OK...it turns out that the "Rumbling Earth" arc may stretch out a bit longer than I may have intended, but I will balance this out with bigger and longer chapters. I'm guesstimating that there should be about four more (if I'm lucky) to go until the next arc, "The Gathering of War". Please bear with me as high school is being such a bitch.

And yes, the chapter length is getting longer. I'm shooting for the 10k mark at least, because I kinda need to hurry on the current arc, but I will do the same for others. Please be more patient with me as the writing time is being dragged out because of before-Xmas projects and limited computer interaction. I'm sayain673, people, not gabriel "DA BOMB" blessing, probably the most influential author out of every story I've read.

I remember swearing a private oath to myself that I would never read a vampire "trash" novel that came out of our modern times or else I would speak in a Transylvanian accent for a week, but I find myself now looking for examples on youtube of said accent because of my acquiring of the ONLY good vampire-related novel: Yeah that's right; I'm talking about Tsukihime, another TYPE-Moon spawn to attract my inner fanboy.

And I'm guessing that's another reason why my update rate is slowing...(as of now, my favorite routes are Arcueid's and Ciel's). I'm obsessed with playing all the routes.

Also, I'm in the market for a new computer for myself. Anyone have any reccomendations for a good computer (Do not reccomend Macs; they're silly) that runs on Windows?

I will try to incorporate Hearthfire as well into this story...maybe even have Dove build himself a house in Tristain? Probably somewhere far away in the mountains or forest would be a suitable home for him to live in...FAR AWAY FROM THE [Italian] INQUISITION. And yes, the house will be BIGAH! No more limit for whatever shit I can build! I'm expanding the house to include...EVERYTHING! Huzzah!

I LOVE...LOVE! fanfiction dot net! It feels so GLORIOUS ! upon my eyes!

And yes, there will be Gamer Poop References in the future of this story. I mean, seriously, after watching mans1ay3r, who doesn't question his/her sexuality and/or sanity?

Character Stats (In case you forgot)

Name: Dovahkiin (Cannot remember his name)

Alias: Dove Ahkin

Race: Imperial

Factions: All Factions (Companions, Dark Brotherhood, etc.), Thane of All Cities (EDIT: Except for cities that require participation in the Civil War)

Civil War: Undecided

Shouts: All (Need Knowledge about Dawnguard)

Combat Skills: One Handed (100) Two Handed (74), Archery (94), Block (72)

Magic Skills: Destruction (100), Conjuration (100), Alteration (76), Illusion (63), Restoration (100)

Armor Skills: Heavy Armor (100), Light Armor (75)

Crafting Skills: Smithing (100), Enchanting (100), Alchemy (100), Speech (93)

Stealth Skills: Lock-picking (100), Sneak (97), Pickpocket (85)

Armor: Full Legendary!Daedric Set, Full Legendary!Dragonbone Set (Has both Styles), Full Legendary!Iron (Nostalgic Purposes)

Daedric Artifacts: Legendary!Ebony Mail, Saviour's Hide, Spellbreaker, Legendary!Mehrunes' Razor, Azura's Star, Ring of Namira, Ring of Hircine (killed both hunters and werewolf), Legendary!Dawnbreaker, Legendary!Mace of Molag Bal, Wabbarjack, Legendary!Volendrung, Legendary!Ebony Blade, Masque of Clavicus Vile, Skull of Corruption, Sanguine Rose.

Dawnguard DLC: Dawnguard.

Relationship Status: Single

Perks: All Perks (Because of the various nature of the fans and the readers, I'm making a universal male D.B. with ALL perks UNLOCKED as he advances his skils. Curbstomping FTW, jk!)

Paarthurnax: Alive (Delphine is [honestly] a bitch for asking me to kill him)

Addressing the readers-

Farmer Kyle- Louise will remember her dreams, but she's going to keep silent for awhile. She's still unsure about the being showing her the dreams.

Razaidym- Yeah, that is true, but technically, ALL Dragonborn have been called "Ysmir" by the Greybeards, including Talos himself.

Magic- I can safely say that Sheogorath didn't make Derflinger...though I do believe that the Daedric Prince of Madness will be trolling the Dovahkiin in the next chapter. But the Daedra have had a foothold in Halkegenia since the time of Brimir, but they've remained underground as myths and legends to scare children into eating their supper.

Dawning Wisdom- Looking back on it...yeah. But that's Dove's mistake and I'm very sure that Mara is going to be pissed at the confusion.

Abaddon953- He's going to be teaching magical combat that involves the kids using THEIR magic in friendly spars with Dove for training. As for WHEN he's going to teach, I've decided that after the Albion fiasco (Meaning after the Viscount's treachery) is the time when Dove will begin teaching magical combat.

Now, in the style of the legendary gabriel blessing, I will have a brief overview of the chapter, but not *as* spoiler-ladden. But, as I am required to say this...BEWARE FOR SPOILERS!

1) This chapter is what some would call the "in-between" segment before the Familiar Festival starts and I'm trying to put as much canon stuff into my own little side-quest system without rushing the story. And yes, this is also the "KUI" and Kirche [Attempted] Seduction chapter as well. And I've also set up a chapter layout for myself, akin to the legendary GB. The scenes will open up with Louise's point of view, then shift to Dove's and end with Vaermina's dream sequences with Louise.

2) I basically just threw in the side-quest to fill in the time while Louise was in school, and to find a way for Dove to settle his debt to the tavern. And I know, some of you will be telling me that he did it too quickly and that "Skyrim Time" flows faster. This is one of my ways to, as some reviewers say, avoid "sticking to canon too much". And I've been noticing during my re-reads of my stuff that Derflinger barely gets dialogue in. I'm going to do something about that soon, though.

3) I want to pint out that this is also the chapter that we find out why Dove is single...though I hope I managed to deliver it well. And just like gabe, Dove's love interest does conflict with a little canon (example, UBW!Shirou loving Saber), as the character in question is {{{{un-romancable in the game}}}, but to be honest, that's what mods and fanfiction are for. Good luck guessing who the lucky lady is. And if you do, please don't bother me with reviews and PMs about "a better romance".

4) I can definitely confirm that there was/is a Daedric presence in the continent, but they have been dormant for millennia (the last sighting fading back into the legends of Brimir, at least from the recorded incidents...). While the Daedric Princes are not hounds to be called into reality by the beck and heading of a spellcaster, I do believe that they will listen to the voice of the Dragonborn, especially since he's not in Tamriel anymore.

5) At the point where the chapter begins to resemble something out of a certain genius' work, deal with it. The dialogue inspired me; honestly- who isn't? And let's face it, the seduction scene is pretty much the same generic form as it was in the anime, albeit with some tweaks. And I know that the giant attack on the farm near Whiterun happens earlier, but let's just ignore that.

*I've been writing this while listening to the beautiful Malukah (I will sic the Dark Brotherhood on those who have never heard of this woman) on Youtube who has done amazing covers for several of the bard songs that are to be found in the taverns of Skyrim (ALL YOU COMPUTER NERDS OUT THERE! MAKE A MOD THAT REPLACES THE BARDS' VOICE WITH HERS!). I have got to stop falling in love with that woman's songs.

* A new poll is going up. Don't forget to vote!

DISCLAIMER- I do not own the Elder Scrolls franchise, nor do I own the Zero no Tsukaima one. They are owned, respectfully by Bethesda Studios and Yamaguchi Noboru. Neither do I own the surprise in the chapter.

Chapter Ten
The Rumbing Earth: The Fourth Tremor

"Concentrate, Louise."

With sweaty hands that were shaking from an hour of physical exhaustion, Louise managed to bring her wand up to her eye and aim at the erected post that was standing innocently about five meters away. Drawing a deep gulp of air that managed to relax her hands for a brief moment, she focused her vision on the target and was about to release the energy she had built up when the tower bells rang, signaling the time for Rising.

