Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

9 Pages V  1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> A Question of Fate
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 4 2013, 04:41 AM
Post #1


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



Brief Intro By The Author

A Question of Fate would be the title of my piece.

I have been back and forth about trying to start and post a fan fic piece. The idea has always intrigued me, but I never considered myself to be a writer, let alone a good writer. I have read a sampling of some of the works that are posted on this site, and quite frankly, it is intimidating. The material is amazing. I must say say that despite the intimidation, it is also inspiring. So I am willing to throw caution to the wind and go for it. There are a few provisos. I work for a living. Often times, the hours I work are long. There may be periods of dormancy in this thread. I will apologize in advance for that. Life outside the internet does have it's restrictions. Also, I am sure that there is an unspoken etiquette that states, "You read mine and comment, and I shall do the same". This is also where I could run into trouble, for the same reasons that there may be dormant periods in this thread. There are stories on this site that I could never hope to read all the way through, with triple digit page counts, while I try to keep posting my own story and work through everyday life. So, with all that being said, I will wait to start posting chapters until I get a sense of what the audience demands. Please let me know if I should start posting a fan fic piece, based on what you have just read.

Thanks.

EDIT - This was originally posted in "General Discussion"

This post has been edited by ThatSkyrimGuy: May 4 2013, 04:41 AM


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 4 2013, 04:45 AM
Post #2


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



EDIT - This was the original response (and only response to date) to the original post in the "General Discussion" thread made by McB...

Hey there...*Waves*... ...

Dude, if you want to write something, go ahead... ...

Add to it when and if you can, but do so as you wish...I think the only timetable restriction is the polite, "We also have lives so posting a new piece three times a day is annoying" thing...That is, only post something a couple of times a week so everyone else can catch up with the other stories posted...

As for dormancy...I have a thread on page 3 that I will eventually get around to finishing, but hasn't been added to for 12 months... ...And is likely to be another 12 before I get to it again... ...

Write what you want to write, when you can...Post what you can, when you want...

It will be read...*Points finger of doom*...AND JUUUUUDGED!!!...*Cough*...No, sorry...and commented upon...And, as the bit in the fan-fic rules thing says..."We will be polite and nice about it." ...

It's polite to read thems that read and comment about yours, but not a requirement as such...Don't worry about catching up with the stories, they're not going anywhere... ...Maybe just jump on and follow from the latest episodes until you feel inspired enough to go through from the start...

I can sympathise with the long hours thing...Completely... ...

Aaaanyways, just enjoy writing...Don't worry about stuff...Just write...

And...Of course...Welcome!!...

(P.S. Have a mod move this to the fan-fic section )...

McB...


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
McBadgere
post May 4 2013, 04:47 AM
Post #3


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 21-October 11



Wise words...You listen to him... biggrin.gif ...

*Applauds McB*...Fine fellow...

laugh.gif ...

(Fair dues on bringing it over btw... wink.gif ...)

This post has been edited by McBadgere: May 4 2013, 04:47 AM
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 4 2013, 04:52 AM
Post #4


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



QUOTE(McBadgere @ May 3 2013, 10:47 PM) *

Wise words...You listen to him... biggrin.gif ...

*Applauds McB*...Fine fellow...

laugh.gif ...

(Fair dues on bringing it over btw... wink.gif ...)


LOL...thanks man. smile.gif


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
mALX
post May 4 2013, 04:57 AM
Post #5


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN





Very excited to read what you have.

Almost everyone on here has jobs/children/school/etc - eating up our free time. Many of us have ended up balancing our reading out by supporting our own readers first, then branching out to the other stories as free time allows.

Most of the larger/longer stories have summaries available so you can catch up to where the storyline is and just begin reading the current chapters - on these "War and Peace" length stories it is a real help to get you quickly caught up to speed.

Good luck, and look forward to seeing your story!


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 4 2013, 05:39 AM
Post #6


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



Thanks for the replies Malx and McB. I reckon I'll go for it. Obviously I would welcome any and all help, criticism, and comments...


Prologue


I have always kept a journal. Not for posterity. Certainly my life to date would not have any major impact on merkind, or the rest of Nirn for that matter. I have always found writing to be somewhat therapeutic. It seems to keep my head clear and my mind focused. So…I write. My mother claimed I was using a quill before I could walk. She envisioned that I would become some great scholar and pen magnificent works of literature. Such was not to be the case, for I never became that scholar and she didn’t live long enough to see what I ultimately had become. I don’t know if she would approve of what her dear Valrimor did with his life, but I do hope she would not be too disappointed.

