fractured ice and earth into the chilling realm of nothingness. The cold here is so great that it froze the very earth itself, and split it asunder. There are ancient magic’s at work in the swirling cold of the Rift, and at a certain depth...things change. Men are said to have ventured into the void and never returned. But one thing is certain: this is the point from which the Cold Ones and their minions spill forth into our world. It is said that the council could hear the unearthly wails and whispers of the Cold Ones themselves carried up on the icy winds that poured forth from the Great Rift, and it was then that the council knew beyond all doubt that They who had long slumbered had finally awakened once more, and that war was coming once more to the realm of all that lived in light and warmth.

...the valiant warriors of the Riftguard had met the first wave of the Cold Ones and their minions with flame and steel, but the relentless tide of icy foes had begun to overwhelm the outer fortifications in the days since. It was not only the formless Cold Ones themselves who led the assault, but also the shaggy Frost Giants summoned up from the depths of the ice and corrupted by the dark hatred emanating from the Cold Ones. Most dreadful of all, however, were the animated corpses of the Riftguard's own slain, twisted by the Cold Ones into lifeless shadows of their former selves, with cold, dead eyes of frozen blue. It was a horrible thing to watch as these brave men of the Riftguard were forced to cut down the defiled remnants of those who had once been their closest comrades, tears mingling with the frozen blood on their blades. It is a credit to the stout hearts of the men and women of the Riftguard that they did not waver from their duty even in this, but it will take many a pint of mead to wash these vile memories from their minds when at last this war is over.

...barnacles cling fast to the hulls of boats sent from the mainland to reinforce us, for they have lain silent in port for several weeks now. Lord Northfang's swiftest ships and ravens summoned them from afar when first the council decided that the Cold Ones were to come again, reviving near-forgotten alliances from ages past. From all quarters they came, for all races remember that when the Cold Ones come, the living must rally to meet them. Their ships shall return home much lighter when this nightmare finally ends, however, for many of the warriors they brought here now lie buried at the foot of the soaring Riftwall. Late at night while on watch at the top of the wall, I have heard men tell of how the ancient heroes of the Riftguard buried their dead in a wide arc around the Great Rift, and that the very Valley of the Rift itself was formed by these heaps of corpses piled up over the ages, when the battles between men and Cold Ones raged almost continually. The Imperial soldiers sent from the mainland, and the Dunmer warriors who came to our aid from Morrowind, laugh at these tales, and consider them too outlandish to be true...until they stand for themselves before the onslaught of the Cold Ones, and face that empty, animated armor of ice for themselves. They are quieter after that, and perhaps they start to believe the old tales...

...The outer bulwarks are crumbling, smashed and overwhelmed by continual assault from our icy foe. Still the Riftguard and their allies try to hold the defenses at the base of the Riftwall, willing to fall back to the mighty wall itself only as a last resort. For although the massive Riftwall towers above the valley almost to the limits of my sight, and seems an indomitable barrier, it is truly the last line of defense between the Great Rift and all that lives beyond. If the Cold Ones were to break through, their plague of ice and darkness would consume the world, plunging all into frozen lifelessness. They cannot be allowed to breach the wall, and so we must not let them reach it--at the very least we must minimize the time they have to pound its huge stones with their icy fists, and dig their frozen blades into its ancient mortar.

But still they come onward, by the gods how they come. In the dark of night they hurl themselves at our defenders, and the night is filled with their unearthly wails and the defiant battle cries of our noble defenders. The battlefield is alight with the dancing flames of torches and the arcing tracks of fire arrows launched from atop the wall, for these demons of cold despise the light and warmth of fire.

The wood elves are our finest archers, a complement of whom arrived from Valenwood no more than a week ago. Even in the heaviest wind and snow, they can be relied upon to hit their mark, and the screams of the Cold Ones attest to this accuracy as the flaming arrows consume them. But there is always more surging out of the Great Rift to replace them.

But the strangest and most unexpected of our allies arrived even before that, on a black and windless night beneath a slender moon. Shadows spread and slithered in his wake as he strode silently up to the towers of Riftgate behind the wall. The lone pair of men set to watch the rear side of the Riftwall shrank warily back as the sound of his voice drifted up to them, like the slow gasp of escaping air from a long-sealed tomb. "I am Vhalithasion, born of night and blood, come to fight on the side of the warm bloods."

For he is nothing less than a Dark Lord, a vampire, ancient and immortal. And yet here he was, strolling boldly into the midst of the living, a blackened longsword slung at his side beneath a blood-red cloak embroidered with arcane runes. Half a dozen suspicious men of the Riftguard escorted him into the presence of Rhojal Icefist, Warden of the Riftwall, and his circle of fellow commanders gathered from across the globe. Most notable among them was Lord Northfang, the lord of Castle Northfang, the only other outpost on this far Northern Isle, whose noble bloodline had founded the Riftguard far back in the distant recesses of history.

They too were naturally suspicious of so unusual an ally, but we were desperate for all the aid we could acquire, and the Riftguard has never placed political squabbles above the defense of the living perhaps that could now be applied to the undead as well. They conversed in private with this Vhalithasion for some time, and when at last they reemerged it was agreed that he should fight alongside the ranks of men and elves, an uneasy truce granted in the interest of greater goals.

At first some of our mortal warriors muttered and cursed about this unnatural beast within our midst, but I must grudgingly confess that the one known as Vhalithasion bore it all with an admirable calm. He had a noble air about him, and I gradually began to understand him as a creature that had...lived? existed? long and knew much...he was not merely a base monster as so many of his kind are known to be. I fear we shall never fully understand his reasons for joining us in this fight, and when I asked him about it he seemed almost amused. As his deep red eyes bore into me, he responded "Perhaps I do not wish for these...Cold rob me of the lifeblood of this world. Or perhaps if you had lived as long as I, you would understand that a changing world is all that an immortal has by which to measure his eternity of cold and darkness does not interest me." He flashed a grim smile then, revealing the gleaming fangs that marked him as no mere Dunmer. "Or perhaps I merely thirst for battle after a long slumber. My reasons are my own, mortal. Simply be glad that I fight with you rather than against you."

And we most certainly did come to be glad of that. The first night after his arrival, he took up a post on the front lines of our defenses. We were still wary of him then, and the defenders shrunk from his presence, holding their torches close. But he seemed hardly to notice their discomfort as the cold night air whipped and coiled around him, setting his cloak aflutter. His red eyes glowed in the flickering firelight as he stared off into the darkness, waiting, poised to strike, yet unmoving against the frigid wind.

We all heard it then, carried on the wind--the now-familiar sound of Cold Ones and Frost Giants clamoring up the sides of the Great Rift, and the scraping of ice as they shuffled up out of the valley. Vhalithasion stepped through the line of wooden stakes that marked our furthest perimeter, and strode alone out into the fresh snow. The only sound was the soft crunching of his footsteps and the distant murmur of the advancing foe, for none of our own soldiers spoke. They watched, transfixed, as the imposing vampire slowly drew his fearsome black blade, more than two dozen strides out in front of the nearest man. The sounds of the Cold Ones grew louder in the darkness, but he did not move. Soon we could make out their shapes advancing through the icy mist, but still the Dark Lord stood firm.
The wailing of the Cold Ones and the roar of the Frost Giants grew louder until it filled the valley, and at last they burst fully into view, a great wall of foes streaming towards us across the floor of the valley. I think Vhalithasion laughed then, but the sound of it was the echo of a dying star, perhaps, is the best it can be described. Even more difficult to define is what happened next, for it seemed that all the sound was sucked out of the valley in an instant, and as its absence throbbed like a heartbeat in the air, Vhalithasion's upraised sword burst into flame and a great ring of fire erupted out of the frozen earth around him, soaring up into the heavens before vanishing in a flare of red light that illuminated the entire battlefield for an instant. The Riftguard and our allies gasped and gaped, and even the legions of ice faltered in their advance at this great display of heat and power, but Vhalithasion merely let out another otherworldly cry and leapt upon his foes, covering a hundred strides in an instant, with his flaming sword flashing in the darkness.

Blazing curtains of flame erupted from his hand as he summoned arcane magics to his aid, and the wails of our foes filled the air as the fury of flame and sword tore into their ranks. Say what you will about these vampires, lords of night and blood, but I merely record what I saw: In battle, Vhalithasion was a god of ferocity and flame, his prowess unmatched by even our most heroic warriors. His charge ignited the courage of our own ranks, and we burst to life out of our stunned stupor--a flight of flaming arrows from atop the wall was first into the fray, followed closely by gouts of flame launched by our own battle mages. And as the blanket of flame subsided and the Cold Ones surged up to the edges of the defenses of the living, the rest of our troops surged into action, and the night was alive with the sounds of battle.

Though many of the men and elves who fought with us never fully trusted the taciturn Vhalithasion, he earned their respect that night, and there was never any doubting that he meant to fight alongside the best of us just as he said he would. He remained one of the greatest warriors of this war, and each night he appeared on watch without fail, always ready to leap into the thickest fighting and help drive back the hordes of foes who assailed us. Regardless of what he may have done before or since, in the annuals of the Riftguard the name of Vhalithasion shall always be remembered as a champion and stalwart defender of the mighty Riftwall, and may his legacy prove to generations hence that aid can come from even the most unexpected corner.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:28 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


By Forrest

"Be careful now." was the last thing his friend Nargum said to Yagrum before he
left for the Outer Realms. When Yagrum returned to Druscashti he was surprised
to find no one at home. No one ever left a Dwemer community completely
abandoned. He moved in cautious of what may be hiding in the shadows. He started
shouting the names of his friends. "Snargrim, Nargum? Anyone here?" No answer.
He continued to move through the chambers. A light that used to illuminate the
passages of this small Dwemer laboratory was broken. Yagrum found no living
thing or piece of evidence in Druscashti. He had absolutely no idea as to where all his
old friends were. He decided that he would walk over to Bthungthumz. Bthungthumz
was just a little south-east of Duscashti, and he knew some of the people there.
Yagrum Bagarn traveled to Bthungthumz, and the result was the same, no one was
there. Frustrated, confused, and feeling alone Yagrum traveled to other Dwemer
establishments hoping but failing at each turn. He went to Arkngthand,
Arkngthunch-Sturdumz, Nchurdamz, Almurba-larammi, and many other Dwemer
labs and facilities. He always got the same result. Nothing.
Depressed and alone he began wandering the lands searching for any traces of
his lost race.
He decided that he would explore Red Mountain in hopes of finding any evidence
to what had happened. Upon arriving at the foot of Red Mountain, Yagrum was
down-hearted, confused, and exhausted. This was to be his last effort. Yagrum
walked for hours and searched through all the Dwemer Ruins: Endusal, Tureynulal,
Vemynal, Odrosal, and Bthanchend. He found nothing. While exiting Odrosal he
saw a strange creature. It was oddly disfigured and the left side of its body was
large and misformed. Its head was also disformed, and it lamely limped over Bagarn.
It was a Lame Corprus. Disgusted at what he saw, Yagrum shouted "Get away
sickening creature!", and he rushed at it swinging his Dwarven Mace. After a
long and vigorous fight, Bagarn had finally slain the creature but not without
some sacrifice. Yagrum could tell he was sick. He felt awful. He knew he had Corprus.
Remembering something that one of his scholars had taught him long ago,
Bagarn had some hope left in him. It was a place called Tel Fyr. He knew if he
could find this tower he would be able to get cured.
During his travel to Tel Fyr, he stopped off at a few cities and everywhere that
he went he was cursed and shamed. He avoided civilization as much as possible
from then on. The only thing that kept Yagrum going was the thought of arriving
at Tel Fyr and getting cured. Well, Bagarn traveled for days and nights. One morning
on the sixth day of Sun's Height, he saw a tower looming over the horizon.
The tower grew larger and larger until he had to cross a wide passage of water to
get there. He arrived at the tower and saw a sign waving in the breeze which read
“Tel Fyr.” "Finally" Yagrum said to himself, surprised he still knew language after
not talking for so long (actually it was only years, but to him it felt like centuries).
Beyond the sign was a winding path made of a tree.
When he entered the tower, a young girl was there to greet him. She said
"Hello, are you here to see Master Divayth Fyr? I assume you are afflicted with
Divine Disease?" Yagrum surprised at the young girl’s hospitality replied
"Yes, could you tell me where I could locate him?” “He's down in the
Corprusarium, just take the passage to your left, go down, and the girl there will
give you the rest of the directions" She said to him.
Yagrum walked downwards, recalling something that one of his old colleagues
once told him after visiting the Telvanni, "Those Telvanni, they don't believe
in stairs. Sheer walls, I say. You have to have the powers of levitation to
access anything above you." Once Yagrum was in the Corprusarium, he noted
all the strange creatures. His legs were about to fall out from under him after
all the traveling he had done to get here. He was ready to rest for a long time.
"Hello,I am Divayth Fyr. I assume you seek a cure for Corprus?" A Dunmer
man asked him. Yagrum nodded his head eagerly. "Well,sorry but there is
no cure as of yet. The reason I built the Corprusarium was to find a cure for
Corprus. In fact I have gotten close to finding it, but every subject that has taken
it hasn't lived to tell whether it works or not." Divayth Fyr said. Yagrum was
heart-broken. His last hope, his last single thing to live for was ripped up from
his hands and crushed right before his very eyes.
Divayth Fyr offered to let Yagrum stay in the Corprusarium in exchange for
all he knew about the Disappearance of the Dwarves, which was nothing. But
Fyr did appreciate the Dwemer artifacts the Yagrum gave him.
For years Yagrum thought and thought about all that had transpired since his
return from the Outer Realms. One day Divayth came down from his study, where he
spent most of his days when he wasn't experimenting in the Corprusarium, and told
Yagrum that he thought he had found another way to cure the Corprus. A way
that he thought would not harm the victim. Yagrum watched as Fyr gave the cure
to the Lame Corprus that stood before him. The infected victim gulped down the
formula and nothing happened. "It may take a few days for the disfiguration to
disappear." Fyr told Yagrum. Sure enough, two days passed and the Corprus began
to look more human. Another few days and the victim looked like he had not been
infected at all. He even spoke to Fyr and thanked him. But it was about that
time, while Yagrums hopes were high, when the cured Corprus started wheezing. It
fell to its knees and grabbed its chest and took shallow breaths. All at once the
victims eyes rolled back into its head. The Corprus, the so-called-cured victim died.
Yagrum feeling hopeless began to change. He was slowly becoming deformed. He
was crippled now, but Divayth had constructed a new prosthesis using parts from an
old Centurion Spider found in a Dwemer ruin.
Over the years many scholars and archaeologists heard about this last Dwemer
and searched for him. Yagrum was always happy to share all he knew of the
disappearance of the Dwemer, and he shared some of the knowledge from his race.
His mind, partly deteriorated because of Corprus, could not recall everything
about the Dwemer or his early life, but he always did the best he could.
After a while, Corprus began to really take its toll on Yagrum. He became
bloated, and even though he had prosthesis they were hard to control. So Yagrum
spent most of his time in his study area of the Corprusarium, where he delved
into every book he could get his hands on. Divayth Fyr would send his family out
to retrieve as many rare books as they could for Yagrum. Every night, after most
of the workers were asleep, Divayth would go down to the Corprusarium and talk
for hours with Yagrum about the Dwemer.
Giving up on getting cured and pretty much finding out what happened to his
friends and family, Yagrum continued to live out his days in the Corprusarium,
waiting for life's final hours to come.
Instead of death, something else came. One day a strange person arrived, who
claimed the title Nerevar. This person traveled to the Corprusarium because of Corprus
itself. Divayth Fyr asked this person to retrieve the Dwemer Boots of Flying that Yagrum
had been holding for such a long time. Yagrum gave them up, seeing that there was
no need for them now, because of his condition.
It was a couple of days later when Divayth began talking excitedly about a
new cure for Corprus. Yagrum, of course, was doubtful after seeing all of Divayths
other 'cures'. "But this one works! I saw it for myself. It's been tested, Yagrum
I want you to be the second one to be cured." Divayth said, trying to convince
Yagrum. Finally Yagrum said "I will try it only after I have seen it cure
somebody before my eyes." So Divayth had one of the worker women calm the
Corprus' with her drum and he administered the cure to a Lame Corprus. The
infected victim wheezed, collapsed to the floor, and died. "That must have really
been the Incarnate. The Corprus was meant to fulfill the prophesy and nothing
else." Fyr said.

And so, if you seek the knowledge of this legendary Dwarve, he can still be
found in Tel Fyr in the province of Morrowind, Vvardenfell district. But beware
for within the Corprusarium, you could also contract the Divine Disease.

The End

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:29 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (Avis)

Harnteg Ancestral Tomb

Written by Avis

It was a snowy day on Solstheim. You could hear wolves howling in the forest; bears foraging for food in the brush. Harkflynn Bearclaw was venturing through the vast forests, riding his tamed tusked bristleback, Hragg. Harkflynn was staring at the sky wondering while he was riding. Then he heard a scream, not female but male. It came from his right, so he rode in that direction. He rode for about five minutes when then he came to a tomb. He walked to the door and put his hand on a wolf paw on the door. The bear paw lit up, a shining blue light, Harkflynn jumped back, and the door opened. Harkflynn tied Hragg to a tree, pulled out his Huntsmen axe, and walked in. Harkflynn went down a path that led to the left. He started down very slowly. He started to pick up a little speed every few seconds. Then, he got to a chamber, but it was empty. Then, his eye sight went black, and he saw the Grahls corner a woman. Then, a man came running towards the Grahls with a Stalhrim long sword with the word ‘Harnteg’ scribed into it. One Grahl took a swipe and ended the man’s life. The girl screamed with all of her breath, but then Harnteg began to glow. It then flew into the air and went straight through one of the Grahls’ back. The other Grahl turned to his partner, but then in one quick slash, it was killed. The woman stared at the sword and was shocked, happy, and frightened at the same time. Then the sword lost its glow and landed on the ground, and the Grahls blood just disappeared from the blade. Then Harkflynn could see normally again, but the chamber had changed. There were two Grahl skeletons in the corner, and a Stalhrim long sword on a stone table in the middle of the room. It was stabbed into the table. Harkflynn, very carefully, walked over to the table. He grabbed the sword by the handle and lifted it out with great ease. Then, the sword began to glow. Harkflynn got scared and tried to drop, but he couldn’t. For some reason he just couldn’t. Then the glowing stopped, and the blade now said ‘Harkflynn’. Then, there was a blurry shadow in front of him, and it changed shape into a beautiful Nordic woman, with long blonde hair, and she said, “This sword was used to keep the Skaal village safe, and everyone else. I hope you use it the same.” Then the image disappeared. Harkflynn then heard the sound of feet behind him, and quickly turned around sword in hand. Then he saw it was just Hragg who had gnawed the rope of the tree and came in. Harkflynn walked over and patted Hragg on the back and said, “Well ol’ friend, I guess we have a story to tell tonight at the fire.” With that Harkflynn got on Hragg, and they left the tomb and went back home to the Skaal village. Little did Harkflynn notice, that the tomb door said ‘Harkflynn Ancestral Tomb ’, and there was a bear paw on the door.

The End.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:30 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Keric Du Tahrellian (Nog Robbins)

Service to the Crown

Account recorded by Keric Du Tahrellian - seer, historian and scribe.

Fer’ar Mellarn sat atop his world, looking down on the chaos he had created and the territories he had subdued in his name.
Standing wearily, the aged general ran a blood covered hand through his hair, hair that was lank with the efforts of battle and plastered to his head by his steel helm, a helm that now lay in ruins at his feet. The once proud emblem of his family, the single heirloom passed from father to first born son when they came of age since records began, now a shattered wreck. Sighing he glanced at the fresh blood dripping from his fingers and felt once again in his mind the sword blow that had almost shorn the helmet in two. By law he should have been dead. The blow was clean and cruel. Yet somehow he survived, and his assailant lay dead in a puddle of his own entrails. He had been ripped apart by the general’s closest guardian. Stooping gingerly, he retrieved the ruined item, his calloused fingers first tracing the sharp edges along gash, and then more reverently brushing across the intricate inscriptions that lay on the banding.
Turning to face the trail that had led him to the peak, he acknowledged the presence of his loyal protectors. Only three remained from the twelve that had served him since he reached maturity. Nine lost and soon to be forgotten, for none but their brothers truly knew them.
"This is it" they intoned together, eyes downcast. "Your success is complete. None remain to stand against you as was decreed."
Fer’ar glanced down once at the broken remains of his helm, still held in his bloodied hand. With a shrug he dropped the item to the dirt and turned his back on it. A new symbol for his family would now be drawn up, one to stand for the ages remaining, one to represent his achievements, one to be remembered by all, and one to be viewed with awe.
Striding as majestically as he could in his current state Fer’ar began the trek down the mountain, with visions in his mind of his now elevated position in the land, the tributes due him, and images of a crown placed upon his head in place of the helmet. One hundred paces later the emptiness of being alone seeped through his musings and took foremost place in his conscious thought. Looking back along the trail he could easily perceive his remaining protectors still standing atop the peak, facing each other, but unmoving, their hands clasped behind their backs.
"Am I so safe here I need no protection?" he growled. "Am I so unimportant as to not warrant a procession in my moment of victory?"
The dark shrouded shapes remained as statues. With a rising sense of exasperation at the apparent insubordination of his loyal protectors, Fer’ar strode back to the summit.
"Loyal though you may have proved to be, unswerving in your duties no matter how callous I have demanded you be, you still serve ME!" he roared, standing in the centre of them.
"This is it" they intoned together.
The first raised its head, and red eyes bored into the warrior from beneath the cowl. Bringing its hands from behind its back it revealed half of the shattered helm.
"Your success is complete." the voices intoned.
The second raised it head, and again, red eyes bored into the aged general. Bringing its hands from behind its back it revealed the second half of the broken heirloom.
"None remain to stand against you."
A sharp pain entered the soldier’s side just beneath the ribs, a searing heat flooding his chest. Staggering, he turned to face the last protector, a serrated blade held in its hands.
With blood bubbling in his lungs, Fer’ar stumbled to his knees, a look of shock on his creased features.
"As was decreed" the protectors intoned.
And as the life seeped from Fer’ar, the light fading from his eyes, so to did his protectors fade.
A single word hung on the calm breeze, to be carried away and lost.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:32 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Sedath Dun (weakmasterofunivrerse)

The Worshipper of Boethiah
Part 1
The Truth about the White Katana of High Rock
Sedath Dun

This book of facts starts with the birth of a certain man named Kiu. He was born to paupers working for the local rulers. He grew up living a humble life with two sisters and a brother. But one day, his quiet life was violently interrupted by his house being broken into by Aldmeri assassins. They killed his father, but not before his father told Kiu one last thing: the secret his family had kept for ages.
His father directed him to a strongbox in the corner of the room. Kiu’s father gave him the key, and then the Noble Treserk of Daggerfell, father of Kiu of Daggerfell, died. Kiu dropped the key after he saw his father’s body grow limp. Wishing to fulfill his father’s last wish, Kiu picked the key back up. It took all his confidence and courage he could muster, but he opened the chest to find an old dusty tome with Deadric letters on the front. He opened it to find the letters written in his own tongue, and so he read the peculiar book:
Under Great stress, you will find it;
Under great pressure, you will find it;
The one of them all;
The sacred blade;
Of the one who forged this nation;
You will find the blade of White.
Kiu read this scripture with great interest, wondering what it meant. He read further in the tome to find that it will be found in a renowned area. So Kiu walked out of his house to the street. He thought to himself, “If this Belonged to my father, then my grandfather must know of this story.”
He made it to his Grandfather’s hut in the hills and asked him about the tome. His grandfather took out another tome which looked exactly the same; except, it had almost no ware. Kiu took it happily and took to the road. He opened the Tome to find it with more clues about the ‘Sacred Blade’. The tome mentioned a place that would rival Daggerfell in the future. It also mentioned it being a city by a river; but Kiu had no idea ‘which’ river it was talking about.
He walked back to Daggerfell to find the gates barred shut. “It seems that the attack on father had been reported,” thought Kiu. He walked past the city to the docks and talked to one of the guards there to learn that there was a recent string of assassinations by a group of fervent Malacath worshippers. Kiu walked to the docks to find a boat to take him to the mouth of the Bjoulsae River to start his search there.
His first impression when he got there was that it was a backwater. The city was about as big as his clan’s farm. As he walked through the town, people around him kept giving him stares like he was the enemy. Kiu went into a stone house and saw a man of a different stock, most likely from the tropical rainforests of the godforsaken Cyrodil Region. Kiu walked up to him and asked him,” Do you know of any burial grounds or dungeons around here?” The burly Imperial replied,” Yes, but it is only accessible to those I sanction.”
Then Kiu noticed a book on the desk that had the same markings as his father’s book. His next question was, “Do you know a man by the name of Treserk of Daggerfell?” The man stepped back in surprise, and answered, “Who are you? Why do you ask these questions?”
“I am Kiu of Daggerfell, son of Treserk of Daggerfell. Now it is my turn: what is your name and why do you have that book and how do you know my father?”
The Imperial, which later Kiu found that his name was Qertas Jinter, told him of the order he and Kiu’s father were apart of. They were the protectors of a relic of great power: the White Armour of the Black Marsh and the White Katana of High Rock. These artifacts, if wielded by one person, could shape the continent of Tamriel. He went on about a dungeon of little renown; it was hardly even known to the locals.
“My tome has what is needed. It has the complete map to the dungeon, but the only way into the dungeon is by the blood of the Noble One, the one destined to hold its contents.” Kiu thought on this and remembered a passage from his father’s tome:
The one child of many;
The one child of a Noble forgotten;
The one Child of a Protector;
Shall find the Power;
Lying in himself.

