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> Postcards from Tamriel, Stories and such that fall somewhere between a snippet and a thread
post Aug 3 2011, 01:46 PM
Post #1

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Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast

Hi folks!

My characters are getting unruly, so I thought I’d make a place where I can hide from them while they fight it out. I mean, while I figure out what to do. The first time this happened, I posted Home for the Holidays, a very short story about Abiene’s Saturalia visit to Leyawiin in the year 3E432. I should have made this thread then, but at the time I still thought that every word I wrote would be the last. Someday I hope to make an offering at The Temple of Lore, but for now I’m still too guilty of undisciplined sprawling. I’ll start a story in the next post.

As always, comments and discussion are very welcome! smile.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jun 23 2019, 03:31 AM

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post Jun 19 2013, 01:02 AM
Post #2

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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds

I have a postcard from Cyrodiil. This is a scene that came to me a few nights ago, that I wanted to get down on pixels while it was still fresh in my mind. It will fit somewhere into the Aela fic, probably as a prologue. I am not sure the exact date yet, except it takes place in the spring or summer

Aela - There Goes The Neighborhood

?, 4E001

Aela stretched out on the warm sand of the beach, wearing nothing but a linen wrap around her small breasts, and a similar strip of cloth around her hips. She shut her eyes against the bright rays of Magnus overhead, which delightfully toasted her pale skin. Her arms reached out to either side, and her slender fingers dug through the amber grains of sand below. She let her breathing slow, felt her body relax, and sent her thoughts drifting through the beach underneath her.

She felt Bawnwatch Island stretching out around her. The sand turned to black topsoil as it receded from the waves of Niben Bay. Hard stones slept within the dirt's cool embrace. So too did the twisting roots of cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees that dotted the long, crescent-shaped island. She felt the foundations of the deserted village's small homes pressing down upon the ground near the center of the isle. They were just south of the small ridge that ran the length of the isle like a spine, shielding the settlement from the north wind off the bay. The wooden piles of the bridge that connected one corner of Bawnwatch with the mainland to the south bit down into the soil like teeth. Yet the land endured it all with grace. In fact, the dark, rich ground gladly nurtured the life which sprang from its breast. At the same time it slowly absorbed the cold, hard rock and unliving wood that thrust down into it. In time, Nirn would have its way with all.

Aela was greeted by the spirits of the island. There was the soft, dark energy of the soil, contrasted by the hard, flinty essence of the deep rock. Then there were the bright, playful flower spirits, the somber quintessence of the trees, and the humble life force of the brush. About them all glowed the hot and vigorous animal spirits: patient Turtle, bounding Rabbit, sly Rat, wise Serpent, watchful Eagle, and hungry Raven. Finally she felt the sylphs riding the winds high above the island, and the undines frolicking in the deep waters of the bay.

Aela let the physical world slip away as she danced with the spirits. She could think of no other way to describe how she interacted with the vital essence of the world. No words were spoken, even conscious thought became inadequate. There was nothing but the deep, powerful feeling of kinship that resonated within her as her divinity joined with that of Nirn. She felt the threads that bound her to everything else in the world. Her fingers played along those strings, and the music filled her soul with rapture.

Magnus rode higher in the sky as she danced, and Nirn rolled away underneath his fiery gaze. However, the music of Aela's dance was interrupted by the grinding of cold, dead wood into the warm sand of the beach. Human feet crunched deeply into the ground a moment later, each step resonating through the membrane of sand that covered the looser soil and hard rock beneath.

Aela opened her eyes and breathed deep. Rising to a sitting position, she felt the physical world spin about her. Bracing herself with one hand in the sand, she held the other to her head until the spell of dizziness passed. Squinting in the glare of the sun, she stared down the beach at the dory that had been pulled out of the water less than twenty paces away. Leaning over it was a man with the pitch black hair and olive skin of the Nibenean race. He wore the threadbare clothing of a peasant, and lifted a simple wooden toolbox from the innards of his boat. As he turned to face her, Aela saw that he was young, perhaps not even two decades old, but his body was lean and solid with muscle.