I never knew my father. All I do know is that he was a Nord and that he had left us while I was an infant, never to return. Mother always said he was a great man, and that I should never think less of him. She was sure that some ill event must have befallen him, or else he would have returned home long ago. She told me my name was a tribute to both homelands, Valenwood and Skyrim. I consider myself Bosmer, not Nord. This is simply because when one looks at me, Bosmer is what they see. True, I am a little taller and heavier than most Bosmeri. My skin is slightly less bronze, and my hair is much more blond than most of my kind. But I was raised by a Bosmer, as a Bosmer. I am writing this story with the hope that, in some way, this will fulfill my mother’s vision that her son may be an author. May she rest in Y’ffre’s warm embrace.

The story begins well before I was born. It was just over 120 years prior to my birth when the Thalmor took control of my ancestral homeland. My relatives, on my mother’s side, fled Valenwood as refugees during the Thalmor conquest. For most of this 4th Era, my family has been exiled from those wonderful forests of home. It seems that some of my distant ancestors did not leave their homes without a fight. My mother passed the story of my maternal lineage to me. The persecution of her forefathers for their refusal to bow to Thalmor rule has been forever etched into my heart and mind. Those stories still infuriate me to this very day.

For 70 years after Valenwood fell, all outside contact with the Thalmor ceased. The Gods only know what went on in my homeland during that time. The Thalmor reappeared shortly before the moons. Except that now they were the Aldmeri Dominion reborn. For another 70 years, The Dominion increased their power through plots and machinations, and finally attacked the Empire. They have all but subjugated the Empire completely. In my mother’s opinion, The Aldmeri had been a disgrace to merkind, and therefore, in my opinion as well. Why should mer attack men rather than live in harmony with them? Why should The Dominion persecute their fellow mer just because they don’t happen to agree with their philosophy? It pains my heart knowing that the Aldmeri capital lies within a homeland that I may never see. Because of this, we Bosmer are often assumed to be Thalmor agents. While some of my kind may very well be, rest assured that I most certainly am not! So the Empire was reduced to a mere puppet government of the Thalmor, performing whatever acts The Dominion required or requested. This was the state of affairs as I sat in Olav’s Tap and Tack, alone and friendless, downing the last of my mead. In that moment of mead-muzzy loneliness, I made the decision to journey to Skyrim. I could not help but feel a kinship with my father’s people, and a desire to see the lands of my paternal lineage. Perhaps I could even find family members from my father’s line.

Skyrim has remained one of the last bastions to be free from Aldmeri Dominion rule, though that may not last for long, thanks to the Empire. Rumors of the banned worship of Talos in Skyrim causing rebellion have reached my ears. I was not surprised that some Nords won’t stand for that. The climate would be cold, if it was anything like Bruma had been. I’ve heard tell that the forests of Skyrim were magnificent, and that thought does warm my heart. Cyrodiil held nothing for me any longer. The life of being a hired bow and occasionally resorting to petty thievery had become tiresome. I wanted to breathe the air of freedom before I retired to meet the Gods face to face. Perhaps I could hunt as I wish. Perhaps I could sleep under the pine boughs without fear of Thalmor oppression, or just as bad, Cyrodillic citizens that treated me as if I were one of the Aldmeri. Perhaps…

After purchasing a map and some provisions in Bruma, I headed north. I made sure to steer well clear of the ruins of Cloud Ruler Temple. The Thalmor maintain a garrison there to make sure any surviving Blades don’t return and try to reestablish their order. This meant traveling overland, through deep snow drifts and secluded mountain passes, but that was infinitely preferable to an Aldmeri blade any day. My provisions lasted long enough to get me through the Jerall Mountains, to the lower elevations of the north slope where I could hunt rabbit and deer. Then it was on to the forests of The Rift. My map was sketchy and, as it turns out, mostly incorrect. So I just continued northward, keeping a watchful eye and an alert nostril open for chimney smoke or a campfire. Both senses were rewarded on my second day in The Rift. It was well after sunset when I came across a military style camp situated near a river crossing. I decided to make a camp of my own nearby and wait until daylight to investigate. Not knowing if the encampment a couple hundred yards away was populated by friend or foe, I had to climb into my bedroll without the benefit of a fire or hot food in my belly.

It seemed like I had barely closed my eyes when I was startled out of my sleep by the sounds of battle. Yelling and the clash of steel on steel were coming from the direction of the encampment. I quickly rose and exited my tent…

CRACK!

