Now, for something a little different. I have Skyrim fever and I just had to write a story for it. Just for a bit of clarification first, here is my Dragonborn. Tell them a bit about yourself.
My name is Sauron Dredena. I am Dunmer or Dark Elf. I am a mage, specialising in the destruction school of magic. My titles are Thane of Whiterun and Harbinger of the Companions. Currently, I am attending the College of Winterhold, to learn more about destruction magic.
Thank you, Sauron. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with this story.
Indeed, we shall.
"Cross the bridge at your own peril. The way is dangerous and the gate will not open. You shall not gain entry." Those were the first words that the Altmer, or high elf, woman greeted me with at the entrance to the College of Winterhold. Not entirely unexpected, due to the bad feeling towards magic from Nords.
I hoped that gaining entrance to the College wouldn't be difficult. I had heard about it through the court wizard in Whiterun. After I bought a few Spell Tomes and some mage apparel, he mentioned it in passing as I was leaving:
"You know, if have the aptitude, you should join the mage's college at Winterhold."
I had been near the vicinity, after embarking on a quest to the Tomb of Ysgramor with the Companions, a guild of warriors based in Jorrvasker in Whiterun and, though this was known to few, werewolves. Their leader, Kodlak, had died in battle and, having the beastblood, could not gain entrance to Sovngarde. We ventured to the ancient resting place of Companions long dead, met the ghost of the old Harbinger, threw head of the Glenmoril witch that was responsible into the fire and fought the spirit of his wolf form, allowing him entrance to the Nord afterlife.
Before leaving, however, I gave myself the same treatment, fighting my own beast spirit and ridding myself of my own lycanthropy. Once more, I could sleep well in my bed. Stepping back out into the biting cold, I noticed a large fortress-like structure in the snow above me. Checking my map, I realized I was close to the city of Winterhold. Deducing that it had to be the College of mages, I set off at once. It took several ice wolves, a bear and two ice wraiths to make the total journey to the city but I made it. I just hoped that my education wouldn't end before it even started.
"I'm just here to learn magic. May I enter the College?"
She still looked skeptical. "Perhaps, but what is it you hope to find within?"
"To learn more about Destruction magic, for self defense. The power of the elements."
"I see." She still sounded unsure. "That power certainly exists I assure. Wield it faithfully and few can withstand you. It seems the College has what you seek. The question now is what can you off the College? Not just anyone is allowed inside and those wishing to enter must show some degree of skill. A small test, if you will."
A test? Hopefully, it would be within my abilities. "I'll take your test, then," I answered confidently.
"Excellent," she said. "A standard spell for one skilled in Destruction magic is the Firebolt spell. Casting one at the seal on the ground should suffice."
"Okay, I can do that," I told her, feeling relieved. That was something I knew I could do.
I looked down at the seal, an eye with five points directed outwards. I held up my hand and summoned the flames. Concentrating the magicka needed, I felt them build up and crackle and let loose with it. The bolt struck its' target and the grooves in it lit up with blue light.
"Well done indeed," the Altmer told me with a smile. "I think you'll make a superb edition to the College. Welcome, apprentice." I smiled back, glad I had passed. "I'll lead you across the bridge. Once you're inside, you'll want to speak with Mirabelle Ervine, our Master Wizard. Please, follow me." With that, she started off to the bridge, myself following close behind.
I reported to the Master Wizard, speaking with another Altmer named Ancano, whom I recognized as part of the Thalmor. There was something I didn't like about. He had a sinister look in his eye as his gaze passed over me. She had given me a tour of the College, showing me to my quarters in the Hall of Attainment, where I would be sharing space with my fellow apprentices. I had my own bed and desk, but I need to remember to be considerate of the others that I would meet.
After providing me with a fresh set of robes, complete with a hood, she took me down to the Hall of Elements, the main location for lectures and study sessions, where a man called Tolfdir was already addressing the others. Eager to start and to meet my fellow apprentices, I set off inside.
The Hall was certainly was impressive. Made with large enough space with practical lessons in mind, it had the seals of the College decorating the floor and a well in the centre which was projecting a beam of magicka into the sky, or rather through a hole in the ceiling to the floor above.
