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> Teresa of the Faint Smile, Adventures of a Stringy Bosmer
SubRosa
post Mar 19 2010, 10:56 PM
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From: Between The Worlds



Hi all, welcome to Teresa 2.0. Some of you may recognize the stringy wood elf this fan fic is about from another forum. I am going to start reposting her adventures here. However, I have taken this opportunity
for a fresh start to go back over the story and do some work on it. Starting with an entirely new scene, which you see below.

I have decided to give up the idea of breaking things up into separate Acts like I did with Not A Hero and Moving Through Darkness. It was probably a little confusing. Instead I am just going to go with a single title and let it go on as long as it needs to, hence the new name.

You will also find that the first half of what used to be called Not A Hero has been heavily edited. Hopefully an improvement! The rest of the story will also receive a facelift, although generally not as great. There will probably be a few more entirely new chapters turning up between some of the old ones as well. So this is not the same story you might have seen on the other forum.


For people new to the TF, you might find it easier to catch up with the cliff notes version in the spoiler tags below:




* * *

Chapter 1 –Warning

12th Second Seed, 3E433

The harsh croaking of a raven prompted Teresa to raise her green eyes from the only slightly bruised apple that she was eating. The alley behind the Tiber Septim Hotel was narrow, a thin gouge cut between massive stone buildings that loomed high to either side and cast its depths into dim shadow. Sacks filled with trash dotted the length of the lane, clustered in small islands near the back doors of every business and home.

The pale wood elf stood at one such mound of garbage, filled with slops and other castoffs. Rich people threw away the best food, she knew, making the back streets here in the Talos Plaza district a practical gold mine for street urchins like herself.

Screenshot

Her scavenged lunch fell from suddenly nerveless fingers however, as she gazed down the alley and saw the figure of a man running in the shadows. He was clad in plain linens, the clothing of an ordinary plebeian. But there was nothing ordinary about the way he held a drawn sword in his hand, nor the blood that stained it.

Before the elf could bolt and run herself, the interloper was upon her. Now she could see he was an Imperial by his olive skin and dark hair. He reached out to her with his free hand, and as Teresa backed away she realized that it was not only his sword that was washed in blood, but the front of his tunic as well.

"You must warn them!" the Imperial croaked through the blood that flowed from his mouth. As she stared with wide eyes, Teresa was certain she could see tiny bubbles of air bursting up from the red flow. She had seen that before, from deep knife wounds to the chest. He was a dead man, she thought, he just did not know it yet.

His hand clutched at the shabby tunic of worn sack cloth that Teresa wore, grabbing a handful of the rough material. Teresa nearly jumped as his fingers pressed against one of her breasts. The sword fell from his other hand with a clatter of steel on stone, and the Imperial dropped to his knees, collapsing into her.

Teresa stared with wide eyes at the dying man, whose head was now buried in the valley between her small breasts. Her heart raced like a wild horse, and she felt her skin grow cold as Skyrim. Try as she might to flee, her feet seemed rooted to the spot however. All she could do was gape in growing horror as the man clutched at her willowy frame and spat blood over her already bedraggled clothing.

The sound of footsteps caused her to lift her eyes and gaze back down the way the Imperial had come. There stood a handful of figures wearing dark red robes, nearly black in the dim light. Hoods of the same material covered their heads, shrouding their faces in darkness. She saw blades in their hands as well. Not mortal steel, but rather monstrous, wavy knives, like the jagged teeth of some fearsome Daedra.

"They're going to kill the-" with that the Imperial's voice gave out, and she heard a rattling noise issue from his throat. It was like a dry breeze through an abandoned tenement. Then he fell limp at her feet, open eyes staring blankly back up at her from the pavement.

"Hey, what's going on back there!" came an iron growl from the other end of the alley. The clash of armored boots rang out between the high buildings, reverberating in the Bosmer's ears. Wrenching her gaze from the dead man, Teresa turned to see an Imperial Watchman charging down the alley toward her, dark eyes glittering like polished ebony within the 'T'-shaped slit in his full-faced helmet.