…excruciating pain and a spinning field of lights…

…darkness.

EDIT - I fixed a math mistake. Since Valrimor is in his early 50's when he decides to go to Skyrim, the Thalmor conquest would be about 120 years prior to his birth, not 170.

This post has been edited by ThatSkyrimGuy: May 17 2013, 03:11 AM


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
mALX
post May 4 2013, 06:32 AM
Post #7


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN




This is a very good beginning! You have really brought us into your character's mindset and strong personality in this short prologue - and managed to leave us hanging on a cliff at the end - very well done! Your editing is immaculate, a real pleasure to read!

Congrats on beginning your first fic, and welcome to the Fic forum and Chorrol!




--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Grits
post May 4 2013, 12:24 PM
Post #8


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



Welcome, SkyrimGuy! I’m so glad you decided to write Valrimor’s story and share it here. I’m enjoying it already. smile.gif

Don’t worry about future pauses in your posting. Real life happens, and your story will still be here when you get back to it.


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
treydog
post May 4 2013, 12:40 PM
Post #9


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 13-February 05
From: The Smoky Mountains



First and foremost- WELCOME! We are glad to have you as part of our community.

The start is quite promising- although I must already disagree with you on one count- "...not a writer." Pfffft! The work you have just posted contradicts that assessment. You give us all the information we need to about Valrimor- we know his background, something of his views and skills, his hopes. And all of it is provided in a natural, smooth narrative style. Wonderful.


--------------------
The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
McBadgere
post May 4 2013, 01:03 PM
Post #10


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 21-October 11



Excellent stuff!!...

Brief run through history, both his personal and Tamriel's...

Brilliant start...Looking forward to more...

I award you your inaugural Nice one!!™...

And the hearty applause of the *Applauds heartily*...

biggrin.gif ...

(Welcome again!!)...
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 5 2013, 06:46 AM
Post #11


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



First, I want to thank mALX, grits, treydog, and McBadgere for their very nice comments and compliments. You are all too kind. Second, I have decided to jump to Chapter 2 and rename it Chapter 1, thereby omitting the cart ride. I mean, how many different ways can this scene truly be written. I did pluck tidbits of info from that chapter and strategically place them in this one to further develop Valrimor. Thanks for the advice grits. smile.gif Some of you may have guessed that the Prologue ended near the Stormcloak camp at Darkwater Crossing. Suffice it to say that Valrimor knew all of his co-passenger's names by the time the cart reached Helgen. So here we go...

Chapter 1 – Helgen into Dragonfire


17th Last Seed, 4E201

The soldier with the book looked at me and said, “You there. Step forward. Who…are you?”

“My name is Valrimor.” I answered flatly.

My head was still battling a dull throb. My thoughts raced between fear and acceptance, escape and resignation, regret and anger. I could not believe that my journey to Skyrim was going to end so soon with the abrupt impact of an executioner’s halberd. The short span of consciousness during the cart ride hadn’t allowed my brain to completely process all it had been fed. I was really beginning to miss the mead at Olav’s and regret my decision to come here.

“Not many wood elfs - ”

“Elves.” I interjected.

“Huh?”

“It’s elves, not elfs. A quill-pushing bookkeeper should know that. Personally, I prefer Bosmer. But I apologize for interrupting. Please continue.” I said with a sardonic smirk. Several chuckles came from the crowd of prisoners.

He stared at me for a second, then continued, “Fine. I was merely going to comment that not many of your kind come to Skyrim alone.”

How could he know I came alone? I need a drink!

Turning to the officer, he asked, “Captain, what should we do? He’s not on the list.”

I’m not on the list! Dare I hope?

“Forget the list. He goes to the block.” she replied.

Damn…

“By your orders, Captain.” Shrugging, he turned back to me and said, “I’m sorry. We’ll make sure your remains are returned to Valenwood.”

“I’m not from - ” I started, but the bookkeeper cut me off with a wave of his hand.

“Follow the Captain, prisoner.”

She turned and headed toward the block, and I dutifully followed. As I took my position next to the other prisoners, General Tullius was standing before Ulfric.

“Ulfric Stormcloak, some here in Helgen claim you’re a hero. But a hero doesn’t use a power like The Voice to murder his king and usurp his throne.”

Ulfric grunted back angrily through his gag.

A power like The Voice? Could this be why the Jarl was gagged? Perhaps he was a mage as well.

