Disclaimer: We do not own The Elder Scroll Series or the Dragon Age Series.

"Well, it has been a long while, has it not? And for anyone wondering, this is the Original Arch-Daishou. Unfortunately, my old computer went to hell, and so did my old profile. So, with a new computer and my badass friend Etheral-23, we bring you Dragon Age: Dovahkiin again. However, after some discussions, we decided to rewrite the story to something more balanced and fun.

Now, if anyone wants to know, my old profile is still up, and you can read the old story.

Glad to be back! I hope you all enjoy Dragon Age Origins: Dovahkiin."

Elder Scrolls belongs to Bethesda

Dragon Age belongs to Bioware

Co-author and Beta: Etheral-23

A new journey begins

XxX ~ xx ~ XxX ~ xx ~ XxX ~ xx ~ XxX ~ xx ~ XxX

Many names were known for Cyrodiil. The Starry Heart of Nirn, the Seat of the Sundered Kings, the Dragon Empire, and the Heartland of Tamriel.

For ages, Cyrodiil had been the center of power in Tamriel. Though factions and the balance of power changed with them, Cyrodiil had always been in the middle of it. As a result, every major war, every great power struggle, and the central nation of Tamriel often played a crucial role in shaping history.

The history of Cyrodiil was the history of the empire. The great kingdoms of Tamriel and Cyrodiil were often the same, reaching from the beating heart of the continent to the rest of the nations, influencing, conquering, and unifying.

Center of Cyrodiil, the heart of the heartland, where the great Ruby Throne over which wars had been waged. The coveted throne of ancient kings, Saint Alessia, Reman the Cyrodiil, Tiber Septim, Titus Mede the First.

Here, those who sat upon Ruby Throne ruled from The Imperial City.

The Beating Heart of the Empire, the great metropolis once built by the long-gone Ayleids as the Temple of the Ancestors with the construction of the massive White-Gold Tower, conquered from the elves, Alessia took the city. It turned it into the center of a great empire ever since whoever controlled the city would dictate the fate of all great empires that would come after.

The great city was also known as the Jewel of the Empire, and even then, to call it such failed to justify its magnificence. It was the largest city in the entire continent, a bustling metropolis, a mixing pot of cultures from all races in Tamriel. Divided into various districts, spires, and structures of gleaming white marble, and with a population that numbered in the millions, the Imperial City almost seemed like a nation on its own.

"This place takes your breath away as if you're walking right into history itself. The tower is just as magnificent as I saw it as a little girl."

"My old village was on the outskirts of Skingrad, so we all had an exceptional view. You couldn't describe the sight in the morning or evening, and it always looked magnificent."

Walking through the bustling market, two women converse casually while making their way to the Palace district. Even as the day was coming to a close, the market was as busy as it was at the start of the morning. While the markets of Whiterun and Solitude had their charm, neither could fully measure up to the Imperial City.

But for the Dragonborn Miara Redoran and her longtime lover, Serana Volkihar, Skyrim was enough for them.

That's not to say neither didn't enjoy visiting Cyrodiil; however, this particular visit was at Emperor Nihlus Crassus's request. As a general in the Legion, Miara couldn't refuse the invitation.

The Dunmer huffed, "Having dinner with two old friends shouldn't involve dressing up." Her groaning was caused by her having to wear a Dunmeri two-piece dress.

"It kind of does when said friends are the Emperor and Empress of Tamriel," Serana rolled her eyes, wearing her usual attire with her hood up.

"It's just that dressing fancy isn't my thing, you know?"

The vampire gave her a dry look. "That's what you dunmer call fancy?" Her tone couldn't be wittier if she tried; at least, that's what Miara told herself, and in truth, she knew full well Serana could be far more sarcastic.

The vampire referred to a dark dress typically found in dunmer high society. Dark leather with a strategically placed opening in the middle of the chest, revealing a touch of her endowed bosom to make for an alluring look. On her arms were long leather bracers with multiple belt-like straps and a velvety dark red skirt. The dunmeri folk had a confident attitude that was quite daring.