"You there! Put down your weapons and surrender." The legionary had his arming sword out now, and before the wood elf knew it, he was standing before her. He took a moment to first glance down at the dead man at Teresa's feet, and then the blood that washed her tunic.

"I didn't-" Teresa gasped, feeling her blood turn to ice with the understanding of how things must look to the watchman. Then the steel gauntlet of his left hand was reaching out for her, and the words slipped from her throat.

"You'll hang for this street meat!" the legionary growled.

With that Teresa finally felt her body come back under her control. Twisting away from watchman's grasp, she sprang for the other end of the alley. Her eyes saw that the red-robed figures were gone now. Then her view swam as her foot caught upon the corpse of the Imperial. She felt herself falling, and her head slammed against something hard as she came to a stop.

Her vision narrowed, as if she were within a tunnel. She was vaguely aware of the thin, blue slit of the sky above her, flanked by the grey stone of buildings to either side. She thought she saw a dark bird spread its wings in that sliver of light. But then the shape dissolved, and turned into the steel helmet of the legionary, looming closer and closer. Finally, darkness consumed her.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Nov 16 2013, 06:43 PM


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Verlox
post Mar 19 2010, 11:10 PM
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Oooo, Verlox likes. This is most well written and entertaining, easily serving the purpose of drawing us in, wanting more.

I thought it was funny when the guard called her street meat biggrin.gif


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Winter Wolf
post Mar 20 2010, 01:03 AM
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A prologue, a prologue, yipppeee!!!!!

My wolfy heart is singing for joy and I am spinning in dizzy circles.
Teresa is at Chorrol. smile.gif

I love the description that you have weaved into this chapter. Wow. The buildings, the birds, the assassins, the blood, awesome.
This is a perfect set up for our lady with the faint smile (although not too much smiling done today!!)

It is funny to see her without the leather armor we know and love.

More, oh Sage, more!!!!

This post has been edited by Winter Wolf: Mar 20 2010, 01:31 PM


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treydog
post Mar 20 2010, 02:28 AM
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As you know, I have always loved your story and your vivid descriptive style. This brief (new) introduction adds tremendous depth without adding many words. I also spotted some foreshadowing very early on- (based on your PM earlier)- but I will keep mum about it.

Welcome Teresa!


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Destri Melarg
post Mar 20 2010, 09:32 AM
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What a setup! Through vividly descriptive language you give us a feel for the underside of the Imperial City. Even though we haven't really gotten to know her yet in this prologue, long live Teresa of the faint smile, and long may she smile (faintly). smile.gif

And this:
QUOTE(SubRosa @ Mar 19 2010, 02:56 PM) *

The harsh croaking of a raven prompted Teresa to raise her green eyes from the only slightly bruised apple that she was eating. The alley behind the Tiber Septim Hotel was narrow, a thin gouge cut between massive stone buildings that loomed high to either side and cast its depths into dim shadow. Sacks filled with trash dotted the length of the lane, clustered in small islands near the back doors of every business and home.

is simply great!


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haute ecole rider
post Mar 20 2010, 10:22 PM
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I like, I like!

The chapter is tight, short, yet evocative and descriptive.

I really enjoyed this introduction!


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SubRosa
post Mar 21 2010, 07:20 PM
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Verlox: Thank you V. I am glad the chapter worked. I wanted something that would draw people in.


Winter Wolf: Thanks WW. I was going to call it a prologue (since that is what it is), but I have noticed that some people who write fan fics call a big infodump where they explain everything about how their world works a prologue as well. I did not want anyone confusing mine with that and deciding not to read.

No faint smiles for a while though. Not until chapter 3 I think. She does look different without the leather does she not? I have several more pics to add for these early chapters like the previous one.


treydog: Woof! Keep your eyes peeled for those birds...


Destri Melarg: Thank you Dest. Many people have commented that the beginning of Not A Hero was decent, and then about four posts in it suddenly became much better. That is the reason I have taken the time to rework these early chapters, and added in this entirely new one. I want to get these parts up to snuff. With this prologue especially, I want to really grab the reader.


haute ecole rider: Thank you h.e.r. I was hoping for something that would grab people.


