"Did you hear, Arinde?" A voice spoke, almost drowned out by the bustling activities of the barracks. "A treasury belonging to the Dominion was robbed blind by him. Not a single coin was left."
"What?" Another voice uttered in shock. "Are you sure, Vornar?"
"Yes, the one in Valenwood," The Thalmor soldier shook his head, a grimace on his face. "The treasury was heavily fortified- not even dragons would've been able to break in easily, yet…"
"How is he capable of such a thing?" Arinde questioned. "How is a single man able to empty entire treasuries so efficiently?"
"No one knows," Vornar shook his head. "This man- this phantom appeared one day in Skyrim out of nowhere."
"And to think he's bold enough to target Valenwood," The female High Elf frowned. "How powerful is he?"
"Very powerful. They say he has the backing of the Empress herself."
"Wouldn't that be violating the White-Gold Concordat?" Arinde narrowed her eyes. "Does the Empire think it can afford another war?"
"Even if the Dominion can prove that he works for the Empire, it wouldn't matter," Vornar. "The Empire has grown exponentially more powerful the past few years. They've already recovered from the Great War while the Aldmeri…"
"Are you saying the Empire will win?" She scoffed. "Fool, the Thalmor is supreme. You know better than to spout such nonsense."
"You don't understand; this was his plan all along," He argued. "This man… he works to weaken the Thalmor from the inside as the fools of the council twiddle their thumbs and do nothing."
"What are you getting at?"
"He's targeting treasuries, banks, and merchants that are aligned with the Dominion for the sole purpose of crippling us economically," Vornar clarified. "Then the Empire will be able to destroy us in one fell swoop as we're left to scavenge for resources."
"Hmph, you're overreacting, Vornor," Arinde said. "A loss for sure, but those don't amount to a fraction of the Thalmor's wealth, and the Alinor Treasury is the most well-guarded in the whole continent. Not even the full force of the Empire will be able to put a dent on it."
Vornar remained silent as he watched his partner continue her patrol, a worried look on his face. "I wouldn't be so sure about that…"
He kept his worries to himself. Clearly, Arinde is too stubborn and arrogant to realize how truly powerful that man was. Even before his ascent to power, the Thalmor threw everything they could at him, but he was able to slip under their noses with ease. They were powerless to stop him when he robbed everything of value from
the embassy in Skyrim.
The look on Elenwen's face was amusing, but he digresses.
Vornar had a horrible feeling about all of this. This man seemed only to grow more dangerous every single time he enacts one of his nefarious plans. There were even rumors of him stealing a Daedric Artifact without suffering any consequences.
He hoped he'd never see him, this man they call-
Vornar blinked as a drop of water hit his face. He turned to look up to see dark gray clouds covering the once sunny skies. Heavy rain began to pour down on them, lightning striking the highest points of one of the towers.
"A thunderstorm?" Arinde muttered.
"It was clear mere minutes ago," Vornar frowned.
Suddenly, bells began to ring all over the city, signaling an emergency for all citizens and guards of Alinor. Officers rounded up multiple squads as they looked all over the city, but the search didn't take long as the 'enemy' gathered their attention by calling down a lightning strike next to where he was, atop one of the highest towers in the city.
With a black cloak that enveloped most of his lean body, a mask covering only the upper part of his face, and glowing purple eyes with a mischievous glint, the most terrifying man in all of Tamriel, smirked at them.
The self-proclaimed 'God of Thunder', Raiden, was in Alinor.
"Hey, knife-ears! Nice city you got here~!" His voice boomed, heard by most of the city. "Gotta say, my favorite place was the secret little room at the bottom of that pretty palace!"
Vornar's blood ran cold. No…
It can't be.
As the realization hit them, people began to panic. Archers pulled the strings of their bows while mages prepared their spells. The thief remained calm as hundreds of arrows and elemental magic soared towards him, but then, cloaked individuals began to emerge from the towers.
All of them wore a mask like his, but the Thalmor can easily tell that they range from every race. Beastfolk, Mer, and Men, all used their own powers of bows and magic to deflect the incoming. The God of Thunder merely chuckled before snapping his finger.
More and more of his cloaked allies made themselves known, everywhere over every building. The Thalmor officers realized that they were surrounded, but for how long? Since when were they here?
Were they hiding, waiting for their Leader to make his entrance? Did they arrive with him? Whatever it was, they knew they're at a severe disadvantage, and it was made clear when one of the mages tried to shoot the one known as Raiden with a fireball, only for an arrow to pierce his head, killing him instantly.
The Thalmor were outplayed, and there's nothing they can do about it.