“Qertas, I believe I am the one; read this passage. It works perfectly; I am a child of many, I am a child of Protector, and a child of a Noble forgotten.” Qertas looked at Kiu like he was crazy. But he picked himself up and replied, “Well, it’s worth a try. The dungeon is north of here. I suggest you get some locals to come with you for protection. This book will tell us where the White Katana is but not where the danger is.”
Kiu and Qertas walked out and looked around at the locals and found some younger warriors willing to follow them in their expedition. The walk to the dungeon took them longer then expected, but they still got there before a day went by. Kiu and Qertas noticed that the locals were spooked by the dungeon, for the locals supposedly thought that this place was pure evil and that it was cursed by the gods.
Kiu and Qertas ignored them and proceeded to the door. Qertas recited some text from his tome:
”Only the touch of the one will break the bind;
The bind of stone magic;
For his touch shall warm the stones of the evil;
And lift the burden from the people.”
Kiu extended his hand to the door and touched the ice cold stone. Suddenly, while everyone watched, the door started melting. It started flowing down into a tube made of a peculiar white metal. Kiu was the first to step through and noticed something different about the dungeon; it was not all stone like most were, but made out of hedge and tree roots. He walked on through, with the others following and found a door made of what seemed to be steel.
“Qertas, do you know what this door is made of?”
“I am not sure, but it seems to be made of silver.” He went on to say,” It looks likes it has runes from Snow Elves imbedded in it.”
Kiu proceeded to open, and to his surprise and his companions’ surprise, it was Snow Elf enclave. Kiu walked through to find a local and asked, “What is this place?”
“This is the grove of the White Katana. It is here where the Protectors reside. And for one thing, how did you get here? It is impossible to get here through that way. Unless…..” The man suddenly stopped and called for the guard. Kiu noticed the guards wearing a suit of what seemed polished silver; almost white in the light. The guards took them to the tower overlooking the whole settlement and threw them down in front of a long table of what seemed wise men.
“You, newcomers, how did you find your way in here?” asked the one sitting on the very edge.
“We came through the stone door.”
“You mean the sacred door of Boethiah; the door that is to be only broken through by the chosen one?”
“Yes, I came here to take the White Katana.”
“WHAT!?!?! You must be crazy! That weapon is meant for one person only, the son of Treserk of Daggerfell.” said the stout Wood Elf sitting at the far end of the council table. Kiu replied,” I am the son of Treserk of Daggerfell, for I am Kiu of Daggerfell.” There was great clamor among the counsel members, all wondering if he was telling the truth. Then Qertas spoke up, “This is the man that has been destined to wield the White Katana. He fits in with all the prophecies.” The Counsel jumped back in surprise from these words.” Qertas? We thought that you had died many years ago, but it seems you are alive. Tell me this: why do you put your faith behind this man? Isn’t your tribe enemies of his people?” asked the Head of the Counsel. Qertas replied, “This man has lived up to the prophecies, and he is from a Noble family. I suggest we at least consult Boethiah about this.”
The next morning, after everyone had a good night’s rest, they started to recite the invocations of Boethiah. Within the second invocation, the Lord Boethiah appeared before them.” This man is the one. He is the only being on this continent able to wield the White Katana with my blessing. This is what I ask: That he will be led to the other artifact, the White Armour of the Black Marsh. With these two artifacts, he shall own Tamriel in short time. Now, release him from this place, and bring him to the Path of Destined.”
The Counsel sat back after that and pondered on what she had said. The Head of the Counsel, said to Kiu, “You will be led to the path of destiny by my daughter, Aerdbe. She will lead you to the Path of Destiny, and you will go on your own from there. Here is something that will lead you through the paths, if you are the one.” The Head of Counsel reached out his hand and opened it, showing a sparkling amulet. “It is the Amulet of the White Light. It will guide you to it if you are true.”
After saying goodbye, Kiu and his companions’ set off for the place of meeting for their guide. When they got there, Kiu was amazed to find her to be a fellow Wood Elf. He was dumbstruck by her complexion; he thought of her as being divine. He stumbled with his words, but finally found what he wanted, “Where is this fabled Path?”
Aerdbe instantly noticed that he was staring at her and stumbling. She wondered about this, but came back after hearing his question. “It is this way, past our Grove and into the darkness.” Kiu and his companions followed her as she led them to what seemed like a wall, but when they became closer they noticed the door. “Here is the door to the caverns. But I warn you; the things down there are all out to kill the chosen one. Each one is a test to see if you can handle the responsibility of holding the White Katana.” Kiu looked back at her with confidence and pride in his eyes, and Aerdbe got the sign. She opened the door and Kiu entered. He found himself in a dark cavern, with no light whatsoever. He took out the Amulet the lead Elder had given to him, and it shone as bright as any torch. He looked back, hoping to see his group of Bretons and Qertas, but no one was behind him.
Kiu was a little spooked, but he kept going in deeper to the center of the Path, with his light guiding him. His first test was the most obvious: being able to fend for himself. A Dremora jumped right in front of Kiu while he was walking. Kiu lifted up his light to blind the Dremora and then drew his ebony longsword to do the final blow. He stabbed through its abdomen, instantly killing it. The Dremora turned to dust while falling.
As Kiu walked on, he noticed a shadow behind him, constantly changing. Kiu then unsheathed his weapon and walked back. He was startled by the thing he saw. It was a stout man, with hardly any muscle. “What are you doing here?!?!” asked Kiu in surprise.
“I came here from the Grove and am in need of some assistance. These monsters have been attacking me on and off. Do you have any health potions on you?” Kiu thought about this request, and decided finally to give him his health potion. Right when the stout man took the potion, he turned into an Iron Atronach and instantly swung his fist right at Kiu’s head. Kiu was able to dodge the first blow, but not the second. The Iron Atronach’s fist hit him right in the chest. Kiu went back against the wall, feeling beaten.
But then he saw a light coming; with shadows of what seemed to be men behind it. Kiu mustered the rest of his strength and gave the monster a mortal blow, through the heart. It fell down on its knees dead. But then Kiu went totally blank and fainted.
Kiu woke to find himself in a beautiful palace, full of gold ornaments. “He’s awake, Master Refreh.” Said what seemed to be a Bosmer.
”Where am I? What am I doing here?”
“Don’t worry. This is the Sanctus. We’ll help you from here.”
“But what about the dungeon, and the man and the…..”
“Don’t worry. You have made it through the Path of Destiny. It is now your time to take the White Katana.”
Kiu got up, and instantly noticed his injury from the Iron Atronach, but he kept walking. The Bosmer led him to what seemed to be an oracle of some sorts. She led him down a staircase which led to a garden. In the very center of it was a gleaming white sword. Kiu limped up to it and grabbed the scabbard. He pulled out the sword, and started his destiny.

The End

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:33 PM

Section: Stories

The Worshipper of Boethiah
Part 2
The truth about the White Armour of the Black Marsh
Sedath Dun

It was a cold day in the swamps of Argonia. Kiu of Daggerfell walked up to the road with his companions who had their weapons drawn. Coming at them was a train of men and horses with a carriage in the back. Kiu unsheathed his longbow and shot down the armed guards protecting the carriage. His companions dashed at the other riders while Kiu went for the carriage. Upon opening the carriage, he found a Daedra standing right in front of him. He quickly rolled to the side to dodge the Daedra’s first spell. He found himself at the feet of a guard. The guard came suddenly at his head with a mace, but Kiu was able to dodge it.
He drew his katana and stabbed it through the guard’s ebony cuirass. The Daedra had then come out and took a swing at Kiu with his longsword. Kiu countered with his sword and in the process shattered the Daedra’s longsword. He then stabbed his katana through the Daedra’s heart. His companions were failing in their job of holding off the guards, so Kiu grabbed a single chest on the carriage floor and proceeded into the swamp.
Qertas Jinter, one of Kiu’s longtime friends, saw him take off into the swamp. Qertas followed Kiu while the others held off the rest of the men in the train. Qertas saw Kiu walk off into their lair. Qertas followed him for he was the master locksmith. When Qertas went into the lair, Kiu stood there waiting for him to open it.
“Qertas, come here and open this lock. If Boethiah told us right, then this is what we were looking for.” Kiu said with anticipation. Qertas quickly went to work to open the lock, but he could not. So he took a scroll out of one of the crates and used its incantation to open it. The chest’s lock popped off, to the surprise of Qertas.
As Kiu was watching, he grew greedy and instantly shoved Qertas out of the way to open the chest. When the chest’s lid was opened, he stared down in amazement at the item in it.” Qertas, this is the find of a life time!” Kiu shouted with exuberance. “We will be the new leaders of the continent. This continent will feel our might!”
The pair proceeded to gawk at the contents of the chest. After they had rested, they set off with the chest to the shrine of Boethiah. There, Kiu asked Boethiah to bless this armour with her mighty powers. “You, Boethiah, are our god. I ask you to bless this suit of armour, so that I will have your power flowing through me when I strike down my enemies.”
Boethiah, speaking through the statue, said in reply, “You must trek to my shrine in the wilderness of the west, for this is where I will bless it. But first you must dedicate you life to me.”
Kiu answered instantaneously, “Yes Lord, I will dedicate my life to you.”
[It seems the rest of the text has been ripped out of the book]

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:35 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

Part One of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 18th,Six in the Evening

Alabaster,Elsweyr 2E175

Adanjar sat calmly under her awning, listening to the rain beat on her roof.
It was days like these when she was glad to be wealthy. No need for worrying
about where her money would come from. Just to relax whenever she felt like it.
She watched the people scurry to and fro, trying to get out of the rain. "Pity
the poor fools," she said to herself, "they don't know what true life is like."
Adanjar's father, the wealthiest Khajiit in Alabaster, worked as a slave
at a mining site in Morrowind until he was release by a kind soul. As he escaped,
he managed to smuggle a good bit of raw ebony. Knowing the right people, he
cashed in and from that moment had lived in the lap of luxury. M'nasha, her
father, was a respected man here and had never been questioned as to if he really
smuggled the ebony. There were, of course, rumors, but this meant nothing in a
community of Khajiits.
Deciding she would make an entry in her diary about what a beautiful day it
had been, Adanjar stood up and walked inside. She walked upstairs to her room
and sat down at her desk. Taking quill in hand, she opened her diary and turned
to the next blank page.

Adanjar's Diary

Eighteenth Rain's Hand

What a wonderful day, it has been today. The rain cascades down making a
harmonious sound. It is a shame to see everyone else hurrying about, not taking
time to notice such a wonder of nature. Ever since Qa'Bakha left me, my happiness
has seemed to have been drained right out of me. But today the majesty of the
world is enough to bring pleasure to the grimmest of all souls. Mother says that
when she was my age, suitors would come and go just as would night and day. I
surely hope this is the case with me, for it would not do for me to feel alone
for the rest of my life. I really mustn't speak of such things as they are too
Father says that the rains will bring good crops to Alabaster, which will
cause Father to buy more stock at the market. The store will flourish with all
the fresh crops coming in. I have tried to speak with Father about his horrible
habit of gambling but to no avail. It's not like we don't have the money, because we
have the shop and are extremely wealthy in the first place. It still is a habit
worth kicking.
Mother's Florist Shop has been thriving as well. She leaves every morning at
four to gather different kinds of flowers, before it's time to open her shop.
Mother says that with as much money as this family will have in the future, there
will be no need for me or my future-husband to have to work a day in our lives.
Of course, my husband will work in order to retain the family's wealth. Well I'd
better go as mother is preparing dinner and she might need my help.

Adanjar closed her book, placed her quill pen in the inkwell, and walked
downstairs. “Hello,mother. What are we having for dinner tonight?" Adanjar
questioned when she saw her mother standing at the foot of the stairs. "We? We?"
her mother asked, "We aren't having anything. You and I are leaving this forsaken
house." She said in a fit of rage as she charged up the stairs and into the
master bedroom.
She frantically began throwing clothes into a small pack. "Mother, whatever
are you talking about?" Adanjar said slightly frightened at her mother's rage.
"That man! Your...father has done it! He's finally done it! He's gambled us
right into poverty!" Her mother replied. Her voice still alarmingly loud.
"W-what? What do you mean mother? Sure, father gambles, but he's never put our
comfort on the line." Adanjar was very frightened and frustrated at her lack of
knowledge of the situation.
Just about that time the front door slammed. And up the stairs came Adanjar’s
father. "Listen, Ajirab! Put that pack down! I order you to not leave this
house." In a bellowing tone M'nasha replied. "Oh, so now you're ordering me?!
What am I your slave? You gonna bet me too? Huh? I wouldn't put it past you!
You, you, you horrible man!" Adanjar's mother replied. At this time Adanjar
was in tears. She had a faint idea of what was going on, but it wasn't
enough. Her parents were fighting, and she was in the middle of it. “This is
life! You move on when things like this happens. It can't be helped! We're a
family, we'll get through this together!” Her father replied. Ajirab
shouted back in hysterical rage, "No! This isn't life! It can be helped! If you
would have stopped gambling! But noooo, you have to keep on and keep on until we
have nothing left. You figured we'd come out of this together. Well you figured
wrong! You got yourself into this. You get yourself out!" Ajirab shot a look at
Adanjar and said, "Come on Adanjar. We're leaving! I won't let you stay with this
filthy creature!" But before Adanjar could say anything M'nasha spurted out "No
way. You aren't taking my daughter. If you leave the family, Ajirab, then you leave
Adanjar too. Adanjar you're staying here right?"
Adanjar was sobbing hysterically. She wiped the tears from her eyes, and then
looked at both her parents. Her mother with the pack slung over shoulder with
the friendly, loving mother-hood look on her face. Her father stood with the bold,
kind, loving feature. Confused beyond belief, Adanjar turned and ran to her
room. She grabbed her journal and quill pen, and then she shot out the back door. Both
her parents followed her out, but it was dark and the rain kept them from seeing
"Well I hope you’re happy. You've scared off my daughter!" Ajirab said scowling
at M'nasha. "I did? You were the one going crazy back there! How could she make
a decision like that?" M'nasha said in reply. "If you remember you were the one
who asked her." With that Ajirab slung the pack over her shoulder and walked out
the front door into the rain. "And where will you go?" M'nasha asked. "Wouldn't
you like to know?" Ajirab shouted back. Ajirab slammed the door shut, leaving
M'nasha alone in his soon-to-be-lost home. The rain splashed on the roof and the
thunder rumbled, and for once, in a long time M'nasha was the poorest man alive.

End of Part One

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:36 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

Part Two of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 18th,Nine at Night

Alabaster, Elsweyr 2E 175

With tears still in her eyes, Adanjar darted through the woods. Her mind was
racing. She still hadn't put all of the pieces together. Okay, her mother came
home and acted very irritated. Her mother told Adanjar that she was leaving. Her father
came in, and they had a big fight about his gambling. They had asked her whether
she wanted to stay with her father or go with her mother. Not knowing exactly
what to do, she had run out into the cold, rainy night. Now she was cold, wet, and
alone. She had no place to sleep.
She figured she would travel to Rimmen. She had an uncle there. No, her
parents would suspect that. They would come for her. Maybe she wanted them to
come for her. She wasn't sure. She decided that she would go to Rimmen and
decide what she would do from there.
It was her first night alone. Sure she was twenty-one, but when you lived as
this particular wealthy Khajiit did, you really had no need to leave home. The
rain shimmered down while the thunder rumbled overhead. Lightning flashed
across the blue, creamy sky.

Rain's Hand 18th, Eleven at Night

Outskirts of Rimmen, Elsweyr

The rain was starting to slacken up a bit, when she saw the outlines of
buildings ahead. The pounding rain had turned into a cooling mist when she
entered the city. She immediately recognized her uncle's house, having made many
trips there with her parents. Her parents...back when they were a family. No!
She couldn't think about them. They weren't a family anymore. Her mother had
given up on her family, so she had done the same.
When she arrived at her uncle's door, she gave it three rapid knocks. No
answer. She knocked again. Still nobody came to the door. She tried opening the
door, only to find it locked. Fatigue took its toll on Adanjar, and she crouched
down on the steps of her uncle's house. The rain shimmered down gently on
Adanjar, and one last rumble of thunder sounded in the sky.

Rain's Hand 19th, Seven in the Morning

Red Tail Inn, Rimmen, Elsweyr

Adanjar awoke to find herself in a bed with a golden-haired Nordic woman
sitting beside her bed. "Good morning." The woman said, "If you don't mind me
asking, what exactly were you doing out so late last night in the rain?" Adanjar
had a slight recollection of what had happened the night before. She arrived in
Rimmen to find that her uncle was not at home. Ignoring the woman's
question, Adanjar asked "Where am I?" "You're in the Red Tail Inn in Rimmen."
The woman replied. "Do you know where I can find my uncle, M'nashan?" Adanjar
said instantaneously. The woman politely replied "You mean the Moon Sugar addict?
Yes, M'nashan left for Camlorn about a year ago." Well that was one place down.
She still could go to Arenthia in Valenwood. Her ex-lover lived there. Qa'Bakha
had left her a half of a year ago after he proposed. Adanjar had accepted but
was unwilling to move away from her parents. He had wanted to go to Valenwood,
but she did not. So he went anyway and left her there.
"Thank you." Adanjar said. "I thank you for your hospitality, but I really
must be going." "Ok, but let me at least make you breakfast." Adanjar politely
accepted. When the girl lef,t she pulled her diary out of her pack and grabbed a

Adanjar's Diary

Nineteenth Rain's Hand

Let me start with what happened right after my last entry. Mother came in
looking stark mad. She started raving about how father had bet everything and
lost. Then father came in, and they started battling it out right in their
bedroom. Finally mother said she was leaving and asked me whether I wanted to
come with her or stay with father.
I didn't know what to do so I ran. I ran all the way to Uncle M'nashan's
house and found it locked with no one home. Then I passed out in front of Uncle
M'nashan's old house. I awoke this morning at the Red Tail Inn. I asked a woman
here if she knew where I could find my uncle. She said that he had left for High
Rock about a year ago. It is odd that we never heard about it.
So now,I've no where,in Elsweyr,to go. I guess I could go to Valenwood. But
I don't know if Qa'Bakha will take me in or not.
After I eat breakfast I will go to Orcrest and try to figure out what to do
from there. Well, I hear the girl already coming with my breakfast. I better
stop for now. I will write again when I get time.

The young Nordic girl's head popped up from the stairwell. Soon her entire
body emerged with a silver tray in her hands. On the tray was a bowl of soup, a
piece of toast, and a glass of water. "Eat well, and I hope you enjoy." the woman
said, sitting the tray on the desk at which Adanjar was sitting.
Adanjar ate heartily, and when she was finished, she carried the tray
downstairs and gave it to the girl simply saying "It was great thanks. I have to
be going now." And with that Adanjar walked outside in the daylight. Even though
she felt a little remorse for running out on her parents, Adanjar was looking
forward with hopes for the rest of her life when she arrived at Qa'Bakha's
doorstep with news that she was ready to begin a life of her own.

End of Part Two

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:37 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

Part Three of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 18th, Nine at Night

Alabaster, Elsweyr 2E 175

"Come on Adanjar. We're leaving! I won't let you stay with this filthy
creature!" But before Adanjar could say anything M'nasha spurted out "No way. You
aren't taking my daughter. If you leave the family, Ajirab, then you leave Adanjar
too. Adanjar you're staying here right?"
Adanjar was sobbing hysterically. She wiped the tears from her eyes, and then
looked at both her parents. Her mother with the pack slung over shoulder with
the friendly, loving mother-hood look on her face. Her father stood with the bold,
kind, loving feature. Confused beyond belief, Adanjar turned and ran to her
room. She grabbed her journal and quill pen, and then she shot out the back door. Both
her parents followed her out, but it was dark and the rain kept them from seeing
"Well I hope you’re happy. You've scared off my daughter!" Ajirab said scowling
at M'nasha. "I did? You were the one going crazy back there! How could she make
a decision like that?" M'nasha said in reply. "If you remember you were the one
who asked her." With that Ajirab slung the pack over her shoulder and walked out
the front door into the rain. "And where will you go?" M'nasha asked. "Wouldn't
you like to know?" Ajirab shouted back. Ajirab slammed the door.
The rain was heavy, and Ajirab knew she wouldn't be able to find her daughter
when it was this dark. Adanjar would probably go to her uncle's house. The only thing
was that Adanjar didn't know that M'nashan was a moon sugar addict. He had
gotten himself in debt and left for High Rock. He left his house and belongings where
they were and took off in the middle of the night. So Adanjar would not have
anyone in Rimmen. The only other place for her to go would be Valenwood where
Qa'Bakha lived.
The thunder rumbled and lightning flashed. Ajirab walked to the Topal Bay
docks and got on a boat to Anvil. From there, she could ride horse-back to
Arenthia, where Adanjar was most likely to go.

* * *

The rain splashed on the roof and the thunder rumbled, and for once, in a long
time M'nasha was the poorest man alive. M'nasha had no where to go. He had to
be out of the house by tomorrow morning because had bet everything he owned, the
stores, the house, all his belongings. "I guess I deserved it. Ajirab always told
me that my gambling problem would be the end of us. She was right." he said to
himself quietly.
M'nasha grabbed a piece of paper and wrote on it "Dro'Sakhari, the door is
unlocked. Everything is yours. There is a spare key in the basement. Take good
care of the manor. I'm leaving for Windhelm tonight. I've always wanted to go to
the frigid north." Then he signed it M'nasha. He stepped outside where he shut the door and
pinned the note on the door. He then headed towards the docks, seeing his wife
step onto the boat that would take her to Valenwood.

Rain's Hand 21st, Eight in the Morning

Remains of Arenthia, Valenwood

Adanjar was walking down the pathway when she saw a sign saying “Welcome to
Arenthia.” She had a confused look on her face because she saw no city. After
looking closely at the ground she saw rubble, ash, and nails covering a big area.
All at once she realized that she was in Arenthia. It had burned till there was
only a trace of evidence that there was a city here once before.
Slumping to the ground, Adanjar burst into tears. Qa'Bakha was her last
stronghold. Now she truly had no where to go. Wait. There was still her uncle in
Camlorn. High Rock was far away, but what other choice did she have?
Feeling she had nothing else to do, Adanjar opened her journal and pulled
out her quill pen. She took out her inkwell, pulled the cork out, and dipped her
pen in it.

Adanjar's Diary

Twenty-First Rain's Hand

Well, I arrived at Arenthia full of hopes but found the city in ashes. I
could probably walk to Anvil in Cyrodiil and get a boat there to Camlorn. I
only wish that Qa'Bakha was not in the city when it burned down, but there is
probably a small chance of that having happened.
I wonder where mother and father are. Father probably moved up north to
Skyrim or Solstheim somewhere. Mother would probably come here to Arenth...

Adanjar slammed the book shut as fast as she could. She stuck it in her pack,
and she ran around the remains of Arenthia looking for her mother's rings. She
burst into tears, fearing the worst...that her mother had burned to death. "Maybe
I'm getting ahead of myself, but mother probably never even suspected that I would
come here." she said to herself.
Adanjar sat down on the ground again and pulled out her diary and continued
where she left off.

...ia, where she would suspect I would be. But then again she probably never
came here. She might have gone to Rimme, thinking I would go to Uncle M'nashan's
Well, if I want to make any progress then I need to stop writing and need to
start walking to Anvil.

Adanjar closed her diary and got up. "I have long way to go before I get to
Camlorn, and I better get started." She said to herself, finding a new sense of
pride within her.

* * *

About a mile outside of Anvil she saw a shipwreck on the shore. She ran to
it and hopped on board. She found many dead bodies on and in the ship. Deep inside
the ship she saw her mother's clothes but not her mother. She took them in her hands and
cried her eyes out in them. She could hear thunder rumbling outside and the
pitter patter of the rain hitting the deck of the ship that caused a peaceful
tranquility to come over Adanjar.