He stared as Aela rose to her feet. The Breton Witch took a moment to brush the sand from her backside, and found that he was still staring when she was finished. That is when she remembered that she was practically naked. But Aela did not fool herself into thinking that he was dumbstruck by her beauty. Aside from her long, brown hair, her body was a far cry from the ideal feminine form. Where other women were shaped like an hourglass, she was more like a minuteglass. She was taller than most women of her race, her shoulders were too broad, her hips too narrow, and her breasts too small.


Instead she imagined that like any fine, upstanding Imperial, the image of a scantily clad woman must come as a shock. It simply was not proper for a woman to be so attired in the presence of a man after all. Or perhaps he was horrified by what he beheld?

"What brings you here fisherman?" Aela frowned as she walked to the peasant. She found her gaze traveling to his left arm, to the midpoint between wrist and elbow. There was something there that tickled at her memory. Calling up her magicka, she felt the energy burn hot behind her eyes as she stared at the Nibenean's arm. She saw through the warm, healthy flesh, to the strong bone underneath. There it was, the telltale ghost of an old break that had cut clear though the bone, now knit back together so well that naught but a faint line remained to whisper the tale. Whoever had healed that had been very good, Aela considered, very good indeed.

The Nibenean opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He licked his lips, took a deep breath, and tried again.

"Greetings," he began. "I'm from Thistledown, my name is-"

"Severus," Aela interrupted him. "Severus Afer. I remember you now. You broke your arm - what was it - five years ago? You've grown since then."

"Aye," the young man lowered his head sheepishly and ran his fingers through his hair. "When I fell out of that tree, I thought I might be able to fly, if only I could manage to miss the ground. Didn't work though…"

Aela stifled the urge to laugh at Severus' unassuming humor. She knew that peasants did not come for social calls. They only came to Bawnwatch if they needed her healing. Since he looked healthy as an ox, she imagined it must have been someone else in his family that was ill.

"So is it a potion you need?" She decided to cut to the chase.

"No, not at all," the fisherman said. He stared back at her, almost expectantly, or was it almost dreadfully? Aela came to realize that he was afraid of her. It was no great revelation. Thanks to the propaganda of the Mages Guild and Imperial Church, she knew that the word 'Witch' struck fear into many peasants. They were 'rogue mages', immoral, unskilled, heretical, and untrustworthy. Worst of all, Witches like her cut into the profits of both Imperial organizations…

Aela knew that being a two-spirit only made it worse. Few humans seemed to be capable of even imagining what it was like to be born into a body that did not match one's identity, or that it was even possible. "The gods made you that way, so you should be happy that way," was the usual mantra. How dare anyone gainsay that? It was no surprise that the only time people like herself appeared in bard's tales or plays it was as villains, or comic relief.

"So what brings you here?" the Witch asked.

"The village." Severus licked his lips again and nodded to the broken down houses rising up at the edge of the beach. "I'm here to work on a house."

"You what?" Aela blinked once, twice, and wondered if she needed to heal her ears.

"I'm going to repair one of the houses," he repeated, "in the old village."

"What are you talking about?" Aela stared back at the strange man.

The Nibenean's fingers clutched hard around the wooden handle of his toolbox, enough for his knuckles to show white. "I am here to stay," he repeated. "I'm going to live here, with my family."

"You can't do that." Aela felt the words spill from her tongue before she even had a chance to think about them. "Turn around, get in your boat, and get out!"

The fisherman stood his ground however. "I will not," he insisted. He pointed to the crumbling stones of one home with a callused finger. "That house was in my family for generations. I grew up there. It wasn't until the mudcrabs came that we all had to leave. I got a right to live here, as much as you do."

"So now that I've gotten rid of the crabs, you're coming back." Aela felt a volcano rising within her. Standing with her hands on her hips, she spat lava at the young man.

"No, No, No!" Aela waved a finger in his face. "This is my home now. I led the crabs back to Castle Irony. I killed the vampires there. I made this place livable again. You are not going to drive me out of here!"

"I never said you don't have a right to stay here," Severus gave back evenly. "All of us folk from up and down the coast know what you've done, and what you've done for us." Now he rubbed his once-broken arm absentmindedly. "But there's plenty room here for me, my wife, and our baby. We aren't gonna do nothing to get in your way, of whatever it is you do out here."