Over at the other side of the city, as one of the generals of the Thalmor army made his way to the main plaza where Raiden was, a soldier came running to him bearing terrible news. The soldiers within earshot shared a collective chill going through their spines as their comrades reported to the general over his panting and gasping.
The treasury of Alinor was emptied.
Why is it so cold in here?
I grimace, stirring in my bed as I try to fix my posture, but for some reason, it doesn't help. I don't think it's me who's sleeping in a bad pose, more like…
The bed feels kinda horrible. It's like I'm sleeping on stone.
A droplet of what I assume is water hits my cheek, prompting me to slowly open my eyes, only to be greeted by a very unfamiliar ceiling… that looks like it's about to collapse on me at any moment. I'm still too tired to process what's going on, but even then I can tell I'm not in my home right now.
"What the hell," I mumble, sitting up.
I flinch as my feet sink into a tiny freezing water puddle, which shakes me out of my trance. My eyes widen as I realize that I'm currently inside a prison cell. I stand up quickly, looking around in a panic as I try to remember what happened beforehand. Why am I here? What is this place?
"Where the hell am I?" I whisper in fear.
I look down at myself, noticing what I'm wearing is nothing more than rags. I search for my wallet, phone, anything, but nothing. It doesn't even have pockets for god's sake. I rack my brain for answers, but I come up with nothing.
All this just made me feel nauseous, so I sat back down on the bed, taking deep breaths as I try my damned hardest to not vomit right there and then, legs and arms shaking from how sick I suddenly felt.
"Calm down," I mutter to myself, closing my eyes shut. "Calm down, panicking isn't gonna get you anywhere."
My beating heart slows down as I relax, nausea thankfully disappearing after a few minutes. I open my eyes and try to assess the situation, analyzing my surroundings to find anything that might explain what the hell happened to me.
The first thing I spot is a statue at the other side of the room, made of pure gold, and of a woman that looks very familiar. After taking one last deep breath, I squint my eyes to get a better look. I've seen this before, I know I have, but where?
This… it-it must be a clue, right? If I recognize even a bit of it, then this means this thing is related to me being here.
"Approach, my child," The statue suddenly speaks, making me flinch violently as my eyes widen.
My eyes dart around the room, looking for anything that might've said that. The voice was so echo-y, ethereal even, what the hell was that? Who said that? I don't know if I'm going crazy or not but…
"D-did the statue just talk?" I mutter.
I gulp and slowly do as it told me to, tension all-time high as the only things I hear are my steps and the drops of water hitting the ground. Said ground was freezing my feet off, but I ignored the cold as I stared at the golden statue. Where have I seen this before?
As I stand before it, the statue remains silent. I start to calm myself, thinking that I was probably hallucinating, but as soon as that thought crosses my mind, the statue speaks up once again.
"Choose where your new life shall begin."
"What the fuck?!" I flinch and jump back in fear, my heart almost leaping out of my chest.
Okay, this thing definitely talked!
I look at the cell door and dash towards it, only to discover that it's locked as I try to open it. I scan the room once again, looking for any kind of key I can use to open the door, but there is nothing. I grit my teeth as I try to open the door by force, noticing that it looks kinda brittle, but I'm not strong enough.
"Shit…!" I curse under my breath. "I-I need to get out of here."
"As you wish."
"S-stop talking!" I reply to the statue out of terror.
Only then do I notice three little lockpicks and one small knife on the table next to the statue. Those… those weren't here before.
I gaze at the creepy statue. Did it… no, it can't be. I'm just too tired and confused, that's why I didn't notice them before. Right? Yeah, right.
I snatch the lockpicks and knife, taking a deep breath before crouching in front of the door. I've never done this before, but I guess now's a good time to learn. I have three chances, either I escape or I'm stuck here until someone finds me.
By the looks of this place, I doubt anyone would be coming here any time soon.
I insert the knife and one of the lockpicks, twisting it only for it to instantly break. I click my tongue and try with the second lockpick, making a bit of progress by turning it a little more to the right, but it still snaps.
My heart is pounding, but I know that being tense is the opposite of helpful. I have to be relaxed, keep my hands steady. That's how I get out of here, by being calm.
I take a moment to breathe, stopping my hands from trembling before inserting the last lockpick. Every time I feel the slightest of resistance, I freeze and turn it a little more to the right or left, until I'm finally able to unlock it.
The 'click' I heard from the door made me smile widely. "I did it!"
I stand up and step back, opening the door before going forward. Alright, now to get out of here. I can think about all of this once I'm somewhere safe. I don't want to stick around for too long.
As I keep advancing, I flinch as I see skeletal remains on the ground. Bones and skulls littered the place, making me feel sick to the stomach. I don't think those are made of plastic…
And some of them are holding swords and shields. What the hell is going on? Is this a prank or something? Where the actual hell am I?
