|Rogue Province, Rogue Agent
Author: DeusExfreak PM
Sheltered and blindly loyal in youth, a Shadowscale given to the Brotherhood is about to find a world of betrayal, uncertainty, and moral ambiguity. In too many ways, her employers don't fit her original preceptions. Constructive criticism encouraged.Rated: Fiction T - English - Crime/Angst - Lucien L. & Vicente V. - Chapters: 59 - Words: 171,799 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 08-02-07 - Published: 10-01-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3178856
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
RECENTLY UPDATED, ONCE AGAIN:
Hi there, reader. This chapter isn't truly part of the storyline, but I highly recommend you read it before you go onto the later chapters. This introduction is meant to clear up which sides I'm taking with seemingly contradictory pieces of lore, inform the reader of lore that is not well known, and list changes or creations I've made to the lore. I really hope it isn't considered a violation of this site's code of conduct even though it is relevant to the story.
Since the Pocket Guide to the Empire Third Edition has been released, I've decided to update this opening segment. Now, I'm assuming you played through the whole Dark Brotherhood questline. This story is loosely based on the Dark Brotherhood questline, and though it takes many liberties, including an alternate ending, there will be spoilers. Now, onto things worth noting when reading this story:
The Black Hand (the ruling council of the brotherhood): The idea I got from the game was that there were multiple Dark Brotherhood sanctuaries scattered throughout Cyrodiil, each overseen by a "finger" of the Black Hand. I decided to do away with this idea.
Instead, assume the Cheydinhal Sanctuary is the only Dark Brotherhood sanctuary in CYRODIIL, but there are others in Tamriel: one in Morrowind, one in Skyrim, and one in High Rock. (The thumb being the Listener)
I know Argonians looked different throughout the series. Because of this, I'd like to clarify that, when reading this story, you should picture them looking the way they did in Oblivion.
And please, don't lecture me on reptilian physiology: They are lizard(y)-PEOPLE, not lizards. Yeah, I know they're occasionally referred to as reptiles, but having the character being truly cold-blooded would complicate things, and probably make certain scenes (particularly ones in Bruma) impossible. So, when reading this story, think of them more as humans with lizardy characteristics, than lizards with humany characteristics. I'm aware full-blown lizards don't have breasts, don't sweat, and need to regulate their own body-temperatures. For this story Argonians are, however, a different case.
Keep in mind, this story will mostly be coming from the perspective of a Shadowscale. In this story, Shadowscales are shielded from culture and information in general in the name of "trusting" their superiours. They don't know much that isn't helpful to their line of work. They live very sheltered lives early on, and ultimately get shipped off to other provinces, so a Shadowscale's cultural upbringing might be noticably different from that of a normal Argonian: For this reason I didn't research/fill-out every aspect of Argonian culture.
However, you will notice some differences in the way the main character views the world (though this will change as she gets more assimilated into Cyrodillic culture, which happens with each chapter). For one, I decided it would be really impractical for Argonians to use the traditional race classification system of Oblivion because Black Marsh is so isolated. So, during the beginning of this story, she's mostly going to refer to everyone as human (this encompasses both men and mer), Khajiit, Orcish, Finned, Spiked, or Spined, the latter 3 are all different types of Argonians based on the different "hair-styles" available to Argonians in the game, which I made the assumption are derived from regional heritage in Black Marsh. However, human may also be used as a generic term for all those listed above. On the subject of race classification, also note "Cyrodiil" is another term for "Imperial" (though may also simply mean someone who lives in Cyrodiil).
Lastly, with regards to Argonian culture, I made the assumption that Argonians don't use stone much in their constructions because it would be hard to have a building which was extremely heavy on soggy ground.
This was one issue I had a bit of trouble with. Up until I met the assassin twins, I was under the impression Black Marsh (or Argonia) was just inhabited by an unorganized collection of tribes, which was one province because the emperor said so. However, the way the twins talk ("the mighty kingdom of Argonia") it sounds not only like Argonia's government is a lot more 'civilized' than a collection of tribes, but also like an independent nation.
Now, Pocket Guide to the Empire Third Edition says :
Black Marsh's position in the Third Era has been much the same as it has been throughout the other times in history. The Empire finds strategic benefit in holding the coasts, and keeps its most dangerous criminals in Black rose and other dungeons closer to its interior. The heart of Black Marsh remains the sole province of the reptilian Argonians, and any further annexation of this area by Imperial forces seems unlikely.
Beyond the reach of the Empire, there is little supervision of the inner swamplands, and it is unknown whether or not these areas even recognize Imperial rule of the Province.
So, apparently the exact nature of how much law and order exists there still wasn't clear. A bunch of tribes and a "mighty kingdom of Argonia" sound like a bit of a contradiction, so I decided to compromise between these two ideas:
This "mighty kingdom of Argonia" goes a long way to keep power solely in its own hands, and isn't really about much more than self-preservation. For this reason, it doesn't care to help its people rise from their primitive state; in fact, it may prefer them that way. If you still have questions about this "mighty kingdom of Argonia", well, good. More will be revealed as the story goes.
In this story, Cyrodiillic is a language identical to English. However, please note some dialogue in this story will be in the Argonian language. Such text will be bolded, like this. Keep in mind, this dialogue is not supposed to be a literal translation; Its simply trying to capture the essence of the conversation. I should also point out Argonian names are translated during dialogue in Argonian. Because Shadowscales spend their whole life training to be, or actually being, assassins, their names derive from behaviors they exhibit during training, or how they expect these behaviors to play out in their career as an assassin. That's why the main character has a name like "Fights-up-close". Because these names could arouse suspicion, I decided all the Shadowscales have code-names as well, which sound more typical (for example, "Scar-tail" is just a code name in this story).
Whether there are supposed to be female soldiers in the Legion and various forms of city-watch was never really clear to me. Its odd that you see female guard captains, but almost not female low ranking soldiers. Anyway, for this story, I decided to assume the city-watch roles weren't limited to only men, but the Imperial Legion (which is more of a military than a police force) was.
The Effect of Birthsigns:
The information regarding the extent birthsign effects a person in the Elder Scrolls universe isn't clear. In the in-game books, it sounds as if the whole concept might as well be a superstition. Still, in terms of your character, your birthsign grants you some pretty potent powers that no one could deny truly exist.
For this story, I decided that those born under the sign of the Shadow are more unique, and it is one of the only birthsigns with a clear and provable effect.
Though no such concept was really present in Oblivion, I thought it would make sense that each province had its own local accent. I'll leave exactly what these accents would sound like up to you, but keep an eye out from references to concepts like "a thick Nordic accent".
In the game, I'm sure Cyrodiil's "true" size was scaled down so that the game wouldn't take decades to produce. For this story, however, imagine Cyrodiil being significantly larger and more populated than it is in the game.
You'll hear this organization mentioned a few times in this story. Appearantely its not common knowledge exactly what this organization is about, but Pocket Guide to the Empire Third Edition sums it up nicely by saying:
In the east, the long disputed border with the Cyrodilic County Leyawiin was recently resolved in Cyrodiil's favor, after an agreement between the current Mane and the Count of Leyawiin. But a group of Khajiit bandits known as the Renrijra Krin has taken up the cause of returning the land to Elsweyr, and the West Niben remains a trouble spot.
Lastly, I'd like to thank Ma'iq the Liar for helping me with the Elder Scrolls lore. At the time I'd started this story I'd only played Oblivion, so I wasn't the most knowledgable person on the lore.