"And how long until more of you come here, and I start hearing about how it's not safe to raise children around me? Because I'm unnatural? Because I'm a Witch? How long before the snide remarks, the hushed laughter, and the curled lips? How long before I have to go, or else?" Aela felt her face burn with a heat that had nothing to do with the sun, and did her best to keep from shaking with rage.

"No one will ever count me as one of the wise," Severus said. "I'm just a dumb fisherman. But it seems to me that maybe if folk got a chance to know you, they might feel a bit more hospitable. Instead you sit here all alone on this island, and leave people to make up stories about why. We don't know a thing about you, and cause of that people get scared, and their stories get scarier."

Aela ground her teeth as she stared back at the man. Part of her wanted to reach out with her magicka and rip his heart from his chest. But she knew that she could not do that to a defenseless man. Whether or not he knew it was another thing. But even if he did not, he was still not budging.

"Why can't you go someplace else?" Aela grumbled. "You must live somewhere now, go back there. There's villages all up and down the coast, go to one of them."

"I'm the third born son of a fisherman," Severus explained. "The eldest inherits our house in Thistledown. I get nothing. My other brother went to serve in the Bravil Guard. Another one's in the clergy down in Leyawiin. I'm lucky I've got this boat. But that's all I've got. I don't have two drakes to rub together, and I got a wife with a baby on the way. There ain't no room in that house for us, not with my parents, my brother, and his wife and kids. I've got no money to buy land, and I won't build a house in the middle of nowhere and get my family killed by goblins or bandits. I've got nowhere else to go."

Aela fumed. Severus told a believable tale. It was one she had heard - and seen - played out all of her life. She was a firstborn herself. She would have inherited her family's estate and business in Wayrest if she had only remained male, and in her family's good graces. Her younger brothers would have had to live at her sufferance, become wandering mercenaries, or join the priesthood. It was the same for all younger siblings in every human land.

But this was her home, hers! After all that she had done to make it so, it was not right for someone else to come along and intrude, to force themselves into her quiet, peaceful life. She had the right to live without the constant stares, the muttered jibes, the sneers, and the self-righteous hatred that so many humans had for anyone that was different from them.

Clenching her hands into fists, Aela turned from the fisherman and stormed up the beach. Her fingernails dug into her palms, turning the skin red underneath by the time she finally reached out to open the door to her home and stomp inside. Sighing, she stripped off her sandy underclothing and pulled on a plain flax bodice and skirt.

Staring out the window, she watched as Severus strode up the beach to the empty house across the street from her. Setting down his tools, the young man rolled up his sleeves and went to work. He started by gathering up all of the rotten thatch from the long-collapsed roof and throwing it to one side. Then he went to work repairing the damage that ten years of wind, rain, and plant life had wrought upon the untended home. He started by cutting down the ivy and other vines that had crept up the walls, wormed their way through the crumbling mortar, and dislodged or loosened many stones.

The Nibenean clearly had his work cut out for him. Soon he stripped off his shirt and wrapped it around his waist. His bared chest glistened with sweat as Magnus rose ever higher and brighter in the sky. Yet he toiled on, pausing only rarely to take a sip of water from a skin before continuing on with his work. In time he had cleared away all of the invasive plants, and began piling up the fallen or loose rocks from the walls.

He certainly had a lot of nerve to come out here, Aela thought. She could only imagine the tales the farmers and fisherfolk told about her. Yet still here he was, resolute in his desire to make a new life for his family.

"There is nothing that can stand in the way of an honest man." Aela recalled the old Imperial saying. Not that Imperial and honesty were words often associated with one another…

Aela sighed as she continued to stare at the interloper. What was she going to do? She could try to scare him off, but that had hardly worked so far. She could make life so unpleasant for him with snide remarks and insults that he might finally grow exasperated and leave. But she was not going to stoop to the same level as the people - students and faculty alike - who had tried to run her out of the University. So what did that leave her with?

Either fight it or embrace it, Aela thought. Which would it be?