* * *

Chapter 2a - On The Wings Of Ravens

12th Second Seed, 3E433

Teresa woke with her head pounding like a Nord was playing the drums inside of her skull. She ran a hand through her long brown hair, and found it stiff with dried blood. Pain flared bright and hot through the steady beating between her temples as her questing fingers came across a goose egg of risen flesh in the back of her scalp.

The Bosmer winced and closed her eyes for long moments, until the stinging pain from the bump on her head abated. When finally the pounding began to ease as well she looked around to see where she was.

She quickly realized that it was a prison cell. Rusty, but still very serviceable-looking iron manacles hung from one of its stone walls. Next to it was a niche in the wall with a raised stone floor. After a moment of staring at it she realized it must be a bed, given the dirty straw that was spread across it. A ragged stool and rickety wooden table sat opposite the sleeping niche, with a simple plate and cup of chipped pottery haphazardly thrown across it. Torches that guttered in the hall outside filled the room with their dancing orange light, and Teresa rose to walk to the door of solid iron bars that barred her exit.

Screenshot

"Well now, a little wood elf. You're a little far from the forest, aren't you?" The voice dripped with sarcasm, like venom from a serpent's mouth. Teresa saw it came from a man silhouetted in the dim light of the cell across the hall from her. "Looks like your days of woodland frolicking have come to a tragic end. To go from the gladed realm of Valenwood to a rat-infested hole like this... how very sad."

Teresa snorted to herself. She had never set foot outside the Imperial City, let alone frolicked in any woodland. This guy was a complete idiot, she thought, there was no sense even trying to talk to him.

Instead she pushed her lean frame against the iron bars, and found them to be as unrelenting as she had expected them to be. Pressing her head against the door, she craned her neck from one side to another in an attempt to peek down the hallway. Yet nothing but empty stone corridor stretched off to the left, and an equally empty stone stair lead up and out of sight to the right.

"Have you ever seen someone hang?" The other prisoner continued in an icy voice. "No long drops here to snap your neck. Oh no, it's the short step for you. They like to watch you dance on the end of the rope. Ten minutes of agony, or even longer, as your life slips away bit by bit. First your face turns blue as you slowly strangle. Then little red spots burst all over your skin. Finally, in the end, your tongue will pop out as you die. I've seen it plenty, and I'm going to see it one more time when they come for you."

Teresa shivered in spite of herself. She had seen the corpses of murderers hanging on display outside of the Imperial Prison, across from the Market Gate. It was never pretty. The thought of her being one of them made her stomach churn and skin crawl. Surely they would understand when she explained it all to them! she thought. They had to understand, she was innocent!

Sure, she thought, as if a magistrate was going to believe that a street urchin like herself was innocent of anything…

The sound of clattering metal and hard-soled boots stamping on the stone floor came to her ears. Teresa knew that sound from a lifetime of experience. The Imperial Legion was coming. Was this it then? she wondered with sinking feeling, were they coming for her?

Teresa stepped back as a group of soldiers walked up to the door of her cell and peered inside. Then she started in surprise. These were no ordinary soldiers, she knew. They did not wear the dark clamshell plate of the legion. Rather their armor was made of bright, silvery bands of steel wrapping horizontally around their torsos and falling down over their shoulders. Golden tassels tied each piece together in a long line down the center of their chests. More studs of gold seemed to rivet the shoulder pieces down, and elaborately carved gorgets of the same covered their throats.

The first was a dark-skinned Redguard, and behind him came a brown-haired Breton woman. Both carried long curved swords instead of the usual broad, straight arming swords that the Imperial Legion favored. The Breton's was drawn and in her hand, and as she drew near she could see its glimmering steel was already stained dark with blood. More figures stood behind them, but Teresa could not make them out.

"Someone is in here," the Redguard said, glancing back at his companions. "There must have been some kind of foul up with the legion. This cell is supposed to always be empty."

"Oh well, nothing for it now," the Breton woman muttered, then stared directly at Teresa with eyes that could freeze a Daedra. "Step back to the far wall prisoner, or I will send you to Oblivion right now!"