"Are those things real?" I mutter at the pile of weapons. Swords, axes, daggers, bows - and so on.
I crouch down and try to grab one, only for a skeletal hand to grab my arm. I let out a terrified scream as the skeleton gazed at me with glowing blue eyes. Sickening cracks can be heard as it slowly stands up, grabbing one of the weapons in the pile.
I react on instinct and push it off of me, immediately running away as more and more skeletons begin to rise, all holding weapons as they stare at me with malice. I'm nothing short of absolutely fucking terrified, trying to find the exit.
But more of them come out of every corner, chattering teeth and cracking spines. I'm surrounded, there is nothing I can do to escape… nothing but fight.
I grab the nearest weapon near me, a hatchet that I had my grip on tight, slowly stepping away until my back hit the wall. My legs were shaking uncontrollably as the skeletons approaching me cackled.
Before the first thing attacked, something suddenly appeared in my vision, something that stopped me right in my tracks.
Systems booting up, please wait…
…Systems online. Welcome, Raiden.
Suddenly a voice echoes in my head, one belonging to a woman from what I can tell.
I finally notice the skeleton swinging its sword at me, prompting me to ignore whatever hallucination this was as I duck under it, smashing the edge of my hatchet on its skull, which instantly killed it.
Oh, I see you're in a bit of a predicament. Would you like some help, sir?
"H-help?" I mumble, still in shock and fear. "W-what are you talking about- what the hell are you? Where the hell am I?"
Sidestep to the right.
My body moves on its own, following this voice's advice. It was the right thing to do as I barely evaded the skeleton smashing its hammer on the ground. If I didn't move, I would've turned into a bloody paste.
I retaliate by hacking it with my hatchet, destroying its skeletal structure in one go. I feel a little proud of myself when I did, not knowing if I'm this strong or it was my adrenaline that's doing the job.
I regain a tiny bit of my confidence as I realize how slow these things are, and how easy it is to destroy them. I manage to calm myself down a little, enough to not be startled by the voice at least.
It seems that you're doing well for yourself, sir.
"Who the hell are you?" I ask quickly. "What do you want from me?"
I'm the consciousness and the sapient part of your system, sir. I know it is hard to believe, but I'm on your side.
I glare at the skeletons who approach me slowly. They might be weak, but there's a lot of them. Eight, I need to be careful. A simple stab can be fatal. How the hell am I supposed to beat all of them?
"...Y-you said something about help," I note. "Would be really appreciated right about now."
Of course, sir! I'll be activating your powers now, please brace yourself for the incoming messages. My deepest apologies.
"What do you-"
Bloodline powers activated.
[Raiju's Lineage] gained
[Lightning Manipulation] gained
Raiju Skill Tree unlocked
As the strange text boxes fill my view, I feel rejuvenated. My body feels lighter, my vision is sharper, and the skeletons look a lot slower than before. Sparks of purple electricity dance around my body, but strangely, they don't feel uncomfortable at all. In fact, it's the opposite.
It's almost… comforting.
Alright, bloodline activated! Next step, how about a little motivator?
Objective: Escape the Abandoned Prison
Rewards: Random New Class
I have no idea what is going on anymore, so I just ignore whatever this is.
I can think about it later, I need to leave now.
Good thinking, sir!
As this strange power fills my very being, all my worries evaporate as I easily dodge the strike of the skeleton, quite literally smashing its skull to pieces with one swing of my hatchet. A smile creeps up on my face as I charge at the next one, finally taking the initiative.
I don't know where this confidence is coming from, but I feel like I can do it. With this new strength, I can beat them and escape, then figure out what the actual hell is going on.
Two more skeletons try to attack me, but I manage to evade their attacks and retaliate with my own, destroying them. At the other side of the place, I see a skeleton nock an arrow to a bow and begin to draw, aiming right at me.
I grimace as I duck under a swing, smashing my fist into the attacker's face before charging at the archer. It lets go of the string and the arrow comes soaring towards me, and even with how much faster I am now, I'm not able to dodge and it digs into my shoulder.
"Aghh! Fuck!" I curse with a hiss, getting close enough to m its skull into the wall.
The hot pain in my shoulder stops my advance as the three remaining skeletons rush at me, but I was able to ignore it for just a little to defend myself. Even a punch was enough to end them, so it wasn't that difficult to defeat all of them quickly.
What was difficult, though, was ignoring the pain.
I kneel and grimace deeply, grunting as I slowly pull the arrow out of my shoulder. I throw the bloody arrow on the ground and put a hand over my wound, hand still having a tight grip over my hatchet.