End of Part Three

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:38 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

Part Four of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 21st, Nine in the Morning

Somewhere Near Stirk, Cyrodiil 2E175

Ajirab was more frightened than she had ever been. The pirates had attacked the boat she was on and took her as a slave. They had stripped her of her clothes, and now she was wearing nothing but a slave bracer. They would probably take her to Morrowind where she could be sold legally. All she could think of was how Adanjar had run out on her and M'nasha that night.
After the Dunmer pirates attacked the ship she was on, they pillaged Arenthia and burned it to the ground. The city of course would rebuild, but what if Adanjar was staying there when it burned. She was probably worrying too much. Adanjar would not have any reason to go there. Qa'Bahka had run out on her, so why would she go to him?
One of the pirates, the one who was guarding her, had taken to her. He'd been talking to her off and on for about three hours. Ajirab thought on this and figured out how she could use this to her advantage. "Where are we going?" Ajirab asked the guard. "Well, we're going to stop off at Stirk. That's when you remain absolutely silent. Then, if all goes well, we'll go to Morrowind. And you can guess the rest" he said solemnly. Ajirab worked it out in her head and figured out that she would escape at Stirk. She would stay there a couple of days until she was sure the pirates were either gone or imprisoned and would then leave for Alabaster.
Ajirab knew that Adanjar would either go to Camlarn or go back to Alabaster. So Ajirab chose to first go to Alabaster.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 21st, One in the Evening

One Mile outside Anvil, Cyrodiil

Adanjar solemnly sombered down the trail from where the shipwreck was. She was still clutching her mother's clothes that she had found inside the ship. A tear was still in her eye. She knew her mother was dead, and there was nothing that she could do. Anvil appeared before he,r and her heart went all to pieces. She remembered her father and mother in Alabaster. She had had such wonderful times in Alabaster. But now those times were over. Her father had lost everything, her mother was dead, and Qa'Bahka was probably dead too. She walked into the city and into the nearest inn that she saw.
"Can I please have a bed for the night?" Adanjar asked the barkeeper. "It's a little early for bed, but yes, I have one. It's ten septims for the night." The bartender replied.
Adanjar walked upstairs and threw down her pack and the clothing she had found on board the ship that she believed her mother had perished on. She collapsed onto the bed, curled into a ball, and cried herself to sleep.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 21st, Nine at Night

Windhelm, Skyrim

M'nasha arrived in Windhelm, the wet, cold snow fell onto his face. He was not used to this harsh climate. Skyrim was not what he had expected. He didn't even have a place to stay; he had no money at all. He lost it all gambling.
"I wonder where Adanjar and Ajirab are right now." M'nasha said to himself. He finally decided that if he did not get used to Skyrim in three days then he would go to Camlorn where his brother lived. He was sure that M'nashan would take him with open arms.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 22nd, Ten in the Morning

Alabaster, Elsweyr

Qa'Bahka gently tapped on the door of Adanjar's estate. It had been months since he had last seen her, and he was bursting with excitement.
The door slowly opened and the face of an old Khajiit appeared. "Who are you and what do you want?" he said. "Is Adanjar here?" Qa'Bahka asked the old man. "You mean M'nasha's daughter? No, the family split up almost five days ago. M'nasha went to Skyrim. Nobody knows where Adanjar and her mother went though. M'nasha said he thought Adanjar probably went to Arenthia, some sort of ex-lover there or something." the old Khajiit said. "Thank you, you've been very helpful." Qa'Bahka said to him, then he closed the door.
Qa'Bahka said to himself silently," Well,this was a wasted trip. Adanjar's might have gone to Arenthia, and here I am in Alabaster." Qa'Bahka then started his trip out of Arenthia.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 22nd, Ten in the Morning

Anvil, Cyrodiil

Adanjar awoke to see the sun shimmering in through the window. She still had tears in her eyes. She'd cried for hours before she had finally fallen asleep last night.
She crawled out of bed, still dressed in her robe that she had been wearing for days now. She opened up her pack and began writing in her diary.

Adanjar's Diary

Twenty-Second Rain's Hand

Mother is dead. I found her clothes within the belly of a ship near Anvil. My heart is bitter. My tears are plenteous. My mother and my lover are both dead. And there is nothing that I can do to bring them back.

Adanjar closed her journal and put it in her pack. She stepped outside and a cold wind blew across her face. The weather was as she was cold and emotionless.

End of Part Four

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:39 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

Part Five of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 23rd, Eight in the Morning

Stirk, Cyrodiil 2E 175

Adanjar stepped off the dock onto dry land. She was only making a momentary stop at Stirk while the ship exchanged passengers. She thought she'd look around a bit. Although the nagging that she felt about her mothers death hurt, it had not left her. She thought it'd be best to get out of the ship for a while. Adanjar walked around for a bit, did a little shopping, and started back for the boat. All of a sudden, a Khajiit woman went darting past Adanjar, followed by two Dunmer men. The woman had gone by so fast, she could hardly recognize her. But to Adanjar, it looked as if she were wearing slave bracers. She was in Cyrodiil, where slavery was illegal. Then she saw three Imperial Guards chase after them. Curious and confused, Adanjar began to follow them. They led her and a crowd of people to the ship in which Adanjar was traveling to Camlorn. "Ha! We've been trying to catch you for months now. Think you're pretty clever, sneaking slaves in and out of this port every week. We know what you've been doing; we just haven't been able to get hold of you yet!" The guard said to him. "I don't know what you're talking about?" One of the Dunmer said, "This is my wife!" He continued. "Then why does she parade around here dressed only in what can be described as a 'slave bracer'?" The guard said brandishing his sword in front of the two Dunmer. They gave no reply. "That's what I thought. Come on, we'll hold you until we decide what to do with you." One of the guards said. With that, two of the guards took the Dunmer away. Adanjar could clearly see now that the Khajiit woman was in fact her very own mother. "Are you going to be okay?" The remaining guard asked her. "Yes, I'll be fine. I stole the key from one of those men, and I have it here. That's why they were chasing me. They were afraid I'd take off this bracer. I remember seeing a third Dunmer on the ship the other day." Ajirab said to the officer.
No longer able to contain her emotions, Adanjar leaped forward from among the crowd and into her mothers arms all the while shouting "Mother, mother! You're alive! Alive!" Her mother replied saying "Of course I'm alive. But I thought you probably went to Arenthia and burned to death!" "I did, but it was already destroyed when I got there." Adanjar said to her mother while wiping a tear from her eye. Now she was beginning to feel pretty foolish. The crowd of people stared at her until the guard began shouting "Okay, okay. Nothing to see here! Move along, move along." "What were you thinking, running out into the night like that? You could've been killed or worse. Do you know what kind of men lurk around at night?!?" Ajirab scolded. "Oh please. I can take care of myself. I'm an adult. I had no other choice but to do what I did. Anyway that's all behind us. Let's go to Camlorn. Uncle M'nashan is there, and I'm sure he'd take us in. I was going there anyway." Adanjar replied to her mother, with a new sense of happiness. Adanjar’s mother agreed, and they set out for Camlorn that morning.

Rain's Hand 23rd, Seven in the Morning

Camlorn, High Rock

M'nashan dipped his pen in the inkwell and began to write.

Dear M'nasha,

I do not wish to trouble you, but it has been a while since my last visit. How are things at Topal Bay? I was thinking of taking a visit there pretty soon. I think things in Rimmen may have settled down by now. Besides it's not like I can't come see my own family every once in a while? By the way how are Ajirab and Adanjar? Last I heard young Adanjar was engaged to that nice Qa'Bahka lad. They sure grow up fast don't they? I remember how every week, you and the family would come visit me in Rimmen. We had pretty good times.
Things here are nice. Nothing out of the ordinary. Like I said earlier, I was thinking of making a visit. If it's ok with you, how about I come down next week and stay a month or two? Anyway, it has been a while since I have heard from the family, so I thought that I'd just keep in check.

Your Brother,

M'nashan sealed the letter and put it aside. It had felt like so long since he had last seen them. And now that he only had two months to live, he wanted to spend them among friends.

Rain's Hand 24th, Four in the Morning

Windhelm, Skyrim

M'nasha had decided to leave Skyrim. It was not what he had hoped for. It was cold and wet, nothing like he remembered from when he was a child. He had packed his bags the night before and was ready to leave for High Rock any time he wanted. He had enough of the cold, wet snow. M'nasha left for Camlorn by boat that morning.

Rain's Hand 24th, Eleven in the Morning

Alabaster, Elsweyr

Qa'Bahka had decided to stay in Alabaster the night before and was going to leave for Arenthia this morning. The man who now lived in Adanjar’s house kindly let him stay the night. The man had said that if he wanted to find Adanjar, he should probably look in Camlorn, that's where her uncle lived.
That morning the man, whose name turned out to be Dro'Sakhari, invited Qa'Bahka to have breakfast with him. Qa'Bahka kindly accepted, not having eaten in days. They were enjoying their breakfast when there was a knock at the door. Dro'Sakhari got up from the table and answered the door. When he opened, there was a young Khajiit lad holding a piece of parchment paper. "Can I help you?" Dro'Sakhari asked him. "This came through the Mages Guild yesterday, from High Rock. It said it was to be delivered here." The boy replied handing him the paper. Dro'Sakhari took the letter and shut the door. The letter was written to M'nasha, evidently from his brother M'nashan. "You can finish your breakfast. I have to attend to something upstairs in my study." Dro'Sakhari said to Qa'Bahka. "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather be getting on. I have a good ways ahead of me. I thank you for your hospitality." Qa'Bahka said, getting up. Dro'Sakhari nodded and quietly walked upstairs.
Dro'Sakhari sat down at his desk, grabbed a piece of paper and began writing.

Dear Sir,

I believe you intended this message to be sent to M'nasha. M'nasha no longer lives here. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but M'nasha has moved to Windhelm, Skyrim. Ajirab and Adanjar have run off somewhere. I do not like to be the one to give you this disturbing news, but it seems as if the family has broken up.
Again I am sorry for this inconvenience.

From Dro'Sakhari

* * *

Rain's Hand 24th, Noon

Camlorn, High Rock

M'nashan opened his door to find Ajirab and Adanjar on his doorstep. He was quite surprised to see them. "What are you two doing here? Where is M'nasha?" He asked them. Adanjar looked at her mother distressfully. Ajirab for no reason at all blurted out "He'll be here. He wanted to stay behind, to make sure the house would be okay. We wanted to surprise you!" "Well, you certainly did that! Adanjar, how you've grown since I last saw you! You must be four feet taller!" He shouted. Adanjar slightly smiled at him. M'nashan invited them inside, and they accepted. "We decided to come visit for a few weeks." Ajirab said, while sitting down. "Well, I certainly have no objection to that. Did you get my letter? Oh, I suppose you wouldn't have had time to." M'nashan said cheerily. "Would you like something to eat?" He asked them. They both nodded violently. Ajirab and Adanjar were so hungry they could hardly contain themselves. All Adanjar had had to eat was the food in Rimmen, and that was days ago. Ajirab had some very disgusting slop onboard the slave ship.
That night Adanjar and Ajirab ate heartily and slept soundly.

Rain's Hand 25th, Ten in the Morning

Camlorn, High Rock

M'nasha knocked vigorously on his brothers door. The door opened and there was Ajirab, staring him right in the face. "Who is it, Ajirab?" he could hear M'nashan shout. "Nobody, they have the wrong house." she said as she slammed the door. M'nasha knocked even harder this time. "Are you sure?" M'nashan asked her, as he opened the door for himself. There was an angry-faced M'nasha staring at him. "Well, if it isn't M'nasha! My brother! I tell you it's been so long! How could you mistake your own husband for someone else, Ajirab?" M'nashan said just as cheery as ever. "Yes, Ajirab, how could you not remember your very own husband?" M'nasha asked her, gritting his teeth.
M'nashan invited him in for lunch. Just as they were sitting down, there came another knock at the door. M'nashan stepped away from the table to answer it. "What are you doing here?!" Ajirab whispered angrily. "What am I doing here? This is my brother’s house! What are you doing here?!" he whispered back to her. At this time Adanjar walked sleepily downstairs and into the kitchen where the "silent" argument was taking place. "Father!" Adanjar shouted. For a moment M'nasha forgot his quarrel with Ajirab and embraced his daughter, while tears running down his eyes.
M'nashan returned to the table with a piece of paper in his hand and a confused look on his face. "You broke up?" he said in confusion. "Well, I wouldn't say so much as broke up. Let's just say most of the family abandoned me." M'nasha said. "Then what are you doing here? Together?" M'nashan asked, not quite getting what was going on.
As if M'nashan wasn't already confused enough, a third knock at the door came. He stepped away to answer it and just as soon came back with Qa'Bahka standing beside him. "Qa'Bahka!" Adanjar shouted, leaping into his arms. "I thought you had burned to death!" she said to him. "What are you talking about?" he asked her looking at her longingly. "The fire, Arenthia burned to the ground. But that doesn't matter, what matters is that you're alive and you're here!" she said, tears flowing down her cheeks. "Now, I honestly have no idea what's going here, except that a good marriage has been split apart. Now, I've known you two ever since you were engaged. I never met two happier people. I don't know what it is you're fighting about but can't you just make amends?" He said looking at Ajirab and M'nasha. M'nasha looked at Ajirab and said "Ajirab, honey, I'm sorry I gambled away everything. I still love you. I can understand if you don't want to be with me, but I just want to let you know that if you want to start over, I'd be willing to give up gambling." Ajirab thought this over for a minute and finally said, "I guess we could give it another try. But you'll have to promise me, no more gambling." "I promise." M'nasha said to her proudly. Adanjar burst into tears. Her life was coming back together at last. Just when she thought things couldn't get any better, Qa'Bahka turned to her and said "Adanjar, I asked you to marry me before. And you said no, because you didn't want to leave your parents. Well, considering I have no home in Arenthia to go to, I would like to stay here and take you as my wife. Your parents can live here too, it's not like they have anywhere to go either. What do you say, Adanjar?" Adanjar looked at Qa'Bahka, then her parents, and her uncle and said "I'd love to."
So, Adanjar and Qa'Bahka were married the Twenty-Seventh of Rain's Hand. They rented out a house next to M'nashan’s house, where Adanjar’s parents stayed until they could get back onto their feet.

Three Years Later

Adanjar laid in bed, nursing her newborn baby. M'nashan had passed away, and he had left his home and belongings to M'nasha and Ajirab. And the harmonic pitter patter of the rain sent Adanjar and Anjari to sleep. Thunder rumbled overhead, and the wind blew the trees back and forth into the night.

The End

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:40 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Balgor Serranium (Pinehead)

A Change of Luck
By Balgor ‘Pinehead’ Serranium

When the door of the Madach Tradehouse was quietly opened, nobody even noticed the small figure stepping into the warm light of the tavern. The tradehouse was quite empty, which wasn't a surprise at this time of year in Gnisis, when most miners went to bed tired and the legionnaires were on duty. General Darius was conferring with some higher-ranking legionnaires and some shabby people were drinking their cheap drinks. Fenas Madach was just polishing one of his more expensive silver goblets when he noticed a small Bosmer sitting on one of the bar stools. The little fellow looked like he had just healed himself from some serious injury and he had a very large and heavy bag at his feet. "What can I do for you?” asked Fenas. "I'd like some greef please. I need some place to rest this night as well. You won't believe what I've been through today," said the Wood Elf with a large smile. The Breton chuckled and handed the Bosmer a mug of greef, "I've heard some really weird stories in my life, but they all turned out to be true," he replied. "Well, if you have time, I could tell you what happened. I could even make you a great deal," said the Bosmer, "I'm called Balgor by the way, but most people call me Pinehead." "Pleased to meet you Pinehead. I'm Fenas Madach. Please carry on." Pinehead took a swift sip of his greef and started talking. "Well, I've had some trouble earning money when I was released from that prison ship in Seyda Neen and I was doing some odd jobs for different people in Ald'Ruhn. One of these people wanted me to fetch something in Maar Gan. I was kinda broke, so I couldn't afford the Silt Strider. I decided to walk to Maar Gan. Sure, I knew it could be dangerous, but I needed the money and how hard could it be? I had a weapon and a map and I could find shelter in an ancestral tomb if an ash storm would cross my path. The first part of the journey was quite easy, and I was already looking forward to arriving in Maar Gan, when quite suddenly an ash storm hit. I immediately looked for shelter, but it only made me wander off the path. I wanted to find my way back to the path with my map, but when I was attacked by a cliffracer while holding my map, it was blown out of my hand and so, there I was, alone...naked (no, not naked, but you get the point don't you?) I had a clue of what was the north, so I continued that way. I eventually emerged in the Azura's Coast region when I got out of the ash storm. I knew Maar Gan was in the Ashlands, so I had probably wandered far off. But I wasn't looking forward to that ash storm, so I thought I'd just look for some town to get directions. But it was quite hard to get back to the civilized world. After some hours of searching I came across a distressed Redguard. He told me some mad cultists had taken his wife and he made the impression he would pay me a good price to get her back. I had become quite proficient in fighting in the few days I had spent on Vvardenfell. I decided I would look for this Daedric ruin (I had never seen one in my life) and get this woman back. I think the ruin was called Ashalmawia. I found the ruin quite quickly, but when I entered I found myself surrounded by several vicious cultists. For a brief moment, I really believed I was going to die, but then I remembered something. I still had a levitation potion from my last alchemy experiment. Just before the cultists clashed into me I drunk the potion and I levitated on the great statue in the shrine. I had learned to summon a bound bow from Oblivion during my work for the mages guild. After several attempts to get the spell right, I finally had my bound bow and soon a rain of arrows (yes, I carried quite a lot of arrows) showered on the cultists. After the cultists were dead and I had plundered the bodies I went to search for the Redguard's wife. There were two ways I could choose from, so I just chose a one at random. The passage led me to an underground Daedric ruin, in the rooftops. I snuck around in the heights and spotted someone in the depths. Before I could take a closer look, a fireball was heading my way. I skillfully dodged it and summoned my bound bow once again. I shot the rest of my arrows at the man, but he didn't die. I jumped down at the man in a weird kind of fury, launching a group of greater shockballs and hacking away with my sword. The man hit me heavily, but my arrows had taken their toll, and he finally fell dead to the ground. When I eventually looked down at the dead Dunmer I saw he was wearing a complete ebony armor and was wielding a Daedric war axe. There was so much expensive stuff that I couldn't carry all of it, so I had to drink my only blessed feather potion to get all the stuff with me. I quickly found the Redguard's wife through the other passage and soon the two Redguards were reunited. I wasn't paid as much as I expected, but I had so much loot I wasn't at all disappointed. Besides, he said he would recommend me at Great House Redoran. He gave me directions to Gnisis and now here I am. My only problem is... My feather potion has stopped working and I need to get these things to my house. I'll give you ebony bracer if you help me to get these things to my house, deal? Fenas? Fenas?" But it was no use, as Fenas Madach was fast asleep.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:41 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Ferrin Trieteip (Michael Edwards)

Written by Michael Edwards

Fate and Fortune

Ferrin Trietep

Rain pattered on the roof, it's rhythm growing and fading as the storm let off for a bit. The hooded traveler would have burst out laughing with glee, had he not been running for his life. Apparently, guards didn't take to well to having their mothers compared with women of ill-repute. Or to being spit on by a wanted man. And so, here he was, hiding in the upper floor of the nearest house he could sneak into, listening intently for footsteps. Or at least he would have been if the damned rain hadn't been making such a racket. As it was, he sat listening for telltale signs of entry . . . such as a key scraping in the lock, or someone swearing at the sight of his muddy boots on the floor.

"Pity I didn't notice them until I was halfway across the floor . . ." Giladar shrugged off the thought as a useless wish. As it was, the owner of the house would come home to find his lovely, expensive, deerskin rug tramped over in boots, slick with mud from the rain outside and soaked besides. But, as always, Giladar had made this piece of misfortune into a helping hand, tramping over the rug and opening the window just beyond in an attempt to fool the authorities into believing he had gone out the window. The wizened dark elf laughed to himself, imagining the consternation his most recent 'acquisition' must be causing. He fingered the jeweled amulet in amusement, having just stolen it from the manor on the high side of town.

"This must be worth at least six-hundred drakes . . ." Giladar could almost make out his reflection, even in the dark of the crate in which he currently resided. He would sell it for a fair amount to a friend of his, who took care of such matters. It saddened him to think that he might have to give up his profession soon, being so well-known. After all, who could trust a man whose face was on wanted posters in at least six different towns? His smile twisted into a frown.

"It is a pity to have to give up such an amusing sport in so short of time. Price of being too lucky. Ah well, I've made enough out of it so far . . ." The thought made him chortle with amusement as he recalled various escapades where his good fortune had just barely seen him through.

"Old Jaden . . . I would love him to see me now . . ." The wood-elf and he had been . . . rather bitter rivals. Never violent, but always scheming against one another. There differing styles had clashed many times, most of which had put Jaden just a few steps behind the thieving dark elf. Where Jaden was slow, but thoughtful, Giladar was rash but quick. Where Giladar was inexplicably fortunate, Jaden was seemingly cursed with bad luck. He smiled in amusement at their last conversation, held in a crowded bar in a town long-forgotten.

"It appears my luck is better than your skill yet again, wood-elf."

Jaden had smiled, partly in amusement, partly to keep up the appearance of two old friends. It wouldn't have done to call the town guard on them both for brawling.

"You trust too much to your luck Giladar. It blows with the wind, you know." And with that, Jaden had finished his drink and left. Giladar had never heard of him again until a few days ago, he was reported dead after rather uncharacteristically missing a poisonous trap in a nobleman's home.

A scrape came from the door, jerking Giladar out of his reverie. He tensed, fingering his dagger in his nervousness.

". . . time delay . . . of thing." The conversation was quiet, and he couldn't hear it all. "Amulet . . . stolen . . . luck . . . Jaden" So, they were discussing his find, and his rival. Giladar nearly laughed at the irony. Footsteps, slow and thumping, came across the downstairs floor.

"Son of a miserable imperial heliopause!"

Giladar fair shook with laughter, and holding it down was perhaps his hardest task of the evening. His handiwork with the rug had indeed been discovered.

The blade against his throat, however, caused him to stop. Thoughts of escape flashed through his brain, and he pushed his arm up to parry the blade away. Except his arm wouldn't move. He realized in horror that his entire body was frozen, the amulet now glowing malevolently in his right hand.

"So you are the thief, aren't you? Not that you can talk, of course." The mysterious man laughed as the town guard tramped into his home. "Guards! Up here." Again the man laughed. "Jaden, come in here."

Jaden . . . but he's died . . . Giladar thought, his breath escaping in what would have been a moan.

"You were right Jaden, that amulet's done the trick. How did you know he would hit that house?"

"We were rivals. I was certain he wouldn't be able to let go of it without proving, once and for all, that he was better than I."

"Well, in either case, he’s stolen enough to warrant the death sentence. To be carried out in a week or so. Should we remove the amulet?"

"And be paralyzed yourself? Why don't we just let him stay that way?"