Teresa believed her, and moved back to the wall opposite the door and was careful not to move. These were not the usual soldiers she was used to dealing with on the street. Nor were they even the dragon-emblazoned praetorians that stood guard in the Palace District. These were the Blades, she suddenly realized. The personal bodyguards of the Emperor!

The Redguard unlocked the door and stepped inside. He walked directly across the room to where Teresa stood and stopped an arm's length away. Just far enough for him to easily draw and swing his curved sword. Teresa noted. The Breton followed and walked over to the wall behind him. She did something to one of the stones there that Teresa could not see, and suddenly the entire wall slid away with a grating of stone on stone, revealing a dark passage beyond.

Screenshot

A third member of the party entered, giving Teresa her first good look at him. He was an old man, hair white with age and wrinkled frame even more slender than her own. He wore a robe of purple and red brocade, decorated with white fur that grew around his shoulders like a lion's mane. What Teresa really noticed however, was the amulet that hung around his neck, which held a diamond-shaped ruby the size of her hand.

"It is you..." the old Imperial said, staring at Teresa and moving up to her, closer than even the Redguard stood. "You are the one from my dreams, Teresa... On the wings of ravens you have come... Then the stars were right, and this is the day. Gods give me strength."

The willowy elf looked at him with a dumbfounded stare. Teresa did not have to guess who this man was, or what that necklace was. He was the Emperor, Uriel Septim VII, and that was the Amulet of Kings! Everyone in Cyrodiil knew the amulet. It was on every statue of every emperor, going back to Alessia herself.

"Sir, we have no time," the Redguard warned as another soldier entered the room behind. This last Blade waited at the doorway, watching the way they had come from. "We have to get moving before the assassins find us."

Teresa was stunned. The Emperor himself was talking to her, a lowly street urchin! Somehow he even knew her face, knew her name. Her world spun. This could not be happening! she thought. It just could not be real. She did not know what to say. But even if she had, it would not have mattered, as her voice had deserted her.

The three bodyguards ushered the Emperor through the secret passage in the wall of her cell. The Breton warned her to stay out of their way, or else. But the Redguard mumbled something about it being her lucky day as the group drifted into the darkness.

Screenshot

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 12 2011, 09:26 PM


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treydog
post Mar 21 2010, 08:05 PM
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You continue to keep me anxious for what happens next, even though I am "caught up" on Teresa's story. As a former editor, there is always a special joy in seeing a piece of writing develop and evolve.

One nit:

"Teresa felt herself shiver in spite of herself."

I think active voice would do away with the repetitive pronoun:

"Teresa shivered in spite of herself."


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canis216
post Mar 21 2010, 09:13 PM
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This is quite nice.

If I could be like Trey and register a slight quibble, you might draw your attention to this line:

"The pale Bosmer winced and closed her eyes for long moments, until the stinging pain from the bump on her head abated." (Emphasis mine)

As writers, we try so terribly hard to be descriptive... and sometimes we try too hard. It's a trap everybody falls into. There seems to be little reason to refer to her as pale at this particular moment. I simply would have gone with "Teresa" or "She" or "The bosmer" and left the pale description out until a more apt moment.

Otherwise, very fine work. I enjoyed how you conveyed her inner thoughts (about the coming of the guards, about facing an imperial magistrate, etc.), and much of your description is quite fine. Just beware of trying too hard. Or at least making it seem like you're working too hard. Which reminds me of an excellent phrase from Zen Buddhism (via the poet/essayist Gary Snyder):

"The path to enlightenment is without effort. Strive hard!"

Doesn't that capture the challenge of writing so well?


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Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
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haute ecole rider
post Mar 21 2010, 10:02 PM
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Again, well-written and descriptive!

I did notice a couple of things that rather disrupted the narrative flow for me:

QUOTE
That is when the third member of the party entered, giving Teresa her first good look at him.

It has the feel of a change in verb tense. I think you can dispense with the bold face words and improve the flow of the reading:
A third member of the party entered, giving Teresa her first good look at him.

QUOTE
After that the three bodyguards ushered the Emperor through the secret passage in the wall of her cell.