Miara herself was a woman of great beauty. Her luscious long black locks fell upon and below her shoulders. The angular bone structure found among elven kind was ideally refined upon her features, while her red eyes were like two precious rubies. She carried herself with confidence and superiority, not arrogance nor haughtiness, merely because this woman had an aura of royalty and power.

She reflected confidence and allure with a smirk towards her lover; "I seem to remember you never complained whenever I wore something... daring for you." There may have been one or two pieces of lingerie that had been ruined in her attempts to entice Serana. But, unfortunately, it had worked too well, as the vampire merely tore them off her in a fit of lust.

"Well, you said it yourself. So that's when the show is for me," Serana replied.

Miara chuckled as she held Serana's arm with her own. "In all the years I've known you, I didn't take you for the jealous type. Otherwise, you have taken exception whenever we invited someone to our bed."

"Any Khajiit male that peaks your fancy is all yours, but you know very well those other treats are as much for me as they are for you," The vampire coyly replied.

The dark elf giggled once more and leaned her head upon the nord's shoulder as they continued walking, arms linked. "So selfish."

"Oh, I'm selfish?" Serana said with glee in her voice. "I'm not the one who hoards all the sweets to herself."

"I completed my quests, did my job, and refrained from killing random people who annoy me. I think I earned those sweets."

"Normal people don't consider not killing random people as something to be rewarded..."

"Well, I'm not normal."

The Nordic vampire sighed; "Won't argue on that." Her glowing orange eyes gaze around the busy market; "Weren't the kids supposed to join us by now?"

"Sarya is still talking at Arcane University. While Sofie and Oryrn are handling that bounty for some bandits outside the city."

"The emperor asks for us, and they naturally take their time…."

A snort came from the Dragonborn; "Think we can agree Sarya goes by her sense of time. But, no worries, they'll be at the dinner."

XxX ~ the arcane university ~ XxX

The Imperial City's Mages' Guild is the center of all magical knowledge and learning in Cyrodiil. So it was a joyous moment for all mages when the University doors reopened its gates thirty years ago. Since then, mages from every corner of Tamriel had flocked to the university to study and hone their craft.

Currently, at one of the outdoor classes, a young Dunmer woman dressed in dark velvet Telvanni robes spoke at the podium. Sitting in front of her were at least a dozen mages, varying from apprentices to masters. They took extensive notes as the young lady spoke with wisdom beyond her years.

The mage resembled Miara; her dark locks were pulled in a ponytail while two bangs framed her face. While young, she possessed an air of wisdom coupled with the energy of her age. Sarya Redoran spoke with the knowledge of sages, knowing her craft far better than most mages did in their lifetimes.

"Once you've locked in the proper coordinates, the next stage is to create a portal to slip by the dimensional gap. I do not need to tell you that interplanetary portals are more difficult to master than portals created in the same dimension, so be mindful that whenever making an opening to Oblivion, you can risk a denizen from its infinite realms slipping through. Which is a big 'no-no' on our field."

"Ah, Miss Redoran." A young apprentice raised his hand. "How do we select a realm to travel to? How do we know we have the coordinates?"

"Excellent question. It would help if you familiarize yourself with the realm you want to travel to; scrying to multiple realms through the summoning arts is a good way to catch a glimpse of the Oblivion realm of your desire. I also recommend you avoid dealing with those realms' lords in exchange for the way to travel there; more often than not, it ends with your soul being ripped out of your body," The dunmer explained.

"And if you accidentally end up somewhere, you did not mean to?"

The young mage thought about it for a second; "I will most certainly get out of any complications that arise. But if it happens to you, then you will most likely die."

A young Breton mage leaned to an Altmer beside him and whispered, "She doesn't beat around the bush, does she?"

"Her honesty will save your life. Trust me, I have been to her sessions, and she knows what she's talking about."

XxX ~ outside the Imperial city ~ XxX

A Khajiit in rugged leather gear wielding a war ax roared. His charging is stopped by the slamming of a rigid ebony shield held by a tall dunmer man in full ebony armor and helmet. Oryrn Redoran stood firm, slashing down the bandit with his ebony sword.

