I have not abandoned all of my other stories, just taking a bit of a leave of absence due to some health issues.
Chapter 1: Time To Go
When the first stirrings arrived, they were like whispers, soft wind flowing over bare skin. A gentle ripple nudging against dipped feet.
Her eye opened.
Pulling back her chair, the woman looked around at the roaring fire and boisterous laughter, the meat disappearing into ravenous gullets and the drink spilt over unwary heads.
Smiling fondly at the hearty gathering, she nonetheless turned away and stepped outside the magnificent hall.
Glancing up at the never-ending whirlpool in the sky, she knelt down and scooped up a handful of dirt, rolling it between her fingers.
"Mama? Are you alright?"
Turning around with a smile, she stood up and walked over to a beautiful brown-haired woman and ruffled her hair affectionately.
"Of course, Lucia. Just wanted to confirm something."
The tall brunette glared up at her foster mother and couldn't help but be suspicious as she smoothed down her errant locks. The woman had always seemed to know everything that was going on, no matter the circumstances.
"Well, alright," she muttered, turning back. "Let's go back inside, the meat is getting cold."
"We're in Sovngarde, Lucia. The meat never gets cold."
Blushing, the young woman rounded on the Last Dragonborn. "I know that! I'm just saying that you should enjoy yourself more! You're in the mead-hall of some of the greatest heroes in Tamriel, but you never seem to enjoy feasting and drinking with anyone."
"Sharing an ale with Sanguine might do that to you," she replied with a chuckle. "Besides, I've never been as interested in feasting. I prefer-"
Lucia clapped her hands over her ears. "La-la-la, I can't hear you! I don't want to listen to you talk about more of your 'conquests of Skyrim'."
Her arm snaked out and wrapped around Lucia's shoulders before the teenager could get away, pulling her flush against the woman's ample bosom.
"Now, now, children should always listen when mother speaks," she said very matter-of-factly, musing with a finger on her chin. "Well, my first was Lydia, of course," she said, seemingly unaware of the blushing girl's squirming to pull her head out from between her foster mother's breasts. "She was quite stiff and nervous at first, but once her shell cracked she was surprisingly eager. Then there was Aela, with all her talk about hunting and glory. Gods, that girl could go wild. Next was-"
Finally, Lucia finally managed to pull herself free, gasping for breath and blushing down to the roots of her hair, before finally giving her mother a glare. "Mama! I don't need an in-depth description of all of your bedtime habits!"
"Goodness, daughter mine, so flushed!" she said with a laugh. "Don't tell me that my sweet, innocent daughter is jealous? Or perhaps…" Here she drew close, cupping the young woman's cheek in one hand and lowering her head to stare into Lucia's eyes. "…Curious?"
"Wha- I- there's- I'm not-" the brown haired teenager sputtered, before catching sight of the roguish grin growing on her mother's face. "You are evil."
Laughing, the savior of Skyrim drew back and poked her daughter in the forehead. "Perhaps you should make more of an effort not to be such an easy target, my dear."
Lucia huffed, shaking her head. Many would call her mother a beautiful woman, even despite the bandage wrapped around her head that covered a single eye. Still, she was incorrigible, not to mention constantly bordering the line between a joker and a damned tease. "I'll be inside when you're finished with all of your reminiscing."
The red-faced young woman walked back inside and slammed the door, leaving her smiling mother behind.
Slowly, the smile disappeared as she looked back at the maelstrom in the sky.
Which, to her growing concern, was starting to spin faster, the edges storming in anticipation.
Walking to the center of the clearing, she sighed as the stirrings she'd felt throughout her conversation became too profound to ignore.
Here they come.
"So good to see you again, my champion," came a voice from nowhere.
A soft, yet guarded smile appeared on her face as she gave a sweeping bow to no one. "Always a pleasure, Lady Meridia."
"Goodness! Haven't forgotten about dear old me, have you?" said another voice, this one sounding a little… odd.
"And to you as well, Prince Sheogorath," the woman muttered, her smile slipping a little.
Had any of the other warriors of Sovngarde been outside, they would have gaped at the Dragonborn's casual conversation with two Daedric Princes.
And, after giving it a little thought, they would have paled at the fact that two Daedric Princes were in SOVNGARDE.