Again, I found this disruptive. I know you want to set this apart from the sentences before, when Teresa is reflecting on seeing the Emperor and having him speak to her. I think you can do without those two words. They feel extraneous to me.

Other than that, well done!


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Olen
post Mar 21 2010, 10:39 PM
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I like how this is written, possibly the description was a shade heavy in places though I can't say I noticed particularly.

The flow is good, it's smooth to read and you get a good picture of the character's thoughts and background which isn't the easiest thing to do. I'm fascinated to see how this develops.

If I were looking for anything to criticise (and it took a bit of thought) I'd suggest you use fewer adverbs. This is a bit controversial but words like 'suddenly' are sometimes counter-productive. It slows things down and if an event is genuinely sudden then the word is devalued. Likewise 'stared directly' is redundant, stared is a good verb and can do the work itself, at least in my opinion. Just something to think about really.

This post has been edited by Olen: Mar 21 2010, 10:39 PM


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Destri Melarg
post Mar 22 2010, 12:50 AM
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Since it seems that all of the slight nits in this story have been ably and adequately addressed, allow (there is some alliteration for you) me to comment on something that struck me in this chapter. The circumstances surrounding Teresa's imprisonment. With the new prologue Teresa proclaiming her innocence takes on a weight that had been missing before. Her being recognized by the Emperor also underscores the coincidental nature of her presence in that cell to begin with. The new prologue makes us believe that these events are being guided by the hands of the gods.


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minque
post Mar 22 2010, 01:11 AM
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Ohhhh, now this is just great, so well described, I could easily put myself in Teresa's head....oh dear, this is going to be sooo interesting.


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Jacki Dice
post Mar 22 2010, 05:37 AM
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I know I'm a little late, but I love the new beginning to your story!


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Winter Wolf
post Mar 22 2010, 05:46 AM
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The rework of this chapter is perfect now. It ties in wonderfully well with the prologue and is the lovely start that all writers strive for. Thumbs up oh sage. goodjob.gif

I like the way you broke up the dialogue with Valen Dreth, and had SubRosa sorry tongue.gif Teresa staring down the hallway past the bars. Damn that worked well!!

Your pace, flow and internal thoughts make such a fluent read.


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Remko
post Mar 23 2010, 12:37 PM
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With everyone here and re-writing/heavily editing their existing story, there really is no point in being on the other forum anymore, is there? biggrin.gif

Of course; I will read as you go along, look forward seeing what you are going to change and what not.

And as as sidenote; I loved the new beginning!

This post has been edited by Remko: Mar 23 2010, 12:47 PM


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SubRosa
post Mar 23 2010, 04:53 PM
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treydog: I hope it will be interesting for those people who have read it before.

Thank you for using that doggie nose to sniff out Teresa's shivering. Fixed.


canis216: Thank you for the kind words my canid friend. And for eyeing out that unnecessary paleness.

A year ago I wrote this little piece as an experiment to see just how little description I could use and still keep a story moving, instead using dialogue to both describe and move the plot along.


haute ecole rider: Thank you h.e.r. Disruptions un-disrupted.


Olen: Thank you Olen.


Destri Melarg: I am glad that Teresa's reasons for being in the prison work better this time. Aside from wanting to start with some action, the other reason I wrote the prologue was to try to put some depth into her being in prison. That it all feels like an uncanny coincidence is perfect. That is what I was hoping for, without being too heavy handed.


minque: It's Serene's mother! smile.gif

Digging deep into Teresa's head is probably what I am best at. Really, the focus of my writing is to show her from the inside, so people can see how events change her.


Jacki Dice: It is never too late, my favorite black rose girl. I am glad you liked the new start.


Winter Wolf: Thank you Wolf (I always think White Wolf when I see your name, thanks to years of playing Vampire: The Masquerade - the tabletop rpg, not the comp game. That and reading Elric stories).

I am glad you liked the change-up in Valen Dreth's dialogue. I was sorely tempted to remove all of it that came from the game, and make it 100% original. But I just could not resist the homage to the game that inspired all of this.


Remko: Thank you Remko. I am glad the new beginning worked for you as well. I hope the rest of the old tale will still be entertaining the second time around.