"You're not even true warriors," Oryrn's voice was deep and mellow. He did not even look down as he stabbed the Khajiit bandit in the heart.

"HAH! These bastards aren't even worth being called bandits, brother!" A solid feminine Nordic-accented voice spoke.

Sofie Redoran, the first child of Miara through adoption, thought to her family she was their flesh and blood, no questions asked. The young orphan the Dragonborn had picked from the snowy streets of Windhelm had grown up to be a fierce warrior, the epitome of everything the nords valued. Courageous, honorable, brave, a terror to her enemies, and a faithful companion to her friends.

Long gone was the young meek flower girl, now stood a tall, mighty warrior. Long braided hair and a mature yet youthful face, eyes that brimmed with excitement and joy at the prospect of a battle. Her body honed into a perfect killing machine, large muscles befitting a Nordic warrior woman without sacrificing a drop of femininity, donning plates of rune-carved steel, a chest plate lined underneath with fur, gauntlets, and greaves of the finest Skyforge steel, and traditional nordic ring adornments around her sizeable biceps. Resting upon her shoulder was a long steel greatsword in her right hand grasped the handle while her left hand rested upon her waist. Her confident smirk showed no fear in the face of these lesser foes.

A bandit charged at her, shouting like a maniac, hoping to instill fear. Sofie found the attempt amusing, swatting away at his blade with her gauntlet and then quickly grasping him by the throat. Then, in a feat of unnatural strength, she lifted the bandit until his feet were no longer touching the ground. He kicked and gasped, clawing at her hand to release him, but to no avail.

She tightened her grasp and shook her arm, followed by a sickening 'crunch,' and the bandit's movement fell loose like a puppet whose strings had been cut.

"A shame," Sofie said in disappointment. "I was hoping for a bit more fun."

As the rest of the bandits had retreated to their base, which was an Ayleid ruin, Oryrn took off his helmet. Like his twin sister, his long raven-colored locks in a ponytail, and his well-trimmed beard and mustache.

His fierce ruby eyes glared at the ruins ahead. "The rest are likely in there, and their leader as well."

"Can you honestly take someone seriously if they call themselves 'Big-sword Red'?" Sofie scoffed, standing beside her brother. "I have heard better titles in Skyrim and Solstheim."

"All we can do is get rid of these fools and make the area safe."

"And get all their loot."

Oryrn rolled his eyes while his elder sister chuckled.

XxX ~ xx ~ XxX

At the entrance to the White-Gold Tower, a young Imperial wearing refined clothing, distinguishing himself as an attendant, paced. Two Legion guards dryly observed the man as he mumbled, "You'd think someone of her station would know the meaning of being on time."

The guards said nothing but shook their heads.

"You keep pacing, Aurelius; you're going to leave an indent," Miara's voice made the Imperial stop and turn, seeing the Elven Sentinel and Nord lover smirking at him. "Hello."

"Ah! Lady Redoran, Lady Volkihar!" The man did a curtsy while the guards saluted at the Sentinel. "It is just so delightful to have you with us once again. You arrive... fashionably late, my ladies."

"Had to the do a couple of stops," The dunmer offhandedly replies. "I saw a couple of stands in the market that struck my fancy. Some nice pieces of jewelry."

"A dragon got distracted by shiny things. You know how it is," Serana clarified, much to Miara's annoyance.

"Yes, quite. I heard the stories as a child," The butler said, clearly impatient. "Your imperial majesties have been waiting for your arrival. If you'd be so kind as to follow me, I'll take you to them."

The imperial guards saluted as the three entered the tower. Much like the tower's exterior, the interior was a grand sight. The hallway was lit with paintings, statues, and well-crafted chairs and tables.

The butler had noticed a few people absent; "Lady Redoran, where is your family?"

"My children will be here. They wouldn't miss dinner with Nihlus and Keya."

Aurelius made a soft, throaty noise of disapproval because the Elven general was too informal about calling the rulers of Tamriel so casually, but he held his tongue. The three went up a flight of stairs to the second floor, which looked as grand as the first.