At least I killed them, so that's good. I can handle the bleeding for now. Maybe.
Just then, right as I stand up, a horrible chill goes down my spine. The air feels freezing, cold enough for me to see my own breath as I suddenly hear a terrifying, ethereal voice.
"I sense a presence…" It whispers, prompting me to slowly turn around. "Does someone live? Among the dead?"
What I saw was an ethereal blue humanoid, holding an equally ethereal sword as it stared down my very soul. I couldn't help but chuckle fearfully. First skeletons, now ghosts? Are you serious?
"I see you…"
I stand up and face it, but then that voice speaks again.
I suggest escaping, sir. That enemy is far beyond your current level.
"Where the hell is the exit, then?" I mutter.
You're currently at the bottom of the tower, which was collapsed a while go. Continue forward and you'll see the stairs leading up to the exit. It can't follow you to the outside.
I back away step by step, keeping an eye on the slowly approaching ghost before making a run for it. I sprint as fast as my legs could take me, pushing everything I see down in hopes of slowing it down because holy shit it's fast.
Unfortunately, it's able to go through objects, so all of my struggles were for nothing. I click my tongue and focus on just getting the hell out of here.
"Could you please fuck off?!"
"Mortal fool! No one can hide from the dead!"
It was right behind me as it says that, charging with its sword centimeters away from stabbing my back, but I manage to sidestep at the last minute, almost stumbling as I run up the stairs.
The ghost is still fast enough to keep up with me, though, and it's not easy to dodge while walking up the stairs. I can't even defend myself, it can go through everything.
Use your lightning powers!
Suddenly, sparks of electricity crackle around my fist, prompting me to act quickly and aim it at the fast-approaching ghost. Purple lightning shoots towards it, stunning it and halting its movement briefly.
It didn't take long for it to regain its footing, though, but by then I was already at the door, kicking it open as the light of the beautiful sun hit my face.
However, I wasn't aware of what was in front of me at the time and tripped over a rock before falling right into the river. The cold water causes me to stumble and stand up immediately, gasping for air as I turn towards the door I came from.
I see the ghost there, feeling its hateful glare as it stands there unable to leave. I couldn't help but laugh at it.
"Haha, fuck you, ghost!" I say, flipping the bird. "Can't get me here, can you?!"
It slowly dematerializes and disappears out of my view, prompting me to fall on my butt, drawing a long sigh. I shield my eyes from the sun as I begin to take in my surroundings - wilderness, a destroyed home, and the river I fell into.
Where the hell am I?
I can answer that, sir!
"Please do." I sigh.
First, let me congratulate you on actually surviving. I knew you had it in you, boss!
Second, and what you've been wondering since you woke up, you have been chosen as the first and newest wielder of a newly developed system!
"A… system?" I blink. I'm familiar with that term. "You mean a 'Gamer' system?"
The one and only!
"Why me?" I ask, still confused.
I don't know, I think it's random? My creator is a strange individual.
Regardless, you don't seem particularly enthusiastic about this, I would have thought you'd be over the moon right now.
"I woke up in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, had a statue talk to me, killed skeletons, and escaped from a ghost, and where does that lead me? Still nowhere," I chuckle. "Just give me some time to process what the fuck is going on please."
Heh, fair enough.
But it's not the middle of nowhere like you think it is. In fact, you're very familiar with this place.
"Hm?" I raise a brow. "I don't recall ever seeing a haunted prison before."
Then I'm sure a certain mod by the name of "Live Another Life" will jog your memory.
I freeze as I hear that, and finally, memories begin rushing back to my mind. The Abandoned Prison, the Statue of Mara, the fucking mod I always use in my playthroughs. I finally recognized it all.
"You're telling me I'm in Skyrim?"
Still shell-shocked, I stare at my reflection on the crystal clear water, before letting out a tired sigh.
I need a drink…
New fic, yay. I wasn't supposed to upload this so soon - I needed to finish a modded playthrough first to refresh my memories - but I thought the first chapter/prologue wouldn't hurt, right? Just to give an idea.
So if I wasn't being clear, I'm not sure when I'll be updating this. Likely after I finish a playthrough and write down notes, because my memory is worse than a goldfish's.
This is modded Skyrim, btw, not heavily modded, but there will be mods.
MC is the guy on the cover
SGO Discord server link: (Discord . gg / wd3tUYWVCd) No spaces.
My personal server discord link: (Discord . gg / Rjjzt8erYK) no spaces. It's a new server, but I might post exclusive content there. No, I'm not bribing you to join.
If you want to support me, here's my pat reon link: (Pat reon dot com / Mirlnir)