“You started this war.” Tullius continued, “Plunged Skyrim into chaos. Now the Empire is going to put you down and restore the peace!”

Suddenly, a strange roaring sound echoed through the mountain passes. Everyone looked up, searching for its source.

“What was that?” someone asked.

“It’s nothing,” the General replied, “carry on.”

“Yes, General Tullius.” said the Captain. Then she turned to an acolyte standing a bit behind the headsman and bade her to give Last Rites. As the woman began her speech, one of the prisoners decided he was tired of waiting.

“For the love of Talos, shut up and let’s get this over with!” he said, walking toward the chopping block.

“As you wish.” the Captain replied.

When the prisoner reached the block, he said, “Come on. I haven’t got all morning!”

The Captain shoved the man to his knees, and then pushed his torso forward with her boot, placing him in prime position for losing his head.

“My ancestors are smiling at me Imperials. Can you say the same?”

Those were his last words, for with that, the headsman raised his halberd and swung downward in a clean, swift strike that separated head from body. I shuddered, but felt a strange comfort in seeing how quick and painless it would be. The gathered crowd of townsfolk shouted conflicting exclamations of “You Imperial bastards!” and “Death to the Stormcloaks!”

Ralof gave a short eulogy by stating that the man was as fearless in death as he was in life. My mind was racing. Adrenaline had pushed all of my earlier pain to the side and had my heart pounding as hard as my thoughts.

Do I make a break for it and chance the archers? Do I just accept this as my fate? Do I rush one of the guards and hope the rest of the prisoners follow my lead?

I didn’t have time to consider it any further when the Captain said, “Next, the wood elf!”

The odd roaring sounded again, reverberating off the nearby peaks. It definitely sounded closer and more menacing, but I didn’t care. My adrenaline fueled anger snapped like a bough in a wind storm.

“BOSMER!” I raged, “I am a Bosmer! Not a wood elf, not a tree-hugger, and definitely not a Thalmor piece of Aldmeri trash! I am a BOSMER!”

The soldier that had been holding the ledger just looked at me and said, “Step forward prisoner, nice and ea - ”

“Oh shut your mushroom hole, you milk drinking bureaucrat!” I said as I walked and then kneeled before the headsman’s block.

I turned my head in such a way that the last thing I would see would be the executioner’s eyes as he swung his blade.

Would this truly be the last thing my eyes would behold? Y’ffre take me to my mother…

What I did see was far more unexpected. The strange sound we had been hearing returned, and from behind the closest peak within my field of vision flew a large beast that my brain instantly classified as a dragon! It swooped in low and then with a couple mighty flaps of its wings, it slowed itself and reared back, coming to rest on the tower directly in front of me. It seemed to gaze directly into my soul with red, piercing eyes. The beast opened its mouth and uttered a sound that seemed to shake the foundation of the earth. Dark clouds, out of nowhere, began circling above its head. Then it made another, different sound and a concussive blast shoved me hard into the chopping block. My vision was instantly turned to a blurry haze. I became aware of boulders crashing to earth all around me. The world had become a cacophony of thudding impacts, yelling soldiers, screaming wounded, and gusts of scorching wind. Through all of this I managed to hear Ralof’s voice.

“Bosmer! Quickly! Follow me!”

I rose to my knees and squinted. There was Ralof, waving and beckoning for me to get up and run. I stood up and a searing blast of hot air knocked me on my backside. As I rose again, an Imperial guard ran past me. He was screaming and completely ablaze. Even though he was one of my captors only moments ago, I felt an instant pang of pity.

What a horrible way to die!

Ralof had made his way to the door of another tower. I sprinted toward him as more boulders smashed the grounds and buildings around me. Almost everything in my sight that was able to burn seemed to be ablaze. Scorched bodies lay strewn about, making for flaming obstacles that reeked with the stench of burnt flesh. When I finally reached the tower, my momentum carried me through the door and to the floor of the chamber within.

EDIT - Per Acadian - Nit fixed, thanks! smile.gif Added date to entry.

This post has been edited by ThatSkyrimGuy: May 18 2013, 12:16 AM


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Acadian
post May 5 2013, 11:10 PM
Post #12


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



A warm welcome to the Arena of Fan Fiction here at Chorrol!

Your prologue provides an entertaining and efficient introduction of Valrimor, where we learn plenty enough about him to get us started.

Chapter One is tense indeed as the proud Bosmer prepares to meet his fate, only to be interrupted by a dragon attack! Whoever said dragons are bad? This one seemed pretty darn helpful!