She was startled enough to have her wand divert the path of the intended spells a few meters away from its target. With a rush of air and an explosion of orange and black, a new bare patch of forest was cleared, accompanied by several sets of sundered tree trunks and splinters that would have taken workers the entire day to fell. The only sound to congratulate her on her achievement was the shrieking and cawing of the birds, likewise startled by the disturbance in their homes.

"...oops," She managed to get out before she collapsed onto the grassy field, legs letting exhaustion take over control of her body, as she was unaccustomed to being awoken before dawn.

The spectacle was too much for his talking blade as it burst into laughter, its harsh voice joining the clank of metal in its sheathe.

For a small amount of time, the pre-dawn sky was visible to her as she lay on the grass, noticing how the black-blue of the night was clashing with the red-orange radiance of the rising sun. Then, the shadow of a man appeared in her path, obstructing her view of the dawn sky and giving her a look of apprehension with a combination of grudging admiration.

"If that was, as you put it, 'oops'," Dove muttered as he glanced towards the smoldering tree-line, "Then I would hate to see a successful casting of your magic, Little Master."

She grunted slightly as he gently helped her stand up. "I do believe it is time for morning meal." Her stomach growled at the mention of the prospect of breakfast and she flushed, the emerging dawn bright enough to illuminate her red face to him. With a small laugh, he whistled for his black horse, Shadowmere as he had introduced the mare to her. He seated her on the saddle and swung himself onto the horse's back. With a click of his tongue, the black mare trotted at a steady pace towards the Academy dormitories.

"I wish to discuss something with you, in regards to magic," he stated simply and all she could do was nod against his back that she was resting on. "It can wait until you have fully refreshed yourself. We can discuss it over fresh fruits and steaming pastries," He added with what she had no doubt was a straight face on his head.

Shadowmere nickered slightly at the large, earth-shaking sound that came from her stomach.


"First lesson of magic," I said as I applied a small bit of my own goat cheese to a piece of toasted bread. "Do you know what fuels a mage's ability to use and cast magic?" This was a tactic that I was using to both educate her and assess Halkegenia's grip on magical theory. I highly doubted that they believed in the magika system and invisible-azure bar of energy that would instinctively alert me to my current levels.

"The teachers here have educated us in the concept of 'willpower'," she replied as she took a large swallow of skooma (heavily diluted with milk) from a tankard I provided, pressing the cold metal to her cheek to cool herself down from the workout this morning. Willpower? That was a new one. I asked her if she didn't mind explaining to me as what the concept illustrated.

She gave me an odd look. "Willpower is consumed when the magic is chanted," she said in a slight tone of disbelief. "Didn't you know?"

I shrugged. "My magical theory is different from yours, as I am sure is the case when someone summons a familiar, capable of using magic, from a different realm of existence." I said with only the barest hint of sarcasm. "But I'll explain mine after yours." I added, coaxing her with a chicken leg to continue.

The embarrassed look on her face gradually faded over the course of her explanation. According to Halkegenia's learned mages, the conceptual energy of "willpower" was the fuel that enabled all mages of any rank and element to cast magic. I noted similarities to magika as she elaborated that the quantity of willpower grew as the mage became more experienced and powerful in his or her career.

She was about to explain the arithmetical logic of the theory when the bell for the day classes tolled throughout the school, causing her to jump in alarm. I was still shaking my head at the sheer...well, in retrospect, their grasp on magical theory was there and it did resemble the acceptable theorems of my spells, but it wasn't as strong as the system that was instilled in Tamariel. I had a lot to teach her.

She rubbed the side of her mouth with her napkin before she loaded the used plate and tankard onto the maid's cart. There was the barest flicker of black and I could have sworn on the Shrine of Julianos that there was another maid before I blinked.

Siesta, only giving off the barest hint of physical exertion, loaded our plates onto the cart she was pushing. As she grabbed my plate, I noticed a small flush of red as she accidentally brushed against my hand which turned into a full out explosion of crimson as she made eye contact with my quizzical expression that was on my face. I groaned mentally, resisting the urge to press the palm of my hand to my face. According to the latest rumor that was circulating around the school, several of the commoner servants, primarily those of the females, had declared some sort of "claim" on me. And now, it appeared that Siesta was part of said aforementioned group of commoner-female servants that had taken an interest in me.

Divines and Daedra above...are the amorous affairs of my tumultuous life really that interesting to you? I mean, honestly, I was pretty sure I had resolved to ignore advances after-

No. NO! Do not think about that! Bad, Dovahkiin! Think about...about the Stormcloak Rebellion, or the time I had to go into the Tomb of a Dragon Priest! Do not think about...


Dammit to Oblivion. And I had gone three months without thinking about it, having other things at the time to think about as I had left my suspicion of the deities in the air to focus on said other things, the chief of them being my sudden arrival into this world as the Familiar of Louise, "The Zero". The bitter taste in my mouth was returning as the suppressed thoughts that I had tried so hard to bury surged forth back onto the surface of my mind.

The roaring of the fires.

The clash of steel in the night.

The iron taste of blood in my mouth.

My outstretched hand trying to take back what was precious to me.

A silver blade raised in an executioner's stance-


"Is there something the matter?"

The simple sentence jolted me out of the violent series of flashbacks that I had buried with blood. Lots of blood. I turned and Louise flinched slightly. I only realized that the muscles in my face were contorted in a deep snarl after several seconds. Relaxing my face and letting a wan smile grow upon my unhooded face, I replied, "It's nothing, Louise. Just a bad reaction to the cheese wheel. I now believe that wasn't milk that the goat had give-"

"I...don't need to hear this!" she exclaimed as she grimaced and squirmed in disgust as to what my dialogue implied. Deflinger managed to control himself in his sheath but I did feel the vibrations of metal rattling through my back in amusement. After giving her a somewhat forced grin, she managed to compose her demeanor again. "I have to go to classes for the rest of the day. What will you do while I'm absent?"

I shrugged, moving the bones of my shoulder afterwards in order to fully stretch out my limbs. "I'm going to sample the contents of woods, pick up the odd rumor in town and try to pay back the barkeep whose table 'we'"- Here, I inserted a twitch of two of my fingers- "destroyed two nights ago. Go learn something new, Little Master." I said as I gently shooed her towards the towers.

She looked uncertain for the briefest of moments but she gave me a nod and went her way through the hall, turning back only once to give me a wave of farewell. "I expect to see you after classes! We have a lesson to finish!" She shouted before she rounded the corner and disappeared from my sight.

I managed a genuine smile, eagerly shaking off the bad mood that had settled around me when I remembered.

What a dedicated student...she reminded me of Berelyna, clumsiness, spell failure and all.

Save for the lighter skin tone and pink hair.


"Oh, it's you," the barkeep, whoose name I believe was Doran, said as I hitched Shadowmere to the post outside his tavern. Divines, he looked like a wreck. His clothes were wrinkled, beard stubble hung off the edge of his chin and brown hair came over blood-shot eyes as I turned to see him. "I take it you've come to pay me back for the damages you and your...young charge caused?"

I nodded simply, tying the knot tighter around the wood to discourage any horse-thieves in the area (but who in this...Tristain would be brave enough to steal a Daedric horse? Divines have mercy on the poor soul...). "I am going to perform for you at the night," I replied, holding up a finger as I saw an indignant feature cross his face. "As it would be most logical because your laborers, their wives and children will want to dine togther in the evening as working for the nobles seperates them for the day."

A grim confirmation in the sound of a grunt came from him. Clearly, something was agitating Doran. I had come across my fair share of distressed people in the land of Skyrim, each bringing to me requests of aid that tended to spiral from simple and menial tasks into desperate fights in caves of stone and halls of the dead.