Giladar would have cursed fate and fortune, had his throat been capable of moving.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:42 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Stars-Night (Stargate525)

The Tree
By Star’s-Night

There was once a tree in the forest behind my hometown... go figure. But this tree was special. On windy days, the wind would howl through knots in the tree’s branches and make the most beautiful sound you have ever heard. The tree was old; it outdated the oldest man‘s great-grandfather. I am to this day convinced it was the first woodwind in Cyrodiil. The sound it produced was marvelous, a great chorus of different keys, coming together to make a single note that rose to a crescendo with gusts and dropped to the smallest piano when the wind died. Children from the village would go out to the forest and cover up some of the holes, making their own wind-choirs. Every child had its favorite set of knots, including me. Mine were near the base of the tree, great big ones that I could climb into when I was young. They were at the base of the tree’s chorus, and when I covered them up, I liked to imagine I could see all the other notes of the tree being knocked off their feet in their absence.
I grew older, and I did not come to the tree as often. I could hear it when I was apprenticing with the blacksmith in town, and its subtle orchestra would follow me as I did chores for my mother. But the tree had lost its magic for me. I no longer would spend my free time sitting in its branches, or make songs by plugging the holes. Instead I choose to pursue ’higher’, more ’lofty’ goals; like that one Argonian girl on the outside of town...
Time passed, I finished my apprenticeship with the blacksmith, youngsters had grown up to take my place, the elders died and the middle-aged men replaced them, and I never did manage to catch that Argonian girl on the outside of town. I moved away, had some adventures, settled down, had kids, and I even opened a small smithy In Cyrodiil.
I had all but forgotten about the great tree in my hometown when it came pushing back into my life for one final, tragic time.
An Imperial came to my shop one day, not so strange of an occurrence. What was strange, however, was that he was a legionary. Legionaries didn't come to my shop often, for they had a host of better supply shops available in their fort. What was stranger was that I recognized him as a messenger. But what did the imperials want with me?
“Are you the one called Star’s Night?” He asked.
“I am.”
“I am to give you this dossier,” He explained, handing me a think packet of sheets, “We wish you to build the item defined in the papers. We shall supply the material, and it should be arriving tomorrow.” With that, he turned about, and left the way he came.
I closed the shop and began to examine the papers. One was a rather elongated contract for building this mysterious article. The remainder of the document was a description of the item I was to build, as well as some (badly drawn) sketches of what they wanted.
I was to build them a...planter. But it was the most extravagant planter I had ever seen. Wrought entirely of silver and gold, it would be big enough to fit an entire tree into it. I was also to decorate it in a manner ‘fitting of the Emperor’. I still could not understand why they had chosen me, a lowly Argonian smith, to do this work of art.
The messenger had been true to his word; the next day at sunrise saw three wagons full of the finest quality silver and gold arriving for me to craft with. I immediately set to work, forging in front of my shop as usual, crafting with gold and silver where I had just the previous night wrought in iron and steel.
During the day, people gathered around me to watch me working. In the evening I closed shop, and the people left rather reluctantly. To my surprise, even more people showed up the following day, crowding the street to the point of impassability. In the following days, my project brought the entire neighborhood to a screeching halt; all of the people watching my planter come to life.
Nearly a week later it was finished. I had made the body in interlocking gold sections, with silver designs of dragons, trees, cities, and a rather beautiful (if I do say so myself) portrait of Tiber Septim himself. The Imperials came to take the planter and me to the palace for its installation. My neighborhood followed the cart in a throng, which quickly escalated to a great cavalcade as we reached the palace.
We entered, leaving the crowds behind us. I assembled the planter in the Emperor’s private garden, a lush green forest planted in the middle of a stonework city. I finished, and they brought in the plant that would grace my work of art.
To my horror it was the tree; the tree that I had grown up with outside my hometown. I fell onto the path in shock. Nobody, save royalty, would ever get to see it again, or hear its beautiful singing. I left the palace and returned to my shop, saddened at the loss of an artifact of my youth.
So to you, dear reader, I tell you this. Don’t let your past be forgotten. Don’t allow fond memories to slip away from you for even the smallest instant. For when it does, it may be too late. Like it was for me.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:43 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)

Synollian and Ales

{This story has been lost for many years. But there was one wise man left who
told it to me before he died. At once I recorded it so that it would not be lost

By Forrest

Once ,a long time ago in the land of Cyrodiil, there lived an Imperial young man named Synollian who lived next to a Breton lady name Ales. They were madly in love, but Ales' parents always said "It would be a shame for a Breton to marry an Imperial!" Synollian's parents always said "A civilized family of Imperials such as we shall not continue the family line through a Breton!" Their family’s would not permit them to see each other.

But unknown to their parents that in Ales' bedroom there was a crack in the wall. And their rooms being in the same building, the crack peered into Synollian's room also. Ales and Synollian would talk for hours and hours through this crack. Over the years their love grew and blossomed into a beautiful relationship. This carried on without their family ever finding out.

One day, they decided that they needed to see each other, they were tired of living out their romance through a hole. So that night they would meet in an abandoned field, next to a tomb.

So that night at the stroke of twelve, Ales arrived in the field before
Synollian did. So she decided to wait. The moon was full and it's light shone
down to the ground. This time she heard a heart racing growl. Seeking shelter she
ducked back behind a tree. She saw the creature step out under the moonlight. It
was a Were-Wolf. Blood dripped from its mouth and the crimson froth foamed down
its chin. This time she noticed her shoe had fell off onto the ground. The Were-Wolf sniffed it and took it into its mouth.

Synollian arrived at the spot and saw the Were-Wolf holding a shoe in its
mouth, with blood dripping from its mouth.

"Oh God! Have I arrived too late! Has my dear beloved been devoured by this evil beast!" He cried into the night.

Ales were going to shout to him, when he pulled his silver sword from his sheath and slew the creature of the night. "You will not take another’s beloved, for I have vanquished you from your evil patrols. Now, I will join my love!" He shouted again, took his sword and plunged it into his chest.

Then Ales ran out from behind the tree into the moonlight. She ran to
Synollian's side and whispered to him "My dear! What have you done? I have not
been taken by this beast!" while sobbing, with tears running down her eyes. His
eyes opened as blood spurt from his breast, he died with a peaceful look on his
face, as if he had seen an angel before he went. Then Ales took the sword, with
her lovers warm red blood, and plunged it into her breast. Her lifeless body fell
onto Synollian's and their blood mixed together under the moonlight.


Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:44 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (Franc Kaos)

The Dream of Tanyaria.

“She lives in our dreams now, our queen who saw beyond the veil.”

Even the heavens, it seemed, were in mourning, dark clouds scudding across the skies, a false night for her funeral rites, tears from the Gods themselves. Her name was… had been, Tanyaria, a young High Elf, well versed in the ways of Mysticism, partner to Franteira Taosene, who now stood in grim silence, rain washing down his cheek.

It was his first funeral, and he was unsure of how to comport himself. Even the Arch Magister, Galerian, was there, holding the ceremony in his musical voice. Franteira wiped at his eyes. He loved her, and had expected to spend many centuries with her, yet now she was gone.

Tanyaria had been elemental, measured even by High Elven standards, she danced on the periphery of peoples lives like a barely recalled song of childhood or a burst of nostalgic sunlight, barely intruding but enriching all the same.

Franteira had met her when his parents and those others had been exiled from Alinor. The second time in his young life he’d lost a home. They’d met when he’d been exploring the old ruins of the Ceporah Tower, around which the High Elves had made their new home. Tanyaria had been sitting on the highest floor, looking out to the horizon, a distant look in her eye, a half smile on her lips. He fell in love with her instantly.

She glanced at him then, “You’re not High Elf born, what are you.”

He grinned self consciously, “Um, I’m Ayleid, a wild elf, my, er, parents found me in the wilderness, and… adopted me.” He shrugged.

She patted the floor beside her, “Come sit with me awhile, I’m trying to see where I came from.”

He sat, and learned a valuable lesson about touch, surely she could hear the blood roaring through his veins, feel it pumping through his body… but below that he could still feel the old tug of the wilderness, he pointed in a direction to her right.

“That’s home.”

She looked to where he was pointing, and her chin brushed his arm, closely followed by a rush of electricity and a growing arousal. Their eyes locked. She smiled, and the rest was beautiful history.

The rain was being kept off her body by an invisible force, held together by the communities will, her ending would be discorporation, base elements flung out to the four corners of Nirn as was befitting one that had died so young.

They had both been on the verge of leaving the Isle of Artaeum, ready to begin new lives as councilors in the kingdom of Sunhold… Far from being exiles, the Order of the Psijics had now become advisors to kings, and Artaeum had become a paradise. It was also rumored that Vanus Galerion, the head of their order was moving to Firsthold, that Sotha Sil was gone… Though he would miss his home and teachers and friends, a great adventure lay before him, with the girl he loved.

Another memory…

They’d escaped from a meditation class from old Iachesis and had wandered back to their old haunt atop the tower. It was a safe place for all the students had been forbidden access to it. He sat with his back to a wall with Tanyaria laying perpendicular to him, her head resting on his stomach, facing the same way they’d been on that first day so many years ago., enjoying the solitude, the quiet. He must have dozed, for suddenly he stood on the top of the world, all of Tamriel spread out before him. From his vantage point he saw the crystal tower on Summerset Isle, the spires and battlement in Cyrodiil, the belching mouth of Dagoth Ur. From North Point in High Rock down to Lilmoth in Black Marsh he could see everything with pinpoint clarity…

A dreamy voice said, “I wonder how those Tzerapods see us, it must be wonderful to wander so high above the world.”

He snapped back to follow her finger high in the sky. A herd of Tzerapods was floating idly past, creatures peculiar only to Summerset Isle, inordinately shy, and poisonous to the taste they were left alone, moving unhurriedly through the gardens of Nirns sky, beautiful and enigmatic.

Tanyaria continued, “It’s so strange, we know so little about them. I secretly call them ‘dreamers’ and sometimes I like to pretend I dream what they do. I’ve finally decided… I will make it my life’s work to unravel their secrets, for too long have we ignored each other.”

“Perhaps,” Franteira said, “They are not even aware of us…”

She inclined her head up to look at him, and her eyes were wistful, “I also have had this thought, that we High Elves, in our vainglory, believe all things bend to our will. How wonderful it would be, if one part of nature was not even conscious of our existence.”

Franteira laughed, “Even for a mystic you ponder far further than any I know, you would give the Arch Magister a run for his gold.” Yet his heart raced as her lips reached up to brush his.

Basking in the heat of her body she leaned in close, “My dearest Franteira, I think, because you are an orphan, because you are Ayleid bonding and High Elf rearing, you too possess the alien qualities of the Dreamers. Sometimes I think it’s why I fell in love with you.”

It was true, growing up he’d had to work twice as hard as the others to reach the same place. His birthright gave him the advantage of slipping unseen away when needed, and he’d been gifted with an unusual skill in the mundane arts of sword and staff play, but the arts of Magika had been hard won. No one had been prouder than himself when Galerion approved his magical training, though his parents had been beaming from ear to ear.

As the rain washed freely down his cheeks, he vowed there and then to dedicate his life to her dream of uncovering the Tzerapods mysteries. He went to see his old teacher Iachesis and asked that his post to Firsthold be postponed and was granted leave to go to the caverns of the dreaming…

Some five centuries later he finally realized his goal. The details are unclear but he found a way to merge his consciousness with theirs wherein a symbiotic relationship would occur. He left only instructions on how this fusing could take place. Only a few thousand followed his path before the knowledge was withdrawn, and of those two thousand three hundred, none has spoken, to this day, about their experiences, but, from that day forth, the Tzerapods began to die out, all except those that had merged. There are rumors that to this day, if you see one of these creatures, it is an omen of good luck. For whatever else their secrets were, unnatural long life is one of them, and in the skies of Nirn there are twenty three hundred Tzerapods with their… owners, pets, charges, and friends? For their does appear to be an intimate relationship between ride and rider. What have they become? for when separated (apparently they still wander at will amongst us), they move as sleepwalkers, and their talk is dreamlike and nonsensical, until they return to their home in the sky.

A new consciousness, observers of the human condition, able to see beyond the limits of the mundane world…

Only the twenty-three hundred know, and they’re not talking.

Franc Kaos.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:49 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Hemal Navonne (TSBasilisk)

The Chest of Debt
by Hemal Navonne

In Wayrest, there lived a powerful and rich merchant. The merchant held control over all the trade routes in his city and extorted exorbitant rates from the other traders for use of the areas he held sway over. Some stores run by other men almost belonged to him, with a thin line between debt and servitude.

He had everything but always craved more, for gold was his greatest and only love.

One day, a poor purveyor of artifacts and curios came to the merchant's house. He bowed before the powerful man and begged him for his aid. "Please, milord", he moaned, "I cannot pay this month's rent and debts. If you do not help me, I will surely lose everything."

The merchant sneered at him. "Fool. I help no one. You will never be able to pay me enough for this request you ask of me. Your appearance fills me with distaste, and I wish to have appetite for dinner." As he raised his hand to summon his guards, the poor man reached into his tattered cloak and drew forth a small chest.

"Great one, it is true I cannot pay you fully now, but every day I can bring what gold I can to you. I will place it in this chest while you sleep so as not to affront your eyes," he begged. "Please, just give me one week, and the debt will be fulfilled."

The merchant pondered. Throwing this mendicant from his hovel would bring no profit, save for the cost of firewood which his walls might provide. He offered gold, and if he did not carry through, his house could still readily furnish the merchant's fireplace. Still, he needed to see the gold as proof.

"Very well then. Place the chest before me. If the amount is sufficient, I will release you from this month's rent," the merchant proclaimed. "Now, place the chest before me."

The chest was filled with good, bright gold. This should have been more than enough for the rent, but the merchant saw no reason to object. He could always raise the rent, seeing how much the man seemed to have stored here. The purveyor was dismissed, and the merchant added the gold to his vault.

The next morning, the chest was filled again, and the merchant smiled at how well the curios trade must be flourishing. After this, he must see about getting a larger cut of the trade.

Every morning for a week, gold was added to the merchant's vault through the chest, but the merchant grew discontent. Why did the shop-keeper pay so much and yet claim to have not enough for rent. The store he owned was small and run-down. He could not possibly be providing this.

On the last day, the merchant had his guards bring the purveyor to him. After sending them away, the merchant glared at the trembling man before him. "Where does it come from?" he demanded. "Where do you find this gold for the chest? Tell me!"

The man trembled but did not speak.

"I know you cannot have this much money," the merchant growled, spinning the chest to reveal its contents. "You cannot fool me. You are a thief or worse. Tell me!"

The man shook but did not speak.

The merchant glowered. "So be it. I will report you as a burglar to the authorities. I will see to it that you pay fully for not telling me. They will hear a far different story of your recent escapades, and how you robbed me. Then I will use your little house to warm my guard room."

Turning upon the trembling, rag-tag man, he put the coins into secret vault. It wouldn't matter if he saw, as soon enough he would have the man blinded and muted.

When he turned, however, the man was different. The purveyor was gone, replaced by a tall, old man in a black robe. And beside him stood something the merchant could not quite see, for it seemed to vanish whenever looked at fully.

The merchant wondered fleetingly where the purveyor had gone, but suddenly a deep chill went through him as the misty being suddenly spoke. "The pact is fulfilled. I will now take payment."

The merchant realized with a sinking heart that HE was the subject of this declaration. "B-but what pact?"

"He who draws gold from the Coffer of King Orgnum for seven days shall owe payment to my master. You have done so, and thus I will now take payment."

The merchant felt the blood drain from his face. The man in the black robe spoke quietly. "As you did to my son, who lost his life to pay his debts, and my daughter, who sacrificed everything to save him from your greed, so shall happen to you." The sorceror turned and walked from the room, as the spirit moved towards the merchant.

"What!?! What!?! What do you want!?! I will give you all my gold, everything I took and more!"

"No. I will now take payment."


"Yes. I will now take payment."

"What? And...for whom?"

Silence came form the room before a despairing scream and the answer. "Your soul...for Clavicus Vile."

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:50 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Raithen Arthat (raithen)

The Mage, The Warrior, and The Thief

The mage was ready. His life added up to this moment-This moment alone. Ever since he was a child, he has known he must do this. He remembered the first time he met Swellen, the warrior… the first time they became friends. It was a bright day. The autumn leaves were just beginning to swirl to the ground, all different colours. A rainbow of reds, yellows, browns, and oranges. Beautiful as it was, it barred a dark destiny of three children, soon to be men.

The mage reached for his staff and whispered an incantation upon it. At once he felt the swirl of his magic, his magic, the magic as to which would kill his ex-friend. He then found his silver sword, used once on the isle of Solstheim to ward off werewolves. Not needed that much anymore, he merely brought it along to slay his enemies. He stepped out into the bright summer’s day. It was beautiful. But this day held something else… Something almost forbidding…

The warrior fastened the clasps on his chestplate and tied the knots needed to keep it in place. He then pulled on his gauntlet tight and flexed his hand. He grabbed the hilt of his sword, Deathslay, and felt the power pulse through his veins. This was the day he would strike down all his enemies; he would kill that mage or die trying. The warrior’s name was Swellen, and his opponent was De’ Apstose, the mage. His enemy was powerful, but the knight was immortal-And the mage did not know that…

The mage traveled on. He knew where the knight would be. They both had the intention of killing each other, so they would go to the place where it began-To end it. They would not go to an arena in some city in this province. That would not be honorable. They must end this- He, De’ Apstose, must end this. For he was immortal, and the warrior did not know that…

Only one weapon could strike either of these two down. And it was called “Breath of the Immortals”. This weapon was in the hands of a man, who knew what he would have to do. He would have to kill both the other men who have been granted an immortal life.

The warrior found the clearing, he drew his weapon, and he waited. Suddenly, a swirl of mist came out of nowhere, and the mage appeared. The warrior readied himself, already thinking of the best way to slay his opponent.

“Hello, warrior. It seems you have guessed the right spot for our final battle.”
“I shall silence you with my blade, mage!” said the warrior.
“Aha, as you think.”
“That is what I know!” And the warrior thrusted forward with his sword. Instantly, the mage and warrior were locked in an endless struggle. Neither of them knowing the other was immortal.

Soon the man came upon their fight, and he knocked a silver arrow into his bow. He pulled back the string and let it fly. The arrow was an amazing sight. It flew right through the warrior, killing him instantly, and then through the mage, who disappeared into a pile of robes. As soon as the arrow had appeared, it disappeared over the horizon.

The man walked over to the fallen immortals. His duty fulfilled. He thought he could even here the gods thank him. He reached down and took the warrior’s sword, tied it to his side, then took the mage’s staff. He took one last look around, then shouldered the bow and set off through the forest.

If one might have sat there and watched the clearing after the thief had left, one might have noticed a little silver arrow glide silently through the air and land peacefully on what was left of the mage.

Written by Raithen Arthat

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:51 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Ralik (Perseus)

Love reversed.

Written by: Ralik

"You are sure of this?"
The answer came after quite a while. It was as if the other had to think hard of an answer that would fit the question.
"Yes, indeed I am." A simple reply that did not seem to satisfy his companion. "If you do not know for sure, we cannot..". He stopped, looked around him but found no reason to be suspicious of his environment. He moved his hand away from his sword. "If we are heard talking about this, we will surely die." Ralik shuddered and thought about what made him betray his master and those he had called his friends. Even his most trusted friend, Eryet who would have followed him to the moon had there been a ladder long enough.

Once, everything had been so simple. He served master Arthan, a man with considerable wealth. Arthan had worked hard to get there. He had often told his servants of how he, his father Arec and his mother Sedrin had worked day and night to sell otherwise useless objects found by the wayside to traders. Sedrin one time had been seized by a thief, mistaking them for wealthy travellers. When he found out about the woman's bleak existance, the thief ended her life. Arthan's father Arec drowned in a river, trying to pursue her killer wearing armor. Indeed Arthan had fought hard for his money and only had his daughter left to bring joy to his life. His wife Chira had died of an unknown disease.
Master Arthan had gotten him out of prison, where his innocent mind was trapped between the guilty. He owed him his service. He owed him his life. More than that, he owed him his friendship.
A man who believed in his innocence, set him free and became his friend. All that had changed.
Aseli. There was nothing he would not have done for her, when she told him she loved him. Nothing he would not do, except betray his master. "None but a nobleman may ask for my daughter's hand." A painful memory. "Those who betray me will die." Equally painful. He knew Aseli was out of his reach. Even if they ran away together, disappeared into the night, master Arthan would come after them. Riding a horse called Anger and carrying a sword called Vengeance. Arthan had no such belongings but would not hold back his wrath. He would do all in his power to find his daughter. And kill her captor.
Ralik had told no one but Eryet. Aseli was beyond his doubts, never would his trust in her fail. Jostil, the maid, Isslar the stable boy and Vitti he could not tell. Though they were friends, they would never understand him. Wodin and Klaen, tall men, he had never trusted. They would seem kind and gentle in conversation, but Ralik knew they would instantly tell master Arthan about his plans. He felt guilty, not because he would break his vow to Arthan, but because he had dragged Eyret into it.
Master Arthan would know he was involved and unleash his wrath on Eryet.
Ralik could not allow that. Eryet would have to come with them.

After hearing Ralik's tale, he had promised to help. He understood what he would have to do. Love after all, was more important than loyalty. His mother always told him the importance of things. Love, loyalty, honor. Always in that order. He had lived by that code for as long as he could remember. Even as a child, he had never strayed from his beliefs. He did want to talk about it anywhere near Arec manor however. He lead his friend to places in the woods.
Master Arthan was very friendly to both of them, but he would neither let his daughter marry a mere servant nor let his daughter's kidnappers live.
Beneath the trees, they completed their plan. Whispering, making sure no one followed, plotting. Things Eryet had despised. Things he had lowed. Things now necessary to be true to his friend.
If love, friendship and honor were diseases that could not be cured easily, life itsself had to be a plague of some sort.

She had seen how Ralik looked at her. Still she was in doubt. If she was wrong, she would look ridiculous. Moreover, he would tell her father, who would not be kind. She decided her love for him would be worth a beating and told him during a horseride. Ralik, surprised and amazed nearly fell from his horse. They started slipping away from the manor together and their love grew. At some point, they realized they could never be together this way. Only one choice remained after careful consideration. They would have to flee from the manor and master Arthan and travel far in little time.

"So master Arthan will not come back for a week?" It wasn't a question, merely an observation. "It matters not if it were a year, as soon as he finds out, he will follow us Eryet. We will have to find a way to make sure our names will not be known where we will go. And I have a plan."
Eryet mounted his horse looked at the darkening sky and shook his head. "Somehow, some way, this is just", he spoke loudly as they rode back.

None of master Arthan's servants was awake when the three got on their horses. They took a dirtroad into the woods, riding slowly, towards the creek. They would be following it for quite a while, making sure there were no tracks to follow. After that, they would travel south along a cobblestone path though they would not be entering the city at its end. He had listened to other prisoner's tales and knew no hunter would find them if they also left their names behind.

Klaen and his brother Wodin, who shared a small room behind the stables had seen them leave. "We have no right to keep this from the master, yet...", Klaen paused. "Yet what brother?" Klaen hung his head. "Yet, Aseli specificly asked us to make sure master will not find out. That her heart chose Ralik instead of me, or you, does not make any difference. We will do as she asked." Wodin glanced at the clearing sky. "Very well, but we will not clear the tracks they made. Instead, we will ask Isslar to come with us and make our own."

As Ralik predicted, master Arthan hired riders to find his daughter. He would not think of business or anything else. "I will reopen the damned shop when I find my Aseli", he had shouted. "My finest two servants and best friend. No, they will not go unpunished." His servants dared not agrue with him. He had questioned all of them, thoroughly, yet learned nothing. The trackers he paid had little to go on. There were so many tracks around the manor, that they feared the Ralik and Eryet had released three horses to make sure they weren't followed.
Thus, they only had a description of Arthan's daughter and her name. Knowing Arthan's former servants would not give their names, they would ask villagers if they knew of any new people around, hoping to hear one of the names they were looking for.

After months of looking, Arthan had given up on his daughter who would surely be beyond his reach by now.
"I am sorry to disturb you", Candar started, "but a woman told me you and two others just settled here. I represent the magistrate and wish to know your names for our records." A woman with dark hair looked up and lead Candar inside.
Outside, two horses stopped near the farm. "Ilesa? Could you come and help for a minute?." The woman walked to the door and asked both men, who had just arrived to come inside instead. "This man stopped by to record our names for the magistrate", she said. "I have never heard of such a thing."
"There can be harm in knowing our names", one of the two men said, "welcome to our farm. I am Kilar, this is my wife Ilesa and my best friend Teyre. Do you require anything from me?"

He knew, it was risky to keep the conversation going, but he saw Candar look more at ease. As if he had dropped his guard. "Again, I am sorry", Candar spoke, "I work as a tracker for a man known as Arthan, son of Arec. I am trying to find his daughter Aseli and two of his former servants, Ralik and Eryet. Master Arthan called off the search yesterday, but I had to check all possibilities."

Kilar stood up. "If that is all, I would like to get back to my crops."

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:52 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Vutier (Perseus)

A Knight’s Honor

Written by Vutier

Too bloody a fight to be called a skirmish. Yet it was too small to be seen as a battle.
Things had always gone ill in this region. There had been many vicious fights like the one Vutier and his friends had just witnessed. He would have no part of it.

They no longer heard swords clash together. The fighting had stopped. Initially, the ambushers had an advantage. Knocking the surprised riders of their horses and killing two of them before they could react. It was clear though that the riders that had now lost their horses were better trained and better equipped. The attackers, in their black armor and blue and black shields had outnumbered them.
The knights retreated, holding off a force of marauders and a great number of spears. Wearing silver armor which shone brightly in the sunlight, the knights took their stand on a muddy hilltop. The marauding force charged up, only to get violently beaten back. The knights, though wearing fine armor, carried no shields.

His father Herad had always said: “He who enters battle with no shield will die of his own stupidity.” Then again, his father had been like these men. As a spearman, he had worn the black and blue in service of his lord. Never again would his father swing his spear in combat. The arrogant man had died, defending a small area from those blasted knights.

Still amazed, he looked at one of the knights. He held his sword in both hands, swinging it from shoulder to shoulder. Because he kept swinging, he could not be attacked easily. The powerful blows that mostly landed on the shields of frightened spearmen sometimes knocked a foe down. With no hopes of getting up, a long sword would come down on that foe. “Two soldiers are more powerful than one.” His father must have been wrong. These knights were winning a battle that had seemed hopeless.