"I'm Glad the tower was able to be fully repaired," Serana said absently. Between the first and second Great Wars, I thought it would never get finished."

They were guided through the hallways until they reached a great wooden door guarded by two Praetorian Guard. The most elite soldiers in the empire, handpicked to be the empire's finest soldiers, were usually placed to serve as the imperial family's guard. So after the Penitus Oculatus' failure -Miara coughed awkwardly-. When Nihlus ascended to the throne, one of the first things he made sure of was that he and his family would be well protected under the watchful eye of the most experienced soldiers he could find.

The Praetorian Guard was given the best equipment and the best training. They were clad in an ebony forged version of the Imperial Armor; the black metal was decorated with golden accents in stylish patterns. Armed with imperial gladius swords and tower shields, all enchanted to offer better protection and deal devastating damage. To be a Praetorian was the ambition of many soldiers within the Legion.

These two Praetorians were an argonian and a dunmer, making Miara smile subtly. It didn't feel that long ago to her when things were complicated with those two races. To say their history was troubled was a massive understatement. The Dunmer's enslavement of the Argonians and the Argonians' invasion of Morrowind retaliated when the dark elves were weakened. It had taken the tireless efforts of highly skilled diplomats and many other individuals even to come close to securing a ceasefire between the two peoples. The common dangerous threat that the Dominion posed helped stop the conflict between them.

Thirty years after the Second Great War with the Dominion, things were... better. Of course, Miara could not call them perfect, one didn't forget thousands of years of slavery and mutual violence so quickly, but the nations were now in a much better situation than they used to be centuries ago. The new empire had proven to be a unifying force, showing others how much it benefited them to abandon old grudges for a prosperous future.

It made Miara thankful that all that blood spilled hadn't been for anything. And for once, the future seemed bright.

"Our imperial majesties are waiting for you in the study behind these doors," Aurelius informed before addressing the praetorian. "They are guests."

The praetorian nodded stoically and moved away from the door so they would pass.

Now, calling the room inside a 'study' would be an oversimplification. The room was practically a small library/living room with two floors. All the shelves were filled with thousands of books. The room was also well furnished with chairs, tables, and couches made from the finest materials, along with paintings and statues across all of Tamriel.

The study was well-lit by a dozen magical lamps. Miara could not help but whistle, "This place still looks breathtaking."

"Took some effort to look just right," A feminine voice spoke from the second floor. She was dressed in a regal dark blue and red dress. The empress of Tamriel, Keya, greets her longtime friends. "Welcome Miara and Serana"

Though short in stature, given her Bosmer lineage, the four-hundred-year-old elven woman held a presence few could. Like most wood elves, her skin was light brown with a touch of green. Her wavy brown hair went below her shoulders as her green eyes danced in the lamplight.

"You look well," Miara grinned, "Where's Nihlus?"

"Can't let your emperor have his grand entrance?" a solid male voice chuckled at the opposite side of the study.

They descended the stairs to the second floor and came upon the empire's leader. Dressed in a mixture of traditional Colovian robes with other garments found in central and west Cyrodiil, namely a white robe or 'toga' as the colovians would call it, over a long-sleeved shirt decorated with golden outlines, along with wolf furs draped around his shoulders, as well as dark loose pants tucked into a pair of boots. Although his hair and closely shaved beard were cut short, his features started showing signs of aging as he approached his middle years.

Nihlus Crassus was a Breton born into a long lineage of Colovian warriors with a great history of service to the empire, having been raised to follow the Colovian martial mentality of discipline, duty, honor, and loyalty. During the Mede Dynasty, he distinguished himself early in his career and rose to the rank of general at a relatively young age. He had met Keya during his career, and she was a long veteran who had served in the Legion from the Septim Dynasty until its end and then the new empire founded by Titus Mede the First.