"Something's wrong with him, partner." Derf -could I call it that without being struck down by Sheogorath?- muttered to me discreetly. "I can see it in his eyes." Now the blade could see?! This was a bit much, but I managed a small nod in response to the sword's comment.

"Are you okay, sir?" I asked, concerned.

The man sighed and rubbed his bleary eyes. "Late last night, my grandfather's sword was stolen from its mantle on the hearth." He blew his nose with a rag from his side. "The old man was a warrior of great strength and renown..." He trailed off as his eyes glazed over, no doubt in some reminiscence. "I can remember when I was a wee lad that he would sit me on his knee and tell me adventures about caves of darkness and strongholds of shadow; adventures where he and his companions would wander the country without coin or bath for weeks on end..." His vision sharpened again as the memory faded and he returned to the present.

"Those bastards at Hagen's cave took the sword from me in the early morning," he growled, rubbing his eyes. "They're displaced nomads who do nothing but lead the lives of bandits and terrorize our town." He spat on the ground in disgust. "The captain is too busy drilling his knights-" he sneered condescendingly "-And the local lord has 'never had time to deal with insignifigant problems'."

Here I was again in a tiny milestone of my adventure, where I would be running around like a mad chicken doing tasks for the local populous. But I have always held the lives of Skyrim's people in high regard as they struggled to carve a living from themselves in an abused land and this world was no different, albeit with a strange system of magic.

"I will go reclaim your grandfather's sword." I declared with a firm tone in my voice, having resolved to painfully kill and maim the bandits. "If you would be so kind, Doran, to provide a map of the providence, I should come back with your blade by evening meal."


Striking the flint to a freshly made torch, the fire flared to life as it settled on the stick of wood. Thrusting it before me and drawing Derflinger with my right, the shadows parted before me and the blade as I navigated my way through the rough-hewn walls of the cave. The scent of the deep earth and mineral-gilded water heavily pervaded the air of the cavern, causing an unbidden grin to come to my lips as I recalled the countless times that I had done this with my friends and comrades.

"Are you sure you can handle this, partner?" the sword spoke up as I rounded a corner and made mental notes of the flora and plant life. "These guys aren't nobles anymore, but in my several years of experience, displaced nobles are just as strong as their elevated counterparts."

"And how many years of experience have you had in your existence as a sword, Derflinger?" I dryly retorted, brushing the torch against cobwebs that hung from the ceiling.

"Hmmm..." he pondered and I deftly avoided a bear-trap, using a stone to set off the mechanism. We were getting closer. "I'll have to get back to you on that, partner. I need to think."

Leaving the enchanted blade to his musings and mental calculations, I arrived at the entrence to the next room. The wooden door stood innocently in front of us, but in my experience, it was merely a farce for more sinister things to be hiding behind.

I Shouted softly, letting the Aura Whisper penetrate through the stone walls and earthen hallways. Three figures, outlined in red, were in the room along with the blue outlines of four more people, probably civilians. A plan already sprung into my head by the time I had readied the next spell in my hand. Casting Stoneflesh and sliding the visor of the Daedric Armor down, I readied another spell and kicked down the door, ignoring the surprised clank from the sword at the magical aura that had enveloped me.

Three bandits dressed in crude furs and leather armor were seated at a table that was laden with beer, coin and meat. I saw the other four signatures of life in the form of three women and one young boy no older than five, all behind a cell door that had been hastily constructed out of wood. From the brief glance that I saw before I moved to the bandits, they appeared to be just as surprised at my entrance as their captors were.

"Who the 'ell is that?" the youngest looking of the bunch (I could tell he was but a milk-drinker by the freckles on his face) asked as he stared at the unsheathed Derflinger in my hand.

One of them growled and drew a sword from his side. "It doesn't matter who he is. The boss gave orders that anyone who enters dies." He barked at the stripling before turning his gaze to me. He shouted, "You never should have come-"

I disdainfully threw the lit torch at the de-facto leader of the three man before he could finish the generic statement that apparently all bandits and guards of every realm, dimension and world spouted whenever I did something that offended them, in this case, entering the cave. Due to the fact that the bandits were carousing earlier and had reached a somewhat half-state of self-inebriation, the scent of alcohol reeked off of them, no doubt having spilled their beverages whilst enjoying themselves.

The torch struck true and impacted on the chest of the leader, igniting the alcohol on the cheap leathers and rags that he was wearing. With a shriek, he dropped his weapons and ran about the room, flailing his arms as the flames licked his flesh, fueled by the alcohol and cooking him in his armor. As the other two looked on in horror at their panicked and running comrade, I hefted my shield and charged their position, the magical runes on my left hand shining brightly in the dim illumination of the torches.

Too distracted by the immolation of their comrade, the other two only managed to heft a weak defense to the attack, the milk-sop drawing a sword clearly too big for the lad's arms to handle. Bringing Derflinger in a crushing blow that I had split open steel helms and dragon scale, I shattered the defense of the taller bandit, cracking the wooden buckler that he had strapped to his arm. He screamed as his wrist cracked from the impact and I casually crashed the edge of Derflinger into the side of his head, knocking the poor soul to the ground. I was only what the priests and priestesses of Kynareth would call a "field healer", but judging from the large amout of grey fluid mixing with the blood, I highly doubted that he would be getting up.

The sound of metal clattering on a stone floor alerted me to the last assailant of the room. The milk-drinker had turned the color of the drink that classified his age and his eyes were wide in fear. His gaze flickered towards the still screaming and running body of his flaming comrade and he made a whimpering sound as I advanced, cold steel reflecting the light of the flames and my stoic eyes.


After several more terse minutes of navigating, liberating, fighting my way through the underground abode of the bandits and tying up those who survived for the local law enforcement to pick up, I finally rounded the corner and found myself in what I could honestly call the center of operations. The cavern was about the size of the typical dungeon that I found myself in (Thank the Divines that there was only ONE dragon in a few certain dungeons) where the stony ceiling stretched far above my head. The shape of the perimiter was in a rough circle, no doubt created as water trickled down from above ground and in the center, a campfire threw around a glow of orange-yellow light that danced on the walls. Three tents were errected around it, but its occupants were not sleeping.

In fact, all of them were awake, swords bared, arrows drawn and maces at the ready, projectiles aimed towards the entrance I was coming out of.

"That's the one, boss!" The archer gestured to me with his arrowhead, tersly whispering to the man in the center of the trio with a giant great-sword and plate armor. "He's the one carving up the lads like a turkey for Midsummer Night's Festival!"

There. Through a mysterious honing instinct that had accompanied me throughout my adventures in Skyrim, I managed to identify the item that Doran had lost: the great-sword that was strapped on the bandit chief. It was as if there was some guiding arrow could pinpoint objects and locations in the world, no matter how far...but that was another story for later.

I marched forward, sword bared, though I had every intention of talking before I lost myself in the throes of mortal combat. "I don't supose that there's no way that I can convince you into handing back Doran's grandfather's sword, is there?" I asked the boss, identified moments ago by the archer.

To my surprise, he actually sighed before responding. "I'm afraid I can't do that. Reputation and what-not." With a sharp intake of breath, he gestured for his comrades to attack me.

By the time the archer's arrow flew from his bow, I already dropped the torch and hefted up my Daedric Shield, knocking the wooden projectile out of the air and hearing it rattle to the ground. The other comrade with the mace came at me, hoping to take me off my guard in the event the arrow was sufficient enough of a distracton.

It wasn't. I smashed the mace out of the way with the shield and reversed the strike, catching the unguarded temple of the bandit with a brutal shield-chop. With a howl, he fell down, clutching the side of his head and moaning incoherently.