The quality of your writing is superb. Your descriptions and dialogue are both captivating and flow naturally.

As you did ask for critique, I would mention a tiny nit. It sticks out only because, as mALX indicated, your editing is otherwise immaculate: ’Do I just except this as my fate?’ (I expect you want ‘accept’ instead of ‘except’ in this context.)

Based on the advice you’ve already gotten and your own comments, it seems you’ve well ferreted out the essential elements of running a successful fanfic thread:
- Limit your update frequency to once or twice a week.
- Limit your update volume to 1000-2000 words.
- Graciously acknowledge your readers.
- Support the writers who comment your work by returning the favor.
- Do not be intimidated away from longer stories. As you’ve heard, most of us have some sort of ‘Executive Summary’ feature to help new readers easily catch up. Don’t hesitate to ask the writer via PM if you need a point to their summary, since some may simply provide it via PM on request. Even without a summary or catching up, I’m sure most writers would rather have you simply join them in progress rather than being put off by the volume of their work.

Again, welcome and you’re off to a magnificent start!


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
mALX
post May 6 2013, 12:33 AM
Post #13


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN





This is probably one of the best renditions I've seen of the culmination of that cart ride at the beginning of the Skyrim game! I know it by heart, but you've managed to bring it to life and make it feel new - that is hard to do! I know what side your Bosmer will be in the Civil War now, lol.

One of the outstanding little details you added that I've yet to see anyone mention in a Skyrim Fic was such a realistic touch that I wanted to point it out:

QUOTE
Those were his last words, for with that, the headsman raised his halberd and swung downward in a clean, swift strike that separated head from body. I shuddered, but felt a strange comfort in seeing how quick and painless it would be.


You can't see someone beheaded and know you are next without having some thought - reading this it makes sense that would be one of the important thoughts that would cross one's mind.

I loved this chapter even better than the prologue, and that is saying a LOT! Awesome Write!




--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
McBadgere
post May 6 2013, 03:36 AM
Post #14


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 21-October 11



Very accepting of the return of the Dragons isn't he?... laugh.gif ...

Very cool... biggrin.gif ...

Loved the way you took the familiar script and then wove your own magic through it...

Brilliant stuff...

Looking forward to seeing how you add to the fun!...

Love it!!...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds heartily*...
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SubRosa
post May 8 2013, 12:10 AM
Post #15


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



Hi SkyGuy. Try not to be too intimidated by the great white whale sized stories on the site. They won't take your leg off! laugh.gif As others have said, most writers with those big honking tales try to make some kind of summary for people to catch up quickly rather than slog through 200k plus words. What I do is put a one paragraph summary at the beginning each episode that recaps the previous episode. Sort of a "what happened in last week's show" sort of thing. Acadian has a thread just for a short version of his Buffy tale, etc...

As others have said, you have a good beginning. I would say that the nuts and bolts of your prose is quite good as well. Your character sounds very interesting. A half Bosmer, half Nord (Bosmord? wink.gif ) is a neat combination. Now I can see why your forum avatar has blond hair! Being from a family of refugees from the Dominion adds quite a bit of spice to his background.

Vals saracasm and quick wit as he faced the headsman's axe would have earned the respect of any Celtic bard! We can see the scholar in him just cannot resist leaping out.

Oh shut your mushroom hole,
Now I have to add 'mushroom hole' to my list of insults! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: May 8 2013, 12:10 AM


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 8 2013, 06:16 AM
Post #16


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



Thanks to Acadian, mALX, McBadgere, and SubRosa for your very kind comments. I'm going to post one more because I'll be gone for a bit. Might be able to post again on Sunday or Monday. I hope you enjoy this tidbit and your weekend...

Chapter 2 – Burning Chaos


17th Last Seed, 4E201 - Continued

I lay on my back, looking up at a circular chandelier about 30 or so feet above me. It was swaying slightly from the tremors of the dragon attack. Occasional small clouds of mortar dust were descending around the candles. Time seemed to stretch out momentarily. The chaos around me was muffled. It was sensory overload. There was too much happening too fast. The fog of war, some called it. But this was no war.

Could that really have been a dragon? Of course it was. What else could it be?

These thoughts and the slowing of time actually occurred in mere seconds. I stood up to see Ralof and Ulfric standing near the door. As if to echo my own thoughts, Ralof said, “Jarl Ulfric, what was that thing? Could the legends be true?”