Miara could honestly say there were few people dedicated and loyal to what the empire stood for as Nihlus. He was a man who believed in unity and strength. That it was the many parts of the different cultures and ideologies that made the empire great. With the fall of the Mede Dynasty and the Second Great War looming threateningly on the horizon, Nihlus gathered much support from his fellow compatriots in Colovia, along with many others in the empire, through his excellent orator skills, rallying many to stand against the Dominion. He spoke with conviction and showed himself to be quite charismatic. Miara saw he was worth trusting, so she had no trouble pledging her allegiance to him to help mend the then-broken empire, survive the onslaught of the Dominion, and reunite, reforging the great empire that once more encompassed all of Tamriel.

It was no surprise to her when Nihlus was pretty much established as Emperor by his allies once the war was over. Oh, the look on his face had been priceless. But despite his doubts, he had done an outstanding job. So once again, the nine nations of Tamriel were under the dragon's banner.

Miara and Serana bowed before hugging both rulers warmly. " You two look as magnificent as ever," the Emperor smiled.

"And are fashionably late," Keya smirked.

Miara rolled her eyes while Serana waved it off, "As you would ever truly complain. So what's so important you ask for me and the others?" The dunmer curiously tilted her head.

"We shall discuss that at dinner," Nihlus said cryptically, making both women eye him suspiciously. "Where are your kids?"

"Sarya's at a presentation at the university while Sofie and Oryrn are handling a bounty for the guards. How is your own?"

Keya smiled as they all left the study for the dining room on the opposite side of the hall; "Mathius and Alynia are well. They send their love." The Praetorian Guard followed dutifully behind.

The walk was hardly long as Aurelius stood by the door, opening it. The dining room was massive, with a rectangular wooden table. Miara and Serana noticed someone joining them for dinner. Someone who made the Dragonborn mildly groan.

Dressed in simple but finely made white and blue robes, she towered above everyone like all Altmer. Her long white hair was in a ponytail, even as two long, thin locks fell from behind her ears and over her shoulders. Her youthful golden skin shined with the evening sun as the rays slipped through the windows.

Serana dryly glared at Keya; "Of course, it wasn't a social visit."

High Seer Arameris.

The dark elf turned to Aurelius; "Daedric lava whiskey if you have it. If not, Cyrodiilic Brandy, a lot of it."

Nihlus just rolled his eyes.

Serana merely took her seat at one end of the table while Miara waited for the alcohol to arrive. "Oh boy..." They had only met the altmer in passing, but she had left an impression.

The title of High Seer wasn't just for show; it was a position created among the Emperor's experts in magic, someone who would excel at the art of divination and fortune-telling. But the young Altmer was more than that; she had been born with a powerful foresight, such that she was capable of predicting the future. So, even if her visions were vague and heavily symbolic, Arameris' gift was too valuable.

The vampire understood her lover's annoyance at her presence. But if the High Seer was present, she had seen something- something big enough for Nihlus to deem so important that he required the Dragonborn's presence.

A servant girl came with a tray of various drinks, ranging from brandy to the whiskey Miara specifically requested. "Okay, what is it this time?" The dunmer tiredly asked as she served herself a glass sitting beside Serana. "Uprising? Mad cultists? Natural catastrophe? An invasion? Is an evil god planning something? Goblins somehow multiplying so much they outnumber us a thousand to one?" It was sad that the last one wasn't outside the realm of possibilities. "Just get it over with..."

"A good evening to you, Born One of the Dusk." It was amazing that Arameris remained polite even in the face of Miara's tirade. Perhaps it'd be best to wait for your children to join us. Speaking of," she directed her gaze to the empress. My lady, please move two steps to your right."

"Um..." Sharing a confused look with her husband, the empress complied. "Alright"

The moment she did so, a portal of arcane light appeared where she used to be, and out of it stepped Sarya. "Woof, sorry I'm late. The lecture ended up lasting longer than I thought." Upon seeing the bewildered monarchs, she bowed. "Your majesties"

"How did you warp in here?" Nihlus slowly asked incredulously. "The whole Tower is warded to keep mages from teleporting inside."

