Welcome to Laurels, a collection of one-shots/vignettes following the adventures of the Dunmer Nerevarine, Brynn Laurel, when she travels to Cyrodiil. Remember those in-game rumors about the Nerevarine going to Akavir? Not here! Bethesda won't get rid of Brynn so easily.
Quick background: Brynn grew up in poverty, moved to Cyrodiil after the death of her sister, and spent many years in prison before finally being sent on the adventures in the Morrowind game. Now, she's six years older and more accepting of her destiny. Eager for adventure and tired of the quiet peace of Vvardenfell, Brynn traveled to Cyrodiil only to get wrapped up in the whole issue with Mehrunes Dagon.
Here follows her adventures. The one-shots might be chronological; other times, they might not. It's whatever comes to mind, whatever the almighty Plot Bunnies deign to make me write. Do enjoy! -Tatooine92
The trouble with rumors was that they tended to be just that—rumors. The most ludicrous one that the imprisoned Dunmer woman had heard recently was the one that went, "I heard that the Nerevarine went to Akavir and hasn't been seen since!" She snorted at the very thought. How could she be in Akavir if she were in prison in the Imperial City? She hadn't meant to wind up here again, and the crime that had landed her in a cold, dank cell was theft. Though, she knew, it wasn't a crime at all because she hadn't stolen anything.
She had been browsing a rather crowded little shop in the Market District when another customer bumped into her, quite by accident. Since the other customer was of rather large girth, she had ended up being knocked into a rack of merchandise. No harm was done, though a few of the smaller items had fallen into her arms. When she moved to put them back, the shopkeeper saw her, made a few assumptions, and called the guards.
"It couldn't be more ironic," she sighed, tucking her knees into her chest there in her cell. "And if I hadn't spent all my money just getting here from Morrowind, I could've paid my fine and been off! The gods must hate me now."
"Oh, they probably do," echoed a voice from across the corridor. The Dunmer got up, crimson eyes narrowed as she walked to the cell door.
Across the way was a male Dunmer, also imprisoned. When he saw her, his eyes widened, and he leaned on the bars of the door.
"Well," he murmured. "I must surely have died, for it seems I could only be in the halls of Azura to gaze upon you, beautiful Dunmer maiden."
She sighed, folding her arms.
"Good sir," she replied, "I would appreciate it if you would cease leering at me."
"Then allow me to skip directly to loving you, my dear. One of the guards here, a friend of mine, owes me a favor or three. I... could ask him to transfer you over here... for a little fun..."
"No, thank you," she snorted, backing away from the door. "I have met and rejected men of higher quality than you, so I don't see why I should settle for a dirty tramp such as yourself."
"Oh, suit yourself," the Dunmer prisoner grumbled. "Just thought you should have a little enjoyment... before the end. Oh, you didn't think of that, did you? Didn't realize that you're going to die, did you? Oh, yes! You're going to die here; mark my words, you're going to die!"
The Dunmer woman hissed at him before she heard footsteps on the stairs leading down into the dungeon, and the other prisoner cackled.
"Ooh, do you hear that, my pet? They're coming for you already!"
The woman leaped back from the door when she saw guards—no, soldiers—coming down the steps. Yet she gasped when she saw another person with them, an elderly gentleman clad in a travel cloak despite the fact that she could see velvet and ermine peeking out from under the cloak's hem. Her heart raced as she realized that these soldiers weren't just soldiers, but that they were bodyguards. Eagerly, she waited for them to pass by her cell, but found to her surprise that their destination was her cell. The woman in front glared in at her, frowning.
"Somebody tell me what she's doing in there! I ordered this cell off-limits!"
One or two of the other soldiers made a few weak excuses, but their leader just growled under her breath and unlocked the door. The Dunmer was ever so grateful when they came in, despite the fact that they threatened to kill her where she stood if she proved dangerous. It didn't stop her from approaching the cloaked gentleman, though, even with the blades that were suddenly leveled at her.
"Your Majesty," she breathed, respectfully sinking to one knee.
He paused, gazing at her, before a smile broke on his aged face, and something like mirth twinkled in his gray eyes. Gently, he touched her shoulder, raising her to her feet.
"Brynn Laurel," he replied, squeezing her shoulder. "How are you, child?"
"I could be better, sire," Brynn smiled, looking at him with grateful eyes.
The Emperor lifted a hand to calm his guards, the other hand still on Brynn's sackcloth-covered shoulder.
"It's all right," he said. "She's one of your kind."
"...sir?" asked the woman. The Emperor smiled.
"I believe she outranks you, captain. What rank did you have last, Brynn?"
"Operative," Brynn replied. "After Spymaster Cosades left Balmora, I became the ranking—"
"Shh." The Emperor gently quieted her. "There are some who serve me openly; I would not submit you to such danger.
"I did not think to see you here; I know I dreamed of you becoming a hero once again. I saw you battling an army unlike any that has ever set foot upon Tamriel. Yet I did not expect to find you in this cell, and I do know this: you are no criminal. Whatever charges are against you are undoubtedly wrong. I pardon you, my child, because I will need you.
"There are things," he went on, in a softer voice, "that I cannot trust anyone else with. Today is one such day. My Blades lead me hence, protecting me until my doom claims me."
Brynn jumped. Doom? No, not the Emperor; not her beloved patron!
"Doom? No, sire; you mustn't say things like that!"
"Hush, Brynn. My soul is content knowing you are here to aid me. For to no one else would I trust the task I will give you. Come, child; walk with your old Emperor a while. I will tell you what you need to know. Come, my dear; walk with me."
He extended his hand to her, and Brynn slipped to his side as the Blade captain opened a secret passageway in the wall of his cell. With surprise and awe, Brynn realized suddenly that this—her presence in this particular cell—must have been the gods' plan. Part of her dreaded knowing that she had again been chosen for some massive undertaking, but another part eagerly anticipated action and adventure. She just slipped her arm through the Emperor's, gently clasping his arm. He gave her a gentle, paternal smile as he tenderly patted her hand... and they started through the tunnels together.