Before you even ask: No, I'm not stopping work on 'Careful what you wish for'. I simply think logical, if coldly. These chapters will likely be shorter than the Mass Effect ones, and as such I can post them while school is going on, where as to the Mass Effect, I need time.
Avatar - Bender of the Thu'um
Tales of the past
In ancient time, before the time of the Empire or the Aldmeri Dominion, Ancient Man struggled to survive in the harsh and cold reality that was the Age of Dragons. Here, in this desolate and unforgiving era of time, monsters of mythic scale ruled the world through brute force and the way of the Voice.
The Voice, being the single most powerful weapon of destruction even born by man or beast, allowed the user to project his will through the shout, the Thu'um. When the ancient gods of old saw the plight of Man under the reign of Akatosh's sons and daughters, the Dragons, they took pity in the men of the Nord.
The Thu'um was granted to Man by the Divines in the heavens, and Man used the Thu'um to spark the Dragon War. The war for the very freedom and survival of humanity from the slavery of servitude under the dragons and those who worshipped them as gods in their own right.
When the War was at its end, great son of Akatosh, the dragon Paarthurnax sided with Man, and taught them how to use the Thu'um as more than a brute weapon, but as a way of life. Finally, upon the peak of what would later be known as the Throat of the World, The three strongest users of the Thu'um, Hakon, Gormlaith and Felldir fought Alduin. The greatest heroes to walk Tamriel until the time of Talos, fought, and used the Elder Scrolls of old to rip apart time itself, and banish the Firstborn to time itself, so that he might be lost in the never-ending streams of eons and ages.
Book of the Dovah - Chapter one.
Alas, it was in vain.
Ages past the battle of High Hrothgar, Alduin returned to the world. In his mind, one goal prevailed. To enslave and end mankind and the world. He was dubbed 'The World Eater', and fit his name well. It is unknown for what reasons or how he returned, but return he did, and with the fire of the heavens, he revived his fallen brethren from their mounds of burial. Tamriel trembled in fear, all of man, elf and ork cowered under his black wings.
All but one.
Like a shadow from the books of old, a man appeared. To his peers and fellow human beings, he appeared a mere man, a refugee from the Heartlands of Tamriel. Caught up in a brewing civil war, the man was discovered in Helgen, seemingly by none other than the World Eater himself.
The history of this man is shrouded in shadow as thick as the blackness of Alduin, yet he rose to prominence. A simple courier from Riverwood, he ran. Ran across the plain, across the rivers. He ran, and met the Jarl of Whiterun. He bore ill news, as Alduin, the World Eater, had returned. The Season Unending, had begun anew.
It is unclear how he was unveiled as the Dovahkiin, the man of Dragons blood. What is known to the world though, is that when he was revealed, the world shook. The world shook as the men of High Hrothgar called his name, called the name of the Dovahkiin.
And the Dragonborn responded thus, he traveled to High Hrothgar, and became a disciple of the Greybeards, the masters of the Thu'um since the days of Jürgen Windcaller.
Book of the Dovah - Chapter two.
Skyrim, the province in which Alduin's rampage began, was embroiled in a bitter war among brothers. A war where man fought man over belief.
To understand why man fought for belief, it must be made known that Man was not alone in Tamriel. Races ranging from the Brutish green Ork, to the sneaky and cunning cat-men, the Khajiit, to the dark-skinned Elves of Morrowin and the Lizards of the Southern lands, the Argonians. And then, there were the Thalmor.
Originally an enlightened and respected people from the Summerset Isles, the High Elves saw themselves as superior to mankind, and thus sought to rule him for all time.
But mankind fought back. They fought with shield and spear, sword and axe, mace and bow. Mankind was many, and mankind was strong. But the Elves were cunning, and the Elves were foul.
Where man used a sword, the Elves fought with arcane lightning.
Where man used a shield, the Elves brought down giants of ice and storm to batter the shield and break the spear.
Where man fought with an axe, the Elves burned him with arcane fire.
Where man used a bow, the Elves used the very forces of the Earth to swallow him up, eat him whole or rip him apart.
And Man was defeated.
The White-Gold concord was signed, a truce to save mankind from extinction, yet it placed the Elves in a position of master, and man in a position of slave.
In Skyrim, the province of the Nord. Home of Talos and tomb of Ysgramor, they refused. The Nords were hardy, and the Nords were proud. The Thalmor sought to rid the land of those who held Talos Tiber Septim, founder of the Empire, in regard.
In Skyrim, two factions soon divided the land. The Empire publically sought to placate the Thalmor, and thus carried out their wishes.
