Snippets of Destiny
By Leoni Venter
Based on Oblivion by Bethesda Softworks
Warning: SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
If you have not completed the Main Quest, this chapter will cause some shocks, so be warned.
Part 9: Endings
Cloud Ruler Temple was in an uproar. Blades were saddling horses and packing provisions for the trip to the Imperial City. They were going as an honour guard to present Martin to the Elder Council. Although they knew that there was still danger from the daedra spawned from Oblivion, all were buoyant with hope after the Hero of Kvatch had returned with the Amulet of Kings. All Martin had to do was light the Dragon Fires and the war against Mehrunes Dagon would be won. Martin would be Emperor, and all would be well.
Lark watched from the sidelines, ignored by everyone as he would take no part in the coming events. When it became clear that he would get no chance to speak to Martin before he left, he made his way to his room and sat there listlessly picking at his lute.
"There you are," Martin said from the door.
"I thought you'd left," Lark said, surprised.
"Not without saying goodbye," Martin said. "Since you can't come with us just yet."
"I wish I could be there in your moment of triumph," Lark said, standing up. "I wish I could see you ascend the throne."
Martin smiled. "I insist that you come to the coronation." He grinned. "What good would it be without my minstrel to witness and commemorate the event with a song?"
Lark swallowed. "Then I shall surely be there, my Lord."
Martin nodded, and the two men clasped hands. "I have to go," Martin said.
"Yes," Lark whispered. "You have to go." He was filled with foreboding but could find no words to express it. He cleared his throat. "Farewell, Martin."
"Come see me in Imperial City," Martin said. "When you can." With that, he turned – cloak swirling – and strode off to meet his destiny.
For two days there was silence, then news began to reach those waiting in Cloud Ruler Temple. The Oblivion Crisis was over; Mehrunes Dagon had been defeated in the very streets of Imperial City. The avatar of Akatosh himself had appeared to banish Dagon back to Oblivion. The reports were conflicting as to what exactly had happened. Apparently the Elder Council was still in charge.
It was only when Jauffre returned with the Blades that Lark finally heard what had happened to Martin. How he, confronted with the terrible figure of Dagon in the Imperial City, had lead an attack to reach the Temple of the One. How he had smashed the Amulet of Kings to unleash the power contained within. How he had been transformed into a gigantic fiery dragon; how he had destroyed Dagon and had died there for his people.
Jauffre related all this to the minstrel, who sat quietly with his hood drawn low over his face, listening. "What an Emperor he would have been," Jauffre concluded.
Lark lifted his head to look at him, revealing trails of blood across his cheeks. "What an Emperor he was," he said softly.
Moonlight spilled into the roofless ruin of the Temple of the One, throwing the silhouette of the giant stone dragon into sharp relief. Beneath its feet and outstretched wings, a crowd of people stood respectfully as the singer drew to a close.
"...though mountains crumble, towers fall
Strangers overtake these halls
Rivers eternal become locked in ice
Still we'll remember his sacrifice
His triumph stands for all to see
A beacon lit for history
A flame in darkness, star in space
Martin died to save this place."
There was no applause. People just silently nodded their thanks, and quietly left.
Lark looked up at the dragon. "Well," he said sadly. "I did commemorate your triumph in song, my friend. And I did come to see you." He laid a hand on the stony foot. "It gives me no joy, only sorrow."
There was no reply in the silent night, and the vampire minstrel finally turned to go, trailing his fingers across the stone. A sudden tingle of energy flowed into him from the statue, filling him with joy and contentment. Lark regarded the dragon with astonishment, but nothing more happened.
Softly, almost at a whisper, he began singing once more.
"For everyone there is a time
And a purpose and a place
You've left me now, far behind
Stepped out of the frantic race
But while the twinkle in your eye remains
As clear to me now as then
I can see you without pain
I can hear you once again
Your voice and words still reach me
Now, though I barely listened then
And your courage and wisdom teach me
Much more than I can comprehend
For everyone there is a time
And still a purpose, still a place
While you are in this heart of mine
And my memory holds your face"
The moonlight coated the dragon in perfect silver light, and Lark lifted his hood to drink in the sight. The future stretched before him, undetermined, untapped. The past was quiet now, at rest. He was smiling as he left.
Disclaimer: All of Oblivion belongs to Bethesda Softworks. I'm just letting my mind wander through time and dark dungeons a bit... Lark's songs are mine, though.
Well, I've reached an end, so to speak. It was really hard to write the last chapter, and I'm not sure it does what I wanted it to, but I was sitting here crying while I wrote it, which is completely ridiculous and made it hard to see what I was doing. So that's it, for now. I might write some more about Lark, though, but that will be in other stories.
Thanks to my reviewers, it's nice to know people are actually reading my stories ;-)
And my Beta... thanks Mom!
And of course, Bethesda, for making the best game ever, and for giving it engaging characters and great voice actors :-)
Oh! If someone wants to put my little poems to music, please let me know. This is my greatest regret, that I can't compose music. Otherwise, I'd be a minstrel...