“Legends don’t burn down villages”

At that moment, I realized that Ulfric was no longer gagged. His voice did not sound like a murder weapon, as Tullius had accused. It sounded like the voice of a leader. It fit his appearance, standing tall and sure, with no evidence of fear. The sounds of mayhem continued just outside the door. The sounds of the damage it had caused were right here in the room. I heard a moan and looked to the source. What my eyes found made me cringe. A Stormcloak soldier was kneeling over another, an injured woman in a singed Stormcloak cuirass. She had a gruesomely shattered forearm and severe burns on both of her legs. She was convulsing and obviously in shock, a trickle of blood coming from the corner of her mouth. The kneeling soldier looked up and said, “We need to move, now!”

He tried to lift the woman, but most of the flesh on her legs slid away from the bone. She howled in agony, and then went limp. The soldier laid her back down and said a short prayer. As he stood, Ralof grabbed my arm and said, “Quickly, up the stairs!”

“Do you think you could cut - ”

“Move!” he shouted and gave me a shove.

The stone stairway was built into to the curved outside wall of the tower. There was already another Stormcloak at the first landing when Ralof and I started up. Suddenly, the wall burst inward, followed by the fanged face of the dragon! A roaring gout of flame issued from the beast, immediately incinerating the Stormcloak and blasting all the flesh away from his bones. He didn’t even have time to scream. His charred skeleton shattered against the steps. I closed my eyes and shuddered, swallowing back a little bile as I did so. I have seen horrible deaths before, but this was a nightmare that defied imagination. The dragon had retreated and flown off over the village when Ralof gave me a shove and urged me onward.

When we reached the hole in the wall, Ralof turned to me and said, “See that inn on the other side? Jump through the roof and keep going.”

I looked out the hole, first at the distance, and then at the deadly fall if I missed. This was not going to be easy with my wrists still bound together. A roar and the beating of dragon wings spurred me as convincingly as Ralof.

“Go!” he said, “We’ll follow when we can.”

I took a step backward, then sprinted toward the hole and jumped. Once again, time seemed to slow to a crawl. I caught what were only mere glimpses of the damage and death, but they seemed to be detailed panoramas. There were burnt bodies and buildings all around. Soldiers, both Imperial and Stormcloak, were firing arrows at their newly found common enemy. Some priests were using Magicka, hurling balls of flame and bolts of lightning into the air. The remaining living were running to escape or running to the defense. The opening in the inn roof moved toward me in slow motion. The room was strewn with broken furniture. I could barely put out my imprisoned arms to break my fall or maintain any type of balance. I landed on the edge of a toppled bookshelf and crashed to the floor full on my shoulder. Blinding pain shot through my right arm.

Grimacing and cursing through clenched teeth, I examined my landing area. Ahead of me was a hole in the floor that would allow me access to the ground level. I made for it and jumped down easily, sparing my shoulder any further injury. I had landed directly in front of a doorway leading out of the inn. The shadow of the dragon passed by and I could see it as I stepped out into the yard. The beast was huge. It circled and landed on the other side of a nearby burning house, causing the ground to shudder as it did so. Suddenly I froze with horror. There was a child not ten yards from it! An Imperial soldier was calling to him.

“Haming, you need to get over here now! That a boy. You’re doing great.” he said as the child ran toward him. The boy’s face was a study in terror. His eyes were as big as saucers, his mouth agape in a voiceless scream. He reached the soldier who grabbed his arm and dragged him toward a third man in the yard, while the dragon belched flame and narrowly missed its intended victims. The close call with instant death was evidenced by the singed hair and smoldering shirt on the boy.

I dove and rolled for the same pile of debris that the other three were hiding behind, my injured arm vigorously protesting. The soldier was checking the boy for burns and became satisfied that there was nothing serious. He ruffled Haming’s hair, then gave the child a smile and a wink, saying, “Don’t worry son. It will grow back.”

The soldier looked at me momentarily and I suddenly realized that this was the quill-pushing bureaucrat. He turned out to be not such a milk drinker after all. I did not let my eye stray far from his unsheathed sword.

“You’re still alive prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way!” he said. Then he turned to the other man and said, “Gunnar, take care of the boy. I have to find General Tullius and join the defense.”

“Da, don’t go!” Haming yelled and lurched toward the soldier. Gunnar restrained him.

“Son,” he said with a firm voice, “I’ll be back, but I have a job to do.”

“Gods guide you, Hadvar.” Gunnar said as Hadvar turned back toward me.

“Okay prisoner, with me.” he said.