"Bastard!" the archer dropped his bow and unsheated two hunting knives strapped to the back of his belt. I didn't like the look of the edges as they caught the dim lighting of the fire. "I can't wait to count out your coin!" He shouted as he charged.

With a swiftness that surprised me, he managed to land a strike on my armor while the edge of my ebony shield caught the other. A keening noise caught him off guard as the blades merely scratched the surface of my chest armor. I countered, using his close proximity to my advantage to grab his shoulder with my left hand and jerk him forward. He stumbled at the force of the pull and quickly reversing Derflinger, I plunged the tip of the enchanted blade into the back of the archer's neck, severing the spine where it met his neck. With a spout of blood and an incomprehensible gurgle, he slumped to the ground, dead, watering the soil of the cave with his vitae.

"Curse you!" the bandit chief howled as his compatriot was struck down. "Though I may die this day, I'll take you to hell with me, blackguard!" With only the barest hint of showing physical exertion, the man drew his great-sword and rushed at me. I caught the crushing blow yet despite my strength, my shield was knocked back. But his strength wasn't the thing that surprised me.

It was the chill feeling that enveloped me, coating the metal edge of Derflinger with hoarfrost and chilling the bones of my body that no natural winter could that surprised me.

There was no other explanation; the blade was enchanted!

"Cold, cold, cold, cold, cold!" my sword clanked in protest as the cold energy raced through my body. I gritted my teeth and shook off the chill, roaring as I brought a furious counter-cleave aimed at the man's shoulder. The resulting impact of Derflinger landing on the shoulder plate sent a loud CLANG! echoing through the cavern and a jolt of pain through my sword arm. But I managed to stagger the bandit chief.

I followed with a strike at the only unarmored spot on the man's body, directing a horizontal slash towards his exposed neck. To my disapointment, the tip of my sword only grazed the skin of his throat and he regained his balance, lashing out with a thrust towards my mid-section. I brought up my shield, smashing the blow out of my way but I felt the chill envelop me again, my muscles groaning in protest as the frost began to slow my body movement down.

I grinned, to the utter surprise of my opponent, who was honestly expecting me to fall from the cold. But this was too good of an excersise for me to nod off to.

I had to finish this though, if I was to be true to my "back by evening-meal" promise to Doran, not to mention the cumulative effect of a frost enchantment running through my body. As he brought the great-sword into a two-handed stance that was, presumably, a cleave, I discarded my shield and grasped Derflinger in both of my hands. The impact jarred my arms as he brought the strike down on me, eliciting an "OW!" from my sword, but I refused to let go as cold ran through me again.

The force of the bandit's blow reverberated back onto him and his arms splayed into the air from the shock of impact. Wasting no movement, I roared as I pulled back Derflinger and thrust it towards my opponent's midsection where the weakest spot in the armor was: the welding in the center of the chest that connected one breast plate to the other. The metal gave into the force that my arm was pushing behind it and it shattered, piercing through the metal, through the threadbare cloth underneath and through flesh.

My opponent gasped as his limbs went slack, dropping the great-sword and instinctively struggling to pull himself off of the enchanted steel that I had run him through with. With eyes showing fear as they finally realized the fate that was about to happen, the bandit chief coughed out a torrent of blood before he passed into the void, slumping on the blade, dead weight now present in the absence of a soul.

I slid Derflinger out of his body and laid him on the ground, quickly going through his pockets before aligning his hands in a pose of the dead. I do suppose that I had to burry the poor bastard, as a gesture to show that he was a worthy and well-fought opponent. But before that...

"It feels so good to be in the hands of a competent warrior!" my sword chirped as I gently slid it back into the sheath across my back. "I knew I made the right decision..."

His words trailed off into the distance as I lifted the sword from the ground where the bandit had dropped it. I was careful not to touch the blade as I examined the workmanship of the smith who crafted it, ere I deal myself frost damage. I turned the sword over to the side where I saw an engraving at the base of the blade before it met the hilt of the grip. I took one look at it and my hands went numb.

The sword dropped to the floor with a loud clang and rattled against the stones and rock that were scattered across the cavern. Landing on the "back" of the blade, the emblem was visible to me, even though the light source was poor. From under a faint, black line, two horns jutted out from opposite sides of the engraving, reaching for the center of the line, but far enough not to touch each other. A single black circle floated in the middle of the two horns, winking back at me as I looked upon it with a shocked gaze.

There was no one in Halkegenia who would recognize the rune, but I had enough -some would say too many- experiences with the denizens of the realm it stood for, unpleasant memories coming back into the back of my mind as the rune of Oblivion innocently stared back at me.


I returned to the clearing of the wood where Louise had blasted a crater of splinters and fallen trees, having changed into my more comfortable mage robes in lieu of armor. Shaking my head in bemused disbelief, I dismounted Shadowmere, tethered her to a branch and began gathering several pieces of the shattered wood that could be salvaged into dummy targets. There was an abundance of fallen timber, something that I was willingly taking advantage of as I foresaw in the foreseeable future the pair of us going through several targets before her skills were adept.

With a casual flick of my wrist, a fire sprang to life in the kindling that I gathered. I had no doubt that several of my teachers at the College would have been horrified at the casual use of magic to simply start a fire, but as of now, I had other things on my mind as I prepared the body of a deer that I shot when I had exited the cave. I figured that it was around noon-time, so I decided to have mid-day meal at the border of the Academy's forest. Slowly and delicately, I began twisting the deer meat over the crude spit I erected, careful to keep it constantly turning to avoid the venison to burn, sprinkling salt over the meat as my thoughts ran wild in my mind.

Oblivion. The realm of the Daedric Princes and their servants, the fell Daedra. Though I had many dealings with some of the more benign Princes in my past, I was still apprehensive and suspicious of the entities of the plane. What in the name of Akatosh was a steel blade marked with the sigil of the Daedra doing in this world? With a frost enchantment to boot! And how did it get here?! Perhaps on the intervention of Sheogorath?

Whatever the reason, I highly doubted that it was for them to teach the ancestors of Tristain how to make sweet-rolls.

The blade in question was currently stored in my void inventory, silently waiting with the other arms in my armory until I could return it to Doran. Come to think about it, I probably should ask him the old warrior's name. It would be helpful for what I was planning tonight...

The smell of cooked venison soon drifted through my nose after twenty minutes of seasoning and roasting. "Mmmmm..." Derflinger moaned in his sheathe that I laid down next to a fallen timber. "It's been so long since I've smelled the scent of roasting meat, partner...mmmmm..." With a begrudging smile growing on my face, I sliced off a small piece of meat, repositioning the chop to hold it high off the fire pit but still keep it warm, and stabbed it with a fork. I was about to lift it to my mouth when I heard the most odd noise coming from behind me.


I turned to find the source of the noise and I almost drew out my sword by force of habit, before realizing I had set Derflinger down. It took all of my willpower and self-control not to activate a spell and unleash it on the blue dragon that was staring me in the face. Breifly, I remembered that this was the dragon that I had calmed down on my arrival and belonged to the small, blue-haired girl and I had no doubt that she would be quite angry if I killed her dragon due to my sharpened instincts and ate its soul like a sweetroll.

I was under the impression that most of the familiars, me being an obvious exception for the time being, would be in the company of their masters for mid-day meal. But, there would be an ounce of logic in the fact that I highly doubted the school would allow a dragon to stalk the hallways, despite the manner she presented itself at the moment; docile.

"Um...partner?" I heard Derflinger whisper to the side. I made a motion with the back of my hand for him to shut up as I focused on the situation.