But it was not to be that way. Bloodshed continued as another group of soldiers in black armor entered the field. Nine men in black and three in silver, dead in the dirt. Two more joined the nine and one of the knights fell to his knees and buried his face in the mud. The fight raged on. The knights could not be defeated easily, but they would not last against a much larger force. After an hour, only two spearmen and a single knight were still standing. The knight killed one with a quick thrust. The other pierced the knight’s chest near his shoulder, making the bloody silver fall from his hand. The knight, who initially rode up front, picked up a dagger from the mud and killed the last remaining marauder.

At that point, Vutier and his companions ran up the hill. They cared not for the dead. Nor for the lords these men had fought for. Their belongings were all that mattered. They had no family to turn to. They would look after themselves. Jerrik and Alkar had never even seen their parents. Josten’s father and mother had been imprisoned for betraying their lord. Karben’s parents were both dead, his mother died at his birth and his father had fallen in battle. Vutier had never known his mother. His father had always said she left one day. Vutier however, had not seen the lie in his eyes.

“Let us loot these bodies and be done with it.” Business as usual. Karben would take charge here, as he always did. Though he was a good friend of Vutier, he never liked Karben’s need to take command all the time. “Well come on, we haven’t got all day. If we don’t do it now, we will not be gone before the next soldiers arrive. And if we don’t do it, you know someone else will.”

They started with the weaponry. Most of the weapons had belonged to the larger force. Mostly spears and daggers. Fabricated of cheap metal, not worth taking along, but Vutier had taught his friends a way to use them anyway. They used spears bound together and made a small platform to put loot on, so they could carry their new belongings off as quickly as possible. They took the silver swords that were on the hill, and put them on the spears. There was little else of value, the horses had run away and the armor was too heavy to carry off. It was poor mostly, but the knights’ armor was exquisite, so they took their time to bury some of the undamaged armor. The swords would be enough to survive for quite a while longer.

“It’s a pity they did not carry much gold,” Karben spoke finally.

“Though these swords will do fine.” Vutier looked at the knight that tried to get back up.

“Still, my friends, it is wrong. Indeed, these men are dead or dying. But what right have we to steal from them? Assuming we have the right to do so, are we less barbaric than the lord that is supposed to rule these lands?” Josten, Jerrik and Alkar knew arguing would be pointless. Vutier would never stop disapproving what they did to survive. Karben however, felt the need to make his point.

“You’re a fool, Vutier! We have to do something to survive on our own. You know we are too young to go into someone’s service, and no one is likely to take us in until we are old enough. What would you propose? Steal from living people instead? How is that less immoral?”

Vutier shook his head. “No, I know why we don’t steal from living people. Because it is too risky. Because someone with a need to commandeer me is afraid to die.”

“Fighting amongst yourselves will only ensure victory of those that oppose you.”

Karben turned to the knight, who now stood on the middle of the hill, leaning on a large rock. “Stay out of this, do us all a favor and die quickly and silently.” Unimpressed the knight continued:

“That last soldier pierced my armor, yes. But he only managed to cut me in the arm. I cannot hold a sword right now, but he will never do so again.” He grinned. “They call me Krindis. I will not stop you from looting these men, if that is your destiny in life. But you have no right to call Vutier here a fool if you do so. As a knight, I serve the people rather than my lord and do not lie. Not even to treacherous beings such as yourself. And I speak the truth if I claim Vutier was the name I gave my son, before he was taken by an enemy soldier in a raid long ago. Vutier looked at the knight, who seemed more honest than his father had ever been to him and far more honorable.

“Perhaps you would recognize this half amulet? I see you still carry its other half.”

Vutier looked down and held his amulet in his hand. The head and belly of a dragon. He saw the knight holding a similar amulet, with a tail, rear and a piece of its wings that seemed distorted. “I recognize it. Yes, something from long ago. But how do I know you have not lied to me as Herad has? Besides, it did not have wings.”

Krindis smiled, knowing his son was testing his knowledge of the object. “It had wings, but a part of it broke off when your mother bathed you when you were younger.”

Karben looked skeptically to his friend. Was he seriously thinking of leaving with this stranger? “That is quite enough. You should leave now, knight, I have heard enough of your…”

Vutier interrupted: “No, he is my father, I’m absolutely sure of it. Somehow, I knew it when he said my name.”

Josten could not believe what he was hearing. “You will leave us for him?”

Vutier smiled. “I’ve never been here, Josten. You should know that by now. I never agreed to Karben’s looting plans and always seem to disagree with him. However, if you wish, you can come with me. Have a life away from poverty and theft.”

“No, I will not betray my land.” Jerrik spoke loudly, as if he was speaking to an army of men.

“Nor will I.” Alkar, even louder continued. “You will not convince Josten or Karben to follow this man into a trap. Clearly he disapproves of our business.” Karben picked up one of the shorter swords on the hill. Josten gave a spear to Alkar and took two of the short swords. Jerrik, who had gone back for shields, gave them to his friends.

“Father? What will we do now?” Krindis sighed and picked up two daggers. “I see no way to avoid a fight. I will make my stand here. Get yourself a weapon.” Vutier instinctively reached for the sword his father dropped earlier. Its blood wasn’t yet dry.

“Now die, you worthless knights. Pay for the blood of my father”, Karben yelled. The four ran at Krindis. Krindis backed out, took one step to his right, turned and stabbed Josten in his neck.

Jerrik was next to die. He had seen the dagger in Josten’s body and assumed Krindis was now unarmed. He did not see the other dagger because his own shield hid the weapon from view. He charged, and stabbed his sword forward, missing the knight who quickly stabbed him twice.

With Jerrik and Josten dead, Alkar and Karben threw a net over the knight. It was no more than a common fishing net, but Kindris was trapped underneath. Vutier, who saw his father move swiftly in his armor, rushed to his aid. Swinging the sword as he had seen one of the knights do before.

He hit the inside of Alkar’s shield, and quickly slashed the sword across the chest. Only Karben was left. Though Vutier fought the best he could, he was destined to lose. Finally, Karben gained the upper hand and moved in for the kill.

“You see your death. Look at it again because it is the last you will see.” Karben smiled at first, then looked surprised and gasped for breath. A long dagger had pierced his chest between the shoulders.

“Indeed it is the last thing you will see,” said Krindis.

“Father! You have stabbed him in the back. I thought knights considered that to be a cowardly.” The tall man looked at his son.

“No, my son. Saving those you love is more important than honor. Remember that as long as you live.”

I still remember

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:53 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Sun's-Day (stargate525)

By Sun’s-Day

I was a pretty handsome Argonian in my youth if I do say so myself. Sure I wasn’t the most strapping youth in town, (though working at my father’s shop would later take care of that problem), but I was pretty fine looking nonetheless. I would chase after girls, same as any other teenager, but the tail and the fact that I was only three years old made the difficulty rather high.
I had always known about Kasa-Mei, after all, she was Flamescales sister. But I began to see her in a whole new light shortly after my fourth birthday. I guess that’s when my instincts took over and my reason made way for it. The next time I saw her, I managed to get away from Flamescales and ask Kasa-Mei out. As I look back on it, I am thoroughly amazed that she accepted. Either way, we agreed to meet at sunset on a hill in the forest, from the small divots on the north side, you could overlook the river and see the town. Quite a beautiful place, and the favorite spot for any teenaged couples hoping for an illicit get-together.
We met on the hill, both of us had snuck out of our houses for this, and I was not going to waste any time. We quickly chose a divot we both liked, and we both settled down to watch the sun set over the town. If any elven eyes would have looked toward the hill that night, they would have seen Kasa-Mei and I on the hill, she cradled over my legs, tails wrapped around each other.
We both basked in the presence of each other, the golden light of the setting sun reflecting marvelously against her green skin, sleek, warm, and toned from work in the fields. It was not until well after the sun had set, and the many stars came out to light us both in a silver sheen, that she spoke.
“The stars are beautiful tonight.” She murmured, nuzzling close to my chest.
“Not as pretty as you are though.” I replied as I threw a blanket that I had brought over us.
She looked at me, not a passing glance, no; this was different. I got lost in her eyes, two dark blue orbs, so trusting and innocent, the two great moons reflected in their smoothness. “That is so sweet...” I could feel her tail unwind from mine and snake its way over to my hip. “Nobody has ever said that to me before...” that tail of hers was sending a tingle as it journeyed up my chest, underneath my shirt.
“I-I-I,” I stuttered. But she wasn’t listening. Her tail had apparently reached its final destination, absentmindedly stroking my neck, flooding my mind with the pleasantness of that sensation. She wrapped her arms around me, and we kissed, long and hard...

We went to that hill at least once a week together after that until Flamescales and I left. She said that she would wait for me to return. I wonder if she is there now, waiting for me, looking out from the hill, our hill. But until I return, My memories will have to keep me company in this lone world.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:54 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Serene (Minque)

Serene in Cyrodiil

By Minque

Chapter 1 Cyrodiil

Part 1

The day that changed my life forever, was indeed meant to change it…..but not in the way it did……..

I was standing in front of the big mirror in my dressing-room, merely appreciating the sight….I probably would have a good time at the grand feast my parents were holding for me, to celebrate my 16th birthday. That day was today and I was waiting for my mother to come and help me with my hair. She wasn’t eager to let Ranya, my dunmer maid, perform this delicate task, knowing that the devoted girl would listen too closely to my suggestions of how my long, auburn hair should be arranged.

The festivities also had another purpose- a lot of young, promising legionnaires were invited, all eager to marry the daughter of the great General in the Imperial Legion, Rufus Vantinius, my beloved father. So finding a suitable husband for me was one of today’s missions for my parents.

I slowly turned around, watching my exquisite skirt whirl around the waist; it was a lovely creation in dark gold-beige and amethyst-blue, embroidered with pearls around the lining. With that I wore a tight semi-transparent blouse in beige which revealed a lot more of me than my mother would be satisfied with. But since I was old enough to be the object of the “marriage-open-market” why not tease the hunters a bit?

I knew my mother would want me to put on the beautiful robe which she inherited from her mother, and which now was given to me. In fact it was a great piece of handicraft; my grandmother made it for her wedding….ages ago, from thick heavy wool, in a dark red color with thick gray wolf-fur on the hood and lining. My grandmother, Reidun Ingjaldsdottír, was born and raised in Falcreath in the province of Skyrim, being originally of Nordic heritage, and that’s where the fur came from. My grandfather got her as a reward for saving her father’s life in a fight there.

At first Reidun resented her master and “owner,” Larrius Macrinius, captain in the Legion. But afterwards they settled down in Falcreath, so Reidun in fact not was driven from her native lands, she started to like him and soon even love him. Their marriage was a great celebration with a huge mass of food and drink, and Reidun had made the famous robe just for the occasion to protect her both from the everlasting coldness of Skyrim and also from the lustful eyes of the drunken male wedding guests.

Shortly after their marriage they set off for The Imperial City, where Larrius rapidly advanced in his career with the Legion. My mother, Larissa, and her twin-brother, Larrius II, were born short after my grandfather became General.

“Serene! Are you out of your mind? Just standing there dreaming and admiring yourself! We are short of time as it is, and you are far from being presentable!”

My mother’s sharp voice abruptly awakened me from my daydreams, and I sighed and sat down on the little pallet in front of the mirror. Mother Larissa started to brush my hair with a ferocity coming from her nervousness at not having full control of the situation (as she usually had!)

I sat calmly and stared right into the mirror, watched my mother’s face and appearance, and noticed that I certainly hadn’t gotten my looks from her….She was a short sturdy woman, round-faced, with dark blonde hair in a fancy arrangement, her brown eyes peering sternly at me…..BROWN EYES!!

I jumped to my feet when I discovered the fact that my mother’s eyes were brown, a fact I hadn’t given one thought about before…It couldn’t be!!! It was impossible- mine were dark blue with a touch of amethyst-violet, like my father’s. Well, his were more bright blue, but …..I had just learned about genetics at the Lyceum for better-off Imperial young women, and one thing was made crystal-clear, there’s only 50% chance that an offspring from one brown-eyed and one blue-eyed parent can get blue eyes…..then add the fact that I didn’t resemble my mother at all; I was tall, thin and my face was slim and delicate with pointed cheek-bones….There was something really fishy going on……..

“How come I have blue eyes when yours are brown?” I screamed as I stood before my mother, trembling with a strange terror. I so wanted her to ease me and explain that I really WAS one of that 50% that could get blue eyes. My heart sank when I saw her reaction to my outrage..

Larissa Vantinius went pale and sat down heavily on my bed, her hands covering her face, tears running down her cheeks.

“Oh, Renie, darling,” she sobbed, “I was hoping you’d never find out!”

“Find out what?” My voice was sharp and I was shaking in earnest by now, tears burning behind my eye-lids as I felt the ground beneath my feet fade away.

My mother wiped her face and composed herself, straightened her back and started telling me who I really was

”Serene, you might as well be told the truth now, there’ll be no better opportunity….”

“It was a chilly morning, 16 years ago, 27 First Seed.” Larissa started. “I couldn’t sleep so I went down to the grand living room to drink a glass of cyrodiilic brandy, you know I usually do that, don’t you?”

I nodded and she continued – “Then I thought I’d go outside for a while to get a breath of fresh air. When I opened the front door I almost stumbled over a worn, open chest that was right in front of me on the staircase.” Larissa’s eyes filled with tears again and she was silent…. I began to feel a chill down my back, and sweat was beading on my brow and under my arms, as I forced my mother to continue her gruesome story.

“When I looked down I saw a little baby-girl lying in the chest, all naked with just an old dirty piece of cloth wrapped around her legs. The baby looked dead and there was a note pinned to the cloth.”

I consider myself be an intelligent girl with a lot of imagination, so by now I was aware what my mother was getting at! This indeed was a nightmare; I couldn’t hold back anymore, a flood of tears ran down my face, and I cried out my rage and fear, whilst my mother gently massaged my shoulders

“Yes Renie, that baby-girl was you! The note on the cloth said: ‘You have to look after her for I cannot. She belongs to this house and I have named her Serene, she was born 6 days ago’….and that was it! No more information….So what could I do?” Larissa continued, “I took you inside and tried to warm you up, then you opened your wonderful amethyst-blue eyes and just looked at me with a serenity that amazed me…..No wonder your biological mother named you the way she did!”

“But then again, a 6-day-old baby needs breast-feeding, and where could I find someone who just had a baby?”

“You certainly cried out your urge for some nourishment,” Larissa smiled. “Then I remembered that one of the kitchen-maids recently had a baby, but I didn’t remember actually seeing the child. I went to the servants’ house and asked around. By now most of the staff were awake and very curious about the noise from the main building.”

“Oh Mistress Larissa, a baby-girl! Two or three of the young kitchen-maids were hanging around me and tried to calm you down, ‘She’s hungry I bet,’ Aantje, one of the more clever maids stated, ‘why Marthona just lost her son, maybe she can help, she’s crying over her spilled milk….’”

“ I hesitated at first,” Larissa sighed, “Marthona indeed was one of our most valuable servants; she was a magician and healer, BUT she also was an Altmer! And you Renie, were not, you were definitely of cyrodiilic heritage. I wasn’t so keen on letting a woman of another race feed you- one never knows how that can end up!”

“But there was no choice, either Marthona was to feed you or you would just die!”

By now I was listening to my mother’s story with a cold empty feeling in my stomach; I didn’t cry anymore, but my nose was running and my blouse was soaked with sweat and I certainly wasn’t in the mood for a birthday celebration anymore….. Or for dating some high-bred would-be Cyrodill Legionnaire.

But then again, I realized that I always had been interested in plants and herbs and what can be made from them; I also remembered that I always had a good hand with injured animals……..and last but not least, I always had and still have very warm feelings towards Marthona. Maybe some Altmer-magic went through the breast-tissue-barrier and into the milk I drank……?

“Did you ever learn who left me on the stairs?” I asked solemnly.

“No I didn’t…..but coincidentally, your grandmother, that’s on your father’s side, lost a parlor-maid at that time. That’s odd but I wouldn’t assume that this girl is, or was your real mother.”

My father the General entered the room, his face red with anger- well, of course; the guests had arrived and none of his family had come down to welcome all the mighty officers and their wives and children

“WHAT are you doing up here?” he shouted. “SERENE! Just look at you, there will be NO marriage-proposals for you, if you don’t straighten yourself up…And for the sake of Zenithar, take off that ghastly blouse! It’s all wet and you show so much of yourself that you can as well come down naked!…Besides…You SMELL!!”

“Rufus dear,” my mother said in a low voice, “she had to be told the truth about her uncertain roots”…..she bowed her head down and waited for the thunderstorm to break out!

Then I instinctively knew my father was having a heart-attack; his face went bluish-red, his eyes were on fire and he gasped desperately for his breath.

“RUFUS!” My mother screamed as her husband fell down on the thick red carpet, “Rufus! Talk to me! HELP! Serene, call for a healer, call for anything!!!”

I did nothing of the sort; an ice-cold cloud came over me and I just knelt at my father’s side and put my hands gently on his chest. I could feel his heart beating far to irregularly and his lungs struggling for air.

As I closed my eyes and concentrated on the desperate heart, I could feel the clot that hindered the blood from flowing in one of the coronary arteries….I trembled, this I’d never done before, at least not on a human being, and certainly not on one so close to me… I felt waves of energy floating from me to him; it was exhausting, sweat was running down my back, from my armpits and between my breasts…..I was forcing the clot to dissolve to let the blood-stream free again, it was slowly getting softer. Suddenly my fingers felt a tremble deep inside his chest …….

“Rufus!” Larissa whispered, “Oh Renie, he’s coming back to us,” she sobbed quietly and bent over him, covering his face with light kisses.

I rose and looked at his face; it was its normal dark-reddish again, the color of too much cyrodiilic Brandy and too much crab-meat-stew with fried ash- yam…..and no exercise whatsoever, unless you count the few steps to “Semirama´s Hanging Gardens,” the legionnaires’ playground-of the-year. Well, in fact, it’s a decent restaurant mostly, but when invaded by legionnaires off-duty it becomes Oblivion’s kitchen, too much booze and fatty food…

My mother and most of the guests now were occupied by helping Father to his bedroom, so I decided that it was time for me to stand on my own feet. I tore off my soaked, smelly clothes, went into the wash room and poured a bucket of water over myself, and immediately I felt better- amazing what a little hygiene does !!

I found some common skirts and blouses in Ranya´s closet, and left a note telling her that she could take whatever she wanted in my closet, then packed a leather satchel with one set of her clothing, and put on the other. The last thing I did was to pack the gorgeous red robe and off I went…..without looking back.

I now had paid for the care that was given to me by saving my father’s life, at least that was what I chose to think as I was walking through the streets of The Imperial City, hoping none of the patrolling legionnaires should stop me and ask what General Vantinius´s little Renie was doing alone walking the streets in the middle of the night.

I was extremely tired and wanted more than ever to lie down for a bit…..but that kind of behavior was not allowed in the City, not even in parks, on benches! There are stories about people being arrested for sleeping in parks, or even picking flowers there…..

Coming out from the City into the beautiful Nibenay Valley I felt at ease for the first time since morning. I knew the valley like my own pocket. Marthona went there every day to collect medical herbs and plants and practice different magic skills and I followed her, although my parents (or whatever I’ll call them from now on) did not approve. So I had to sneak out every time…..which made me extremely skilled in sneaking, an ability that might be called the “Rise and Fall of Serene Vantinius.”

As I slowly walked along the Nibenay River I thought about how this day had forever changed my life. I’d never go back to Vantinius Manor; I didn’t belong there anymore, not being the legitimate daughter of Rufus and Larissa. I also wondered why I never had any brothers and sisters…..Why would an Imperial General settle for only one heir? And that heir being a GIRL? Something was very wrong here and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I then noticed a flickering light to my left. My first thought was that my father’s men had found me, because I was sure they were sent out looking for me. No way would General Vantinius cope with the humiliation of a run-away daughter, even if that daughter was not of his own blood-line.

I quickly hid myself behind a gigantic cork-bulb plant growing beside the winding path. Not a sound could be heard, but the light was still there. I sneaked slowly towards it and then it was all clear… It was a lit-up window in a small shack and the flickering was just the trees waving in the chilly breeze….. I also by then knew what house it must be; I had found the Dunmer-settlement that was known to be somewhere in the Valley. Very few people actually knew about this little “village,” but as Ranya and I had become friends, she had told me about it. The Dunmer that inhabited this settlement were working in The City as underpaid semi-slaves, doing all the dirty work that the native Cyrodiilians were too high-up to do. I remembered that I actually had been here, once or twice, together with Ranya, when I was a little girl, naturally in secret; my father would never allow me to mix with, as he used to say, “Minor races.”

When I entered the settlement I looked for the shack where Ranya´s family lived; at least they had met me and hopefully wouldn’t try to chase me away. As with all Dunmer there were a lot of people living in the same small building, so when I entered there were seven pairs of reddish eyes glaring at me with suspicion. I removed the hood of my robe to reveal my face.

“Serene!” Tamara, Ranya´s elder sister, flung herself up from her seat near the fire. “What in the name of Almalexia are you doing here? What’s happened to you? You look awful!”

“Thank you,” I replied with a twisted grin and felt the tears rising in my eyes, “now I know I’m with friends”

Tamara embraced me and held me tight to her chest while I cried my eyes out. When I calmed down a bit I thought of how wonderfully friendly these people were, considering they had not seen me for quite some years. I dried my face and sat down by the fire. It was early morning; the family had just started their breakfast and I was treated with what food and drink they had; hot Hackle-lo-tea, freshly made bread and some boiled ash-yam. Sitting there, warm and satisfied, I began to tell what happened to me last night. I watched the faces of the people around me- there was Tamara and four more of Ranya´s sisters, and their mother, all six with the beautiful red hair that obviously ran in the family, and another elderly woman who I didn’t recognize.

I spent the day in the hatch, resting, recovering from the events of yesterday. In the evening we all assembled by the fireplace, drinking strong tasty comberry-wine that made me very drunk and very sleepy….

When I woke up the following morning I had very vague memories from last night; I must have fallen asleep sitting by the fire. Now I was lying on a bedroll with a somewhat dirty blanket wrapped around me. The smell of Hackle-lo-tea brought me to my senses. Liana, one of Ranya´s younger sisters, brought me a cup and sat down beside me, watching me sadly. She told me that there had been some soldiers sneaking around the settlement during the night. “They were looking for you, Serene,” she said quietly and turned her face away from me. I nearly fainted when I heard this and cold sweat ran down my back and my mouth went completely dry. The thought of staying at the settlement for a couple of days, which was my original plan, was not an option anymore. I had to leave as soon as possible, so I gathered my things together, leaving the red bridal-robe behind as a thank-you for the hospitality shown to me.

Just as I was ready to exit the shack I heard terrible screaming from outside and with a crash the door was flung open and three bodies were cast inside. It was Tamara, her mother, and Kira, the youngest of the sisters. All three were badly injured, and covered with blood. I opened my mouth to ask what was going on when four imperial soldiers in heavy armor broke through the door, swords unsheathed. A distinct smell of cyrodiilic brandy filled the room and I instinctively dragged Liana to me and tried to shield her with my body

“So, there you are, Mistress Serene,” one of the soldiers took a step in my direction, with his hand stretched out to grab me. “The filthy bastards thought they’d get a neat ransom for kidnapping you, huh, but no way, they’re going to pay for this… blood!”

I then was grateful for my ability to sneak because as the drunken soldier was speaking I managed to get hold of the steel dagger that we used for cutting the bread last night.

“Stay away from me,” I shouted, pointing the dagger at the soldier’s belly. ”Just leave me alone!”

The soldier hesitated for a moment, then turned to his companions, laughing, “See boys, there we go……going to have some fun with that one huh?”

I tried to keep my hand steady, but I was shaking vigorously, sweat running down my back as I slowly moved sideways, to see what had happened to my Dunmer friends.

The soldiers argued among themselves about what they were going to do next; apparently they had different opinions, and were terribly drunk….

I kneeled by the three wounded Dunmer women and saw that Tamara and her mother were not breathing anymore; their throats were cut from side to side. Kira, on the other hand, seemed not to have been injured until I saw the blood emerging from between her legs. She had been severely molested, and she was only 7 years old. In unthinking rage I threw myself on to the nearest soldier and buried the dagger deep in his neck. With a roar he slowly sank to the floor with me still clinging to his back.