* * *

Chapter 2b - On The Wings Of Ravens


Teresa stood there and tried to understand what she had just seen. She stared down the open passageway as the sound of their boots faded into the distance. What in Tamriel was going on? she wondered. First a man dies at her feet, and then she meets the Emperor! Was this all a mad dream?

Dream or not, the secret passage was her only chance out of the cell. In the end that was all that Teresa really needed to know. Shadow hide me, she thought. Then she moved down the darkened passage, trying as best she could not to make a sound.

Screenshot

At first it was nothing more than a tunnel roughly hewn through the ground, sloping ever downward. But soon it let out into an area of dusty stone chambers and passageways. Unlike the massive rectangular blocks of stone which fit perfectly together that she was used to seeing in the city above, the walls here were of smaller rocks of varying sizes, and held together by crumbling mortar. An aura of great age hung over the area like a shroud, only reinforced by the stale, dusty air that choked the Bosmer's throat. The place seemed empty and dead to her eyes, like a long abandoned tomb.

Screenshot

The ring of steel on steel came to Teresa's ears from somewhere ahead, along with the yell of angry voices. The wood elf stopped in the darkness for a moment. It seemed distant, so she moved forward again, but more quietly and purposely than before. She wanted to know what was happening, but did not want anyone seeing her doing it.

Soon enough she was able to glimpse dark figures struggling in a large chamber in front of her. It was the Blades she had seen before, their curved swords flashing in the air against an unseen foe. A single, smaller figure hung back, holding a straight-bladed sword in his hand. The Emperor, Teresa guessed.

Whoever the enemy was, the bodyguards drove them off. She heard them say something about losing someone, and they seemed to be standing around a body for a moment. Then they moved on down the passage in haste.

Teresa followed more slowly. She felt for the magicka within her, and concentrated on the symbol of her Flare spell. Not for the first time, she thanked the magician who had taught it to her. Until now she had only used it on mud crabs. She hoped she would not need it for anything else…

She found that it was the Breton they had been talking about losing, for her body lay sprawled on the chamber floor. Teresa bent to take her weapon, but found that her sword was gone. One of the other Blades must have taken it, she thought.

Looking at the other bodies in the room, she found they were mortals. Her blood froze when she saw that they were clad in red-hooded robes. The same as she had seen in the alley! she thought. They were what the dying Imperial had been trying to warn her about! Who had he been? she wondered, a Blade in disguise? Or perhaps some poor nobody like herself who had just been swept up in the midst of this terrible storm?

Screenshot

She reached for their weapons, but strangely she saw none in their dead hands or on the floor nearby. Yet she could have sworn that the figures she had seen had been armed, not only here, but in the alley...

She continued to follow through the empty passages, being sure to keep her distance from the Emperor and his guards. Several more times she heard the sound of combat ahead, and waited until it had passed before moving forward again. Each time she came upon more of the red-robed bodies.

Thankfully the Emperor and his bodyguards were winning, she thought, at least for the most part. She was not sure why that comforted her. It was not like Emperors meant anything to a street rat like herself. One was no different than another, all in their lofty tower far removed from the dark alleys where people like her struggled every day to survive.

Yet somehow, he was different, Teresa knew deep in her heart. She could still see his blue eyes gleaming in her mind's eye, burning to the very core of her being. It was a light that somehow warmed her with even just its memory, as if its fire somehow burned away the darkness that closed in from all sides.

Teresa shook her head and continued moving forward. Stop being gullible, she thought to herself. He was the Emperor, and she was nothing but a lowly prole. Even if he did know her name...

Teresa began to think that she was sneaking with the silence and grace of The Grey Fox as she shadowed them. That was until she came around a corner to find the Redguard standing over her with his curved sword ready to fall.

"Eeep!" Teresa squealed, and fell on her backside as she tried to jump away. The Blade just stood there with a look of disgust on his face, and lowered his weapon.

"It's just that Bosmer following us," he spat, not taking his eyes off Teresa, "not the assassins."

"We should kill her," the other Blade insisted. "She might be part of the plot."

"Nonsense!" the Emperor declared. Teresa would swear that his voice could level mountains. "Bring her here Baurus."

