Bethesda created...The Ultimate Mary Sue...
This last chapter concludes my attempt to have all the races showcased in the search for the Dragonborn, so here's my favourite Breton (yes, the ultimate Mary Sue...but I spent three years running/flying around Vvardenfell with her, so I adore her), a Redguard warrior, and some of those pesky Nords.
Anyone who's watched the movie, 'The Gamers: Dorkness Rising', will notice the Nordic resemblance. :D
I thank Shakespira for allowing me to use this perfect woman's name (from another story-line), as she was originally named Roxputin - which just didn't have the same oomph!
The noonday sun radiated in the cloudless sky. A rare event in the Dragontail Mountains border of Skyrim, Agnomen knew, but even the normally shy orb could not help being overjoyed by a visitation from the phenomenon known as Merisoo.
A few feet in front of him walked the focus of the adoration. Every part of the Breton glistened, gleamed, and glowed as the sun's rays lovingly caressed her platinum blonde hair, alabaster skin, and almond-shaped azure eyes, while dancing jubilantly over her ancient, fabled armour, weaponry, and jewelry - most of which were written of in time-worn tomes. The Ebony Mail, the left Fist of Randagulf, Wraithguard on her right, Eleidon's Ward, the Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw. All of these and more, he'd found to his chagrin, made it impossible to destroy her. The Redguard and his equipment, on the other hand, could only be described as disheveled, dusty, rusty, and dingy...as everything inevitably looked when in the presence of his companion.
Agnomen silently cursed every god, all magic, and most vehemently, the person who'd found the Breton's unconscious form washed up on an Iliac Bay beach. He shifted the weighty sack over to his other shoulder, glaring at the unencumbered woman gaily skipping over the fallen rubble on their path. If she picked one more flower, or chased one more bug, or raided one more bird's nest, he would...he would...
Well, in truth, he wasn't sure what he could do to Merisoo, as she was akin to a walking, talking god, but he would attempt to make it a terrifically bloody event, even if she was virtually indestruc...
A high-pitched, piercing screech snapped him out of his reverie. Dropping the sack to grab at the hilt of his sword, the Redguard warrior spun around, weapon partly unsheathed, in search of the source of the gods-awful racket. Five Nords - three men, and what appeared to be two women - charged frantically through a copse of juniper trees, all wide-eyed with terror as they ran towards him.
"Run! Run! Run for your lives!"
The largest of the bunch (the one blessed with the ear-splitting shriek), dressed in a foppish manner, and clutching a mandolin in white-knuckled hands, shoved against Agnomen in his haste, knocking the Redguard off balance. Turning back to call for assistance, Agnomen saw Merisoo raise her arms and whisper a few words. The Nords collectively froze in their tracks, mercifully cutting short further screams.
"What did you do to them?" he asked as he surveyed the area, on the lookout for the cause of the panic.
"An old paralyzing spell I learned in Morrowind known as the Medusa's Gaze. They'll be free to move about in a few seconds."
No pursuers in sight, Agnomen quietly re-sheathed his sword. "The danger appears to have passed," he said, "if there even was one to start with. These people don't seem prepared to do battle with anything, not even bad taste."
Giving the immobile group his full attention, he shook his head in disbelief at what he saw. The tallest man was young, yet bald, clad in a yellow exquisite robe, and had no obvious weapon in sight. The largest man was heavy-set, middle-aged, wearing an assortment of brightly hued apparel that only the colour-blind could truly appreciate. Considering the way he grasped the mandolin's headstock with both hands, he seemed to believe it was a viable weapon. The shortest man was the leanest, fully armoured in steel as he was, with a tower shield and longsword at the fore. As for the women, one was definitely female, wearing light armour, and carrying both staff and spear. The other, though...he could not say. 'She' was either a very mannish girl, judging by the facial hair, lack of breasts, and the protuberance at the front of her throat - or an effeminate man wearing a bright red smock. He shook his head at the sudden, unwelcome thought of what may lie beneath the short robe.
"Ye Gods. What manner of strange folk are they?"
"It matters not what kind of people they are. It is only important to find what sort of evil follows them, and destroy it at once!" Merisoo's eyes darkened with anger.
Agnomen sighed heavily. "I protest. Let them fight their own evil. I only want for an end to this journey."
"It is my duty, my calling, to fight evil wherever I find it! I cannot curtail my vocation to suit your needs!" Merisoo glared at Agnomen.
"Yes, but my duty is escorting you back to Morrow..."