Then sheer hell broke loose. I luckily lost consciousness- maybe that saved me from going totally insane. The next thing I remember was pain, the most terrible pain I ever encountered. I was lying in a carriage on a dirty blanket that smelled of unspeakable things. The carriage was tossing and turning and I turned my head aside and vomited. With every movement of the carriage, the pain made me wish I could die, or at least pass out. I could feel that some of my ribs were broken; every breath caused the ends to dig into my lungs, and a deep cut in my left arm made it useless; but worst of all, my body below the waist was on fire, abused and tormented…..I could imagine what they’d done to me. Just before I finally passed out again, I wondered what had happened to my Dunmer friends and why nobody tried to save us…. And then, I happened to see the face of one of my tormentors, and that filled me with sheer horror…..I couldn’t believe it was him…

“Uncle Varus!” The words that came from my wounded lips were a bare whisper, but he looked at me with loathing and hatred from the back of his horse, and I knew I’d made a most powerful enemy.

The next time I opened my eyes I encountered darkness. I found myself lying on a bed-like thing on a filthy mattress. I didn’t see anything at first but when my eyes got used to the weak light I noticed that I had to be in a cell. Damp stony walls, the worn bed I was lying on and the compulsory bucket in the corner. The smell was …well, interesting.

I tried carefully to move, first my head from side to side, then my arms. The left arm was still hurting me and the sleeve of my shirt was soaked with blood. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate all energy to the wound. By doing that I also got my mind off the dull pain in the lower part of my body. It was hard this time; I was totally worn out by the last hour’s events. Then I felt the arm getting warm, and I noticed the bleeding had stopped. Now I just would need some marshmerrow and wick wheat to close the cut and heal it…..Very possible that would be in my current situation! In the meantime I unwrapped the belt from my waist- it was made of a broad piece of cloth so I could easily tear off a strip and tie it tight on my arm.

The broken ribs would heal easier, I just had to lie still and try to focus on the ribs as I slept; oh how grateful I was to Marthona who taught me of all these healing skills! She used to say that I had the “gift”…and also claimed that there must be a drop of Elfish blood in me somehow…..

Well I wouldn’t know about that anyway, but thinking of my origin made the tears run again and I didn’t want to cry anymore, wouldn’t give the legionnaires the pleasure of seeing me broken.

Then the door was flung open and a young boy entered the cell with a tray in his hands.
“Some food for you mistress Serene” he said and looked away from me. Well I must look really awful then, if my guards didn’t even dare to put eyes on me. The food was gruesome- some watery soup with something indefinable floating around in it, and a piece of bread, shaggy with green mould. My hunger, though, was greater than my distaste for the food, so I ate it all.

Why the boy had called me “Mistress”…..maybe my father had arrived; it should be common knowledge by now that I was imprisoned. Oh what a dishonor to him having an illegitimate daughter who also had committed murder…

I fell asleep…..concentrating on my broken ribs…

The next morning I felt a lot stronger. When trying to take a deep breath I didn’t feel the broken ribs dig into my lungs anymore… my healing skills were functioning quite well! I did wish I had my alchemy- gear and my collection of herbs and plants with me…because I realized that I had to do something about the other bleeding. It had slowed, but not stopped and my trousers and the mattress were soaked with blood.

Breakfast was as delicious as last night, only this time it wasn’t brought to me by a young shy legionnaire but by my Uncle Varus!!

The time has come to tell you about my Uncle Varus. Rufus and Varus Vantinius were brought up in the Imperial City by their parents, Julianos and Antonia, to honorably serve the Emperor and the Imperial Legion. Both boys were ambitious and became skilled soldiers. But when it came to social matters, Rufus was the most successful, for he was attractive to women, strong, honest, intelligent, considerate and most of all he had the looks! He could converse with anyone about anything, he read books, took an interest in music, theatre, and all cultural events going on in the City. And so he found Larissa and got married, purchased a stately mansion and continued a full social life. His personal courage and good works made him highly respected in the Legion as well as among the citizens. He was even running for councilor’s election this year.

Varus, on the other hand, was not at all intellectual, took no interests in any cultural events, and did not read books…he was an arrogant and highly skilled warrior, that’s all. Women were attracted to him at first, for he was also rather handsome, but the relationships didn’t ever last. Underneath the good looks lurked a cruel and jealous spirit. Therefore he envied his brother Rufus for having achieved a home, a wife and…..a child; me!
The rumors said that he used to beat the women when they didn’t do exactly as he said, or if he was just in the mood for beating somebody.

I believed that rumor as I looked up in my Uncle’s face when he came into my cell that chilly morning.

He stared at me with cold blue eyes and an expression of loathing on his face. Then he snapped his fingers and an elderly woman entered. My eyes widened…it was a Dunmer woman…why on earth would the Legion have Dunmer working for them?

“See to it that this…this person will be presentable for the trial this afternoon,” he ordered the woman.

She nodded and approached me. Even if she was affected by the state I was in, she didn’t show it at all. She had brought sload-soap, fresh water, and some fragrant herbs and plants. I’ve said before…a little hygiene does wonders for me. I was neatly washed, my wounds were treated with medical herbs, and, the best of all, my bleeding was arrested. She dressed me in a clean shirt and skirt and added a brown woolen robe that made me feel warm and fairly comfortable considering the situation. Through it all, Uncle Varus stared at me coldly and with hatred.

When I was finished he handed a bottle to the Dunmer woman and growled,

“Give her this to drink.”

His voice was harsh and sounded evil. I hesitated at first; usually I don’t drink potions I don’t know the effects of, but this one smelled rather good and I was thirsty….

After swallowing the unknown potion I first experienced a warm nice feeling in my throat and the taste was also very nice…..but then!! My tongue seemed to grow and stuck to my palate; I couldn’t move it…and could not utter one word!!
When I looked at the Dunmer I saw she was crying…so I now understood I was enchanted with a Silence spell, I wouldn’t be able to defend or even speak for myself at the trial…..
What a terrible set-up! When I looked at Uncle Varus, I saw an evil grin on his face and I knew I was doomed……..

I was left alone in my cell again, sitting on the bench, just waiting….staring at the little window with iron-bars without really seeing. There was no doubt I was to be sentenced to death, that being the usual punishment for murder, and in my case it was even worse….I had ended the life of an officer in The Imperial Legion. My thoughts were with those Dunmeri women in the settlement who died for trying to help me out. My despair was endless, but I couldn’t cry anymore, there were simply no more tears left.

"The events of the last days had been so stunning, so far outside my experience, that I was simply numb. Although I knew that a death sentence was almost certain, I could not even find the energy to be afraid. In three short days, I had lost my family, my freedom, and my innocence. I had killed a man- felt his warm blood on my hands. And I had been right to kill him, no matter what Imperial law said."

Then all of a sudden I felt the air tighten around me; there was a strange chill, obvious but not unpleasant. I heard a humming sound; it seemed the cell-walls were fading away; I was weightless free-floating in the void, when this soft female voice spoke.
“Serene, fear not, you are chosen. You shall be prepared for higher purposes, I shall watch over you.

The voice was merely a whisper in the air but the words infused strength and confidence in my heart. I closed my eyes and let the eerie atmosphere just sweep through me……

The door opened with a loud bang, and I once again faced my Uncle Varus, but this time I felt no fear. I gazed sternly right into his eyes, and he turned away. A faint feeling of triumph stiffened my spine. He couldn’t look me in the eyes….

Uncle Varus was accompanied by two imperial guards who held on to my arms rather harshly as they escorted me to the court-room. I still was under that Silence-spell and could not protest. I once more closed my eyes as we were heading down the narrow corridor, and then a name came into my mind….. “Azura”, the Dunmeri goddess of dusk and dawn, Azura….

The court room was filled with officers in The Legion, and a jury consisting of twelve honorable citizens sat along the left side of the room. Their faces were stern and merciless, and my heart sank; I could not possibly go free, not even with protection from some obscure Dunmeri goddess.

As I looked around I caught sight of my father, Rufus, sitting in the audience, his face totally emptied of all feelings. I cried inside for him; he had lost his only child twice, first when I ran away from home the day of my sixteenth birthday and then once more when I took the imperial officer’s life in the Dunmer settlement the day before yesterday.

The trial began. I did not hear much, for my mind was occupied trying to recapitulate as much as I could from those sixteen years I’d been on this earth. I noticed that there were two parchment rolls lying on the desk in front of the Judge, one with a white ribbon tied around it and one with a black. A thin trickle of sweat ran down my back as I understood that there could only be two ways, life or death, white and black. The jury went out for some last deliberation. After a short break the court assembled again and the jury’s representative read the verdict;

“GUILTY of murder of Crassius Varro, officer in The Imperial Legion …..

The world went black… I must have passed out for a minute or two, and then I abruptly was awake, because suddenly there was a riot in the court room, a Legionnaire in full Imperial Templar Armour rushed toward the Judge. He had a parchment roll in his hand…..a roll with a red ribbon tied around it. The Legionnaire was speaking rapidly in low tones to the Judge, and I overheard some occasional words…..”jail”…….”The Emperor”……”his orders”.
After delivering the roll, the Legionnaire stepped aside and the Judge untied the red ribbon.

“Serene Vantinius, you have been declared GUILTY of murder of Crassius Varro, officer in the Legion of The Imperial City. You will be deprived of your last name; Vantinius, because you do not belong to that family anymore….”

At that moment I looked right into my father’s eyes, but he turned away and my soul died a little bit………

”Also you are to be put in the City jail, for no less than twenty, and no more than fifty years. Court dismissed”

There was silence in the court room as the sentence was passed. Then I felt my tongue was loosened and I cried in despair;

“Father! Don’t abandon me!”

But Rufus Vantinius turned his back on me and went out of the Imperial court room together with his brother Varus.

I was taken back to my cell to gather my few belongings, because now I was to be put in the Women’s Ward of the Imperial Prison of Cyrodiil.

I did not get a cell of my own- there were three more women sitting on their beds as I arrived. The cell looked much like the former one except somewhat bigger. The beds were stacked two by two, and I got the upper one on the left side of the cell. My three room-mates looked first at each other, then at me;

“Nah, what’s ya here for?” One of them addressed me.

She was of Nordic heritage, tall, broad-shouldered, with long braids of golden hair. Her eyes were dark-blue, peering but nevertheless friendly. I told her briefly what happened to me, just omitted the most disgusting details. She told me her name was Sonya and she was born and raised in Skyrim, in a place named Falcreath. She was sentenced for slaying her father….in self-defense that was, because he had done unmentionable things to her. I shrugged; the conversation reminded me far too much of the events I’d been through.

The two other women did not say much, just told their names, Leila, a thin fragile red-haired Breton-girl of 15 years; and Almina, a stout, lethargic Cyrodiilic woman of 40. Leila, I soon found out, was sentenced to death by incineration, for witchcraft and was just waiting for the sentence to be carried out. Her deed was that she supposedly had put Black-Heart’s Disease on a Temple-servant. I did not believe for one moment that she really had committed that crime. Diseases, at least the common ones, according to my thorough studies in The Lyceum undoubtedly were acquired through contagion from germs originated from animals or dead bodies. I was very sad to hear her story and I hoped that I could find a way of saving her. Almina, on the other hand, was sentenced to do time for theft. She had stolen an exquisite robe from a trade house in The City.

After I’d heard the stories from my room-mates I lay down on my bed, and let my thoughts wander …..

I was floating that strange void, everything was dense, the chill surrounded me, and there it was! The voice which this time was familiar to me; I welcomed it, though I felt a strange sense of anxiety.

“Serene of Cyrodiil, you shall not fear, for I will be watching you. Study, increase your skills. You are the hope of an entire nation. You will be the savior of many…….”

I opened my eyes, and sat up in my bed, still shivering from that strange dream. It was a dream…or was it? Sweat was running down my back and I was simply terrified despite the voice telling me not to be.

“´ad a nightmare lassie?” Sonya didn’t even look at me, she just turned around and fell asleep again. The other two neither moved nor uttered one word.

I sat with my arms around my knees and tried to figure out why Azura kept coming to me in my dreams. She wasn’t even one of my gods. Back home Ranya often told me about the Dunmeri gods and what they stood for. Azura was the goddess of dusk and dawn. What did she want from me? I felt dizzy all of a sudden and lay down again. The thought of being some savior did not appeal to me; all I wanted now was to do my time in prison, maybe be released a little bit earlier because of good behavior. ……..

During the next two weeks I had the opportunity so to say, to experience what an imperial prison was like. The women’s ward was situated in the ground story of the building. Therefore the barred windows were high up on the walls, just below the roof. They were rather small and did not let much of the outside light in. Walls of raw granite made the cell damp and there was a distinct smell of dirt and mold. As it was the ground level the cold oozed right up through the stone floor, making us spend most of our time in the cell on our so- called beds. They were simple pallets made of some kind of wood and, as I said before, standing on top of each other two by two. On each bed was a lumpy mattress, apparently filled with moldy straw, which smelled awful. With that we had one blanket each, a thin, worn blanket which did not help very much at night against the raw chill.

In one of the corners there was a bucket, to serve as a toilet. I did not visit it until the end of my second day in prison; I resented the stench very badly but at the end I didn’t have any choice anymore, I had to use it!

Each morning a guard came in with a second bucket with almost clean water, cold of course, and a piece of hard grayish soap; we had to share that between us, so we took turns in who was to be the first in line to wash herself. Towels were non-existent; we used our blankets. My strong sense of hygiene made me suffer severely the first week from this inability to keep myself clean, but after that I gave up and in fact didn’t even notice the thick odor of human grime that was consistent throughout the cell.

Sonya, Leila and myself tried as well as we could to wash ourselves and keep the cell tidy; it gave us something to do and kept our thoughts busy. I admired Leila’s calm, and the fact that she was nice, friendly and even laughed rather often…..despite her death warrant she was in good mood. I was nearly constantly thinking of how she could be saved- it struck me as a crying shame that a lovely girl like Leila should be deprived of her life, for a crime she undoubtedly did NOT commit.

The food was not as bad as one could imagine, drab , but we got rather big portions. For breakfast there were kwama-eggs, beaten and fried, with some peculiar gray stew with chunks of meat in it. I didn’t ask what kind of meat it was because I thought I would prefer not knowing. At noon we got fairly the same, sometimes there was some bread to go with it, or boiled saltrice. In the evening we just got bread and cheese , in fact that was the best meal.. The overall drink was water……on Sundays we could get some comberry-juice, that was if Margoth was the warder…..Margoth was a bosmer, and had worked at the prison for ages. She was afraid of no one, and had the compassion to sometimes cheer up the miserable lives of the imprisoned women.

I got on very well with my room-mates. I told Sonya of my Nordic grandmother and we found out that the families were somewhat related. But then again it was no wonder, Falcreath isn’t that big. I repressed the fact that I was not the real granddaughter of a nordic lady named Reidun of Falcreath……

As I’ve said Leila was a nice cheerful girl and very easy to be with. She ate very little and often treated us with leftovers from her plate. Sonya helped herself to it and so did Almina, but me, I just couldn’t … grief for the fate of Leila made me physically sick.

Almina puzzled me even then at this early stage, and considering what happened in a few days , I still can’t explain why she did what she did and why she did it at that particular moment. She hardly ever spoke with us, just sat there on her bed, glaring out into the air with a stubborn grumpy look in her broad face. Hygiene didn’t bother her at all, she never asked to be the first to wash herself. In fact I don’t remember her washing at all…

its strange how you get used to certain routines and find them quite endurable at a time like that. We never spoke about our final punishment, never mentioned the fact that at least two of us were supposed to be executed in a couple of weeks or months; the time-schedule of executions was not for us to know about.

On the night between Middas and Turdas the second week of my stay in the Imperial Prison I had my next encounter with my dream-God Azura…..

This time I was surrounded with a red mist, swirling around me, covering me in a strange chill, yet not unpleasant. Azura’s voice came through the mist, loud and clear this time;

“Serene, Serene of Cyrodiil, be prepared! Have no fear, I will be with you……You will hold in your hands the fate of an innocent, have confidence ……all will be revealed in time.”

Then Azura disappeared and I woke up, drenched in sweat and badly shivering. I swept the dirty blanket tight around me and just sat on my bed for a while, thinking I was slowly going insane. None of my room mates were awake so I finally lay down again and soon fell into a dreamless sleep.

The next day the memory of my strange dream was almost gone and we continued our tedious time in prison. On Loredas evening we got some overcooked crab-meat for supper together with a bottle of comberry-wine, served by Margoth, naturally….At the time, I did not understand that this “special” meal was an ill omen- a sign of death to come, although not the death that was intended…

We ate our meal in silence. Almina helped herself to the crab-meat , but even more energetically to the wine…..I found this a bit odd, not the fact that the imperial woman ate and drank heavily, that was common knowledge, but the fact we got wine, now that was odd! We never had that before at all.

I just tasted the wine, and did not eat very much either; I had this uneasy feeling that something was very wrong, the little food I had just lay like a lump in my stomach and I struggled to hold back the urge to vomit. So the guard came back for our dirty dishes…..When he turned his back on us to exit the cell I felt a paralyzing fear, and at the same moment Almina rushed towards him and hit the back of his head with a bottle……the bottle we had just emptied a while ago. At the blow the bottle broke, and its knife-sharp ends dug deeply in the soft flesh of the young imperial guard, who slowly sank to the floor, severely bleeding from the deep cut. Almina ran incredibly fast down the corridor outside our cell, while Leila let out a terrifying scream that would certainly be a call-out for every guard within the prison. A quick glimpse of a faint movement from the wounded man caught my eye and then I took action; I slapped Leila’s face to get her out of the catatonic state she was in and then grabbed both her hands and put them directly on the gaping wound of the guard.

“Hold tight”, I hissed and held my hands over hers while I concentrated on the bleeding wound. Leila was immediately quiet and just stared at me with horror all written on her face, yet still she kept her hands, guided by mine, holding tight to the back of the guard’s head. His blood flowed freely over our hands; but soon enough I sensed it diminish. I closed my eyes and concentrated to merge my healing energy through Leila’s hands into the deep cut. My entire body shivered, drenched in cold sweat. From far away I heard the footsteps from several guards approaching….Then I finally was aware of the wound slowly closing, the heavy blood-flow stopping. Leila opened her mouth as to say something, and I cautioned her,

“Shhhh, hold tight and concentrate on the wound.”

I removed my hands from Leila’s and fell trembling to the side, panting heavily as tears started running down my face. During my training, Marthona had told me that there was a price to be paid for a major healing; for the first time, I understood what she had meant. I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life.

“WASS´UP” three guards, fully armored, stood in the doorway, staring angrily at the strange scene in front of them; one imperial guard lying on his belly, a young Breton girl whose blood-stained hands held his head where the deep cut was slowly closing itself up, and one imperial girl sitting against the wall, crying. Leila’s face was remote, totally emptied of feelings, just calm and silent. I watched her through a mist of tears and knew that I most certainly had triggered the healing-powers that dwelled deep inside her.

“She saved this man’s life,” I sobbed, “he was dying!” I cried fiercely now, the last minutes had been too much for me, I had simply “crossed the border.”

“Aye, look ere Curio, e´s cumin´te his senses.” One of the guards bowed over the wounded one, who moved his head from one side to the other.

I just leaned against the wall and watched from a distance as the three guards helped their comrade to his feet. His uniform and armor were blood-stained but there was no cut in the back of his head any more; it was healed. The guards looked warily at Leila and me, and Sonya, who had been stunned with fear during this breakout, now cleared her throat and addressed the guards;

“Nah, see, yer mate would´ave been a stiffie if the lassie ´ere ´adn´t put them ´ands on´is ´ead.” It was obvious Sonya had grasped the situation …..

The guard named Curio turned to Leila and asked for her name and her sentence.

“Aye, Breton, you apparently saved young Telemachos´ life, and that shall not be unnoticed.”

With these words the prison-guards left our cell.

When we were alone Leila burst into tears, and I put my arms around her and we sat like that for a while. Sonya stared at me as if I was some kind of Cyrodiilic witch…

“Ye shud ´ave seen yerself, Serene,” she said, and shook her head, “them luk in yer eyes….creepy t´was….creepy, all tremblin´an´shakin´….sweatin´all over…….Wha´ are ye reely?”

I looked back at her and explained about my newly discovered healing-powers. Then we overheard some shouting and yelling from the corridor…..

“Almina!” I had completely forgotten about her, whose actions directly triggered this chain of events. A premonition came to me, telling that Almina´s life was over, then a terrible scream…… abruptly cut off…..and it was over.

We did not sleep very well that night, as Leila experienced the healing over and over again in her dreams, and so yelled and cried in her sleep. Sonya merely sat on her bed trying to figure out if I was a witch or just an ordinary lunatic or perhaps a mage.

As for myself, I had another date with Azura……

“Serene! Justice has been shaped,…..A life for a life…..Your path has been established, do not fear, for I shall be watching you. A release will come...”

And a release came, though not mine, for in the afternoon two guards came to us and told us about the death of Almina; it was young Telemachos and Curio, and they addressed us with great courtesy, which did not surprise me- men tend to respect women with exceptional powers. Especially when one of those women has saved a life.

“Killed during attempted escape,” they said.

“Leila of Jehanna; you shall follow me; General Vantinius wishes to see you.” Curio’s words tore my soul to pieces, and I crouched in the corner of my bed, buried my face in the pillows and let the tears come. I would never get over the loss of my family; just hearing them being mentioned caused me to break down completely.

Leila leaned over me and kissed my wet cheeks, “ I owe you my life, Serene. If I ever can do anything to repay you, let me know!”

Then she was gone…….I didn’t think I would ever meet her again, but oddly enough I did……but that’s another story.

Telemachos was one kind of a guard….he was kind and compassionate, as I found out on that gruesome Sondas afternoon in The Imperial Prison.

“Serene, there now, drink this and you will feel a lot better.”

I turned around and found a mug filled with hot comberry wine handed to me. Telemachos’ brown eyes looked at me almost tenderly. He handed me a piece of cloth to wipe my nose and dry my face with. As I took the cloth from his hand I noticed he had a badly treated wound on his thumb; it was watery and green pus oozed out from it. The bandage was dirty and did not even cover the wound properly. I asked him how he got it and he said it was a horse-bite.

Obviously Telemachos would run the risk of losing his thumb due to acute infection if the wound was not treated and quickly.

I took his hand and gently removed the bandage; the smell that now emanated from the poor man’s hand made Sonya rushed to the bucket and got rid of her lunch.

First I did not even feel it, but after examining Telemachos thumb with my fingers I noticed a rise in temperature in my hands, a tickling sensation in my fingertips…..The pus dried into small flakes and the red inflamed flesh took a healthier pinkish color, as I held his hand.

I looked straight into his eyes and then saw there, that he now knew who really had saved his life the day before….

Telemachos never revealed that it was I who saved his life and not Leila; that I do give him credit for. He seemed somewhat fond of me and tried to make my life in prison a little more endurable than it would have been otherwise.

All in all I spent 7 years in the Imperial Prison, but when I look back I don’t regard that time as completely wasted. Due to my proven healing-skills I was allowed more freedom than most of the other prisoners; I was allowed in the apothecary to mix ingredients of different kinds for potions that were commonly used in prison; also I was allowed to go out to collect the necessary plants and herbs, naturally under close supervision, but still I was able to get out in the fresh air now and then, which I really appreciated. But the fact remained……I was not free, and that made me think about what freedom really means and why it’s considered a punishment not to be free. For me it was the issue of very strict routines, and no personal space, always having to live with another person present, no opportunity of splendid solitude, to read a book or just sit down and daydream; having to be awakened every morning at the same time and eat breakfast together with a lot of more or less strangers with different eating-habits, that disturbed me most.

Sharing quarters can be very annoying, especially when you are not used to it. The sounds at night in a prison-cell with three or four women are sometimes unbearable……That I think was my real punishment, together with the obvious fact that I was not free.

I shall try to describe what a day in prison is like:

06.00AM Reveille, that is a guard walking down the corridor while he very loudly bangs at every cell-door shouting,

“ Wake up there ya´ (here he uses a word that is inappropriate), it’s mornin´ …..”

So we crawl out of our beds, fighting to be the first in line at the washing-bucket, if there is any water left from the day before, and if that water still is usable….

Then breakfast, normally some tasteless mire, as I’ve already told you about, but sometimes we get some kwama-eggs or a piece of bread. There’s no talking allowed during breakfast, “let the food silence your mouth,” as my grandmother used to say. Right after breakfast we tend to our daily tasks. No breaks, except for lunch, we just keep working; but that is also a good thing, keeps the mind busy. After supper they put the lights out and we are supposed to go to sleep.

So the days passed year after year….