Setting her jaw with firm resolve, she strode out from her home and crossed the street to where Severus worked. He looked up as she raised a fist skyward, and gaped as a disc of blue energy formed in the space between them. It fell to the ground a moment later, leaving a colossus of stone looming within its wake. The archaean stood as tall as the houses around them, and his body was entirely comprised of rocks fit together into the rough shape of a man. With a grinding of stone upon stone, the small mountain turned to stare expectantly at Aela.

She nodded to Severus and the house he was working on, and the nirn spirit lumbered into motion. The ground trembled as his massive feet ate the distance between him and the Nibenean. The fisherman dropped the stone he was carrying, and held his hands out before him to ward off the giant.

"Now just wait," he sputtered. "There's no…"

The archaean ignored him however, and reached down to pick up the stone the fisherman had dropped. The spirit swept it into the pile of loose rocks that Severus had built, then scooped a mass of them up into both of his granite paws. One more titanic footstep took him to the side of the building, where he proceeded to lay out the stones upon the battered walls. Each stone melded perfectly into place with the others around it, and Aela could see that the nirn spirit was reshaping them with his magic as he went, as well as creating fresh mortar between the pieces.

She knew that in no time at all the archaean would have the walls restored to their original condition. To better than that in fact. No mortal builder could work stone like a spirit of the land. Afterward she could ask a tree spirit to rebuild the timbers of the roof, and lay on fresh thatch. She imagined that the exterior would be restored before Magnus fell from his zenith. Then there would just be a matter of furniture, and cleaning the interior.

"Thank you kindly," Severus extended his hand to Aela, "neighbor."