The Stormcloaks called themselves the true sons and daughters of Skyrim, and fought with tooth and nail to drive out the Thalmor and the Empire, thus wishing to claim the province of Skyrim for the followers of Talos.
Book of the Dovah - Chapter three
The Dragonborn intervened.
Where Alduin drew power from the struggle, the Dragonborn ended it. And according to the stories told, he found love in his travels.
In Riften, the city of crime and deceit, he was smitten with a young adventurous woman who, like himself, sought justice and peace for the innocents. Mjoll was her name, and they called her the Lioness.
Her hair was fair and bright, yet the color of earth when it holds iron. Her skin was tough as the leather used to band her armor, and her fury towards the doers of injustice was terror-striking to watch and behold.
Upon the peak of mount Hrothgar, they ended the civil war in the face of the Dragon Threat, humiliating the Thalmor by extending the hand of peace and Alliance between the Stormcloaks and the Empire. Speculation goes as to whether the Dragonborn and his partner in souls, already back then had planned out the events that would transpire after the fall of Alduin.
After weeks and months of travelling Skyrim, the pair was encountered by the Blades, an organization of Dragon hunters and elite protectors dating back to the time before the Dominion took over. Their leader Delphine pledged herself and the organization to the cause of the Dragonborn, no matter what cause it might be.
When everything had been made ready, the Greybeards once again contacted and summoned the Dragonborn, calling him to High Hrothgar to serve or be served once more. Here, the Greybeards' leader showed him a path up the mountain, as well as revealing the Thu'um to control the storms themselves.
When The Dragonborn and Mjoll appeared on the peak of the mountain, history and legend merged with the present, and Paarthurnax, teacher of man, master of the Greybeards, revealed himself to them. Exactly what transpired during that fateful meeting is unknown, but the Dragonborn soon after ventured deep into the bowels of the earth, traveling the ruined empire of the Dwemer.
When he reemerged, people would say that his face had aged. For a man as young as he, that meant much. Yet, Mjoll was by him to the end, and so he would neither falter nor waver in his quest.
Upon the peak of High Hrothgar, the Throat of the World bore witness to an event having only occurred once before in known history. The Elder Scrolls, thought to be lost to time and dust. Time itself was torn asunder, and Alduin was drawn to his defeat.
Faced with unexpected force, the World Eater retreated to the world of souls, to Sovngarde. There, he feasted upon the souls of warriors come and gone.
The Dragonborn followed, upon the wings of Odahviing, red as fire. In the halls of Whiterun, he was captured, and in the halls of Whiterun, he was turned to the cause of good.
Book of the Dovah - Chapter four
In the halls of Sovngarde, the Dragonborn met those who had come again and before. He met the founder of the Greybeards, Jürgen Windcaller himself. He met the Nordic heroes of old and, some say, Shor himself.
Upon the plains of Sovngarde, the Dragonborn faced down Alduin, accompanied not by his faithful Mjoll, but by the very same heroes who faced down Alduin in ages past. Hakon, Gormlaith and Felldir followed him into battle and slew the monster. Alduin was no more.
Now, the Dragonborn is once again traveling with Mjoll. Often do they return to Paarthurnax, where tales tell of Mjoll being taught the Thu'um by the master himself.
As it has become custom, the Greybeards are always searching, listening, for whispers of the Voice and artifacts to boost the resolve and willpower of the Dovahkiin.
End of the Book of the Dovah - Chapter five
High Hrothgar, the Throat of the world.
Home to the Greybeards and their master, the dragon Paarthurnax. Among the men and women of Skyrim, no grander monument to the power of the Thu'um is known, nor do anyone wish to compete in grandness. To travel the seven thousand steps from Ivarsted to the gates of the dormitory, is the greatest pilgrimage a man can undertake.
"This is freezing! I wonder why the Greybeards never thought to build their home closer to the ground. Even Dawnstar is warmer, and that's as far north as you can get." Mjoll shouted, clutching her coat tighter against her body. Her worn but well-kept set of banded armor was covered by a thick coat of mammoth's fur, the soft hairs underneath the gruff and hard outer hairs made for a pleasant coat. In front of her, her lover and husband trudged through the thick coat of snow covering the stairs.
"Well… I suppose they wanted only people who actually had business with them. I am sure it discourages the fanatical Stendarr-worshipers from coming knocking." He replied, his wry humor barely audible through the howling winds. Different from Mjoll, he had donned his thick and insulating clothes from the College in Winterhold. As insulating as it was against simple cold, he also needed the bright flame he kept alive in his palms to avoid freezing them off his fingers.
"How do you always stay this po-positive?" She called, her teeth rattling from the cold. She tugged her coat closer to her body as she stared upwards, glimpsing the silhouette of the towers. At least they were almost there.