Telemachos often volunteered to supervise my plant-collection-odysseys; maybe because he just wanted the opportunity to get out of the dull gray prison …or maybe because he had grown fond of me personally. When we were on these expeditions, he trained me in the use of different weapons, such as long- and short-bladed swords. The reason he showed this confidence in letting me use a weapon was our secret, but naturally he knew about what had happened to me and why I was sentenced to prison. He also knew my Uncle Varus, who was now his commanding officer, but who also had some tryst with his elder sister. He never told me much about this but I got the sense it was not at all pleasant

He used to tell me that I might need to be able to defend myself when I get out of prison, so he arranged a dummy consisting of a “doll” made from empty sacks, on which I was supposed to practice my blows and thrusts.

I was a good student; I quickly learned how to use the blades, and oddly enough I was better with the long-blade, which is not common among women. I was not as strong as a man but I was tall and because of my rather long arms I had a considerable reach and so I could easily keep the enemy at a distance when fighting. We had practice “fights” Telemachos and I, and after a couple of months intensive training I finally succeeded in beating him in one of those fights.

It was a warm sunny afternoon, in the middle of Sun’s Height; I had finished with the day’s collecting of marshmerrow and trama roots, and Telemachos suggested we should try a “fight.” He’d brought two beautiful steel katanas with him and wanted to see how my skills had improved.

At first I didn’t do very well; Telemachos successfully avoided my attacks …..but as the fight went on, my greater reach proved itself an advantage, and I slowly forced him backwards until he hit an upright boulder…..then I found myself pointing the knife-sharp edge of my sword at his throat. Telemachos stood absolutely still, looking right into my eyes, knowing that one single movement could send him straight on to his ancestors. I was panting heavily, drenched in sweat, totally aware of the sudden opportunity to escape that had presented itself.

I put down my sword with a sigh, the tension of the moment vanished and I smiled at Telemachos and asked him to recognize my victory. Some things are just impossible; I couldn’t kill Telemachos. I was not a murderess, although I did take a man’s life once, and was therefore sent to prison in the first place. But I would never believe that it had been murder- I was protecting myself and others and would do so again, if necessary. But this time it would have been cold-blooded murder, and that was something I was not capable of.

After some 5 years in prison, my healing-skills came to be of use again, when an epidemic of swamp-fever broke out in the men’s ward. In two weeks, fifteen of the prisoners were infected and the guards were terrified that it would spread throughout the prison. I worked the whole time in the apothecary with the ordinary physician, preparing healing-potions. The terrible thing was that if the potion was not distributed within the first two days after the outbreak of the disease, it had no effect at all. So when I came upon the first prisoner who was too far gone with infection I thought I’d try something else.

The disease affected the lungs mainly; they filled with fluid and the patient was slowly suffocated. The cause was a kind of germ that developed in the swamps of Cyrodiil, and sometimes, when the conditions were right, became very aggressive and so attacked humans.

I put my hands on the chest of the patient, who was in a very poor shape, delirious and with a bad cough. I closed my eyes and concentrated…..Almost immediately I felt the heat in my hands as the energy built; the unpleasant bubbling in the man’s lungs slowly diminished, as did the feverish heat that emanated from his whole body. I shivered, sweat running down my back, as his fever seemed to go right through me. I had to let go……and so I did, falling to the side, panting with exhaustion. But I knew I’d succeeded; the man would survive.

Then the real struggle began, as we, the physician and I, tried to cure as many as possible with potions. In the end, there were a couple of men that I had to heal “my way.”

After these events I was regarded as “official” healer and did get some more benefits, such as being allowed to visit the prison-library, a privilege that pleased me greatly. I always loved books and being able to spend quite some time in a library, regardless of its size and content, was a pleasure. I read all books in that library……literally, and thus increased my skills in strategic planning, alchemy, how to repair weapons and different war-strategies.

Sonya had been transferred to a labor-camp some months before; apparently her mother had untied her tongue and reported her husband to the authorities for abuse and there was evidence that Sonya had acted in pure self-defense and so her death-sentence was withdrawn. That pleased me because I had been rather fond of that harsh Nordic girl.

In the end of my seventh year in prison I had an encounter with Azura again, something I had not had since the day I saved Telemachos’ life through Leila. But this time it was different; this time she came to my dreams in person, not only as a voice……

I saw a tall, slender woman dressed in bluish white, a face hard and yet delicate, eyes burning, standing beside my bed in an aura of coldness, her smooth voice speaking words of wisdom, words of fate:

“Serene of Cyrodiil, you have passed the first trial that was laid upon you; there will be a change of scenery, for good and for ill. You will encounter further trials, and you will be the hope of an entire population. You will be a savior, but fear not; I shall guide you.”

Shivering, I drew the blanket tighter around me and fell asleep again. I was abruptly awakened by a hand shaking my shoulder rather harshly.

“Wake up, and be quiet. Hurry up, lass, it’s time to leave.”

The hoarse whisper went through my sleepy mind and I was dragged off my bed, a hooded cloak was cast over me and I was taken outside into the dark quiet street. I saw a wooden carriage in front of the prison-gates and started to ask what this was all about.

“Shhhh, girl, don’t speak, just come along, we have a long way to go.”

I was pushed into the dark carriage and off we went, through the empty streets until the smell of fish and salt caught my nose and I realized we must be at the harbor. The carriage stopped and I was taken out. Two figures, totally covered in black cloaks, grabbed me by the arms and led me on to the pier, where a low ship was lying alongside. I was hustled up on the gang-plank and onto the ship. It was all dark and I heard my escort whisper some orders. Another cloaked figure appeared from the hold and turned towards me. He looked at me, muttered something I couldn’t understand, and I fell into darkness…..

Here ends chapter 1

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 06:58 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Arden Faugher (Masayasu)

Anomalous Valediction
Author: Arden Faugher

Journal entry:

3E 415, 26 First Seed: Flower Day.

Today is Flower Day. I am standing in a grassy milieu gazing back at the deific glow of the Ilessen Hills. The dull hue of the Eltheric Ocean before me is highlighted by a radiant sky. I feel compelled to write today as I have been reminiscing of my earlier years. Today of all days revives the wonders of childhood; playing conquest, exploring the hills, getting into mischief. As families are in the midst of today’s festivities, I too have fallen victim to its geniality.

Though, things have changed much since then. With responsibility has come a great weight of the heart. I suppose it is a trade one makes unwillingly for adulthood. This thought recalls a turning-point for a dear friend I once had, Uther of Meir Thorvale.

It was about the year 3E 389 when I was a youth of these parts. I had only few companions, one of which was a strange fellow by the name of Uther. I often felt sorry for him as he did not develop at the same pace the rest of us did, though at times, I admired his ignorance. His behavior was somewhat eccentric with a mirthful semblance that would often lead him into a predicament. After one such event, his life would never be the same.

It was during the month of Sun Dusk as I recall for the snow had just begun to collect on the hills, and the merchants had already begun appending fur to their garments. On a crisp morning, I arose early to a series of thuds, thumps, and poundings of the floor. As my eyelids receded, a thin dark figure came into focus. When the early light grazed his tunic, I saw it was Uther, wheezing and perspiring. Curious, I surveyed him on his behavior. After a moment of regaining composure; a strange phenomenon was related to me.

In his words, “I was out last night after curfew. I realize the possible consequences, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit mischievous. You see, at early black, I was in view of a carriage riding unto Meryls (the Inn). A magnificent presentation it was, and out from it came a girl, one or two years our elder. She donned an unusual dress, uncommonly for wayfaring. A tall dark man led her out of the carriage, a Redgaurd perhaps, but she was fair as a nord, but with the delicate features of the elves. I felt compelled to gaze upon her once more.”

Upon hearing his words I was a bit stunned, as he was never one to show interest in the affairs of a lady. I retained my thoughts and listened further. “Well, last night, I ventured to the Inn to see her gentle features once more. I climbed up the wooden grooves to her window, and peered through the edge-steamed glass. No one was present. Curious as I was, I opened the window from outside and climbed in. Upon entering, I heard a group of footsteps leading to the door. To evade discovery, I quickly took harbor below the bedstead. As they entered the room, I listened.”

“My lady (in a deep voice), Daggerfall is about twelve days from here. We should arrive on Turdas, the day of Hel Anseilak. There your husband-to-be is waiting.”

“Thank you, Altilius”, she replied in a soft, sweet voice.

“You are most welcome. If nothing else is required, I will retire for the evening, Miss Aelta.”

“Please do, thank you.”

”Then, the door slowly shut, leaving me under the bed with the divine beauty above.” Uther’s cheeks changed to red for a moment. “All of a sudden, I heard the angel weeping. Perhaps marriage was not her intention I thought. I felt quite sorry for her, and wished that there was something that I could do. I then realized my position, and that I wouldn’t be able to part until she fell asleep.”

“After some time, there was no sound to be heard but the breathing of one deep in slumber. At that moment I decided I had better leave while the chance was nigh. Just as I was leaving essentially, I overheard a whisper from a fissure in the floor boards. It was very slight, though I could just make out the words. It was the voice from before, Altilius the redgaurd.”

“Yes, yes, it will be fine. She is fast asleep. I dropped some moon sugar in her tea, so don’t worry. She will not be disturbed. At twilight we will wrap her in this shroud and place the body in this trunk. Another carriage will be waiting between Meir Darguard and Eagle Brook. We will rendezvous exchanging packages, and then proceed to Camlorn. From there we will have enough gold to buy transit back to Hammerfel.”

“But sir, won’t her husband-to-be come looking for us?”

“Heh, there never was a one. The letters were counterfeit. Now, we leave at once.”

“Yes sir!”

“I was perplexed as to how to save her. Realizing that I was nearly out of time, I quickly took my fathers ring from my pocket, and placed it on Miss Aelta’s hand. Then I recited the incantation. She turned invisible at once. I carefully pulled her from the bed and as I heard the foot steps to the door, I pushed her below and climbed back out of the window without being seen.”

“Are you a thief? Where did you get an invisibility ring? Is that how you slithered into Amirie’s Tavern without witness?”

“How else could I have purloined that bottle of Cyrodillic brandy from the breakfront? The ring was a gift to my father while being in the service of the empire. After he passed away, I kept it as a memento.”

“You astonish me without end. So, what happened after that?”

“Oh, yes, well, a moment later the three Redgaurds came out of the inn in frenzy. I was fretful about the girl, but didn’t want to expose my intentions, so I waited a bit longer until the malefactors had ventured to search. I quickly scaled back up the wall and through the window. I checked under the bed and to my surprise, the body was not where I had placed it. I then realized that she may be wandering about while still invisible. The spell only lasts for several minutes. I knew that I would have to find her before they did.”

“As I was running out of time, I came up with a temporary solution. I climbed into her bed and concealed myself under the sheets. After awhile of waiting, the men came in to find a body with a similar size and physique where it belonged. I then overheard a sigh relief, and then felt my self being lifted and placed into a large wooden chest. After an unsettling ride, I could hear the sound of horses from the carriage, and my self being set down.”

“I was truly frightened, but the thought of her safe in the village reassured me of my action. We rode for quite a long time. I had to think of a way to get free, but the trunk was locked from the outside, and I had no way to open it. Just I heard the lock begin to rattle. The lid had opened, but there was no savior there. I peeked out, and the two men from before were sleeping. I believe Altilius was driving the cart. Then, I heard a whisper”

“Be still sir. You are almost free. Carefully step out from the chest. When I say to, be ready to jump.” “I carefully stepped out making sure to close and lock it, not to raise suspicion. Then, at that moment, I and the phantom leaped from the carriage into the road. In the fall, I thought I saw a ring fly into the grass. When I looked around, there lying down was my paragon. I lifted her up, and we quickly withdrew to the dense cedars. There she explained what happened, as I was still in bewilderment.”

“Dear sir, my name is Euelita Aelta. I have come a long way from Cyrodill to meet my future husband. I appreciate your bravery to the highest degree. Without your help, I would never have escaped.”

“How did you come to save me, my lady? I over heard them saying you were drugged to sleep.”

“I was not. I only pretended. I knew that this was all a farce, including my marriage. I discovered it when we rode through Hammerfel. We stopped to enlist the betrayer’s help. I could tell that they were brutes. When I slept, or so they thought, I overheard their plans.”

“My poor lady, I am sorry for your tribulation. So, I have to ask, when I came out from the bed, you were not really sleeping?”

“No. When the men came in to find my body missing, I quietly slipped out from the door. I watched as you climbed back up through the window. When they came out with the chest in hand, I knew that you might be involved. I thought that my savior might need saving himself.”


“So, from there, we have made our way along the road back to town. I thought that I must come to see you right away. I thought it over, and have vowed to protect and care for her. I will now take her back to Cyrodill where I hopefully will make her my wife. This is perhaps the last time we will be meeting. Take care, my dear friend.”

A day later, news came from a merchant on the road from Daggerfall, that a group of redgaurds had been slaughtered on the way to Eagle Brook. Nothing was stolen. Though, the merchant noted that a box with no contents lay next to the cart. He mentioned that if anyone new the whereabouts of the cargo, to let the authorities know right away.

As the sun is now receding to its origin, so I too will recede my ink and quill back to my satchel.


Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 07:00 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (WillyBubba)

Tales of a Cursed Town

Bane of Lupus

A small group of Nords once migrated from Skyrim, into the Northeastern area of Cyrodiil. These were warriors, hoping to carve a settlement into the uncertainty of the deep, dark unknown. At the time of their movement the region was even less civilized than it is now, and wolves were once a plague to the area. Not knowing this, the warriors picked a nice clearing near a pond to set up camp. They began construction, hoping to have a nice town set up by the time their wives and children arrived.

They had expected to have problems with wild predators, and they therefore sent the well-armed warriors ahead of the rest, but they could not have predicted the horrors that would arrive only a few months after they had settled down. This is where the sad tale of Itar the Gentle begins.

The sun was still stretching its rays across the early morning sky, but Itar had been up for an hour already. In his makeshift hut he had a simple hammock, which didn’t provide the sleep he was accustomed to getting on a bed, and a small sack to keep his few belongings in. Conditions were rather dismal, but it made no difference to Itar, as he was doing what he loved, and had even picked up a new hobby.

On the expedition’s quest to find a suitable place for a settlement they ran into many problems. Some Daedra and their summoners had attacked them early on. In the battle a few died, including the only mage the Nords had brought along. He had been responsible for providing potions and enchantments when needed, and he was now dead. However, Itar had learned a few things from his grandfather, and he now became the expedition’s mage, as he was the most experienced with alchemy, and enchanting especially.

Now he spent every waking hour wandering in the woods, gathering ingredients for potions, and using his family’s ancestral axe, Wolf’s Bane, to gather the souls of whatever animals he came across. That is what he had planned on doing today. He through a few potions of healing and restore fatigue into his sack, grabbed his axe, and set out.

In a short time he reached a small clearing with a pond in the distance. Before he could move closer, to investigate the pond, he heard snarling in the bushes, and a wolf lunged at him. He had Wolf’s Bane ready and swung it quickly, cleaving the wolf’s front legs from its body. It fell to the ground in a bloody pile, still snarling like a mad animal. Regaining his composure, Itar trapped its soul and continued on to the pond. Upon closer inspection he could see someone near the shore of the pond, and started to approach, Wolf’s Bane at the ready. When he got closer he realized that it was a half-naked and wet elf woman. He cleared his throat.

“What? Oh, dear, that’s a mighty axe you have there, for felling those poor trees I suppose.” Said the startled Bosmer as she quickly pulled on a shirt.

“Oh no. Just to protect me on my adventures. This area is quite dangerous, don’t you have a guide or something? Seems a beautiful lady like yourself could get into a bit of trouble.”

“I don’t need arms to protect myself. The beautiful body that your prying eyes were trying to see is rather capable when it comes to defense.”

“And capable when it comes to other things as well?”

“Watch yourself Nord, or you’ll see just how capable, and not the in a way you’d like.”

Itar chuckled and asked her where she stayed.

“I’ve made my home in these wild lands for many years now. I suggest you move away from them if you value your life.”

“Afraid I can’t do that. You see my expedition has finally found a suitable place to settle down. We’re building a village close to here.”

“It has been a long time since I’ve had the company of others, even if they are Nords. I’d like to stay with you awhile, and the knowledge I have of the wild beasts around here will be more than enough to pay for my board.”

“Very well, if you are ready, I will show you back to my village.”

Upon reaching the village the Bosmer lady seemed fascinated with the wooden structures under construction. The Nord workmen were equally enthralled with her lithe figure. Itar quickly reminded them who had found her however. She was different from the stereotypical, cannibalistic, tree-loving Bosmer he had heard of. She refused to hurt any living plant, but she would eat food he prepared and insisted that his hut be expanded enough to accommodate her. Itar had no wife that would come in a few months, when the village was complete, and felt the Bosmer was his best chance to get one.

By the time the village was complete and the wives and children had arrived, Itar and his Bosmer wife, Eraldil, had had a child. The young boy looked like a Bosmer, but it was obvious to all that his Nordic blood ran strong, and he would be a large, strong lad.

Itar thought it befitting, given the name of his axe, and enchanted Wolf’s Bane with the soul of the wolf he had killed before meeting Eraldil at the pond. Soon after enchanting the axe he had a horrible nightmare.
In this nightmare Itar was wandering in the woods when a wolf lunged at him. He cleaved the wolf in two. Upon looking at the dead body, he was horrified to find that it was actually his own son. Hero took this as a sign that if he continued to use Wolf’s Bane he would kill his own son with it. From then on he stowed it away, waiting for his son to come of age, at which time he would hand the axe down to him.

Many years down the road, Itar had long since forgotten the dream, and all of his other troubles. Today, his son would become a man.

“Lupus, son, I wish to continue with you a tradition that my grandfather started with my father. This is the family axe, Wolf’s Bane. Now, I wish for you to have it.”

“Father, it is such a magnificent weapon!”

“As a man I expect you to find your own wife soon, start a family, and for that you will need your own home. So, go out and fell some trees, gather your friends and start construction.”

“Yes father!”

Ever since he got the weapon Lupus had been having horrible nightmares. A wolf would come and tell him to kill his father. Every time he would deny the wolf, but every time it got harder to do so. Once, he found himself awake in the middle of the night, standing over his father’s bed, Wolf’s Bane in hand. Horrified, he ran back to his home and threw the axe to a corner.

Why was he having such dreams? What was this wolf, and why did it want his father dead? Worse yet, how could Lupus get it to stop, before he carried out the wolf’s evil wishes? In a cold sweat, he finally found a few hours of sleep.

As the weeks passed however, he had more and more nights like this. He also awoke at times to find that he had killed wild animals, and though Wolf’s Bane was always nearby, he hadn’t used it. Instead, his hands were bloody, and the taste of raw meat filled his mouth. Eventually, these things would happen during the day as well. While gathering lumber in the woods he would black out for hours at a time, and wake up over the corpse of an animal. This occurred for a few weeks, before he finally decided to see his father about it. He got ready early one morning, and grabbing Wolf’s Bane, set out for his father, only to black out before he reached the door.

Itar heard screams nearby. Female screams, a Bosmer female to be exact. He rushed to their source, his new axe in hand. He quickly reached the pond that his wife so loved, and found her standing waist deep in water with a hungry wolf, standing on two legs, just feet from her.

“Come here you evil beast, I’ve got the cure for your curse right here!” Yelled Itar, just as he remembered that his new axe wasn’t silver or enchanted.

The werewolf lunged at Itar, throwing the axe from his hands, and sending Itar flying into some nearby bushes. Upon landing, Itar saw that his son’s axe was lying nearby.

“honoured user! What have you done to my son you evil beast? I’ll make you pay!”

The werewolf lunged at Itar, and Itar brought his old axe down, cleaving it clean in two. Itar rushed to his wife, giving her a large kiss and hugging her tight in his arms.

“Dearest love, are you okay? Please tell me that evil beast didn’t hurt you.”

Eraldil only sobbed out a deep cry, pointing hysterically at the werewolf’s body. With great horror Itar saw that his son lay in two bloody piles, where the dead werewolf had been.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 07:01 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (stargazey)

The Altmer

He got off the silt strider in Ald-Ruhn and quickly made his way over to the Ald-Skar Inn and got a room. He could not believe his stupidity; he knew the Morag Tong would be after him in a matter of days, so he needed to move quickly. He left his room and went to the nearest clothier and bought the most common clothes he could find. He then went next door and bought some arrows, a short sword, a bow, a helm that covered his face and some repair tongs. As he ran back to the inn he looked everywhere to make sure that nobody was following him. When he arrived back at the inn he dashed into his room, closed the door, and pushed the chest in front of it. He cursed his stupidity and his arrogance. He asked himself why he had done it, but couldn’t find a reason. He needed to stop thinking about the past and start thinking about the future.
He put on the clothes and the helm, shoved the short sword into its sheath and put the bow on his back. He could not stay in any location too long, so he left the inn and debated whether to take the guild guide or the silt strider. There were fewer witnesses if he went by Silt Strider but going by guild guide was quicker. If anything, he needed to move quickly, so he went to the Mage’s Guild and transported to Balmora. He had a friend he could stay with and knew that he could get everything he needed from the South Wall. He went over to Nine-Toes house and knocked on the door. When Nine-Toes answered the first thing he said was, “What has happened, Isendel?”
He walked in to the house, and sat down on the bed and nursed his head in his hands. “What has happened, Isendel?”
“I killed a man”
Nine-Toes was so relieved that he nearly laughed “Is that all, old friend? All you must do is go over to see Phane Rialle at the South Wall and this whole matter will go away.”
“It wasn’t just any man, he was a….Morag Tong assassin”
Nine-Toes was silent for a moment and when he spoke it was in a lowered voice “Was this an accident?”
“No, no it wasn’t, I meant to kill him, he was a disgrace to Mephala and a dishonorable assassin.”
“Even so, good friend, you can not kill members of the brotherhood. You know the penalty is death.”
At this point, Isendel stood up “What should I do? I know the Morag Tong will hunt me and eventually slay me. I can think of no way out, you know they will show me no mercy.” Nine-Toes nodded and paced around his small house, thinking about his friend’s predicament. “The first thing we must do is disguise you. For that we will need to see my friends Meldor, and Bivale Teneran.”
Walking over to Nine-Toes, Isendel said "I put my faith in you, old friend."

They first went over to Meldor the armorer, athe closest armorer and, to Isendel, a most skilled one. Nine-Toes had recommended that they go to Meldor because Nine-Toes had helped him out of a fight with some Cammona Tong thugs. As they made their way over to the armorer, Isendel kept an eye out, always thinking an assassin was going to jump from a rooftop or spring out of an alleyway. Nine-Toes had recommended they travel at night, right before the shop was to close.
As they crossed the Odai River, an arrow flew past Isendel’s head and nearly missed Nine-Toes. Nine-Toes pushed Isendel to the ground, pulled out his sword and began to sprint in the opposite direction. Isendel slowly crawled toward the other side of the river and ran towards the nearest alleyway, where he drew his bow and entered into the fight. The minute he had emerged from the alleyway an arrow hit him in the arm, sending him back in pain. He fled back into the alleyway, leaned against the wall, and laid in wait for any other assailants. He waited for a few moments and then heard a sound that shivered his blood. Nine-Toes had screamed in pain, a thump, and then, a few moments later, a splash. Isendel knew that Nine-Toes had either been hurt or killed, but he also knew that if he remerged he would be killed.
He sprinted towards the other end of the alley and hurtled towards the door of the Dunmer Temple. He felt the arrows and throwing stars fly past him, but he knew he needed to keep running. When he was at the front door of the Temple he knocked as hard as he could with his wounded arm and when the door opened he nearly fell in. The priest that answered the door was one that Isendel had talked to before in Balmora, Telis Salvani. “Isendel, what is the matter? What happened to your arm?”
Telis pulled Isendel into the Temple and laid him down on the bed closest to the door. He put some corkbulb and wickwheat on Isendel’s wound and sat down on the chair next to the bed. “Tell me what has happened.”

The pain in Nine-Toes’ arm, leg, and chest was blinding. He had woken up in the water and quickly brought his head up. His years of training with the blades and his water breathing ability were the only things that had preserved him for those hours he had been underwater. He had swum to the nearest beach and looked at down at his clothes. Through the water he could still see the blood stains from scratches all over his body. He climbed up and walked to Moonmooth Fort where he healed and repaired his weapons. He slept in the wilderness and returned to Balmora early the next day. He knew he couldn’t tell the guards, as Morag Tong assassinations were sanctioned by the Empire. He went back to his house and locked the door. He noticed that some of his things had been moved and he saw muddy footprints all over the floor. The assassins had been here, but he didn’t know if they’d be back.