"If you call this place 'warded,'" Sarya shared her mother's attitude with the Emperor, not bothering to keep her tone and words formal and offhandedly grumbled at the word. "I spotted twelve places where I could teleport in safely. It would be best if you got your mages to get a look at them. But then again, I'm much better than any staff-waver here, so it could just be me."

Upon seeing Arameris, the young Dunmer grunts before taking a seat by her parents. "Aurelius, please open the door," the Altmer asked politely.

As the Seer requested, Sofie and Oryrn were conversing outside the room with the guards; "Seriously, the only danger from that bandit group was their aim," the Nordic woman snorted, making the guards laugh.

Noticing the open door, the praetorians quickly composed themselves as a brother and sister walked in with two large bags. Both bowed to Nihlus and Keya. "Evening, your majesties. Sorry for being late," Oryrn spoke.

The Emperor waved it off; "You're fine. You both look well. How were those bandits?"

Sofie just laughed, "I faced vermin more dangerous!" then she noticed Arameris and groaned as she and Oryrn gave their loot bag to Aurelius. "Mom, where is the whiskey?"

"Here," Her mother said dispassionately. "Drink it before I finish it."

Serana sighed. This tirade was getting old. "Come on, aren't you all exaggerating?"

Miara turned her eyes to her with a scowl. "You don't seem to get it, do you, Serana? Arameris has visions. Visions are predictions from the future. So what do we call the thing that involves predictions from the future?"

The vampire garnered a guess; "Prophecies?"

"Exactly!" the Dunmer exclaimed violently. And when you know me the entire time, have prophecies involved anything even remotely good for us?"

Serana raised an eyebrow.

"...Except for us meeting that is"

"Nice save," Sarya muttered from her spot at the table.

"The point is," Miara carried on. "When dealing with stuff involving any vision, prediction, or prophecy, it means a long, LONG quest that takes me from the ass-end of nowhere to another ass-end of nowhere. And I get wrapped up in aaaaaaaaaaallll the little problems that happen to come my way."

"Oh, come on. Where is your famous sense of adventure?"

"I have my sense of adventure when the adventure in question is MY CHOICE." The dunmer emphasized the last two words by forcefully tapping her finger on the table. "When prophecy is involved, I can feel an Elder Scroll poking me in the back and saying, Do this. Do this. Do This. Do This. Do this, or you all die."

Both rulers of Tamriel sighed before taking a seat, while Arameris remained unfazed by the elven general's words; "Yet you are curious, Dovahkiin." The young Altmer stated, "Curiosity is a powerful trait among dragons."

"So is impatience," Miara's fingers still taping the table before sighing; "What have you seen, girl?"

The eyes of the seeress became lost, gazing into the nothingness of the air before her. Miara had seen this before, in seers and those who gazed to the unknown knowledge that regular mortals could not hope to grasp with their minds remaining intact. The altmer recalled the vision she had seen, vague as it was.

"I saw... a land, far west, beyond the Sea of Pearls, beyond sunken Yokuda. A land unknown by Tamriel filled with its people... and from that land, darkness starts spreading; like an infected wound, it sickens everything on its path. First, the land succumbs to it, and then... chaos. The chaos that warps the sky and bends it into the earth spreads through the sea until it consumes it all... starry Tamriel, wild Akavir, frozen Atmora, none are spared..."

The room fell silent. The emperors, seated at the head of the table, stared solemnly at the altmer. Their expressions indicated this was not the first time they had heard the vision from her. Sarya held a hand to her mouth as her eyes quickly drifted from one place to another, her mind racing as she thought of the possible explanations behind this vision. Oryrn crossed his arms and closed his eyes, meditating upon the meaning of Arameris' words. Sofie had a worried expression on her face, already, she had lived as a child through a possible apocalypse, and the seeress' prophetic words dug up some bad memories.

Serana and Miara remained much more composed than the others, though the edge in their eyes indicated they were not taking this matter lightly at all. Oh, did they understand the weight behind prophecies like that? Gods know they did...

"Well... that was cheery," the Dunmer Dragonborn commented while taking another swig from her cup.

"These lands have a name?" Serana lowers her hood.