Their debate was cut short by an excited squeal from the newly-freed manly woman. "Woah! Amazing! Can you teach me how to do that?"
Merisoo smiled beatifically, directing her gaze to the Nords behind the irritated Redguard. "My magic is tied to Morrowind, Saint Nerevar, and blessed by Azura and Mephala. It only can be used by those who are loyal, righteous and wholesome. Do you walk such a path?"
The rest of the Nords could be heard snickering at the question as they shook off the remnants of the paralyzing spell.
"Nay! He...um...she has a far too...er...chaotic a personality to be considered virtuous," said the man in shiny steel armour. Sheathing his sword, he beamed as he bowed, exposing dazzling white teeth. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Knight, at your service."
As Agnomen reflexively shielded his eyes from the knight's brilliant smile, he heard another man speak.
"I am the Bard. I once was a barbarian, but failed miserably at fierce, frenzied combat, so decided to become a bard instead. I'm certain to live longer that way."
'If his legs work as well as his lungs,' Agnomen thought, 'he just might stand a chance of living forever.'
The bald, yellow-robed man stepped forward. "And I am the Monk," he said in a deep, solemn voice. "Though not in the to-be-blinded-by-reading-Elder-Scrolls sense of monkhood...I'm more of the adventurous, martial artist type."
Merisoo spoke next, addressing the females. "And who are you ladies?"
The red robed mystery answered first. "I am the Sorceress, also known as a witch."
"Would you not prefer to be a warlock, as you seem more male than female?" Merisoo queried, quite curious.
"I find armour too cumbersome, and my dress far more comfortable. Why is it that only women are allowed to wear clothing meant for both sexes, anyways?" the witch said caustically.
The dual-wielding woman interrupted. "Do not be concerned by our gender-confused companion, as the witch's magic can be rather useful from time to time. I am the Rogue; who might you two be?"
The Redguard bowed with great flourish. "Agnomen of Sentinel, a Ra Gada warrior."
Merisoo took in a deep breath. "I am the one once hailed as the Nerevarine, Hortator, Redoran Archmaster, Blade of the Emporer, Archmage, Fighters Guild Master, Master Thief, East Empire Company Factor, Knight of the Imperial Dragon, Tribunal Temple Patriarch, Imperial Cult Primate, and Chieftain of Thirsk Hall."
The group stepped back as one, horrified at the potential monstrosity before them.
"Since I've read that the Nerevarine disappeared over two hundred years ago, if I start screaming 'run away', will anyone try to stop me?" whimpered the unnerved bard.
Merisoo cocked an eyebrow. "I pose no threat, unless you partake in evil activities. I'm more curious about your troubles at this time. Perhaps you can give us some background information whilst we search for your enemies?"
"No need, my lady!" boomed the knight. "Two sabre cats, a cave bear, three trolls, and a dozen wolves are not true evil...merely nuisances to be avoided. Why don't we assist you in your adventures, instead? Safety in numbers, and all that!"
"How is it, though, that you are still alive after all these years," asked the witch. "And what brings you to Skyrim?"
Agnomen answered as he scanned the sky. "It's a tale which can be told as we walk, no? Let us be on our way before darkness falls."
All nodded in agreement as they set off for the main road. Along the way, Merisoo told the newcomers of her time on Vvardenfell, of being deliberately infected by a Corprus Disease-afflicted minion of Dagoth Ur, and eventually learning of her immortality once she'd found the cure. Following up with tales of her travels after leaving Morrowind, she finished with what she remembered of the great storm which beset the ship she was aboard, meant to carry her back to Solstheim.
"Which brings us full circle," Merisoo said, glancing at the darkening sky before looking back at the group. "I wish to hear of your adventures, and what brought you here."
The monk spoke. "The legend of the Dragonborn was brought to our attention by the bard. Let him tell you the tale of our deeds."
All eyes turned to the bard. "If it pleases Your Perfection, I will tell you what I've heard of the latest song concerning Skyrim's newest hero-to-be," he blubbered, still cowed by the sight of Merisoo's multitude of death-dealing paraphernalia.
Merisoo smiled, nodding in encouragement at the obviously discomfited man. "I would enjoy hearing this song, Bard. Continue."
Clearing his throat nervously, he pulled a tattered piece of paper from his pouch, and began to recite:
"And the Scrolls have foretold of black wings in the cold, that when brothers wage war come unfurled!
Alduin, Bane of Kings, ancient shadow unbound, with a hunger to swallow the world!
But a day shall arise when the dark dragon's lies will be silenced forever, and then!