"Well, I figured that since I walked away from fighting a demi-god… I ha- have the righ-t-t-t to feel optimistic… Damnation it's cold!" He sputtered, causing Mjoll to catch a smile, despite the weather. He had been like this since the day she met him. Always with a snarky remark on the tongue or ready to extend a helping hand.
She remembered how horrified she had been when he, the day after Aerin had disappeared, walked through the door covered in blood. When he had simply collapsed on the bed, she had set out to find the reason for his appearance. She soon found out that Thor had a very unique way of celebrating their anniversary.
The Thieves Guild, and even Maven Blackbriar, had been butchered, their bodies thrown in the city's canal. No one could tell who had done it, but she had been pleased to see very few shed what even resembled tears.
Now, she had followed him for almost a year since their marriage, and despite having yet to conceive a child, there were none who could say they didn't try. Still, she supposed it could wait until they returned to Solitude before attempting again. She had fond memories of him kicking in the door to their new house while carrying her in the Imperial bridal style, headed straight for the bed.
How he had blushed when she removed the final parts of her armor and clothing. It had almost been cute, if not adorable. If people knew that the banisher of Alduin had never been with a woman before her, they most surely would have either laughed or dismissed the claim.
"Look, we're here. The gates of Hrothgar opens up before us." Thor said, causing her to brave the cold and raise her face. Despite the cold, High Hrothgar was always an imposing sight. It was as if the building itself was aware, welcoming them to a place of wisdom. Of course, saying that the gates opened up before them was more of a figure of speech. They would have to open the gates themselves.
Extinguishing the flame, he pressed his palms against the door, forcing it open. Dragonborn or not, the door was heavy. As it opened up, they both felt a warm gust of air greeting them from the insides, and hurried in, closing the door behind them.
"Ah, this is much better." Mjoll exclaimed, letting her cowl fall from her head, revealing a young, if scared, face. A dark tattoo went from her right cheek to the eye, and a set of small scars adorned the left cheek. It gave the impression of a warrior. Her soft yet hardened face was encircled by hair the color of cobber and brass, giving her the appearance of one who came from the Heartlands, where that color was more common than it was rare in Skyrim.
"Master Arngeir, we have come as summoned." Thor said, bowing slightly in respect towards the hooded figure waiting a few meters ahead. The old monk nodded in return, then spoke.
For the Greybeards, speaking is connected with danger as their very whisper can set avalanches to roll down the sides of the mountain, and whispering the word Dovahkiin made the entire continent tremble and shake when they summoned him the first time.
"I thank you for the greeting young friend, but you mistake me for our master. I admit, I look much like Arngeir, but I am not him. Greetings to you as well, Mjoll the Lioness. You are both a welcome sight, as a storm is nearing on the Horizon." The monk said, his voice causing the room to shake slightly.
"I apologize for the confusion then. What is your name master?" Thor said, keeping his voice polite when in the presence of a Greybeard. They had lived in seclusion for so long, they spoke different than people outside their monastery. It had been straining, at first, but Thor had gotten accustomed to their way of speech.
"I am master Roku. I am responsible for the library we have here on the mountain. I have found something that will be of great interest to the both of you, as well as of great disturbance." Roku said, his mouth barely visible beneath a thick, long and white beard.
"What is it?" Mjoll asked, taking the words from Thor's mouth.
"When you fought Alduin in Sovngarde, he didn't die. He was banished, but not into the stream of time, like last he was defeated." There was concern in the man's voice.
"Then what happened to him?" Thor asked, this time taking the words from his wife's mouth. She would have huffed at the habit in their bond, if not for the seriousness of the situation.
"Scrolls of old, predating even Jurgen Windcaller, were found in our library last week. They were written in the language of the ancient Dragon priests, and took long to decipher and translate. They tell of a second type of Elder Scrolls, the Scrolls of Dimensions." Roku said. Thor scratched his stubs in puzzlement.
"So… if the Elder Scrolls sent him through time… would that mean that the Scrolls of Dimensions sent him to somewhere else than Tamriel?" Mjoll said, having put two and two together before her husband. This time, it was his time to scoff, keeping his eyes on the monk.
"In essence? Yes, that is the case here. As the Dragonborn, it is your duty to find Alduin before he starts regaining his strength and returns. He will most likely not appear in the new place for at least a cycle of the year since you banished him. You will have the opportunity to stop him before he can return to Tamriel. If he does, you will not have the element of surprise with you this time, and using the Elder Scrolls to lure him in would likely kill you if you attempted to use them again." Roku said, keeping a pair of hard old eyes firmly fixed at the Dragonborn.