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jun 23 2019, 03:24 AM

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Posts in this topic
Grits   Postcards from Tamriel   Aug 3 2011, 01:46 PM
Grits   Tides, Part One Anvil, Summer of 3E414 Jerric a...   Aug 3 2011, 01:57 PM
haute ecole rider   Oooh, I loved seeing Jerric and Rhano as boys...   Aug 3 2011, 02:13 PM
ureniashtram   Oh no! The three bullies! Those were the s...   Aug 3 2011, 03:38 PM
Acadian   A day in the life of young Jerric and Rhano. Boyz...   Aug 4 2011, 12:45 AM
Destri Melarg   I couldn't stop thinking of Tom and Huck as I ...   Aug 4 2011, 09:30 AM
mALX   Oooh !!! The backstory to Jerric and ...   Aug 4 2011, 01:51 PM
treydog   “Your other lip, dummy!” Grits-re...   Aug 4 2011, 04:08 PM
SubRosa   Was this inspired by the Morrowind character creat...   Aug 4 2011, 10:48 PM
King Coin   :rofl: I never thought Jerric was going to get a ...   Aug 5 2011, 03:23 PM
Grits   Thank you so much everyone for the warm response t...   Aug 8 2011, 04:05 PM
mALX   ARGH !! Tales from Homer's Iliad and ...   Aug 8 2011, 05:09 PM
haute ecole rider   What a fun little adventure! I always loved ex...   Aug 8 2011, 08:36 PM
SubRosa   Here is some music to read by. Eels like dark pl...   Aug 8 2011, 11:40 PM
Acadian   This was great fun to read. Humor, adventure, bre...   Aug 9 2011, 12:22 AM
Destri Melarg   First there was this: Now I know from this that t...   Aug 10 2011, 01:18 AM
Grits   mALX: It has been so hot and dry here, I keep thin...   Aug 11 2011, 12:59 PM
haute ecole rider   Ooh, I luuurve Master Relas in this! He is jus...   Aug 11 2011, 02:01 PM
mALX   @ Grits - I don't have time to read this righ...   Aug 11 2011, 04:31 PM
ghastley   I'm not quite seeing how a water breathing pot...   Aug 11 2011, 05:02 PM
Acadian   A heart pounding episode until Rhano was safe...   Aug 12 2011, 12:31 AM
Destri Melarg   I'm not quite seeing how a water breathing po...   Aug 12 2011, 05:05 AM
mALX   So this is the beginning of Jerric's interest ...   Aug 12 2011, 06:22 AM
SubRosa   Running away from shouting adults was a good way t...   Aug 12 2011, 07:54 PM
Grits   The story is over, and thank you for reading it...   Aug 12 2011, 09:45 PM
King Coin   That fun adventure sure turned sour. :blink: I wou...   Aug 13 2011, 02:47 AM
treydog   This was simply a wonderful break- as well as show...   Aug 14 2011, 01:08 AM
Grits   Jerric’s Story has accumulated a lot of char...   Jul 15 2012, 08:06 PM
mALX   Jerric’s Story has accumulated a lot of character...   Jul 15 2012, 08:12 PM
Grits   . Appendix One: The People of Jerric's World ...   Jul 15 2012, 08:18 PM
mALX   Holy Cow, there are some names I don't recogni...   Jul 15 2012, 08:33 PM
King Coin   That's quite a list Grits! :blink: I'd...   Jul 15 2012, 10:58 PM
Grits   Exactly, I am utterly failing to keep track of the...   Jul 15 2012, 11:12 PM
mALX   Exactly, I am utterly failing to keep track of th...   Jul 15 2012, 11:20 PM
Acadian   Thanks for the wonderful listing! I know what...   Jul 16 2012, 12:15 AM
SubRosa   Very neat to see the Who's Who of the Jerricdy...   Jul 16 2012, 01:28 AM
haute ecole rider   So Pappy was in Julian's Legion in Skyrim...   Jul 29 2012, 12:33 AM
ghastley   I'm not sure if this little episode belongs on...   Sep 16 2012, 11:32 PM
Grits   :rofl: If she said her hovercraft was full of eels...   Sep 16 2012, 11:48 PM
King Coin   Love the nonsense dialog. :D   Sep 21 2012, 06:50 PM
Grits   In an attempt to organize my scribblings I have wr...   Oct 7 2012, 09:29 PM
Grits   . [size=4]Appendix Two: Terms and Expressions In ...   Oct 7 2012, 09:31 PM
mALX   That Shen shi nui's Koocha has Treerats!   Oct 7 2012, 10:39 PM
Grits   ROFL! Holy skitt, pass the akkvit!   Oct 7 2012, 10:48 PM
mALX   Is that Treerat Skitt on that Ran alai or are thos...   Oct 7 2012, 11:22 PM
Acadian   What a treat! Another guide to Jerric’s world...   Oct 8 2012, 01:04 AM
Grits   For Aravi, a little scene from between the worlds:...   Dec 4 2012, 10:20 PM
King Coin   OMG I love it Grits! Icy Dip :lol: I can see ...   Dec 4 2012, 11:39 PM
Acadian   Speaking for an elf who has been similarly gifted ...   Dec 5 2012, 01:26 AM
mALX   * http://i434.photobucket.com/albums/qq67/Maxical...   Dec 5 2012, 01:57 AM