Had the girl ordered her dragon to attack me when I had my guard down? If that was the case, the dragon was doing a poor job of it. She was just standing there, frozen in what seemed almost like in a trance, her eyes locked on…

Wait a moment. I looked towards the piece of venison I had on the utensil in my hand and traced a line of sight from it to the eyes of the dragon. Deciding to gamble on a chance, I lifted it up to my mouth and sure enough, her eyes tracked the path of the cooked meat. I confirmed this further when I slowly waved the morsel in the air and her entire neck and head moved so that her eyes could stay locked on the sliver of venison.

"...Would you like some?" I asked hesitantly, gesturing to the steaming roasted venison on the spit. I wasn't proficient enough in the Dragon Tongue to beget such a request, so I sincerely hoped that Common would work. The dragon's eyes instantly darted up to my face, and she began to nod its head enthusiastically. To see a dragon, even though it was different from its kindred in Skyrim, behaving like a hungry puppy was (honestly?) a bit disturbing and creepy.

It was also more than a little adorable.

With a bemused snort, I sliced off a chunk of the seasoned meat and tossed one into the air in the dragon's general direction. She trilled happily and snatched piece out of the air with a long red tongue. When she caught it, she took it into her mouth with a snap of her tongue and jerked her head back as she swallowed the morsel. Her eyes visibly widened as the flavors exploded in her mouth and she made a noise akin to a content cat, trilling and stretching her wings.

This process continued until only some bones were left on the spit and the last piece vanished into her mouth. I laughed again. It finished its meal, and then looked at me closely. Its head darted down, and it started to nudge me quickly all over.

Derflinger laughed riotously and Shadowmere nickered in what I could have sworn was a bemused neigh as I was being molested by a blue dragon. "Hey! Calm down, girl! I don't have any more food," I let loose a grunt as the searching head managed to find the nerve point in the side of my ribs. The dragon brought her head directly in front of mine, meeting my eyes hopefully. "I'm being serious, That was all I cooked," I protested, holding my empty hands to show that I wasn't hiding anything and telling the truth.

The female dragon let out a sad trill, but seemed to return to happiness when I began to scratch its chin as one would a cat. I vividly remember doing this to Saber, my Snowy Sabre Cat kitten who I adopted after an Animal Extermination quest with Aela left the recently born cat with no feral, wild parents. As I was a bit of a sentimental sort to cute, I ended up domesticating it, in the hopes of gaining an animal familiar who would grow up strong. And last time I checked, she was. Divines, she looked so adorable mauling my stock of chickens at Heljarchen Hall.

The dragon reacted the same way Saber did, letting out a purr of content that I could feel through my arm as I began to munch on the tiny sliver of venison I had left. I was completely surprised as to what happened next as she suddenly reared up and grabbed my arm in her mouth, chomping her jaw down on the cloth sleeve of my robes. With an indignant grunt, I was jolted to my feet, having enough haste to grab Derflinger and his sheathe and loop it around my back as I was dragged down the pathway by the dragon.

I shuddered slightly at the dark look Shadowmere threw at me before I untethered her with an ice spike that split the ad-hoc hitching post. With an indignant snort, she followed the trough in the earth that my dragging feet made, trotting a few meters behind us.

The only reason I didn't make a move to free my self was that there seemed to be no malicious intent that was radiating from my captor, but I was still uncertain as to why the sudden abduction. As I my boots and robes grew dirty at being dragged and Derflinger's laughter increased, I sighed, pressing my two free fingers to the bridge of my nose, pinching it in abject exasperation.

Even dragons of a different world, the distant sons and daughters of Akatosh, were not immune to the whims of a certain, bored Prince of Madness...


The end of my journey came to a stop in the form of a bench in the Magic Academy courtyard. With a muffled trill of happiness, she managed to seat me on the wooden seat and trill happily before going to the other figure sitting at the opposite end. It was only until I saw the staff and blue hair that I identified the dragon's blue-haired master, who was currently reading a book with her indifferent expression on her face.

With a muttered curse and a shove to keep Derflinger silent in his sheathe, I began inspecting the damage done to the sleeve of my robes. It didn't seem too bad, but I would have to enchant the string to sew shut the several holes that the earnest dragon's teeth caused. That could be taken care of before I went to sleep.

I moved the sleve out of my face to behold the expectant look of a dragon staring back at me, apparently having met her master and gotten bored with her company and sought mine. With a happy trill, she collapsed on my legs and I let out a "erk" as its bony head crashed onto my midsection, the spikes on the jaw barely missing my-

The girl next to me brought up her staff and lightly wacked, more accurately boinked, the wooden tip on the her dragon's forehead. "...no bothering." she whispered without taking her eyes off of her book. Her familiar let out a mewling sound of disappointment before retreating back to her.

I let out the sigh of relief that I had been holding and consciously dragged my sleeve across my forehead. "Thanks, miss." I said, deciding that despite the circumstances that brought us together for lunch, now would be a good time to introduce myself and recieve a name in return. "Don't worry about any damage; I can easily fix my clothes. But I don't believe that we've been introduced, Miss...?" I finished, waiting for her to finish my sentence.

She looked up from her book and looked at me with half ladden eyes and I was shocked at the sheer...deadness that resided in them. "Tabitha..." she whispered before I nodded and she returned to her book, the turning of the page reflected off of the glasses she was sporting.

I heard the sound of hooves accompanying the sound of leather shoes and I saw Shadowmere heading towards me with Louise in tow. "Dove?" she asked when she saw me, surprise clearly written on her face. "What are you doing here? I saw your horse..."

"Let's just say that a certain Prince of Madness was bored..." I interuppted, too eager to forget my abduction by a giant lizard and shift the blame onto a certain, laughing Daedra. "And decided to interfere with the happenings of my life."

The look of incredulity and confusion was apparent on her face as she drew near. I honestly couldn't blame her; my more recent adventures, especially those that were occurring in this world, were starting to resemble a really bad story that was being orchestrated on the side by several cosmic dieties who were only too eager to cause mayhem in my life.


In the end, I decided to stay in the Academy until classes ended, reading books and doing other tasks before I rode to the tavern to fufill my promise to Doran. I was surprised that Louise insisted on coming, but I eventually decided to let her come on my little erand for the commoners. My insight told me that experiencing a brief slice of life of the worse-off would be an eye-opener for the young noble.

"You got it!" Doran exclaimed in shock as I presented him his grandfather's sword upon entering his tavern, drawing the gazes of several patrons towards us. "You actually got it back from the bastards!"

His eyes opened wide as he unsheathed a shimmering great-sword, splendid in a metallic sheen that caught the orange flames of the fire. "I sharpened the blade and oiled it so it would look..." my mind struggled for words. As a precaution, I had emptied the enchantment on other deer in the forest, depleting the charge in the Daedric blade as to prevent unnecessary accidents. Unfortunately, that left the blade with bloodstains and a dull edge. Feeling a tad bit guilty, I took a file and a can of oil to it. Derflinger initially complained about "being a bit less shiny than he was supposed to be", and because I did not want to anger a talking sword that had the possibility of being connected to the Prince of Madness, only now reinforced by Doran's Daedric sword, I had promptly promised to oil him during the night.

"...ready for battle." I finished, shifting the lute strapped on my back into a more comfortable position. "Are your guests ready to listen?"

It took a few seconds for my question to sink in before he tore his eyes away from his sword. "Ah. Yes they should be," he said before rushing to an empty rack over the mantle and hanging the blade over the fireplace. He then announced my appearance to his patrons, who turned to me and either gave me a polite nod, a begrudging smile (no doubt from the REAL ale that I had given some of them the last I was here) or a look of barely disguised distaste.

I put Louise at the table closest to the stool that was given to me, in the event that things were going to turn sour, seating Derflinger in an empty chair next to her. "Watch closely, little master," I told her as I tweaked the pegs to get the strings in tune. "This is how the bards in my land sung...although I must admit that my renditions are better." I admitted with a sheepish rub that went to the back of my head, repressing the urge to shudder in horror of the renditions that the "bards" of Skyrim performed.