Standing in the middle was a group of four people. Three were dressed in Apprentice robes, one was an old man, with grey hair and an impressive beard. This was, no doubt, Tolfdir and the other apprentices, whom I couldn't really see, as they had their backs to me and their hoods up. Tolfdir spotted me walking up to them.
"Welcome!" His voice was friendly, his tone expectant. "We were just beginning. Please, stay and listen."
I nodded and stood next to one of the other students, whom I recognized as a Nord. I found this a little surprising, due to their general attitude to magic. Still, it wasn't like they all did. I inclined my head to him and he did likewise, before turning my attention to our teacher.
"So, as I was saying, the first thing you must understand is that magic is, by it's very nature, volatile and dangerous. Unless you can control it, it can and will destroy you."
"Sir, I think we all understand that fairly well," interjected one of the students. "We wouldn't be here if we couldn't control magic." She had a point, I'd concede that much. I knew that all too well myself. I recalled a time how, when practicing a Flames spell when I was fifteen, I had sustained some painful burns for a week due to a backfire. No pun intended.
"Of course my dear, of course," Tolfdir responded placidly. "You all possess some inherit magical abilities, that much is not in question. What I'm talking about is true control, mastery of magic. It takes years, if not decades, to practice and study it."
"Then, what are we waiting for? Let's get started!" The second, from his accent, fur and tail was a Khajiit. I could see an admirable mustache on his already hairy face. He sounded a little more eager than he should be and Talfdir seemed to be thinking along the same lines.
"Please, please, this is exactly what I'm talking about. Eagerness must be met with caution or else disaster is inevitable," he warned.
"But we've only just arrived here!" the Nord said indignantly. "You have no idea what any of us are capable of. Why don't you give us a chance to show you what we can do."
At this, Tolfdir turned to me. "You've been quite so far. What do you think we should do?"
I could feel the eyes of everyone else on me as I bowed my head to think. Our teacher was right to be cautious about magic, for it could be dangerous if used recklessly. And yet, his caution wasn't really justified yet and the Nord did have a point. It at least made sense to do something practical to start off with, so we could get a taste of what we were in for.
I said this to Tolfdir, who appeared a little surprised at my suggestion.
"Is that so?" he asked.
"See, he agrees with us too!" voiced the girl, as if that settled the matter. "Why don't you actually show us something?"
"All right, settle down. I suppose we could try something practical," he admitted reluctantly. "In continuing with our theme of safety, we'll start with wards. Wards are protective spells that block magic. I'll teach you all a ward and we'll see if you can successfully use it to block spells, alright?"
He turned to me again. "Would you mind helping me with a demonstration? Are you at all familiar with ward spells?"
"I know one, but I don't really use it," I answered. This was true; my usual strategy was to hurl everything I had at my opponent and hope for victory. If I was hurt, I'd take cover and heal myself before attacking again. It might not be very sophisticated, but it had worked fine so far.
"That's alright, for that is the purpose of this lesson. Now, if you'll just stand right over there, I'll cast a spell at you and you block it with the ward. Here we go.."
He told the others to go and stand opposite him, so they wouldn't get in the way. I stood ready, the power of the ward in my left hand. Tolfdir took his position facing me.
"Now, cast the ward spell and keep it up." Concentrating my magicka to the spell, I lifted my hand and a shimmering wall appeared before me, like a mirage in a desert. "Hold still..." Tolfdir prepared a firebolt and sent it at me. I ignored, with great effort, my instinct to dive out of the way and stood my ground. The bolt hit the ward, which blocked it successfully. Satisfied, I stopped the ward
"Excellent work!" Tolfdir praised. "Well, I think this is an excellent start. I'd like you all to continue practicing ward spells, please. We'll reconvene here tomorrow. That's for today, thank you."
The students started to disperse. I was making my way to the girl, wanting to introduce myself and make a friend, but I was blocked by the Khajiit. Now I could see his face close up, I had to use all my willpower to prevent myself from sniggering at his moustache.
"What do they call you, elf?"
"Sauron," I told him. Well, that was rude, I thought to myself. "And you?"
"You are new, yes? Have you mastered the Expert level destruction spells yet?" From his arrogant tone, I took it that this wasn't about mere curiosity. He was sizing up competition.
"Not yet, but I will," I answered.