"But… even if… how would I get there?" Thor asked, his face strained as his mind fought to take in the news. He would have to go to another dimension, like traveling through Oblivion. He still felt the slimy tendrils of darkness from his visit to that haunted dimension, crawling through his soul. He prayed to Talos and Mara that this one would not be like the Oblivion.
"Remember, the Scrolls of Dimensions are powerful tools. Ever since you brought back the Elder Scrolls, we have been searching for anything of its like. A month ago, we found it." The monk said, procuring a thick scroll from his back, causing Thor's eyes to widen in shock. He felt sure that that scroll had not been there earlier. But with the Greybeards, you could never know.
"Is… is that-?" Mjoll started.
"Yes, the Scrolls of Dimensions. It has never before been used, and we cannot foresee what might happen when it is used. Therefore I ask that you take it to the peak of the mountain with Odahviing, and use the scroll. If Alduin is there, you will need all the help you can get." Roku said, bowing slightly before them as he faced away and started walking. Thor assumed that meant the audience was over. Mjoll gave him a thoughtful look.
"What is it?" He asked her softly, knowing better than to second-guess her judgment when she put on her serious face.
"It's just… have you ever seen that man before?" She asked, gazing at the corridor he had disappeared into. Thor shook his head.
"No, I don't think I have. He seemed a little off, but he is a Greybeard. They do not fit your definition of normal." He said, shrugging as he headed for the doors leading to the courtyard. He found it a little odd that no Greybeards were to be found inside…
Nor outside. The courtyard was empty as well. He thought about asking Mjoll if she thought something odd was going on, but decided not to. After all, the Greybeards were infinite in both wisdom and surprises.
"Well… I suppose we need to get up the mountain… again." Mjoll sighed, starting towards the gateway to the paths up the mountainside. Thor quickly caught up with her, giving her hand a small squeeze as they walked side by side.
"Don't be mad, it's a good place. Paarthurnax is the one who gave you the knowledge of the shout. Without him you couldn't beat me in a spar." He said, nudging her shoulder gently as they stated walking up the mountainside. Mjoll just sighed again, punching him lightly in the shoulder;
"I suppose. Still, why couldn't they have their grandmaster live a more humane place, like the bottom of a Dwemer ruin, or maybe in a lake of molten rock, perched in a castle?" Mjoll said, causing a small smile to appear on Thor's lips as he stepped through snow reaching his knees. If a fall from the mountain wasn't going to kill them, the cold surely would.
"A Dragon in a Castle? What on Tamriel would it do there? Take Elisef as prisoner?" He asked in wonder as they traversed the mountainside. Mjoll was quiet for a few minutes before answering;
"Well, it could be so that the Thane would have to safe her, and then they would get married. I think that sounds like a good tale, don't you?" Mjoll asked, looking back at her husband as he fought against the snow, struggling to keep up with her.
"Blasted son of a Daedra mating whore! I- I mean, yeah sure, it could be a great tale for the bards in Solitude. Should I ask Oda…" He started, then trailed off. Mjoll looked back at him;
"What is it Love?" She asked. She was answered with a hail of oaths and curses, most directed to the Divines, and a few at himself;
"We could have just had Odahviing fly us up here. Instead we walked up a Oblivion-be-damned mountain… Sometimes I wonder if my mind took more damage from the Elder Scrolls than I thought." He mumbled, feeling at the thick scrolls bound on his back. If he somehow dropped them down the mountain, he would set something on fire. Most likely himself.
"Oh… well, we did get a good jog out of it, didn't we? Come now, we are almost at the peak." Mjoll said, pointing at where the ground smoothed and became more plain and level.
"I… I… fine, but I'm calling for him when we get up there. Not here though, I'm not starting an avalanche on grounds of tiredness." He grumbled, wading through the last patches of deep snow before joining his wife of the plateau on the top of the world. It really was a breathtaking sight. Had the skies been clear, he could have seen all the way to both Windhelm and Solitude, despite those two being at each their end of the province.
"Greetings Dovahkiin. Greetings young Lioness. What brings you to my lair?" The deep, rumbling voice of Paarthurnax asked, alerting them to his presence even before he landed, causing the ground to tremble. Both Thor and Mjoll bowed slightly in reverence to the large dragon. In turn, he lowered his massive head towards them, returning the gesture of respect.
Thor fished out the scrolls, causing the dragon's eyes to flutter in amazement;
"These. Master Roku told us to track down Alduin in another dimension. These scrolls have the ability to do so." He said, spreading out the scrolls on a table of stone in front of him. The old dragon placed a claw on it, preventing the wind from taking it.