The Redguard reached out with his free hand, and without showing the merest trace of effort grabbed Teresa's sack cloth tunic and pulled her to her feet. Then grasping her arm in that iron grip, he walked her to where the Emperor of Tamriel waited.

"My path will soon end Teresa," the Emperor said to her, his voice now quieter and less overwhelming. "I have seen it in the stars, and in my dreams. But your path will go on. I know that you have an important part to play in this."

"I...um....I...." Teresa stammered, feeling like an idiot, then finally got her tongue to work. "I'm just a prole. There is nothing I can do."

"You have no idea what you can do," the Emperor said with a quiet smile. "But I do."

"There was a man today, an Imperial" she blurted out, keenly aware of how everyone was looking at her. "He died in front of me. He said they were going to try to kill someone. I didn't know…"

"Cnaeus!" the Redguard spat, "the legion found him this afternoon." The leather of the Blade's gauntlet creaked as he tightened his hand on the hilt of his sword and turned to Teresa. "You're in here for that!"

"It was the Red Robes!" the wood elf exclaimed, feeling her heart double its pace as she realized the Redguard was just an instant away from killing her, Emperor or not. "They stabbed him, with strange knives. They were chasing him. I didn't do it!"

"That is right, she did not kill Cnaeus," the Emperor said, turning to look at Baurus. His voice was soft, yet somehow reverberated through Teresa more clearly than a shout. As if it were somehow laden with steel. "She will come with us from now on," the old man continued, "now let us move on."

"Make yourself useful and carry this torch," Baurus said, releasing his grip on her arm and passing her the flaming brand that the last Blade held. "I do not know what the Emperor sees in you, but if he believes in you, that is good enough for me."

Teresa followed along, now part of Emperor Uriel Septim's entourage. Part of his bodyguard, she mentally corrected herself. Me, she thought, an orphan from the street, protecting the Emperor from assassins. Wait until she told Simplicia about this! she thought. The old woman would never believe it!

Her hand shook as she held the torch aloft to light their path. But she moved ahead nonetheless. The Emperor commanded it, and as much as she hated the legion, Teresa suddenly realized that she would do anything that man asked of her. He had a strange power. He did not make her feel afraid, as the soldiers did. Rather he made her feel..., something she could not explain, even to herself. She only knew that he was like no man she had ever met, or likely ever would again.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 12 2011, 09:25 PM


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D.Foxy
post Mar 23 2010, 05:13 PM
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Aaaaaan the vulpine voom voom has arrived!!!

Let me also congratulate you on doing better the second time around. This is crisper, with a heightened sense of the dramatic.

I Do hope, however, that you will keep the sense on wonder and vulnerability that I first found appealing about Teresa when I first met her in your writing...I feel that somehow, that part of her is missing here, and we see someone slightly different.

One question-

"Looking at the other bodies in the room, she found they were mortals. "

As opposed to.... immortals? Gods? I'm a bit confused there.
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Winter Wolf
post Mar 24 2010, 06:54 AM
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Most of Teresa's wonder and vulnerability really shows through when she contrasts the outside world that she is walking through with her limited experience from the waterfront. There is no doubt SubRosa will strive to keep that stuff in there. Well, fingers crossed.

QUOTE
and as much as she hated the legion

Those of us who have walked with Teresa from the very start will smile at that line!!



This post has been edited by Winter Wolf: Mar 24 2010, 07:03 AM


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Destri Melarg
post Mar 24 2010, 08:15 AM
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QUOTE(D.Foxy @ Mar 23 2010, 09:13 AM) *

I Do hope, however, that you will keep the sense on wonder and vulnerability that I first found appealing about Teresa when I first met her in your writing...I feel that somehow, that part of her is missing here, and we see someone slightly different.

Agreed. Maybe we can attribute it to your own maturity as a writer, but I sense something of an edge in Teresa that wasn't there before. Not cynicism exactly, more like a world-weariness. The cool thing is that, in my opinion, this new attitude seems to fit who Teresa is more than before.

So far I believe this version of Teresa, especially when she speaks of the effect the Emperor has on her.


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