"Milady, how is it that you are in Shor's domain?" the red-haired woman asked. "I didn't realize that Daedra were allowed near a god's territory."
"Normally, we wouldn't be."
Yet another voice sounded out, this time from behind her. Turning around, she grinned as a shadow slowly coalesced in midair. Floating a few inches above the grass, the voluptuous form of Nocturnal, another Prince, appeared. "Dragonborn. You've been taking care of yourself, I see."
"I have, my lady," she said, giving a slight bow. Of all the Princes, she'd always felt closest to the patron of the Nightingales. "It's a pleasure to see you again."
"No need to be so formal, my dear," the Prince said calmly, a small smile pulled at her ethereally beautiful features. "Hasn't been a need for that for quite a while, has there?"
The red-haired woman blushed a little, smiling. "I suppose not."
"Oh, so no kind words for another Prince?" said another voice, this one harsh.
"Molag," she said, smile disappearing.
The voice grew closer, whispering in her ear. "Come now, Dovahkiin, one might think you didn't want to… spend some time with me."
Those of the Dragon blood are often known for their more dragon-like traits. Miraak slaughtered humans and dragons alike in his search for power, Talos brought all of Tamriel to heel in his thirst for conquest, Potema went off the deep end in the company of dead and Daedra.
As said by a wise old dragon, they were made to dominate.
And the Last Dragonborn was no exception.
The shadow drew back as she looked over her shoulder, pupil narrowed to a slit, fists clenching. Fire, ice and force roiled beneath her skin, aching to be unleashed.
"I think it would be unwise for you to test me, My Prince."
The shadow danced in agitation as the voice slithered past her other ear. "Oh, really? Should I perhaps pay a visit to your darling daughters? I'm sure they'd enjoy my company… eventually."
Yet another voice sounded out before she could do more than clench her fists.
"Enough, Molag Bal. This is not the time for your jests."
Around her, more shadows began to appear, each one forming into a different figure as the Seventeen Daedric Princes gathered around the Last Dragonborn. The one who'd spoken, perhaps the most powerful and dangerous of them all, stepped forward.
"Mehrunes Dagon has no time for your meaningless squabbles, Huntress. We were brought here for a different purpose."
"I wasn't the one who summoned you, Lord Dagon," she replied, inclining her head. "I don't even know what I'm doing here."
"You are here because we have need of you, Dovahkiin," came another voice, this one sounding more… human.
She turned around, eyes widening, as she caught sight of her brother in all but name. "You honor me with your presence."
The God of Human-kind looked in amusement as the last of those who shared his blood actually bowed. A vivid slash across his throat stood out, but, where once it had made speaking difficult, he could now do so quite easily. "Come now, sister. No need for such esteem, certainly not for me. We are both kin to dovah, after all," Talos said, smiling at his own joke.
"What is the meaning of this, Talos?" came Meridia's strict voice. "This is Shor's domain, not yours. You have not the power, nor the authority to invite us here."
Talos grinned, heedless of the anger of the Princes. He looked over his shoulder as a light began to gather behind him, an enormous shape appearing in the clearing. "And who says I summoned you? I'll let our dear old Father explain."
As the light began to glow brighter and brighter, even the Last Dragonborn decided to look away. The Daedric Princes had no need to do so, but many of them, especially those with humanoid faces, began to scowl.
The Dragonborn, on the other hand, grinned. "Hi, Dad."
The glorious form of Akatosh, Chief Deity of the Nine Divines, God of Time and Creator of Dragons came into being, looking very much like the first species he had made.
Turning his head to glare at both of his half-children, he opened his mouth, and to the surprise of the Princes, roared at the younger.
Unblinking and unflinching as hot air washed over her face, she stood still as Akatosh nearly blew her backwards from the force of his bellow.
When it finally came to an end, her hair was frazzled and her clothes ruffled, but the smile never left her face.
"Still upset? I would've thought you'd be over it by now."
"Ha!" Talos laughed. "Akatosh, forgive a slight? I see you haven't forgotten your sense of humor in the years you've been here."
"And I'm still nowhere as long in the tooth, old man."
A few seconds passed before they both dissolved into guffaws, ignoring the other beings.