"Hmm… these are very odd symbols… very old symbols. I might have been secluded for too long, as my mind does not remember a Roku in or midst. Still, this is genuine, but… how does it work, I wonder?" He said, his voice causing Mjoll to smile. It always did, and when Thor had asked her why, she had told him that he sounded like an old human.
"I suspect just like the Elder Scrolls. Hopefully I won't have the symbols seared into my eyes for the next week though. We need to call Odahviing before commencing the ritual, as I want as much help as possible if we are to face Alduin in a new realm." He said, looking at the old dragon. What he didn't see, was Mjoll taking a few steps back to look over the vastness of Skyrim before opening her mouth;
"OD AH VIING!" Mjoll shouted, causing the mountain to tremble and both the Dovah and the Dovahkiin to look at her in wonder. Thor in particular looked amazed;
"Mjoll? When did… I thought only the Dragonborn could use that shout?" He said as she just turned to him with a grin covering her lips.
"I thought so too, but I thought trying it out would do no harm, and look. There he comes!" She said, smiling as she pointed at a speck in the horizon, growing bigger by the second until it became a large red dragon, heading straight for the peak. Paarthurnax quickly relocated as he knew Odahviing to not be the best lander among the Dovah.
"Dol sofan kelsuk Dovahkiin. Here I am." The dragon rumbled, his voice very distinct from that of Paarthurnax in the aspect that he sounded younger, and his voice caused fewer tremors. Both Thor and Mjoll greeted Odahviing, but with slightly less reverence, and more informality than with Paarthurnax, now crested on his 'throne' being the ancient wall of the voice upon the mountain.
"Odahviing, your services are required once again. Alduin seems to be having trouble staying dead." Thor said, stroking the head of the red dragon.
"Hmm… why am I not surprised. It is like the tale of men, that you tell your young ones. The evildoers always return. Still, I have not seen Alduin yet, is he near?" The dragon asked, slowly swaying his long red head to each side, his eyes scanning the horizon. Thor shook his head, but Mjoll beat him to it;
"No, it seems he has run off to a new world outside of ours. A Greybeard by the name of Roku gave us this scroll so that we could follow and defeat Alduin." Mjoll said, gesturing at the ancient scroll spread out on the table.
"Hmm… it is like a repeating occurrence with you Humans. Trouble always stirs up when you are left to yourselves. Very well, my life is sworn to you Dovahkiin, and therefore to you as well Lioness. What must I do?" Odahviing mused, nodding towards the pair of, relatively to him, tiny humans. Thor walked towards the scroll, carrying with him his bag containing most of his polished Ebony armor. It was a priced collection, and had he had to buy it, he would have been ruined. Instead he had found it over his travels, ending up killing a Daedra-worshipper for the helmet. Along with the armor, he carried his sword, a gift from the blades, and a one-handed axe made from the same metal as his armor.
Mjoll never let go of her axe, and thus both of them were always ready for a fight. In front of the odd trio, Paarthurnax watched with growing interest as Thor held up the scrolls and placed himself between Mjoll and Odahviing;
"Well, here goes…" Thor murmured, starting to read through the symbols and signs covering the scroll. Almost the instant he started, they started to glow, almost jumping from the vellum as they seemed to surround the three of them.
"This is… Nulteck, this is new…" Odahviing muttered, staring at the scroll as long tendrils of light seemed to emerge from it, surrounding them from all sides before starting to bind around them. Each touch of the illuminated chains of symbols was cold as ice, yet warm at the same time. It was bright as looking at a fire, yet it shed no light around it.
"I don't like it, is this what it felt like with the Elder Scrolls?" Mjoll asked, placing a hand on her husband's shoulder. He didn't remove his eyes from the scroll, but nodded, leaning slightly towards her;
"In a way, yes. Although this is much more intense and last time there were no strands of light and symbols emerging…" He said, somewhat calming her concerns but still not managing to ease her completely. The light was growing in intensity, and suddenly it outshone everything else, leaving nothing but whiteness around the two humans and the dragon.
From where Paarthurnax sat, there was only a brief and incredibly bright flash of light. When he opened his eyes again, the three beings in front of him had vanished, leaving only a crater in the snow.
Alright, this is how we start out the journey. Alduin will reemerge in a new and unknown (not really) world, and the Dragonborn, his wife and his dragon will follow him to the end of the earths to put him down for good. I'm guarranted to receive someone wwho believes I should have chosen Lydia, and that's alright with me. I liked Lydia as a companion, buuuuuut... she was just too depressive too even be considered for marriage.
please leave a review. They are critical to the start of a new story.