I had no doubt that my audience would have no idea what I would be singing about, but it mattered not. What mattered was entrancing them into a story...my story, brought to life through voice and lute The dull roar of the patrons was lost to my ears as I strummed the first chords of the song, my fingers gliding effortlessly over the strings, plucking and caressing the catgut cords as they reverberated through the tavern, carrying over my deep voice on the air:

Alduin's wings, they did darken the sky
His roar, fury's fire, and his scales, sharpened scythes.
Men ran and they cowered, and they fought and they died.
They burned and they bled as they issued their cries...

Dovahkiin, Dovahkiin, naal ok zin los vahriin,
Wah dein vokul mahfaeraak ahst vaal...
Ahrk fin norok paal graan fod nust hon zindro zaan,
Dovahkiin, fah hin kogaan mu draal...

The song I was currently singing was a relatively new rendition of the "Tale of Tongues" by a female bard of unknown origins that was composed after I had slain Alduin in Sovngarde. It had become somewhat of a personal quest of mine to track her down but I was regrettably unable to find her in any tavern in all of Skyrim. Along with the Common lyrics, she had added words from the ancient Song of the Dragonborn, in the original Dragon Tongue no less, to occupy the spaces in between verses. It was pure genius on her part. Perhaps the reason I could not find her was because the rendition she sang was unearthly and ethereal, making her some sort of cosmic occurance. I cared not, though, save for the fact that I was honoring her through the song.

We need saviors to free us from Alduin's rage.
Heroes on the field of this new war to wage.
And if Alduin wins, man is gone from this world.
Lost in the shadow of the black wings unfurled...

But then came the Tongues on that terrible day.
Steadfast as winter, they entered the fray.
And all heard the music of Alduin's doom.
The sweet song of Skyrim, sky-shattering Thu'um...

My mind traveled back to the battle between the black dragon and my friends and I as the lyrics went along the appropriate verses. The battle between the devourer and my company was not as straightforward as the original composer had originally lain down on parchment. No, it had been a desperate battle with much oath-roaring, Thu'um shouting and blood-spilling. With an internal smirk, I continued in the song, taking the slightest of breaths to regain the air and mark a rest in the piece.

And so the Tongues freed us, from Alduin's rage.
Gave the gift of the Voice, ushered in a new Age.
If Alduin is eternal, then eternity's done.
For his story is over and the dragons are gone...

Normally, any other bard would have stopped at this point, but I continued, closing my eyes in rapture and vocalizing as the strumming countered my melodious voice, mimicking the style of the female bard. My fingers began plucking the tie-in back into the lyrics and I returned to the words in a somber tone.

And so the Tongues freed us, from Alduin's rage.
Gave the gift of the Voice, ushered in a new Age.
If Alduin is eternal, then eternity's done.
For his story is over and the dragons are gone...

When the last echo of my voice faded away into the air of the tavern, I opened my eyes to the room and my audience. Not one of them was not looking at me and all of them had ignored their food and drink, completely focused on me. I saw slack jaws, wide eyes and (from both the women AND the men) hands over their hearts with the look of extreme satisfaction. I noticed Louise was staring at me in a similar pattern, her pink eyes clearly visible despite the poor lighting, and Derflinger rocking in his seat, humming the song and swaying to the rhythm of the piece.

The silence was broken with the roaring applause and smattering hands of over twenty people, bouncing off of the wooden walls of the tavern as they echoed endlessly and dissonant that would have, according to my fellow bards, a negative impact on my hearing.

It was a beautiful sound.


"I'm surprised that they had such a positive reaction to you, Dove," Louise stated, rubbing her ears as I tethered Shadowmere to the school stables and left several of my best red apples in the feeding shelf. Throwing a horse blanket over her frame, I patted the side of her head in affection before Louise and I walked back to the school.

I shrugged in response. "What I just did was probably the best thing in entertainment for them in the year," I simply stated as I removed the tether from Derflinger's sheathe so I could let the blade speak. "The laboring class lead dreary lives, toiling under the yoke of the wealthy, so it is understandable for them to have a reaction like that to a new source of entertainment to distract them from their lives."

"It's a sad truth, partner," the blade quipped. "In the years of my experience, its pretty much the same."

"And how many years of experience do you have?" the pink-haired girl next to me asked dubiously.

"Oh, yeah! Sorry, partner, but I do know how many years I've been 'living'," he suddenly exclaimed and I found my attention solely focused at the blade. "It took me a while to think, but I finally have it: six thousand years." He proclaimed.

Had I been carving out an engraving on my armor, the chisel would have probably skewed off, creating an irreparable scratch in the metal, at that information. Had I been eating a sweet roll, I would have choked on the pastry in response. The countless possibilities of encounters were endless and all were as ridiculous as the next, but I, a weapon fanatic, had to mentally and physically repress a groan of pleasure.

"Six millennia," Louise whispered, too awed to even speak.

"It's probably older then the civilization that came before the civilization that came before the civilization we're in now," I whispered, completely frozen in my tracks in awe at the blade's longevity and mentally averaging out the math in my head as to the time span of an Age. "Do you have any idea how much he's seen, how much it has experienced? The knowledge and skills it has acquired?" Oh Sweet Mara, I would have such a time interrogating Derflinger for information about this world...over a cup of whatever he thought smelled nice at that moment. This information even had me put aside the fact that there could be a connection to it and a certain Daedric Prince...damn it.

My master gulped at that information. "No wonder he sounds like an old man."

"Hey!" the sword yelled, but Louise was quick to appease him. "An old man with a greater amount of knowledge and skills and experience that I could possibly ever have in my lifetime," she added quickly. "And is probably infinitely wiser than the elders of the country."

"You know what, you're all right too, girl!" the blade laughed and the vibrations traveled through my back.

Whatever was Louise was about to say to that admission was interrupted as I suddenly found myself knocked to the ground. Derflinger slipped out of my back as a great weight slammed into my side and sent me sprawling to the ground. Damn! I had let my guard down with the lack of combat, forgetting about today's tussle with the bandits of course. I readied a spell to throw at my attacker and the flames on my ignited hand turned and aimed towards...

...a giant, red, and possibly flamable, lizard.

"Flame?" Louise said in astonishment at the creature's arrival. The word meant nothing to me, but I assumed it was the name of the salamander that had assaulted me. I was hesitant after that in the fact that Louise had recognized my assailant, but in my brief moment of lapse, it had taken the opportunity to lick my hands that were on fire and coat them with saliva, akin to Saber licking my hands after I had cooked fish for a meal. Before I could do anything else, it took a giant slurp as it licked the side of my face and caught the bottom of my robe before dragging me away to some unknown destination, croaking happily as Louise and Derflinger just stood there stunned.

As my vestments caught on the ground and my body bumped on the various detritus and stone on the ground, I came to a sudden revelation about the universe and the workings of the cosmos.

It was now confirmed: Sheogorath's sphere was not only that of madness and insanity, but of reptiles and scaled beasts as well.


"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow...OW!" I exclaimed that last interjection of pain as my body was being dragged up countless flights of stars, the steps causing my head and body to bounce painfully in a disjointed rhythm. I quickly thanked the Divines that no one (from Skyrim) was here to witness me being manhandled by a giant salamander and repeating a single word like a milk-drinker. But damn it to Oblivion, the salamander was strong to be able to drag me and my void armory...I mentally cursed the day I had decided to enable my body to carry full sets of armor without any negative consequence. Had I not done that, I probably would not be in this situation with the weight of the master armor weighing me down.

"Where the hell are you taking me?" I asked the lizard, but it was too busy running and croaking to hear my question. Oddly, I wasn't as panicked as a normal person would be if he or she was suddenly snatched from his or her friends by a giant lizard.

