Alright! first Fanfic! Woo! Okay, so please be kind. I suck so bad at beginnings. But I swear Lydia will develop an actual personality as I go. But for right now she's just a little un-feeling robot. Anyway, I do not in any way, shape, or form own any of the characters besides my OC who you will meet shortly. All rights go to Bethesda!
Hail Talos! or whoever.
Of Stories and Legends
It all started with a story. A story of a dragon, just outside of Whiterun. Off to the western watchtower. At first, I thought it was just a rumor. Then, Jarl Balgruuf deployed Irileth and some of his personal guards to the watchtower.
But one other accompanied Irileth that day, it was he who would slay the dragon and become Whiterun's hero. And it was he whose shout echoed through the city, to be answered by the Greybeards themselves.
And now, he was to be a Thane of Whiterun. My Thane to guide, defend, and oversee.
I was told he would be arriving soon to meet me and formally receive his title. But 'soon' had passed hours ago. Balgruuf had dozed off to sleep on his throne and Irileth's blue skin was practically violet in anger. The Jarl's steward and wizard were seated at one of the long, grand dining tables and were well on their way to succumbing to the poison that they called mead. I could hear them clearly as they told dirty jokes and gossiped of the townsfolk.
What a couple of fishwives.
I was standing to the Jarl's left, listening to the sound of his snores echoing through the great hall. I look to one of the distant windows and see the storm has not yet stopped. The night was shattered nearly every minute or so by a brilliant streak of light, and the crash of the Divines smiting the evil from this world. Or so I was told as a child. As the lightning flashed, and the thunder roared, I thought of the dragonborn.
The Jarl had told me little about him, only that he was a Nord, and had a big ego. Yep, because we have so few of those in Skyrim. But I couldn't help but wonder of his appearance.
Irileth had said once under her breath of him being a stupid, happy, oaf. Using what little imagination and information I have, I picture the great hero of Whiterun.
Tall, muscular, blonde, with shining blue eyes, walking with grace and authority up to the Jarl. Then, bending his knee, in his heavy armor made of well-crafted steel, his great sword's hilt peeking from behind his back. When the Jarl asks him to rise he would lift his head to show a prominent beard, and a face full of respect for Whiterun's leader. His voice would be deep and hoarse, he knew the way of the voice after all. He would have a grand horse, a great big warhorse like those portrayed in the stories of Imperial Generals.
The sound of the hall's doors being pushed open snapped me out of my vision. The doors hummed against the stone floor of the keep, the sound of the storm echoed through the hall, though it was too dark to see anything on the other side of the door.
The Jarl awakened from his harmonious slumber and Irileth glared at the door in a most uninviting way. A dark shape formed in the doorway, pushing both massive doors open further. Strength; check. The figure had a dark hood pulled over their face. From the distance, I couldn't be sure if the figure actually was the dragonborn, though the scowl on Irileth's face told me it was him. I looked at the height next. Tall; check.
Irileth's spiteful monotone broke the silence in the hall then, "It's about damn time. I was about to tell the guards to be on the lookout for any idiots drowning in the rain." The shape turned back to the doors and shut them easily, denying the harsh storm access to the warm, cozy keep.
The figure turned back then and walked up the aisle, his walk was slow, teaming with confidence. When he got close enough, I could see he was soaking wet, but I could also make out his armor. Brown, mostly hide and cloth, a hood, lots of pockets. This were all signs for one guild in particular. The thieves guild. Then again, I could be mistaken. "Now, now Irileth," his voice was deep and rich, yet softer than she imagined, "Is that any way to welcome the hero of the hour? Besides, it's impossible to drown in the rain. It defies nature."
Irileth huffed, "Trust me, an idiot of your stature could surely find a way, and as for you being the 'hero of the hour' you missed that by about five hours." Irileth's voice overflowed with annoyance for this stranger. "And I'll remind you that you are not yet a Thane, and it's never too late to revoke your title. You'd do well to remember that, Markus." Markus. Markus. His name was Markus. I had expected something like Borgnaan or Alvor. Something that swelled with Nord pride.
"True, though you never mentioned punctuality as one of the job descriptors." Markus joked.
"Enough, you two." Jarl Balgruuf's voice boomed. "It's been a long enough wait, I would prefer to get this done with and retire for the evening." His voice was rough with need for proper sleep.
By now the hooded frame had nearly reached the center of the room, as he walked he pushed his hood back. As he did so, he revealed his true appearance for my appraisement. His hair was short and as black as the night sky, it clung to his head from the rain of the storm. His jaw was strong, and his chin was angled perfectly. His nose was perfectly portioned for the rest of his features. His eye color was easily seen, even from several feet away. They were a luminous green, like a flawless emerald.
But, something wasn't right. Most Nords had very blunt, strong faces. Sure, his was as strong as any, but it was more angled, more cut. He had no facial hair save for small sideburns on the sides of his face. That was also odd for a Nord. Beards were a mark of honor; the thicker, the better. Yet, he had none? Was he even a Nord?