"Thedas," the young Altmer spoke as her eyes returned to normal.

A throaty noise came from the Emperor; "I had a few men speak with several ship captains from trading vessels at the docks. Only two in Tamriel's history have been to these lands."

Miara downs her brandy, "But not of the land and its people." She guessed.

Keya leaned forward, "We need information and what this threat is."

The family has already put things together; Oryrn spoke: "And you need us to be on this mission, Your Majesty?"

"We do," The Emperor confirmed with a nod. "We don't know what those lands will hold, so I'll feel better if we have our best warrior on it," He said, gesturing to Miara.

The dunmer nodded gracefully.

"...But since your father is constantly busy at Akavir, you will have to do," He soon added with a wry smile.

The dunmer's face quickly shifted to match her mood, her ears dropping a bit as her family laughed and chuckled at the joke at her expense. Even her serious son Oryrn couldn't help but let a smile form on his lips. "Ah hah hah..."

Nihlus chuckled as he shook his head. "In all seriousness, Miara, you are the ideal person for the job. Anything that comes your way, I'm certain you can handle it." Warrior, rogue, mage, and the dunmer were all these things. She had plenty of experience fighting many types of beings, whether mortal or immortal. Not to mention the various political schemes she had been wrapped in during her adventures, she knew how to maneuver and talk her way through trouble. Her Voice was mighty in more ways than one.

The dunmer sighed. "Let us have dinner first, and I'll discuss this with my family later."

XxX ~ xx ~ XxX

Per the Emperor's request, Aurelius took the Redoran family to one of the larger guest rooms for the night after their meal. Miara only grunted as she sat at the room's round table, pouring a glass of brandy; "Nothing is ever simple. I should have learned that a century ago." The Dragonborn drank her alcohol down in one gulp.

Setting his ebony armor, sword, and shield on the floor with Sofie's, now wearing a simple cotton shirt and leather pants, Oryrn soon sat in a chair. "Emperor Nihlus says we can view this as an exploration mission. That doesn't sound too bad."

"Oryrn, when has anything simple ever happened when the both of us are involved?" Serana lifted her brow as she sat beside her lover.

"She got you there, brother," Sarya smirked, lying on a bed with her hands behind her head. Sofie grunts as she sits beside her sister.

"I'd think it sounds fun either way," Miara's oldest shrugs with a smile; "I want to see what this Thedas has for adventures." She took a long swig of Daedric lava whiskey from the bottle in her hand.

The Templar rolled his eyes; "Honestly, Mother, aren't you exaggerating over all this?"

"Exaggerating? Hmmmm, nope. I'd say this is an appropriate reaction on my part," Miara says gloomily yet with a glib dry wit. "Honey, every time we've gone on quests prompted by prophecies, they've been incredibly harrowing experiences that left wounds both physical and emotional for everyone involved." She emphasized her words by slamming her cup down on the table. "I've learned that nothing good ever comes of prophecies the hard way, and I would never like to be involved with one of those again. Much less have you three tagging alone for a mess like that."

"I, too, have my grudge against prophecies..." Serana muttered darkly. "Trust me; it's better to leave those alone."

The children of the Dragonborn shared an uneasy look.

"You're considering saying no to Nihlus?" Sofie questioned.

"...Not immediately," Miara admitted. I'm... deliberating. " The Dunmer sighed. "Much as I don't like it, Nihlus would not have called for me unless it's important."

"Because he knows if anyone can travel to another continent to explore it and maybe stop whatever evil our lady seer saw. It's you, mother," Sofie said with resolution in her voice.

Serana only sighed, "Is it that simple? We still don't know what this 'darkness' is. Never mind, we know next to nothing of this continent."

Upon hearing that, Sarya lifted her head; "You never heard of it? Not even back then?" She asked gently.

"...no, I never recalled any book in the old study back home about such a place. Before my father went insane, he preferred the solitude of Skyrim at the castle. Same for my mother, even now" Valerica had restored the inside of the castle for herself and whenever Serana came to visit occasionally, but that didn't mean her mother liked to go out much now that she was no longer trapped in the Soul Cairn. "This Thedas is as new to me as it is to you."