As I cleared the top stair, "Flame" shot through an opening in the stonework, carrying, more accurately dragging me through a hallway that I briefly recognized as the same that Louise's room was in before the salamander took me to the end of the hall and, croaking happily, tossed me into an open door, which I assumed to be the layer that he resided in; a darkened room lit only by candles and strewn with rose petals.

This...was unexpected, to say the least. But who's familiar-

"Welcome," a voice said above me, interrupting my thoughts as I eyed the great lizard perched next to me like a cat happily croaking. The whoosh of air that swept through the room accompanied the sudden illumination of several lanterns strewn in a circular pattern around a very...fluffy bed and on said fluffy bed, Kirchie, the girl who Louise seemed to argue with a lot and gave me a disturbing look in the class, lay on her side, arms stretched above her head. Actually, Kirchie lay on her side, arms stretched above her head, clad in what seemed to by rather...lacy undergarments.

Oh, hell.

"Welcome to my room, Dove Ahkin..." she purred, lifting her finger to trace the curve of her lips as she said my name. "I'm glad that Flame found you in such short of a time...it gives me more precious seconds to get to know you..."

While my face didn't show it, my mind was having a hurricane of thought as I noticed the girl shifting her position and coming closer to me. At least I confirmed that the salamander belonged to Kirchie, but I had a grim feeling that the girl was somewhat...promiscuous, as Louise and I had discovered yesterday, but I had no idea that it would be on an entirely different scale. I tried to say words to diffuse the situation, but there was a hard lump in my throat that I just couldn't seem to swallow. Mind you, I have seen my fair share of scantily clad and/or naked women, but the age difference staggered and disturbed me. She was no more than sixteen summers but I was at least in the middle of twenty!

In the back of my mind, I added another Divine to the list of cosmic entities trying to tie me to a bed; Dibella, the goddess of love, beauty and (to a vast majority of the people of Tamriel) erotic instruction. Mehrunes Dagon, take me to hell. They just wouldn't give up after-

NO! Think about something else! You already lapsed into a bad mood today, you don't need to end the day on one! Focus on something else, you fool! my mind shouted desperately at me to avoid thinking about my trauma.

Unfortunately, the only thing for me to focus on was the young woman in front of me who seemed to have some sort of amorous plan(s) for me.

"My secondary name is 'The Ardent'," she purred, her hands delicately going up and down her exposed flank (having been revealed by the cut of the fabric), trailing the underside of her rather...accentuated chest. "But after I saw your battle against Guiche, ardent wasn't sufficient." Her fingers trailed down her full thighs. "I've fallen in love with you, Dove Ahkin," she breathed, her voice low and heavy with passion.

I think I made some sort of noise in my the back of my throat.

The very room was full of the scent of arousal. I found my fingers twitching nervously behind my back in the face of this whole new, unexpected and completely UNPRECEDENTED assault. She slowly lowered herself till she was kneeling in front of where I was on the ground, her dress low enough for me to see into- bad! Every movement she made was sensual grace given motion, dripping and gushing sex.

I blame Sheogorath for that last analogy. Him and Dibella.

"I must admit that I have never had a woman approach me in this manner," I managed to get out and at, that she began to slowly inch her way towards me, her full bosoms heaving at the motion, her breath quickening and my mind almost shut down at the display. "But there's a big age difference and the fact that your familiar-"

The door behind me slammed open with the force of a vengeful god and my battle instincts allowed me to dive out of the way of the accelerated piece of wood. Blocking out the light from the hallway stood Louise, fury written across her face and Derflinger nestled in the crook of her arm. Her wand was drawn and I noticed that she seemed to be eager to have a training session in the room now, with the red-head as her practice target. Never mind collateral damage, if it managed to cool the air to about the temperature of the mountains of Skyrim, I would eagerly embrace it.

"Zerbst..." my very angry master growled out, apparently selecting the target she found most appropriate for her wrath.

Derflinger burst into laughter at the spectacle, apparently finding an awkward, and potentially dangerous, situation amusing. "You never cease to impress, partner!" roaring in laughter as he looked upon the funniest event he had seen in the last couple of years. Scratch that, centuries. Unless I counted the events that lead up to this moment, such as the explosion, the bar fight and Tabitha's blue dragon.

"Valliere?" Kirche asked, thankfully breaking out of her mind set, surprised at Louise's rather sudden and loud arrival, "What are you doing here?"

"I think that when your familiar drags mine away from me, I think that my presence in your room is justified!" she shouted that last bit as she clenched her wand tightly. I heard the protest as the wood began to groan under the pressure.

Kirche threw a glare at salamander in the corner who'd been watching the whole scene with animal like amusement, all the while croaking in happiness of the presence of his master and his recent teething-toy. "Flame! I told you to wait until he was alone!" she scolded the lizard. The lizard just croaked happily and rested itself on the pillow it had decided to make, namely, that of my leg.

What the name of Oblivion was with all manners of scaled beasts wanting to attack me?! If it wasn't the dragons of Alduin come to make a meal out of me for the forces of evil, it was the reptiles of this world who assaulted me out of pure affection. Was there something about me that appealed to them that other animals could not pick up upon? Did my dragon's soul "smell" of some species of reptile that could only be detected by kindred bearing scales or cold blood running through their veins? It did have a certain logic...and explained why so many damned dragons attacked me in Skyrim; they could track the scent of my soul.

Dismissing the thoughts about the smell of my soul and the reason of the sudden attraction of reptiles, I gently picked up the salamander off of my feet, my calm demeanor returning, and setting it on a cushion on the floor. "Not that I'm flattered, but I'm afraid I have to decline," I said, sighing as my thoughts instinctively went back to my trauma.

The look on her face suggested to me that she had never been turned down by one of her...targets. "Why?" she demanded of me, appearing distressed by my refusal to even notice Louise and the laughing sword. When I saw her legs move to begin crawling towards me, I shot up and stepped back a pace to distance myself from the amorous girl. "I love you, Dove," she moaned and Louise's and mine eyes twitched in response to that statement. "My body aches for you. Please, why won't you love me back?"

I was going to say something potentially degrading, but decided to do something more diplomatic to completely diffuse the situation; tell the damn truth...albeit with a *slight* twist.

"Because I already have a lover."

"What?" both girls cried out in shocked synchrony, while another, more metallic one, just kept laughing. Kirche turned to glare at Louise, and she in turn just stared at me in with wide eyes, before they suddenly narrowed.

"The maid-servant..." she growled and I quickly moved to intervene before said maid became a target.

"No," I bluntly stated, successfully keeping the dark tone out of my voice. "Back in my homeland." Both of the girls' eyes widened again at that, and Derflinger managed to suppress his mirth long enough so he could hear every word that came out of my mouth. "Don't forget, I was summoned here, quite unexpectedly," I added in a helpful tone. "It shouldn't be a surprise that I have someone waiting for me back home."

Home...the word tasted bitter in my mouth, resembling that of ashes in a hearth after a furious blaze of fire, unquenchable and ravenous, leaving nothing in its wake.

My little master's eyes widened at the logic of my words as her mind processed the situation while Kirche seemed to shrug it off with little more than a small release of breath. She smiled, relieved. "I don't mind," she declared, and leaned forward off the bed to capture my lips.

I pushed against her shoulder, stopping the enamored girl in her tracks with a serious glint in my eyes. Earlier I was caught off guard by the suddenness of the sensuality of the girl, but now that I had recovered my guard, I would not fall for it a second time, adding more mental barriers to my self-control. "I most certainly do, though," I pronounced.

She held my gaze for a moment longer, and then a smile graced her lips once more. "If you think that that stopped me, you're wrong," she stated with a bright tone, putting her hands on her hips. "It's only made me want you more."

