Just an idea that came to me in the shower (the best ideas occur there, don't they?). So, naturally, I grabbed myself a real drink – Hot Chocolate, of course – and set about typing it up. I have three uploads ready, but I'll be pacing uploads at a single upload per four days until I catch up with my writing speed. So, yeah, next one will be on the ninth.
Anyway, sit back, relax and grab yourself a real drink, and enjoy my pitiful attempts at writing… despite the fact I'm behind on my university work… really need to catch up on that. Anyway, here goes; a story of the lonely Chantry Guard and the Abused Child finding comfort as Father-Daughter... until a certain letter comes around...
Auri-El, Auriel, Akatosh, Dragon God of Time, Chief God of the Nine Divines. He went by many names and titles, none of which he chose himself, but that mattered little as all attributed to him. Many Bosmer and Altmer would often claim to be directly descended from him, though that was dubious at best – in fact, if any race of Mer had been closest to him, it would have been the Snow Elves, the Ancient Falmer. Found in nearly every culture, from Man to Mer, he was worshiped as the ruler of the Divines and the most powerful. Yet even he was powerless at times.
This was one such time.
Auri-El had seen the massacre of his Snow Elf children, some of whom actually were his direct descendants, at the hands of the Atmorans. He had seen the vile Dwemer twist and break them, the Atmorans hunt them and the world scorn them for fear of drawing the ire of man. Such an atrocity, even if in retaliation for a similar, though much less devastating attack, brought pain to the old God's heart.
Yet even as his sorrow for those who died mounted, a certain Snow Elf caught his attention; Knight-Paladin Gelebor. In the wake of the destruction of Snow Elf society, Gelebor had not forsaken his duty, alongside his fellow Snow Elves in the Chantry. Auri-El watched as, even when the Chantry bustled with life, Gelebor stood alone at the Wayshrine in Darkfall Cave. Aside from the occasional Initiate, Gelebor was assigned to the permanently empty cave for years.
Then Vyrthur's betrayal occurred. The Priests and Priestesses were slaughtered in under an hour. Knight-Paladin Gelebor led a group of Paladins, mostly assembled of Knight and Mage-Paladins, in the fight against the Betrayed. Their skill outshone that of the Betrayed by a long margin – they were warriors of Auri-El, after all – but even as the Paladins' average kill-count entered the multi-dozens, they were just too few. For each Falmer that was cut down, two more appeared – but for every Paladin that was lost, there was no replacement, only a decrease in combat ability.
It was not long before Knight-Paladin Gelebor fought alone. He fought all the way to the doors of the Inner Sanctuary, his own kill-count entering several hundreds. And yet, even the most skilled mortal is subject to fatigue. He began to slow, unable to keep fighting, though Auri-El knew that he would keep fighting until death. So, he intervened; Gelebor passed out and woke up back in Darkfall Cave. Unknown to Gelebor, the Betrayed and Vyrthur, however, Auri-El didn't stop there; in what short time there was, Auri-El transported the bodies of a half-dozen Priests and Priestess into a pocket dimension of Oblivion, and preserving the Prelates as spectral forms to take care of the Wayshrines, until the day that the Chantry became safe once again – an action that would have undoubtably caught the attention of Aedra and Daedra alike, were it not for the Maormer invasion of Elseweyr taking place on Mundus, drawing their attention away from his actions.
But that still left Gelebor alone. His most faithful servant, suffering alone in a dark and empty cave. Auri-El would have saved Gelebor, too, were it not for the fact that Gelebor was the only thing stopping adventurers from plundering the sacred Forgotten Vale – something that cannot be allowed to happen; the Forgotten Vale, after all, was sacred to far more than just Auri-El. Even as the years turned into decades and then centuries, Gelebor stood alone. An immortal guardian of a dead and corrupted Chantry.
Auri-El's gaze wandered across creation as he thought about what he could do. If Gelebor had been a woman, he could have blessed her with a child. Though sadly that wasn't possible. That thought saddened him somewhat. At least, that is, until he caught sight of something. A soul just entering Oblivion.
The soul was young, that much was obvious, and had obviously been taken before its time. There was still a tether between the body and the soul, due to how recently said child had died. So, thinking quickly, Auri-El reached out, reinforced the tether and pulled both body and soul to him. The body was in poor condition; covered in welts and bruises – obvious signs of abuse – but worst of all was the chemical burns around her eyes. Many treatments from Mortal mages could likely remove the chemical burns and scars, though whether her eyesight would return… well, it would take a miracle, and right now, Auri-El was in too much of a rush to attempt such a thing. If the Daedra caught wind of this... he shuddered to think.
So, the girl's injuries had to remain, but Auri-El quickly altered the fundamentals of the body. Hair became pure white, like freshly laid snow. Skin became as soft and colourless as the softest white silk. Her hidden eyes, once a shocking emerald green, became a deep blue that shone like sapphires. All the brutish muscles of Man were reshaped into the simple elegance of Mer. The girl became, in every physical and ethereal way, a Snow Elf. It would be down to Gelebor to make her 'walk and talk' like a Snow Elf, however.