Fair Skyrim will be free from foul Alduin's maw; Dragonborn be the savior of men!"
Folding the paper, he returned it to the pouch attached to his belt, and tilted his head in the direction of the large hill behind the group. "We were in search of a possible Dragonborn when we were beset by countless creatures on yonder mount."
"Hmmm. I take it this Dragonborn is holed up in a cave somewhere?" asked Merisoo.
The monk responded to Merisoo's question with a query of his own. "Is it not the concealed whom are most easily found?"
Agnomen stared at the monk, bewildered.
The rogue chuckled at his confusion. "Don't mind anything the monk has to say. I've watched him progress from being a nitwit to a moron over the years, but he's always been good to have around in a fight. As for the Dragonborn, we only know to search for a prisoner. The prison could be a cage, a cave, a dungeon...who can say? There are far too many forms of imprisonment in Skyrim."
"Aye. Only when one is shackled, can one truly be free," nodded the solemn monk.
"I'm curious about how you've survived your quest so far, Rogue," said Agnomen, barely keeping his eye-roll in check.
"Ah. In my hand I hold the Staff of Resurrection, which has revived our fallen many a time. We found it in a cave, but have no way of using it anymore, as it has lost its magic. It's not much more than a blunt object now," she sadly replied.
Merisoo held out her hand. "Give it to me, and I will replenish its charge."
The rogue blinked. "You can do that?"
"I am a Master Enchanter, girl. I can recharge anything."
"As you say." The rogue handed the staff to Merisoo. The Breton closed her eyes, and stood stock-still for a few minutes. The staff began to glow, the crystal tip thrumming with energy. As they waited, the rest of the group glanced around their environment.
Raising an arm, the witch pointed to the east. "There! The main road! What direction are we taking from here?"
"We travel north and east, to the northern Velothi Mountains, which will lead us into Morrowind," Agnomen replied.
"Alas. We mean to travel south then east. There is a gathering of rebel Nords south of Helgen. We hope to find the Dragonborn there!" said the knight. "Perhaps we can set up camp here for the night, and have a merry feast before parting ways!"
Merisoo smiled at the rogue as she handed back the fully charged staff. "A wonderful gesture, Ser Knight. Agnomen and I would be honoured to spend the eve with you, and your companions."
Agnomen could not find it in his heart to protest, as clouds were creeping over the horizon, and the sun was slowly sinking beneath the hills.
Unfortunately, he did not take into account the persuasive abilities of the rogue or the knight, for the next morning, as the campsite was being packed up, Merisoo informed him of the change in plans.
"We will head to Morrowind through the southern roads, to aid our new friends in their search for this savior of legend."
Months of pent-up rage suddenly swelled, threatening to break through the walls of Agnomen's carefully honed self-discipline and self-control. For countless weeks he'd yearned to return to his wife and son. To watch the sun rise and set over the Iliac Bay. But no! His orders were to escort this woman - this historical relic - back to Morrowind, a land that lay in waste, through another land torn apart by civil war. He had been reduced from being an elite Warrior to little more than a pack mule - a footman - in Merisoo's company. If she was so all-powerful, and could not die by mortal hand, what did she need him for?
He stormed away, before the urge to strike at Merisoo became too great to hold back. While contemplating on his possible death by Nerevarine, a quiet voice spoke up behind him, interrupting his thoughts. "Will you be travelling past Helgen, my lord?"
Agnomen looked around for the owner of the voice. His eyes widened at the sight of the young man towering over him. Well-muscled, blond of hair, and wearing little more than rough spun clothing...yet...there was something about the lad. A strange energy flowed from him...an energy he'd only felt in one other: Merisoo.
Another gods-blessed soul!
A thought struck him...only one blessed by the gods could kill another of the same ilk.
The Redguard smiled broadly at the young Nord man, barely keeping in check the pure joy rushing over him as his mind began plotting...planning...trying to remember old lessons on how many ways one could truly kill a god...
"Indeed, good man! You have need of escort to Helgen?"
"Past Helgen, into Cyrodiil, actually," said the stranger.
"Then, by all means, welcome! You and I have much to talk about on the way."
Thanks to all who read, faved, alerted, and reviewed: Abydos Jackson, Enaid Aderyn, ChampionTheWonderSnail, interesting2125, irishman91, DualKatanas, Ygrain33, Crisium, Welanga, midnight vinyls (pagoose), massivelyattacked, Aya001, fl333r, warrior.831, Silverwing5566.
Its been a real pleasure! Kudos to all of you. :D