"Want some more, then," I retorted dryly, turning my back on her and gently taking the still-laughing blade and slinging it over my shoulder. With a small nod and smile, I gestured to Louise that it was time to exit out of the den of sensuality.

Her eager steps couldn't have told me anything more.


As she lay in her bed, Louise couldn't believe it; her familiar had withstood the seductions of that stupid Kirchie when all other boys in the Academy had tripped over their own feet fighting for her affections. She glanced to the side of her pillow, watching him silently oil and sharpen the talking sword she had bought him. His eyes were clear and focused, but they held a trace of...some sort of longing in them.

She supposed that she shouldn't have been surprised that he had a lover from his home. To be honest, he looked older, much more mature than anyone in the building but still in the height of his youth. It should have come without saying that he would have no trouble finding a lover, but the shock that he had one surprised her when his initial demeanor told her everything but.

Dismissing the thoughts, she closed her eyes and the noise of his grind-stone faded away as she embraced the exhaustion that plagued her.

This time, the mysterious lady was waiting for her, seated at a table in her mind, instead of coming to her after she had fallen asleep. The mist had parted as more of her figure was revealed. Long robes trailed off of her arms and the tri-pronged tip of her staff was visible. But only her smile was visible, the rest of her face obscured by the fog.

It appears that my champion has spotted a lost relic of ours in an adventure, she cackled, stabbing her staff into the ground so she could rub her hands in excitement. I actually miss that old fool who used to fight in our name. Louise was briefly confused by the words that her guest was saying as she took a seat at the table.

Oh, don't worry, child, she responded, as if she could read her mind. I have no doubt that he'll explain what happened today in the future.

But what surprised me more, the lady continued, as she took a small sip of the tea that mysteriously appeared on the table, Is the fact that he actually revealed that he had a lover...so many dreams, so many nightmares because of her, she sighed as she poured Louise a cup. Her response to this was to immediately take said cup of tea and slurp the contents for fear of offending the woman seated opposite of her.

The woman cracked a brief smile at her antics before yanking the staff out of the ground. It is time for your night lessons, child, she said as the mist began to thicken at the tip of the prongs. Do not think that sleep will exempt you from learning...

With a familiar lurch, the mist swooshed in a blizzard of condensed fog, the table and woman vanishing in the haze and once again, Louise found herself in the eyes of her familiar.

"Dragonborn..." The word lingered in the air like the sweet smell of spring, refusing to fade away even after last bloom.

She displayed confusion at the sudden term that he identified her with and he was only too eager to comply and explain things. In the history of Skyrim, where dragons still roamed the land, there was a man who would travel the country, slaying them and absorbing their mystical power into their very beings; that was the Dragonborn, who had saved them all from the green dragon. Feeling a bit flustered, she tried to explain that she had no idea what had happened when the dragon died but another guard suggested that she try to Shout...whatever that meant.

But at those words, something stirred inside her, roaring to be let out in a single release of breath. It threatened to consume her, but she would be the one controlling it, not the other way around. Channeling her newfound source of power into the one word that she hoped would be a release, she reared back her head and Shouted to the sky, bearing her soul to the elements of Skyrim.


A blue wave of energy raced through the air, slightly staggering those who were closest to her as the air rippled with power. She felt a familiarity in it as if she had seen it before, but awed looks dawned on the faces of the men, forcing her attention elsewhere. They consulted their commander as to the validity of her Voice. The dark-skinned lady made a retort about putting more faith in swords than in faith and legends, but she did admit that there was something to be said about killing a dragon. With a gesture to the men and her, they began the trek back to the Jarl.

She and the other warriors had just entered the city when it happened. The earth rumbled and the sky shook as a single Word ripped through the air from the very Throat of the World, causing the entire populous of Whiterun to fall over in fear or in awe as the Word reverberated across the land of Skyrim.


In the longhouse of the Jarl, Balgruuf first asked what had happened and after delivering a report, she added that the she absorbed energy from the dead beast. With an awed tone in his inflection, he pronounced that indeed, the Greybeards had summoned her. Upon the question forming upon her lips, he eased her confusion by explainingthat the Greybeards, noble and silent monks atop the mountain, had called for her, summoning her to the monastery of High Hrothgar where she would be trained in the Way of the Voice. That was the reason that the earth had rumbled and shook. With a smile on his face, the Jarl proclaimed her the Thane of Whiterun, assigning her a..."housecarl"...whatever that meant and bestowed upon her a sword.

With the items secured, she made her way to the front as another argument between Hrongar and Avenicci erupted, eager to get out of the way of the flying words. She was stopped at the door by a woman in steel armor, who introduced herself as "Lydia" and swore to guard "[her] and all that [she] owned, with her life". Her mind flew to the revelation that her familiar made; was this to be the one that would become his future lover?

Before she had time to contemplate, the mist swirled again and she found herself at a farm near the city, where three warriors were being attacked by a giant. She called to Lydia and unsheathed the steel sword at her side, rushing to aid the defenders against their plight. The giant grunted at the arrival of two new combatants and stomped over to the arriving pair, ignoring the twin helping up his other from the ground and the red-haired huntress behind it.

Louise swung her sword and managed to tear a small wound in the giant's arm, retreating slightly when it stomped on the ground. She heard the shrill wizz of an arrow fly and strike the giant in its chest, but it roared, infuriated at their pathetic attempts to slay it. Raising its arm in a high stance, it brought the club in a crushing arc, knocking her off of the ground and against a fence that she crashed through.

Dazed and winded, she tried to gather her breath to stand up as the giant approached her. She saw Lydia charge at it with a greatsword, but it merely grunted in annoyance and smashed its club into the recently appointed housecarl, tossing her aside like a milk-drinkers doll. Fury ran through her veins as it grew nearer. She was the Dragonborn, a warrior of the Divines themselves! And she would be damned if she let a mere dullard take her to Sovngarde!

Gathering the energy in her chest, she Shouted a Word at the approaching giant with the rage of battle accompanying its flight.


The familiar blue blast raced through the air, staggering the beast as it took the full brunt of the blast. It fell back several paces and roared at the delay of the kill, but the arrival of the recently recovered Lydia and the three warriors distracted its attention as the four fell upon it with hacking blades and gore-dripping axes.

The giant was dead when she finally managed to stagger over to its corpse with one arm wrapped around Lydia's shoulder. The red-head, who Louise took a slight dislike to as her clothes (while more...modest in nature) reminded her of a certain classmate that slept across from her room, looked her up and down, saying that she was a good warrior, but needed some serious work in fighting, which Louise accepted with an embarrassed grin as her other arm rubbed the back of her head sheepishly. The huntress, whose name was Aela, suggested that she come to the mead hall next to Dragonsreach, Jorrvaskr, if she wanted to become a skilled warrior of Skyrim.

She felt the thoughts of her familiar roaring through her mind as he evaluated himself in his current state. He was still weak and would have fallen. Killing the dragon was only done with the aid of the guards and he/she would have fallen if Aela and the twins were absent from the fight. Swearing to become stronger, she silently, but furiously, resolved to become stronger in order to present herself to the Greybeard monks as a seasoned combatant.

With a smile on her face, she gestured for Lydia to take her to said mead hall, following the trio back to their abode in the city.

And so Louise dreamed of a far-away land, where giants stalked the land and veteran warriors, wizards and killers invited her to their inner circles, where she would train to become a worthy warrior to live up to the gift of her destiny.

If you have any comments, threats, flames, criticisms, etc. please don't hesitate to PM me or post a review. I will accept it with my head held low and my body and mind humble. Just try not to overly curse me if I did anything overtly stupid.

At any rate, my xmas/New Year's gift to y'all is another chapter (I hope, since I have a good idea as to what comes next) before 2013.

I hope you enjoyed the chapter.