Miara poured more brandy into her cup; "It's a moot point if I decide we don't go."

"But you do want to go, don't you?" Sofie smirked knowingly; "Put aside that prophecy. You want to see this continent none of us had ever heard of."

Serena felt her eye twitch, and if there was one person who could sway Miara, it was Sofi from when she was a little girl to now as an adult.

"You want the adventure, the unknown!" The eldest said dramatically. "Plunder old tombs and discover secrets. Hoard all sorts of treasures... Learn all sorts of new armor and weapon schematics."

She was pulling the blacksmithing card. She was appealing to the dunmer's wanderlust and love for treasure. Blacksmithing reached deep into Miara's soul and pulled her strongest desires.

Serana had long since grown used to the dunmer's... multitude of habits. Chief among them was her first profession, that of blacksmithing. Miara had forged armor with various materials and tried multiple designs to create new and varied armor, from the mighty heavy bulwark of the plate that could turn a person into a walking fortress wall to the lightest of armor to sneak like a shadow in the night.

Miara, simply put, loved forging. So, to present her with the idea of new designs she had never seen before?

The smile on that beautiful gray face told the vampire this battle was over. Miara had made up her mind.

"It's been a while since I learned a new schematic."

Serana sighed. "We'll tell Nihlus in the morning."

This was going to be a long trip…

"Yay!" Sarya cheered. "Adventure!"

XxX ~ xx ~ XxX

It was barely dawn as the waves rocked moderately against the large ship. Part of the crew winced, hearing the retching sound of Sarya Redoran heaving the contents out of her stomach from the side.

"Some people just have no sea legs," A tall Nordic man at the ship's wheel shook his head; "Never knew a Dunmer could look so green."

"You could almost pass for a Bosmer little sister," Sofie chirped rather brightly, leaning against the ship's mast with her arms crossed in front of her. Sarya only glared back at her older sister, who made a wavy motion with her hands, making the young dunmer pale before puking again. "Two months onboard the Red Griffon courtesy of Captain Rag-Nar, and you've been throwing up since we got out to sea. My, those are poor sea manners of yours."

Helping some of the crew, Oryrn rolled his eyes as he moved some large wooden crates. "Think she's had enough, Sofie."

"Had enough, my ass. She's always boasted about us being Tamriel's greatest mage. Never mind the occasional pranks she pulled on us when we were kids. This is divine justice, and I will watch with a smile on my face."

Miara, dressed in a loose cotton shirt and leather pants tucked into boots, heckled as she leaned on the wooden railing in front of the wheel. Although at her side, Serana just tugged her hood to better block some of the sun's rays from touching her face, while her pureblood vampirism stopped that accursed glorified torch bug in the sky from reducing her to ash, it was still 'very' uncomfortable for her to be under it.

Throughout the ship, the marines were hard at work, from cleaning the deck to securing and ensuring the various ropes and sails were in good condition. The vessel was operated by marines from the Imperial Navy, carrying a few squads from Miara's own Legion. Men, men, and a few beast folks even, Argonians mostly as their kind, were superb for sailing and naval warfare for apparent reasons.

Their ship, the Red Griffon, had sailed from Tamriel's shore two months ago toward their destination. The mysterious continent of Thedas to explore at their Emperor's orders. The travelers could only ponder what they would find once they reached those foreign shores. Perhaps all manner of bizarre races and cultures, they prayed it was not filled with brutal and warlike peoples like their longtime rivals, the Akavirs. The empire was doing well for these last few decades. The last thing they needed was savage conquerors surrounding them on both sides of the world.

"Land ho!" Their spotter at the top of the mast from the crow's nest shouted.

Everyone's spirits rose at the sound of those words, the words they had been waiting to hear since they set sail.

Miara eagerly ran up to the ship's bow, leaning forward to look.

There, on the horizon, she saw patches of brown. Land at last.

The new world they had been sent to explore.

"Well… Let's see what you have in store for us."

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