By now, Markus had reached the beginning of the steps that ascended to the Jarl's throne. I couldn't help but notice his strange beauty. It seemed….foreign. Odd. Maybe even alien. "I am sorry, Jarl, but there were some…complications on the way back from High Hrothgar." His face lightened then, showing a white smile, "Did you know that trolls can be killed much, much faster by fire than swords?" He chuckled lightly, "Because I sure didn't," The Jarl sighed, I could sense Irileth's eyes rolling. "I must have spent damn near two hours hitting that thing and then rolling out of the way of its swings. Then a hunter happened along and shot it with five flaming arrows and…. Well, let's just say he'll be eating well tonight." His eyes turned to me then, he looked me up and down, gave a one sided grin, and turned back to the Jarl, "And well, Chipp hates storms. I had to cover her eyes with one of my shirts and guide her into town while petting her and talking to her. Otherwise she would've run off." I decided that Chipp must have been his warhorse….however flighty she was.
"You talk far too much for my liking, you are wasting everyone's time!" Irileth had lost her patience.
"Aye, son, we really do need to be moving along now. Let's begin." The Jarl rose from his throne and commenced with the ceremony. A ceremony to instate a Thane is not so different than a knighting ceremony, really. Though Markus needed a little instruction throughout the ceremony. Hasn't he ever seen a knighting? This man was strange.
At the end of it, she stepped forward, "Ah, yes, as a Thane of Whiterun you now can purchase property within the city. This is Lydia, she is to be your housecarl. I'm sure you're familiar with housecarl, and if you're not well, Lydia will explain." The Jarl announced his retirement for the night and left without supper, eager for more sleep.
Markus turned his eyes to me, and once again looked me up and down. "So…. what does a housecarl actually do?" His voice sincere in his lack of knowledge in this subject. Though everyone in Skyrim had heard of housecarls and their thanes….right?
I answered the best I could, using as little words as possible, not wanting to drag this meeting on. "Whatever my Thane asks of me." He looked away for a moment, his brow furrowed, yet his mouth smirking.
"So you basically follow me around and do what I say?" His voice was full of disbelief.
"In essence, yes."
"Huh, that sounds rather dull. Or it would be for any other housecarl." I had to question that.
"Any other housecarl? I'm not sure what you mean."
"Well, you see, I'm not really a stay-at-home kind of Thane. No doubt by now they've told you I am the dragonborn, and being such I an destined to do something of great importance." His face was confident and his eyes full of dreams. Dreams of adventure and victory, no doubt.
"Ummm…. What is this thing of great importance?" I said, slightly mockingly.
"I'm not quite sure yet. But I'll let you know when I find that out. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to change before dinner. Feel free to start without me." With a slight nod to both Irileth and myself, he was off to a guest room to change.
Markus left to change into something less…..well soaking wet. Which left me, and Irileth sitting at the dining table in a most awkward fashion. I tried to make the most of it. "So this is Whiterun's Thane? I expected someone more…." I trailed off, not knowing what to say. I had imagined the exact opposite of what walked through the door. The only thing that could have made him any more different was him actually being an Orc.
"Intelligent? Respectful? No, they never are." Irileth said in a dry intone. "I wish you luck with this one, I'm glad I'm not in your shoes." I looked down at the table, The food had been sitting there for hours, but it called to my empty stomach. "My Thane may be a flaming idiot, but at least he has the sense to listen take council when he needs it." Irileth looked over to the other table, where the steward and wizard had passed out. The steward had since fallen from his chair and was under the table. The wizard was slumped over the table, neither looked like they would wake soon. "Then again, I have these two trolls to look after as well." I chuckled at that, Irileth was constantly complaining about someone or something, but she could be funny when she wanted to.
"I'm sure I'll have enough wit for both me and Markus to stay alive," Irileth's head snapped back to me at the mention of Markus's name.
"Do not speak your Thane's name. It is a sign of disrespect. Surely you remember this?" Of course. How could I have forgotten so easily? A fool's mistake. I felt my cheeks turn warm in embarrassment, and I sat silently. Then Irileth continued, "And another thing, Lydia." Her face changed deadly serious. "Try not to get…too close to this one. I fear for your safety if you do. Try to stay as distant as possible. From him and his words." Her voice was full of caution, yet a protective tone shadowed it. Her red eyes bored into me, demanding an answer from my lips.
I opened my mouth to speak, but was interrupted by a masculine voice coming from the hallway. "My armor was easily ten pounds heavier with all that water," Markus walked in, wearing a white cambric shirt, which hung loosely on his tall frame. He rubbed a towel in his pitch black hair, leaving it pointing every direction. His pants were a dark brown, his boots were knee-high and were just a couple shades darker than his pants. I noticed a brown string hung around his tan neck, and a small lump hung on his chest, just under his shirt.
An amulet maybe? If he's hiding it, it must be one for Talos.
He laughed a rough laugh when he saw the Steward and the Wizard. "Which one drank the other one under the table first?" He asked.
Alright! So not so bad right? Let me know what you think, if you liked it or if you have something you'd like me to improve on or write into the story! Comment and watch this story pllleeeasseeee! It'll get better! I promise! Thanks a ton, and Lax on!