“Why?” I replied, “So you can get me to the next available headsman?”

“I will see justice done. Would you rather burn to death in agony, or die quick under the blade? I’ll not kill you myself, for that is not my place unless you make a move against me. The choice is yours.”

The man made a good point, so I followed.

EDIT : Nits picked. Thanks Acadian and SubRosa. smile.gif

This post has been edited by ThatSkyrimGuy: May 18 2013, 12:18 AM


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SubRosa
post May 9 2013, 12:08 AM
Post #17


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



Nice to see some more meat put on this scene that some of us have witnessed dozens of times. Well, except for the meat sliding off some people's burnt and shattered bones! ohmy.gif

“Do you think you could cut - ”
This is of course the old question of so many of us ask. How come everyone else has their bonds cut but me! biggrin.gif I think you did an effective job of putting that off with the rush of action, and the protagonist being pulled along with the tide of events.

His eyes were as big as saucers, his mouth agape in a voiceless scream.
This was an excellent way of showing us the child's fear.

“So you can get me to the next available headsman?”
This is what I have always thought. Weren't you about to kill me bub?



nits:
hurling fireballs and wads of electricity into the air
'wads' sounds kind of odd. You might go with a term like 'bolts', or 'blasts'. Likewise, electricity is a rather 20th Century, scientific-sounding name, given the setting. 'Lightning' might work better.


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Acadian
post May 9 2013, 12:23 AM
Post #18


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



A terrifyingly harrowing escape for Valrimor! Your quick pacing, interspersed with perceived slowdowns of time itself, served to great effect here. The burned soldier who died in another’s arms, and detailing the rescue of little Haming, really helped to ‘humanize’ the warriors.

Nit? ‘Suddenly, the wall burst inward, followed by {the?} fanged face of the dragon!’


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
McBadgere
post May 11 2013, 10:38 AM
Post #19


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 21-October 11



Loving the extra parts you're adding into this section...

The bit about the Stormcloak being vaporised was very cool...Well...Horrible, yes...But very cool also!... tongue.gif ...

Brilliant run through this next bit...Thoroughly enjoyed it!...

Looking forward to seeing how you work the choice section in...

Nice one!!..

*Applauds heartily*...

This post has been edited by McBadgere: May 11 2013, 03:27 PM
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ThatSkyrimGuy
post May 11 2013, 01:52 PM
Post #20


Finder
Group Icon
Joined: 4-May 13
From: Somewhere between here and there



Once again, thanks for the kind comments from Subrosa, Acadian, and McBadgere.

@SubRosa - Thanks for the insight on my wording. I hadn't even considered the word "electricity" as modern. I did make the change you suggested. But now I have a conundrum...how to describe future visual manefestations of shock-based spells without using the word "electric" or its permutations? I fear "lightning" may become redundant. Any ideas?

@Acadian - Thanks for spotting the editing mistake. Its fixed now. And thanks even more for noticing that I endeavored to put identities to the stuff that goes on around the protagonist in the tutorial section.

@McBadgere - Your wait is over, as I am about to post the choice scene. Do enjoy! smile.gif

And I do hope others enjoy as well, as Chapter 3 deals with a decision for Valrimor...

Chapter 3 – A Choice for Escape


17th Last Seed, 4E201 - Continued

Hadvar ran with his sword drawn. A silly image of my mother admonishing against such actions came to mind and I actually chuckled out loud. Meanwhile, the dragon was still circling overhead and laying waste to Helgen. We dodged through the Oblivion-like landscape of fire and panic.

“Stay close to the wall!” Hadvar advised over his shoulder as we approached a damaged stone partition. I darted to the left to follow that advice and was almost immediately impaled against the stone by a dragon talon! The beast landed atop the wall, right above my head! An ear-shattering utterance of three distinct sounds in rapid succession was followed by a gale of fiery breath. It made me curse my bonds when I tried to cover my ears. The dragon must have been content with the results of this latest blast, because it took off to continue spreading its wrath.

Hadvar again urged me to follow him, and I did so. Someone, perhaps General Tullius, ordered Hadvar into the keep. It was impossible to tell exactly who it was. Chaos reigned supreme, with soldiers yelling, buildings collapsing, and the dragon ever roaring and spewing fiery death. Through all of this, Hadvar kept his cool and made sure I stayed with him, thereby keeping me alive. My earlier estimation of the man couldn’t have been more wrong. He was obviously well trained. Under different circumstances, like not keeping me alive so that I may be executed or not being an Imperial Legionnaire, he would have made a staunch ally.