mALX   * http://images.uesp.net/thumb/8/88/OB-npc-Uriel_...   Dec 5 2012, 02:07 AM
Grits   * http://images.uesp.net/thumb/8/88/OB-npc-Uriel...   Dec 29 2012, 08:26 PM
mALX   * http://images.uesp.net/thumb/4/47/OB-npc-Neruss...   Dec 5 2012, 05:24 AM
Grits   Between the worlds, Saturalia preparations continu...   Dec 14 2012, 07:08 PM
King Coin   Lildereth looked appalled. “You’re gi...   Dec 14 2012, 08:48 PM
McBadgere   That's just funny right there that is... :D...   Dec 14 2012, 07:18 PM
mALX   * http://i434.photobucket.com/albums/qq67/Maxical...   Dec 14 2012, 08:32 PM
Acadian   This was a joy to read! Such wonderful intera...   Dec 15 2012, 01:19 AM
Grits   Here’s a day in the life of Sonstra and Kjel...   Dec 29 2012, 08:27 PM
Acadian   What a beautiful and oh so relevant short story...   Dec 29 2012, 09:19 PM
mALX   I am back home, but without a working PC. Will co...   Dec 29 2012, 11:08 PM
ghastley   Kjelling grunted a reply, eyes on his meal. Then h...   Dec 30 2012, 10:04 PM
King Coin   ghastley hit the line I liked the most! Thanks...   Dec 31 2012, 09:26 PM
mALX   Loved this little detail thrown in, you couldn’t...   Jan 1 2013, 10:22 PM
ghastley   This thread needs a bump, so I hope Grits doesn...   Jun 3 2013, 09:33 PM
mALX   I LOVE this! Not only is Simplicia one of my ...   Jun 3 2013, 10:05 PM
Grits   mALX said it for me too, it’s great to see Clark’s...   Jun 4 2013, 12:57 AM
ThatSkyrimGuy   What a great postcard! Aela seems to possess w...   Jun 19 2013, 02:20 AM
Grits   An Aela postcard, yay! What a fantastic idea t...   Jun 19 2013, 03:33 AM
Acadian   SubRosa, nice to see a snip from Aela’s fic! ...   Jun 19 2013, 07:43 PM
haute ecole rider   A delightful episode on a lovely island! I alw...   Jun 20 2013, 06:28 PM
SubRosa   ThatSkyrimGuy: Aela also appears in the TF, though...   Jun 21 2013, 08:18 PM
Darkness Eternal   Postcard! An excerpt from one of my stories ti...   Apr 1 2014, 10:45 PM
haute ecole rider   Umm, from the frying pan into the fire? :blink: ...   Apr 2 2014, 12:13 AM
Grits   Hmm, I think I recognize the giant Imperial. We sh...   Apr 2 2014, 01:27 AM
treydog   Yes- well... (shuffles feet and looks around). Fi...   Apr 4 2014, 02:25 AM
haute ecole rider   And so Trey (and our little hot-diggety-dog doggie...   Apr 4 2014, 05:17 AM
McBadgere   I do loves that "Not-a-Story"(tm) hugely...   Apr 5 2014, 10:45 AM
Grits   My heart ached for Trey by the end of the first pa...   Apr 12 2014, 02:53 AM
Elisabeth Hollow   Small, bare feet ran through the cobblestone stree...   Apr 12 2014, 06:11 PM
SubRosa   Vae Victus! That was a nice little piece, whic...   Apr 12 2014, 07:02 PM
Elisabeth Hollow   I only read a little bit of Teresa. I know she was...   Apr 12 2014, 07:26 PM
Grits   I was reminded of Teresa, too! Fortunately for...   Apr 12 2014, 07:44 PM
Elisabeth Hollow   Samara is in "At My Feet," but sea much ...   Apr 12 2014, 07:48 PM
Grits   (This is just a page from the Darnandex, a supplem...   May 12 2014, 05:06 PM
Grits   . [size=4]Appendix Four: Geography [center]Change...   May 12 2014, 05:25 PM
Darkness Eternal   Hmm. New places. Cyrodiil is never a small place, ...   May 21 2014, 03:07 AM
Grits   (Still adding to this...) . [size=4]Appendix Five...   Jul 24 2014, 11:47 AM
Acadian   As soon as I saw Jerric's birthday, I raced to...   Jul 24 2014, 12:47 PM
Grits   :lol: Thank you for being such a wonderful and sup...   Jul 24 2014, 06:15 PM
SubRosa   And if you want a quick reference of which birthsi...   Jul 24 2014, 06:44 PM
Acadian   Oh I completely forgot about the birth signs. Jer...   Jul 24 2014, 10:08 PM
Darkness Eternal   Great stuff Grits. Peaked my curiosity. Subrosa, ...   Aug 11 2014, 03:32 PM
SubRosa   Great stuff Grits. Peaked my curiosity. Subrosa,...   Aug 11 2014, 04:27 PM
ghastley   Signs to months is in the in-game book The Firmame...   Aug 11 2014, 06:11 PM
Darkness Eternal   Hmmm. Can't believe I missed that. I've re...   Aug 12 2014, 03:28 AM
Acadian   * * * My dear Jerric, ...   Nov 20 2014, 01:55 PM
Grits   , 20 Sun’s Dusk Whiterun Jerric breezed t...   Nov 22 2014, 03:42 AM
SubRosa   Happy birthday to Jerric, and his stones. When I w...   Nov 22 2014, 04:41 AM
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