"If you are quite finished..." Akatosh rumbled, annoyed at the both of them.
"Sorry, sorry. I can never resist a spar with my sweet and innocent little sister."
"And I can never resist the chance to show my big brother how moronic he is."
"Now, now, my dears. Surely there's no need for fighting here?" said another voice, this one softer.
Both turned to a figure at Akatosh's side, simultaneously straightening up, looking a bit embarrassed.
Mara, Goddess of Love and wife of Akatosh, smiled at them both.
"Mara, please..." the dragon-god growled.
"Do shut up, husband. I'm in the middle of making sure your children don't let their profanity become too... gripping," she said calmly, not even looking over at Akatosh.
Both Dragonborn grinned. "Whipped."
"We did not summon everyone here to discuss the finer points of my marriage," he rumbled, a little more stiffly than usual. "We came here for a different reason."
Finally seeing all of the Aedra becoming a bit more serious, she raised an eyebrow, looking around at the Nine.
"Something... strange... has happened, hasn't it?"
"Ooh! I like where this is going!"
"Be silent, Sheogorath," Dagon growled. "I still fail to see why I should stay here. I've half a mind to unleash some of my new plans upon Nirn, simply for the inconvenience."
A rock bounced of his forehead a second later. Aedra and Daedra blinked in unison, then turned to look at the daughter of Akatosh. "Now, now, Dagon. No need to get grouchy. I'm sure something important is happening."
"ENOUGH!" Akatosh roared, a surging wave of his power stopping all conversation. "We are not here to be distracted with petty arguments! My daughter is the point of this meeting, not our ancient grudges!"
"Oh, dear. What did I do this time?"
"Surprisingly, sister, nothing," Talos muttered. "Father actually wasn't the one who summoned us."
The Dragonborn raised an eyebrow. "How do you square that with...?" She suddenly looked around at the group of the most powerful beings in Mundus with narrowed eyes. "What's going on?"
Everyone was silent for a few minutes. Several Aedra and even a few Daedra started to look at her with expressions ranging from pity to excitement.
"Congratulations, daughter mine," Akatosh rumbled. "A new Elder Scroll has been created; the first in the history of Man and Mer. And from the small amount I have read, it appears to revolve almost entirely around you."
She turned to stare at him. Blinked once.
Then blinked again.
"...You wanna run that by me again?"
"We don't know how it happened," Talos stated quietly. "The Elder Scrolls are forever unchanging, but constantly in motion. Their very existence is a contradiction, yet they hold the power of fate in their writings. We Aedra can feel their presence constantly." Talos sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "The one thing we've always known is that they simply exist. They have since before the Aedra, and will until the end of time. Whenever human scholars try to catalogue them, they simply move to a new location. This one, on the other hand, just appeared; slipped through a crack in space and time."
His sister raised an eyebrow. "...And Dad said that this one has something to do with me?"
"It has everything to do with you," Akatosh said. "Where the other Scrolls mentioned you in passing or fell into your hands, this one is calling you. It aches to be held by the one it was made for. It is the thing that called us all here."
"Why?" she asked.
"Read, child. You will find out soon," Nocturnal interjected, her arms folded. "You of all people should know that the Elder Scrolls are not inclined to take 'no' for an answer."
Another goddess, Kynareth, stepped forward, a soft smile on her face. "Whatever may befall you next, you have our blessings, Dovahkiin."
Held in her arms was an Elder Scroll.
Instead of the usual gold coloring, it was a shade of vibrant silver, brighter than moonlight, glowing emeralds set on both ends.
The Dragonborn took in a breath.
She really could feel it. Like cold sparks. Her fingers tingled as she traced the edges.
"You never get used to these damn things," she muttered, rubbing at the cloth covering her right eye. "And if what I'm feeling from this thing is right, I don't even have time to go get my gear."
She scowled. Damn Scroll.
Turning to Talos, she fixed him with a glare. "Whatever happens, tell Lucia and Sofie I love them. And keep them safe."
The God of Man smiled. "Always."
The Last Dragonborn turned away and sighed. "Well, here goes," she said, and pulled the fragment of creation open.
Her uncovered eye widened as the writings of the Scroll began to glow.
And the last thing Fae saw in Nirn was gods and demons screaming.