Isendel had slept fitfully during the night, but Telis had given him a potion; it tasted like guar hide, but it made the throbbing pain in his right arm go away nonetheless. He had taken his armor and weapons and was on his way out, but Telis insisted that he stay and study for a few days. He had said that the Morag Tong would face quite a fight if they tried to storm the Temple. Isendel wasn’t even a member of the Temple and thus was surprised by their generosity to an outlander. They meditated, studied, and trained for most of the day and they agreed that Isendel would set out at midnight with some powerful scrolls, restore health potions and invisibility potions. Isendel was torn about whether or not to stop at Nine-Toes house and after much deliberation decided he owed him an apology but didn’t want to endanger him further. He decided to write a note and leave it under Nine-Toes door.
He set out at midnight as agreed and headed to Vivec, where he could get lost in the great city. He knew getting that close to the Morag Tong headquarters was dangerous, but he could risk it. He took the guild guide to Vivec, and as he walked out the door of the Mages Guild he quaffed an Invisibility potion, disappearing into the crowd.

Eno Hlaalu was pacing throughout his office intently when he was interrupted by Talos Dral running into the room, his dagger drawn and dripping with blood. “He is in Vivec. We ambushed him and his companion on the Odai River in Balmora. We hit Isendel with an arrow and grievously wounded the companion, an Argonian.”
Eno was troubled by this news “You failed to kill him?” Talos nodded, “This is most disappointing, Talos.” walking over to Talos, Eno lowered his voice, “You will find him in Vivec, and kill him and anyone with him. You will also take our two best thralls.”
Talos, taken aback by this, lowered his voice “Yes, Grandmaster.”
As Eno turned away from Talos and went to get something from his desk, Talos wanted nothing more than to plunge his tanto into the back of Hlaalu’s neck, but he controlled the urge. When Eno turned around he had a beautiful, glistening daedric dagger in his hands. “Use this to kill him. It is called the Blade of Vengeance and it is used to make traitors experience immense pain before they die.”
Talos took the blade in his hand and looked at its magnificence, its jagged edges, and its short, sharp blade. This blade was legendary; it had been used in some of the most important executions. Hlaalu Councilor Dram Bero, Baladas Demnevanni, and Telvanni Councilor Therana had all fallen to its might. As Talos held the blade he felt power, power of which he’d never felt the like. “Thank you Grandmaster. His execution will be swift and honorable.” The thralls were waiting in the foyer of the guild, both dressed in chitin armor and wielding silver daggers enchanted with a poison spell. As soon as they were in the basement of the Arena, Talos pulled his dagger out of his sheath and killed both of the thralls in two quick stabs. He brought the bodies into a small room and made it look like a murder suicide. He put the old blade in one of the thralls’ hands and put the Blade of Vengeance into his sheath.
Talos was a tall, thin, dunmer with a scar above his left eye. This scar held bitter memories from his childhood. When Talos was a young man, his father lashed out and hit his mother. Talos picked up his father’s dagger and plunged into his father’s back. When his father spun around, he had a glass in his hand. He swung it at Talos’s head and blinded his son in one eye, leaving him with a scar. His father had been in the Morag Tong and was a greatly honored assassin, but nobody could blame Talos for what he had done.
When Talos emerged from the basement of the Arena, it was a clear and breezy day. He first took a gondola to the Foreign Quarter where he would by some plain clothes and repair his armor and weapons. The merchants he dealt with knew his profession; they did not ask him any questions dealing with him quickly and efficiently. The Morag Tong’s spies had reported seeing Isendel leaving the Mage’s Guild in the Foreign Quarter hours ago and had since been following him. He met up with one of the spies, Vera Lovarious, at the Black Shalk Cornerclub, a convenient location for both of them. Vera was a tall, beautiful, and deadly Imperial. Her favored method of execution was to slowly stalk her mark and then pounce, striking quickly. She was sitting at the farthest table in the back of the bar. wore glass boots and netch leather cuirass, and Talos could see she had a Daedric tanto at her waist.
He walked over to her table, after buying a jug of Sujamma, and sat down and asked her, “What have you heard?”
Her reply was low and cool “I saw him walking towards the Temple Canton, but he could’ve been going to St. Olms or St. Delyn.”
“How was he armed?”
“He was wearing Netch Leather and was carried a silver shortsword”
He thought for a moment, and then asked “Any companions?”
“No, but we believe he is going to meet someone.”
Talos drained the last drops of Sujamma from his jug and then stood up “I’ll see you around, Vera.”
She stayed seated and said “Sooner rather then later.” She smiled and took a swig of her flin. He walked out of the bar and set out for the Temple.

Isendel was very worried. He had asked Telis if he knew anyone that he could stay with in Vivec. He had said “See my friend, Eris Telas. He’s in High Fane in the Temple Canton of Vivec. I will send word of your arrival.” Isendel looked everywhere in High Fane for Eris, but was unable to find him. He had waited outside of High Fane for hours. He had asked the Ordinators if they had seen Eris, but they weren’t very responsive. He had gone into the Library of Vivec and had waited until nightfall. When he emerged from High Fane he saw the many Ordinators huddled around what seemed to be a body. Isendel went over to one of the Ordinators and asked the name of the dead man. “Eris Telas” said an Ordinator. Isendel took a step back, stunned for a moment, his face as white as a sheet. They knew that Eris was linked to Isendel and now Eris was lying in a pool of blood in Vivec. Isendel didn’t know what to do. His first instinct was to run, to run like hell, perhaps return to Summerset Isle. But Isendel knew that he could never escape this. He had to stay here and fight. He walked past the crowd that was steadily growing around Eris’ body and walked to the gondolier and said one word; “Arena.”

Nine-Toes sat on his bed, reading Isendel's note and deep in thought, when there was a knock on the door. Nine-Toes picked up the ebony shortsword that he kept under his pillow and walked to the door. When he opened the door, all he saw was a dwarven crossbow pointed at his face. Before he even had a chance to swing his sword he felt the bolt peirce his temple and then all was black.

Talos had been watching Isendel from atop the St. Olms Canton all night. He enjoyed seeing Isendel squirm as he discovered the priest’s body. Talos had taken a quick trip to Balmora to finish off Nine-Toes, the Argonian with which Isendel had been seen. He had taken the body and stuffed it in a crate in the basement. He then set off for the Temple Canton and killed the priest. He had dragged the body to right in front of High Fane, making it impossible to miss. He felt no remorse for killing these innocents, as they obstructed his termination of Isendel. He saw Isendel take the gondola and knew that his trap had worked. He jumped off his perch and sprinted back to the Arena to intercept Isendel as he got off the boat.

Isendel got off the boat and drew his sword. As he was walking toward the entrance of the Arena waistworks, he felt someone behind him.
He immediately moved out of the line of fire and turned to see someone all too familiar to him standing behind him, Talos, a Morag Tong assassin, for who Isendel felt the utmost loathing for. “So Talos, you’re the best the Morag Tong could do?”
Talos laughed a coarse, throaty laugh “Well, Isendel, it’s been a long time. We’ll see who is the better assassin soon enough.”
During this banter, Isendel readied his specially enchanted throwing stars in his pocket. The moment Talos was done speaking, Isendel threw one right at Talos’ sword hand, simultaneously casting a paralysis spell on Talos. Isendel then pulled his sword out of sheath and pressed it up against Talos’ throat “Well, Talos, It seems I hold your fate in my hands.”
Talos was sweating and the spell was starting to wear off. “Should I kill you? Or should I slash you with my sword and leave you to die?” The spell had worn off, but Talos didn’t dare move. “I will show you the same honor you would show me.” Isendel took the sword away from Talos’ throat and raised it to finish him off. In an instant Talos lay in a crumpled heap at Isendel's feet. Isendel wiped the blood of his sword, took the Dagger of Vengeance out of Talos’ sheath, and proceeded to the Arena waistworks.

Isendel had killed Foryin Feltah, a much respected and revered assassin. He had killed him because Mephala had come to him in a dream and given him the instruction. He had killed Foryin swiftly and honorably, as the Morag Tong code insisted. He had tried to tell Eno Hlaalu that Foryin was executing slavers and becoming a dangerous vigilante, but Eno simply would not listen. Rather than let this disgrace live, Isendel had taken matters into his own hands, stabbing Foryin as he stepped into his house. He had left the body as if a suicide had been committed, but Isendel knew it was in vain. When Isendel slipped into the Morag Tong Headquarters he immediately drank a potion of invisibility and quickly moved to the Grandmaster’s room. When the potion had worn off, Isendel was standing in front of Eno with his dagger drawn.
“So, Isendel. You have evaded the assassins and come to face the master?”
Isendel tightened his grip on the sword and spoke. “You know that what Foryin did was unjust and disgraceful to everything we stand for.”
Eno laughed and said “I support the anti-slavery movement, I wasn’t about to issue a writ for the assassination for someone who was killing those filthy racists.”
Isendal was astonished by this, “You cannot bring your politics into this, Eno. I support the anti-slavery motion also, but Foryin was acting against the law of the Morag Tong. I could not let that stand.”
“And what would you gain by my death? You have already been expelled for the murder of one member, If you murder the Grandmaster you would have a permanent death writ out against you.”
“It’s about Justice, Eno.” At this point Eno had drawn out the Black Hand’s Dagger and was ready to fight. Isendel swung his dagger as hard as he could at Eno’s midsection but it was blocked by Eno’s dagger. They proceeded to fight and parry until Eno had hit Isendel's arm, causing him to drop his dagger.
As Isendel stood there bleeding, Eno prepared to strike, taking his time to perfectly align his thrust. “So, Isendel, it looks as though your quest ends here. You’ve run out options and there is no one to assist you.”
Isendel said not a word as he resigned himself to his fate. He was going to die a traitor’s death and no one would grieve for him. At that moment he felt the dagger pierce his chest and he felt the breath slowly leave his body, as he fell to the ground the whole world went black.

Eno stood over Isendel's body. Even though Isendel had been a traitor, Eno felt no happiness or relief. He picked the body up, put it on the bed, and sat down at the chair at his desk. He felt a kind of loss with the death of Isendel, it had been a game of cat and mouse and now that the mouse was dead, the excitement was gone. The Argonian, Nine-Toes, the two thralls (Eno was unsure of their fate), the priest, and Talos had all died for the sake of Isendel's death. Eno felt sad about this, but he could not bring these people back. He would order Isendel's body thrown into the Sea of Ghosts, with no ceremony.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 07:02 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (stargazey)

Berne’s Blood

Sadrith Mora

Raxle sat at the bar of Dirty Muriel’s drinking his flin and watching Muriel flit back and forth serving drinks to various patrons. It was very early in the day but the bar was bustling with business. As always, there were a few drunks looking to fight, but they usually wondered outside and passed out. Raxle was waiting for his friend Aurane; They were scheduled to set out for Ald Sotha that night. They were going to recover an artifact left there by Raxle’s ancestor, Terious. Terious had been a fearsome Imperial Vampire and had headed House Telvanni for many years. During his travels he had collected many rare artifacts, but one stood out among them. The item was called Berne’s Blood, a staff that had supposedly been used by Raxle Berne, the head of the Berne Clan of Vampires. Terious had stolen this staff from the Berne vampires and had fled as far as Ald Sotha when he was surrounded by fifteen vampires. As they all descended upon him, an aspect of Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Vampires, killed everyone in the room in one moment. Raxle believed that Molag Bal had left it for him to find and after thoroughly discussing the matter with Aurane, had decided they should go and see if they could recover the staff from the ruins of Ald-Sotha. Raxle waited in the bar for a few more minutes and then went to stand outside. It was a beautiful day in Vvardenfell and those were few and far between. He paced around outside the bar for a few more moments, but he saw a flash of light next to the Imperial Cult Shrine and knew that Aurane had finally arrived. Divine Intervention was the only way Aurane traveled. He always had an Amulet of Divine Intervention, a spell of Divine Intervention and fifteen scrolls of Divine Intervention. Some called him neurotic, but in the twenty years that Raxle had known Aurane, he had never once gotten in above his head. Aurane walked down the pathway to meet Raxle in his usual extravagantly enchanted shirt, pants, and shoes. Raxle had told him to tone down his flamboyant wardrobe, but Aurane said the enchantments helped him fight, so Raxle had backed down. “All hail Glowy, lord of the Bretons” Aurane laughed his deep laugh and said “Someday you’ll thank me, Raxle”. They then set out for the docks and the rest of their trip.

When they arrived in Vivec’s dock it was nine in the morning and the sun shone bright upon the water. They walked past the great city and stopped and gazed at the beauty of the Foreign Quarter in the freshly risen sun. They started their walk over to Ald Sotha, the wind at their back. Raxle was dressed in glass and ebony armor and was carrying an enchanted Daedric Dai-Katana he had nicknamed Godsbane. Aurane was armed with a dwarven crossbow, a Glass Jinxblade and a Daedric Dagger. During the short walk to Ald-Sotha, Raxle felt that someone was watching them, but every time he glanced over his shoulder there was nothing he could see. When they saw the startling beauty of Ald-Sotha in the distance, they knew that it would be fraught with Daedric beasts waiting to attack them. The first thing they encountered was a Nord named Rolf the Seal, he was apparently an adventurer who was grievously wounded after a fight inside Ald-Sotha. Aurane walked up to him and gave him a restore health potion and asked him what had attacked him.
When Rolf spoke it was in a barely audible whisper “Vampires, tons of them. They’re fighting with Ordinators, spells and swords. I just went in there to loot the place.”
Aurane then asked him “How do you feel?”
Rolf laughed and said “Beside the stinging pain in my arm? Well, now that you mention it, I feel kind of queasy.”
Aurane pulled his Daedric Dagger out and slit Rolf’s throat before anyone could react. Raxle, taken aback, yelled “What in the hell did you do that for?”
Aurane cleaned his blade, returned it to it’s sheath, and then said “He was infected with Porphyric Hemophilia, and by the look of it, he was in the final stages before becoming a Vampire.”
Raxle was stunned “How do you know?”
“My father was a very powerful healer and treated my adventurers and mages. Whenever he saw someone feeling like this he’d ask how they felt. They always felt queasy. He’d tell them this then give them the option of leaving and trying to treat it or letting him kill them. They always let him kill them; it put them out of their suffering.”
For a moment, Raxle was shocked by his friend’s brutality, but then realized that he had been right to kill Rolf. When they got to the door of the shrine Raxle turned to Aurane and asked if she was ready. Aurane gulped and nodded. They opened the door and were met by four vampires, all wielding glistening, enchanted ebony shortswords.
Aurane grinned, “Two and Two”.
Raxle sprinted at two of the vampires with Godsbane swinging wildly, while Aurane cast paralyze on his two and then went to work with his Daedric Dagger. Raxle struck the first Vampire twice in the stomach and hit the second one twice in the face, they both crumpled in a heap at his feet. Raxle put his sword back in his sheath and said to Aurane “Did you get hit?” Aurane shook his head no.
They proceeded down the stairs to the door to of the shrine, where they readied their weapons, drank their restore health potions, and readied themselves for what was sure to be some of the worst combat they had ever faced.
Raxle turned to Aurane and said “I’ll go in first, slashing with Godsbane, and you bring up the rear, shooting spells.” Aurane just nodded, apparently at a loss for words.
Aurane pushed open the door to the shrine and let his friend run through with his sword waving. Aurane began shooting spells of fireball, frostball, and paralysis over Raxle’s shoulder. Inside the shrine there were thirty people. Twelve Ordinators with enchanted Indoril Armor and Eighteen Vampires all wielding and wearing Ebony. Aurane’s paralysis spells hit two vampires and four ordinators, but the fireballs hit everyone inside except Raxle.
Raxle ran into the fray with his sword pointed straight out, ready to hit anything that got in his way. An Ordinator turned to Raxle and said “What are you doing here? This is a temple excursion for the elimination of these Vampire scum.”
Raxle laughed and just said “I’m here for the loot”. The Ordinator turned away from Raxle and hit a Vampire square across the face with his ebony mace. Raxle swung Godsbane and quickly took down one vampire and wounded another. He heard a blood curdling yell and quickly turned to his left, only to see two vampires being struck down by Aurane’s fireballs. Aurane then pulled out his crossbow and rained bolts down upon the crowd. Raxle was taking down Ordinators and Vampires alike, leaving no one alive. He pulled his sword out of the chest of a Vampire and looked over his shoulder to see a Vampire standing over Aurane’s body holding Berne’s Blood in one hand and Aurane’s crossbow in the other. He was wearing a full suit of Daedric Armor and a disgusting, blood stained smile upon his face. The Ordinators continued to battle with the few remaining Vampires, but Raxle saw what he had come for. He walked over to the Vampire and said “What you have is mine.”
“Come and get it, mortal.” the Vampire laughed. Raxle swung Godsbane with all his strength and hit the Vampire in his midsection. The Vampire feel to his knees and was gasping for breath, be he still managed to utter his last words “You will join me.” Raxle knelt down and picked up Berne’s Blood from the Vampire’s corpse. Raxle had gotten the artifact, but he had also gotten something else. He had become a Vampire.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 07:03 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Re-Lan (Argonians rule)

Tribal wars Volume: 1
By Re-Lan

In the middle of black marsh lived two warring argonian tribes. They were called the Murkwater tribe and the Swamp Root tribe. Their chieftains were Ral-Jar of the murkwater and Run-Ke of the Swamp Root. Their war had been going on as long as they could remember. They were also equally matched in strength. Each tribe had about 500 warriors in it.

One day Run-Ke took his tribe and attacked the murkwater village. He killed many of their tribe. Ral-Jar and one hundred of his toughest escaped. Run-Ke's troops rejoiced at having finally destroyed their enemy. They celebrated all night at the ruins of the village. Ral-Jar equipped each soldier with a bow and waited till the enemy warriors stopped celebrating and went to sleep. Then his men began shooting the sleeping warriors. They fired volley after volley, and killed most of Run-Ke's men while they slept. But the scream of one argonian woke the rest and seeing the enemy just beyond the ruins Run-Ke attacked. The Murkwater warriors were still using bows and were cut to pieces by Run-Ke's spear warriors.

After a vicious battle only Run-Ke and Ral-Jar were left alive. They battled with their sword's for 3 days until Run-Ke finally fell. Ral-Jarsaw the corpses surrounding him and knew that He was the last left alive. Ral-Jar went into despair then and pulled a knife from his belt he cut his wrists and as he lay dying Ral-Jar knew then that war solves nothing and The battle meant nothing as they all had died.

Note From Re-Lan: I was journeying Black Marsh when I discovered this battle scene, and found Ral-Jar when he cut his wrists. As the minutes until his doom slipped away he told me the story. He said as his dying wish that I put it in writing so that others will read it and perhaps not be compelled to go to war. I have granted my part of his wish and hope that the reader can grant theirs by never taking up arms against another.

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 07:05 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Thi'netel (Corryn)

Last Mission of the Bal Molagmer - Part 1 Author – Thi’netel

Clouds moved across the pale moon once again. The guard at the gate, hearing a noise off to his left, turned quickly. Behind him a shadow slipped past the torch light, quickly dissolving into the gloom of the night.

Shien moved swiftly to the next wall looming over her head and paused to listen. On the other side creatures were nosing around. She climbed up nimbly and peered over briefly before ducking back down. “Oh great, I wasn’t expecting dogs.” She slid down quietly and crawled. The dogs’ ears perked up but did not turn. She waited still until they moved on and she inched forward again. Several times they returned, causing agonizingly slow progress, but finally she managed to move past their patrol.

Finally to the castle she looked up at the towering structure. “Heh, they sure build them big in Cyrodiil. Now let’s see, where did I put that parchment?” After some rummaging through her supplies she pulled out a scroll and kneeled, looking over her assignment again, hurriedly.

Bal Molagmer
For Member, Shien Triseal

In the City of Cyrodiil, of the providence of Cyrodiil. In the
manor of Hlaalu the representative of the providence of

The mark is two items this time Shien. I know that is
irregular, but as you realize these are desperate times. The
first is the Twin Stone. It is a magical gem that has a unique
unlocking charm that can open any slave’s bracer. This one
grab could do more good than almost anything else we have
ever done, not to mention that with so many newly freed allies
we may be able to save the guild. The second and possibly
more important is the gloves of the Bal Molagmer and it is
imperative they be recovered. They represent all that we
stand for and are a symbol for the guild itself. Even should
all else be lost they will inspire future generations to rebuild
and use their gifts to help instead of only for greed. If the
gloves are not brought back then we truly will lose. Both
were taken from Thiska after he tried to acquire the stone
the first time.

Remember you must memorize this message and destroy it
before you leave the guild. And for once would you
please listen to me on this Shien. Take care child.


Shien chuckled softly, “Good old Fris. The guild has been his whole world for years now, and even as it falls down around us, he still insists we follow code.”

Her faint laughter faded to grim silence as she remembered her last few moments in the guild. The mad scrabble to escape as Camonna Tong poured in through the entrance. She grabbed her gear with her last assignment before slipping out one of the many hidden exits. “I hope the others got out okay.” she sighed bitterly.

Suddenly she stood with renewed spirit. “I’m not going to let you down Fris.” She promised as she began studying the castle wall. Picking out every chink and niche in the wall she plotted a path and began to climb. Stopping at the first window she glanced in quickly. Many people dressed in expensive looking clothing were arguing over financial matters.

“No good,” she said glancing up, “Better try the next one.” As she began to climb again the window above her opened. Shien pulled herself as close as she could to the wall and froze. A snippet of a conversation came drifting out of the window “…and no ma’am I just finished the masters laundry and dinner won’t…” only to be followed by soapy water that sloshed through drenching Shien before the window closed once more.

“The glamorous life of a thief,” she muttered crossly and resumed her long climb. Arms burning from the effort, she lifted herself onto the roof. She moved toward the door and began to study it with a well-practiced eye. “Hmm, good lock…looks like it was made in High Rock... made of steel with ebony tracing...let’s see…ah this one” she said feeling more cheerful. Locks always had been her favorite. “A few quick turns with a back pick, insert an Altmeri probe, and turn slightly left and…. got it.”

She eased the door open and peered inside. Dark. Shien slipped inside quickly and shut the door smiling. “Let the games begin.”

Posted by: Troika Mar 13 2006, 07:06 PM

Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (niceguy5)

The Black Everest: Part I

Lessons Of Life

“Before you fight, find out what you're fighting for.”

This was a common thing said around the temple. The monks lived by this. "When I was a child I always had a feeling that I was suppose to be fighting for something, but what was I fighting for?" This quote has driven my life, to find a purpose

My back was against the wall, and it was the biggest mistake of my life. Gangsarr boxed me in, western style but when you pin someone to the wall all you want to do (in order to win) is beat the living hell out of ‘em. But I didn’t blame him. There were no rules in this fight. I tried to keep my guard up but I was getting weary. Left right left right.
My arms were numb now from the hits. I felt pain all over my body; it was as if I was being attacked by a pack of wolves on all sides. I was. I thought I was going to die, to be honest. Beat up to death in this arena…by my best friend too. What a great way to die. There was nothing to do at this point. I threw my
body at him; another stupid mistake. We rolled on the ground. “Ahhhh!” I heard a popping noise. It was Gangsarr. He had dislocated his left arm.

We looked at each other, deep in the eyes. I expected to see a monster, a beast that had ripped out of my friend’s insides and taken control of him. Possessed him. But when I saw his eyes… oh, his soft, cool eyes, I knew he was still there and he was scared. The crowd was cheering; the arena was filled with noise. The monks were off their feet and cheering for us. I smiled. I had to make my final hit count; it had to be the killing blow. I saw Gangsarr’s stance, it was the Cycle of Blood; an old Redguard fighting style. Both my arms came up (symmetrically) to where I could see them, in front of my chest.

I took a deep breath and slowly opened both palms. I took a defensive position. The ancient Rain-of-Sand fighting styles of Elsweyr. Before a battle, Nords yell their best battle cry; they are famous for it. And so was Gangsarr. I was scared as hell and the arena was quiet. “Ahhhhargghh!!!” He was charging at me. My palms were still open. He was running so fast. My feet dug into the wet ground. Here he comes… And then, and then I wasn’t sure what happened next, it was all a blur.

But I found myself looking up into the terrace; the sky was so beautiful. “Dane…” It was Gangsarr’s soft low voice but it sounded so weak so…lost. “Yes?” “You fight like hell brother”. I smiled. All of the long years we shared together in this temple, I never realized we were brothers. From the blood and the sweat to the punches and kicks and from the broken bones and bruises we exchanged. We became brothers. The giant Nord and the skinny Breton. Perfect. I could hear a raucous going about in the stands. The monks were leaving the arena. “Bravo, bravo” Master Zhul knelt before us. “A very good match indeed” He smiled. His face was filled with energy and excitement. I felt so defeated so exhausted Gangsarr felt the same way too I bet. “Master, I –“He placed a finger on his wrinkled lips ‘Ssshhhh” he whispered. I couldn’t see what he was doing but I felt an aura inside and around my body. It was healing me, easing the pain. Did I hit him? Did I hit him? It didn’t matter anymore; it was over. A draw.

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