And so, Auri-El placed a sleeping seven-year-old Snow Elf child before Gelebor – who was somehow dozing as he stood in front of the Wayshrine; unable to be relieved of his shift… for now. So, with a flash, as the body materialised, Auri-El watched in anticipation as Gelebor's eyes snapped open…
Yet, in his haste, Auri-El had not notice just one thing; his meddling with both her body and soul had caused a part of his divine power to 'rub off' on her. Not enough to give her divine powers, but enough that she could adapt to become Dragonborn – all it would take is but the learning of a single Word of Power to finish the transition.
Gelebor awoke from his standing nap with a start, opening his eyes just in time to catch the final second of a bright flash. There was absolutely nothing in Darkfall cave that could cause a flash like that – unless it was adventurers or even him. Though he knew the latter to be false. So, he had an intruder. The Knight-Paladin gripped his sword and went to take a step forward, only to freeze as his eyes found the source of the flash.
Lying upon the ground, on her back, with her hands gently folded over her abdomen was a child. A clear Snow Elf child. Her pale skin, paler than even Gelebor's, shone in the dim cavern, fading somewhat as if an unknown power was dispersing from her delicate form. The purest white hair flowed like a river of snow down to her hips, fanning out slightly across the ground, giving her what looked to be a blanket of silk to lay upon. Her form was small, very small, leading Gelebor to suspect that the child was a mere five Winters old. Perhaps the most eye-catching thing of all, however, was not a part of her, but what she was wearing. Besides the simple, pure-white dress that flowed down to her ankles, there was an oddity upon her face; a simple grey blindfold.
So surprised by the sudden arrival, and subsequent study, of the child before him, Gelebor failed to notice one thing for several long seconds. When he saw it, however, he was immediately pulled from his studies as a slight panic startled to stir. From beneath her, a pool of deep crimson began to spread; blood.
In a quick measure, Gelebor dropped his ancient mace and dashed the few metres before dropping at the girl's side. He was no healer, that skillset belonging to the Mage-Paladins and Priests, but he knew a few basics. He could just about do 'Healing' and 'Lesser Ward', which he immediately set about pouring into her until his Magicka ran low. While it refilled, Gelebor gently placed a hand upon her shoulder and leg, pulling her onto her side before moving around to get a better view of where the blood was coming from. What he saw made his normally pale face flood with an angry red as his expression contorted into anger.
Upon seeing the welts upon her back, Gelebor looked over the child, this time with a more detailed eye. Now that he was looking, upon her pale skin he could see hundreds of scars littering her body. Some of the more recent scars could likely be removed via potions applied directly to the skin, but many more went back years. Whoever this young girl had been in the 'tender care' of had treated her horrifically and now the girl would forever be scared physically, and likely mentally, by such actions forced upon her. While his meagre skill with what little Restoration spells he knew had managed to close the welts on her back, he did not currently possess the Magicka reserves, nor the potions, to heal them fully. For now, Gelebor would have to be satisfied with the minor healing that he had managed to give her.
Picking her up as gently as he could, Gelebor slowly carried her over to his bedroll, all the while trying not to jostle her. It took him a minute to cross the cave to his little camp as his slow speed and careful steps made it take longer. But he got there soon enough and now had to lower her into the bedroll with the same delicacy as he had carried her with.
It was only now that the child was placed within the bedroll and tucked in that Gelebor turned his attention to the curiousity of the blindfold. It was a simple affair; a plain grey cloth that completely hid her eyes. With careful hands, the Knight-Paladin slipped the blindfold off. He once again froze in anger at what he saw. What was clearly some form of acidic burns covering the area around her eyes, looking to be at least a couple years old. Her eyes themselves seemed stuck at a half-lidded position, with her milky-white eyes staring blankly ahead. Through the milky layer, however, Gelebor could just about see the most magnificent blue colour that he had ever seen, causing him to curse whoever had forced the child to hide away such gems.
The ancient Snow Elf carefully slid the blindfold back into place, absently wondering how she navigated. That thought led him to wonder how exactly she got here. All he knew was that there was a flash of light… sort similar to how he… Auri-El! Back when Auri-El had pulled him from his suicidal charge against the Betrayed, there was a flash of light before he went unconscious. Auri-El must have placed this child before him! Gelebor swore not to fail either Auri-El or the girl – he would look after her and raise her as his own, giving her the best childhood that he could.
It was on that day, the day of finding who he would come to call his little Lyra, that Gelebor swore to Auri-El himself that Lyra would be raised as a true Snow Elf. Gelebor would see to it that Lyra had everything she needed to become the best that she could be, and if that meant charging alone into the Chantry to reclaim some of the remaining books in the Chantry's Great Library, then so be it. He'd also have to look into learning Blacksmithing; it was only proper for a father to gift their child a set of armour upon their thirteenth Winter after all…
Just a short chapter I know, but let me know how I did, how I can improve and what brand of Hot Chocolate you drink!