His mouth raised into a cat-like grin. "Ah, this is good. But, J'zargo will know them first. It is good to be around mages who may be able to keep up with J'zargo."
"Not everything is about competition, you know," I said.
"Oh, but you are wrong, Sauron. The only reason you could disagree is because you are losing so badly you cannot see it."
I decided to humor him. "Well, may the best man win."
"Yes, J'zargo will win. Don't let you try and stop you from keeping up, elf." With that, he swaggered off. I certainly wasn't sad to see the back of him. Rolling my eyes, I made my way to the girl again. She had her back to me, apparently lost in thought.
"Excuse me, I-"
"Before you even ask, yes I have an ancestry steeped in magic and no, I don't want to talk about it. Yes, I know Winterhold used to be full of my kind and no, I don't care that they're all gone now. Does that cover everything?"
"Um..." There wasn't a lot you could respond with from something like that. Maybe a friendly approach. "We haven't really been introduced."
She seemed to concede and spun to face me. "No, I suppose we haven't. Brelyna Maryon of House Telvanni..." She looked up and, though I had already figured it out from her name, I was still pleasantly surprised.
She was like me, a Dunmer or dark elf. We were distinctive by our grey skin and red eyes, but her's was more like a blue sky on a warm day than the ashes of a fire and her eyes were as red as rubies. Her skin was smooth and flawless, in the prime of her youth. Her chin was small and rounded, with high cheek bones on her face. She was certainly pleasant to look at, that much was certain.
Her eyes widened in surprise and I couldn't help but be reminded of roses starting to bloom. "You're... from Morrowind?"
"Last time I checked, yes. Sauron Dredena, at your service." I held out my hand, which she shook.
"Nice to meet you..." She flushed red in her cheeks. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound rude, I just..."
I waved my hand in dismissal. "Think nothing of it. I can imagine you must get asked a lot about being from one of the Six Houses. It must get irritating, not to mention frustrating."
"Yes, it does. Thank you for understanding," she said, with a small smile. "I just didn't expect to see another dark elf apprentice here. But, I'm glad there is."
"Likewise. What are you studying here?"
"Conjuration, but I know a little bit of destruction too. I hear that's what you're here to study." She must have heard me talking to J'zargo.
"Yes," I said, glad we were off to a better start. "Unfortunately, my line of work does include the kind of diplomacy that only a firebolt can offer. I'm here to better my skills in it, so that I have less chance of taking an enchanted battle-axe to the neck."
"Oh, you're an adventurer?" She asked, with interest. "That must be dangerous."
"It can be, at times," I said, in what I hoped was a casual voice. "But, it puts coin in my pocket and it can be exciting. Like, when I was down in a tomb... no, you don't want to hear that."
"Oh, no! I'm sure you have some brilliant stories to tell, but perhaps another time. I think we should get some studying done. See if we can be prepared for what Tolfdir has for tomorrow."
"Good point." I meant that too, but I was still disappointed we couldn't have longer to talk. "Well, it was nice to meet you, Brelyna."
"The same to you, Sauron," She said, with a smile and inclination of her head. "I think we're going to be good friends."
"I hope so," I said. Well, at least it was something. With that, she walked off. As I moved towards one of the shining lights to use as target practice, I happened to glance back at her as she reached the door. She was part way through opening it, when she looked back at me. Her gaze lingered on me for a few seconds, then she smiled again. I wasn't sure if it was the flames in my hands or the warmth in that smile that I could feel. Then, almost reluctantly, she left the Hall of Elements, leaving me by myself to ponder what had just happened.
"Well," I said to no-one. "This is certainly going to be interesting."
Even as I practiced with destruction spells, before heading off to my dormitory, my thoughts never left her. Even as I read 'A Dance In Fire, Book I' at my desk, made a few notes to myself on a few spells to ask about and turning in for the night, my thoughts were of her. Her sparkling eyes. Her sweet voice. Brelyna Maryon. A true beauty of Morrowind.
Not a bad start, if I say so myself.
You plan to do more?
Of course. I can't just end it there.
What about your previous story?
I have my own reasons for doing that. I'll go back to it when I want to. For now, Skyrim is my inspiration. Need a change of pace.
Fair enough, I suppose.
Farewell, good reader. Hope you liked this.
As do I.