We continued through the wrecked village. As we turned to head for an arched opening in yet another wall, I saw the dragon fly directly over us. A strange alien voice briefly filled the air as it made a sweeping circle and was headed back in our direction. Flaming arrows, along with mage fire and lightning, streamed toward the dragon like some bizarre fireworks display. It swooped down and plucked an archer from the top of a wall, ripping the poor fellow in half and casting his remains down upon the defenders as it flew past.

Suddenly, Ralof appeared with sword in hand. I stopped and stared at the two enemies facing each other. My mind raced as I tried to think of a way to take advantage of this situation. If these two started fighting, I would have the perfect opportunity to escape!

“Ralof! You damned traitor! Out of my way!” Hadvar yelled.

“We’re escaping, Hadvar. You’re not stopping us this time.” the Stormcloak replied. Then he looked directly at me and said, “You! Come on, into the keep!”

I looked at Hadvar. This man had helped to keep me alive through the attack. But his reason for doing so was to deliver me to another headsman. He was gazing back as if to say, “Well?” The choice was easy. Ralof seemed to have no ill will toward me. I was fairly certain that he would not be looking for the nearest Imperial executioner.

“Thank you Hadvar. Good bye Hadvar.” I said, and dashed after Ralof.

“Fine, I hope the dragon takes you all to Sovngarde!” Hadvar said over his shoulder as he ran off to join his comrades.

Ralof was waiting at an entrance to the keep. It was one of the last buildings left still standing. When I reached him, I held out my arms and he said, “I can cut you loose inside. Come on!”

We entered the keep and barred the door behind us. The interior almost looked as though there was nothing happening outside. I say almost because a dead Stormcloak lay near a table across the room. The chamber was decorated by tapestries emblazoned with the stylized dragon emblem of The Empire. I found that oddly ironic. Hunting trophies bedecked the walls, and there was a rug in the center of the room. Ralof went over and knelt next to his fallen comrade. I walked up in time to hear him say, “We’ll meet again in Sovngarde, brother.” Then he stood and faced me.

“It looks like we’re the only ones who made it.”

“There must be others.” I replied.

“Mayhap there are. Gods! That thing was a dragon! Just like the children’s stories and legends of old. It is a harbinger of the End Times!” Ralof said, and for the first time, I thought I detected fear in his voice. Not of dying. Ralof has already shown his bravery when it comes to death. No, this was different. I believe he was afraid of what the appearance of a dragon meant in Nordic culture.

“Be that as it may, do you think you could cut my bonds sometime today?” I asked while extending my wrists in his direction.

“Of course.” he said, drawing a dagger from a sheath at his hip. “Sorry. It was Valrimor, right?”

“Yes, and it still is, thanks to Hadvar,” I replied, rubbing my wrists after he slit my bindings, and then hastily added, “and to you of course.”

“Well, Valrimor, you might as well take Gunjar’s gear. He won’t need it anymore.” he said, gesturing to the corpse on the floor. “But be quick about it, we need to get moving.”

I knelt down and began removing Gunjar's armor. Closer inspection revealed that this man had died from a sword wound, and not from anything a dragon had done to him. I wondered where his killer was as I undressed the Stormcloak. I was hoping for a bow and a quiver of arrows, but no such luck. His only weapon was a war axe. With my shoulder being injured, this would certainly not be my weapon of choice. Of course, drawing a bowstring would be no stroll in the woods either. Thanks to my Nordic half, the armor was not a terrible fit. Just a little loose, but completely functional. When I stood back up, I gave the axe a couple swings and wished I hadn’t. Pain ran from shoulder to elbow. Best I wait until I had to actually defend myself. That should prove interesting. I have never been one for battling in close quarters with swords or axes. I know the fundamentals, but that’s it.

While I was changing and arming myself, Ralof searched for a way to move on. There were two gates, one at either side of the room. When I finished, he informed me that there was no way to unlock the gates from this side without a key. I silently cursed the Imperials. They had impounded all of my lock picking gear, along with the rest of my personal effects. My bow, my tent, my ale! They were all likely to be ashes by now.

"Well, Ralof, what now?" I asked.

A moment later, the answer presented itself.

EDIT - Fixed a nit re: Ralof.

This post has been edited by ThatSkyrimGuy: May 18 2013, 12:18 AM


--------------------
A Question of Fate is my Skyrim Fic
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

9 Pages V  1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 13th November 2019 - 12:22 AM